Oh, antsy antelope! Why do I have to choose today to start the Daily Prompt? Why didn’t I start it yesterday when the topic’s about love?!
I promised myself no one will know except Wiwi. But Wiwi’s already gone.
I remember it was a not so particularly sunny or cloudy day when I got home from school for the weekend. Wiwi, my very first puppy, didn’t come running towards me with its wiggly tail. I could almost see the two big brown spots on her body, the one on her left eye, and those on each of her ears.
Two weeks before that, I brought Wiwi at our in-campus boarding house. It was a 4-bedroom house. I shared one of the rooms with my eldest sister, and she was okay with me bringing Wiwi, “as long as you pick up after her”. I remember my four other housemates happily taking Wiwi in as part of the household.
I bought Wiwi a leash but she didn’t like it, and she never wanted to go for any walks either. I never knew Cesar Millan back then so I didn’t think it was a big deal. I would stay at the veranda instead, strumming my guitar, while Wiwi snuggled at my feet. I remember telling Wiwi about how nervous I was when I took the written exam for the school paper. I told her why I used a pseudonym and what it stood for (which eventually stuck and became my nickname).
Wiwi was like a potty-trained toddler. Although she loved peeing on the bright waxed red tiled floor, she littered outside just behind the fence where the green bushes were. She loved running around the house and we’d laugh when she slipped on the slippery shiny red floor, and she’d get up again, run again, slip again until I put her on my lap and give her a belly rub. At night, she slept just inches away from the foot of the bed. In the morning, she was more anxious than I to go to school. I felt that if I gave her my class schedule, she would readily sit in for me while I stay in bed and dream about her writing my papers, taking my exams, and receiving my diploma!
But I couldn’t take her to my classes. Hmm, I never really tried though. I wonder if I did, would I still…
Anyway, one of the boarders didn’t find Wiwi amusing. In fact, she (the other boarder) finds her (Wiwi) irritating and I didn’t even know until the landlady told me. She (the boarder) said she (Wiwi) was whining most of the mornings after I left for school.
So I brought Wiwi back home, left for school, and came back the very next weekend. But Wiwi didn’t greet me with her wiggly tail and funny dancing paws.
Wiwi was not there at all to greet me.
My mother said that Wiwi was gone. That they had not seen Wiwi for three days. She was gone two days after I brought her home. They tried looking for her. They tried asking around, called and shouted her name.
I thought how funny it would have sounded when my parents tried looking for Wiwi and shouting her name. Wiwi, in Tagalog, is a kid’s term or childtalk for pee. I named her such because the first time I saw her, her tiny cuddly self wiggled away from the other puppies and tried to sneak out for a pee.
I smiled at the thought, but bitterly. No one had seen my lively lovely Wiwi. Did she somehow try to find me instead? Did she somehow change her mind and would have promised that she’ll wear the leash if she could stay with me in the campus?
Three days had passed. My father said my cousin was still giving away some of the pups and I could have my pick again.
It was the very first time, and the only time I should add, that I felt out of place at the very place I call home. I couldn’t join in the conversation. They were spirited, my family. I was so low and downcast then. But I felt ashamed at that time to let my feelings show… not in front of my chatty cheery sister and brother who would tease me no end if I burst into tears because I miss Wiwi and want to find her very desperately.
I remember myself walking aimlessly through the thicket of trees at the back of our house. I wanted to be as far away as possible from the usual story-filled boisterous weekend. I felt I should be out looking for Wiwi, but three days for a puppy to go missing is already a long time.
We never saw Wiwi again, nor did we find out what happened to her. Whenever I remember Wiwi, I feel an aching thug in me still. Maybe because I kept the longing and the sadness bottled inside me. It didn’t occur to me to mourn for her loss. I guess I was hoping that Wiwi found another home instead.
We had lots of puppies after Wiwi, who eventually became dogs, loyal dogs of the household. We weren’t very imaginative when it comes to names but those that stood out were Puppy, Brownie and Blackie.
And, Juju. I named her after me (Jaja). She’s turning 10 next year, and I feel she’s going to outlive me.