During one of my walks, I saw a man, sitting on a bench, patting the head of a huge, brown dog. Then the man placed its leash down on the ground and walked away from his pet - without losing eye contact. The dog didn’t move a muscle. It just stayed there - looking at its master. The man later crouched on the ground, and hollered, “Come!” to his pet, and his dog immediately run towards him.
I guess, to most, this situation is one of the most common things to see. So, just like the rest of the people running or walking at the park, I tried to ignore that situation, and chose to continue walking around the park. My legs followed my desire, but I couldn’t shake off that image from my head.
Something in that scene triggered a strong emotion within me.
If I would give that emotion a name, it’ll closely resemble “longing” or “sadness.”
You see, when I was seven years old, we had a dog. My Dad named it Boomer. It was a crossbred - Japanese spitz and I just can’t remember what else. ;-) Anyway, it was so smart because my Dad trained it well.
One of its tricks is fetching things when thrown. It also knows how to look for a pair of slippers, and bring that back to you. When it wants to relieve itself, it would grab its leash and hand it over to you. Aside from that, our pet also learned how to kill cockroaches for me when I screamed for help one day.
But one of the things that I like to watch Boomer do is to sit and stay at a certain place for a couple of seconds while you put its food on the floor. Our dog wouldn’t hastily dash to its meal if you don’t give the command that it can do so. Boomer just stayed there - pretending not to notice its food.
The first time I saw that, I realized that patience was one of Boomer’s strongest traits.
Unlike a lot of people, our dog knows how to stay and wait.
It stayed there whenever I felt afraid. It stayed there when I was lonely. It stayed there when I would read books.
I thought Boomer would stay there forever until I grew up.
But after a few years, a tumor grew in its tummy. The vet said that even if he removes it, Boomer would still die. So, my dad decided not to let our dog go through the knife. Instead, we all tried to make its last days bearable.
Sit. Stay. Fetch. I thought I wouldn’t say those words again when Boomer died.
But then two dogs came into my life - at different time intervals. One, I named, Savior; the other was named Sahib by my uncle. Both dogs learned a few tricks. Both dogs died just like Boomer.
I wished they had stayed just like that dog at the park.