About a year ago we had to put my dog, Buddy to sleep after 14 years of life. My family had to make the decision to take him out of his suffering. It was one of the hardest days of my life especially because I could not be home to say my last goodbye.
Buddy was one of those dogs that would never get tired. He was always willing to play catch outside or go for a nice long walk. His happiness was contagious and he could make the saddest person feel better instantly. I remember when I was younger and I would cry Buddy would come up to me, sit on my lap, and lick my tears away. He would come close to my face and give me that "everything is going to be OK" look. This stopped my tears instantly. It's amazing that dogs have that kind of power where they can make you feel better without even saying anything. Actions speak louder than words. I know many people can relate to the unconditional love a dog has given them.
Buddy was half Jack Russell, half Fox Terrier. We got him when I was in first grade.
Buddy would chase after squirrels, birds, the occasional rat, and any type of bug. He loved to eat and would always stare you down whenever you had food. My favorite thing would be when his ears would shoot up whenever someone said the words: walk, treat, or car ride.
As Buddy got older he became lethargic and not as jumpy. He would sleep a lot and give up halfway on our walks. He was not himself and it was heartbreaking. I know he was sad that he was not as energetic as before because he wanted to chase after the squirrels in the yard but he just did not have the energy. Buddy had his good days and bad days. His bad days were really bad and it was heartbreaking seeing him in so much pain. When I came home for fall break my parents mentioned that Buddy was getting really bad. He was having more bad days than good days. It was difficult to make the decision to take him out of his suffering because we were not ready to say goodbye to someone who was a part of our family for so long.
When I received the news that Buddy was going to be put down I was devastated, especially because the last time I saw him he was having a really good day and it made me hopeful .
My first year without my best friend by my side was very difficult. When I was sad, Buddy was not there to lick away my tears. When I wanted to run outside on a nice day, Buddy was not there to join me. When I wanted to lounge on the couch, Buddy was not there to cuddle.
The best advice I could give for that first year without your best friend is to remember the good times and the memories. Hang pictures in your room and share stories with others. Pet dogs in the park and vicariously live through your friend's dog.
The term "a man's best friend" is a very true statement. Buddy was my best friend and a year without him by my side was very hard. Whenever I see dogs out and about on the streets with their owners I get so happy. Dogs bring so much happiness to the world. They give so much unconditional love. They make people feel so loved without expecting anything in return. Remembering the good times and showing love to other dogs makes the first year a little bit easier.