Natalie - 92067, California
Entered on March 26, 2008
Age Group: Under 18

I believe dogs are healers. They heal people of sadness, of pain, of broken hearts and much more. Dogs can always tell who needs help and how they need it. My dog knew I needed heeling of my loneliness. Not the loveless kind of lonely, but the type of lonely that is part of who I am- an only child.

Even though I didn’t have brothers or sisters, that didn’t upset me very much because I had Abby. Sometimes, Abby was my older sister when I needed to tell someone a secret. Sometimes she was my younger sister when I had to help her down the playground slide. And sometimes she was just a friend: someone to play dress up with and run around the beach with. To me, she was not what others saw her as- just a dog. If she hadn’t kept me company through all my childhood memories, I would have been exactly what I was supposed to be; a lonely, only child. She was a heeler of my loneliness.

We got older together; growing up in the same old house we had lived in our whole lives. But as I began to get taller and become more mature, Abby grew grey hair and was diagnosed with arthritis. Although I knew she was becoming an old dog and that she wasn’t the same spunky puppy I had played with as a little girl, I couldn’t imagine ever having her disappear. Not until September 15; the day I was forced to let her go.

My parents and I were scrambling to get ready for a dinner party we were having with some family friends, so I wasn’t paying much attention to Abby. Once our guests had arrived, we had sat down outside and talked. Soon, I ran to go get something from the pool area to show our guests. When I glanced at the pool, I was struck with painful horror and screamed as I saw my beloved dog floating in the pool, lifeless on her side. I jumped in and dragged her out of the pool onto the side path. My parents ran into the pool area and saw me weeping over Abby, who was half unconscious, and breathing heavily. We immediately rushed to the emergency Vet. The people there did all they could to save her, but within an hour, she was not recovering, and we had no choice but to put her to sleep. My only sibling had died and was no longer there to heal my pain.

My irreplaceable friend had passed, and I was lonely. Soon, I was given Heidi for my birthday, and my mind was finally taken off of Abby. My cute, new puppy was more like having a baby than a sister because she kept me so busy. Yet, I enjoyed every moment of it. Abby and Heidi showed me how dogs are more than just a good friend or sister; dogs are healers.