Monday, January 18, 2010
The Loss of a Friend
We've all been there... we've all lost a friend.
I've lost friends because they moved to another town/state (before the miracle of the Internet) and we just quit writing or calling. I've lost friends because there were half-truths or blatant lies told & believed. I've lost friends because the friendship simply became toxic. I've lost friends because of death.
Most recently I lost a dear friend because someone in my household decided that it was not in my best interest to keep that friend. This hurts maybe more than any of the other reasons I mentioned - simply because I didn't make the decision, but it was made for me. I went along with this decision ONLY to keep peace in my household.
The friend of whom I speak - was a pet. Yes, a pet! I've always had a pet. I had a cat, Miss Ruffles, for 12 years. I came home from a funeral and found her dead on the living room floor. My heart broke as I buried her. Death of a pet, however, is MUCH different than being forced to give up a beloved pet. Death is final. In my case, death was not a decision I made - it just happened.
The pet I'm refering to is my dog Skeeter, a black lab of almost 3 years... I've had him for 2 years. Pets are a big responsibility. They take time & money and have to be cared for whether you're at home or traveling. He is 100 pounds of enthusiasm - who thinks he's a lap dog. Basic complaints from the other person in my household: he drinks too loudly, he eats too loudly, his nails click on the hard floors, he sheds, his food bill is too much, it costs too much to board him when we travel, etc., etc. Unfortunately his good qualities didn't outweigh the above complaints.
When I boarded Skeeter at New Years I asked the gals who work the desk at the Vet if they knew of anyone who was interested in adopting a black lab. They were surprised that I would even ask. They LOVE Skeeter and he loves them back! When I picked him up a few days later the Vet came out to speak with me. She said she knew of a family who had been looking for a black lab. They live in the country, have two young sons & a younger yellow lab that visits often. She asked if they could "borrow" Skeeter for the weekend to see if he would be a good fit for their family. He went to visit for 3 days... and when she called she told me they loved Skeeter & wanted to keep him.
I have to say, I never expected it all to happen so quickly! I told her I needed to spend more time with him... and think about it... although I knew what the answer would be in the end. I brought him home, took pictures of him, and at the end of the week I called the Vet back to let her know I'd be bringing him to her the next morning. I packed his treats, bowls, toys & blanket, put him on his leash & drove to the animal hospital. We spent some time visiting... she said she would take pictures of him & email them to me periodically and let me know how he's doing. After a while, my heart breaking even more, I finally told Skeeter I loved him, gave him one last hug, a pat on the head & rubbed his ears. With that, I turned & walked out the door. My sacrifice complete. The other person in my household finally happy.
I'm not sure what it is I'm trying to say... just that I made a sacrifice giving up Skeeter. Sometimes sacrifice is necessary. Sometimes sacrifice breaks your heart.