Losing a best friend
Have you ever experienced someone you loved dying? I have, and it definitely wasn’t a part of my summer plans. A couple of weeks ago, my dog, BuggZ, died. He was a Newfoundland retriever mix and was over 13 years old.
My parents got BuggZ when they lived in Washington, D.C. He was eight weeks old. They were at a dog park, and BuggZ came to my dad and plopped down on his foot. He was a foster dog and his foster mom (not a dog) said they should keep him. That night, he slept in a crate and cried the whole time.
My mom and dad lived in a rowhouse and their upstairs neighbor came down in the morning and told them they would have to do something about BuggZ crying or she would tell the landlord. It was on that first night that BuggZ learned he could get anything he wanted by crying and practiced it his whole life.
Another time, BuggZ was being taken for a walk and he jumped into the Washington Monument Reflecting Pool and took his first swim. The Capitol Police loved him and told my mom that BuggZ was welcome to swim there anytime. That was his very first swim and he enjoyed many more swims there and many other places in his life.
Then I was born and BuggZ took very good care of me. I liked playing with him, going on long walks and swimming with him at our beach. As we both got older, he started to slow down and in this last year I spent more time just sitting with him and reading next to him instead of playing and swimming.
Finally, BuggZ stopped being interested in food and being with my family. Our parents told my sister and brothers and me that they were going to take BuggZ to the vet that night and that he might have to be put to sleep. I cried and cried and couldn’t stop crying. My dad made BuggZ a hamburger and we fed it to him. Then we said our good-byes and went to a family friend’s house and went out to dinner and to a park. I enjoyed my friends a lot, but when we got home, I was so sad that BuggZ wasn’t there and cried more. I slept with BuggZ’s leash and collar all night. But now I know BuggZ’s in a better place and he is happy.
As painful as this has been I have learned something. I learned that even if it seems like I’m not going to get over something, in time I will. I know I will never forget BuggZ. He was my first dog. Someday when I’m ready, I hope my family gets another dog like BuggZ. A dog that likes to play, go to the park, take long walks and definitely swim in Lake Erie with me!
Audrey Ray is a fourth-grader at Westerly Elementary School