Opinion: Man’s best friend

 

 

Julie Selby

Julie Selby

Julie Selby is a freshman journalism major and columnist for the Daily Kent Stater. Contact her at [email protected]

I was apart from my two dogs for three months last semester. To come back to my dorm everyday without the slobber-flicking and tail-whipping greeting from my two boxer mixes was more or less heartbreaking. I would Skype home every now and again to see their faces. I would call out “Rosie!” or “Spike!” and their heads would jerk with ears standing on end

When I finally came home, I was greeted by an onslaught of slobbery kisses. They truly missed me as much as I missed them. Better yet, they remembered me. After being away from them for such a long time, I have discovered how much love a dog can give and how much I need them in my life.

I gladly stayed home for spring break, snuggling with my dogs and playing with them in the yard. My first morning home, I found both Spike and Rosie cuddled up to me in my bed. It is one of the most endearing sights a dog owner will see. Rosie was ecstatic — running, playing, nudging and wiggling throughout the day. Then, night came.

Rosie had a seizure. Two nights later, she had three. Rosie had been sleeping all day, too weary to run and play. The veterinarians did not know what was wrong with my sweet dog. At only 8-years-old, it seemed too early to let my dog go. I kept checking to see if she was still breathing. I was guarding over her, prepared, if another seizure wracked her body, causing her to tremble, drool and pass out in my arms.

Rosie has been my dog for seven years, slowly but surely edging her way into my heart. It is truly a blessing having animals that will unconditionally love you with all of their heart; to have a wholehearted greeting every time they lay their eyes on you; to have someone in your life that will not judge the actions you make, the clothes you wear or that giant zit on the tip of your nose.

No one wants to watch someone they love slowly drift away into the next life. It is an agonizing pain that erodes your heart every time you glance at those slowly fading eyes. My spring break has been a reminder to appreciate those you have. Sounds cliché, I know, but one truly does not appreciate what she has until it is gone. Death is quick, elusive and unexpected.

Tell your parents you love them. Hug your friends a little closer. Take your dog for a walk.

In the words of Michelle C. Ustaszeski, “Before someone’s tomorrow has been taken away, cherish those you love, appreciate them today.”