Your Pet Loss Stories

'That Dog Could Hunt'

by Maegan Liles
(Grenada, MS)

The exact day, I can not recall, but I remember it as if it were yesterday. I was young, or perhaps younger. A little girl by all accounts. Looking back I'm going to guess it was the Spring of third grade. Yes, that feels right. I'd had dogs before, I'd even loved a few, but I had yet to meet the dog that would shape the course of my youth. That is until one afternoon after school. There on the back porch, sat my Daddy on our green bench reading the newspaper. Unusual, for that time of day, he usually didn't get home till later. This was a special day though, and not to give away the surprise; he glanced up and nonchalantly informed me that there was something in the paper for me!

The rest is history... out of the newspaper rolled a tiny pic-a-poo puppy. My reaction was much like that of a new mother. I remember picking her up and spinning her around in delight, but most of all I recall looking into those big brown eyes and saying with only the sincerity that one can possess at the age of eight "I will love you forever Gaby."To this day that moment remains the first, but not the only, purest forms of unconditional love I have ever felt.

The exact days, I can not recall, but I remember them as if they were yesterday. Especially, the hard days. The day my parents divorced, the day my Mimi died, and even the day I lost myself; Gaby's ear was often the first place my tears fell. Now, don't get me wrong.... she was there for the good too, but she was the only one that could see me at my worst, and instead of shake her head wag her tail! For that I will forever be grateful!

Gaby died Today! Nineteen years after that Spring day on the porch. I'm older now, or perhaps older. A grownup by all accounts. Sadly, feeling very much like a little girl. Gaby's kidneys gave out, her heart never would, and it turns out you can't put a dog on dialysis. We had to put Gaby to sleep.

My Mom was there. I unfortunately wasn't. Instead, she held the phone to that sweet dogs ear and my tears hit the receiver... All I could say was thank you Gaby. I'll love you forever. And though that moment was not the first, it was one of the only times, I truly felt real loss. Gaby never killed a duck or a deer, but for all of those who've ever loved a dog, you will know what I mean, when I say..... that dog could hunt!!!

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