Saturday, November 23, 2013

Remembering Pnut: May 23, 2003 - October 23, 2013

At a recent event, a good blog friend Ae of An Artechoke, had heard about Pnut and offered her condolences. As a pet owner herself, she was also very sad about his passing. She told me the sad reality is that no matter how much we take good care of our pets, we will always outlive them. That thought has haunted me since because it is true. I've had so many pets before (including a hamster named Caramel who I've even travelled with in a airplane, who after 2 years in my care died in my hands and I spent a good 2 hours in the bathroom crying incessantly) and I've always been very attentive to their needs but still they stay for only a few years and then move one. I still end up heartbroken. 

Baby Pnut in 2003 (taken using a Nokia 7250)
Pnut having a blast in the park, circa 2005
Pnut was the dog I thought I didn't want but ended loving so much. When the vet first brought Pnut, Chi, and Sparky to our house when they were barely 6 weeks old, I wasn't interested in getting a dog so I ignored them. Not until my sister brought 2 pups to my room and told me I should hold them because "they were so cute", I took one pup who was half asleep, it suckled my thumb and I was all, "OMG, you are adorable." He spoke to me right then and there. And the rest is history. That was how I met Pnut. 

Even when I was on vacation, I still thought of Pnut. This was taken in Dakak
about 3 years ago
Today is Pnut's one month death anniversary. I still miss him a lot, I still greet the margarita flowers planted on his grave everyday before I leave for work, and I still wish I'd wake up and I'd see him beside me. I think about the times I scolded him because he didn't want to take a bath, or he was too noisy, or he accidentally peed in my room, and I regret punishing him because he deserved better. Maybe I was stressed, hot-tempered or not understanding enough. I regret a lot of things and I wish I was a better pet owner to him. For the first time, he wasn't able to properly celebrate his birthday this year because I was too busy. Looking back, that was such a stupid reason, I should have made time for him. 

Honey, my cousin from the US, sent me this message: "I have actually lost a few dogs/pets. It's heartbreaking every time. People that don't have pets will never understand what a strong role pets play. They truly become a HUGE part of the family." And it's true. Dogs truly are your best friends. They love you unconditionally. On a long and tiring day they look at you with their adorable eyes, lick your hand, you scratch their head and you know everything is going to be ok. No matter what, a dog will love you for who you are, warts and all. 

This beautiful watercolor illustration is an original artwork by Maria Sarah Orlina, we worked on this for almost 3 weeks. It features P-nut's favorite things: rawhide, bone treats, slippers (he likes stealing my slippers and sleeping on them), toy basketball, and favorite spot in the park. It's one of the last projects I'm working on to commemorate Pnut.

Last Night
(Author Unknown)

I stood by your bed last night, I came to have a peep.
I could see that you were crying, You found it hard to sleep.

I whined to you softly as you brushed away a tear,
"It's me, I haven't left you, I'm well, I'm fine, I'm here."

I was close to you at breakfast, I watched you pour the tea,
You were thinking of the many times, your hands reached down to me.

I was with you at the shops today, Your arms were getting sore.
I longed to take your parcels, I wish I could do more.

I was with you at my grave today, You tend it with such care.
I want to re-assure you, that I'm not lying there.

I walked with you towards the house, as you fumbled for your key.
I gently put my paw on you, I smiled and said " it's me."

You looked so very tired, and sank into a chair.
I tried so hard to let you know, that I was standing there.

It's possible for me, to be so near you everyday.
To say to you with certainty, "I never went away."
You sat there very quietly, then smiled, I think you knew...
In the stillness of that evening, I was very close to you.

The day is over... I smile and watch you yawning
and say "good-night, God bless, I'll see you in the morning."

And when the time is right for you to cross the brief divide,
I'll rush across to greet you and we'll stand, side by side.

I have so many things to show you, there is so much for you to see.
Be patient, live your journey out...then come home to be with me.

I love you, Pnut. Have fun at the Rainbow Bridge with all of our previous pets that have passed on. Your presence in my life has given me so much joy, and for that I am truly thankful.

Maria Sarah Orlina accepts commissioned work. 
Get in touch with her through


  1. Awww Kira! I've never had a dog or any pet, but I wish I had. (Mom doesn't like the mess, but I get secretly inggit when my friends post cute pics of their fluffy pets.) You were lucky to have each other, and P-nut was lucky to have such a loving owner. My condolences.

  2. Anobayan, Kira, you made me cry again! :'( My 1-1/2 y.o. pet Mochi is sleeping peacefully near my feet now, and I'm gripped with the pain you must have felt/been feeling, although I guess I can't really fully feel that, can I? Mochi likes sleeping on my slippers too(!), and I cant imagine him all of a sudden not there doing that.. Again, I'm sorry, and thank you, for making me realize how lucky we are to have such beings in our lives-I'm treasuring every moment I have with Mochi because you're right, they deserve our best because they give us their best all the time.

    Hugs to you and Komiki!

  3. Thank you, Helen. I've always thought that it was unfair that he had to die so early. And then I thought about the past 5 years that I worked from home, I then appreciated and understood that yes I did spend enough time with him. I wish I had more, but at least he was with me during the best years of his life.

  4. Hi Ae, no need to be sorry! What you said is true and I would not have realized it if not for you. Now I treasure every moment with Komiki, I try to be more patient and more forgiving. And I want to be able to give her all the things that Pnut didn't experience especially since she always was second fiddle before. Now she gets only the best, and I hope that she lives a better and happier life.

    Sorry to have made you cry! But one way or another, I wanted to share with everyone how I felt (otherwise I'd go loco!). And Pnut was very much a part of my family, a huge part of MY life. Unfortunately, the support from friends that comes from human loss is usually absent with pet loss, so I appreciate all the condolences I've received from fellow pet owners.

  5. Gosh, I'm crying now. :(

  6. Truth is, after reading how hurt and devastated you were after pnut's passing, it reminded me of why I haven't had a pet for a long time.

    Just a few weeks ago, our beloved cat of 8 years ran away and never came back. I felt really teary when I learned of it from Mom but I tried not to cry because I was hoping he'll still find his way back home like he always did. But it's been weeks and he's never been away for so long. I've somehow accepted that he's gone and I'm only hoping that he didn't suffer if he's really gone forever or that he's just adopted by another cat-loving family.

    I decided not to adopt the puppy I told you about. His name is "Heyhey". Aside from the inconvenience of the current situation (not having my own place and space yet), a huge reason was that I was afraid to lose him even before I had him. I was afraid of not becoming a good 'Mom' because I'm always working and have not much experience with dogs. I also feared looking 12 years into the future knowing that I'll be lucky to still see him around. I've never dealt lightly with losing any pet I had in the past (birds, turtles, cats, rabbits, dogs...) and to be honest, I'm not sure whether I'm prepared to grieve again. I know it sounds so pessimistic but I guess I got traumatized each time I lost a pet. But I believe that trauma led me to miss a lot of happier things in life by missing out on the many sweet and loving pets I refused & failed to meet.