…is to say goodbye to your first dog.
I have always been one of those people who stops and pats the random dog outside the grocery store waiting for his owner, or stopped the lady walking her three cavaliers to ask if i could pet them (even if i don’t speak the language). No matter what country i am in, i always find i am drawn to animals or they are drawn to me.
I have always loved animals though, this is probably not surprising to my family and friends. I was always the kid playing in the backyard pretending to be a cheetah one day, a dog the next and sometimes even “Steve Irwin – The Crocodile Hunter” (but in this case, i was more of a lizard hunter). Some girls would say they wanted to be cinderella, or maybe even Pocohantos, I always wanted to be a lion or on some occasion, a Dalmation.
So the day i asked my parents if we could get a dog, surely came as no surprise to them. Continuous asking for 5 years and failed attempts to settle my desire for a dog by giving me pet fish and mice lead to my parents agreement to get me a dog around my 9th birthday. It seemed that i was meant to get a dog that birthday. A family friend who breed miniature poodles called my mother on the morning of my 9th birthday with unbelievable news. Her dog had given birth to one puppy, a little boy puppy, a surprise to all. Everyone said that he was meant for me. It was a sign or “divine intervention” (whatever that means…). But of course the decision was up to my dad. He eventually caved and 8 weeks after my 9th birthday, we brought home that little boy puppy.
We called him “Yanni” but his full name was Gianni Versace, after the late fashion design, thanks to my mother. At the age of 9 years old, I was not to concerned about his name and more to the fact that I had finally gotten a dog.
Despite my wish for him to be ‘my’ dog, the attachment he had with mother was like no other. Yanni was my mother’s shadow and i didn’t mind that, he was still my best friend. We would play outside my mother’s office while she worked on the weekends and he always found the best spot on the couch to be my film buddy.
Despite getting a second poodle, Dolce, who still is my little shadow to this day, Yanni was always the first. I sometimes thought about what it would be like when the time came to say good bye but i never imagined it to have the effect it has had on me. Especially considering I was overseas when he passed. My mother had been the one to take him to the vet for the needle that would mean his eternal slumber. He was blind, his kidneys were failing and he could barely walk so the humane thing was to put him to sleep. My mother held him in his favourite position (his head on her left shoulder and holding his feet in her right hand) and he went quickly off to sleep. He was no longer in pain.
When my mother told me how it happened, i burst into tears, cried uncontrollably for about 5 minutes, slobbered all over my boyfriend’s shirt while he hugged and then I was okay. I thought about all the good times and how that little animal had really made an impact on my life. The time he peed on my school bag because i had left it in the kitchen (he peed on things that were not in their right position, i.e. school bag lived in my room). It would not have been the same without him. I always thought that i would be depressed and sleep for days when the old guy finally went, but it made me really open my eyes and show me what i wanted my life to be. Its like he was giving me a kick-up-the-a%$e to go out and catch my dreams. I stopped thinking I could do it tomorrow. I stopped saying and the maybes, the if’s, the i’m not sure’s and i just made a decision. It still feels like yesterday that we brought Yanni home and now, he is resting in peace. Where did the time go? Has it really been 15 years since that day? His passing made me more fully understand the little time we all have. I am more inspired than ever to take every moment like it is my last and do what makes me the best version of myself.
A suppose a death has this affect on people’s life, just not the death of an animal perhaps?
So to my darling departed dog, Gianni “Yanni” Versace, I devote this blog to you ❤
Lots of love,