Jack came into my life when he was three months old, given by a cousin during a family reunion. Though I grew up with dogs , I did not care much for them. They were there to simply secure our home. My Mom, who was a neat freak, never allowed them inside our house. My Dad or the maid were the ones who patiently prepared their meals, mostly leftover food.
My husband insisted I needed a canine companion to protect me when I am alone in the house. I agreed as he promised to take care of the dog himself. Wary of his new surroundings, Jack was yapping the whole time. We could not sleep at night. He liked to gnaw on our furniture and to pee everywhere.
I wanted the hubby to return him but he had to travel out of town. I was left alone with Jack, clueless on how to take care of him. I was constantly calling the hubby. I bought him some dry puppy food. Jack gobbled it in just a minute. I bathed him so afraid that he might bite me. But Jack just stood there allowing me to shampoo his fur. He immediately obeyed as I called him to sleep in his cage at night. He followed me everywhere looking at me expectantly with those brown eyes. Hungry again? I shoved food at him but he did not touch it. Jack was jumping up and down. I hooked his collar and brought him to the backyard. There he was rolling with his feet a small branch that had fallen from the neighbor’s mango tree. Ah, so he wanted to play. I played with him until we were both exhausted.
I woke up in the morning, surprised, that I had enjoyed myself during the last few days. I found myself hurrying home from work to give Jack his treat for the day. I combed supermarkets for the cutest dog collars and toys. My conversations with friends were peppered with anecdotes about his latest antics. He slowly grew on me and realized that I have become, albeit reluctantly, a dog lover.
He became my protector, stress buster and TV time companion. I was childless for a long time. Jack was a comforting presence during the highs and lows of my fertility work up. When I finally became a Mom, he acted like an older brother to my son Joshua protecting him during playtime. I had been a mother for a few years when Jack died. Though heartbroken, I was also grateful. I have learned patience, unconditional love and how to enjoy the moment from an angel in fur.