Question a man’s loyalty, but never. ever. question. a dog’s. loyalty.
Incredible stories have been told and retold about this dog’s trait. Touching videos and movies have shown us live in action how dogs become a paragon of pure loyalty. Who will ever forget the story of Hachiko? His statue at Shibuya Train Station exhibits how the Japanese hail this dog’s faithfulness to his master. Truly heartwarming testimonials. Truly an inspiration.
My family and I are one of the numerous families who can avouch for a dog’s unquestionable loyalty and fidelity. Having owned dogs for the past years, we have developed strong affinity for our pets. For us, they are not simply animals. They are part of our ohana. Being in our family, our dogs have been shown utmost care, protection and love. They have to understand these emotions through our actions. We have to be constant. As expected, they have their unique ways of reciprocating such human behavior toward them. The Golden Rule is likewise applied by these beautiful creations. Unexpectedly, what they do sometimes goes beyond what we have given them and this makes them more endearing.
Such is the feeling that we have for Freia, the very first dog who has been given the privilege to be inside our house. Without any hesitation, I abdicated my crown as the Queen of the Royal Gines House on December 8, 2015, the day we got her from Altenblut Kennel.
Biggs, Leone and Sultan accorded her the respect and adulation the first time they laid eyes on her so much so that their desire and urge were suddenly out of the picture. Being our only female hound, we were all in agreement to go an extra mile in taking care of her. Day by day, we saw her grow into the kind of dog that we all dreamed of.
We were all very happy. Of course the happiest is Larry, having searched long for Freia’s breed. At one point, I kidded him if he had a plan to bring her with him to his overseas work since she has a microchip implant. He shook his head, but I could feel he could have done it if all circumstances had permitted it. In principle, he is Freia’s chief master.
No wonder, every time he arrives for his vacation, Freia’s reaction will draw laughter and happiness and touch your heart. She leaps and leaps until he reaches Larry’s face to give him a wet kiss. My husband holds her in his arms and allows her to repeat the kiss. Afterwards, a belly rub will finally calm her.
We are not the only recipient’s of Freia’s sweet welcome back. My older sister Cristy and niece Jai are included in the list. But of course, it’s understandable when it comes to Larry since Freia only sees him every six months. So, while he’s on break, the bonding follows between the king and his “other” queen. From the preparation of Freia’s food down to her bath, my husband is hands-on. His dog whisperer skills are utilized once more as they become inseparable. Are our male dogs grudging of this extraordinary treatment? I don’t think so for even among dogs, they can recognize superiority. Am I grudging of being second fiddle to Freia when Larry is home? No, because I know how to recognize superiority too and I know that we both love Freia very much.
Erratum: We ALL love Freia very very much.
Diagnosed with a kidney ailment at an early age, Freia had been given the needed medication and diet as prescribed by her doctors. Her health issue was given attention, but I think what we’ve extended to her was still not enough even though she showed improvements during the treatment. We didn’t expect that her sickness had already progressed. November 14, we rushed her to the nearest vet clinic after throwing up a large amount of clear liquid. She was confined for two days. On her second day, the doctor already talked to us about her real condition based on the laboratory test results. Our family was dumbfounded, but we remained hopeful as we paid her a visit that evening.
Friday morning, my husband and one of our sons went to the clinic to fetch her. I waited in the house. I was excited to see and hug her again. Quietly, I wished she’d be doing the same thing to me as it is her habit.
When a vehicle stopped in front of our gate and my husband alighted from it followed by the veterinarian’s assistant in the clinic, I need not ask. His mournful face was enough to tell me that we had lost her.
He embraced me and told me that Freia had a seizure midnight of Thursday and expired while being revived. The news crushed my heart. So with Larry’s. It was a devastating feeling for us as we shared the grief in the privacy of our room. We fell short in comforting each other. Losing her was losing a piece of us. More painful was unpacking Freia from the box and burying her at our backyard. The heavens cried hard with Larry, Arthur, Alexander, Lancelot and me right after laying her to rest. Freia did not anymore hear our “I love you’s”.
Two years and 22 days. This was her life span on earth. She waited for her master and spent two memorable weeks together before bidding him goodbye a month before his birthday.
Writing this entry was difficult and agonizing for me. Every word I type extracts my sorrow and longing for Freia. My tears are lacking to help me wipe out these feelings. We have lost our personal valet, guard dog and alarm clock. Yes, Freia knows when it’s time for me to wake up by scratching our bedroom door. She gives me my morning kiss and gives me another one when I arrive. My devoted buddy, she has been a ray of sunshine in times of my despair.
Our journey with Freia was cut short. Nevertheless, the thought of knowing that she unreservedly offered herself to us not only as our dog but as our best friend helps me temporarily forget the heartache and celebrate the kind of life she had with us.
If Freia were alive, our dog could definitely teach someone I used to know and trust about TRUE LOYALTY to a friend. And maybe, add a lesson or two on sincerity and sensitivity. Oh, what a paradox!