Literate for a Day

Someone or something you can’t communicate with through writing (a baby, a pet, an object) can understand every single word you write today, for one day only. What do you tell them?

Patchy was my first puppy bought for $150 from school allowances and savings made over a few months. I was 16 years old when a classmate sold him to me from a litter of poodle terriers that she had. He was white and looked more like a silky terrier than a poodle so he got his looks from his mom and his color from his dad. One thing unique about him that gave him the name was the fur around one eye was black so it was like an eye patch. We had several options like Zorro, Pirate and even Moshe Dayan! Thankfully, my family settled for Patchy.

Dear Patchy,

You were the cutest ball of fur my family and I ever had when you rolled into our home at 3 months old. You gave us so much joy and laughter with your cute look and playfulness as you grew up with us. When you were full grown, you became more bold to run into the bedroom I shared with my older sister and you lick our face and ran all over our body to get us up for school. You continued to do this faithfully until we were both working adults.

Grandma was most fond of you as you kept her company when everyone was out of the house and you know she was the one who prepared all your meals lovingly. Dad also loved you as he would bring you out for walks everyday except when it rained. Mom who never liked animals eventually decided to give you your baths and groomed you with her own style. You did not mind it even when you looked odd.

When you were 10 years old, we had to send you for professional grooming as your fur decided to be more poodle than a terrier so it got matted. It was the saddest day of my life when I went to fetch you back from the groomer who claimed that they put a stick in your mouth to prevent you from biting them and it broke your jaw. The inhouse vet tried to explain to me it was accidental and they could not operate to fix your jaw as they said you were too old and the only way to feed you was with liquid food through a tube. I was devastated and questioned the vet how could you go on with a broken jaw and live on tube feed without any pain. She could not give me any further explanation and it was obvious you were in pain and could not even lick a bowl of water to drink! The vet could not say it and was waiting for me to say that I had to let you go.

I am so sorry Patchy. I could not save you that day. I really wished I could. When I went home, everyone looked at me and no words could describe the deep sadness that hung collectively in our house for days to come. I will never forget a few days later, in the quietness of the night at home with grandma, she suddenly broke down and in anguish asked me why did I let you die when you were not sick and still functioning well before that fateful day. It was so difficult for me to explain to her but decided to let her relieve her emotions and grief over you. I am sure my mom and dad may have felt the same way but choose not to say anything to me.

You gave so much love and joy to us and we thank God for you and believe you are better off in heaven. Thank you and may you be blessed always.

Literate for a Day – DP


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