Letter to JJ


Dear JJ,

By the time I publish this, you will have already passed. As I type this, you are lying next to me on my bed, panting and struggling for each breath. The selfish part of me keeps praying that with each breath, there is another one that follows. But I know that it is almost time. I can see it in your eyes, and I can hear it in the murmur of your heart and lungs when I lay my ear on your side. Your cataracts have left you nearly blind, you can barely walk, and you have not eaten since Saturday. It is now Tuesday.


The puppy-you would have been so mad to find out you have been turning your head away from the chicken (you love chicken) and canned dog food I’ve been trying to bribe you with. Eating has always been your life. Like owner, like dog they say. I remember that one Sunday, we came home from church to find you on our kitchen table with your head deep in the donut box. Even until last week, you still dug through of our garbage, smelling and looking for any food you can come across. Sorry we can’t feed you more than twice a day, the vet says you’re too fat.

For the first fourteen years, you had the honor of calling Jingle your brother. You both made quite an odd pair but you stuck together. This brotherhood worked because a) Jingle was a pushover and b) you always got what you wanted. I don’t know why you liked sitting on him, but for some reason, he always let you.

You always loved hiding bones. The story would predictably play out as: You hid the bone, and Jingle always found it and ate it while you sat nearby watching him. After Jingle passed, you stuck closer to us. You only went out to the backyard to go to the bathroom and needed to be around people.


And for the past sixteen years, I had the joy of being your owner. Sixteen years. All I have ever known was from the time I came home from elementary school, all the way through to when I came home from college, you were always there to greet me. I’m sorry there isn’t more time for walks around the neighborhood or trips to the doggy park. I’m sorry that it was only recently we began to spoil you with chicken. I wish there were more meals for you to beg for. I wish there was more time to snuggle in bed, for you to steal my spot and pillow and to hold your paw and bother you while you sleep. For the first time in my life, there won’t be any more of that.  No more 7am wake up call from you to give you food and no dog left to chase the squirrels away from our yard. Through all these years, you have been such a blessing in my life. Don’t worry though, I won’t let you suffer; if it comes to that, please somehow let me know that you are ready. But my prayer now is that you can sleep peacefully and wake up in doggy heaven. I know that if there was one, you would be there. It’s okay to go, I’ll be fine….

With so much love, sweet dreams Bao Bei.


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