Defeat | Teen Ink


April 21, 2019
By Milohilay, Kittery, Maine
Milohilay, Kittery, Maine
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It was a miracle she had even made it through the winter. At thirteen years old, Eva was old for her breed, at the peak of the average lifespan for a German Shepherd. Despite our wishes and desires, all good things must come to an end. All beings must die at some point, even if it hurts others. I can't remember a part of my life where Eva wasn't there. Since the beginning, she was protecting me like my own guardian angel, barking at strangers who came too close to our house, constantly watching for any threat of danger. Even when my brother and I splashed in the pool, she'd have to jump in and 'rescue' us from drowning, despite her hatred of water. Even when my parents would pick me up or tickle me and I'd scream, she would come rushing in to save me, barking and nipping at them. Whenever my mom opened the stove when our dinner had finished cooking, Eva would have to be there to protect her from the beeping, hot, metal, beast. 

Eva was a smart dog, and a loyal one too. She never left the yard, never needed a leash when we went on walks. She knew how to sit, stay, lay down, jump up, and even how to find toys after they had been hidden. She knew where my friend lived, and could walk over there on her own to 'pick me up' when it was dark outside. Our dog loved biting at bubbles, playing with cats who were clearly not interested in being anywhere near her, as well as playing with our neighbor's dog, a little sheltie with one eye and the tendency to wander. 


All of these attributes made up Eva, but she had more to her than that. She was a rescue dog, most likely abused in her past home based on her fear of men, specifically men wearing hats, and her distrust of any strangers. She was so sad when we first saw her in the kennel. She had no name, only a number to identify her, and a collar that was far too big for her young self. Her ears didn't stand as a normal German Shepherds did, and it took years until they finally both stood proud in the air. She was our dog, but she wasn't exactly our pet. She was family to us, which made letting her go so much more difficult. 

After getting sick and being diagnosed with cancer, we still kept hope that she could be cured, that we could stretch her life for even a few more months, but in the end, it couldn't be done. Through writing, I documented her last few days in our lives, a well as the pain that I felt in each one of them.   

Kerri M.


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