The worst part about a pet passing away is the ridiculous empty hole in your heart that can likely never be filled again.
When I was 14 years old, just a little freshman in high school, my family moved. I was distraught. Nothing could have been worse than relocating in the middle of my freshman year of high school. A new school, new teachers, new curriculum, new friends?! It was awful. I reluctantly went- I mean, what were my options, really?
I was so mad at everything. I was mad at my older brother because he carpooled with his girlfriend and got to keep going to my old school. I was mad at my mother because she moved us in the first place. I was mad at the world because everything is super unfair when you are 14 years old.
I wasn’t mad at my dogs, though. Those boys, I loved.
We had had August Sunshine- a beautiful and quite rare purebred white German Shepherd- since my 12th birthday. We adopted him older, and though he was loyal and wonderful, he had a grumpy old man personality. I loved it, though. Curmudgeons are my favorites.
Spook was lovely, but such a pain in the neck. He was much younger than August was. He was a beautiful brown and white spotted German Shorthaired Pointer, but my family is certainly not the hunting type. Since Spook was technically a hunting dog, he had SO much extra energy to get out of his system. That, on top of the fact that he was a puppy, made him unbearable at times. My curmudgeon of an old dog August found him completely resistable.
One might assume August hated Spook, but we all knew better. Sometimes I would literally catch August roll his eyes before grumbling in Spook’s direction, burying his nose into the corner of the couch to avoid having to interact with his annoying little brother.
When we moved cities, we moved onto a street that was considerably busier than our previous home. Spook was not as wise as his old man friend- think Chance and Shadow from Homeward Bound. One unfortunate day, a week or two after we had moved in, Spook went missing. He had darted outside when someone carelessly left the door open (we were young kids, you know?). I knew he would come home. He always did.
The next morning I left for school, grouchy and just slightly nervous about Spook’s location. August was already awake, head propped up on the back of our family couch. August never sat on the couch. It was hard to get him to sit anywhere that was not my bed or his recliner chair. It worried me more.
When I got home from school, August was sitting in the same position. Head propped on the couch, eyes glued to the window. I knew something was wrong. August’s intuition was a lot keener than my own, and I knew that he was waiting for Spook to come home.
I also knew Spook never would.
My brother tried to tell me about the phone call from Animal Control. They found Spook’s body in the busy intersection down the street from our new house. I was typical: I denied that it could be him. Spook ran away without his collar, so how would Animal Control know for sure that it was our guy?
I just couldn’t face the truth. I went upstairs to my new stupid bedroom that I hated, threw myself onto my bed and cried for hours. August finally left that couch and came to my comfort.
When August accepted our loss, I had to accept it as well.
When we put August to sleep five years later, my sadness was cut down a tiny bit, for I knew he was reuniting with his best friend, his little brother, the puppy he always pretended to be annoyed by.
We always knew otherwise, though.
All dogs go to heaven, right? And now, they rest together in memory, collars and all.
(Main image via Montana Pointers, but it looks identical to Spook!)