Last Saturday (May 4, 2013), we bid goodbye to our most loving and loyal dog Archie. He spent his 13 years of his life protecting us, guarding our home, playing with us and most of all loving and treating us as his own family. I could still remember the first day that we had him, he and his sibling was given by a neighbor and the original plan was them to be sent to Pangasinan. Before he came, I already have hamsters as my pet. However, I was very happy when I saw him. He was a 2-month old puppy (half german sheperd half “askal” ), cute and very playful. Although we already have a dog at home (my Ninang’s shih tzu Biff), it’s still different when you have your own dog right? For a month I was able to feed him, took the fleas off him, gave him a bath and had play time with him. When they were about to be sent to the province, I immediately told my parents if we could just have Archie as our own pet. Fortunately, they agreed and from then on he became part of our family. I forgot to mention, his name came from the comic book “Archie” (http://www.archiecomics.com/) which is my top comic book of all time.
During the time that we’re staying in QC, he also became Biff’s bestfriend (Biff is 2 yrs older than Archie). When we moved to another place (still in QC) he grew bigger and tougher. At that time, we’re renting in an apartment and our place was not quite as big as from our previous home (our Ninang’s house). Since he’s getting bigger we had to tie him up on our laundry area because he began to break some of our stuff. He had daily walks with me, with mama/papa and with my brother (who’s also very caring to Archie). Few years passed when we moved to another place, here in Cavite where we currently live. We had a bigger place unlike the previous apartment. He had his own room in our house (the laundry area but more spacious). We also have pathway surrounded in our house where he always had his morning run. Before my Papa passed away, him and Archie had they’re daily walks in the morning. But when my Papa became weak and sick, we just let Archie stay inside our gate where he roamed around every morning. He became our guard dog, he protected us from bad guys entering our home. Few years had gone and Archie remained strong and healthy. But end of last year (2012), we noticed that a lump had grown on his anus. We thought that he was just bitten by an insect. We just ignored his situation because there was no sign of weakness or other abnormal condition from him. He ate well and he still did the same routine everyday.
However, 3 months ago he started to feel weak. Mama noticed that he was not eating his food, his stool didn’t look normal and he lost a lot of weight. So immediately, we called the doctor and asked for home service to had a check on Archie. We had to this because he was too big and we don’t have a car to transport him to the clinic. Mama had to take leave from the office so she could look after Archie for his checkup while I was at the office.
That day, I was really anxious to know the result of his checkup. I kept on texting my mom about what was going on. Then around 4pm, my mom finally texted me and told me about what the doctor said about Archie. He told me the bad news, the lump on Archie’s anus was a tumor. It had grown over time. When I heard the news, it instantly broke my heart. I went to the comfort room and there I cried. I blamed myself for ignoring his condition. The fact the I’ve already seen that lump before, I did nothing. When I arrived home that night, my mom explained to me about what the exact diagnosis of the doctor. According to my mom, the doctor said that they can remove the lump but there’s no assurance that he will be saved from the other cancerous cells that already spread in his body. Another problem was that, he was too old to undergo an operation. His body might not overcome the risk of the operation. What the doctor suggested was for him to take the prescribed medicine.
I went to Archie after my mom told me about it. I saw how weak he was, I never saw him that weak before. I talked to him, and I burst into tears. At that moment, I could never imagine losing Archie in our life. He’s been with us for 13 or 15 years and losing him will definitely break our hearts. He’s not just a pet to us, he was my brother. He’s a family. It saddened us. We did what the doctor said, we gave him the medicines and eventually his appetite became normal. He was strong again. He was able to do his daily routine outside.
My mom and I thought that he’s getting better. But 3 months after his checkup, last Saturday at around 9pm he passed away. That night before he left, my mom was still able to feed him. He was still able to finish his food. Then suddenly, my mom heard him howled. She immediately ran to the laundry to check Archie and she quickly went inside calling me and I saw her already into tears. I ran to Archie and saw him lying on the floor hardly breathing. My mom cried, I called my sister and bro-in-law (they were inside the room that time) because I was worried that my mom might have a heart attack. When I went back to Archie, I was alone with him since mama could no longer see him that time because of her heart condition. I saw him palpitating until his last breath. I burst into tears, my last words to him were “mahal na mahal ka namin..magpahinga ka na Archie..magkakasama na kayo ni Papa“. Saying goodbye to him was a dying experience. It was the same emotion that I felt 4 years ago when I was in the hospital room when my father passed away. There are no words that could describe the pain when you lose someone you love and knowing that they will never return again.
When Archie finally left, I went back inside our house to check on mama. We let her stay inside the house for a while so she could calm down. We gave her the medicine, and took her blood pressure. She was really shocked. She kept on saying “malakas pa siya…nakakain pa siya kanina…naubos pa niya yung binigay ko sa kanyang pagkain..bakit ganun ang nangyari..paano nangyari yun?”. She kept on repeating the same words. We suspected that Archie had a heart attack (cardiac arrest) because he immediately fell to the ground and he had a difficulty breathing until he lost his last breath. There was also no sign of bleeding, vomit or stool. After an hour when my mom was already relieved, we went to Archie and prayed for his soul. We lit candles that surrounded him.
My brother-in-law called the vet to ask if they have any suggested pet cemetery that could give Archie a proper burial. Then the doctor suggested Pet Valley a pet cemetery in Silang, Cavite that gives proper burial services for dogs, cats and other pets. (https://www.facebook.com/petcremationphillippines) We called the Pet Valley and agreed to take Archie. It was already around 12am when the service driver arrived. We helped the man to carry the stretcher where Archie laid. For the last time, I held Archie and bid goodbye.
It was unexpected, everything happened so fast. I couldn’t sleep that night, I just couldn’t ignore the thought of Archie’s death. I mourned until my sleep. When I woke up the next day, Archie was still in my mind. I went outside to his room and I could still imagined that he was there. I began to cry, I talked to him, lit a candle, and said my prayers. I cried even more when I saw the scratch marks he made at the bottom of the door.
It’s been a week since he left. I will surely miss him. But I know he’s already in a better place. He’s already reunited and maybe now playing with Papa. I love you Archie. Until we meet again.