I still remember when you first arrived at our door. You were a skinny little fellow, but you were quite tame and obedient with a happy mug to your face. You flinched from human contact, yet you knew basic commands like sit and stay. So we were pretty sure you had an owner once, but something happened that made you no longer welcome at your previous home. And so you came to be with us.
We named you after a character from a TVB show that we saw. The English title was “When a Dog Loves a Cat“, and the main dog protagonist throughout the series sorta looked like you, so that’s how you got your name.
To be honest, at the time, I wasn’t too happy that our dad had brought home another stray. We had just lost Doggy in Feb 2011, and our dad had immediately gone out and gotten replacements for him in Jake and Max, I think barely two weeks later. Traumatic circumstances led to the loss of Nibbles and our pet Chicken soon after. The 6 month period where we saw 3 pets pass and 3 new pets come in… I had barely begun to accept our losses and learn to love our new pups when all of a sudden we had another fairly large dog to take care of. And I know you weren’t the one to blame, but your presence coincided with Max’s declining health (which, from my educated guess was due to some side effects of a decreased immune system d/t the rabies vaccine, but w/es), and you took advantage of that to become the alpha dog in the pack.
But you soon dug your way into our hearts, what with your past training to be obedient to commands (I guess that’s a reflection on us not training Jake and Max eh?), your playful tendencies all around, especially in playing fetch, not being afraid of water (but embracing it really), splashing into the water bucket and sprinkler systems and guzzling water like no other (and it was especially funny seeing Max and Jake sip at the water, but you would just completely dunk your nose in and submerge it in there), living up to your reputation as a large dog who actually knew when to bark at unfamiliar scents and whose bark was actually a deep rich baritone warning, as opposed to Max’s high pitched whiny friendly howls.
Even as you grew accustomed and I think enjoyed living with us, seeing as it was an easy life filled with 2 other friends and toys and a backyard to wander around in, with trees and low hanging fruits for you to pick at your leisure (you and everyone kept eating all the persimmons last season, and have already had your choice tasting of our peaches this season. The peaches weren’t even ripe yet! Oi. Haha.) The pain from your past owners seemed to remain though. When we took you to the rabies clinic at Temple City Park last summer, you were strictly against getting into a car, fighting us with all the strength you possessed. It took me and the sister combined to get your butt into the car, and even then you were pretty subdued for the entire ride. You bolted out of the car as soon as we parked and opened the door. I hate to wonder what past experience caused you to react that way.
One of my favorite memories of you (and scariest) was the torrid wind storms that we suffered through in late 2011. The crazy gusts were blowing all around LA, and the SGV was one of the areas that suffered pretty intense damage, in terms of destroyed infrastructure regarding power lines and uprooted trees all across towns. One morning, after enduring the crazy 50mph(?) winds, I woke up and looked out into the backyard to check on you guys. Max, being the lazy stubborn fellow he is, was just chilling in the backyard with a ton of debris around him. You and Jake had decided to escape through fence openings that were torn asunder during the night. I’d never been so worried in my life about my pets, and this apprehensive feeling was magnified seeing as we’d just gotten you guys earlier in the year. Luckily, a neighbor a couple houses down had saw you two and roped you up, and I was able to get to you guys before any government/authorities came in and we had to deal with bureaucratic tape and whatnot. Our neighbor said you two were pretty buddy buddy walking down the street, even as leaves and branches and mess lay strewn across the roads. You guys.
To be honest, I don’t think we ever saw this coming. For the past few months, every day before your dinner, I’d go about watering my plants for an hour while giving you guys free roam around the entire backyard. Of course, Max and Jake were afraid of the water, but you would come up beside me, sit next to me, or go frolicking in whatever path my hose was directed at (or even chill in the shade with the dawgs or next to me as I did whatever garden work I was up to). I’m sorry I didn’t get a chance to let you out one final time last night. And you seemed completely fine this morning, asleep in your dog house, jumping up to greet me/say goodbye as I headed off to work. I had no idea that’d be the last time I’d see you so full of life.
小巴, We hardly knew you, and you definitely left us too soon.
R.I.P. 08.03.11 to 06.28.13.