I always hated early morning alarms. So, I always hated Rex. Rex was an abandoned street dog. He was starving to death when my parents found him. They took him to the hospital and started treating him like a family. I had a neutral feeling about dogs back then. The very next day morning, he began to wake me up at 6 Am. I can break an alarm to stop it from disturbing me. What to do with this dog? I used to push him aside every time he climbs and pulls down my blanket. It would be so frustrating, isn’t it? He won’t give up easily. After ten minutes of intolerable disturbance, I would finally give up. Then I used to do my work, cursing him. He did this every day. The more he did it, the more I hated him.

When I come back home after all the stressed classes from school, he will be ready to irritate me much more with his annoying behaviour. He stirs around me wherever I go. He won’t even let me watch my favourite cartoon show. He will move around with a ball in his mouth, expecting me to throw it so that he will catch it and get it back. My mother taught him this game. But he wants to play with dispassionate me rather than with her.

\Even if I threw it once, he would come back with the ball, looking at me the same way he did moments before. But I found a solution for this. I used to throw it into a room, and when he goes into the room for the ball, I used to lock it from outside. One good thing about Rex is that even though he knew I would betray him if he goes into that room, he will go, and be in there without barking until my parents open. It was always peaceful without him around.

I can watch TV, and I can sleep and can do whatever I want without any unwanted company. My mother knows that I hate him, but she always asks me to feed him. You know why he won’t eat if anyone else feeds him other than me. I ever wondered why he wouldn’t eat when my mother feeds him with all her love. But when I would throw the bowl onto the floor, scattering few pedigrees out of it, he would jump around anxiously and eats them with a happy face. I never cared how he did anyway.

Few years passed, all this became a routine for him and me. One day Rex was usually locked up in the room while I was enjoying my cartoon. When my mother came hours later and opened the door, Rex was lying on the floor with his tongue out. I had a bad feeling about that. We rushed him to the hospital as fast as we can. I no longer feel his stomach moving upside down while my mother was carrying him to the hospital in her arms. I stopped outside the door, letting my mother go in with Rex. A few moments later, she came back with tears filled eyes. Cancer took him.

My vision blurred. I started crying. I don’t know what to say. I never liked Rex. But I feel depressed and downhearted. We buried him in our garden, where he used to stir around me and spoil everything I was doing. I slept that day feeling uncomfortable, but I don’t know why. I woke up the next day at 8 Am. Rex is not around me; he is not pulling my blanket down. I pulled my sheet up, madly hoping that he would pull it down. He didn’t. I always hated him for doing so, but now I really miss him doing that. I am late for school for the first time since Rex came into our family. When I came back home, Rex is not here. He is no more waiting with a ball in his mouth, looking at me with all the love, asking me to play with him. I cried, looking at his ball. I thought I might have saved him if I didn’t lock him up in that room.

I just realized that it would haunt me for the rest of my life. I can never watch any cartoon without imagining him dying in another room without even barking. After dinner, when I looked at his bowl, I just recalled how harshly I treated him. But still, he never stopped looking at me like the way he does. I now feel one thing for sure is that I loved him too. I now want one moment with him to cuddle with him and tell him, ‘I love you, Rex, and I am sorry.’

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