saying goodbye to our best friend

There is no getting around it, Sunday, October 16, was an absolutely terrible day. One of the worst. After a trip to the emergency vet clinic, we learned that our 10-year-old dog Major was dying quickly, and we had to make the gut-wrenching decision to end her suffering.

I pet her and hugged her and held on as tight as I could in her final moments. I felt her head get heavy in my arms as she left us. I couldn’t stay in the room much longer after that, the sickening in my stomach was too much.

It’s taken me a week and a half to find the heart to write about it, but I felt like I couldn’t let such an event pass by without dedicating a post to our beloved best friend.

Chris got Major from the pound in August 2006, only a few weeks after we started dating. She’s been with us from the start of “us.” She’s been by our side through breakups and get-back-togethers, through moving to the south and moving back, and then through marriage and the birth of AJ.

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I’ve lost family pets before, while it’s never been easy, this time was different. Major was our first baby, one of God’s creations that we made a commitment to protect and care for, and a part of me felt like we failed her that day.

The fact that this was unexpected made it worse for us, but better for her. Other than general old age, she was happy and healthy until her time came.

We have so many memories with Major and while I would love to share them all there is not enough time or enough blog space. So, in her honor, here is a snapshot of a few of our favorites:

  • When Chris had only had her for a couple weeks, he brought her to one of my brother’s high school soccer games in August. Her part-husky self couldn’t handle the heat, and we got a preview of just how high-maintenance she would be when she started whining so much Chris had to take her into the bathroom to cool off.
  • She definitely gave Chris a lot to handle while she was a puppy. She chewed many a shoe (including mine and one of Chris’s friends), pooped in my college apartment (where animals where prohibited), and kept Chris up at all hours of the night. These incidents only made us love her more.
  • Chris and I spent a summer living together in Charleston, South Carolina while I was in college. Major was still an energetic, wild dog then, and we would take her to the beach in the evenings and let her run as far and as fast as she could.
  • My lip met her head in an unfortunate incident the night before I left for graduate school. I spent the first few days in South Carolina, where I knew absolutely no one, with a swollen and busted lip!
  • If I was ever in a room with the door closed, she would be outside that door, whining, until I opened it and let her in.

When I posted the news on Facebook, it made me realize just how many of our friends and family knew Major. Friends from college, grad school, and adult life. Family members from all over the country. I’m so thankful for all the comments we received, because it brought back memories from different times in our lives and gave us a chance to remember all the good times with our friends and family in which Major played a part.

She’s gone now, and our house is too quiet. We will forever love and miss her, our first dog, our precious protector, man’s best friend.

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