“Orlando was a four-year-old boy who lived in a family as normal as any other. They weren’t rich; on the other hand, his parents owed the banks significant sums of money and had jobs they hated but which were the only thing that kept them afloat and allowed them to give their son a decent life.
Day by day, they went through the same crossroads as everyone else, through the same small anguish and the same great anguish, and so life was passing them by. In an attempt to survive with no time left for anything but to continue trying to keep themselves without hunger and with a roof over their heads, Orlando, at his young age, knew that his parents were not happy. That together they spent some good times that then vanished in the midst of daily worries.
And in his infinite innocence as a child, when he saw an abandoned puppy near his house, he thought that this was what everyone needed to be happy – a pet. The boy had long dreamed of a puppy, and when he saw one so close and without an owner, he didn’t hesitate to take it home. When his parents came home from work, they were met with a surprise – with blankets in a box, Orlando had already improvised a little house for his new pet and hoped that his parents’ reaction would be as happy as his own.
However, his parents’ faces did not show any emotion. They simply spoke quickly away from their son, and when they returned, they told him that he would have to take complete charge of the dog if he wanted to keep him because they were not going to clean up after him, and if he made the slightest mess, he would leave the house. Orlando promised them that he would take care of him, and although at that moment he didn’t know what he was feeling, he felt sorry for his parents because they did not give themselves the opportunity to love such a noble being as a dog.
For the next few days, they barely looked at the poor puppy, even though he jumped with excitement when he saw them coming every day. It took several weeks before his parents stopped ignoring Fophy, the puppy. It wasn’t easy for him to win the hearts of two people who had forced each other to hide their emotions all their lives, but Fophy had finally succeeded. Now they talked to him affectionately and petted him whenever he was near.
Orlando was happy that his parents finally accepted him; he knew it would do them a lot of good. Now Fophy was part of the family too, and Orlando’s parents began to treat him as such. Every time they arrived, he was at the center of attention, and for the first time, you could tell that, despite everything, they were a happy family.
Fophy’s tenderness and unconditional love were slowly healing their burdened hearts. But he had not yet been with the family for a year when Fophy became ill. He began to walk and eat more slowly until he stopped eating altogether. When Orlando’s parents took him to the vet, they told him to do whatever it took, not to worry about the costs, but not to let the dog die. However, the first diagnosis made all the others redundant – Fophy had cancer that would soon kill him.
They were unable to tell Orlando the truth. When they returned, they simply told him that the dog was suffering from stress and depression and that only by living in the open country could he recover. And although it hurt them a lot to part with him, the best thing to do was to take him to a farm and let them take care of him there so he could recover. And Orlando believed them. He said goodbye to Fophy, promising to visit him.
whenever he could, wishing him happiness. Orlando’s parents were crying, but the boy thought it was because they were also hurt that the dog was leaving for a farm when they had grown so fond of him.
But they were actually crying because that very day, Fophy would not be going to a farm but to the vet to receive the injection that would allow him to rest in peace from all the pain he was feeling. They were crying because their son could not know the truth without it breaking his heart into a thousand pieces. Now, at least, they were left with the hope of seeing him again someday.
After that event, only a week later, Orlando was already insisting that his parents go to visit Fophy. For several weeks, they made all sorts of excuses not to go until they didn’t know what else to tell him. Then, they asked a friend to let them visit his farm and help them lie. They needed to tell the boy when they got there that Fophy had escaped, and they didn’t know where he was.
When the boy was told that his dog had escaped, his first thought was that he was trying to get home. So he rushed his parents back because maybe Fophy would already be there waiting for them. Orlando’s parents felt a lot of pain and shame for the way they were deceiving their son, but they were not able to tell him the truth. They knew that Fophy was not going to be waiting for them at home; they knew he was never coming back. And yet, they let Orlando hold on to the hope of seeing his dog return someday.
And so the months passed, and so did the years. Orlando grew up, made his life, made his home, had a son. He had many things to think about, but he never forgot Fophy. One day, 30 years after the last time he had seen his beloved pet, an image came to his mind that he had never given importance to and had completely forgotten – the image of his mother digging a hole without a shovel in the garden and then covering it up again without anyone knowing what she had put there.
Orlando remembered that at the time, he had thought she was planting a plant and had not given it any importance. But only now, he realized that nothing had ever been born in that place. And for the first time in his whole life, he suspected what his parents had told him about Fophy in his native home.
Now, only his father lived. His mother had died years before. And when he saw Orlando arrive, he suddenly knew immediately that he had figured it out and let him do what he thought without hesitation. Orlando began to dig in the place he remembered, and it wasn’t long before he found a wooden box – the box in which Fophy’s bones lay.
Despite all the time that had passed, Orlando sat down next to the bones and cried as he would have cried when he was five years old if he had learned that his dog had died. He cried there for so long that his father had no choice but to come out and finally face the truth that he and his wife had run away from for so long.
But to his surprise, Orlando wasn’t angry with them. He told his father that he was hurt to have found out so long after the fact but that he understood the reasons that had motivated them to hide the truth. He only wished he had realized it many years before so that he could close that stage definitively and be left with only the beautiful memories.
And so he finally said goodbye to Fophy, buried him again, hugged his father, and went home determined to let his son finally have the pet he had asked for so much.