This week, I’m saying goodbye to my summer job and home in Banff, my family in Alberta, and my home in Calgary as I move out to Nova Scotia for university. But there’s one special goodbye I need to make before I leave.
My first dog, Jerzy, is being put down this Tuesday. She’s 15 years old, and in a lot of pain because of her age. So it’s time to let her go before I don’t have the opportunity to because I’m living across the country.
I still remember the first time I met her. She jumped up on me because she gets excited around new people, but because I was still pretty young and small she almost knocked me over. I also remember the car ride back from my grandparents with her and petting her the entire way. I think my skirt was covered with dog fur from that trip.
That’s not the only car ride we took together. I’ve been on several road trips with my old girl curled up in the backseat for hours. Hopefully her last car ride is as exciting as the first one we took together.
I’ll be forever grateful for her lying next to me while I’ve been really sick, or upset. She always has a knack for coming over and making me giggle when I’ve had a bad day. Even though she can’t talk, she’s always a great listener when something is bugging me or stressing me out.
Her loving personality is one of her best traits. Given my family adopted her after she had puppies, it’s not surprising my sister and I were basically her children. I always feel safe with her in the house, and always know I’m well protected with her.
But this Tuesday, it’s my turn to take care of her one last time.
Jerzy was always coming on my childhood adventures. We would walk to the nearest park (more like I was pulled) and look for interesting things like animals or our friends.
She loved the snow as well. As soon as there was fresh snow in the backyard, she would be rolling all around and eating it by the mouthful. She really is a true Canadian dog, eating snow instead of drinking water in the winter. That and she came tobogganning with my sister and I countless winters.
In summer, when we went camping or down to Medicine Hat, we’d go on exploring in the woods or down by the river. She loved playing in the water and swimming around because of her Newfoundland dog breeding. The only downside was the wet dog smell and her shaking water all over after being in the water.
So this Tuesday, I’ll help her to her next adventure, as she’s always come on mine.
Goodbye Jerzy, my favorite giant ball of fluff and winner of self-petting. I hope your ten years living in this house with me were the best of your fifteen years on this earth. May your suffering be short this Tuesday, and may you go on to a peaceful next adventure. You’ll always be in my heart wherever I go in life. Love you always.
Thank you for the last three years together, through all the ups and downs of our relationship.
Thank you for being my first at almost everything in my love life. First date, first boyfriend, first long-distance relationship, first dance partner, and first plus one.
Thank you for always being there, even if it was the middle of the night.
Thank you for letting me show you my soul and not judging me for it.
Thank you for showing me that love does exist after witnessing my parent’s divorce.
Thank you for not making this more painful and messy than it should be; and still letting me be a great but smaller part of your life.
Thank you for giving me hope and the confidence in myself when I needed it the most in my life.
Most importantly, thank you for being you.