The Blessing That is Blessy

“Dogs die. But dogs live, too. Right up until they die, they live. They live brave, beautiful lives. They protect their families. And love us, and make our lives a little brighter, and they don’t waste time being afraid of tomorrow.” – Dan Gemeinhart

It was late April 2012 when my cousin, Arvin, brought these two mini-pinschers into our lives.

They were named Boknoy and Blessy.  But if you ask my cousin’s wife, Tweetty, the names are Lucky and Blessy. Lucky is male and Blessy is female.

Look at how tiny they were!

When Arvin learned that sibling dogs of different sexes who grow up together in the same house run the risk of inbreeding, he left Blessy in our care.  She lived in a spacious cage in the garage.

We felt that the cage was a lonely place for Blessy so we take her out of the cage on special occasions.

We blew my birthday cake.

She was with me one Valentine’s day.

She comforted Joaqui from the New Year’s Day revelry.

My cousin and I were the crazy dog people who think the siblings can communicate through Skype.

When Blessy was pregnant, she moved from the cage to the house.

Like a pro, she single-handedly gave birth to these puppies on her own.  I was out that day and when I came back she already had puppies.

Arvin had to help her nurse her puppies, though.

She permanently stayed inside the house after giving birth. One of her favorite places in the house was my couch. We had to cover it with blanket to prevent her fur from sticking to the slipcover. 

She loves sleeping on pillows and…

… on any surface with foam.

And if there weren’t any soft surfaces, she would scrunch up a fabric to serve as her mat.

I would like to believe that her most favorite place to hang out was on my lap.

She liked to be with me while I worked.

Even if I was too busy to be bothered, she just wanted to be with me.

She sometimes fell asleep while waiting for me to finish what I was doing on my laptop.

When I had chikungunya, I was in bed for days.  Having Blessy beside me gave me comfort that all is well in the world.

She was one prayerful dog. She had a special seat in front of the altar. Whenever it was time to pray the rosary, she would go to her seat and pray with us.  And when she sensed that it took too long for me to go and sit beside her to pray, she would go to my room and bark as if telling me it was time to pray. Every Sunday, the minister goes to the house so that my uncle who is unable to go to church can receive communion. Blessy would insist to be brought to her seat at the altar so that she, too, can hear God’s words.

She was a sweet, sweet dog.  She was always happy to see me whenever I arrive home after being away for work or vacation.  She always showered me with kisses.

She had a quiet side…

… but not for long! She was very hyperactive especially when she sensed that Arvin was just around the corner. She was our Arvin alarm. Ha!

Her loyalty remained with Arvin. She knew he loved her first.

But I know in my heart, she loved me, too. She knew I love her, too.

It broke my heart to see her nose bled two weeks ago. 

She was not her usual bubbly self a week before that.  We thought she just liked to stay in because the weather was cold.

We sent her to the vet and we found out she had Ehrlichiosis and Anaplasmosis. These are diseases caused by ticks. We did not notice the ticks because they were small and she had jet black fur.  The bacteria caused her platelets to drop and inflamed her pancreas. She stayed with the vet for five days. Arvin and Tweetty brought her to their house to look after her.

Last night, Tweetty messaged to tell me they sent Blessy to the vet. Blessy had difficulty standing and had low oxygen in her blood. I told Tweetty I will visit Blessy today.  When I woke up early this morning, I got a message from Tweetty that Blessy did not make it.

My heart broke and is still breaking.  I miss her. Terribly.

I take comfort in knowing that heaven is smiling to welcome such an angel.

Hug Papa, Mama and Peachy for me, Bless!



“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” – Will Rogers

10 Things I Remembered About my Friend, Erwin

“Our memories, they have to be passed down by those who knew us in life – in the stories they tell about us.”

-Hector from the movie, Coco.

I recently lost a friend and the loss deeply affected many of us who knew him. I should have written about him when he was still alive. He would have read what I thought of him. Honestly, I never realized the many roles Erwin played in my life until I browsed his profile on Facebook and clicked those three tiny dots that led me to that “see friendship” option. All the memories flooded in and I need to keep them alive somehow so let me share my memories of Erwin through the years in this blog post.

1. Erwin was a childhood friend. Although I am very close to Ernelyn, his wife, Erwin was my friend long before I became friends with Ernelyn. We were classmates in kindergarten and from Grade 4 to Grade 6.

2. Erwin was my partner in one beauty pageant. I do not remember what happened in the selection process but Erwin and I became the unlikely representatives of our section to a Mr. and Ms. Science contest. I would like to believe we were natural at strutting the runway for we ended up among the pairs to represent the grade level after an elimination process. Unbelievable! Ha! Palakpakan naman diyan na hindi kami na-eliminate! I do not have a picture as proof but just believe me that it really happened. (So now we know where Josh got his pageant genes from. Hehehe!)

3. Erwin was my ally in the morning class (buntagon) vs afternoon class (haponon) rivalry. In many get-togethers, my friends and I often talked about our school years since most of us came from the same grade school. Our batch was the only batch with two graduations- one for the morning class and one for the afternoon class. Erwin and I belonged to the morning class. Many of my friends who were often present in gatherings belonged to the afternoon class. Whenever I was outnumbered by them, I would call on Erwin to my side. (Absent man gud Wela pirmi bah. Hahaha)

4. Erwin was a fellow September baby. Mitzi, Erwin and I often took pictures together whenever one of us celebrated a birthday.

