Gamay Nga Timaan means small sign in Bisaya.
Bisaya is the dialect of the Visaya's region of the Philippines. One day, my wife, Suyen, who is from Cebu, the capitol city of Cebu province in the Visaya's, was praying fervently in church. I asked her what she was praying for, and she said "a puppy."
At first we were strict. We kept her on a chain in the yard. She was quite the escape artist. She also had a way of leading all the neighborhood dogs. Even after we had her spayed, which took her about two weeks to forgive us for, she was a natural leader of the pack. She led dogs the same way she led humans, with charm and personality. Everyone who got to know her loved her almost immediately. I figured out that she was very smart and easy to train. In no time, she was walking without a leash everywhere. She was very eager to please. When we walked into a coffeehouse, restaurant, or store, she would wait quietly and patiently by the door for us, if she were not allowed in. She would often charm her way into many establishments and would cause a policy exception. Where ever we went, a crowd would gather around her of people petting and loving on her. That was especially true with children. She loved cats, and actually became a surrogate mom to several of her own. She would play very gently and patiently with them. If they got rough with their claws on her, she would chide them with a growl, but nothing ever too violent or mean. We found one quirk of hers, though. She would save any meanness she had for drunks. If she was sitting in front of a door, and somebody came too close to her with booze breath, she would chase them and nip at their pant leg or calf. We got in a little trouble once with a guy who about stepped on her and got a nasty mark on his calf. He was working, but was stinking drunk. We think that in her past she was abused and abandoned by somebody who drank a lot.
We got Tima a companion in 2012, Stella. Tima mentored poor Stella, who had issues. Tima guided Stella very patiently and taught her a lot. Stella and Tima were inseparable. Stella became Tima's shadow. Tima was Stella's security blanket. Stella looked to Tima as her example and would not do anything without Tima's approval.
We did not really ever know how old she was. We figured she was about a year old when she adopted us in 2004. She didn't have puppies. So that would put her birth date at about 2003. We kind of put her birthdate at March 1st, but we never really knew when it was. She gradually got grey around the snout and eventually had a grey muzzle. We knew she was getting old, but didn't want to think about it. In 2012, I noticed she was getting tired on our walks, and wasn't getting around as easy. I knew some day we would have to face the reality that Tima was not for ever.
thank you for being my friend, goodbye....
Tima on her last day...