When I was ten years old, my family and I decided to get a dog and called him Nalu. We chose the Hawaiian name Nalu because when naming him there had been a tsunami on one of the Hawaiian islands, and in Hawaiian it means; ocean wave. My parents met in Hawaii which is why this name is even more important to me since they are no longer together. Nalu was born in 2010 making him ten years old now. He is a Golden Retriever and Labrador mixed breed and currently lives with my mom in Lugano. Because of the coronavirus, I’m now back in my home and have gotten to spend a lot of time with him. Having grown up together, he lets me do absolutely anything to him whether it’s squishing his face or constantly playing with his soft ears. He also understands English and Italian just like me, he is very obedient and smiles daily. Whenever we go for walks, he always looks back to check on me making sure I’m still following him. Three years ago my mom and I decided to get him a companion so that when we are away for the whole entire day he has someone to keep him company. We got a rescue dog and called her Abby. They are now inseparable just like Nalu and I because of our amazing relationship. On April 14th, for the first time in my life, Nalu scared my mom and I.


At around three on that Tuesday afternoon, I was sitting in my room doing homework, I was in my room doing homework. Suddenly! Nalu came through the garden door into my room panting heavily. Nalu’s troubled breathing, and painfull retching, shook his entire body to the point of barely standing. As I stood there watching him in worry, a tear fell down his right eye, something I’d never seen before. Nalu had been eating a lot of grass, which we thought was good for him at the time because when a dog eats grass it helps them to relieve whatever is bothering their stomach by vomiting. Apparently, all the grass he had been eating made him feel worse. This stopped and started for about forty minutes. At that point, we brought him to the veterinarian, worried that this would happen again later that night.

It was still a scary experience when we got to the veterinarian. Because of the coronavirus, there are extremely strict rules such as waiting outside the studio and not being allowed to enter the room with our own dog. Nalu has never liked going to the veterinarian, whenever we go we have to put a muzzle on and have two people hold him down so that the veterinarian can check him. For the first time in our life, we had to give the dog to them and hope for the best. Unfortunately, they did not know what could have caused the problem. The veterinarian said it could have been a type of colic.

This eye-opening experience made me realize how important Nalu has become to me. When this event happened I was frightened that I was going to lose him forever. Seeing my dog not being able to breathe and myself not being able to do anything sent me into shock. I reflected on this entire event and it made me realize how many things we take for granted each day. It is easy for us to become self-absorbed and forget about what we truly admire, love, and appreciate. Nalu has been part of my life ever since I was nine years old, he truly scared me the other day especially because I never witnessed something like this before. It was as if he were trying to ask me for help and wanted me to do something but I couldn’t do anything at all. People have always told me that the loss of a dog is like the loss of a person. I never understood what that truly meant until this incident occurred, when just the thought of losing him created a sense of emptiness inside myself.

Overall, as scary as this experience was, reflecting on the aftermath of the event taught me a valuable lesson. Taking everything day by day and acknowledging who and what has an important role in your life will make you feel better when an experience like this occurs.