Gaining a Year, Losing a Friend

Gaining a Year, Losing a Friend

The day my dog died | mia-sutton.com

I turned 35 a few days ago. I wasn't looking forward to it, mainly because those multiples of 5 (30, 35, 40) make me squirm. But when the day finally came, I barely thought about it as I was consumed with something else entirely. On March 5th, 2018, our family lost a loyal friend. 

- - - - -

"But we're out of dog food. We need to buy more... don't we?" My 7-year-old looked at me hopefully, desperately trying to hold back his tears. His little lip quivered as he tried to wrap his mind around what I had just told him and his brother.

No, we won't need more dog food because Rocky, our goofy, sweet, adorable black Lab went to the great dog park in the sky. 

- - - - -

His nails clicked across the floor, excited and yet wary. His anxious pacing alternated with his wagging tail. His ears perked up at every new sound. 

He was soon out of breath, panting and wheezing from the walk from the parking lot to the exam room at the vet. He laid down, taking the weight off of his tumor-ridden leg. His sweet liquid brown eyes stared at us adoringly. 

- - - - -.

My mind is trying to imagine what life will be like without our furry first child. We snuggle him and rub his ears and his belly and give him kisses. We say our goodbyes. I can't stop crying and briefly contemplate taking him home and forgetting the whole thing. But I know his suffering outweighs my sadness. It's time. I'm not at all ready, but it's time. 

- - - - -

They don't tell you what it will feel like. Sure, they give you a rundown of what will physically happen and how long it will take and what they do afterwards. But they don't tell you how to keep your heart from breaking. How you replay it in your mind over and over and desperately hope that the whispered words of love and comfort were understood. They can't warn you how it will feel to come home to a silent house: no more snores at the foot of the bed, no more back-to-back-to-back sneezes, no more wagging tail knocking things over. They can't fill the holes in the hearts of two little boys who still ask if he will come back and if they will see him again and why he had to go. 

- - - - -

Our dog died on my birthday. But the gift of his loyalty and love will last in our hearts always. Rest in peace, Rocky. You were the bestest boy we could have ever asked for. I miss you.  

Rocky.jpg
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