Goodbye to Pepe

Pepe by Oscar Ania (Instagram: @oscaraniaphoto)

Last week, after seven years together, we said goodbye to our Pepe. He was the shlumpiest, most stubborn and most complainy dog I’ve ever met, but also the most forgiving, the most patient and the kindest being I’ve had the privilege of knowing.

From the first day when he arrived to our home as a funny-looking puppy, tripping over his oversized ears, till his last days with us, he made sure our home rhythm was never rushed and the napping balance was always just right. He taught us patience that would make us better parents, and wandering in the mountains with him will always be an inextricable part of my memories about pregnancy and early days as a new mom. He howled the night our first daughter was born at our home and wouldn’t leave our side for days, as if wanting to make sure we knew what we were doing with the new baby (we didn’t have a clue!).

Pepe got unwell the weekend we decided we would be closing a big chapter of our lives here and move to a new home. During the six weeks of mysterious symptoms and fever, visits to the vet and decline of his health, I had no idea that he was about to share his greatest gift with me. We spent his last few evenings just the two of us lying down in the grass under the stars, listening to music and crickets, meditating, singing lullabies, talking and crying.

And through these moments there emerged within me two completely different perspectives. There was the me and Pepe in our shapes – the worried-human-me trying to convince the sick-dog-him to have some soup, my hand holding his paw. But then there was also the me and him somehow observing it all from this elevated point of view, where we were equals, and there was nothing serious going on, just us playing together in one of the infinite iterations of our co-creation. And here, in this perspective, it all felt so simple, so easy, so joyful and saturated with the purest love. It was as if we were glancing at each other with wonder and amusement – wasn’t it just so magical to keep playing these shapes like that again and again? It felt so awe-inspiring, so huge to be the witness of this mysterious ceremony that he was entering, to be reminded of the inevitability but also the absolute Sacredness of Death.

Thank you, Pepe, for your peaceful laziness even in your last week with us. For the space that we each had to say goodbye in our own way and the richness of deep questions and conversations we had with our daughters. I am so grateful for this chance to be in your shlumpy, unconditionally loving presence and play in these funny-looking shapes. Let’s do it again sometime. 🙏🏽💖🐶

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