Puppy Love

October 1, 2012
By , Chilliwack, WA
When I was nine years old all I wanted in my life was a puppy. Then one day my dream came true. After returning home from a ski trip we went to pick up Cosmo. He was a yellow lab, golden retriever cross with a little white spot on his forehead. Choosing a puppy was very difficult, they all were so cute. They were yipping and licking us with their little sandpaper tongues. In the end we couldn’t resist Cosmo, he was the biggest, strongest, but also the gentlest puppy in the litter. We knew he would fit in just perfectly. When we got him home he ran around, slipping on the hardwood floors and sleeping on the couch with me. Those first days were the happiest of my life.


When Cosmo was a little puppy I loved to go out into the field behind our house and throw sticks for him. On other days we would take him down to the river and let him swim. If I had to guess what his favorite activity was, I’d have to guess it was swimming. He would have so much fun. During the summer we would go out to Flores Island in our boat and all he would do was either chase sticks or stay in the water and paddle around looking for fish. During the winter we would go outside into the snow and he would have an awesome time, desperately trying to dig holes before they filled in again.


In the fall of 2010 when he was 5 years old, Cosmo developed a small bump on his leg. At the time the vet said it was nothing. A few months later the bump began to grow and Cosmo started to limp around the house. We then took him back to the vet in the spring of 2011. That’s when we got the bad news. Cosmo was diagnosed with bone cancer. The vet gave him three to six months to live.


When I found out I couldn’t believe it. It was as if someone had taken all the happiness out of me. My best friend was going to be taken away from me and I couldn’t do anything about it. I was so shocked I wasn’t even able to cry. It felt like a wave of devastation had rushed over me and just soaked me with depression and emptiness. The fact that you know one of your closest friends is going to die and you can’t do anything to stop it is the worst feeling ever. I soon realized that I had hardly enough time to say goodbye.


In the months after the vet had diagnosed Cosmo with cancer, the mood around the house was melancholy. During this time all I was thinking about was “is he going to die now, tomorrow, in a week, a month or maybe a year?” Knowing that Cosmo was only supposed to live for another three to six months was disheartening. I wanted him to live forever, it felt like he had always been there. He was so intuitive. He knew when you were sad and needed some company. He always knew who had the bacon.


When six months rolled around I started to worry even more. I began to realize that Cosmo was going to pass away soon. The last months of his life were very hard on him and our family. He was having trouble walking around the house. Later, towards the end of his life, he was having trouble breathing because the cancer had spread to his lungs. Those last few months I tried to spend as much time as I could with him because I knew he wouldn’t be around much longer.


Then the fateful day came when my mom told my brother and I that she was talking Cosmo to the vet. I knew he wasn’t coming back. I went to school trying to act like everything was normal, but I wasn’t able to keep it in. At the end of the day, I returned home to find that my dad had come home early so he could be with us. The mood around the house after Cosmo’s death was very depressing. Usually he would be waiting at the door for me when I got home, but now all that was waiting for me was my homework. Although he had survived a year after he was diagnosed with cancer, I still wasn’t ready to loose him.


Cosmo left his own little foot print, well actually his paw print on me, I will never forget the great times we shared. This experience changed me. His presence had made my dream come true and I was the happiest kid alive. When Cosmo was diagnosed with cancer I realized that life wasn’t always going to be how I wanted it to be. I learned that friendship should never be taken for granted. It should be valued and cared for. I miss Cosmo, but he taught me one of the greatest lessons in life to love and care for your friends.





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