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thank you for being my companion



Until a while ago, I never imagined myself having a dog of my own. It’s not because I wondered whether I liked dogs, or I could take care of a dog. I just couldn’t imagine myself having a dog. I couldn’t see myself with a dog because I liked to travel overseas, or go to study abroad on every long vacation.


One day, my current flatmate, who has a dog related job, brought a puppy home with her. She said she just wanted to show me the puppy, but maybe she was hoping for me to be the owner of it. The puppy was a 2 months old Pomeranian female.


I never imagined myself having a pet, but as I spent more time with her, having her as a lifelong companion started to sound good. Of course, I knew what it means to have a dog – she will be a part of my life, and all the responsibilities that come with it. Before I decided to keep her, I’d taken a few days to seriously consider if I can take care of her. She was so small that she fit in the palms of my hands, and her nose and eyes were chestnuts, so I named her Bam, which means chestnut in Korean. To be honest, I was worried at first, but it was a-love-at-first-sight. I felt the connection with Bam when I first held her, and I remember my flatmate told me that we got along well.


I didn’t know a lot about dogs, so I read articles, bought books about dog’s diseases and watched and learned from how my flatmate took care of Bam. Now, making Bam’s treat is one of my hobbies. I live with my flatmate and Bam, but Bam sees ME as the owner, not my flatmate. When I noticed that, I was deeply touched by her being loyal to an inexperienced owner.


It was a bit weird for me to have a lifelong partner. Before having Bam, I thought having a dog would limit where I can go and travel. But actually, I feel like having Bam broadened my range. I started to think “where shall I go with Bam?” and “what are we going to experience together?” Also, I vividly remember in detail about the time I spent with her. Playing in the field at the park, became one of the special memories, both for me and Bam.


Also, having Bam changed my social life. Almost every day I go out with her grocery shopping, to eat out, or to grab a drink. It’s convenient having a dog pram to go anywhere. Often at the restaurant, we get seated by the corner so that we don’t bother other customers. Quite a few restaurant owners really like Bam and ask me to come again with her. Some restaurants even give us discounts. It’s so nice having more go-to places that I can go with Bam.


Ever since I started going to places with Bam, I felt more warmth from people. Strangers come and talk to me when I stop by a convenience store on a walk. I almost forgot that we can have a conversation and laugh with random people.


Also, I realise that I speak more often with my flatmate. From waking up to going to bed, we talk about what we feed to Bam, how her stools look, and about going for a walk. And we also talk to Bam too, and sing her a song. We praise her when she goes potty well, or sometimes we scold her when she doesn’t. I became emotionally expressive. Having a daily life like this helped me build a good family-like relationship, with my flatmate.


Taking care of Bam and living together also made me look back on myself. When I was young, I used to cry alone after getting bullied and coming home from school, because both my parents were working. Now that I have her with me all the time, I somehow remember that time and want to take the time to comfort my past self with her. Getting up early for a walk and to check Bam’s stool every morning has naturally given me a schedule, and the experience of giving unconditional love made me think about what kind of person I have always been.


When I feel so in love with Bam, I realise that I have such emotions in me. She gives me back so much more love than I give her, and I can say that she is my precious life partner. I would love to experience and see the world with her, and life with her makes me notice new things. I couldn’t imagine a life with a dog, but I am looking forward to enjoying the world which Bam has opened up for me.

Images by Yurina

English Translated by Yayoi

English Edited by Karin

Edited by Kiara and Hikari

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