This is an open letter to my pet, my furry best friend. The one who was non-judgemental, forgiving and cuddly. This is a letter full of things I wish you could have understood; the things I wish I could have said. This is a letter of gratitude to the friend who needed me as much as I needed them.
13 years ago, we brought you home
We picked you up in a gas station parking lot in another province, from one van to another you were exchanged. It was love at first sight from that day on. I was 16, moody and a drinker, nothing could make me smile back in those days, except you. That first night we spent in my bed made its way to the top of my list as best night of my life. As you and I grew, my patience with everything grew slim and I became impatient with you, for eating my shoes, for peeing in my room, for eating my food. But, no matter how loud I yelled at you, or kicked you out of my room when I had friends over, my love for you never wavered.
Leaving home for the first time was rough
I went off to college and had to leave you behind. You crossed my mind every day as I sat in a lecture hall, counting down the days until I got to go home, back to normal, back to you. Pulling into the driveway, your high-pitched excited bark coming through the windows as you wiggled out the back door and right into my arms, I want you to know, my dear dog, that is all I would look forward to, that moment every single time I came home, over the next 3 years.
Remember that time you ate my cell phone? All the socks you demolished? Remember when I smacked you and kicked you out of my room?
Yes, you would annoy me, and I would yell things I didn’t mean. Slamming the door on your face as I cleaned up yet another mess of yours. See, I know you did something bad when you weren’t getting attention, but it still pissed me off and I would want nothing to do with you for a second. But, just as quickly as the rage would come, it would slip away and I would fling my door open to find you and bring you back to where you belonged, my bed.
There are many things I wish you could understand that my actions didn’t always convey
Like, how sorry I am that I would leave you alone at night while I was out being irresponsible. How I didn’t take you for enough walks because I was too busy wasting my time on a toxic relationship. I am sorry for being selfish and thinking you didn’t need me when you always did. The truth was, I needed you just as much, and I didn’t realize it.
The humans in my life became enemies and untrustworthy and that is when my eyes opened
People in my life became fake in the blink of an eye. Trust was broken with a single breath as beer was sipped from broken bottles and all I wanted to do was go home and lay on that spot, at the end of my bed, under the glare of the sun, with you, my furry, loyal, canine. I envied the way you were always so forgiving and compassionate towards the people who didn’t deserve it. The way you could sense sadness and lay at their feet to ease their troubles. You were perfect, and I wish I still had you.
I am sorry I didn’t get to say goodbye
I received the phone call one June day from my mom who said you weren’t doing good and time was ticking on your time on this earth. The negative balance in my bank account screamed at me that I wouldn’t be able to make the journey across the country to be by your side. It wasn’t fair to let you suffer longer until I could make it home, it was time to accept that your time was up. Dear dog, I am sorry I wasn’t there, that my voice wasn’t one of the last voices you heard. I cried for two weeks straight during your passing and the ache never goes away. I wish I had an address for you somewhere in doggy heaven and you could understand these words.
I will love you forever