Goodbye

Over Thanksgiving break, I had to make so many goodbyes.

To my childhood stuffed animals, the ones I didn’t want to let go, but the ones I knew I wouldn’t really take anywhere with me. So, I gave them away instead.

To the pajama shorts my mom bought for me at Walmart in third grade, the ones that surprisingly fit me all the way to twelfth grade. Even though they still fit, it was time to throw them out when they were ripping away at their fragile seams.

To the room I spent weekends in at my grandparents’ house growing up, Now, it’s being remodeled. Things that meant so much to me back then are meaningless now, packed away in stacked boxes.

But there was one goodbye I haven’t made yet, because I’m too scared to accept the fact that now might be the time I need to say goodbye.

And that’s to my dog. When I was in first grade and my mom went to pick me up from school, she told me she had a surprise for my sister and I. The first thing that came to my mind was candy, but when she was opening the back door to the car, I was not expecting my sister to be holding a six-month-old, Rhodesian Ridgeback-German Shepherd mix puppy rescued from the pound.

Now, twelve years later, that dog is still in my life, but so much has changed.

It started with him being by my side every single day.

Then, when I moved away, I could only visit on weekends.

Then, life went on and visits turned into rare occasions when I’d go to my grandparents house. When I’d enter the house, he’d come running up to me, barking, and wagging his tail.

Now, he’s still there, but he’s older. He doesn’t run, not because he doesn’t want to, but because he can’t. He still follows me around the house, though, his tail still wagging. It’s still wagging even when he lies down, but the pain is still there. It’s obvious and it hurts me knowing it hurts him.

Having pets is one of the most joyful and painful parts about life. Because they bring so much joy, so many happy memories, but, also, so much pain when they’re gone.

But, he fought so hard for so long and I know that it’d be selfish to hold on longer. That if he needs to go and it’s his time, then he should. He should know that he was the best dog I’ve ever had the privilege to have.

I didn’t say goodbye. I gave millions of kisses and hugs, but my goodbye was temporary. It held a promise that I’d be back to see him again, but I don’t know if I’ll be able to keep that promise.  I don’t know how long he’ll be around and I don’t know how long it’ll be until I visit again.

I’m so scared to say goodbye, so I won’t. I’ll say I love my dog. I’ll say I’m thankful that he lived with me throughout my life and that he is so strong for fighting though he doesn’t have to. And that he’ll always be the best dog, my dog, no matter what happens.

Photo Credit: Wonderopolis.com
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Man’s Best Friend

My life started with Jeannie. She was a yellow lab and she was the sweetest thing. She’d let me sleep in her bed; dress her up; and race her through our garden, without ever questioning me. I was the tiny human she was protecting.

I don’t know how often I’ve heard the story of me sleeping in my crib in the garden when I was a baby and a delivery guy walked in, apparently too close in Jeannie’s opinion. She got protective over me and bit him in the butt, chasing him straight out the door. What a good girl.

Two weeks before her seventeenth birthday, she had a stroke. I remember that morning so clearly. It was a Saturday, blue skies already so early in the morning, which is rare. I saw Jeannie lying outside in our garden, my parents sitting in the grass next to her. They looked so sad, so upset. They told me she had a stroke, but eight year old me didn’t know what that meant. I told her it was all okay, that she’d get better. I promised her. But, my dad had already called the vet to put her down.

Later that day, we went to my grandparents’ house to burry her next to Lea, another yellow lab who had died years earlier. I remember the last time I saw her, my dad told us to say goodbye. She looked so tired and ready to go to dog heaven.

My parents said they wouldn’t want to get another dog for another five years, but  a few months later, we got Pepper.

When we visited Pepper and his brothers for the first time, I’d never seen a dog get so competitive over food. He was just a little, black dumpling with fur, so clumsy and already so, so sweet.

I can’t believe it’s been seven years since we got him. We taught him everything you would expect children to teach a dog: we taught him to jump, hop on tree trunks, roll over, play dead, balance food on his nose, shake, sit on chais, and probably so much more that I just can’t think of.

Photo Credit: encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com

One thing you must know about Pepper, that I’ve just mentioned, is that he would do anything for food. But, also, that he would eat anything in this world. When he was four months old, he ate my sock straight from my foot. A year later, he ate my toy horse, some tape, and another sock. He ate an entire mango, including the pit, and a whole loaf of bread, making him so sick that we had to bring him to the vet. One time, he wanted to eat the raspberries in our garden, but,, instead swallowed an entire branch of the bush, which obviously got stuck in his throat and had to be surgically removed. He still has a scar from it, that idiot.

