Saying Goodbye To My First Pet Broke My Heart, But I Wouldn't Trade My Time With Her For The World

Saying Goodbye To My First Pet Broke My Heart, But I Wouldn't Trade My Time With Her For The World

No one goes into buying a pet thinking about the day they are going to die, but we all know that more often than not, they'll go before we do.
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The heartache we feel when we lose a pet is soul-crushing. The pain of losing your first pet, however, that one stings just a bit more than most.

I knew I'd lose you someday, I just didn't know when that someday would be.

Watching you take your last breath, knowing that the last 12 years with my best friend by my side were coming to an end was devastating. I felt my entire world crumble around me.

I cried for days. I cried when I woke up, I cried throughout the day, I cried before I went to sleep at night. I still cry sometimes.

But, I wouldn't trade those 12 years for the world.

Despite the pain that came with losing you, I wouldn't turn back time and have lived the last 12 years without you just to avoid the hurt that I've experienced since you passed.

You watched me grow up, and you protected me from everyone. (Literally everyone...my dad and brother couldn't even joke around with me without you getting upset at them.)

You caught my tears at night when I cried my way through being bullied in middle school.

You saw me transfer schools going into high school, and you saw me transfer schools yet again in college.

I've lost friends and made new ones, but you're the one who never left. Even now, you may be gone, but your memory and impact lives on in my heart and mind forever.

The night we lost you, I told my dad I never wanted any more dogs... or any other pet for that matter.

He told me I couldn't cancel out 12 years of happiness and great memories because of one day of badness, that, unfortunately, was inevitable.

He was right.

I will have dogs again someday, and yes, at some point, those dogs will pass on as well. No matter what we do or how badly we wish our four-legged friends could outlive us, it really isn't bound to happen.

I don't know about you, but I don't know any 80-year-old dogs out there.

We aren't guaranteed 50 years with our furry friends, by whatever design God made them, it's just not in their nature.

When I think of the nature of the time we are given with our furry friends, I think of a quote from a book I loved in high school.

"There are infinite numbers between 0 and 1. There's .1 and .12 and .112 and an infinite collection of others. Of course, there is a bigger set of numbers between 0 and 2, or between 0 and a million. Some infinities are bigger than other infinities. A writer we used to like taught us that. There are days, many of them, when I resent the size of my unbounded set. I want more numbers than I'm likely to get, and God, I want more numbers for Augustus Waters than he got. But, Gus, my love, I cannot tell you how thankful I am for our little infinity. I wouldn't trade it for the world. You gave me a forever within the numbered days, and I'm grateful." — John Green, "The Fault In Our Stars"

See, I knew going into it that my dog's "infinity" wasn't going to be as big as some infinities. In fact, I'm surprised that I got a 12-year infinity with her considering some dog owners don't even get that.

But, if an infinity is good, no matter how short it may be, it was worth it.

We, as a society, tend to think that longer is better because, selfishly, we want our loved one around forever. But if we truly love them, really and truly love them, we let them go when their time comes, resting in the memories we do have because if we truly love them, we don't want them here just for our own pleasure if they're suffering.

What kind of a love is that?

A selfish one...that's what.

No one goes into buying a pet thinking about the day they are going to die, but we all know that more often than not, they'll go before we do. We acknowledge that their entire life only makes up what is a small portion of ours.

I like to believe that our pets live such short lives because that's all they need to make an everlasting paw print on ours. After living through losing my first pet, I can confirm that's true.

So, yeah, losing a pet isn't easy--no one ever said it was going to be easy. But, in the end, I wouldn't trade the happiness owning a pet has brought me for anything else in the world.

You can't let the prospect of some sadness stop you from getting a pet. Because the only thing stronger than the sadness you'll feel when they're gone is the happiness you'll feel while they're here.

