June 3rd: Happy Gotcha Day, Ceiba Soul!

Gia, Ceiba, Mau
June 3rd, 2017 — Celebrating with Ceiba’s Uncle Mau.


It’s been two whole years since I officially brought you home. You became mine and I became yours, a mutual new immersion that we were still figuring out.

You were don Ubaldo’s dog at the time, and I had slept over at his place so that I could help bring you to my house the next morning. My mother lent us her car, but we had to be back in time for her to take my little brothers to school.

I woke up before dawn. The sky was still black, not yet ready to wake up and paint itself a new palette. We went outside and called for you, but you didn’t appear right away, and my heart didn’t know what to do with itself. I was so worried that something would go wrong and I wouldn’t be able to take you back with me.

Once the three of us were actually in the car and it was running, you started to panic. You cried the whole damn drive. You cried all day, actually. It’s okay, though. You and I were both really good at crying, back then. (And okay, sometimes we still are! We can both be anxious little peas in a pod.)

You also fell into the big koi pond. Twice. I still remember it: the splash and plunge, me hollering for don Ubaldo, him suddenly at my side. I went into the water, pajamas and all. From outside of the pond, don Ubaldo reached down and grabbed the front half of you, while I got the lower half of you and helped to lift you out. The bottom half of my body was soaked, and all of you was dripping wet.

Don Ubaldo thought that because there are so many plants floating on the water’s surface, you thought that you could just walk on top of them. I think that he’s right. I also think that you also didn’t know what glass was, because you walked straight into a large window and bumped your big, beautiful head.

June 3rd 2015
Ceiba exploring on his first day home.

I remember that don Ubaldo and I had tea time an hour earlier than usual because we deserved it. Well, I had my tea and don Ubaldo probably had coffee. He also made me a delicious avocado sandwich. You were with us in the kitchen, but you were very anxious. You kept drooling all over the floor, and I kept cleaning it.

Don Ubaldo gave you one of his old socks (my dear Dobby), and after he left for the day, you carried that sock around with you everywhere. That sock was your anchor, just like you had already become mine. I wanted to be yours, but we weren’t there yet. That’s okay too, though. You are a very personal dog. You care a lot about developing specific relationships with people over time, and when you’re not ready, you’re not ready.

So at first, we had a sort of love triangle between you, don Ubaldo, and me. I think don Ubaldo and I were both a little jealous during the transition from you being “his” dog to “my” dog. Okay, at least I was a little jealous.

You used to go wild trying to chase after don Ubaldo’s motorcycle when he would drive away. I remember that during one of your first days living with me, we were out walking when don Ubaldo showed up on his motorcycle. He was on his way home. When he drove off ahead of us, you pulled me so hard that I think I ended up on the ground at one point. I’m very happy to say that now don Ubaldo can drive past us and, while you’re interested and aware of him, you stay calmly next to me.

I remember one of the first times that I took you to the vet. You were very nervous. I suggested that our vet offer you some of the pieces of hot dog that I had brought along. She tried, but you would have none of it. You pressed yourself against my legs and refused to accept the hot dog from her. However, you would take the bits of hot dog if they came from my hands.

Ceiba and Buzz
When Ceiba first met Buzz.

The other night, I didn’t sleep very much because I wasn’t feeling well and I had a lot on my mind. Finally, around 4 or 5 in the morning, I decided to finish watching a movie on Netflix before starting my day.

You got on the bed with me and rolled onto your back. I love how you hold your legs in the air. Sometimes, when you’re really happy, you even kick the air repeatedly. I pet you, kissed your belly, felt how warm your skin was against my hand, and smelled your special Ceiba smell. Sometimes I watched the movie and sometimes I watched you. (Also, I recently got to watch you watching fireflies for the first time. That was one of the best things ever.)

You’re my right hand man, buddy. I don’t know where I’d be without you, or if I’d even still be here, to be honest. You taught me to believe in love again, to believe in life again. You’re one of the most precious things in the whole wide world to me. You are one of the very best parts of my world, a piece of my heart that gallops around outside of my body and also looks quite cute sleeping on my couch. Sorry–your couch, now.

We’re about to embark on a brand new chapter of our lives soon. Some of it’s going to be very anxiety-inducing for both of us. But there will be a lot of goodness and opportunities in store, I promise.

And we’ve already made it through a heck of a lot, you know. Definitely before we found each other, but also afterward, once it became you and me: learning how to mesh together and make magic. We were already “complete” on our own, but then we started creating something more beautiful, brilliant, nuanced, complex, sometimes stressful, altogether glorious, silly, serious, sacred. Together. If there’s one thing I believe in, I believe in us.

I love you, my dude. I don’t know what I ever did to deserve you, but boy, did I luck out.

Yours always & forever,

Gotcha Day 2

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