When I left to go to boarding school, the thing I missed the most was him. I begged and begged my parents to bring him with us to California and they did. Right now, he’s 10,000 kilometers away from home. He loves the beach, the American food, the attention he gets for his shiny coat, and his smile. What a dog.

I don’t know how many more dogs I will have throughout my life, but I sure hope it’s a lot. I can’t imagine myself without a dog and I hope I’ll never have to. They certainly deserve to be called man’s best friend.

My next life…

What a life pets have. Especially the pet who lives on campus: Jack the cat.

Jack is loved by students, gets full attention and is very spoiled. He gets food and treats from the teacher, Ms. M., everyday. Ms. M. even bought him food and water bowls, as well as a cushion for him to sleep on. These days, it has become a daily routine for Jack to come to her to get treats. He spends most of the day on her desk sleeping.

When we are in class, he meows outside the classrooms to let people know he wants to come inside. We always open the door for him, even if we are taking a test. He walks in and wanders around, and eventually rolls on his back allowing the students to pet him on the stomach. Everyone adores him and we all say “hi” when we see him, even though he ignores us. I want to be him in my next life.

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Jack the Cat — Photo Credit: Evelyn Brokering

, But Never Doubt I Love

Doubt thou the stars are fire,
Doubt that the sun doth move,
Doubt truth to be a liar,
But never doubt I love.

An excerpt from Hamlet by Shakespeare.

Currently, I am reading Hamlet in my AP English class. Now, Shakespeare hasn’t always been my strong suit. But sometimes, I find myself getting lost in his beautiful wording.

This quote says it all.

People will always question the heavens above them and the ground that they stand upon. Even more so, people will question the words of those they know, even those that they are very close to.

However, there are a few sure things in life. One of them is love.

Whether this love is directed towards family, a close friend, a girlfriend, a boyfriend, a pet, a picture, a passion, or a song, love is always there.

Sure, love can be a confusing thing at times. Especially for those near my age, when awkward teenage love is beginning to mature and we are just figuring out who we are and what we are capable of. But for the most part, people can clearly identify love.

This is a universal feeling. It’s something that Shakespeare knew clearly hundreds of years ago and it’s something that holds true today.

I say, trust in love. Trust in your mother and your father. Trust in your best friends and your enemies. Trust in your boyfriend or girlfriend or whoever your special person may be. Trust in that feeling. It is one of the few sure things that will persist throughout time.

Love is timeless.

Car Troubles: Run in With the Gardener.

Lampost

I’m guessing you read disaster and immediately associate the word with an accident. This is exactly what happened and yes it did involve my car and me. By reading this blog you know that I am still alive and I am not in prison, so surely the accident was not that bad. In fact I wouldn’t even call it an accident, maybe just a bump.

Ok now you’re probably wondering what I may have done. No I did not kill anyone, damage anyone or murder a cat. In fact, I just dented a car. Ok, lets be more specific. A truck. Yes my tiny ford fiesta miraculously managed to dent a truck.

So I reversed around the sharp corner of the driveway, guided by the smiling gardener, following his hand signals. My reverse seemed to be going pretty well at this point. Well for me anyway. This is the first time I’d followed hand signals before so I assume that I just followed his lead. Little did I know glimpsing away for one second would mean reversing into his vehicle. Yes I reversed into the gardener’s truck.

Oops.

You heard me right; I reversed in to a truck while the owner was watching. How embarrassing. And the worst part of it is I see him on a regular basis.

Everyone always seems to be watching the minute I do something wrong. And in this case it was the gardener. As he walked over to his car, the smile now wiped off of his face, I sat dreading the moment he would walk towards me from the accident scene, insurance information in hand. Luckily for me he didn’t.

“Only a little scratch” he said, “Don’t worry about it.”

I may have escaped insurance claims, a dent on my car and death, but I did not escape the shame. These sort of situations always happen to me. At least it wasn’t a lamp post.

Bonds

Ever left home, for a long period of time, worrying if your pet will forget you?

When a dog that truly loves his master, will always greet him/her every day at the door, like it’s the first time they have seen you in over a year. Even though you just went outside for 5 minutes to go pick up some milk. It is fascinating how much a dog will care for you, love you, and miss you. But for how long?

Well I recently had to leave my dog under new temporary ownership. I may not see him again for a very long time and I was worried that, he would eventually forget me and move on. This was all until I stumbled on to this video


Like a comment said “I had to punch the wall to get my masculinity back!”

Well after seen that, my troubles lifted and flew away.

Great to see that your animal friend can be a companion for a life time.