A Farewell Letter to my dear “Manong” Collins
Dear Manong Collins,
It was 2:00 pm. I was sitting at the couch in the loft area of my in-laws’ house, when I felt my heart palpitate. I couldn’t breathe. I tried twisting my body, so that I was leaning on my left side, but still. I couldn’t breathe. I asked my nephew, DW, to call “Tito EJ” in the other room, but he was busy playing that I don’t think he really listened to me. A few minutes later, Ej joined me in the couch, and I told him that I wasn’t feeling well. We both entered the room to lie down. It was then that I got the phone call from my sister that you were rushed to Vets in Practice and you were in critical condition. I just knew that something was truly wrong.
The drive from Quezon City to the vet seemed so long. I felt numb. All I could remember were the shadows and patches of light from outside the window. We were still in the QC area when my sister texted me that you were gone. She texted (as they were already in Vets in Practice ahead of us), “manang, andito na kami. wala na talaga si Collins.” (We are here aleady. Collins is really gone.) To that, I replied “:'(” I didn’t know what to text back. I felt tears rolling down my eyes. The ride home was a long one — a long one where I could really think the times you were there for me.
My memories of you started when I got you when you were just barely 2 years old. I was so happy to see a blue grayish pitbull like you. As I clearly remember, you were tied to a steel pole, during the time we visited you and took you home. You were imported from the States by our friend Rommel from a guy named Ray Certified in the United States. I bought you from him. I was so proud of you! You were my first imported dog. I remember you, being so cute and cuddly! You looked like a polar bear (people still say that you do).
I remember that you had many “firsts”. You were the first Pitbull that was micro chipped. You were also the first Pitbull Champ in a joint dog show of two mainstream pitbull clubs, NPTC and PPC, during that time. You were the first pitbull icon used by NPTC in their membership card. But aside from all of these achievements, you were also the first dog to be allowed by mommy to stay inside the house. You were called “manong” by us, since you were the first male dog to be wholeheartedly embraced to be part of our family. You were our little brother.
You had so much love to give, despite your fierce barks to strangers. I remember the times when I would sit beside you on our dining area floor, while crying, during my younger years. You seemed to understand me. You listened and placed your head on my lap each time. You allowed me to cry it all out until I had no more tears. I will never forget those times. Thank you.
Until your last months and days, you thought about our family. You made us all proud as you stood in front of the camera for Good Dog Magazine. I know that you were tired, but you continued on and gave us your best smile and pose. Thank you for making us proud.
As I watched you twitch continuously yesterday after an awful seizure, I prayed that you would get well, and get well fast. I couldn’t bare the thought of you suffering anymore. Then the vet came to the house and everything seemed alright. We were all optimistic that you would get better.
I was shocked to receive a text from Mom this morning that you had gone into a coma. I was still hopeful that you would slip out of it in the afternoon, but I guess, you were thinking about us again. You didn’t want us to suffer anymore. You didn’t want to make us worry anymore. And I guess, that’s the reason why you left us so soon.
As we let you go, we would like to thank you, Manong, for all the great memories. Thank you for all the love. Thank you for being so generous, always thinking about us even before thinking of yourself. We know that you will be happy playing with Chubaka, your buddy, in dog heaven.
We love you. Still with a heavy heart, I know I have to let you go.
I’m now letting you go.
In Memory of SBK’s PR Collins Jan 16, 2002 – Jan 6, 2013
“Dogs are our link to paradise. They don’t know evil or jealousy or discontent. To sit with a dog on a hillside on a glorious afternoon is to be back in Eden, where doing nothing was not boring–it was peace.” ― Milan Kundera