January 1, 2010

Goodbye, gentle soul

THEME DAY: CHANGES • Siopao was a mixed breed and a gift to my father the year after my mom died in 1993. Daddy named him after the Chinese steamed bun popular in the Philippines because when he was a puppy and could fit in one hand when curled up, he looked exactly like one, including the dot on his back. When dad died in 1996 and his housekeeper left, care for Siopao fell on me since I'm the only one among my siblings still in the country. Siopao was the gentlest of dogs. Days could go by without a single bark from him; about the only things he barked at were strange dogs out in the street and stray cats crossing our yard (which he loved to chase though he never really tried to catch). He was perfect with our nieces and nephews, quietly tolerating unsure hands from the most fearful of them and ungentle caresses from the most daring. During the colder months, we kept his hair naturally long.

Siopao with long hair

But when he starts shedding just before the summer months, we would get him shaved. And long into the rainy season, we kept him short-haired until the days started getting cool again.

Siopao with short hair

At 15 years old, Siopao had a lot of health problems (liver, gall bladder) and was easily prone to infections. His eyesight, hearing and sense of smell had all weakened—except when we had chicken, his favorite (that one he didn't have any difficulty smelling!). In the early morning of November 24, 2009 Siopao passed away while he was at the pet hospital. I still miss his greeting when I get home, and his constant, quiet presence by my side, but I am thankful for the many years that were given to us to be able to love him. And to Jilly and Rob, thank you for your sympathy and comforting words the week after he left us. (ALL PHOTOS BY DOGBERRY)

Siopao with my nephew

What are the changes that City Daily Photo bloggers around the world have seen or experienced? Click here to view thumbnails for all participants.

55 comments:

Leans said...

Nice dog, sure is always in your heart, well very Happy New Year and thanks for pass for my blog. Have a really nice 2010.

brattcat said...

Such a moving tribute, Hilda. This was a poignant choice for the theme of change. I know you are still mourning the loss of this dear companion. My sympathies to you and my hope that you will some day find another four legged companion to cheer you and greet you when you return home.

Ellie Vellie said...

I am sure you miss your friend. I am glad you are optimistic. Hope you have a wonderful New 2010 Year. We are still waiting for it to arive, I am cooking dinner that will last us til midnight. Hugs and Blessings to you and your family!

Frank said...

Hilda, the life of a dog holds special meaning to us. They are such wonderful companions. This has been a big CHANGE in your life. Thank you for sharing his story.

Happy New Year! (Is a new puppy in your future for 2010?)

Don and Krise said...

Oh Hilda what a touching post. There were changes indeed in your house this past year. We have two dogs which you have seen on our blog. I absolutely dread the time when we lose them. It's amazing isn't it, the impact animals have on our lives? Beautiful post Hilda.

And once more, Happy New Year.

Dina said...

A loving story. Siopao was lucky to have you, Hilda.
The last picture is precious!

Inverness Daily Photo said...

So sad but yet they leave behind such happy memories.

Julie said...

This is a vital, very moving tribute to your companion, Hilda. I enjoyed all the detail and I understand the comfort retelling them must have given you. I especially like the photograph of Stopao after he had been cut for the summer. He looks quite chunky and very content in his own skin.

Indeed, changes come upon us when we may not be quite ready for them.

I wish you health and happiness as we journey into 2010.

afv said...

What a sad story for Siopao...anyway, Happy New Year Hilda!

Ben said...

Happy new year to you, too!

White Oleander said...

Happy new year and a great tribute to your friend.

ρομπερτ said...

May the life for you all be provided with an ongoing change into happiness, health and joy.

ALL ABOUT...Portland Oregon Real Estate said...

I'm so sorry Hilda. It's hard to lose someone as close to you. They love you unconditionally and some of us can't seem to do that as easily as they can.

Priyanka Khot said...