5. Erwin was my secret access to Ernelyn’s yummy leche flan. This was our interaction when I missed one of his birthdays.

6. Erwin was a cool travel buddy. I went with Erns and him to Lanuza. Twice. And on both occasions, I threw up 5 times along the way. I never heard him complain or even tease me for squatting down the curb each time looking like I was trying to empty my guts out. Poise be damned, I looked worse than those people who had way too much to drink yet I never heard him mention my sorry state as a joke. I would have if tables were turned. This goes to show that he was really a nice person.

7. Erwin was one of my go-to drivers. If I went to parties or watched movies late at night, I knew I would not have to worry how to get home whenever Erwin and Ernelyn were around. I did not even have to ask. Erwin and Erns would drive me home in a heartbeat.

8. Erwin was supposed to be a godfather to my imaginary future wedding. I think I have declared this several times that it already became annoying. He tried to take matters into his own hands. There was one time when one of our friend’s mother mentioned that they had one of their bachelor’s pads rented to a foreigner, he asked if the foreigner was single because he wanted to introduce him to me. Ha! He was a better wingman than Erns. (And the answer to the question? No, the foreigner was married.)

9. Erwin was a devoted husband. He was always quiet. He never complained. He never fought with Erns. (Oh well, nobody ever dared to fight Erns anyway. Hi, Erns!) He always let her win any argument. He was a smart, smart man. Happy wife, happy life! He always went with Erns in many of our gatherings. He did not even mind all the girl talk even if he was the only guy around.

10. Erwin was a loving father. He constantly reminded Erns what the kids wanted and needed. I remember that in several times that they drove me home, they would drop by a bakery or convenience store for the food that the kids wanted them to bring home .

Thank you, Erwin, for the friendship. You are sorely missed.

10 Reasons Why My Friend, Wela, is Awesome.

friendship

I am lucky to have friends who had my back and Wela was one of them. It is only fitting to write about her today, her special day. So let me tell you how awesome Wela is.

1. She is one of my longtime friends. Our friendship spanned 32 years and counting. We first became friends when we were seatmates in grade 4. Both our mothers accompanied us on our first day of school and sat us together after telling us that we are cousins.

This is her grade 4 ID picture which I kept. I did not even have a copy of my own ID picture but I have hers with dedication from her.

Friendship

2. She taught me how to draw Garfield and we would create different cartoons featuring Garfield.  I need a lot practice now. Hahaha!

garfield

3. She is a true friend through and through. Even though I betrayed her, she saved me from embarassment. And that mistake was forever in my conscience. Yes, 32 years of forever apologizing to her. So here’s the story: We had a classmate who kept on teasing us. I can no longer remember was it was about. It was recess and we were hanging out at the terrace of our classroom. When recess was about to be over, I went inside and Wela followed leaving our classmate behind, oblivious that the class was about to start. I had the brilliant idea of closing the door with him locked out in the terrace (which should not be a huge deal because he could always knock and ask to be opened. Duh! There were at least 30 other classmates inside who could hear him.) So I told Wela to lock the door. The classmate started crying. The teacher heard the crying and asked me, “Katrina, what is that all about?” I answered, “Ma’am, it was Wela.” (I feel like Judas Iscariot betraying Jesus.) Wela then answered, “Sorry, Ma’am.” And she then opened the door. My heart sank and I carried the guilt all these years. Wela acted like it never happened- that I did not betray her. I do not know what nice things I did to her all those times that she still kept me as her friend.

friendship

4. She was my high school penpal along with our friend, Shirly. I studied in a different school in high school. I would always look forward to reading her letters whenever my mama visited me in my school. I lost all her letters when mama did some spring cleaning while I was away for college. I remember her drawing of her cheerleading uniform in one of her letters.

5. She was my college dorm mate. I was glad we went to the same university. We really did not hang out a lot because she spends her weekends with her relatives in Bulacan while I stayed in the dorm but it was comforting for me knowing that I have my childhood friend just two rooms away from me.

I am the one wearing striped shorts; Wela in blue shorts.

6. Wela was my officemate. For more than a year, we worked in the same company. We were both busy with our respective jobs. We may not look like close friends at work but unbeknownst to many, Wela was my voice of reason. She would get emails from me whenever I am upset at something work-related. She would share her thoughts on the matter and made me feel better. Wela made work meetings a lot better just because she was there. ( I hated meetings because I had processes I had to run on my computer that I need to monitor.)

I was sad when she left for another job because her leaving felt like losing an ally. When she broke the sad news that she was resigning, she also told me she found love. She made me forget the bad news by bringing happy news.

love

This is Wela and Kit on their wedding day.

7. Wela was there during my saddest birthday and made it a little better. It was 2009. My father was bedridden for a month already. He just suffered his worst side effects from oral chemo. Celebrating my birthday was the last thing on my mind. Wela came in the afternoon and brought me flowers and brownies. Even for a few minutes, I was happy to celebrate my birthday.

