Uko and Me

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By Jonathan Llanes

The Maryknoller

Thursday, August 14, 2014


JUST viewed the movie "Marley and Me" over the weekend which starred Owen Wilson and Jennifer Aniston with their titular dog Marley and it brought unforgettable memories about my Japanese Spitz Uko who passed away in 2009.

Uko was my gift to my Mom in 1999 who was supposed to be given either a labrador or golden retriever but declined due to the lack in space in our house.

Uko was given to me by my Communications instructor, mentor. and second father Atty.Aure Galacgac after I asked one from the liter of his dog, and proving till the end, she remained a survivor.
Uko was the only survivor among three siblings, and when I brought her to my Mom's part time medical clinic at the Benguet Laboratory, oh boy did she smile.

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Uko started to put a joy on my Mom's face every time they were together at home. She'd be sleeping beside, above and even after her feet that sometimes irritated Mom.

Uko just like any other pet underwent the rigors of being a household pet. No fleas can escape from Mom's torturing fingers as she had to be clean all the time.This aside from the grueling grooming, walks, scolding and even medical attention provided for by my Mom, who by the way was head of the cancer detection unit of the Baguio General Hospital then.

Uko was even responsible for telling me of my Mom's passing in December of 2001 when she barked and barked to get my attention. And for that I thank my little bundle of joy.

I remebered that last night of mourning when we had to bring Mom to Cavite for her internment. I held Uko up to see Mom for the last time and guess what, you can see the tears of a child on her face that misses her Mom. And same's true here.

But aside from these memorable experiences, Uko to me stands out among other pets that we had through the years.

Uko's loyalty and love was ever present and can never be measured. As they say, your pet is the best example of providing unconditional love.
Uko the ever survivor once again proved her worth when she underwent multiple organ failure. After being drained of liquid residue from her belly, my little bundle of joy fought her last battle. She stayed alive for at least a few more days.

Being her handler, it's so difficult to see your bundle of joy with her ears down and that stare of saying goodbye. The agony of parting is such a pain and with all the resources I had, no amount could settle the future of one of Gods creation.

God is good! Thank you God! And hopefully for those who become cruel to their pets, God will be the judge. Our society still has to overcome the cruelty that it shows to animals.

Once we decide to morally respect Gods creation, then that will be the time that our nation may progress.

For Mahatma Ghandi said “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

Published in the Sun.Star Baguio newspaper on August 15, 2014.

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