Last Friday, Sunshine (our loyal Shih Tzu), passed away. She is now in a better place. Really miserable weekend as there were events before her death that might have actually contributed indirectly to her untimely demise and I’m still kicking myself about it (I’d rather talk about it over alcoholic beverages than write soberly about it though). One thing that I’ve found that relieves me of the stress, grief and the guilt is to recount stories about Sunshine so that’s what I’ll do here as well. Just one story though so I’ll have other stories to tell when the inevitable drinking sessions come.
Sunshine’s origin story:
I think the first time that I’ve heard of Sunshine was 8 years ago, around March-ish 2008. My mom’s officemate was selling a couple of Shih Tzus (among them was Sunshine) and I was tempted at first but I ultimately declined as I don’t have the money.
Fast forward to August 19, 2008, Claire’s dad suddenly died and it was truly heartbreaking for her as she already lost her mom when she was younger. I felt quite helpless as I watched her in agony and I just wanted to be there with her all the time, not that I can do anything to reduce the pain, but just to share in her grief. There were logistical issues though: we both have work and she lives in Marikina and I’m Makati-based so our time with each other is limited to dinner on every other day of the work week and Saturday. Also, seeing her on those schedules doesn’t address what I thought was the most important time that she needed someone to be with: when she gets home every night where there’s no work to distract her.
My idea then was to give her a dog. Since college, she was already hinting on wanting to have her own dog and since funds were limited, I managed to give her just a dog stuff toy (pathetic but it’s the thought that counts). The perfect dog would hopefully be a good distraction and maybe a reason to smile once in a while. So I got my limited money then (just out of college and subsisting on minimum wage) and asked a bit more from my parents and resolved to get her the Shih Tzu that was offered to us before (it was cheaper compared to usual market prices for Shih Tzu).
There was a slight hitch though when we were getting Sunshine (she already had that name when I got her, which I thought was the perfect name considering the situation) was 6 months at that time and very much beloved already to her family – particularly to the daughter of my mom’s officemate. It was a bit awkward then when we fetched Sunshine as we were told that her owner (the daughter) was hiding in her room and cannot bear to see her dog go away. I dithered for a moment when I was told of the circumstances but thought that my need was greater and I pushed through with it.
Together with my high school friends (I forgot already why they were with me at that time), I delivered Sunshine to Claire’s house and the moment I saw her reaction – I knew immediately that that was one of the most brilliant moves that I’ve ever done in my entire life and I say that without any exaggeration at all (even until now). 🐶