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My friend Doggy, a dog from Portugal

June 5, 2016




My friend Doggy, a dog from Portugal
I am lucky enough to have people that inspire me. My Michigan family, Uzumaki Naruto, and others give me the strength to go further. Doggy is one of my big inspirations.
A lot of people know Doggy. They think his name is funny. It sounds more creative in Portugal, I can tell you that. This is his story.
I met Doggy for the first time in 2007. It was on a Thursday and I was walking my dog Nina at the time when I saw a small dog looking at us (or most likely looking at Nina since she was a girl). He looked like a small German shepherd (yeah my vision it kind of sucks). In the next day I didn’t see him.
In 2010, on a Sunday, he showed next to my door. I was coming back from the doctor and, don’t ask me why, I brought him to my apartment. My parents would never allowed having two dogs at the same time. I fed him and let him stay for a while until my father said: it’s time to go. From that moment on, something special was born.
Doggy was a really famous dog in my neighbor. The kids loved him and played with him. The kids that used to play with him named him. People would randomly leave food on the sidewalk for him. But still, he was a street dog.
Since that Sunday on, Doggy was in my life. Every night I looked for him and I brought him home to feed him and to stay overnight. The next morning I would let him do his own stuff. I know he loved the street life and I know he was not prepared to be a pet.
This lasted for a few months until one day he coughed blood. I went to the vet right away and they said he had a serious hearth problem. That day I said to him “ well, your street life is over, now it’s time for you to become a full time pet”. Using a leash for the first time with him…well that was a challenge. He made it through his heart problem, which doesn’t surprise me, considering that he spent so many years living in the streets.
In the beginning, my neighbors were kind of upset with me keeping Doggy. I had kids screaming at my window “you took Doggy!” and even some adults were upset which didn’t make any sense. But anywho, I knew he was happy. I have always had dogs in my house but never one that was so attached to me as this one. Later on, I found out that Doggy was abandoned by some stupid guy.
In 2013, I moved to USA. It was not easy but my mother was taking care of him.
Economically, Portugal is a disaster. In 2014, my mother had to leave Portugal to work. What about Doggy? I wanted to bring him to USA but my apartment didn’t allow pets; I looked for other apartments but the ones that allowed pets were already leased. Among every solution I considered, I found that having Doggy staying in my apartment in Portugal with my father taking care of him was the best solutions (although it was really painful to see that he was alone for almost the entire day). Getting him was my first priority.
Ten months passed by when I finally got a job in Texas, which meant moving. My first priority was getting an apartment that allowed dogs. I found one. The mission to bring Doggy was on. It was a big process (including getting him a passport) but everything was ready to go. He was too big to fly in the passenger cabin so he had to go through a special transportation services. I made sure to reduce his flight to the maximum I could – the only direct flights we have from Portugal is to Newark.
On August 17th I left Mount Pleasant with a rental car full of stuff that I could fit and with a passenger seat ready for Doggy. Saying goodbye to my Michigan family was not easy but knowing that I had someone waiting for me made the trip with an important purpose. On August 18th I was in Newark airport waiting for Doggy. After almost making a scene at the airport because no one knew where he was, at 7 pm I had him. After almost one year without seeing him, we met once again, but now in USA. He spent probably 16 hours in a cage but he had the same energy I once remember.
With Doggy by my side, we spend around 30 hours in a car and we got to College Station in August 20th. The new adventure began: Doggy and myself in Texas.
A lot of people met Doggy. A lot of them helped me taking care of him too.
It was a rough year for Doggy. One time he had to take 15 teeth in one row. One thing that always surprised me is his resistance to pain. To find out that his mouth was a disaster, I had to find blood in my bed. Even during the vet’s appointment, he never complained. He is a strong dog. He always had a way to surpass challenges. And that is inspiring.
On May 20th, Doggy said goodbye. A tumor won the battle. We tried everything but still he didn’t make it. Last week have been a battle. It’s hard to be in a place where everything reminds me of him. I am still expecting every time I open the door to see my buddy saying hi to me.
Doggy was something else. His warrior spirit made him do things that not everyone is willing to do. Flying all the way from Portugal? Going in a road trip to Texas? Not many can say that.
Doggy, the world needs more souls like yours. You are not here anymore but your adventures will stay here for a long time. Your name will never be forgotten.
Thank you for giving me the privilege of being in your life. I love you and I miss you everyday.

Until next time
Miguel Sousa

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