For Marco

I am ALL about finding the good in everything. Being grateful and finding joy in the little things is what I'm passionate about. However, I'm not going to lie, This past week was a hard one. We lost my 12 year old Golden Retriever quickly and suddenly. I will spare the details, but this was something that caught us by surprise and there's nothing than can prepare you for it. I'm feeling a mix of emotions right now, but mostly, I'm trying to stay busy to keep my mind occupied. I know that it is something that tons and tons of people go through, (and I have gone through it before as well) but it never gets any easier.

I'm not writing this for pity; I want to help other people in similar situations and let them know that they are not alone. People tend to belittle the grief that others feel when they lose a pet, because, well... they're animals. I know they are. I also understand that people lose human family members and loved ones every day, and I cannot even begin to imagine what kind of pain they go through. Although pets are indeed animals, they can become like family members as well. No matter how many people tell you "it's just a dog" or "they were just your pet", it doesn't alleviate the pain. I'm here to say no, you are not crazy and no, you are not being "over dramatic". Losing a pet can often feel like losing a friend. 

I'm going to try to explain the things I'm feeling at the moment, and try to put them into words as best I can.

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Another emotion I'm feeling (besides sadness) right now is guilt. He was so innocent and lived life with so much joy, and a part of me wishes that I could have given him a much more extravagant life. If you're here with me, you aren't crazy. (Or we can be crazy together)

After receiving the advice from the Veteranarian to put Marco down, we cried and were consoled by the vet and were told to go home to talk it over. We went home and I laid with Marco for as long as I could on the garage floor, talking with him and petting him and just crying. I tried to be strong for him because I know that animals can sense sadness and anxiety and in turn will try to comfort you. I didn't want him to feel like he had to do anything for me. He did what he could regardless; He mustered strength to drink some water and then rested his head against my lap. I cried. When it was time to eat dinner, we made sure to monitor him while we were eating inside, and decided that we would put him down the next day at the vet's office. We didn't want him to suffer. When it was time for bed, we made sure he was warm and comfy, with towels and blankets and sheets. When we woke up the next morning he had passed. I cried and cried and gathered myself to get ready for the day. I thought about him on my drive to class. I thought about him while I was walking to class. I cried some more because I realized that he held on for us. He stayed until we went to sleep. (Luckily it was a rainy day so I could hide my face with my hood and my glasses) I cried in spurts all day. 

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But I found peace. I will never stop missing Marco, but he isn't suffering anymore. I know some will think this is silly, but I believe that I will see him again one day.  I believe that now he's free to run and play in a perfect place. I know he's having the best time in Heaven. 

I wrote a short letter to Marco, the things I'd say if I could send him one now.

Marco,

When I was little, before we even adopted you, I always had a picture in my head of my dream dog. I dreamed of a small golden retriever puppy with huge paws, and fuzzy, golden fur. A puppy that swam and fetched. However, you were not that dog. You were one year old when we adopted you, meaning you were already full grown. The humane society told us they thought you had been abused, and that you were leash shy. You didn't fetch, and didn't like the water. You were not the dog I had dreamed of; you were so much more.

You were talkative and goofy, just like me. You (eventually) loved going on walks, just like me. You loved to cuddle in the grass, and let me use you as a pillow on more than one occasion. You loved to play, even though you'd never bring the ball back to me. You were a better dog and friend than I could have ever dreamed of. I will never forget the way your face lit up when we played and went for walks. I will never forget the way you rolled around in the grass starting at the top of a hill and slowly inching your way to the bottom. I will never forget racing with you around the yard, and the way you were so calm even when other neighborhood dogs would bark at you. The way you ran and pranced even though you weren't as fast as our other dogs. I know you had to go, and I'm sorry for wanting you to stay. Thank you. Thank you for 11 years of nothing but love and smiles. Thank you for being joyful in everything. Thank you for choosing us. Thank you for being more than my dream dog. I'll see you later bud, I love you. 

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I'd like to say a huge, ginormous thank you from the bottom of my heart to everyone who has reached out with kind words. It means so so much to me and I wanna give each and every one of you a bear hug. Thank you.  

And to those going through the same thing, I know your pain, and it will be okay.  

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