Growing up, I always asked for a dog. Instead I got an aquarium filled with colorful fishes that either ate one another, banged their head on the glass too much, or didn’t have sufficient oxygen. Either way, they all died one after another. So much so that I lost count how many times they were secretly replaced without my knowing –fearing I’d cry my eyeballs out as soon as I found out. I was a peculiar little girl. I would often pretend to be oblivious –perhaps because they always expected me to be, given my young and innocent age.
Going back to wanting a dog, I’d beg and beg, and even throw tantrums. I simply wanted a dog –a cute little puppy I could care for. But the adults thought I was not capable of caring for one if I could not even care for a bunch of fishes. Holds a bit of truth, somewhat. But to be fair, I didn’t want fishes, I wanted a puppy. And clearly, this is excuse enough.
Soon after, I gave up asking for a dog. Although to this day, I still feel a twinge of envy every time my friends would go on and on about their dogs. I am very much convinced that if only I was allowed to have a puppy like I asked for, I would truly be more of a “normal” kid –as far as that goes. I wouldn’t say it would make me more empathetic as I’d like to think I already am. But perhaps a dog would’ve taught me how love –for all that it’s worth, feels like. Perhaps I wouldn’t have been so lonely as a child who had no one to play with. Perhaps I’d be more of an extrovert now. A lot could have been a lot better if only I had a dog.