My condolenses, I can imagine the pain... Hopefully the New Year will bring a lot of good in your life

My Wish for You in 2010

May peace break into your home and may thieves come to steal your debts.
May the pockets of your jeans become a magnet for $100 bills.
May love stick to your face like Vaseline and may laughter assault your lips!
May happiness slap you across the face and may your tears be that of joy
May the problems you had, forget your home address!
In simple words ............
May 2010 be the best year of your life!!!

George said...

Siopao sounds like the perfect companion. I can understand why you still miss him. The picture with the child is priceless.
I hope you and your family have a Happy and Healthy New Year!

BlossomFlowerGirl said...

BEst wishes for the year 2010, may it be filled with laughter and happiness.
Cheers.
Melbourne Daily Photo

James said...

I'm so sorry Hilda. I know very well what it's like to lose a dear pet after many years. Siopao looks like such a nice dog.

I wish for a very happy New Year for you and your family.

Paula said...

Oh Hilda, I'm a puddle right now. You have given us a perfect post and I want you to know that sharing something so special as Siopao's story is a great gift to us all. I'm going to go wipe my eyes now, I'll see you in the New Year. Much love, P.

Mo said...

Sorry for your loss Hilda, may 2010 bring you and your family nothing but health and happiness.

Shantaram said...

That's a very touching post, Hilda - the first time in 15 years that you're seeing in a New Year without him. I'm sure that over time, memories of the good times with Siopao will lessen the sadness of his passing.

All the best to your loved ones, and you, for a wonderful time in 2010. Have a great year!

Jilly said...

What a truly beautiful tribute to Siopao. He had the most wonderful home with you - one lucky dog. And you, one lucky lady.

Your photographs are beautiful, sensitive and a wonderful memory for you and yes, who knows, perhaps one day another dog, perhaps a needy one, will find its way into your home and your heart.

Meanwhile, I wish you and your family a happy, peaceful and healthy 2010, Hilda. This post was so moving - sweet Siopao.

Vogon Poet said...

Beautiful images and tender words for the sad loss of a dear companion. A very moving post and a loving tribute to the sweet Siopao.

Happy New Year to you and you family.

Ham said...

You touch a chord, there. Lot of Border Collie there, reminds me of my companion over many years.


I wish you and all your family a healthy and happy 2010, full of happy and pleasant change.

:: flyingstars :: said...

This is a touching post...Wishing you a very Happy New Year!

Chin said...

I love this stroy,Siopao is still in your heart. ;)

Happy new year to you.
Wishing you a year full of happy days.

Reena said...

ah siya si siopao! aww, he passed away na pala. i didnt know. naku matamlay dog namin lately. ayaw gumalaw. baka near narin end niya. so sad...

hey, hope you had a safe and wonderful new year celebration. :) tc!

bertN said...

Have a great 2010!! Keep on shooting and sharing your wonderful pics with us.

Birdman said...

You must have so many special memories of this friend. Love the shots.

pusa said...

aww you really loved siopao
have a happy new year and am sure he's having a grand party as well :)

Corker2 said...

I am saddened to read and see your long time friend pass away. You can get so attached to them over time. We had a similar experience with our Cat, Porsche. We just loved her, but she got sick and had to be put to sleep. She is missed.

Les

Andreea said...

A moving story that sounds very familiar to me. My in-laws have a dog like that. She still lives but at 15 years of age you can feel that she's slowly sleeping away.

B SQUARED said...

They touch us in ways people seldom do. Our lives are richer for having them.

Gunn White said...

What a nice and friendly dog you have had.
You must have sooo many nice memories!
- Happy New Year-, Hilda!

Yogesh Naik said...

That's so heart breaking....

You have to carry on Living... May God give you Happier days ahead...

Halcyon said...

It's always hard to say good-bye to a dear friend. Here's wishing you lots of love and joy in 2010 - maybe you'll even find a new friend!

√ Abraham Lincoln said...

Patty and I have had dogs since we got married. I have had them since I was born. I love dogs. Now I am beginning to love cats. I want another dog. Patty says, "No." Because she doesn't want to go through the separation thing anymore. I tend to agree but still have hopes.

I am sorry for your loss. It is hard to get over. I am still mourning Autumn who died in 2006.

