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An Introduction to Parenthood

words and photography Artu Nepomuceno




“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.” 

― Will Rogers


Despite work taking a large fraction of our time during the week, it should never be the reason why we cannot explore our internal and external curiosities on a daily basis, nor should it limit us to our moments with family and friends.

It was a Friday, the week was coming to an end, and all that my piece had covered was everything I knew everyone enjoyed doing over the weekend. I didn’t want to write something that everyone already knew. I sat down, meditated, and thought of what I truly personally enjoy during the weekends.

Then two furry little noses started sniffing my face.

A little more than two years ago, I went through a major depressive state. I lost a good number of friends due to a drama I caused and majorly contributed to, I lost my path as a photographer, and I left a company I started without any financial backing other than that from my parents. In comparison to many people out there truly suffering, this was nothing. But for me, it was quite heavy. I found myself waking up everyday sweating and panicking from this deafening silence of anxiety. I had no work, no money, and a very weak name in the industry of photography to actually find work instantly. I looked to my family for help, I looked to my best friend then, girlfriend now for comfort, and I looked to my remaining friends for support and distraction. But despite all their efforts, I found myself coming home to my apartment that carried that same deafening silence. 

What was once a sanctuary of self discovery - silence became a deafening scream echoing continuously on the walls of my atmosphere. It wasn’t who I spent my time with that caused my anxiety, it was the fact that I wasn’t doing anything to help myself.

One day, my mom called me over and told me that there were two puppies recently rescued by a local organisation called CARA. Story has it that these pups were beaten by their mentally ill owner with a metal pipe — one of them suffered two broken legs, the other, swollen paws. Despite me never telling my mom the intensity of my depression, there’s no question that a mother will always know what their kids needs. So, she told me that if I wanted to get a dog, these two brothers were the only option for me. Not particularly ready to host not one, but two dogs, I was hesitant about getting them. But I kept an open mind and heart.

The moment I met them I knew they would be a pain in the ass. 

But ever since then, I’ve come home to two dancing brothers waiting to cuddle and distract me from any form of work. Coco and Leon saved me from my depression. They destroyed the negative atmosphere embracing the four walls of my home, and replaced it with barks of curiosity and mischievous growls. The life they brought into my home became the reason why I looked forward to coming home after working everyday.

In the most personal level this is what weekends are to me. It’s about coming home to my kids (for my case, my dogs), and spending as much time as possible to make up for all the time I don’t get to be with them. It’s about taking them out on adventures to see the world and share moments with them. It’s about making them meet new friends, have playdates, and watch them learn news things from their new found companions. Weekends serve as an avenue for me to explore the curiosities of my life, to collect memories with my loved ones, while at the same time fulfilling the curiosities of my two little buds. Despite the short life they have in comparison to people, at the end of their lives they can really say, “Bark Bark Woof Woof” (Thanks for the great life, Master). 

If you have a dog, hug them for me. If you don’t but have the ability to take care of one, adopt.