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I Loved My Dog

Updated on March 29, 2010

I loved my dog.

Her name was Cassie and she wasn’t friendly. She didn’t really like me that much. But that’s okay. I still loved her. Not long before what would have been her 16th birthday, my family put her to sleep. She had lost a lot of weight and appeared to be in constant pain. It has been several years now, but I can barely write this without feeling the rumbling, scratching, shaking feeling in my stomach. She may not have been affectionate, but she was mine. And I miss her very much.

Some dogs are friendly. Some dogs cuddle. But she didn’t do those things. A 45-pound mutt with a long nose, she was probably more like a cat. She did her own thing. And we didn’t bother her. Too much. Sometimes, when my sister and I were little, we would dress her up in crazy outfits. Cassie hated those outfits, she would growl menacingly and shimmy out of those clothes as fast as her little paws would let her. But she never bit us. I used to put my hand, or even my entire face, in her mouth. Because I trusted her.

I never walked her much. I was a kid and I was lazy, and she didn’t like me much anyway. My parents mostly walked her. But one time, in her last year or so, I took her for a walk. I was looking for a festival being held at a nearby Greek Orthodox church. I knew one of my co-workers at Rite Aid would be there. We walked and walked. I couldn’t find the place. Cassie did her best to keep up, but her legs were weak by then. When we finally found the place, it was empty. I had mixed up the day. We started to walk back. But Cassie kept sitting down. I tried to prod her on at first, then began miming as if I would drag her if she didn’t keep coming. This was my dog. The one who, as a young child I had wanted my parents to rename “Bullet.” She used to drag us. If we left the front door open, she would bolt. She was fast, and we wouldn’t catch up in a full sprint. Eventually a stranger would get her to calm down: “Hey this is Joe at the Dairy Barn,” we’d hear the voice on the phone. “This is some friendly dog you got here.”

But that day she wouldn’t budge. I would convince her to take a few steps, and she’d sit down again. Right there on the sidewalk. I gave up. I sat down with her. Cars would slow down, “are you okay?” they would ask, seemingly more out of obligation than any desire to assist. And we sat. I was so angry! “Why can’t we just walk home?!” I would scream at her. She just looked up at me, dumbfounded, as if to say “I’m old. Don’t you get it?” But I didn’t get it. This was the dog that used to run up the stairs, down the hall, up the hall, down the stairs, behind the couch (which was literally touching a wall. I still don’t know how she did it) and up the stairs again ten, eleven times in a row.

For those of you who saw “Marley and Me,” you know how the story goes. Or if you’ve read this far you’ve probably lost one of your own. The cold table at the vets office. The overdose of anesthesia. The uncontrollable sobbing. The “she’s-my-dog-it’s-not-fair-she’s-my-dog!”

I’m still not over it. We have her ashes in an tin in my dad’s room . But there’s no connection with ashes. I want my dog. And it’s not fair.



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    • AdamGee profile image

      AdamGee 8 years ago

      Dink, thanks so much for your comment. I think dogs d know how much we love them; that's what makes them such great pets!

    • Dink96 profile image

      Dink96 8 years ago from Phoenix, AZ

      Have you heard that "dog" spelled backwards is "God"? I like that. I've had many dogs over the years and I try to cherish each and every one. Even the obstinate ones that like to run things their way! :-) My sympathies on your dog's journey to St. Francis' Garden. As all of our dogs make that journey, I hope that they understand how very much we loved and treasured them. Today is a present, treat it as such. God bless.

    • AdamGee profile image

      AdamGee 8 years ago

      Teri, she was a great dog :)

      MPG, Thanks for your sympathy. I think dogs are like people, personality-wise.. Say "Hi" to Sassie for me!

    • MPG Narratives profile image

      Marie Giunta 8 years ago from Sydney, Australia

      Our dog sassie is very affectionate but I guess all dogs have different personalities, most of them lovable. Its so sad when you lose a pet, my feelings go out to you Adam.

    • profile image

      teri 8 years ago

      she was the best dog in the world. It is interesting to think that she wasnt super friendly and i would always wonder why she wasnt always craving attention.. But I guess thats what makes her, Cassie. She was extremely bright though and very sweet and loving.

    • AdamGee profile image

      AdamGee 8 years ago

      Dohn, I'm sorry to hear about your loss. That must have been very difficult for you, especially during the holiday season. I like to think they're in a better place, as well.

    • dohn121 profile image

      dohn121 8 years ago from Hudson Valley, New York

      Thanks for sharing this story about Cassie, Adam. We just lost our Rotweiller 2 days after Christmas. He was perhaps the friendliest dog I ever knew. He wasn't smart but his heart was the size of a Buick. Reading this reminded me on him. I'm sure that both Cassie and he are in a good place. Thank you.

    • AdamGee profile image

      AdamGee 8 years ago

      I'm sorry about your dog, it is really is painful. Even so, I want another one as soon as my life is stable enough.

    • Nell Rose profile image

      Nell Rose 8 years ago from England

      Hi, this is so sad. I know just how you feel. We have lost dogs in the past, but my dog, gutted me when she died, just like you. And my brother has his dogs ashes as well. He still gets upset now, eight years later.Some people say it is a good idea to get another one. I am not so sure. nell