My dog — the most unselfish love I could receive

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Mirrunga was a feisty chihuahua who believed she could defeat a lion.

sac-ranger@alamo.edu

Journalism sophomore Andrea Herrera

During my childhood, she was my companion, my best friend.

Walking into the house feels so different now, there is an awful pain in my chest when I realize she no longer waits for me at the front door. For 13 years, Mirrunga waited patiently for me by the couch, wiggling her tail, barking with excitement, happy that I was home. I would scream her name in the most annoying voice possible and she still greeted me with happiness.

As a child I always wanted a little brother, it was fun being the only girl but at times it felt lonely. My parents had a few obstacles when trying for a new baby, which resulted in a sort of depression for the three of us, but more for me.

After our family doctor recommended my parents get a pet to help lighten the mood, they took me to choose from among five to seven chihuahuas.

One caught my eye in particular, she had big chocolate chip eyes and caramel color fur. Instantly, she became my best friend and companion. Her happy smile helped fill the void of loneliness and helped me with my anxiety.

Herrera and Mirrunga in 2006. Courtesy

Mirrunga, which describes something very small, was sick for almost four years, her small lungs were not doing their job and half of her tiny heart had shut down. The doctors said she wasn’t going to live long, but she proved otherwise. She fought strongly, taking medicines day and night.

Even though she was very ill, her confidence was not affected. Ever since Mirrunga was a baby she had the personality of a Doberman.

No matter who it was showing up at our door, she was ready to attack and defend her family. There was just one small obstacle, she was tiny enough to fit in a purse.

It was impossible to take Mirrunga to the park. Every dog she would encounter, she would try to fight. They wouldn’t pay much attention to her.

Mirrunga. Courtesy

Before moving houses, our neighbors had two boxers, one male and one female, the most gentle and sweet dogs in the neighborhood. For Mirrunga, they were a threat and everyday would bark at them trying to pick a fight.

One day, when I got home from work, Mirrunga was nowhere to be found, I kept calling her name until I heard a familiar bark coming from my neighbor’s backyard. Somehow, she found a way in, and was trying to pick a fight with the two huge dogs. The pair were nothing but loving and playful.

No matter her age, or her condition, she never stopped being a little feisty chihuahua.

Eventually her heart couldn’t take it anymore. We knew what was coming, but there is no way to prepare yourself for the great pain and loss you feel once someone so special and loving departs from this world.

On Oct. 21, my dad called me telling me that I needed to come home because Mirrunga had gone to heaven.

Herrera and Mirrunga in November 2018. Courtesy

That was the first time in 13 years that she was not at the front door waiting for me, the first time that I did not scream her name with happiness but with pain instead.

Throughout her entire life, I always said that the only thing Mirrunga was lacking to be considered a “person” was a voice. She was the smartest, most caring dog I have ever come to know. She knew when I was feeling sad, happy, stressed and so on.

People tend to say “she was just a dog,” but in reality, she was more than that, she was my family.

Losing her has been one of the hardest obstacles I have faced in my life, a big part of me left with her.

The grieving process hasn’t been easy. The fear of crying in public or even telling people why you’re sad, it’s scary.

Not everyone will understand the pain one goes through when losing a pet, because not everyone has had one. It’s a unique bond one has to experience.

It has taken me three weeks to be OK with the fact that it’s OK to cry and it’s OK to grieve.

It amazes me to think that a small chihuahua could be such a blessing in my life. She was happiness, my family, my best friend. She still is.

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