Remembering Nee

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Most of those who've known me as a teen would know who Nee is. Nee was my Pomeranian baby sister, best friend and the youngest member of our family. She was so remarkable that my mom who never liked dogs, grew to love her as a daughter. This is my tribute to her. Even if she never really rescued anyone from a life/death situation nor waited for any of us for 10 years, I want to remember how she was a little hero by filling up with joy every living day that she spent with us.

She's a real lady :D
Where she came from
First few years
Life of Ni (*Nee* sorry for the bad pun)
Her bed.
"Come on! Take a picture of me!"
Some photos from my old friendster account around 2008, so pardon my tackiness in these photos. (yes, I was able to archive it all including testimonials before friendster became totally defunct as a social networking site)
Nee sleeping in my arms at night while I'm browsing on my pc. Haha, I'm wearing sleepwear.
11th year
I'd like to end this with a story I read before and have been passed around fb posts, it brings so much comfort for all of us who have a lost a canine in the family:
I love you forever, Nee.:)

Nee was originally given to my sister by her Manila-based Singaporean boss, because he was unable to take care of Nee. It's just interesting to recall that Nee was born in Singapore because I am now living in SG but back then it never, ever, occurred to me that I would. She was named Nee (originally Ni, Japanese for TWO) because they were two offsprings, the other was a black Pom who was the "Ichi" (one) who died-- which probably led my sister's boss to give Nee to her. The first day that she brought Nee to our house, it was love at first sight, I had fervently wished that my sister would leave Nee with me. But she took Nee back with her to Manila after her visit.  A few weeks later she did come back and asked if Nee could stay with us because she was destroying all her things when she left her alone in the house; apparently, Nee was angry for having been left alone all day. Of course, we agreed with no reluctance.

Initially we still had problems with her biting and destroying my things, until one day I got fed up, shoved her face (it didn't hurt i promise, I did it as gently but firmly as I could) into one of my notebooks that she had torn to pieces, spanked and scolded her. She was angry at me after that, hid under my bed and refused to come out even when called. Later on she would maintain this attitude. She never liked being scolded and when my dad would shout at her for being naughty, she would "mutter" and hide under the furnitures that at one time we couldn't find her and thought that she ran away from the house, until we found her under my parents' bed, cleverly hidden under the storage. She would stubbornly refuse to come out no matter how many times you call her, unless you say kain na (let's eat)! Well after scolding her that first time she never destroyed anything ever again. (She was that obedient, even my dad would say that it was easier to discipline Nee than me. Haha.) She exerted her energy instead in running around the house as fast as she could, which we let her happily do because she never broke anything in the process, she was careful not to hit anything. In the beginning it was also hard to house train her, it would be when we moved houses that she would learn how, mainly because I didn't allow her to go out since Cleo (our other dog) was outside and I was afraid Nee would get hurt as Cleo would always bark at her. Maybe because Cleo felt discriminated that she was outside and Nee was kept indoors. Lol. Not that we're being 'breedist' (as opposed to 'racist') but Cleo had always stayed on our yard even before Nee came into our life. We loved them both, but I have to admit that Nee held a special place in our hearts. Every night during my evening prayers I would always thank God for giving simple joys like her to us.

Nee and I shared the same room for 10 years (except during the days when her hair would shed then she would have to sleep in the living room). Although it was my dad who fed her, bathed her, it was still me to whom she was loyal to. For example, in the morning when my dad would wake me up for school, she would only allow him to disturb me once. If my dad calls me for the second time, Nee would bark, as if to scold him why he was annoying me in my sleep.

Eventually she also became house trained. She would hold her pee in the early morning and will wait until my dad opens the door; when he does she would dash out and pee outside. (We chained Cleo and gave her her own house to make sure that she wouldn't see Nee) After that she would immediately walk back to my room and patiently wait for me until I wake up. She was truly very, very sweet. Whenever I had problems and would cry in my room she would just sit quietly beside me, put her two front paws on my lap, telling me with her eyes that "it's okay". After that I would really be okay and then carry her in my arms and hug her. Same goes when I'm sick, she would refuse to leave my bedside and she would stay there while I rested. She's more than the best friend you could ask for.

