Fifteen years ago, when I was just four years old, I rode home with a white fluffy puppy in my lap. I never knew that little thing would become my best friend and constant companion till the very last. At first, Hannah and I were pretty inseparable. Instead of having slumber parties with friends and what not ( I got terribly homesick and preferred being home with my dog mostly) we would stay in our house in the Woods and we would kick around the soccer ball in the foyer and living room. Hannah would get so into it that my mom would make us stop since we got so loud. Unfortunately, Hannah was raised in a puppy mill and we were never able to potty train her. I would follow her around the house, quickly cleaning up the pee before anyone could notice, but sadly, we were always found out and she became an outside-only dog. That only slightly dampened our friendship. Mostly, it just meant no more naps together.
Hannah was also a wonder dog. She could climb trees. At our old house there was a tree that was being supported by a pole which made it pretty easy to just climb up. So you would go outside and she would just be chilling up in the tree, watching birds and squirrels. I would even join her sometimes. All in all, she was just the best dog a small girl could ask for. While some people would lose interest in their childhood friend, our friendship just grew deeper. Even though as time went on and I went outside less and played less, we swapped playing for deep conversations and rubs. I always went outside when the world seemed too hard or if things got tough. I don’t how many times Hannah watched me cry as she sat next to me, nuzzling her nose on me and giving soft licks. She was always there when I needed to hug her. I think that’s the hardest part. Where do I go now? How do I cope with losing her without having her to go cry to? I can’t run outside and have her come to me and comfort me knowing I’ll always have her, that she’ll always just be there , our backyard angel. But I did get to go say goodbye at the vet. As I opened her cage and started rubbing her head as she leaned against my hand, I just fell apart. I wanted to tell her how perfect she was and how loved she was, but all I could think was “don’t leave me here, this place will be so empty without my best friend.” This scrawny, old, tired dog was the companion who was my sidekick in all my fairy tales and imaginary worlds. She was the one who popped bubbles with me and made me laugh. She would bark at light and fling acorns and sticks up in the air with her mouth. She was the only dog I’ve ever played fetch with, the only dog I’ve had that would. She was the one I would run outside to in the pouring rain and splash water at and watch her get all excited and bark and wait to be splashed more. She was the only person I would ever sing to. The one who just made me so happy and always could light me up inside. I literally can remember every moment with her, they are so incredibly precious, she was so incredibly precious. She was just love, pure wholesome love. A lot of times these past few days I have thought I must be going sappy. That I shouldn’t be this sad. People don’t cry over dogs. But to me she was more than a dog, and that is okay.
I’m not sure if she knew I was at the vet to say goodbye. But in a way, she helped me by letting me pet her and cry with her one last time. Possibly the one time it meant the most. This post is probably really depressing for those reading it, but this is really just for me, and for her. To let out all the sadness that I’ve been trying to keep calm inside me. And it’s her memorial. Because not everyone gets to experience a dog
that incredible, for so long and so intimately. I will never forget her sweetness and goofiness. Hannah Banana, rest well my puppy, my little white angel. I hope I get to see you again one day. Your paw prints are right here, on my heart.
It is crazy to think that just last month she was playing with Mason and I. Time catches up with the living fast. I suppose to make this blog slightly less depressing I should make an overall message. Pets may seem like our possessions and things to entertain us, but I have found through fifteen years with Hannah that if we let them, they can be a whole lot more. They become that constant in our lives that comfort us, friends and playmates when we need it, and most of all, lives that are devoted to us in a way that no human connection can maintain. If you have a pet, do not take them for granted, because they never ever take you for granted. I think if I’ve learned anything from Hannah it would be to live in the moment and to love fervently whenever you possibly can.
“A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.” -John Grogan, author of “Marley and Me”