Your Pet Loss Stories


by H. Shin

Snowflake (American Eskimo) was born on May 6, 2000. She came into my life in July 2000 when I was 13 years old. Growing up, I always begged my parents for a puppy. I raised fish and rabbits, but was never given a puppy. One day, my father gave in, and he took me and my brother to the local petstore.

Behind all the puppies behind glass, I didn't notice her until my father had pointed her out. She was sleeping and shaking, scared of her new surroundings. We quickly learned that she had just arrived to the shop. We took her to the viewing room, and she was alert and friendly. When I first met Snow, we immediately bonded, and the three of us knew she was the right one.

Because I was so young, I only carry brief memories of her earlier years. I do remember, however, that she was extremely playful. She would often stand and walk on her two hind feet, begging for a treat. I also remember her agility, and how clever she was. She was always the first to greet my father when he came for work, and the last to see him out the door when he left in the morning.

After I went away to Boston for college, I saw her only during school breaks. In retrospect, I feel so guilty to have wasted so much time, and waited so long to see her. But, she always remembered and loved me unconditionally, and when I came back from college, she was always waiting, wagging her tail, barking with excitement, and jumping around.

In August 2012, Snow was ill and we took her to the vet. She had a low platelet count, and the vet gave us some bad news. They suspected she had cancer in her liver, and advised us to get ready. For months, my mother and father watched her health. Snowflake did great through the months, and I tried to visit her as much as I could.

During this time, Snow had a few moments where her health was in jeopardy. The biggest scare was early February 2013. She was not eating or drinking. I booked a next day flight to Clackamas, Oregon from Boston, to find an excited Snow. I would like to believe that my presence gave her strength, and courage to fight on as she started eating again and enjoying life once more. I wanted to fully nurse her back to health so I stayed home for a week, and was doing great. I left for Boston on February 20.

My mother called me 4 days later, and told me Snow wasn't feeling well. I assumed it was just a bad day. On February 26, Snowflake passed away next to my mother. I will always regret not booking a ticket home to see her.

Between my ages of 13-27, Snowflake has been a deep part of my life. We grew up together, and I miss her dearly. I am saddened that I am in Boston while my parents and brother are going through the ceremony.

To Snowflake: I miss you so much, and I hope you are in a much better place now. I am so sorry I didn't get a chance to say goodbye to you in person, but I want you to know how much I loved and cared. You are always in my thoughts, and I will always remember all the great memories we've shared. You are the cutest Eskie I've ever seen, and I am sorry you had to leave on your own. You know how much mom, dad, Sang, and I loved you, and you will be greatly missed. I miss you, and I hope we will meet again soon.

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