Trevor Crow


The Loss of a Friend (AKA The Start of the Rest of My Life)

It is frequently stated that there is nothing like the bond between a boy and his dog. This is even truer when that boy is a fat, awkward loser. I’m talking about myself. Don’t take that personally. I got my first dog, Samford, when I was six. It was an instant friendship, mostly because that was my only friendship. But he was a perfect friend. He always wanted to play; he was always ready to cheer me up; he was totally okay with me carrying him down the hallway by his front paws. He was always the reason I went to see my dad.
And then he died.
It was January, around 7pm. My mom had asked me to look something up on her phone, a recipe I think. I had just hit search, and then the text flashed across the screen. “Samford has passed away. I found him curled up outside his door when I came home. Don’t tell Trevor yet.” I didn’t sleep that night. I stayed up reading Old Yeller and Where the Red Fern Grows, and listening to A Crow Looked at Me. I thought that if I could see other people suffering the same pain that I was, I could get over it faster. It didn’t help. Night after night, tossing and turning 107I miles away from the best friend who had suddenly left me without warning. I felt confused, hurt, and… selfish. What was he doing, dying without any notice, with no sign of sickness, without me even being there? Dying in front of MY room, forcing my dad to bury him before I could even come to see him, not even letting me say goodbye. I’ll never get to.

That’s the worst thing about death. Of course, it’s sad to see them go.  It’s sad to know that life has left this, this soul that you’ve grown close to and cherished for so many years, but the worst thing is knowing it’ll come, planning as best as you can, racking your brain and letting your thoughts overpower you in anticipation and still not being ready when it comes. There’s no amount of planning you can do, no preparations you can make, no sugarcoating or condolences you can offer yourself that’ll make you ready for it. It’ll always come when you don’t think about it, don’t expect it, don’t want it. That’s the worst thing about death.

Looking back, I think he really was the biggest person in my life, dog or not. I took a lot from him. He showed me what unconditional love was: pure devotion even in the worst of times, and total faithfulness… unless someone was offering a treat. Nobody’s perfect, or your own definition of perfect, anyway. He knew that. And he still loved me. There’s a lot to learn from someone like that, a lot to take influence from. Now that he’s gone, I have to pick up the slack: be a nicer person, offer love to those who need it, always stay happy, and keep a big puppy-dog smile on my face. Maybe he’s the reason I keep my hair long, too.

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