Letter from the dorm: Saying goodbye to a special friend I left behind

Letter from the dorm: Saying goodbye to a special friend I left behind

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Candance Kwan's dog, Nacho, passed away peacefully a little more than a month ago at the ripe age of 13.
Photo: Candace Kwan

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Nacho the Pekingese is smiling down on Candace from up in doggie heaven.
Photo: Candace Kwan

It’s my last week of school!

Yes, you read that right. After four years of whining about the course load to you here in Young Post, the finish line is finally around the corner.

It’s very bittersweet. For the first time in a while, I don’t have a set timeline – I won’t have a list of graduation requirements to refer to, or classes to sign up for.

But instead of talking about how much work I have before I graduate next Friday (I will say that I am making progress and will be able to complete all of the work with minimal tears), I would like to dedicate this column to someone very special to me.

My dog, Nacho, passed away peacefully a little more than a month ago at the ripe old age of about 13. We do not know his true age as he was found abandoned in a ditch on Lantau Island, but I am very lucky to have spent half my life with that little guy.

He was found badly injured and it took four people to rescue him. His eyes were severely scratched and he became completely blind in 2010 ... but you wouldn’t know that from looking at him. He was always spunky and ran around the house like nobody’s business.

RIP Nacho.
Photo: Candace Kwan

Nacho was the prince of our household. I’m an only child, and I didn’t know what being spoiled meant until we had him and our schnauzer, Pepper. He demanded the best possible treatment – if he went up to you seeking your attention (ie head scratches and a treat or two) and you didn’t give it to him, he’d whine and give you puppy dog eyes. I obviously fell for it every time. In return, he was the best study buddy and spent countless hours by my side when I toiled over my textbooks.

Being spoiled is part of being a Pekingese – they were bred to be waited on hand and foot. He was certainly very well cared for and had no shortage of belly rubs. A running joke in our family was that we were all his servants, and that we would fight about who would get to cuddle him.

Part of the reason why I was so intense about counting down the days until I got to go back to Hong Kong was because I missed Nacho the most. I, of course, missed my parents, my other dog, family members and friends very much, but at least I could Whatsapp and Skype them. But dogs perceive time very differently, and it was tough to see him struggle to adjust to me being home, and leaving again. Hearing that he would wait in my bedroom for weeks after I went back to university broke my heart.

I certainly love and miss Nacho very much, and the only thing that gives me solace is knowing that he is in a better place and can finally see again, now that he’s in doggie heaven. My family and friends have been very supportive and my friend Sera even came to my house with my favourite ice cream after hearing the news. For those who have pets and are heading off to university: treasure every moment with them – and take plenty of videos.

This article appeared in the Young Post print edition as
Special friends we leave behind

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