Thursday, June 4, 2009

Public Service: Lost Dog - COCOA

Bookmark and Share

Posted for my co worker Trina Yap-Sotto (Source: Philippine Daily Inquirer)

MANILA, Philippines – The last time I saw our six-year-old dog Cocoa was on March 7.
My husband and I had brought our then two-month-old son to my parents’ house in Parañaque for a visit. We were about to board the car when Cocoa licked my baby’s toes and attempted to jump inside. Cocoa enjoyed riding vehicles. But since we were running late for our next appointment, I, amused at his effort, patted Cocoa’s little head and told him, “Next time.”

Now how I wish we took him home with us instead. How was I to know there would be no next time?

Two days later, Cocoa went missing. It was a Monday. I got a frantic text message from my sister early morning. She learned from our brother that Cocoa appeared to have “escaped” from our house. Assuming Cocoa was still asleep when she left for school, she did not make much of Cocoa not seeing her off.

I phoned our household help and asked that they alert the neighbors. It wasn’t the first time Cocoa had wandered off. He had cruised down our street to play with his crush, a dachshund.

I was alarmed yet confident Cocoa would be returning shortly. After all, he knew his way home, was known to everyone on our street, and was wearing a dog tag bearing his name, our address and phone number. We produced “missing dog” posters offering a reward nonetheless.

No word

Two days after his disappearance and still no word, my sister reported the incident to our barangay (village). On her way home, some kids reported having seen Cocoa, who they thought was taking his usual stroll. We received the news well – at least he was still alive; the possibility of Cocoa coming home was still there.

A week later, we got a lead from a neighbor who claimed to have seen Cocoa in a hole-in-the-wall pet shop in Sucat. A friend rushed there to check. Sadly, the info must have come too late – the dog had already been sold two days ago for P10,000.

My heart sank. The pet shop had no documentation of the transaction – no receipts or paperwork; nothing. When asked who sold them the dog, all they said was an old lady they did not know. There was no way for us to confirm if it was indeed Cocoa.

But our neighbor was convinced. It seemed so unlikely for this store to have a black Pomeranian for sale, when the establishment isn’t a pet shop to begin with. The location is dubious too. We live in a neighboring village, just a tricycle or jeep ride away.

Online mission

As weeks rolled by, the posters we had put up began to disappear. Some were removed as part of our village’s efforts to keep the surroundings clean. Still, my husband and I would replace posters lost week after week.

We also distributed posters to veterinary clinics. We took our mission online too, writing blogs, e-mailing animal rights groups, friends and strangers. The online community has been very supportive, with people promising to keep an eye out for Cocoa.

It was also on the web that we got information that Cocoa was taken away by an old woman with a leash. This was before the supposed sale in Sucat. If Cocoa had been sold, sadly, our search brings us to what seems a dead end. We no longer have leads.

People ask me if I’ve given up on my search. How can I give up? Cocoa was more than a pet to us. He is family. Would you lose hope if it were your sibling that went missing?

I read the poem “Rainbow Bridge” hoping to find consolation. But there is none. “Rainbow Bridge” is apt for those who have lost pets through death. The pain of losing Cocoa is much worse than having a pet die.

We’ve lost dogs to illnesses and while painful, we were able to move on. Cocoa’s case is different because I know he’s alive. He’s somewhere out there and I cannot be with him.

Heart condition

Day and night, I wonder – has his new family discovered his heart condition? That he has to be fed little by little, otherwise he’ll choke? That he enjoys being held like a baby? That he finds enjoyment in playing hide-and-seek?

The pain of not knowing whether he is cared for or not is just excruciating.

I appeal to readers – if you think you may have seen Cocoa, please contact me. If you notice your neighbor with a relatively new dog resembling Cocoa, please get in touch. We’re willing to take him regardless of what condition he’s in, and we would buy him back in a heartbeat.

Wherever he is, we know well enough that Cocoa can manage to be happy. He’s a happy dog. But I will say that no family can possibly love Cocoa as much as we do.

To my dear Cocoa, if only you can read, I love you. I will never give up on you. And I will continue to wait for you. I hope to see you again, in this lifetime or the next.

The author would like to thank the countless individuals who have dedicated their time and effort in helping search for Cocoa. You may reach her at
Subscribe to RSSPhotobucket

No comments:

Post a Comment

Twitter Delicious Facebook Digg Stumbleupon Favorites More

Design by Free WordPress Themes | Bloggerized by Lasantha Premium Blogger Themes | Best CD Rates | Seo Company | Seo Company Australia | Cheap Seo | Sports Live Stream | game cracks | Best Online Game | Download PC Games | List of Hobbies | Graffiti Styles