The Last Night

December 16, 2010
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One feeling I never quite had was knowing something was going to happen before it happened until my dog was extremely sick and I sensed he was not going to survive long enough for me to spend more time with him.

The hardest part about my life was not the day my dog, Ben, died, but the evening leading up to his death. I cried the entire night. My father tried to reassure me that he would survive, but in my heart, I had the feeling he was going to leave me. I didn’t sleep for one minute that evening. I was worried and felt anxious through the late hours. It was the most damaging part of my life. Knowing this was way too disturbing. It made me want to kill everything. I was infuriated, but at the same time, I wanted to go home and hug my dog. The thought of killing kept popping into my head because I felt it was unfair for me to lose my pet. I didn’t ever really show how much I loved him when I had friends around but when they were gone, I played with him and hugged him a lot. I didn’t play with him when friends were around because I wanted to seem “tough”.

When I finally went back to my Mom’s to give her a late Chanukah present, I was hoping to see my dog. I couldn’t believe it. I heard my Mom crying and my brother screaming and crying. I went running. All I remember was hearing my Mom try to say, “We had to put Ben down.” That had to have been one of the hardest parts of the whole experience as my Mom told us about his last night. She said he could barely breathe and was throwing up mucus and water that was coming out of his lungs. Then, my Mom told me where he spent his last bitter night…I had this maniacal feeling that he spent his last night in my bed…and when my Mom finally told me that he had, with her curled up next to him, all I wanted to do was cry some more.

I lost Ben two days before Christmas three years ago. Now that the pain has passed a little, I realize how lucky I was to live with my dog Ben for the short seven years we had him. He was the best listener I’ve ever known, and especially when I had a tough school year in 5th grade, the first half of that year, Ben was there to hug when I came home. When I first lost him, I was very angry, more than ever before. But now that I’ve endured this loss, I’m a much more caring person than I used to be. We have two dogs now, and I cherish every moment I have with these funny, crazy dogs, but Ben will always hold a very special place in my heart.





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