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Reopening the Heart for Another

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Emptiness, a black hollow hole from the abyss. Have you ever felt like this before? That something in your life was missing, and you knew exactly what it was, but never knew how or when to fix it? This is a feeling, I will never forget. For a while, I was stuck in that position, until an unexpected event took place.

Four months that is how long I was agonizing over my family’s loss of our dear Brandy. She was a very protective dog; she did not let anything bad happen to us. After she died, I could not help but feel emptiness, as if a knife was thrust into my heart and ripping an immense part of my life out and forgetting to repair it. A door has closed on that part of my life, but I was still waiting for another one to open.

On July 3 2004, we were out on the deck clearing the table after brunch as I heard my dad say to my mom, “You know what? Go, do what ever you want, don’t ask me to like it!” My dad then came outside and said to us, “Go play outside; it’s a beautiful day out and I don’t want to see you waste it inside watching T.V all day.” We replied, “Okay Dad”. I wondered what they were talking about, and what he meant by go? Where is she going? I asked him a few times but all he said was, “A drive.” It picked at my brain like an annoying fly that just would not go away. I got on my bike to clear my head. I rode for a while as the cool breeze caught my face relieving it from the warm stinging from the sun. I finally gave up and went to put my bike away when I heard my mom come into the driveway. As she opened the door, I heard an, “Eep” as my little sister squealed with excitement. She screamed, “A puppy!” As I heard this, I just thought she got a giant stuffed animal. I had two reasons why I thought this in the first place. First, I never thought my dad would actually let my mom get a dog. Second, my little sister, Anne, the one who screamed, is the one who over reacts to everything, so you could understand why I was not rushing over when she screamed about the puppy. As I rounded the corner, I saw a tiny puppy squirming all over the place and a tail whipping about wildly. My mouth dropped open with astonishment. There was a real live puppy right in front of me that I would be able to call mine! We all wanted to hold and play with her, so my mom brought her over into the shade onto the front lawn, and we sat in a circle around the puppy. “What type of dog is she?” I asked, and my mom replied, “A Dalmatian Mix.” The puppy went to go sit in my mom’s lap. Then we tried to name her. We wanted to name her Patch or Patches, because she had a dark brown, almost black patch on her left eye and ear. Unfortunately, the dog at the corner had the name Patches and that would be too confusing to have two dogs to have the same or similar names on the block. Several names crossed our minds, but then we thought that the name Freckles would work because of all her spots.

As my siblings played with her, I went into the backyard and started to wonder. Then that wondering lead to thinking, Freckles is not a real name, yes, she is a dog, but she deserves a real name, just as Brandy did. Soon Jane came into the backyard looking for me. “Why are you back here all by yourself while everyone is playing with Freckles?” I hesitated wondering what she would think, but then I told her what I was thinking. She agreed with me and said, “It would be weird to call out ’Freckles, where are you?’, or go up to someone and say ’I just love Freckles!’ right?” “Exactly” I exclaimed. When the others came into the backyard, we convinced them that Freckles would be a bad name for her. We started to come up with new names for the puppy. As we got down to the few final names our dad decided to come out of his hole and join us outside. He was amazed that it was taking us this long to give the puppy a name, so he decided to help. “How about we name her Little Britches? See look at her fur. Doesn’t it look like she’s wearing pants?” he asked. We told him she should have a real name. My parents both agreed that she looked like Peaty from The Little Rascals, and said, “If she was a boy we would have named her that.” The final names were April, and Bella. April, because that is when she was born, and Bella, because she was beautiful. We voted on the name twice, because we had a tie the first time we voted. Our final decision was Bella Mia. Now the emptiness, the black hollow hole from the abyss has been mended, but Brandy will never be replaced in my heart. <3





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