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  " The Gravel Pit "

" The Gravel Pit "

Posted by Matt Toal on Feb 6, 2006, 18:01

The loss of a pet is something nobody should have to go through, but we all experience it eventually.

I had heard the stories for years of friends talking about how hard it was for them when their pet died. I understood it and knew it had to be tough, but I never knew quite how tough until yesterday, when my dog Spike died.

Spike was 12 years old, which I guess is 84 in dog years, so he lived quite the full life. He's a mix of golden retriever and Labrador retriever and was one of the most energetic dogs I've ever seen. Even at his old age, he was still as energetic as ever, always wanting to play ball and run and jump around.

I remember the day we bought him, we got him from this family who had a bunch of puppies that they were selling because they couldn't keep them all, went over to their house to pick one out and I saw Spike and his brothers and sisters in the back playing. One of the dogs was in the little dog house and Spike and 2 of the other ones were on the side trying to tip it over. It was a funny site to see, and I knew right then I had to have that dog.

He really was my best friend, as mushy as it may sound. From ages 10-16 my family moved 3 different times due to my father's job in real estate, so I never had a chance to build many strong relationships with other kids aside from my sister. The one consistent thing was Spike.

And that is the great thing about a pet, whether it's a dog or a cat or whatever else it is, they are always there for you. Friends come and go; I made friends all throughout elementary, junior and high school that I never saw again after I graduated from those places. Obviously, there are some friends you have forever, but it still isn't the same kind of relationship you have with a pet.

Spike was there when I went to sleep, and he was there when I woke up. He'd stand outside with me all the time while I would skateboard or play basketball. He'd stand by the door when I left for school and he'd still be standing there waiting for me when I came back. It's just the kind of relationship that is hard to describe to someone unless they have the same kind with a pet of their own.

I knew his death was inevitable, because he had developed a tumor in his stomach and was beginning to cough a lot. I knew he was sick, but I didn't want to take him to the vet because I knew that if I did, chances are he wasn't coming back home. Eventually, it just got to be too much. He had not eaten for 3 days and on the last day, was barely able to stand up. It was the worst three days of my life, but I knew it was time. I had kept him alive too long, mostly out of selfishness, but I knew he was in pain and there was no reason to let it go on any longer. So I put his leash on him for one final time, walked him into the vet's office, and said a tearful goodbye to my best friend. I'll miss you Spike.

Thanks to anyone who actually read all this, I know it's corny as hell and probably didn't have much of a point to it, but I really needed to vent, and I figured there's probably at least a few people here who have been through a similar experience.

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