Your Pet Loss Diaries

'She Was Like My Sister - Susie'

by Patty Boutin

A month before I was born, my aunt got a puppy. She was a small Dachshund named Susie from a pet store in our town. As a toddler, I didn't know the dog well because of a lot of reasons. (Plus I was a toddler.. so..) But within my third year of life, my aunt and her husband went through a really bad divorce. My aunt moved in next door... thus causing a lot of visiting time. So let's put it this way... I was a really happy kid and Susie was a really happy dog.

Since I was an only child, and I loved animals with most of my heart, Susie and I instantly bonded. Everyday I would go over to the yard between my aunt's house and my own to visit Susie. She loved rocks so I was always looking for rocks for her. These everyday visits did not stop when I went to school. But with time, they dwindled. When I was 12, I probably visited her only once a week.

Susie was getting older and she had health problems. The vet said she would probably only have a month left. I remember going over to my aunt's house more again, sitting on the floor and just petting the dog that had been like a sister to me. She was probably my best friend in the younger years of my life... and to be honest she was my inspiration when I was small. She inspired me to always help animals and I don't know. She affected me in a big unspoken way.

Anyway, out of nowhere Susie's medicine started working greatly... and she was healthy again! Of course she had her good heart days and her bad heart days; her good back days and her bad back days; but she was alright!

Two years later I was still very close with Susie. The visits were not as often because I now had my own dog. Susie had a friend too, her name was Sage. My aunt had adopted Sage a year back. So me and Susie were still exceptionally close, but it was like there was distance.

I saw Susie when my aunt and I would go out of state to visit friends. We would always take Susie with us. I would refuse to sit in front. I always sat in the back of our car with Susie, making sure she wasn't too hot or anything. I just loved to pet her. Susie had heart problems and took two pills a day for that. She also had back problems and took medication for that. But it wasn't at the point where she was needing to be put down. She was still happy overall.

So I'm still 14, just saying. Yesterday it was the day before the whole Irene hurricane thing hit our state. We knew it was mostly news hype but we still wanted to prepare. So I was in my yard putting away lawn chairs and stuff and my aunt was outside doing the same. She had her dogs out. I saw Susie who was running around and playing. She seemed so much better since the last time I had seen her. She wasn't limping anymore. She was breathing fine and her back didn't seem to be causing her pain. I spotted a rock on the ground and threw it for her. She chased it happily and we played for a good half hour. I was having fun with my sister, you could say. "She hasn't played with rocks in a while," my aunt mused happily, "this is definitely one of her better days." So my aunt and I both went our different ways home.

I went to bed and when I woke up, I woke up with no power. It was pouring outside. My cat was sitting on the foot of my bed. He would NOT stop meowing! I tried to get him to stop because this was not usual. And that's when my cell phone rang. Susie was dead. My aunt told me just as she went into a big stage of tears. I couldn't cry. I was numb. I just asked what happened. My aunt told me everything. Susie was breathing heavily last night, so my aunt gave her her pill. It helped a lot and Susie was doing better. This morning, Susie was breathing heavily. My aunt gave her her pill and it helped. Susie was breathing heavily though, within an hour. It was obviously one of her bad days, nothing more. This had happened before. But Susie went to hop on the couch. She sat down, lied down her head, and stopped breathing. And you know what else? It was my aunt's birthday too.

I have been crying all day.. Susie is waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for me. But all I feel like doing is crying for the loss of my sister. I just want her to know how much I love her, and how much she meant to me. I pray to whatever there is above us that she is happy and waiting. I'll always miss Susie.

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