Profile headshot of Andrea

My Dog Claire

Andrea, Marriotts Ridge HS, Class of 2020

It's so hard to lose somebody that you love and a member of your family. Even when that somebody is a four-legged furry friend.

Video Transcript

Ever since I was three years old. I had always wanted a puppy. I had always wished and dreamed of having a golden retriever as a pet. My sisters and I would beg our mom everyday about getting one, but her response was the same each time. She would say, “Your father is working in Florida during the week and you all would be too young to take care of it.” Though we knew she was right, none of us could actually admit it. Days passed without mentioning anything to my mother about getting a puppy. My sisters, Maria and Julia, stayed quiet as well, for we had lost hope and decided to give my mom time to think about it. When my dad came home from Florida one gloomy night, he suspected that my sisters and I weren’t as happy as we normally were. I remember overhearing him talk to my mom about it in their room, but they closed the door on me so I couldn’t hear anything.

The next morning, Saturday, May 14, 2005, my parents woke us all up bright and early. The sun was shining through my window and I could hear the sound of happy children playing outside. “We’re going to breakfast. Get dressed and hop in the car!” exclaimed my mom. Excited and ready to munch on pancakes and bacon, I quickly got dressed and jumped in the car. My sisters were not far behind, for they were thrilled to be going out and getting food. As we drove around, my sisters and I were puzzled. We looked at each other in confusion because we had been driving almost an hour and there were no food places to be seen. The next thing we know, my dad turned into a long, narrow driveway with a small house at the bottom of it. Looking out the window, my sisters and I screamed all at once. Barking and panting, puppies were running up to the car. Our parents shouted, “Surprise!’ and I was absolutely astonished.

We were getting a puppy! She was a golden retriever and we ended up naming her Claire. My dream had finally come true!

Ten happy years went by, spending each day with my furry loved one and best friend. Everything was great and everyone was happy and healthy…until one day we found Claire lying on the ground unable to get up. Wednesday, November 25, 2015 was one of the worst days of my life, but let me take it back to the start of that day.

It was Thanksgiving break and my sisters were home from college, so I was in a very good mood. It was my mom’s birthday so my Maria, Julia and I had prepared a meal for her while she was doing errands with my dad. The weather outside was beautiful and the birds were chirping with excitement. My sisters and I took Claire for a walk, for she was eager to sniff the wind and feel the cool breeze through her fur. We didn’t walk too far because we noticed our dog had been panting excessively.

Walking home, it was clear to us that Claire had not been feeling too well.

Right when we got home, she dropped to the floor. Telling my sister to get water for the dog, I layed there with her. She didn’t move. We tried giving her a treat, but no reaction. Struggling to pick her up, she whined. It was at that moment when we all realized that this may be the end. Within seconds, Maria, Julia and I started bawling. “I don’t want to let her go.” I cried. Minutes later, our parents walked in. They noticed that we were all crying and dropped their bags right away. We pointed to Claire, still not moving, and my mom called the vet right away. Hearing her concerned voice on the phone made us more devastated. My mom then told us to get in the car. I cried in my sister’s arms as my dad walked out holding the dog with my mom behind him. He laid her down in the back seat with my sisters and I and drove off to the vet. When we got there, the vet picked up my dog and took her to a room that we weren’t allowed to go in at the time. Minutes later, he called us in to tell us that she had a tumor in her spleen that was like a ticking time bomb and it was only a matter of minutes that she would be gone. We spent that time cherishing her and saying our goodbyes.

Within five minutes, she had passed away. In that moment, it didn’t hit it. I mean, yes, we all started bawling, but we never really realized that it was going to be the last time ever seeing her face. That it was going to be the last time petting her soft fur. That it was going to be the last time hearing her whine or bark. You never really think that the last time will ever be the last time or that it’s going to end. But facing reality it was the end. It was time to let go.

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