Saturday, May 25, 2013

Riding In Cars With My Boy

Just look at that guy. It couldn't be more obvious he loved cars as much as I do.

He knew when I was getting ready for a drive and would scramble in a mini-panic to tag along. With no prodding he would climb into his car seat and arrange himself in a proper sitting position. And with heavy panting breaths, he would anticipate the joyride ahead.

He was always remarkably well-behaved; even more so in a moving vehicle. A picture of contentment and happiness as he sat there, taking in the world as it sped by. Oblivious to the delight and stares of everyone who saw him: a happy Chow Chow smiling in a sports car.

I guess that's why it was fitting that he would take his last gasping breaths in my car, lying in the arms of his loving yaya. As I stroked his head after having asked him to hold on as we raced to the hospital in the dwindling traffic of Friday night.


I had come home from a gruelling week and was dead-tired.

He lay on the floor like a Sphinx - his usual pose of choice - worshipping the electric fan. My first inkling that something was wrong came when he didn't get up to greet me as he normally would. He just lay there, turned his head, and smiled at me.

It was when I came close to pat him that I heard his heavy, labored breathing. "Matamlay siya buong araw, ser," said my maid. "At hindi po kumain."

"Dalhin sa vet ito bukas," I replied. I was so exhausted I really wanted nothing but to lie down and rest my weary body.

But not ten minutes later, the maid said he was vomiting dark blood. I rushed down and his breath was even more ragged, more laboured than it was scant minutes earlier.

And ten more minutes later, my exhaustion forgotten, we were speeding down EDSA. On what would be our last journey together.


It happened quickly. He did not seem to suffer. 

From his huddled position on his yaya's lap, he suddenly reared up with what seemed like a surprised gasp.

And then one more. A softer one.

More like an exhale.

Then he was gone.


I never did get a picture of him in the car, happily sitting in the passenger seat, smiling at the journey ahead. I always meant to, but there are many things in life we put off till the morrow, till the morrow never comes.

We'd taken many trips together, my baby boy and I. The last time bringing a buttload of cakes to Mom on Mother's Day, as I fed him colorum pastilles. But the thing with the last time is, you often don't know when the last time will be the last time.

No one will ever ride shotgun with me - opera blaring, the wind in our hair in a convertible with the top down - like you did.

And now, I don't even know if I'll vaccuum the last traces of the fur you kept shedding on the car seat.


All dogs go to heaven, they say. So godspeed on your final destination, and say hi to Fritzi and the others for me when you get there. Unlike the time he left, at least, I was there with you at the end.

Daddy loves you. 

And. I. Will. Miss. You. 

My loving, darling, lovely Rufi.


  1. brought tears to my eyes. my deepest sympathies for your loss.

    1. Thanks, Aris, for your tears and sympathies.

      Sorry for not responding earlier; I actually went through the stages of grief.

      Just got past denial; I think I'm entering anger now.

      At the random injustice of it all.


  2. I am sorry for your loss.

    1. Thanks, JM.

      I think only a fellow animal lover would understand.

  3. I love dogs! My condolences.

  4. i am sobbing right now.

    i know how it feels to lose a dog you love.


    1. Thanks, gillboard.

      I just got home a few minutes ago, expecting to be greeted by a sleepy but happy pet and companion, who's only too glad to see me back home.

      Only to be met by an oppressive silence, followed by emptiness and sadness.

      And the insistent realization that no other dog will love me quite the same way again.

  5. naiyak ako.. :( i'm sorry for your loss. *huuugs*

    1. Thank you, Nate.

      I just lost another this morning. My very matapang but yet malambing black Chow.

      To multiple organ failure and severe anemia.

      Damn this month.

  6. It would be pure tokenism if I say that it gets better, because it doesn't. I have lost pets to different causes; there are no peaceful partings, because each loss is unexpected, and thus a tragedy. There are no gradations, only absolute nullity. Pain of absence is the hardest to bear. But I do hope you've collected enough memories to last a lifetime in his absence.

    My condolences, Rudeboy.

    1. Thank you, red, especially for that part about tokenism. I refrain from saying the same myself, to others who have just been bereaved.

      Indeed, there are no peaceful partings; even when an animal companion has been suffering from a prolonged illness, I feel no relief when they pass on. Just the loss - that aching feeling of emptiness.

      "Pain of absence" is, as you said, the hardest to bear. I've proven it when I come home to silence where once I heard the happy panting of a dog excited to be reunited with me. And as I dined tonight in an empty dining room where a loving pet and companion once happily nestled at my feet, expectant of scraps when I was done.

      We have many good memories, which ironically only sharpen the pain and highlight the loss.

      Time, as with most, is what we need. It will never get better. But over time, it will be more bearable.

      Thank you for your words. They were of comfort.

  7. As the years pass and we lose more and more precious things, does it become easier to accept the finite-ness, the frailty of life?

    I love the title Rudieeee. As in. You're getting really good at this. Hay ... I can tell you really loved them.

    But there's a time and season for things, I suppose.

    It's not the same, but ... we're still here, aren't we?


    1. "As the years pass and we lose more and more precious things, does it become easier to accept the finite-ness, the frailty of life?"

      I don't think it ever becomes easier, Kane.

      As a matter of fact, the older I get, the more I dread loss. Of all kinds.

      "But there's a time and season for things, I suppose."

      This, I have to accept. Still, philosophy is cold comfort. The intellect cannot quite compensate for the emotions.

      "It's not the same, but ... we're still here, aren't we?"

      They say that when we grieve, we grieve not for the deceased, but for ourselves.

      We weep - not primarily because someone we love was lost - but because we have been left behind. And that we cannot feel their love any longer.

      "I love the title Rudieeee. As in."

      Thanks. Love that you love it ;)

  8. Oh Rudie... my condolences :( and your boy was quite a looker, eh? :)

  9. This post is heartbreaking but I‘d rather say heartfelt.