She had a lot of funny and cute moments, too. She disliked taking a bath--no, i think she hated the thought of taking a bath-- because whenever she sees my dad carrying her towel, her ears would drop, her head would droop and she would try to hide wherever she can. But when it was time to bathe she was very well behaved! She would put her front paws up against the wall and would even raise her right leg when it was time to wash her tummy. I tell you, it was such an adorable sight!

There was a time we fed her apples too, and we were surprised because she was able to gnaw her way into leaving the skin, uneaten. But we stopped giving her the fruit because my mom read somewhere that it was bad for dogs. I can also recall that whenever I tried to feed her something she wasn't familiar with she would have none of it; I would then pretend to bite and chew it and only then would she eat it.

We never left Nee alone in the house. We would bring her everywhere we went, Baguio, Zambales, if all of us were going then Nee would have to go too. Sometimes it wasn't so easy. When I was in high school we went to Baguio  (my school is in Pampanga, 5-6 hours away from Baguio) and was supposed to stay for five days, but I had to go back on the 3rd day. So my dad had to take me back, with Nee. The problem was there was no one to drive us, we had to take the public bus. I know, I know, it was wrong, but we just had to risk it. We kept Nee in a bag and no one noticed, she was quiet and never made any noise. However, I fell asleep, and having left the bag open and Nee being the sweet dog that she was, crept into my lap and slept there as well. It was unfortunate that the bus stopped for gasoline then, and the gasoline boy saw us and alerted the driver. We were asked to leave, it was so embarrassing, but it made me feel a bit better to hear people whisper "but I didn't even notice there was a dog, it was so quiet". We were an hour away from home then so at least we were still able to get home through another means of public transport.

It was easier for us to travel by car with her, but when we did, she would get carsick. She would also walk around the backseat until she found her spot, and when she did, you had better not sit there. My mom made a mistake once of sitting where Nee usually sat so Nee had to walk on and then sit on her lap until mom had to move to the other side and I had to stay in the middle, and Nee slept happily on her place inside the car.

I like to think that Nee was very happy with us. She had a lot of human-like qualities, we always thought that if she just had the ability to speak, she would.

She was generally a healthy dog, except maybe for having a lot of hair loss when she was ageing. It was April of 2011 when my mom and dad planned to visit me in Singapore, and my main concern then was who would take care of Nee when they were gone. They said it was okay, there was a vet, they would leave her there. When they arrived, I immediately asked how Nee fared at the vet. Was she comfortable? Won't she get sick there? There was no way for them to lie to me anymore and mom told me, trying to hold back tears: "She's gone." She had died of old age two weeks before.

Even when Nee was gone she taught me a lesson. She showed me that life goes on, I must learn to move on. She reminded me to remember only the amazing moments once you lose the people (in my case, the dog) that you love.

Being a veterinarian, I had been called to examine a ten-year-old Irish wolfhound named Belker. The dog’s owners, Ron, his wife, Lisa, and their little boy, Shane, were all very attached to Belker, and they were hoping for a miracle.
I examined Belker and found he was dying of cancer. I told the family we couldn’t do anything for Belker, and offered to perform the euthanasia procedure for the old dog in their home.
As we made arrangements, Ron and Lisa told me they thought it would be good for six-year-old Shane to observe the procedure. They felt as though Shane might learn something from the experience.
The next day, I felt the familiar catch in my throat as Belker’s family surrounded him. Shane seemed so calm, petting the old dog for the last time, that I wondered if he understood what was going on. Within a few minutes, Belker slipped peacefully away.
The little boy seemed to accept Belker’s transition without any difficulty or confusion. We sat together for a while after Belker’s death, wondering aloud about the sad fact that animal lives are shorter than human lives.
Shane, who had been listening quietly, piped up, “I know why.”
Startled, we all turned to him. What came out of his mouth next stunned me.  I’d never heard a more comforting explanation.  He said, “People are born so that they can learn how to live a good life – like loving everybody all the time and being nice, right?”
The six-year-old continued, “Well, dogs already know how to do that, so they don’t have to stay as long.”

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