Woman's Best Friend

I don't think anyone who has never owned (or loved) a pet can completely understand the relationship between a dog/cat/bunny/bird/hermit crab/(what have you) and owner. The unconditional love that radiates from a pet compares to no other. This fulfilling and reassuring feeling is so valued because it can't always be found from a human relationship. I think people should love more like animals: quick to forgive and love unconditionally.

After the countless failed attempts of owning fair fish, I became the epitome of a dog person. I am also an only child. So when I got my first dog at 7, she became my companion for the next fourteen + years. She was a surprise from parents, and established an immediate place within our family. Heidi has been by my side through most of my growing up. She has been a good sport for every time I've played Lion King and held her as Simba over Pride Rock (she plays a very convincing Simba). We've shared a secret connection, and I've once whispered applause when she snapped at a rude groomer. She has been a listener through every success and heartache. Her 6th sense can pick up any inkling of distress, and instantly offers her company and non-verbal understanding. Her high-energy and continuous love has impacted every member of my family.


Fourteen great years have taken a toll on her. My parents keep telling me that she's getting old, but I ignore them and say she's fine. She has had experienced ups and downs with her health. Her hearing has gone and her hips push bony and stiff against her skin. She's developed tumors on her petite frame, and her hair has turned a bleached silver. Though her body may be failing, her eyes still show so much of her spirit. She mossies around the house, but still displays episodes of spunk and energy of past years.

I, being a huge dog lover, always want to expand our 4-legged, furry family. After a year of "no's" and visits to petfinder.com, a puppy finally became a realization. A little over a month ago, the thumbs-up was given and my parents called me with the good news. I was a mixture of excitement and sadness. A new puppy confirmed Heidi's old age, and I also didn't want to hurt her feelings-- I have always considered her feelings as legitimate as a human's. Our new puppy, Sophie, became a great addition to our family (besides the potty training struggle). Her spunk and fun-loving attitude was welcomed by us but ignored by Heidi. Maybe it was Sophie trying to nurse from her, but Heidi saw her as an annoying little nugget than a play-mate.

Sophie (right), teddy bear used as size indicator.

Heidi's age has become more evident since Sophie has been around. I hope I never have to watch a loved one suffer because watching Heidi hurt from old age has been almost unbearable. But, though a pain in the butt, Sophie has been a life-giver to her in a way. I've been blessed with two great dogs. If possible, I hope everyone gets to experience a relationship with a pet (I have always wanted to adopt, but since a 3rd dog is out of the question, I've volunteered at the SPCA). When Heidi's time comes I will be a wreck but know her life was saturated with love and embellished with experiences. I couldn't ask for more and, I hope, neither could she.



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