I’ve always been a dog lover, ever since I was a kid. My first dog was Balan, a black cocker Spaniel that passed away a couple of years ago. My second dog was Tommy, my beautiful beige Labrador that was a big part of my childhood because he became my “best friend” during my parent’s divorce.
When I moved to New York I wanted to get a dog but I knew having a dog is a big responsibility that I was not sure I would be able to handle. In Peru, my mom and the maid walked the dogs, fed them and cleaned their mess. I used to play with them and take them to the park but nothing else than that. In New York, I didn’t have my mom and definitely not a maid so I had to scratch the idea of getting a dog.
The biggest surprise of my first year in New York was Jake. A light brown Chihuahua- mini pinscher with huge ears and prettiest eyes, which was my ex’s sister dog, and who I used to spend most of the time during the weekends when I slept over my ex’s apartment. My ex and I grew a lot of love for Jake, so much love that when he and I decided to move in together we brought Jake with us.
Having Jake was awesome; he was the sweetest, smartest dog, although very territorial and protective. We used to play with him all the time or cuddle with him while watching movies. He was the king of the house and he knew it. He was very well trained and he was very healthy.
One of the odds of having a dog in this city it’s that there’s so many things to do that dogs usually stay home alone for long periods of time. Obviously, Jake had a walk routine, that’s why my ex and I would take turns on who will be the one to go back home to walk Jake and make sure he has food and water. Neither of us could go to happy hour without planning whose turn was it. The worse parts were, when we got back home late and Jake would wait for us to be walked or after a cruel hangover and we had to wake up at 7am for his morning walk.
Months after, we decided to get another dog so Jake can have someone to play with. After many conversations we finally got Jade, a black and white Yorkie/Maltese who stole everyone’s heart, even Jake’s. Those two became inseparable, they actually had a love/hate relationship but they did love each other.
Even though they destroyed my clothes, shoes, furniture, even the walls of the apartment, they were my babies. I used to judge people that were so into their dogs, because for me they were just animals. I guess I didn’t have strong appreciation for them because my previous dogs were not entirely mine. With Jake and Jade I learned so much and grew as a person. I remember I had to rush to the hospital because Jake got a really bad allergy reaction. Same thing happened with Jade when she got an stomach infection. It’s crazy how dogs can become part of your life and you nurtured them so much that they become members of your family.
Unfortunately, my ex and I broke up, the toughest part of our breakup was who keeps the dogs? For the first months of the breakup I had them until we decide what to do. We discussed what to do and all the answers led to he had to take them. The dogs didn’t let us move on with our lives because we were somewhat attached through them. We thought about one of us taking Jake and the other one keeping Jade but we also realized that it was going to be already hard for them not to see one of us and then having to separate them was going to be even worse.
After a long talk with my therapist, she recommended me to give the dogs. At the time, I wasn’t economically stable and I had already a lot to deal with –emotionally wise- . I needed time to be on my own and overcome the situation. I definitely couldn’t keep the dogs. After coming back from Canada in November of last year, he came to pick them up. During that time, my mother was in town, she knew that this was the last string of the break up and it was going to be the hardest part for me. Why? Because it was the last chapter of our story and I was going to stay alone at that apartment, where the four of us used to live in as a family. I will have to be strong enough to pick up the pieces.
I honestly didn’t want to cry, I remember the dogs getting all excited from seeing “him” and wagging their tails while he was getting their leashes. They probably thought they were going for a walk. I hugged them really hard but they didn’t even care, they just wanted to be walked. While they were going to the door my mom started crying, then my ex had teary eyes and I just stood there, trying to be strong and don’t shed a tear. Once I saw them get in the elevator, I couldn’t hold it no more. I cried while I hugged my mother and saw those two that once I called my babies, walked away from my life.
It was very rough times, but I promised myself to get a new doggie when I felt I was ready. I needed time to mourn all the things I lost when that relationship was over. Until August of this year, my ex’s sister, who I still have a friendship with, called me and asked me if I wanted a doggie. She knew how much I love dogs and that I will take care of a dog as it was a child of mine. I thought about it for weeks and I decided to take this doggie. Her name was Luna, same name as my sister’s daughter, so I definitely had to change it otherwise my sister would have killed me. I changed her name to TIKI.
Tiki is a gold and black Yorkie, who just turned a year this past Saturday. I felt uneasy at the beginning because I didn’t want to replace Jake and Jade. Eventually, I realized this little doggie didn’t come to my life to replace the others ones; she came in my life to join me in my new ventures and to bring the happiness and joy that only dogs can give you!