The Loss of a Four Legged Friend

There are few things worse than losing your first pet. I remeber it very clearly, as it recently happened to me. Some people don't consider pets, more specifically dogs, to be that important. I'm going to say that they are wrong. If you are fortunate enough to have a dog, then you know what a gift they are. We do not deserve them. My sweet Dixie passed away this past January, and it was honestly one of the worst things to happen to me. I know you may be reading this and think, "Man, she is overdramatic." While you're right, I am overdramatic, I also have a point. If you have never had a pet, and experienced the pureness of their love, you are missing out.

I have been trying to write this article for a couple of months. No matter what I say though, it never seems right. I don't know how to express how painful it is to lose your pet. My Dixie was there for it all. First crush, first breakup, first everything really. She was always there for our dance parties in the living room, because let me tell you she could break it down. She made my bad days better. My first semester of college was hard, and some weeks the only thing that got me through them was knowing that on the weekend I could go home and see my girl. She was the greatest. Anyone that has ever lost a pet knows the amount of joy they contribute to your life, and when they're gone they take a little bit of that with them. You can have other pets, but you will never love two animals the same way. So, instead of trying to explain to you how heartbreaking it is to lose your pet, let me tell you what makes that heartbreak so worth it.

When we first got Dixie, I was petrified of thunderstorms. I would cry and have panic attacks anytime there was a storm. We got Dixie, and I kid you not, she was more scared of the storms than I was. Sometimes I think she faked being scared to keep me from being scared. She was a fullblooded black lab, and she would jump into my lap at the first crack of thunder. She helped me realize that there was nothing to be scared of. Now, everytime there is a thunderstorm, I think of her and smile. Dixie loved to chase my brother and I around the backyard. She obviously couldn't climb and my brother and I had a ladder that we would climb up to "hide" from her. She would see us, and pretend that she was tired and walk away. As soon as we climbed down she was ready to go again chasing us around the backyard. Sometimes, Dixie didn't want to sleep in the living room, so she would go from room to room and check on every memeber of the family and make sure everyone was okay. When my dad had a heart attack, and it was just my brother and I at home, Dixie stayed by my side constantly providing comfort. She was the best.

As Ed Sherran says, "A heart thats been broken is a heart thats been loved." A part of my soul aches everytime I pull in my driveway and remember that Dixie won't be there to greet me. But then theres a clap of thunder, and I remember how she helped me not to be so scared anymore. I can't make you understand the love of a dog, but I think everyone should experience it. And please remember, ADOPT DON'T SHOP!! Pitt County has an incredible animal shelter that I highly recommend you check out! I'll always miss Dixie, but I'll always smile when I think of her.