When you've been best friends since middle school, it's hard to say goodbye.
Losing a best friend is hard no matter what species they are. Friends are the family you get to choose and sometimes their deaths are worse than others. With pets, you're used to seeing them daily and they are the friends who love you more than their own lives. The loyalty of a pet surpasses those of human friends more than half the time. For those who can't have children, it feels like you've lost a child. They say don't blink and your child is an adult, it's the same with pets and their greying faces. I blinked and lost my best friend the next day. The last I saw him, he was sleeping in his doggie bed. People go through experiences differently and sometimes you pour that love into that animal or human then you lose them. Pet parents have the right to grieve as human parents.
My family lost our dog on April 2nd and he was around 15 years old. When I was in sixth grade, we were looking for a family dog. My brother and I had convinced my parents that we were ready for a dog. My mom had grown up with small dogs and my dad had grown up with large dogs. The compromise was that we would get a small dog because my other brother is afraid of dogs and it would make him uncomfortable due to him having Autism. We searched for months; we went to animal shelters. We knew we wanted a small dachshund, and we weren't going to compromise on that. Fast forward to the day we saw our dog. My cousin had told my mom that a friend of hers was giving away an adult dachshund. The dog came in and sat down next to my autistic brother then my brother started to pet him. From that moment, my mom knew that was our dog.
Losing a special dog like that is like being shot in the chest. I know that he's in a better place where he is running around as if he is a puppy again. I've lost a lot of pets over the course of my life, but that dog has been a constant in my life. Having my family and my dog is like having my security blanket and now part of that blanket is torn. No matter what people say, it's okay to grieve over a lost pet. People go through experiences differently and sometimes you pour that love into that animal or human then you lose them. Pet parents have the right to grieve as human parents. I wished could have hugged him one last time.
I know he was old, but up until a month ago, he was doing fine. He was eating and walking to the best of his ability. He was there to greet me every time I would come home from school, dance, and Orlando. He was my snuggle bug when I went through my first break up and my first/only broken engagement. He was there when we lost my grandma, so he's been with us through a lot of heartbreak. He was the one that we could pick up to lay in our lap and he'll let us pet him as long as we want. He would bark at bikes and random strangers in the backyard. He was a wannabe guard dog with a heart of gold.
I will say this once more, It's okay to grieve over a lost pet and the grief can be as strong as losing a child.