Oreo, The Best Pup

Oreo, The Best Pup

"Dogs are not our whole world but they make our lives whole"
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A few years ago I got a call that broke my heart. I remember to this day exactly where I was. I was sitting in a booth next to a window right by the door at a restaurant called Toast in Charleston, SC. My best friend called me to tell me that her families pride a joy, Oreo had passed away. Oreo was their Boston Terrier and the most unique, lovable pup ever.

I'll tell you a little bit about her. She was wild and energetic. She sounded like a pig, and she made the cutest most bizarre noises. She was funny and a character to say the least. Oreo was quirky and weird, and I never related to any dog more. Oreo and I shared a bond, at least I'd like to think that. She had a thing she did with her toys. She would carry it over to me in her mouth and press it up against my lips. We liked to call them bone kisses.

I had lost a dog before, but it was different this time (even though she wasn't my own). One was a shockingly tragic event, and the other was a long time coming, making it easier to accept. Oreo's passing was different. She was still young, and I had just visited her a few weeks prior. She seemed full of life and happier than ever. Her passing was heartbreaking and crushing. Those weird noises she used to make that would make us laugh was actually cancer. I first remember being at a loss for words, unable to comprehend the news. The doctor said she was very sick, but Oreo NEVER let anyone see it. With how bad the cancer was, Oreo was a frickin' warrior. She was, honest to God, an inspiration; she never let anyone know she was in pain. I know she was a dog, but dogs are family. We value a dog's opinion and trust their instincts. The fact that no one knew how much pain she was in is amazing; she was always so happy.

Once the information sunk in, I began shedding tears in that booth. I was utterly stunned and distraught over the news. Oreo wasn't even my dog, and yet, I was still mourning her. To this day, my friend and I talk about the times we had with Oreo, the funny things she would do and the ways she'd make us laugh. Although she was wild, she was the biggest cuddler of them all. She loved being loved, and she must have been aware when she made people laugh because I'm pretty sure she loved showing off to crack a smile even more. Oreo had one of the greatest personalities of any dog, ever. And, that is why she will never be forgotten.

If these pictures don't make you crack a smile followed with a chuckle, I don't think we can be friends.




Cover Image Credit: Sydney Friedman

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A Thank You To My Boyfriend's Family

Because you are so important to him, you are important to me.
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This one isn't easy to sit down and write because nothing I could say would do all of you justice in the way that I would hope I could. These are just words, but I hope that I am able to always show my thank you to you by treating him like the prince he is.

I can replay the moment of meeting each and every one of you all over and over in my head like it was yesterday. I was so extremely nervous every single time and I was trying to gather all the "right" things to say that would leave a good, first-lasting impression and that at the end of the day, you all would like me.

I think one of the most important basis and hopes in my relationship is that my significant other's family likes who I am. This is so important to me because whatever is important to him is equally important to me and your thoughts of me are crucial to our relationship.

The second I walked in the door, I was overwhelmed—overwhelmed with such a love. I had no idea at that point in time just how much you would all mean to me and how thankful I am for all of you!

Thank you for constantly making me laugh and feel at home.

Whenever I'm coming over for a family gathering or just to hang out, I know right off that I am walking into a world of laughter and good times are right beside that. You are all so entertaining and always have a good story to tell me. I can't name one time where I didn't feel like I was home.

And I appreciate the sweet, embarrassing photos and stories about my boyfriend that you all share with me! Even if it is by a photo, I have a glimpse of what his life has always been like thanks to each and every one of you individually.

Thank you for sharing your special moments in life with me.

You don't ever have to, but you invite me anyway. Whether it's just a family gathering, a birthday, or a holiday, I am thankful to have spent those times celebrating these moments in life alongside such amazing people. It's humbling and heartwarming to be a part of memories so unforgettable that you all share and that you have welcomed me to be a part of. They are days that I will never forget and have a place in my heart forever.

Thank you for always being there for him.

Since we have started dating, I have watched the way that you guys love him. I have watched the individual relationships and moments that you share with him make a difference in who he is. I have seen you all love and support him, no matter what he was doing.

With everything that comes along in life, this has been a simple reminder of an unconditional, loving, sacrificing family that is also the best support system. You are not only impacting him, but me, too.

Thank you for welcoming me in like your own.

Whenever you have to brave up and meet your significant other's family, I can say, for myself, that I didn't know what to expect. As I'm sure, none of you did when meeting me. Today, I catch myself wondering why I even worried in the first place. You all have welcomed me in your own ways and made me feel right at home. It is not always easy to do that with just anyone, but you have all taken the time to get to know me. And now I know that if I ever needed anything, I can call one of you.

Thank you for letting me date him.

I am most thankful for this. Thank you for sharing him with me and giving me a chance to show you all how important he is to me. I never thought that I would luck out and meet someone as special, kind, and wonderful as he is, but I did.

You have supported our relationship, given me a chance to love him, and welcomed me to new adventures in love and family. I have the upmost gratitude for each of you. You are the most wonderful, welcoming, and loving family. I am overjoyed to be able to experience just a glimpse of this life with him and with all of you.

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When It Comes To Being An Only Child, The Pros Outweigh The Cons

To be the only child in your household could mean endless attention, but sometimes that's not always a great thing.

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In any conversation when meeting someone for the first time, there are some questions that are always asked. What is your favorite color? What are your hobbies? But there is one question that sticks out to me: do you have any siblings?

To be honest, I've never thought about what life was like growing up with siblings. Not until people started asking me those questions. I am an only child, but I grew up with cousins, so I've never felt too lonely. However, there are some pros and cons of growing up as an only child.

1. Pro #1: Sharing

You don't have to worry about sharing your personal things with sibling(s). What's yours is yours.

2. Con #1: Loneliness

Some people experience loneliness as an only child because they don't have an extra person to understand or play with them. Sometimes this may affect a child's development in interactions with other people.

3. Pro #2: Independence

Because you never had to rely on anyone growing up, there are lower expectations for relying on other people. You develop a mindset that you're okay with being alone and becoming very independent. However, that can affect your relationship with others later on in life.

4. Con #2: Helicopter parent(s)

This can be a very unhealthy relationship to develop with your parent(s). It can prevent you from becoming independent later on in life and you can grow too dependent on your parent(s). This can also grow into rebellious stages or resentment towards them. For parents, they have a difficult time pushing their child out of the nest.

5. Pro #3: No favorites

You will never have to fight for affection. There's no one else to compete with or compare yourself to.

6. Bonus pro/con: attention

This can be a pro and a con because as an only child, you have all the attention on you. However, this can also lead to helicopter parenting which is unhealthy and sometimes can leave you very spoiled.

7. Pro #4: Everything is new

Hand-me-downs don't even exist. Clothes, toys, and other things are brand new for you.

8. Con #3: Jealousy

I know I definitely felt sad that I couldn't relate to the relationship my friends had with their sibling(s). I wished I was able to look up or have somebody to look up to me.

9. Pro #5: The price of one

This is mostly a pro for parents, but they won't have to worry about paying or buying multiples of things.

10. Con #4: No partner in crime

Yes, your partner in crime can be your friends, but your sibling grows up with you and they go through similar situations with you, which creates a special kind of bond. Friends can't compare to a sibling's bond.

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