Lessons Panda Has Taught Me

 

In a girl’s lifetime, she’ll be lucky to meet at least one ride-or-die friend who’ll be her life constant - that ultimate go-to happy pill, partner-in-crime, shoulder-to-cry-on type of girlfriend who’ll stick by your side through thick and thin. For me, I’ve found that friend in Panda.

Panda is my AsPin who I’ve been with for 3 years. I’ve been with her for her whole life, since she was a teeny puppy. Ever since we met, we’ve been attached by the hip; She comes along with me wherever I go.

Now, I’ve long been a believer in the power of a dog’s friendship - how they can show you life lessons much greater than what any human possibly can. Today, I’m going to tell you the lessons that Panda has taught me.

 

Panda in her younger days.

 

Persistence Pays Off.

A lot of people don’t know this, but Panda wasn’t actually supposed to be my own puppy. In my article with PAWS, you learned that my family fostered a lot of street animals which we would give up for adoption. Panda’s mother was actually one of the many AsPins who walked around our family home in Batangas, and who was lovingly taken in by my father.

When Panda was ready, she was given away to a woman who wanted to adopt her. The moment Panda was taken away, I instantly felt a deep separation anxiety. I quickly realised the extent of how attached I was to Panda. Within just the first three hours of being separated from her, I realised that I needed to take her back.

At first, I was really hesitant to approach the woman who adopted Panda. Of course, I did not want to seem rude to her. But I couldn’t imagine my life without Panda, so I told myself to persist. I thought of a plan to get Panda back, which was to find another puppy who would be just as loving to her as Panda would be. I contacted the woman, told her my offer, and thankfully, she was very understanding about the situation. I gave her another puppy, and got Panda back. Right then and there, I thanked God for giving me the courage and motivation to talk to my friend. Without that persistence which pushed me to ask for Panda back, I would not be together with my best friend today.

 

Panda loves fashion, glamour, and photoshoots as much as I do!

 

Empathy Moves Mountains.

When you first meet panda, you’ll probably have the impression that she’s quite a fiesty one. Her growl is definitely her signature greeting to new faces. In reality, this is just Panda’s defense mechanism; she is actually quite timid and shy.

This attitude has been a part of her ever since she was a puppy. I noticed that when she was growing up, among all our AsPins at home, she was one of the more fearful ones. She wasn’t as interactive with the other puppies and was afraid of human contact too. Oddly enough, this is what actually drew me to Panda.

I realised that she just needed someone to understand her. What seemed to be her aggressiveness was actually just a mask for her fear - she just needed somebody to reach out. When I realised this, I made a conscious effort to try extra hard to get to know her, and soon enough, she opened her heart to me. It was easier than I thought it would be to get past that stage and become friends. It taught me that maybe those like Panda, meaning those who have built higher walls around themselves, just need kind souls to break them down. Once you open your heart to them, slowly but surely, they’ll return your affection.

 

You and me forever, Panda.

 

True Love is Unconditional.

The greatest lesson Panda has taught me is one of loving unconditionally. Honestly speaking, I think the biggest misconception people have when it comes to taking care of dogs is that dogs are there for your amusement - that they are there like fair-weather friends who you hang out with for a good time. But the reality is that dogs, much like us human beings, have their own sensitivities and imperfections. And we as pet-owners must be in tune to that - we must learn how to deal with those flaws and become blankets of comfort for them. We must continue to love them despite of their imperfections. Panda, for one, has never judged me for any of my shortcomings. At the end of the day, no matter what happens, she’s going to jump on my lap, shower me with kisses, and love me like no one can.


 

I’d love to hear about your stories with your own dogs, cats, or any pets too! What lessons have your lovely animals taught you? Let me know in the comments below! :)

Chynna Lim