What Losing A Pet Is Like
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What Losing A Pet Is Like

She was so much more than "just a dog."

What Losing A Pet Is Like
Krista Little

In July of 2014, my life changed forever when sweet Marley came into our family as a little, eight-week-old, yellow Lab. Me and my sisters had begged our parents for a dog for as long as I can remember, and finally, that wish came true! She truly was the best dog. We always joked that she was the worst guard dog ever because she loved anyone and everyone that came through our house. She embodied unconditional love, something I think we can all take a lesson from. She was so much more than “just a dog.”

On August 19, 2016, I came home after my first week in college (because I’m a baby and I was already homesick), and I was greeted by Marley, like always, with licks and jumps and a wagging tail. She seemed like her perfectly normal, hyper self. I went out that night, and when I came back around eleven, I could tell she didn’t feel good, and I went and got my parents. I won’t get into the details, but she started deteriorating very quickly, and we took her to the emergency vet. The vet was great and tried his best, but two hours later Marley passed away.

I’ve lost family members before, but only great-grandparents and other distant relatives, and none unexpectedly. Losing Marley hurt worse than any loss I had ever experienced. She was only two and there was still so much that we hadn’t gotten to do with her yet. For the first time in my life, I cried until I literally had no tears left. Every time I saw her empty bed, unused food, and even hair around my house, it felt like a punch in the chest. She had been there 24 hours before, but now she was gone.

Life goes on whether you feel like it or not. I went back to school on Monday and acted like that weekend didn’t happen. I thought about her constantly, but didn’t talk about it. I didn’t let myself cry because I knew if I started I wouldn’t be able to stop. I went back home the following weekend (again, I’m a baby), which was harder than I thought it was going to be. All of my bottled up emotions came flooding out as soon as I pulled in my driveway. My family explained to me that they were already looking into getting another dog and I remember thinking that I would never love another dog like I loved Marley.

About two weeks later, my amazing grandparents gifted us with a six-week old chocolate Lab that we named Piper. Piper has been such a light in our lives since Marley passed. I truly believe that Marley’s goal in life was to make us happy, so I think she would be thankful for Piper for putting a smile back on our faces and giving us that joy that only doggy love can. I still think about Marley all the time, and not a day goes by that I don’t wish I could hug her just one last time.

Marley’s death has taught me so much about life. Tell the ones you love you love them, and cherish every moment you spend together. Put your phone down and take it all in. It’s cliché, but please, don’t take one second for granted.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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