He will hold your paw, just as I taught him; and he will make you his life, just as it should be.
It was early December and I remember seeing you step out of the car seemingly excited. You walked past me and smelled so good…much like, peanut butter. I was hoping to catch your eye, maybe brush up against you, but you were so focused on everyone else, so I waited. I overheard you saying that I was cute, but not really who you had your eye on.
Just as I mustered up the courage to approach you, you hopped in the car with my brother. I just stared at you hoping you wouldn’t leave. I admit, my brother is better looking, maybe better manners too. But I knew I would love you more; and I did, Momma. Thank you for choosing me instead. I knew my wrinkles and my big paws would make you change your mind!
It turns out that we both had a lot of adjusting to do. Me in a new forever home and you, back in the Philippines, permanently. There were “growing pains” and while I had several outlets like biting furniture, scratching the walls, and eating your shoes--all you had was me. I suppose this is why you say that I’m the love of your life. If I could talk, I’d tell you that you are my life.
But I knew I would love you more; and I did, Momma. Thank you for choosing me instead.
When we finally found our groove and I stopped using everything as a chew toy, you and I were inseparable! My name was finally changed from “Nobadboystopdoingthat” to “Xander.” Much easier for my name tag, if you ask me! We’ve had so many good times—beach trips, boat rides, fun runs (which are not so fun for me by the way), hikes, as well as our lazy days.
But then one day I got sick. The people in white coats said that I needed to stay at the clinic. Confined, they said. Did you know that doggos could feel pain? Not just their own, but also the pain that their person is feeling. You’re my person and I felt your heart aching. You told Mr. White Coat that you couldn’t leave me and you asked him to teach you how to change the tubes stuck to my paws. You said that you would do whatever it takes, but that I have to go home with you. If I didn’t make it, you said, at least you would be by my side.
Did you know that doggos could feel pain? You’re my person and I felt your heart aching.
I don’t remember seeing you sleep in the weeks that I was sick. You changed my IVs, spoonfed me and comforted me when I had accidents. You understood when I wouldn’t open my eyes or lift my head to greet you. When you whispered softly in my ear and begged me not to leave you, I felt your heart ache even more. I was so worried that it would break into pieces and no one would know how to put it back together. So I healed myself, for YOU.
I will break your heart again one day, Momma. We both know that. I don’t think you’ll be able to bounce back…at least, not for a long time. Many will say, “but he’s just a dog” and you won’t be able to find the words to explain that I was your solace. When the ground beneath you seemed unsteady, I held your paw.
I will break your heart again one day, Momma. We both know that.
So I needed a plan. Doggos need to plan for the inevitable. My plan was to find the store named “Church” and speak with the owner, Mr. Jesus. You said he makes things happen; and he did. He sent us Waffles. I mean, don’t get me wrong…when you hopped out of the car and told me you brought “Waffles,” I was NOT expecting a puppy. But there he was…my wish come true.
He will be the one to put back all the pieces of your heart, after I have broken it. When you feel that you can’t breathe, he will demand for a walk, to give you air. He will hold your paw, just as I taught him; and he will make you his life, just as it should be. But until that day comes, I will spend every day making sure that you know how grateful I am that you came back, and you chose me instead.
Story of Xander and his momma, Michelle Monzones
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