I met her when I was 10. I was still firmly in my youth and I was just truly beginning to understand what the world was about. I hadn't quite gotten the connection between boys and girls, I looked forward to dropping my butt in front of the tv to watch G.I. Joe after school, and my idea of a good time was climbing trees. But the day I met her there was a change in my life.
It's interesting, after that first time you know, how the world changes. Somethings lose their luster, yet other things suddenly take on a whole new meaning. I'm not saying that I stopped watching my afternoon cartoons, but if she wanted to do something I would make the time. I distictly remember sitting down at the park one day. We had gone walking (because in Small Town, USA you are able to do that at 10) and ended up just hanging out under the oak trees. I told her all my plans for the future. You know.... astronaut, rock star, millionaire.... and she simply laid there in the grass with me. It was so simple. So pure.
On a side note, it has been very rare that things are ever that pure. It's the first time, the one time, where things are so uncomplicated. There are no hidden agendas, no plans, no ideas of grandeur. It is just real.
I could not even begin to describe all the time we spent together. We would always meet after school and play. Two years. Two years of happiness. She was my world, my best friend.
Over the years I had learned things about her and about the world around us. I learned of epilepsy. It was condition she suffered from. I learned to watch for the signs of a seizure and to make sure she didn't hurt herself if she ever had one when I was around. The first time I ever witnessed one it terrified me. I learned eventually it was simply part of who she was and not something to be afraid of.
And still I was happy.
But then came Autumn. Then came the day that changed my view of the world again. I learned of something new. Lymphatic Cancer. Like an oncoming storm it was sweeping through her, causing more seizures and devouring her from the inside.
I was there when she died.
Not a word was said. It was more of a whimper. A sound I'll never forget. She is still with me.
I loved that dog.
(Please note, this is a story of historical fiction. I just needed to start my writing with something happy and uplifting. Thanks!)