I’ve had a lot of pets in my twenty years. At least six hamsters, a ridiculous amount of fish, a frog, and even a bird. But I never really cared about them. They came and went with little to no impact on my life, except maybe that I learned that I disliked responsibility. A couple years ago, we finally got a dog. He was a great dog, and I spent a lot of time with him. Sadly, only months after we get him, the vet discovered that the animal shelter had classified him as a basenji when really he was a pit bull, and seeing as pit bulls aren’t allowed in the city, we had to give him up. It was one of the hardest things I’d ever faced, but it was okay, because I knew he was just going to live somewhere outside the city. Soon after, we were lucky enough to get two more dogs, and life was good.
The last few days have been Hell for me and my family. It’s been all uncertainty and pain. Finally, today I had to say goodbye to one of those dogs. On Wednesday afternoon, I came home to find him far less chipper than usual. Slowly it became more evident to us that something was wrong, as he could barely walk, and couldn’t even get up or down the stairs. By the next night, the poor thing couldn’t move his hind legs, and he coudldn’t even wag his tail. My dad took him to the vet Friday morning and they told us that a couple of the discs in his spine had ruptured, and things weren’t looking good. We gave it a couple days to see if there would be any improvement, but my horible luck was working overtime this weekend, and it just got worse.
We all went down the the animal clinic this evening, and I can say without a doubt that this was the worst day of my life. Just seeing my little puppy there, quivering and helpless, I felt more pain and sadness than I’ve ever known. The worst part about it is that there was absolutely nothing anyone could do. Treatment had clearly failed, and surgery would only delay the inevitable for a short while. The little guy had no chance. All anyone could do for him is put him to sleep so that he wouldn’t have to suffer anymore.
I think that it goes without saying that I’m not taking this well. I’ve never had to deal with real loss my whole life, though you might say that an animal isn’t a real loss. But Harley wasn’t just an animal. He was one of my best friends. He was my confidant. He was family. I don’t know where to go from here. I don’t know how I’m supposed to act. My emotions are all so conflicted that I just want to go to sleep and not wake up so that I don’t have to deal with it any more. I don’t care about many things, but I cared about my dog. I loved him, and I’m gonna miss him for a long time to come.