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A Final Letter to My Best Friend

Today is Saturday. It is a day when we would usually lounge around the house, enjoy extra treats, and maybe hit up a local park.

It was raining today so I know that you would have preferred to stay inside and watch TV. Even with the rain, I always thought it was so impressive that you barely had accidents inside, not until your final year of life. You were such a good boy. I know that I told you that often, but I hope that you know how much I meant it.

I wanted to write you this letter to apologize for a few things and to thank you for a lot of things. I also have a couple of questions.

Did you know that every hour I think of you? I can smell you, feel exactly how it felt to lift you under your arms and into mine and I see you everywhere.

When I wake up in the morning, I walk in circles, knowing that there is no longer the job of taking you out to pee. I am not a morning person and sometimes taking you out, especially in rainy or chilly weather was not my favourite task.

Oh Bandit, what I would give to let the cold rain fall on my face and stand shivering in the cold to take you out for your morning pee again-to watch your beautiful strut as you sniffed carefully for the perfect spot. Now there is no cold rain on my face but only warm salty tears…ones you would have diligently licked away with purpose. Now they fall and land on my notebook or into my bowl of cereal. I had forgotten where tears go when they are not wiped away by someone you love.

Bandit, I know that you were such an empathic creature and that when I was sad, you were too, always trying to physically move that feeling from my body. I also know that you knew the days when I was using substances years ago to cope with pain in my life and that scared you. I am so sorry.

When I was using too many substances, you would distance yourself from me, laying in the corner of the room and watching me with caution. This was so rare because you were so attached to my every movement. I am so sorry for scaring you my boy and for putting that burden on your tiny little body, a body with a heart so huge that your love saved me from myself. I sometimes wonder if I would be here today if you had not been my best friend. I don’t think so. Thank you for saving me. I always wanted to ask you why you chose me. When I went into the room where a variety of puppies were frolicking around the inside of a doggy fence, you came

straight to me, stood up on your hind legs, and looked straight at me with your beautiful soulful brown eyes. I picked you up and you wrapped your tiny paws around my neck. I did not even look at another dog. I knew that it was you and me now.

Surely you could see that although I was a kind and gentle human, I also carried painful weight around with me. Did you know then that we needed each other?

Bandit, where are you now? I painfully gaze at an urn where inside your remains are wrapped in a small silk bag, but you are not there. Are you in a heavenly place enjoying every moment of your day and getting food that I would not allow you to eat? Are you having a peaceful sleep or are you right beside me, watching my every move, invisible to me?

You were so fast running circles in the park that people would stop to watch in amazement. You would drive other dogs crazy as they could never catch you. I know you loved that.

I am sorry that when you were a tiny puppy, I made you wear those silly outfits. You looked adorable but as soon as I could see you did not like it, I only put an outfit on you once a year at Halloween.

I am sorry that I could not keep you here on earth longer and I should have had your teeth professionally cleaned more often to avoid the dental disease that gave you pain later in life. I am so sorry for that Bandit.

You were one of only a few at my wedding ceremony, wearing your bow tie and in my arms in almost every photo. You were with me in your bag when dogs were not allowed but we both know those rules did not apply to you.

Do you remember when you were here on earth with me, I would tell you how grateful I was that you were there with me in that very moment. I was, and remain, thankful for every second that I had you by my side.

I am so proud to be your mom. When you left, you took a piece of my heart with you that I will never fill. Hold it with you and know that Bandit, you, and you alone are my dog, my best friend, and my boy—always and until we meet again.

I love you,