Sunday, November 7, 2010

The Life of Koko

Today was a good day to keep my mind off things. I spent about 7 hours today preparing for the trip to Uganda, and I was so excited that it was easy to forget how saddened I feel. I try not to say I’m sad because Bl. Pier Giorgio said sadness is the worse disease. And anyway, I’m not really sad, just grieving. I think there is a distinction. I miss Koko. I missed him before yesterday too, it’s just that now I won’t get to see him again. I think that’s the hardest part.

It’s also hard to think of him gone. It’s funny because I actually had a half finished post about animals and their purpose. It was mainly addressing why they are here since they don’t have an immortal soul. I thought that our (humans) purpose is fulfilled in heaven while an animals' purpose is fulfilled on earth. That was the main gist of it anyway. So I wanted to share how Koko fulfilled his purpose.

I met Koko while I was switching classes one day in high school. Right beside my high school was a house that didn’t have a fenced-in yard. Their dog gave birth to about 8 puppies and this naturally attracted all us teenagers. While everyone else had already picked out their favorite (the girls went first), Koko was left waiting for me. He was the runt of the litter and the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.

My sister and I decided to take him home and see what would happen. We never had a dog (or a cat for that matter) and I was actually quite terrified of dogs because of a childhood attack. But Koko was so small and peaceful. He fit perfectly on my lap, with his little nose just reaching my knee. He slept the entire way home.

I knew it was a long shot of keeping him, but for some reason, my mom agreed to keep him (I’ve always thought this was a miracle). He had always been a lot of trouble for us. He couldn’t go to sleep on his own for the first few months. His whining from the porch reached into my parent’s bedroom and woke my mom, who would then come downstairs and literally rock Koko to sleep like a baby. He destroyed everything, escaped from the yard ALL the time, and never was trained (maybe seven people trying to train a dog was a bad approach…). He was also a very scared dog. I would let him sleep next to me on the couch so he wouldn’t be so scared and finally go to sleep. But he kept my feet warm by letting me put them under his belly. But although he caused a little more stress and work in our lives, he also made us fall in love with him. Even my dad was caught playing with him just a little longer than he had to.

Koko was a very good friend. He knew exactly what to do with me. Koko was with me during some of my hardest nights in high school. He would let me hold him for as long as I wanted. And he was always a good sport. He never cared what you would do to him, as long as he was with you, he was happy! My siblings and I would do all kinds of crazy things with him. Our favorite was taking him out on the porch, pointing to an animal that wondered into the yard (usually squirrels) and then releasing him to track them down (and hopefully make them never return!). I still remember the day he chased this puffy fat white cat up this skinny tree and trapped him up there! He was also the best at catching moles (especially because he never felt pain)!

Yes, my Koko brightened everyone’s life. He brought us together and helped us learn a little more about what love is. He was a perfect fit for our family. Our one and only dog. You are very missed already, but soon you’ll get to stay in the house forever (lucky dog).

A frame of a video of me and Koko (and my brother, Peter's hand)

I hope to uplaod some videos soon as they all are having technical problems right now.

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