Aki was my angel-dog. My heart. My baby-dog. I adopted him when he was 7 weeks old, and cared for, trained and loved him everyday since. When I was in deep depression, he was my source of hope. He'd monitor my actions, and when he sensed sadness mounting, he'd run to me, place his paws in my lap and lick the tears away until I smiled. Whenever he saw my luggage, he'd lay his head on the ground and look up at me with his big brown eyes. Whenever I returned home from being out, he screamed loudly and passionately, as if to say "mommy is home"!!
He stopped playing with toys at around 12 years old, and his body started showing wear and tear over the last 15 months. I could tell that his days were coming (slowly) to an end. I walked him for the last time this past Friday morning. He had a little bit of a limp, but otherwise, seemed ok. I'm glad that I gave him a big hug before I left.
I arrived home tonight to a beautiful memorial created by my mother and nephew. I will upload the photos of the memorial in a few days.
While I was in LA, I happened to be flipping through my photos and came across a photo of the two of us together. I felt a twinge of melancholy. Some sort of emotional awareness? Coincidence? Who cares? I'm just glad that I had a moment to reflect on the love that I shared with my canine friend, my furry defender and supporter. I will always love you, dear Aki Shima. Rest in Peace, my precious puppy...
Collage created by Leo Fountila