A letter to my dog


Dear Gus,

Hey kiddo. It’s weird thinking that you’re not around anymore. It doesn’t seem real.

I have a confession to make to you – something I couldn’t tell you when you were here. I didn’t like you when we first met. I know, how could that possibly be? You were a little puppy – no one could possibly dislike you. And yet, I did. Let me explain. 

Before you, I had a puppy named Misty. We were inseparable from the second she was born. We had an amazing year together of agility training, teenage crying sessions (I was 14) and howling at ambulances (Misty, not me) before she passed away. She was poisoned by a toxic algae bloom in our lake that none of us knew anything about. I’ll never forget that day – finding her half paralyzed, the look of fear on her face, leaving her at the vet despite wanting to stay, the horrible phone call – it was one of the worst days. I didn’t understand why I’d been cheated out of this relationship I was just starting with her. I still don’t understand, really, beyond the simple fact that things just happen.

Fast forward a short time and my mother decided to go and adopt a puppy without consulting anyone, as a surprise. I wasn’t over Misty. I didn’t want a puppy. And then you showed up, and you were the complete opposite of Misty. Where she had been quiet, calm and polite, you were loud, annoying and pushy. Where she was super intelligent and perceptive, you – just being honest here – were a little dingy. And suddenly I had to look after you while you cried to go outside at 3 a.m. and I was NOT happy.

Luckily for us both, time has a way of working things out. Despite your quirks and the fact that you flunked out of obedience school, your heart won me over. You were the goofiest dog I knew and constantly made us all laugh with your antics. I looked forward to how excited you got every time I returned home from college, and started to miss you more than my family.

Thank you for giving me the chance to love you. Thank you for trusting me enough to take you to the vet. Thank you for trying to eat my camera every time I took photos of you. Thanks for leaving shreds of leather soccer ball fabric all over the lawn. Thank you for healing my heart.

Bye bye Goose, Gus Gus, Ding dong, Augustus, Gus.

Love Alison

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