I have found some nice photos from 2007 and 2008 that I would like to use in my blogs but last night was a bad night for me and I didn't get much rest. Most of the time I had one coughing fit after another. I thought I would try to just say, "thanks" to those who stopped today. I appreciate the comments, visits and prayers. I hope things will get back to normal soon.

lunarossa said...

So sad, Hilda. Losing a pet is always a bad experience, but losing a dog is a tragedy, i think. Hope the new year will bring you more joy and happiness. All the best. Ciao. Antonella

Laurie said...

Oh Hilda, I'm so sorry to learn of your loss. What a beautiful dog -- and a beautiful tribute.

Here's to a new year filled with delights and wonderful changes for the better. XOXOXO

Gardendiggers said...

I'm so sorry hearing about it... Our smaller brothers's lives are sometimes so short... If dog's paradise exists, I'm sure Siopao is there now, running and barking through meadows...
Anyway, we have a new year - new hopes, new experiences... have a good, happy year.
Best wishes from snowy Warsaw.

Leif Hagen said...

No more doggie was a big CHANGE for you in 2009! Sorry to read that your doggie is gone! The owner of my office building wants me to move across the hallway to a new space; that will be a big CHANGE for me in 2010!

Sharon said...

What a beautiful tribute to such a special friend. Pets bring such joy to our lives.

Happy New Year to you and your family!

Dave-CostaRicaDailyPhoto.com said...

I have just told Julie to make sure her mother reads our post today. You will have her in tears, and she will talk about this for months.

Best wishes for 2010. Where are your siblings if they have all left the Philippines? Do you get to see them often?

Jacob said...

Beautiful testimony to this wonderful dog and to your love for him. Heart-rending, actually.

I'll be back blogging on and off, Hilda, but I must say I have truly missed all my good friends on CDP!

Thank you for your kind comments and good wishes and I hope your New Year is chock-full of good things surrounded by peace and joy!

Louis la Vache said...

«Louis» certainly empathizes with you! He looks like he was an excellent friend. «Louis» still remembers the sad day when our family had to put our Daschund, "Oscar" (as in Oscar Meyer Weiner) down. He had back problems so bad he could no longer walk, and drug himself around on his front paws.

Thank you for sharing your tribute to Siopao with your readers.

In Three Rivers, Michigan said...

Such a sad change in your life. May 2010 bring you happiness - and perhaps a puppy?

Three Rivers Daily Photo

Lisa Wilson said...

Losing a pet like that is like losing a member of the family. I'm sure that brought some sad changes for you and your family. Very pretty dog and glad he lived a long life!

Julie ScottsdaleDailyPhoto.com said...

Hilda, this is a wonderful tribute and reminds me of my own wonderful pets who have passed on over the years after many great years together. I still miss them too! Happy New year to you! Your comments and photos in the past year have been immensely helpful and appreciated.

Kim said...

Hilda, I enjoyed this sweet tribute to a wonderful dog who blessed your dad and whole family. What a handsome pup, long or short haired :-). May you enjoy the memories of all the happiness he brought. Thank you for sharing this story of his life with us for theme day.
I want to wish you a blessed 2010, Hilda. I hope it holds good health, happiness, and many happy surprises for you and your family. And happy blogging in the new year,
-Kim

Jarart said...

there is something so special about an old dog. Your story touched my heart.
I hope the New Year brings you much happiness.

Ursel said...

Hilda, I'm sorry for your loss of such a great companion. So sad to read the story.
I came by to wish you a happy new year. May it bring you joy and health and all the good things in life!

AB said...

A sad entry to read. That Siopao left some lovely memories and photos must some small consolation

JM said...

This is a moving post and an appropriate entry on this theme. Siopao was such a cute little dog!
My best wishes to you and your family for 2010, Hilda!

IamMBB said...

Sometimes change is sad. But thank you for sharing your wonderful memories with us.

the donG said...

you should watch the movie marley and me.

Rob said...

Unfortunately, change is inevitable. So sorry, again. but you have many happy memories.