Monday, November 30, 2009

Goodbye, old friend.

I got a text from my friend early this morning. Her dog had passed away last night. She thanked me for being a friend to her little dog and said that she was planning a funeral for him.

I spent lots of time with that little guy. He hated bicycles and would bark his face off at every passing cyclist. We would get kind of embarrassed by his freak outs, so we would tell people that he was just thanking them rather enthusiastically for being so kind to the environment. It was hilarious.

I'll admit, I thought it was a bit strange at first, when I read that she was planning a funeral for a dog. But then I remembered what it was like when my dog Ebony died. I was in college and was home alone, enjoying my first day of my month-long Christmas vacation. I was wrapping presents in the den when she came walking in. She whimpered, and I looked up at her. She looked at me with big, scared eyes and started wheezing. I grabbed her face and asked her if she was okay, as if she was going to be able to answer me. She started to wobble, so I grabbed her body in a hug. She collapsed in my arms. I panicked and ran around the house, looking for the phone. I needed to call the vet. I couldn't find it.

Ebony came wandering into the living room behind me. She suddenly seemed fine. I started to calm down. But then it happened again. She tried to get up and walk to me, but she couldn't stand. She was too heavy for me to carry her all by myself. I found the phone and called the vet. They told me to bring her in right away. I didn't have a car. I ran to the house across the street for help. They came over and helped me pick her up and drove us to the vet. They rushed her inside. 5 minutes later, they took me into a room and told me that she had died. I managed to make it out to the waiting room before I started sobbing.

I cried when I called my Mom at work to tell her. I cried when I called my Dad. I cried while I sat on the sofa waiting for them to come home. It was probably one of the most traumatic experiences of my life. I cried harder for that dog than I had ever cried for any person I had known in my whole life.

But she was a dog, so we didn't have a funeral for her. It seems weird that we didn't, considering that she was such a huge part of our lives. When you think about it that way, it doesn't seem so strange to pamper them in the way that we do. We do it because we love them. Because they are offer us what no one else can. Absolutely unconditional love.

Goodbye, old friend. We'll miss you.


YoBigMel said...

Hey Sarah, I follow you on Tumblr & Twitter (as YoBigMel) and just read your post about your friend's dog. It's so hard to lose a pet. It's amazing just how hard it is. I wrote about mine too, I think pain is the great equalizer amongst us all sometimes, you know?

Hope your friend feels better soon!

brie said...

I still think about our old family dog and miss him so much. Losing a pet is very similar to losing a person in my mind. Animals are comforting and loving in ways people just can't be.