By Jenna Tocatlian.
The saying may go “a dog is a man’s best friend,” although I am in fact a girl, words could never sum up how much I love my dog. My dog went by the name of Nemo. And just today I was forced to say the hardest goodbye I could have ever imagined. I pulled into the driveway after school and saw a pet van in our driveway. My mom did mention that there would be a vet at home when I got there so I was not taken by surprise. When I walked upstairs my mom said, “Jenna, these are the vets, Nemo is not in pain anymore.” My heart smiled and I said, “Oh thank God, I thought you were going to say that you put Nemo down.” My mom’s face changed and she replied, “I had to, he was in too much pain Jen.” My heart sunk this time. Of course, I was thankful that my dog was free of pain but now it was my heart that was in pain.
As an only child, I had no siblings to keep me company. Not that I wasn’t grateful for my wonderful parents but every child wants a brother or sister. Unlike most other kids, I went to pick up my brother, from a kennel. Yes, I refer to my dog as my brother. I remember bringing him home as though it was yesterday. We drove in our Jeep and arrived at the breeder’s house, I jumped out of the car like there was no tomorrow. There was my brand new pup, sitting in his purple collar waiting to be taken to his new home. After all the paperwork was done, we sat next to each other the whole ride home. I vividly remember the first sound his feet made as they trotted around our house. It was truly the best day of my life. Then I showed our new family member to the kitchen where his bed was, then he laid down and I stayed with him there for hours.
Now eleven years later I can say my last memories were a lot like my first when my mom and the vets said he was gone I just laid down with him for a while. The vets came and took him away on a little doggy stretcher. They slowly took him downstairs and out to their car. As they put him in their car, I was forced to say goodbye for the second time. I thought saying bye once to his soul was hard enough, but now I had to say goodbye to his body. The body of the same dog that used to kick me off my bed, scratched my door until I opened it, and let me use him as a pillow when he knew I was having a rough day. I had to live with the fact that I would not see this body again unless I was looking at old pictures.
The hardest part of it all is that I knew that I would never wake up to him at the feet of my bed or hear him prance up the stairs again. This thought kills me inside because he was the one I could tell my secrets to, and rant to without being interrupted.
Carrie Underwood said in her song More Boys I Meet, “the more boys I meet, the more I love my dog.” Nemo is the only boy I will ever need. I don’t have any memories without him and quite frankly I don’t want to imagine a day without him. He was not a pet, but a part of our family, and he was most certainly not just a dog, but a brother and a best friend. I have the happiest of memories and they are all thanks to my pup. I am proud to say that I will always have footprints in my heart and they are all there because of my baby boy Nemo.
Finding Nemo? More like finding my best friend. Rest in peace Voros Vadasz Zoltan Nemo Tocatlian (May 18, 2003 – April 11, 2014).
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