10 years old in the 5th grade; on one of those days in the then-new millennium, somewhere in the year 2001 I learnt how to care for another being. Unfortunately, after a decade exact details of such childhood memories have become both rusty and old.

What I recall though is this; After a long hard day that started with hoping that the class teacher would be in a good mood for the rest of the day, I came home to an interesting find. It was brown, small and had four legs, upon inquiry I was informed that a very distant aunt had decided to give us a puppy.

An awkward, misplaced and lonely girl, I had finally found a companion to whom I could channel my passion and emotions, his name was SMASH.

I was too mesmerized by the prospect of having a four-legged best friend that I never bothered to change or inquire about what or who inspired the name “SMASH”.

A bubbly, energetic yet feminine male dog had found in me, a trustworthy and innocent companion. We went on to spend brilliant fun-filled years together. Years filled with literally chasing “each other” in and around the yard, protecting each other and our family, but being unable to keep away from each other.

The memory that stands out most though is how Smash would hold on to my upper right thigh with his fore legs then grind back and forth to relieve himself. My family would look in horror and condemn as I laughed harmlessly. I laughed because I did not understand what my Smash was doing at the time, looking back a decade later, I still laugh but this time at my ignorance and the fact that my Smashie was that lonely.

Mother still remembers how Smashie once protected her from a potential robbery situation and how safe he kept our yard. I smile as father reminisces about how Smash was the only other male counterpart in our household. I reckon I inherited my love of animals from dad and my perfectionism from mommy. My open-mindedness, loving nature and utter love for puppies I attribute to Smash’s presence in my early life.

Smash, a weird name for a wonderful dog. The only dog I ever truly loved, taken care of and owned. What we shared is beyond comprehension and it built in me a respect for other beings.

The day of Smashie’s passing was the first day I truly cried from the heart, the day my heart slowly broke as I attempted to wake up his heavy lifeless body.

Disclaimer: This story was originally published on my first blog, www.skyflawa.wordpress.com (active 2011 to 2015). However, the story might have been edited slightly prior to publishing on this blog, to suit my current style of writing.