I Held Her In My Arms Until Her Very Last Breath

Benjamin Combs
Benjamin Combs

I remember the night that Dad bought you home. It was like fate. Just the other day I was thinking about us needing a new pet dog, and finally, there you were- An answered prayer.

I remember your first week. You got sick and I was scared that I was gonna lose you. I tried giving you milk but you were too weak to drink it. But I didn’t wanna lose you, so I stayed with you the whole night. You were a survivor. Day by day you became stronger and healthier. That was when I knew, you were gonna be mine. My Woof-woof.

For the first two years, you were my pet. The moment I arrived home from school, you would always be the first one to greet me. Mama would always complain about you scratching my uniform and getting your fur all over me, but I never did mind.

For the next six years, you became my guardian angel. It was always an instant relief just seeing your innocent eyes looking at me with confidence. You made me feel that I was never alone. You were there for me during my bad days, willing to cuddle and sleep by my side.

You knew that I was different. I was never that kind of girl who would divulge her struggles and pain to someone else. I was that girl who would try to act strong to face it alone because she thought she had no one but herself.

You were the only one who witnessed her cry herself to sleep. She was losing herself while trying to find her balance. But she overcame, because you were always there looking at her- full of hope and positivity. You always made her feel that she will never be alone and that you will always be there to keep her sane.

And that was all that she.. I needed.

Yes, Of course, I needed you. You were my best friend, Woof. You were always there for me, and that was one thing I was sure of. We were so happy, contented and safe.

But then came the days, when I didn’t realize I was slowly falling apart. When I became too busy to notice, too relaxed to worry and too depressed to care. I changed for the worst. And when the time came that you needed me the most, I let you down.

All those times you would randomly cry at night or when I would try to carry you, I never even bothered to check if you were really okay. I just shrugged it off and assumed you were just being dramatic.

But you were sick. I didn’t know what to do, and I really wished I could’ve done more. I have never felt so scared, worried, and confused. It was one of the worst weeks of my life.

You were diagnosed with Pyometra. You were an Aspin, Woof and people would think I’m crazy for going through lengths just for you to be okay. But they will never understand how it felt like.

Bringing you to the vet, waiting for your x-ray results, praying for you to be safe during your operation, pretending to be strong, waiting for the doctor’s update regarding your operation…

And when I finally got that text, that the operation was a success and that I could visit you and bring you home the next day, I couldn’t be happier, excited and relieved. I finally get to bring my baby home and it will be just like the old times, but even better.

You were home, and everyone missed you and was praising you for being so strong. But, Mommy had to work. The cycle began again.

Then it happened.

When I came home, it felt different. I didn’t want to acknowledge the signs. The moment I saw you, I immediately hugged you, and I felt it- those cold hands and your shallow breaths. I understood. You knew it was time and you waited for me. You gave me the chance to say goodbye.

I carried you in my arms, l brought you to your bed and we laid there. Together. I hugged you tight, breathed along with you, and I kept on whispering, “I love you so much, Woof. You can go now. It’s okay, I’ll be okay.”

But I lied. At that moment, I just wanted all your pain to go away. I didn’t want to see you struggle just for me. It would be selfish of me to make you stay.

I wanted to tell you that I’m still hoping for a miracle. Please don’t leave me because I will miss you so much if you go. Please stay because I don’t know if I’m strong enough to handle this alone. But all that I did was cry. I hugged you even tighter. I held you in my arms,
…until your very last breath.

Woof, when you were sick, I never thought you’d be gone. I never thought losing you would be this hard. I never thought that that day would come.
And I’m sorry Woof, because I let you down. I felt like I have failed you. I’m sorry for the times, I never got to give you breakfast because I would always arrive home and wake up late. I’m sorry for the times, I forgot to care. And I am so sorry for what i did was not enough.

I tried to keep myself from telling everyone that you were gone, because every day I’m haunted by guilt. I felt like I never did my best to keep you safe. I wished that I could go back and just stayed with you, until I was pretty sure that you recovered. And it just hurts to wonder, what if you coming back home was my chance to spend your last days together, but I was too weak to consider that possibility.

I tried to make myself believe that you are now in a better place and I should accept your farewell. But I just miss you woof. I miss kissing your fur. I miss hugging you tight. I miss your claws and fur full of greetings. I miss us.

* * *

But you are in a happy place now, Woof and I just want to say, Thank you. I always thank God for giving you to me. He knew you were just who I needed. Thank you for making me feel safe, and that my greetings would always be the happiest. Thank you also for making me stronger. I still don’t have that day where I don’t think about you and how I wished things happened differently. I may not have you physically but you are always in my mind, prayers and heart. And don’t worry, because I now have the best of friends who I know will always be there for me.

And I’m always thankful, because you gave me the best gift of all. I became a mom, without the need of giving birth. Our eight years was real, honest and the best. I love you, Woof-woof. TC mark

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