No, I’m not talking about my dashing prince (though I have one, but this post is not about him…sorry). Nor am I talking about the movie, though I would love to talk about this some other time, as this is one of my favorite feel-good movies.
I’m talking about Prince, my dog. He is a family dog, actually. But I like to think that I personally own him, especially when I’m talking about him. Each of us at home refer to him as “my dog” and rarely do we call him “our dog”. We have that sort of individual, personal, selfish attachment with him, we cannot just collectively share him with each other and call him as “our dog”.
Understandably, Prince is the very first dog that we have owned. Which greatly explains our fondness and adoration of him. And he is proudly mongrel! Very aspin (asong pinoy) but with such graceful behavior we couldn’t help but love him more.
As far as I recall, our family owned cats before Prince. We would have just one cat, a stray at that, and often than not, it would be a she-cat, which, predictably, would give birth to more cats…err, kittens, I mean. Sadly, we just have to leave these “extra” cats at the market where, hopefully, they would be able to find another home. But we loved all our cats. We cried when eventually all of them died. No, we didn’t kill them. They just died on their own volition.
For a couple of years, we were cat-less. And then it was time for us to move to our new house and we decided to adopt another pet. Actually, it was more of a decision between my sister and I. How we decided to have a dog instead of a cat, I could no longer remember. Anyway, along came Prince, a giveaway from my sister’s friend, and this was the start of our family’s conversion to the dog-lovers society.
Why the name “Prince”? It’s not because we have a deep devotion to the known musician, but because my sister and I are great fans of C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia, we were inspired to name him from the characters in the story. The name choice was a toss up between Eustace and Prince Caspian (a very good friend already named her dog Aslan so we couldn’t name our dog with the same name) and we finally chose Prince Caspian. But “Prince Caspian” seems to be such a long name for a dog, eventually we shortened it to just plain “Prince”.
Prince may only be just a dog, but I have life lessons learned from him:
1. It feels good to have affection reciprocated. Who doesn’t feel giddy every time your beloved dog excitedly wags his tail, jump at you and lick your face? Even with all the goo, it is just so sweet to feel loved…especially by a dog.
2. Love selflessly. Don’t harbor grudges. Forgive easily. Dogs are just the sweetest, most forgiving creatures here on earth. No wonder they seem to easily enjoy life. They absolutely do not have any hang ups.
3. Be content with what life throws you. Even if they’re leftovers. Prince seems to have a happy life because he doesn’t expect much from life. As long he has 3 full meals each day, he is happy…even if he doesn’t have any dessert.
4. Be playful and child-like. Prince is now over a year old (he celebrated his birthday in June with a bowlful of dinuguan and rice) but he doesn’t seem to grow old. He still acts like a restless, playful puppy when we had him last September . He already looks like a dog (I think he’s even a little overweight) but still a puppy at heart. Wouldn’t life be a little more wonderful if we just know how to have fun and spend some time for leisure?
5. Be worry-free. Oh to be a dog! Without any worries to what tomorrow will bring.
Prince may not be the perfect dog. Having him has drawbacks too. We cannot altogether leave our house for long periods of time. (Who will feed him and take care of him while we are away?) We have to bear having dog fur all over sofa, the bed, the floor, our clothes. We have to suffer the ugly discovery of having his teeth marks on our favorite footwear. And most of all, we have to endure the embarrassment of seeing him sniff our visitors’ crotches! But we simply adore him. He is such a treasure.
Which makes me remember the movie Marley and Me. I have watched this several times on Star Movies and every time I do, I still get teary-eyed. Who wouldn’t love a dog like Marley?
*all pics are from google.
One of my favorite novels is also about a dog. Watchers , written by Dean Koontz, who also had a dog named Trixie, is an amazing story about a wonder-dog named Einstein, who is..well, as he is aptly named… such a wonder because he can “talk”. How he does that, see for yourself and read this book, which I have unreservedly given 5 stars. I have seen copies at Booksale and if you are really lucky, you can buy one at P35.00. It would be truly amazing to own a very intelligent dog who can “talk”, wouldn’t it?
Even though Prince doesn’t know how to talk, there is no doubt about his affections for me. I can feel it in the way he warmly greets and welcomes me each time I come home during weekends. And I love him dearly too, I always include him in my nightly prayers.
So that’s the story of my Prince. What about yours?