To The Most Faithful Companion, Thank You For All The Love

To The Most Faithful Companion, Thank You For All The Love

Saying goodbye to a pet is one of the hardest things to do.

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Throughout the past nineteen years, I have been extremely blessed to be able to say that I had not experienced a significant loss in my life. For the longest time, I was fortunate to not have been faced with the grievances and feelings of emptiness that accompany such an idea. In a way, it became a wonder to live in naivety - to live as though death was not a reality. Little did I realize the inexplicable pain that true loss would bring.

The 12th of February was my first true encounter with a loss. After almost fourteen years of happiness and companionship, my beloved Brittany Spaniel, Ruby, was put to sleep. In the depths of my mind, I knew that it was only a matter of time before Ruby would no longer be with me, as she suffered from a heart murmur that I watched increase from a stage one to a stage five in a short span of time. Over a period of roughly one year, I watched her activity decline, her appetite decrease and her desire to nap skyrocket. Nonetheless, Ruby continued to greet me each time I walked through the door as excitedly as she did when she was only months old. Yet, instead of racing around the house with her stuffed animal toys as she once did so effortlessly, she became content to simply lay at my feet. As I would stand in the mirror choosing my clothes for school and work, she would stand at my side and watch me ready myself to take on the day. It became evidently clear that Ruby was always with me, and I am secure in the fact that she always will be. Though her old age crept up on her faster than my own heart was prepared for, the time that we spent together throughout the majority of my life are the moments that I will cherish forever.

To the dog with the sweetest disposition, the kindest heart and the most faithful companion, thank you for all of the love and memories you have provided me with since I was six years old. My heart breaks to acknowledge the fact that you are no longer here with me on this earth, though I am confidently relieved that you are no longer suffering. You were truly an angel that has finally gained your wings, and I know you are graced by the presence of God in heaven.

I love you, Ruby. Rest easy.

Gina Brennan

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Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."


He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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8 Thoughts Your Pets Have When You Come Home From College

Wouldn't we love to know what really goes through our pets minds when we finally return to them?

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1. What are you doing here?

https://gph.is/1kGeSLt

2. Why do you think it's okay to just come and going as you please?

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3. My human is back!

https://gph.is/1a3HKJw

4. Now that you are back, let's take a nap! Too much excitement for one day.

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5. I'm so excited I don't know how to control my emotions

https://gph.is/22p6NAz

6. I guess since you are here...where are my tummy rubs?

https://gph.is/2lxp7tk

7. Uninterested

https://gph.is/1hRguU0

8. Well well well, look who finally decided to come back home.

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