I always knew that there would come a time when I would have to let you go.
But today, while I watched you fight for your life, I told you, “Not yet.”
If it were up to me, I would have prayed for “not ever.” But that is not how it works. So I told you I’d settle for “not yet.”
I remember the first day you came into my life. You were so tiny. The moment you were handed to me, you captured my heart. And I know that as soon as your sad eyes fell on me, you had given your heart to me.
Since then, those sad eyes looked at me with the kind of love and devotion that only dogs have for their humans.
But today, those sad eyes looked at me not only with the same love and devotion, but with a silent goodbye.
It broke my heart to see you suffering, but I asked you to stay. I begged you to not leave. It was selfish, but I was so scared of losing you.
I remember the first time I brought you to the sea. Without fear or hesitation, you plunged into the water. And for the next hours you swam, and ran around happily.
Afterwards, you came up next to me as I watched the sunset, your nose bumping my knee in what I understood as gratitude for a wonderful day.
Today, as I watched you struggle to keep your eyes open, that memory came to me. I told you that you had to get better so we could go back to the sea – that you could swim the whole day. And that afterwards, I’d even give you the mangoes and sliced apples that you loved so much.
I always knew that eventually I would have to let you go. That there would come a day when I’d come home and not see you wagging your tail, or that I wouldn’t hear you bark like mad when our neighbor drops by, or see your silly smiles when we go out for walks.
But it’s just one of those things that you refuse to believe were inevitable, you know?
And today, when I woke up to find you weak, and unable to get up, a part of me knew that I would have to let you go today. Still, I chose to listen to the more stubborn part of me. I still hoped that I wouldn’t lose you just yet.
I remember the first time I thought that I had lost you. You were with us for only a few days when I couldn’t find you. I searched the entire house, and even went outside, hoping that you had not run away. But then we found you under the fridge, fast asleep.
Today, when you finally breathed your last, I was reminded of that day – of how panicked I was that I couldn’t find you. And as I entered the quiet house, despite me knowing that you were gone, I still hoped that I’d find you by the fridge, waiting.
But of course, you weren’t there. Because this time, I had really lost you.
So today’s the day that I lost you – my loyal, and loving friend.
Today’s the day that I come home, and not have you waiting for me.
But more importantly, today is the day that I say thank you for everything. For teaching me the first day that you came into my life that it is possible to love and be loved wholeheartedly. For showing me that day I first brought you to the sea that you could find happiness when you take risks even though it might be scary at first.
Today’s the day that you remind me one of life’s greatest lessons – that every moment is important, and that is crucial that you take every chance you get to let someone know or feel that you love them.
Today’s the day that I let you go, and even though it hurts, I will be okay.
Because with all these lessons you have taught me, you’ll always be with me.