My childhood dog passed away just the other day and I thought I would write a little tribute to her. Yes, all dogs eventually die, but that doesn't it make it any easier to say goodbye to our furry little friends.
My dog was technically my Nana and Papa's dog, but I was never allowed to have a pet, except for fish, so I considered her my dog as well. Her name was Malia and we got her when I was in 5th grade. We did everything together and I even took her to puppy school and watched her graduate.
Malia was probably the smartest dog I knew. You may doubt this, but I taught her how to read commands. I read about it in a book in 4th grade, I forget what it's called, but I thought it would be cool to teach her how to read. She also knew her left paw from her right paw.
It's the little things you remember from your childhood when a piece of your childhood dies. We played hide-and-seek on the playground in my Nana and Papa's neighborhood. I would throw rocks in the pond instead of a ball because she never brought the balls back. She would spend forever looking for that rock.
Spoiler: In Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, when Harry becomes of age and is trying to escape from Voldemort and his death eaters, his owl, Hedwig, is killed. I've read a lot of articles that the death of Hedwig symbolized the death of Harry's childhood.
This year, I am a freshman at OU and moving out of the house felt like the end of an era. The death of my childhood dog seemed to finalize the death of my childhood. We grew up together and the puppy that was once bigger than me 9 years ago became smaller than me as I grew up.
I remember when we first got Malia and I remember Face-timing her goodbye the night before she died. It doesn't seem fair that they don't get to live as long as turtles, but we will always cherish the memories we have them and they will remain alive in our hearts. (I know that sounds cheesy, but it's true!)
So here's to Malia: the sweetest and smartest dog I've ever known. Thanks for growing up with me.