Benjamin

DAVID, our Japanese spitz, died this year. I've mentioned him in a couple of posts. I'm not crazy over dogs—I find them tiresome—but David was particularly sweet, barking at me the moment he saw my shadow at our gate, knowing my smell after months of parting. He was my favorite, in a sense, even if he gave the family overwhelming proof that he was The Stupidest Dog That Ever Lived. After he got rammed by that wretched tricycle at the highway some yards away from our house; my father, who considers dogs an integral part of our family's existence—to my mother's dismay because she hates seeing her furniture ruined by scratches—buried David in the vacant lot on St. Paul Street where we live.

Imagine my surprise yesterday when my father showed me a fluffy, white creature, pretty much like David years ago when we had bought him from the Porals.

"What are we naming him?" Tatay asked.

"Benjamin," I said. "We call him 'Ben'."

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My brother Ralph hated the name and offered "Ethan" as a suggestion—something he eventually retracted after seeing the teleserye "Ina, Kapatid, Anak" which has a character of the same name. He suggested "Wyatt," almost homonymous to "white," and "John Snow," who happens to be my favorite Game of Thrones character. But those names never took on.

So, dear readers, meet Benjamin, our little Japanese spitz.

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Comparing him with David is inevitable. They're of the same breed, after all. Benjamin is movable, craves for attention, and is extremely smart. David, on the other hand, was almost immobile, sleepy most of the time, and had very low IQ.

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I hope Ben grows up to be a smart and loving dog. He cannot replace David in our hearts, of course, but I'm growing fond of him every minute.

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