I was working late for the fifth night in a row. It was 3 a.m, everyone was asleep and I was working in the kitchen to be close to the warm pot of tea.
I was tired and I wanted to go to my comfortable bed and call it a night but work was going to make me see the sun rise.
There she was, on the chair next to me… Taquito.
With her body too big to fit comfortably on the chair, she was trying to sleep but I could tell she was having a hard time getting comfortable. I carried her upstairs and laid her on her couch (which is her bed) but as soon as I went downstairs she was back on the chair next to mine. She wouldn’t leave my side, even if it involved getting a crappy sleep.
I then remembered how every single night that I’ve been working late she’s been there. Keeping me company and breaking the silence of the night with her farts and snoring.
I’ve been trying to teach Taquito a million things; to fetch the ball, to do her business outside, to stop destroying my shoes, to sit when told and many other things that she’s failed to learn.
Nevertheless, Taquito and my other dogs have succeeded in teaching me many things I needed to learn.
When Taquito gets her mind on something she’ll pursue it endlessly. She got her eye on my sunglasses for quite sometime and I was careful with them and would generally place them away from her vicious jaws.
But I was reckless ONE day.
Next thing I see is my sunglasses completely destroyed. We know that once Taquito likes something she’ll pursue it until she gets it.
When I picked up Canica from the street she was really hurt. She had wounds all over her body; she was extremely malnourished and couldn’t walk.
Slowly she started to get better, but walking was very difficult for her and she could barely move. Still, everyday when I got back from school she would get up and limp her way to me while waving her fluffy little tail.
It didn’t matter if it was pouring down with rain, she’d get up and happily limp herself to greet me and express a joyful “Hello, I love you.”
Kahlua and I became best friends after I fought to get her out of her cage in the pet store where she lived. I refused to pay money for her suffering, so I fought to get her for free.
When my dad died Kahlua wouldn’t leave my side during the worst part of it. I spent two months in bed and Kahlua was there by my side. If I started crying she would lick my hand or get up and just stare at me, like wanting to say “You’re not alone, I’m here by your side.”
When Kahlua got really sick I had to put her down and as I was saying my last goodbyes I started crying uncontrollably. Kahlua licked my hand and stared into my eyes again like telling me, “It’s alright, now I’ll always be by your side.”
I found Rex inside my university campus; he was really skinny and just walking around following anyone who would show him a little kindness. I always thought I saved Rex, but the truth is, he saved me.
He knows no limitations to his tiny little body. He’s a lion in a French poodle dog.
A few years ago I was walking around the block when a drunken man started violently approaching me. Rex jump up to my defense and bit the man’s leg. This gave me time to run! Rex was brutally kicked by the drunken man but he got over it.
Rex will ferociously growl at anyone who approaches me while I’m sleeping (Rex sleeps in my bed with me), he even growls at my mom. It’s like he knows I’m sleeping and vulnerable, so anyone who wishes to disturb me will have to answer to Rex.
Elegance and Composure
Maui is Kahlua’s daughter, the only dog we have with a “pedigree.” Maui never loses her composure, if I give her a bone she will elegantly sit and wave her tale with excitement, but she wont go bonkers like the other dogs.
She is VERY photogenic and walks with such elegance that would even make me look better if I had her grace.
My dad rescued Coco from the streets, he was taking his usual walk with the dogs when this sad, skinny looking dog approached them.
My dad couldn’t leave her there, so he brought her home. They slept together since their first night together.
My dad would hold Coco in his arms and fall asleep like that.
Coco was the first one to always greet my dad when he arrived home, and if my dad woke up at 5am to go on a business trip Coco would get up and follow him to the door.
If my dad was home, Coco was always by his side until death brought them apart.
Rita is an ugly looking stray dog that my sister found on her way to work, but she walks and acts like she owns the world. She doesn’t care about her humble background, she will teach you to respect her and treat her with civility or else…
I once was bothering Rita by slightly pulling on her whiskers and she hates it when I do that. She was growling at me, like letting me know that she didn’t like that, but I kept going until she bit me.
My dad defended Rita’s actions and scolded me. Because that was Rita’s way of defending herself and teaching me that I had to treat her with respect. I was the bully that was mistreating her.
They’re all different.
Canica and Coco are black, Taquito is brown, Rex is white, Maui is a red head and Rita is grey. Some are big, others are small, one has a pedigree and the rest have nothing.
But they don’t care about the differences between them and they all get along great. They play together, share their food and they support each other. When one gets sick the others go to show their support.
They don’t care about having expensive leashes or fancy bowls for their food. They are happy with the “simplest” things in life. With a stick, a pat on the head, a comfortable bed, company and above all, with love.
They don’t demand the best of everything. To them the best thing in the world is when we go to the park and they can run free while I throw them a stick I found on the ground.
They don’t worry for anything; they live in the present moment and find happiness in “ordinary” things people take for granted.
The biggest lesson they’ve taught me is their amazing capacity to love unconditionally. They don’t care if I’m rich or poor, fat or skinny, pretty or ugly, if I smell bad or good, or if my clothes are old and ugly.
If anything, what a dog knows best is how to love in the purest and most authentic way.
In Loving Memory of Kahlua
My guardian angel, my best friend, my daughter
Always By My side