My dog Moose

My dog Moose

Right as school ended, I walked home like usual in the beginning of my senior year in highschool. I went inside and saw my dog Moose laying down. I had just had a busy day at school so I laid down next to him and immediately felt this soft shivering. We had gotten  him when I was in second grade and he had just turned ten. We all knew he was getting pretty old, especially for a bigger dog.

(Photo courtesy of Jack Solano)

For as long as I could remember I had wanted a dog. Their supportive nature and innate playfulness always attracted me. However, I was allergic to them. For five straight years I went to the doctors to get three shots on my right arm twice a week. It was brutal but very worth it in my eyes, because I wanted a dog that bad.

After all the years of punishment my right arm could take, I finally was allowed to have a dog. My parents never told me where we were going for the whole car ride to get Moose. He was the only puppy in the litter sitting down and minding his own business. It was my choice, and I knew that had to be the one.

Everybody who knew Moose loved him. He was a Golden Retriever with exceptionally white fur that weighed nearly 100 pounds. Moose always had a smile on his face that matched his big brown eyes nicely. Fortunately, I live right next to the school, so many times if there was nothing to do, I would bring my friends over to play around. Moose would be right in the middle whatever it was we were doing. He loved being outside and running around no matter what the weather was. He would stay out for hours entertaining himself with a stick or watching the road. I think he really liked being alone sometimes even though he loved being with others. Moose loved the water and just generally loved to do just about everything. He was always happy to do anything with you, a true best friend.

I think a person really can’t describe what having a dog is like until they have one for its entire life because you are literally everything they know. All they know is that you feed them, provide shelter and attention, and care for them. Any dog will love its owner because that is its life. If affordable, there is no reason not to get a dog. They are not high maintenance. Take them out and feed them twice a day, train them to do their business outside, and show them some attention when you can. That is literally all it takes. That leaves 99 percent of the time to develop a relationship and entertain each other.

Moose was a great listener and after he turned two, we did not need to put a leash on him if we went for a walk. He was a big Golden Retriever so I often worried he might hurt a little kid or bite too hard one time, but that never happened.

Essentially, my daily routine for my life from age eight to 18 was go to school, hang out with friends, spend time with my dog, do homework, and go to bed with basketball mixed in throughout. Moose was always there for me no matter what was going on. Dogs can always be counted on, and I think that’s extremely important in a tight friendship. A best friend is always down to talk, pass time, and help out.     

Obviously, my family, like everyone else, got along great with him. However, my relationship with Moose always felt a little different, because I had picked him. Something in me just told me he was the dog I had always wanted. There was not even anything incredibly special about him. Moose was such a big part of growing up, partly because I had him through elementary, middle school, and high school. That is basically my whole significant life, and I still remember even the early grades clearly.  

When I walked up to him that afternoon something felt off. He did not have the same bright look he always had on and looked cold. I looked to my mom and I told her it was time to go to the vet to see what the deal was.

Of course, when we took a ride, he became hyper but I could tell it masked the way he was feeling. It was just another day for him going to the vet and to get some treats. I told them what had happened, and they assured me that he did not feel much pain, however, it would likely just get worse and worse. The proper thing to do was end it sooner than later. I had become so accustomed to seeing my dog every day and being able to hangout with him that I never thought about a day where that would not happen again. I cried for a solid ten minutes for the first time since I could remember just needing to get it all out at once.

We both saw each other grow up and now he can’t see me anymore which hurts, however, I know he lived the happiest life and at the end of the day that is all anybody asks for.