8. Wela is a great poet. I am lucky and blessed to receive two poems from her. You can read her poems about me in this post and this post. These poems are few of my treasured possessions that no one can take away.

Wela and I on my 40th birthday.

 

9. Wela is a great mother to Lui and wife to Kit. She makes sure she spends time with them that we already understand whenever she misses many of our get-together with friends.

10. Wela makes sure to drive me home whenever we spend time together. Even if it is difficult to navigate the narrow road to my house, she drives me home anyway. Thank you, Wela!

I am really blessed to have a friend in Wela. I love you, Wela. Happy, happy birthday! Thank you for your friendship! Mwah!

Note: I swiped some of the photos from her Facebook account.

Goodbye, 2017. Hello, 2018!

This post is 5 days late. I am still in a holiday-mode. I feel like I need a holiday break from the holidays. But then again, we gotta earn living or, in my case, start panicking! Breathe in, breathe out. I survived another year in this independent professional work that I am trying to create for myself. There were bright moments of 2017 and there were those heart-skipping moments whenever I looked into my bank account. Then I am suddenly reminded that I have somebody up there looking out for me. I should be okay.

I am excited for 2018! I have two high school reunions, 1 vacation already in the calendar, 1 wedding of a friend and several other things planned. Plus, my cousin is moving back in town! She will be staying in the unoccupied room of mine in the other house and she had laid out plans on how she would decorate it. We already spent one morning just hanging out and planning what she should do to the space.

I have my own personal goals. Honestly, I did not achieve much of my 2017 plans except for item no. 5. I did make a lot of memories and that is more than enough. I am eternally grateful. My journal is filled with much love and happiness.

I think my greatest achievement for the year is when I got the same remark from three different people in different occasions telling me that I seem to have no problems in life. Honestly, I do have my share of problems. I guess I need to write another blog post to share how I deal with them.

I hope you all have a wonderful year ahead of you. I hope we all get to achieve our goals. Even if we don’t, I hope we can learn a thing or two in the process. I leave you a video of this adorable little girl talking about New Year’s resolutions. I hope this makes you smile.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sn36cBi9v6A?rel=0]

10 Surprising Things You Need to Know About My Friend, Janus.

Last March, I posted on Facebook a link of the blog post I wrote about my friend, Ernelyn, as a way to greet her on her birthday. I got a comment from my friend, Janus, that he was sad that I did not write a blog about him. I know he was kidding but I already promised to write something by January 1, 2018- on his 42nd birthday.

This was the conversation, mostly in Bisaya. (You may skip reading this part if you do not understand Bisaya. )

So here it is! Let me tell you 10 surprising things about him.

1. Janus was a hearthrob. In grade school, girls from other schools would ask to pose for photos with him. Like an artista, he would oblige.

2. Janus once declared that I was not his friend. And it was true. Although I knew him since grade school, Janus became my friend just 6 years ago. Our common friend, Mitzi, told me that when she invited him to her birthday, he asked who were invited and when Mitzi mentioned my name, he immediately said that we were not friends. So, when I saw him in a get-together with friends, I said hi. From then on (and with much regret! Kidding!), he became my biggest bully.

That regretful day. hahaha

3. Janus may be a bully but he has a soft heart. He and another friend once organized a visit to an orphanage. They sponsored the food we brought and spent time to play with the kids. He was also quick to organize a pass-the-hat activity whenever a friend needs financial help.

4. Janus is a dog-lover turned cat-lover. He used to have a pet named Extra. He chimed that he called him Extra because of the extra expenses incurred in having a dog. He gave him up for adoption when he saw that Extra looked lonely living with him. Now, he is a magnet for stray cats. #titogoals

5. Janus is surprisingly witty. His friends know that he is effortlessly funny. To his friends, he is the undisputed comment king on Facebook. Post something on Facebook and you kind of expect he would have an opinion about it. Sometimes, when I sense a conversation that seemed like an onset of a joke, I would just ask him to tell me the punchline because I know he has something up on his sleeves and I don’t want to be outwitted again and again.

Ernelyn and I were in fits of laughter.

6. Janus is a grammar nazi. He has quite a radar for such language blunders. (So, please be nice to me when you see grammatical errors in this blog post, Kuya Janjan. I call him Kuya Janjan because I am respectful to elders. Hahaha)

7. Janus is well-loved by friends and many of them are female friends. I guess it is because when one needs his opinion on something, he does not mince his words. He gives his unedited male perspective on things. He also shows he cares even when he is miles away.

8. Janus is old-fashioned when it comes to dating. He puts on the works- flowers, chocolates and gifts. Maybe because he is older. Old dog, old tricks. Peace, Kuya Janjan!

9. For someone who likes giving chocolates, he does not like chocolate.

10. Among my friends, Janus is the most eligible bachelor and he is not afraid to find that person he is going to spend the rest of his life with. I hope you find her, Kuya Janjan.


Cheers to your 42nd, Kuya Janjan! Happy birthday!

Photos: Credit goes to the owners of the photos. (Grabbed from Janus’ FB)



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