Dear Nana,

You were born as a pure-blooded Labrador retriever on 2 December, 1998. And we met at the pet shop when I was 4 years old. It was my dad who suggested having a dog and chose you. I still remember you were on that small cage of the shop. You were spinning on a cardboard box which looked like a cake box and my sister, who was 2 years younger and I were playing with your tail, sticking out from some air holes. You were named Nana after me and my sister. Do you remember living indoors with us when you were a puppy? You were such a naughty girl that always jumped over the wall of your house. One thing I cannot forget is that you messed up scattering everything from a tissue paper box and my sister’s nappies and welcomed us with a big smile wagging your tail when we came home after picked the Grandmother up. It must have been a trouble for mom to clean that mess including a lot scattered from a dust box. When you became too big to have inside, we built a cage for you in our yard. I’m sorry for keeping you there all day long except walking time twice a day. You do love walking. You have never skipped taking a walk with us even when it was raining or so windy. We often took a long way walk toward the sea, didn’t we? I should have walked with you more, at least a few times a week without leaving it to my parents.

I wonder where you have been after you fled from the cage. We often chased you into an orange farm next to our yard, but isn’t that the only place you visited? Though, you always came back home when you played a lot and got hungry. Your Birthday was always a big event! Once, when we made a doggy cake for you, you did not like one of its decorations which shaped a dog and spat it out immediately, which surprised us.
You gave birth to five lovely puppies in 2001. It was such a shame that we could not be with you at your delivery because we were on a trip for the birthday of the Grandfather. But didn’t you feel comfortable at the veterinary hospital? You were just giving a birth to third puppy when we called and I was so excited. To be honest, we said ‘To Nana’s children’ at the table even though it was for the grandpa, which made him a little upset. The days after that were just amazing. They were so small that they fitted in one hand when I first saw them. However, they grew up so fast. You were a perfect mother taking care of your puppies very well, yet also had generosity that never let you get angry, whoever held your puppies. It was only for 3 months we were with them though. It was such a precious time. I wanted to keep just one puppy which was my favorite, but my parents didn’t allow me to. You consumed a great deal of energy for raising them. Well done, Nana. We’re proud of you having five children at once.
The older my sister and I grew up, the less time we spent together. I wanted to invite you inside more often and drive with you since you were fond of riding a car. But it is too late. Even though you were in hospital for a while, you could jump, run, and still liked walking. So I thought you would be all right, which was wrong. Day by day, death was approaching. You often started fall down while walking and became reluctant to eat in the end. You stopped barking before I knew it. Where are those days gone when we had to tell you to be quiet?
One day, you finally became too weak to walk so we brought you back into the house where you used to be when you were little. You seemed to be very sick and I was sorry that we could do nothing but stroke and give water to you. We were relieved just to have you nearby. How stupid we were not to do so earlier. 2 days later, it happened. You passed away at 19:50 on 25 February, 2012, surrounded by everyone who cared about you so much. We all cried and cried calling your name again and again but you left us alone.
I know you held on until the night, so that everyone attended your deathbed and gave us 2 barks to tell that you were going. Thanks for bringing us tons of happiness. And sorry for not having played with you enough recently. Were you happy coming here? I was very happy to have you with us for 14 years, long enough for a Labrador retriever. Tears still come into my eyes when I see your photos, read ‘I’ll Always Love You’, listen to ‘Slipped Away’, and remember you. But I can see you at the tomb in the yard and you continue to live forever in my mind.

I’ll never forget you.
I’ll always love you.


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