By Eugene White
It was June 28, 2012, when we first met.
Walking toward the one-story house surrounded by gravel, I was confronted by the loud barks of two parents looking after their litter of children. The barks pierced my ears and chills ran down my spine, but I did not make the two-hour drive for nothing. I could not decipher what the barks meant, but they sounded urgent.
As I stepped into the cage several dogs crowded around my legs, welcoming me to their home, and it was clear there was a hierarchy. But the one in the back caught my eye; you were persistent, yet small, and when you licked my hand I knew you were the one.
When we got home, we played for hours. Your oversized paws and floppy ears weighed you down as you clumsily ran from room to room.
We became best friends.
And for years, we would repeat this routine. We even sat on the hardwood floor during the dog days of summer, cooling off in the air conditioning. But during that time, I never thought your life of energy and craziness would come to an end. So when I received the news of your cancer, I was filled with a paralyzing sadness.
When I came home for the weekends, I knew the end of our friendship was imminent. It was hard to see you in such pain; I wish I could have been there for you.
And when I received the news that you had passed on, I felt like a part of me was lost. I didn’t even have a chance to say goodbye.
Being at home just does not feel the same without you jumping on me.
Thanks for always staying by my side—even when nobody else would.
Thanks for being my best friend.
Image courtesy of Eugene White