I remember how excited my wife and I were when we drove to pick her up almost 15 years ago. I named her Candra, which means “moon” in Sanskrit. She was a Shih Tzu, a breed of Tibetan origin and loyal companion of the Lord Buddha. As the story goes, one day, several robbers came upon the Buddha with the intent of robbing him. The Shih Tzu changed into a ferocious lion and ran off the robbers and afterward turned back into a dog, which the Buddha picked up and kissed. The white spot on the heads of many Shih Tzus supposedly marks the place where Buddha kissed his loyal dog.
Candra was cute, always calm and affectionate. Unlike other dogs, she didn’t care much for trips in the car. She was a house dog that loved nothing more than staying home and to follow people from room to room. Her purpose was to be a companion – the best companion she could be. She was the happiest when she was with her family, giving and receiving attention. Yes, she could be very stubborn. She refused to go outside to her potty place when it had rained or the yard was a tad moist after watering the plants and would do it inside. Yet any feeling of angriness quickly dissipated after she looked up at you with those wide-open eyes. Most importantly however, she taught us what true and pure love, friendship and loyalty really is all about. She always knew that she was loved and appreciated.
Candra’s death did not come as a surprise as she was ill for some time. She died yesterday, just three days after I had returned from a two-month trip abroad. I’m grateful that I had the opportunity to cuddle her before she drew her last breath. As we laid her to rest I was reminded by something Will Rogers, a Cherokee Indian, said last century: “If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” We will miss you Candra, our little soul. Everyday.