As anyone who has a dog knows, the bond that forms between a person and their pet is one of the strongest bonds there is. The saying that dogs are man’s best friend didn’t come from nowhere. In fact, dogs and humans actually co-evolved to ensure their mutual survival throughout time—so it should come as no surprise just how emotionally close we’re capable of getting, even today.
As it turns out, one story that recently went viral is proving that point beyond a doubt.
It all started when Merv Tolention Dumenat, a man living in the Philippines, learned that his dog was ill.
Dumenat had a Siberian Husky named Shadow who was seven years old. Though the two had been enjoying a beautiful friendship together for years, our story started with some bad news: Shadow was having serious health problems. It was discovered that the dog had a low platelet count. Soon after, he got a differential diagnosis of Immune Mediated Disease and Aplastic Anemia.
When Shadow was put into the hospital, Dumenat started documenting their entire health journey together.
In emotional Facebook posts, Dumenat explained the difficulties he and his friend faced ahead:
“We have to perform another Blood Transfusion which is critical and risky for him but I have to take it because that’s the only possible option to save Shadow’ life. Thankfully, they have their own blood donor/bank but one of the hardest decisions I have to do is to take the risk for possible side effects that could cause Shadow’s death.”
But the story had plenty of ups and downs. Although the initial treatment was a risk, Dumenat and Shadow got some good news soon afterwards. They were able to get a successful blood transfusion and Shadow’s platelet count went way up! With gratitude, Dumenat posted the update:
“The following day, I didn’t expect a miracle results at all. His Platelets count and Hematocrit from 4 up to 23 and his Vet told me na makakalabas nadin kami that day. God is good tlga always. He never let me down. Thank you Lord. 😭🙏”
Unfortunately, the good news was short-lived.
Just a few days after getting a treatment regimen planned out, Shadow passed away—but Dumenat didn’t stop posting online.
Although he announced that there would be a funeral, he also posted updates about his relationship with Shadow even beyond the grave:
Day 40: That’s the thing about Pain, it demands to be felt.”
As of this moment, I still can’t believe everything that is happening right now. I don’t how or where to start without Shadow in my life. I can’t stop crying and can’t sleep. I don’t know how to move on and ease the pain.”
On September 1st, Dumenat posted again with some clips from Shadow’s funeral. In one in particular, he can be seen crying over the body of his closest friend.
Posted by Merv Tolentino Dumanat on Friday, August 31, 2018
The video has since gone enormously viral, garnering a million and a half views on Facebook.
Although Shadow’s life on Earth ended, Dumenat continued to post his emotional journey online for the benefit of the world to see. In each of the posts, he slowly comes to grips with what happened:
“Day 47: “A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his.”
📌 It’s exactly 7 days today after my Shadow crossed the rainbow bridge. I miss you Shadow, mahal ko. I can still recall every moments when we rushed you sa Hospital. Waking up everyday will never be the same again and it’s hard without you but I know that you are just there watching me/us from above. ❤🐺”
After a huge outpouring of support from the international media who picked up the story, Dumenat posted another long note explaining his gratitude and his love for Shadow:
Day 71: “Grief doesn’t have a plot. It isn’t smooth. There is no beginning and middle and end.”
📌 Today, it’s exactly 1 month since Shadow crossed the rainbow bridge and it feels like it was just yesterday. I’m still trying to cope up every single day. It wasn’t easy. No. 😭🐺
📌 Some people say that I should get another dog to move on or “aso lang yan makaka move on kadin” but clearly, they never experienced yet what unconditional love means. Dogs come into our lives to teach us about love, they depart to teach us about loss. A new dog never replaces an old dog, it merely expands the heart. If you have loved many dogs your heart is very big.
📌 Shadow, mahal ko. I miss you so much that it hurts. Walang araw na nawala ikaw sa isip ko. I love you more than anything. You given a another purpose to live and it changed me for the rest of my life. I love you in every beat of my heart to the moon and back. ❤🐺
📌 I’ll get another Dog if ready na ko. Thank you for all the overflowing and overwhelming love to us ni Shadow from all over the world. That is one of his happiest face ever that will forever be in our heart. ❤
✝ November 2012 – August 2018
Always, Merv & Shadow
🎥 21 Million views and counting 📰 Almost 300k shares.
“Dogs will never bite me, just humans.”
Even for those who don’t have a dog themselves, Dumenat and Shadow’s story is a testament to the power of love and gratitude.
Although Shadow is gone, Dumenat’s love for him let his spirit live on for the entire world to see. In the process, Dumenat was able to post heartfelt messages to us all about how to deal with grief and how to appreciate the memories we do have while continuing forward. Though only time will take the pain away, the world has been inspired by the friendship of these two.
We send all of our love to Dumenat and Shadow as well!
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