Dogs Grow Old Too
October 3rd, 2016, I walk in the front door and hear the door slam behind me as the wind pulls it close. I hear my book bag hit the tile floor as I toss it on the ground after a long day at school. Then I hear nothing. There is absolute silence. The silence echoes in my ears, and tears stream down my face as I stare at the empty dog food dish.
Three days prior to October 3rd, 2016, I walk in the front door after a long day of school, toss my book bag to the ground and hear the clink of a collar as my dog lifts her head up. My old yet still loving dog looks at me with her big brown eyes, begging me to come towards her and pet her. After I give her some attention, I help her up as her legs shake and she struggles to stand. She mopes to the back door; using up all her energy just to go outside and use the bathroom.
Two years prior to October 3rd, 2016, I walk in the front door after a long day of school, and yell “I’m home!” Suddenly I am greeted by my slobbering, tail wagging, furry friend. My dog looks up at me and I notice the white hair around her face, but still see the joy in her eyes. After all the excitement, my dog decides she needs to take a nap in order to have enough energy to be ready to greet the next member of the family when they come home.
Eight years prior to October 3rd, 2016, I open the the front door, coming home after a long day at school. Before I even have time to enter my house and put down my book bag, my dog runs out the door to greet me outside. Someone who didn’t know my young and rambunctious dog would have thought I had been away for years because of her reaction. My dog jumps up onto her hind legs in order to lick my face. As a dog nearly the same size as me at nine years old, I am nearly knocked down by her surprise welcome. She follows me around, tail wagging, waiting for a crumb of my after school snack to hit the floor or for a Frisbee to fly out of my hand.
Ten years prior to October 3rd, 2016, I walk in the front door after a long day of school and toss my book bag down. I am greeted by my mother who tells me many of the neighborhood kids are at the end of the street playing kickball. As a seven year old child, this is what I have been looking forward to all day. My sister and I lace up our sneakers and run down the block to join the other kids in the game. More adults begin to arrive, including both of my parents, but I think nothing of it as I continue playing the intense game of neighborhood kickball. Suddenly, a large black truck drives towards the end of the street and the parents tell us to stop our game. Confused as to why this driver thinks he can just interrupt our game, I asked my mom, “What does he think he’s doing?” A smile creeps across my mom’s face and she responds, “He brought a dog for the neighborhood to see!” I instantly lose any feeling of remorse towards the guy who interrupted our kickball game, when he opens the door and the largest, friendliest, cutest yellow lab I’ve ever seen jumps out of the car. The dog runs around to each person and jumps up to each friendly face. With the best intentions in mind, the dog forgets that she is 100 lbs and larger than most of the kids there, and nearly knocks them over with her greeting. The dog’s name was Sami, and I instantly fell in love with her. As we were walking home after meeting the dog, I rambled to my mom how I wish we had a dog and how great the one we just meet was. My mom looked over at my sister and me with a glow in her eyes and told us, “That is our dog. She will be part of our family and is being dropped off tonight.” It was the happiest I’d ever been, and I could not believe Sami was ours!
One day prior to October 3rd, 2016, I am waken at eight in the morning by my mom’s cold hand gently shaking my arm. I abruptly sit up questioning the time, and begin to worry I overslept and am going to be late for school when I soon realize it is Sunday. After this realization, I look at my mom for answers and wonder why she is waking me up so early on the only day of the week I have to sleep in. Tears stream down my mother’s face and she looks at me very sternly as she tries to be strong and says, “Sami passed away this morning.” I instantly don’t believe it and ask her if she is kidding, but as I look at her I know my mom would never kid about this. Sadness overwhelms me and I barre my face into my pillow and feel the dampness on my face from my tears.
Being a senior in high school, I realize many aspects of my life will be changing but loosing my loving dog was not a change I planned on. As years go on, we notice people growing old but sometimes we forget that our pets do too. Dogs easily become an important member of the family, and loosing them definitely leaves a hole in the household. Sami was always able to put a smile on my face and I was so lucky to have grown up with her always by my side.