Didi the Dalmatian (or Deedee-- we could never agree on the spelling) was born on 26 April 2000. Her father, Spooky, was a macho hunk of a doggy, who had a black patch over one eye like a pirate. Her mother, Gale, was a sexy looker with one blue eye and one brown eye, kind of like Kate Bosworth.
We claimed Didi as our own when she was three months old. It was the first time I'd ever seen a liver-spotted Dalmatian. She was the liveliest and friendliest among her littermates. The caretaker said, "Makulit 'yan."
When Didi was growing up, I constantly worried that she would get poisoned because she ate everything that was remotely edible within her reach, even after she had just been fed-- like a patay gutom. But she never got sick. She ate like a horse, and was as healthy as a horse. Had great teeth and fresh breath all the time.
She was the sweetest dog ever. She liked to snuggle and was always trying to climb into my lap, even when she was already full-grown. Her favorite place to sleep was the hamper, where she would arrange the dirty laundry around herself.
She liked to roll around on the grass. I guess it was her way of scratching her own back. And occasionally, for no discernible reason, she liked to howl-- fantastically loud and long award-winning awooo's with her mouth forming a perfect little "O". I wish I had recorded her.
Didi had three litters. She was a natural mommy and knew instinctively how to take care of her babies, although she couldn't stand human children. But she never bit anyone and had a propensity to trust people.
We first discovered that she was missing on Wednesday morning, but most likely, she was already gone the night before, 21 February 2012. We searched everywhere for her for three days, but found her remains only yesterday, just a few meters from the house.
At first, I felt bad that she had died all alone, but later I realised that it was what she wanted: to lie on the cool grass with the crescent moon, Jupiter, Venus and Mercury overhead. Undoubtedly, it was much better than spending her last moments inside a cage. She had a good life, and she deserved a good death.
We miss her a lot, but she was 84 years old in human terms, and wherever she is right now, I'm sure she's having a great time, rolling around on the grass, basking in the sun and chasing rabbits. Awooo, Didi. Go get 'em.