In coming home for the holidays (Kamloops, BC- a small town in the interior of British Columbia) I was greeted at the door by a chorus of loud barks and wagging tails. It made me forget, if only for a second, how god damn cold it was. Living away from loved ones is never easy, but it’s amplified by 1,000,000 when pets are thrown into the mix.
In a late-night internet rampage fueled with scotch and nostalgia, I came across something that really hit this guy right in the feels-plexus. And I tell you what, I didn’t let go of my dogs for the first half of the day today. It’s an open letter to a dog by her human, and I feel like it’s something that needs to be shared. Apologies in advance for the tears that will soon shoot from your eyes.
I know you were old, but you’ll always be my little furry baby dog. Even as you became deaf, as you struggled more when you walked, and every time it was beyond obvious that you were getting old, I saw you as my little cutie who would never go away.”
“I remember when we first got you and I was so surprised to have a dog- but I never could have guessed how much of an impact you’ve had on my life. I remember seeing you laying in my den, holding on to your Cookie Monster blanket for dear life. I remember getting to know and love you right away, never thinking of the day that you wouldn’t be there anymore.”
“I remember fourteen years of walks, passing you pizza crusts, giving you new chew toys that you just loved, and how you licked your way into the hearts of every member of my family. You grew up with me through elementary school, still loved me in my awkward middle school days, gave me wet kisses as I graduated high school, and I looked forward to seeing you at the front door every time I came home from college. I remember coming home from break one day, asking where you were, and my mom responded that you were gone.”
“Every time I drive up to the house, I think I see your face at the window like it always was when a car came up, but then I remember you aren’t there anymore. Any time a pet store commercial comes on, I’m reminded that I can’t spoil you with a new bone or chew toy or even some peanut butter on bread. When I was sad I would hug you, but now when I think about that I remember you’re gone and I can’t hug you anymore, which makes me cry every time. There’s so many things that remind me of you, and so many things that make me think of the times you’ve made me smile and laugh.”
“Dogs are beloved and mourned as much as they are because they’re so happy all the time. Their love is unconditional, and they attach to the humans that they keep (who are we kidding, we don’t own the dog- the dog owns us). You may not have been special or famous on the internet or anywhere else, but you were and still are special to me and to my whole family.”
“I miss you every day, but I’m glad you didn’t die in pain. I would rather have you die calm and loved than yelping and crying every time you tried to sit up. We think about you all the time, and no dog will ever be the same as you.
I love you baby, and I’ll never forget you.
Kisses and treats,