In honor of Olivia: 02/09/2006-03/17/2018
Cover Image Credit: Bri Cicero

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If You Still Don't Have These 8 Things In Your College Room, You're Doing It Wrong

Take it from a senior living in a residence hall, I know what I'm talking about.

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If this is your first semester or if this is your last, there are some things every college student should have in their room. Granted, some things are more of a convenience than a necessity, but, come on, you only live once, right?

1. Bluetooth speaker

Whether it's jamming to some study tunes, kicking it back with some chill beats on a Saturday night, or trying to block out the noisy roommates down the hall, a Bluetooth speaker is a key piece of every good residence hall experience. You'll thank me later.

2. String lights

The easiest way to turn those glum room walls into your personal paradise is to hang string lights all around! If you are feeling particularly creative, adding some lights and print-out photos to an open wall creates the cutest memory board. Make sure to hang these below the sprinkler system if your hall has them!

3. Cute pillow(s)

Nothing makes your mostly-unmade bed look better than a cute throw pillow. Who cares if your comforter is crooked and falling off your mattress — you've got adorable pillows! Plus, they can be great to lay on when studying or watching movies in bed.

4. A fuzzy blanket

Nothing screams "college" like cuddling up in a soft blanket and procrastinating your homework. Whether it's for watching movies, wrapping up in while studying for that 8 AM exam, or just unwinding after a long day, a fuzzy blanket makes everything better.

5. Essential oil diffuser

Most residence halls don't allow candles or wax melters, but essential oil diffusers can be even better for you and for making your room smell great. You can even use certain oils when you aren't feeling well to help you get better sooner!

6. Reusable water bottle

Now, this is more of a college tip in general, but it is still extremely important. I find that when I buy a new reusable water bottle, I drink more water. Stay hydrated and reduce your eco-footprint by skipping the single-use plastic bottles.

7. Closet organizers

One of the hardest parts about moving into a college room is the closet space (or lack thereof). Go for practical. An over-the-door shoe rack, hanging cubby, multi shirt hanger, or jewelry pouch can maximize your space without forcing you to get rid of half your wardrobe.

8. Power Strip

I'm not talking about dinky little extension cords, no no, I'm talking power stips. These babies have saved me every semester of my college career. Many residence halls require them since they have surge protectors. Turn one outlet into five or more (some even have USB ports).

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Delta Banning Pitbulls As ESA Dogs, An Abhorrent Choice

The truth about these dogs from someone who has found love in one.

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This is a topic that really does get my blood boiling, Delta Airlines has now decided to ban "all pit bull type dogs" as emotional support animals on their flights. Not only is this an absolutely an abhorrent move on their part, it is a dangerous one as well. There are people who would otherwise need to down several Xanax in order to function daily, not to mention that people also may exclusively suffer from flight anxiety.

The ban seems to come from their claim that two of their employees were bitten by an ESA "pit bull type dog" therefore they are dangerous. I must disagree, that is the outcome of one situation with one dog, and it is crucial to remember that a policy such as this comes from fear and constant stereotypes. A Pitbull is one breed of dog (the American pit bull terrier) not an umbrella term as is often used, people tend to, and companies in this case group together any stocky, muscular dog with a big head as a Pitbull when they are not.

Not all dogs related to a pit bull terrier act violently, most don't actually.

Dallas prepare to attack with kissesMelissa Garcia

My dog Dallas is an American pit bull terrier and a Stratford terrier mix and let me tell you he is not at all scary! Did I mention he is MY emotional support dog! I am more likely to hurt you than he is, to tell the truth, so I am sick and tired of these beautiful animals being blamed for biting and hurting people, most people are judging these dogs on pure misconceptions and it is pathetic.

Delta banning dogs like my boy Dallas limits my ability to travel with him as I don't drive and cannot take him on a bus journey back to New York that totals around eleven hours each way. I am absolutely mortified with these uneducated fools spreading such hate for these animals when frankly I am more afraid of my best friends six-pound chihuahua then I would ever be of a pit bull.

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