See you again, Kikay, my first asPin

You fixed me well enough

Found 9 May 2009-died 15 January 2023

As always, she thought about me.

I had a feeling today would be the day. Dang was ready to take care of her when I left, but Kikay wouldn’t have it. She didn’t want me to worry. She took care of me, as she had for 14 years.

My first asPin was my crutch when we lost Ate Banana, a puppy near death found at my gate. She saw me through cancer and depression with her gently stoic ways; she was never a cuddle bunny, but when she loved me, I knew, whether it was in the way she defended our turf, watched me like a hawk during chemo, licked me in welcome, or warmed up beside me.

Ate Kikay changed my mind completely about asPins, their loyalty, their fortitude, their capacity for selflessness.

Fourteen years—her lifetime, a chunk of mine. Maybe the best gift is that I am not destroyed; that would have put all my steadfast angel’s efforts at building my backbone to shame.

You fixed me well enough, Kikay, so I know that, while I will miss you and Nana every single day, I can go on and be happy. I have your younger siblings to take care of. You’ve taught me that a dog mama’s heart will always be big enough for the world.

It was heartbreaking to see her age and deteriorate, but today, God also answered my prayer. I actually asked him, and St. Francis, to take Kikay home if she was in pain, and she was moaning all day, unable to walk straight or eat or drink. Please bring her home now, I begged. I cried beside her all afternoon, even as I felt her mighty little heart fighting. And then, within five minutes of my leaving the room to attend to something, she quietly slipped away, with Yaya Dang watching. And, as I had also begged her, she didn’t force me to make the decision, although I was ready for it.

It was always about me for Kikay.

Thank you, my rock, my brave guardian, my silent and elegant pillar of strength. Thank you for giving your life to me, and not leaving until your work was done. Romp around with Ate Banana now, and share the chair with Lola.

I will love you to my dying breath, and will see you guys when it’s my turn. I’m going via the Rainbow Bridge, too.

About author


She is a writer, editor, breast cancer and depression survivor, environmental advocate, dog mother to three asPins, Iyengar yoga instructor and BTS Army Tita. She edits part-time for a broadsheet, but is headed towards a full-time vocation as an online English writing coach and grammar nazi.

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