Saturday, February 8, 2020

The Loss of a Beloved Friend

February 4, 2020.

This is a day I will remember from today and beyond. This is the day I lost my beloved Bessie Salin, my first dog, my best friend. And it's painful.

We got Bessie around 2012, shortly after we moved away from Tempe and into Florence/San Tan Valley. She was found stuck under a fence somewhere in Eloy. She was around 2-3 years old when we found her, and she became an instant member of my family. I would pet her, I would hug her, I would love her. She was there when I graduated from Middle School and throughout my High School career. She was there when my little sister, Lillian, was born. She was there when we needed comfort. She was Lillian's backyard buddy.

I took it for granted that she was there. I knew this day would come, but it always seemed like a distant future. Even when I noticed signs that she was getting to the end of her life, I still expected that I would have more years to come. I couldn't imagine a world in which she is not there with me.

But now, that's the world I live in. And it hurts. I want so bad to look outside and see her laying there in her favorite spot. I want so bad to walk into the garage and see her sleeping, being woken up by my actions and begging for pets. I want to pet her. I want to walk her. I want to hug her.

February 6, 2020. This is the day we took her lifeless body to the Animal Hospital, ready to be cremated. This was also the day the reality of what happened really sunk in. I cried. I cried myself to sleep, and I woke up the next day crying some more. I called out from work because I was so hysterical, I didn't think I would be able to function. I couldn't focus on any of my homework the entire week, even as the deadlines are imminent.

I knew the loss of a loved one was painful, but this is a kind of pain I could never imagine. I was not ready for this. But the world is a cruel place. It doesn't wait for you to be ready. It doesn't give you reasons to be ready. There are no go-backs. There are no respawns. There are no save states.

Bessie lived a full life. She was at leased 11 when she passed. A Basset Hound typically lives 10-12 years. She was loved from the day we found her to the day she was gone. She lied in her favorite spot in the sun to fall asleep for the last time. I know I should be happy for her. I know I shouldn't be so selfish.

But I can't help it. I feel like I didn't spend enough time with her. I feel like I didn't do as much as I really could. I want another chance. I want more years. I feel so lonely, even though I have family all around me. There is a hole in my heart where she used to reside.

Our urns arrived February 7th, 2020, and her cremains will be arriving sometime this next week. I want to do something to honor her, but I'm scared to do anything permanent.

Rest in Peace, Bessie. You will always be loved.

You Left Paw Prints on my Heart

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