Furever in my Heart – In Memory of my Dog

July 7th has been a special day to me since 2002. It’s my dog’s birthday, and I always did something extra special for her, whether it was an extra treat or opening a can of wet dog food for her to enjoy. In the big scheme of things, she probably had no idea why she was suddenly getting these things, but it made me happy to celebrate her birthday. She was my best friend, and you do special things for your best friend even if they don’t expect it.

She would have been 15.

This year is the first year July 7th has come around without her. It’s been 7 months since she was put to sleep, and it was by far the hardest decision I have ever had to make. I believe it was in her best interest because the arthritis was pretty bad – to the point that she couldn’t stand up all the time when going to the bathroom. I know she didn’t want that. I know she wanted anything but to fall back in her own filth. I believe she wanted more than the pain she felt when she moved.

But sometimes she wouldn’t cry. Sometimes she was fine. Those moments always gave me hope. They always made me reconsider my decisions and made me believe that maybe she wasn’t as bad as I thought. But her medicines weren’t working, and I hated hearing her cry when she went to bed.

As you can tell, the decision still haunts me. I still constantly wonder if I made the right choice, but I did notice that life was different after she left. I hadn’t realized how much I was cleaning up after her or how quiet it was now that she wasn’t crying anymore.

I know it’s going to be hard tomorrow. I’ve gotten to the point where I can see her picture without getting too sad, but now I get a little teary thinking about her. We had 14 1/2 years together, and I loved every minute of it.

Okay, sometimes I got a little miffed when she would bark in the middle of the night and wake me up just so she could sit outside.


How I Won My “Independence” from Spain

Tomorrow is a pretty significant holiday for the United States. Every July 4th we celebrate our independence from Great Britain by setting off explosives in the sky. The colors are all so pretty and the noise is significantly loud. Fun times for everyone, except people who hate loud noises (aka myself as a child). I used to think of it as just a day to pass the time and watch fireworks (from afar of course). However, one year it became the best day of my life.

It was in 2008; I went to Spain for the summer as part of a foreign exchange program with my university. (I double majored in English and Spanish.) It was my first real trip away from home; everywhere I had traveled before then was with family or near family. Even going to college, though out of state, was near family. I’ve always been a family oriented person, so traveling out of the country was terrifying. I wouldn’t have gone if it weren’t for the school trip, despite the fact that the only person I knew was the professor.

It turned out to be a fun experience, though there were some definite rocky moments from the moment I arrived. At some point, I told my mom that it was so much fun, I didn’t know if I wanted to come back.

You know what they say about being careful what you wish for? Well…