This I Believe
Have you ever heard of the term “man’s best friend”? There is a reason that dogs have been given this title; they just always seem to make life a little easier for us. This is why I believe in the companionship of a dog.
I had my dog Cody for practically all my life. I remember growing up with her. Really, I can’t forget how funny she was, I mean come on, who else has inside jokes with their dogs? I remember how I used to ask her if she wanted a “trashcan” (as in treat) and she would go flying to the treat cupboard! She was quite stupid in that sense, but still I had to love her. And then, when I would take her on walks and I would say “kitty”, her ears would perk up and she would search high and low for that imaginary cat. I have to say that she was the best dog a person could have.
Then one day, about five months ago, I got a call from my mom at school and it all changed. I knew Cody had been acting weird lately, she wasn’t really herself. She had no energy left in her and, well, she could barely walk anymore. It hurt me to see her that way. Apparently she had a stroke, and my mom’s call was to tell me that we had to put her to sleep.
I remember crying outside my classroom that day and everybody was looking at me funny, but I didn’t care, I was losing the only dog I had ever had! When my sister and I got home that day, we found her practically lifeless on the living room floor, and I could barely stand to see her that way. I guess I had been expecting it for a while – seeing as how bad her condition was and all – but I just wasn’t prepared for a blow that hard. I remember the last walk I took with her, just two days before we put her down, and I think that’s when I realized how bad off she really was.
Life just wasn’t the same without her, and my family knew we needed another dog; not to replace her, but just to fill in a little bit of the gaps in our hearts. We got a puppy – maybe a month and a half after that day – and we named her Dakota. At first we thought she wasn’t going to be right for us because she always had her tail tucked and was unresponsive to our calls. This made it even harder for me, because it helped me realize just how great a dog Cody really was. Dakota has definitely warmed up to us now though, and we definitely made no mistake with getting her. She has an obviously different personality than Cody had, but we love her all the same.
Although Cody is still in my heart and memory, the new puppy has definitely mended the broken pieces of my heart as much as possible. Dakota will never take the place of Cody, but I love her as much as I did Cody which helps with the loss. I think if I hadn’t had either of my wonderful dogs, I wouldn’t be as happy as I am now, and this is why I believe in the companionship of a dog.
If you enjoyed this essay, please consider making a tax-deductible contribution to This I Believe, Inc.