The first dog I ever had and loved died last year. And it was the most heartbroken I have ever been. It may sound dumb to some. It may sound like an exaggeration, but trust me — it’s not.
We got my dog, Coal, when I was eight. I remember picking him up in the cold November air and knowing he was the one. He was shivering in the snow, and he looked up at us with hopeful, beautiful eyes and bam — I fell in love.
And I was never sure about you. But I was sure about him.
Coal greeted me at the door everyday. He even greeted me at the door on his last day on this earth. He would give me presents, most likely a shoe or a ball that he found buried in the backyard. He would circle me, his tiny tail wagging around me, like a little dance he had mastered as a puppy.
He was my partner in a way that you never were.
He never gave up on me, even when I ignored his cries. He said hello to me with the same enthusiasm every single morning and night. He didn’t care if I had fucked up in school that day or had a fight with my sister. He still loved me. Through it all.
He was my first love. He looked at me like I was his entire world. Like we were soulmates, and all I ever really did for him was feed him, throw him the ball, and hug him.
He was just a dog, but to me, he was so much more than that. Because, he loved me in a way that people rarely love one another. People hold grudges. People ignore red flags. People are stubborn. People lack compassion and empathy. People are impatient. People don’t know how to have everlasting love. People don’t really know how to love. Not like dogs do.
You were always unsure about me. You ignored me a lot of the time. You refused to communicate with me. You gave up on me easily. You never really supported my goals and dreams. And you left me crying, on many nights.
Dogs are different. Dogs are better than people. Because dogs don’t let you give up on yourself and they don’t ever give up on you. Dogs love with their whole hearts and never let it die.
I miss him. I miss him every morning every night. I miss how excited he was just to see my face. I miss how happy and content he was just to lie next to me. I miss how much he loved me. And I miss him a hell of a lot more than I miss you.
My love for my dog was a forever kind of love.
I never saw forever when I looked at you.