They were unlikely brothers: one large Golden mix and a tiny black Chihuahua. But brothers they had become, born the same week of the same month — two puppies living next door to each other, playmates from the start. They joyously romped through their gardens, not caring whose house they ate or slept in — as long as they were together. Time passed and the golden dog grew large and strong, while the Chihuahua remained miniature in comparison. Despite their difference in size, however, the bond they shared never changed.
The golden boy was ours, a wild spirit named Mustang. Fifas was Mustang’s tiny, but highly excitable sidekick. Their lives were idyllic until the day came when boxes were carried out of Fifas’s house. The family was moving. Fifas was carried off to a village many miles away.
Three months passed. Mustang pined. The sparkle faded from his eyes and his body grew thin. He wandered listlessly through the neighborhood, a dog without joy. Then one day I was invited to a lunch party. Fifas’s family was mentioned. Apparently, there were problems with the marriage, someone said. They had relocated again, this time to Manila. I described my dog’s serious depression since Fifas had gone.
“That’s really too bad”, said my friend. “I heard the wife gave Fifas away to the jeepney driver who moved them. No one knows where he is. My gardener was talking to her maid, and that’s what I’ve heard, anyway.”
That poor little dog given away to a complete stranger! I was livid. It was a struggle not to leap up and abandon my friend’s beautiful lunch table so I could begin hunting for Fifas right away. If he was still alive, I would find him. Later that afternoon I questioned every jeepney driver I saw in town. They looked at me like I was the craziest white woman they had ever seen. This wasn’t going to be easy, I realized. He could be anywhere.
Inspiration flashed: we would offer a reward. I spread the word that we would pay a thousand pesos (about $23 — almost four days’ wages for the average Filipino in my area) for the safe delivery of Fifas to our house. “Don’t worry”, people said. “We will find him.”
Days came and went, yet there was no sign of a little black dog. By the end of two weeks, I was discouraged, sitting on my patio on a quiet Sunday evening. Suddenly I heard knocking at the front door. Two Filipino men stood outside, smiling. One held Fifas in his arms.
“We’ve brought your dog, Ma’am”, he said.
And the two brothers have been together ever since…