Welcome pets into family, cherish time before they go

Editor-In-Chief and Editor-In-Chief

I got the call Friday.

My mom said someone I loved had a tumor. She was in pain. She was going to die. Come home and say goodbye.

The call was about my dog, Abby.

Abby has been in my family for 14 years.

Many people have dogs that become part of their family, so to them, I say treasure the time you have.

Pets can be supportive, loyal and loving.

I can’t count the times Abby came up to me when I was crying or ran to greet me when I came home from college. I’m so thankful and happy for the time I got with her.

At the same time, I can’t help but have regrets. She was a great, loving dog and I have regrets about not spending enough time with her, not loving her enough.

So hug your pets, love them, chase them around the kitchen table and play tug-of-war.

This weekend, I went home to say goodbye. The vet found a tumor in her throat Friday and let us take her home to say goodbye. Monday, she’ll be put down.

I’m happy Abby will be out of pain, but I can’t get over her being gone.

I remember the first time I saw Abby. It was in the pound and she was a 25-pound jumping ball of energy.

We got her for $75, the best money we’ve ever spent, in my opinion. And she rode home between me and my sister in the backseat.

At first, I got jealous of my sister and I was afraid Abby didn’t like me. As we were riding home, she curled up with her butt toward me.

To a 7-year-old, that can be upsetting.

“She trusts you,” my mom said. “If a dog puts her butt toward you, she likes you.”

I was in love.

From then on, Abby was a part of our family. She had a stocking at Christmas, we gave her a toy on her birthday and scraps from the dinner table.

She came on road trips with us, was there for us when my dad went into the hospital a few years ago and was the best dog ever.

She had personality; she didn’t like other dogs, she barked her head off every time the doorbell rang and she was too dainty to go to the bathroom in the snow or rain.

Sunday, I left, and saying goodbye to a pet I’ve had for 14 years, who I love as much as many of the people in my life, was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to do.

I cried. I hugged her. I petted her. But it’s not enough. There’s a hole in my heart and there will be tears in my eyes when I go home for Christmas and her little black furry paws aren’t all over me when I walk in the door.

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