“Once you have had a wonderful dog, a life without one, is a life diminished.”
It’s easy to say that a dog is a man’s best friend. It’s easy to get why they are cute and lovable, but I don’t really think it’s possible to grasp their impact on us, until after they are gone.
Today, a piece of me is gone.
This week has been one of the hardest weeks of my life, and yesterday I had to put down and bury my best friend, my dog, my girl Minnie.
Growing up we didn’t have pets. We grew attached to our Grandpa’s dog, but never had one of our own. Right before my graduation from college, my buddy Sam had a dog with a litter of puppies. As my college graduation present, he let me have the runt. Little did he know, he was giving away the best dog of the bunch.
She was a pit bull, and instantly upon getting her, I heard from Aunts and Uncles that, “Oh, you can never trust a pit bull”, “She’ll turn on you one day”, even having some go as far as to try and test her to show how ferocious and unfaithful they can be.
But Minnie was anything but ferocious.
And loyal, not unfaithful was the only word she knew.
She grew up living with me and a group of buddies at the Bryden house, sharing the spotlight with the queen of the house, Princess, my buddy’s dog. Transitioning to life after college, she was there for me for anything. Bad days at work, days I didn’t want to work, relaxing at home or out rollerblading she was there. She was even there during and after those famous late night Bryden house parties. She grew up competing with me for a spot of the couch we slept on for her 1st summer, and ever since then…she knew how to control the space in any bed or couch she would sleep on again.
She was there when I first had to try and cope with death and hearing of the loss of my Uncle. And then again when I lost my Grandpa. Only she was there to lick away tears and give some comfort as she snuggled a little closer to you to let you know you weren’t alone.
The sides of myself and moments of weakness you want to hide from the world, only she knew about.
You can tell a dog anything. No judgement. No talking back. No grief. Just pure unconditional love.
There’s the years of her life at the apt with my dude Bales and his dog, where anything from running the train tracks together to being your morning wake up call on a Saturday morning…the little memories are already the ones you miss.
There are times that come flooding back of breaking down and almost dying in my Jeep with my brother in Michigan, and as we sat beside the road waiting for a tow. ..as crappy as a day like that could have been, just how can you stay upset when your dog hops out of the Jeep and starts trying to get you to play and still enjoy the moment?
The way she was with my sister’s kids…anyone who saw her with them would instantly have a new perspective on a Pit Bull. She never had a problem taking treat after treat from them, and she knew it would be a great day when those little kids came over…as she just knew there would be crumbs of food all over the house that she knew she would get to feast on. She could be dead asleep and only crack open an eye when a little girl would come up to her and stick a finger up her nose or pull on her tale. She’d just give the look like “Come on kid, cant ya see I’m trying to sleep.”
It wasn’t just me that grew attached to her. My whole family took her in as just not my 1st dog, but our 1st dog. Traveling the world and long days of football practices, it would have been unfair to keep her cooped up, so it was my parents house where she learned to love as “home”. She learned to share the couch with my mom, finding a spot at the opposite end and trying to compete at one of her favorite games of who could snore the loudest. My Dad, that guy who hated dogs and said we could never have one, was caught more than a few times of sneaking her food or having her pal around with him outside.
Then she had my brother Mark who became like a 2nd owner to her. I’ll still say she loved me more, but if you only saw how crazy she’d get and how fast that tale would wag when he’d stop home, it would make you reconsider that thought.
It didn’t matter who it was. A family member, one of my friends or even my mom’s cat…She loved everyone and everything. That’s why I know it will be hard not having her around.
Although it was hard to say goodbye to her, I knew it was time. She had suffered a stroke of some kind and was in some bad shape. Even as bad as she got, nothing changed as that lovable dog still tried her best to comfort you while she was the one in a bad way.
Until the end, I wouldn’t have asked for a better dog. A true companion and truly a best friend. It may be hard to not have her around, but that impact she had on me, won’t soon be forgotten.
It’s the little things I’ll miss, but most of all I’ll miss my friend.