Today Durango died.
My whole life has been spent around mans best friend. I remember my first encounter with my dads first and only other dog, Pakwan.
Pakwan was 8 months older than me, he was born in the same year. My first encounter with him is the only vivid memory I have before I turned five. I was a little under two and my dad decided I was ready to visit the farm. I remember it was a beautiful day, and a very pleasant drive in my dads pick up. When we reached the farm, my yaya was holding me in the front seat, and my dad opened the door to carry me to the dining table. He placed me on the dining table, and the first thing the katiwala did was give me ensaymada. I remember it was too big to hold with one hand so I was holding it with both hands. I was already biting into it and in one swift motion pakwan took it away. My dad was so mad, but I remember how my dad was, he didn't hit him, but instead he was talking to him like another person. If it were any other dog, he would have been running by that time, my dad has this big booming voice that puts you in your place, instead he put the ensaymada down, went up to me, and as I look back, it felt like he was apologizing. We spent hours playing and running around, he never left my side that day. The bond that was formed the first day I met him was only broken fifteen years after, when he died in my fathers arms. The only time I ever saw my father teary-eyed.
7 years ago, Durango was born. He was a standout from day one. The biggest of the litter, and a ball of energy. He was black with white spots, had the cutest little eyes and a permanent smile. His mom was half Labrador, Miata, and his dad was a pure breed, my best friends dog, George. They were five in the litter and all of them were aptly named after 4X4's.
Durango was my dad's favorite from day one. He always said I think I found another Pakwan, you were lucky if you found one dog like that in a lifetime, imagine I found two. He was naughty,always up to no good, and I think that added to his charm. He followed dad everywhere. It was a beautiful ritual to watch.
It started from the gate of the farm, he knew the horn of dads car. He'd run to the gate which is at least a kilometer away at top speed and come to a screeching halt right before he reached us, he would not stop barking until the farm hand opened the gate. He'd walk in front of the car as if he was guiding it home and would only step aside when we were close to the house. He wiggled his tail and waited till dad got down to give him a warm hello, and he'd brush against his leg. The moment he got inside the house he would run under the table because he knew dad was about to have his morning coffee, and he'd place his head on dads foot as if it were a pillow. He waked with him everywhere, he was his bodyguard and his best friend. At night, he knew a few minutes after dinner dad would lie down and watch TV so he would rush to the room and stay under the bed to make sure he wasn't locked out, it actually couldn't happen, because he barked at the top of his lungs until someone let him in. And before they slept, dad would grab his leg, and he would lick dads hand, and that was how they said good night.
I got home tonight and my brother told me the sad news, my moms eyes were red, and dad was on the phone talking to someone. Immediately after he put the phone down , I changed the topic and talked about something else, but it couldn't be helped. He told me what happened and gave out a deep sigh. We talked for a while about Durango, and I concluded that the breed was the reason he was like that. I suggested that the next time we get another dog it should definitely be a Labrador. He stopped me and calmly said, "ayaw ko na mag mahal nang ibang aso". If you knew my dad, he is not much on drama or feelings, but to hear him say that made me choke a bit. This was the second time I saw my father teary-eyed.
Durango you will be missed.