Once upon a time, Tobie was deathly afraid of dogs. It didn't matter if the dogs were kind, or gentle, or rough, or scary-looking. As long as it was a dog, Tobie would feel a cold-sweat was over him. He would feel his knees go wobbly. He would feel his legs give way. He would be paralyzed with fear. He would be mentally screaming inside for help.
Tobie had a phobia towards dogs. Cynophobia, it was called. While he used to live at his parents' place where there were dogs, he would spend days running away from them or throwing food at them to distract them (unknowingly making the dogs conditioned to chase him more for food.)
One day, a Prince arrived at the kingdom of Tobie and his Cynophobia. The kind Prince offers words of hope and the stoic Rocky reminded Tobie to be brave. But neither of them could sway Tobie to reach his hand towards the young Poy-poy whose excitement to meet Tobie was portrayed with a lot of excited barking and sniffing.
Then, it happened.
Poy-poy leapt up the couch, and promptly sat at Tobie's lap, letting Tobie pet him before heading off with a delightful bark. And suddenly, in that single moment, over 30 years of Tobie and his Cynophobia melted away. And Tobie was changed forever.
I post this story to celebrate and remember the one dog in the entire world who changed my life. Poy-poy will be remembered and I promise you, Poy-poy, I will try to live out the rest of my life with the new outlook towards dogs that you have taught me. You have made me a better man, Poy-poy.
I will remember how you actually started following my commands, sitting when I asked you to and walking into the cage when it was time to sleep. I will remember how you'd be at my side during dinner, knowing I would sneak you some scraps to eat. I will remember how you would go all energetically excited and run around the house, bumping to the couch, the chairs and things as you tried to run faster than the wind. I will remember how you'd bark with each person who'd come to visit, and go silent if I carried you as I answered the door: i guess you were just curious to see who you can meet. I will remember how you actually liked lettuce and how sometimes licked my toes to tell me you were ready for me to scratch you. I will remember how much you liked it when I would scratch you all over and how you'd promptly sit beside me when I tapped the floor with my hand. I will remember how much you liked to hump our bolster pillows. I will remember how much you were curious to explore the back of the book shelves and television set. I will remember how much you wanted to explore and attack the broom, so much we had to buy a new one. I will remember how you used to pee around my chair, as if you were marking me as your territory, but you'd poop elsewhere. I will remember how you'd sit beside me while I played at the PS3 and rest your head against my leg, as if you enjoyed the warmth. I will remember how my old Bench belt became one of the most awesome toys for you. I will remember how the moment I would get the carrier, you would literally LEAP UP to jump inside, excited for me to bring you out.
I hope I helped make your life a happy one.
I hope you left this life with pleasant doggie memories.
I hope you don't feel I failed you.
I'm sorry I never got to bring you to Puerto Galera. Or Parks and Wildlife. Or even Highstreet.
I'm sorry I was still afraid of you at times.
But I do hope you know that I love you, Poy-poy.
And someday, when it all ends, I will be with you again.
When that happens, I'll let you bite my hand this time.
The playful bite you so wanted me to have but I was to scared to receive.
May your new adventure be even more fun than the one you had with us!
I will remember you.
I wish I knew you longer.