As I sit down to write this, I have a vague recollection that last year, I wrote a blog post about the love of a dog. I advise anyone reading this to go back to what I wrote then. It’s as true today as it could be.

It is with great sadness that I share with you the trauma we just underwent regarding our beloved Chica.

We were in the States recently for ten days visiting family and friends. While we were out of the country, Chica took sick and wound up at the animal hospital. What had initially seemed like a minor bladder infection turned out to be a full-blown autoimmune disease, rendering Cheeky a very sick dog.

Immediately upon our return, we went to visit her in the hospital. She was one of many doggies in cages. Two of her legs had IVs hooked up to them. She was listless and unresponsive until I began talking, our private gibberish. She did her best to rise to the occasion and even wagged her tail. The staff noted this with great pleasure, eager to reinforce what I already knew: Cheeky and Mommy had a special connection that could awaken even a most sick body.

As there were no hopeful prospects for the future, we understood that the only right and fair thing to do would be to put her out of her misery. They recommended we hold her, pat her, kiss her, bid our fond farewells as they gave her the initial tranquilizer. In these moments, I extracted a promise from her that we would meet again sometime soon. We both were talking about her spirit inhabiting another body. We both agreed that we would recognize each other in the next designated lifetime.

We left the room for the injection, taking a walk in the neighborhood just to kill a little time. When we got back to the hospital, she had been wrapped in a sheet, I imagine with great tenderness. The staff had taken a shine to her and clearly loved her.

We brought her home. My beloved Michael dug a grave and placed her, in that sheet, into the ground for burial. Over the spot, he placed beautiful boulders.

Throughout the night that followed, every time I heard a sound in the house, I was sure it was Cheeky roaming around, getting ready to leap up on the bed and stake her claim to the area she loved the most: between me and Michael, close to my knees. That was our cozy spot.

It’s still so new. I’m just beginning to realize the loss will be immeasurable. I am comforting myself today with the idea, the promise made, that we will meet again soon.

May your soul rest in peace, Chica, darling. I will love you till eternity.