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Honoring My Furry Friend: Memories of a Life Well-Lived

My pet...Ronnie...actually, we gave him away a few years it's not really my pet anymore, is it? Do I still have a right to mourn for him?

On Sunday evening, Ronnie, my beloved pet, passed away. Throughout our lives, we encounter various individuals who leave a profound impact on our hearts and souls. Ronnie was undoubtedly one of them. Today, I am here to mourn a piece of my heart that was once embodied by him. Some may view my grief as irrational, given the current societal norms that seem to devalue mourning, even for humans. However, life is unpredictable, and the love and connection that we share with our animal companions are just as real and meaningful as those with humans.

Penning down these emotions is proving to be difficult, as I am currently in my office and must remain composed.

If Ronnie had passed away in our home, our lives would have been drastically different. My boys would have been devastated, potentially losing their appetite and motivation to drink. As for myself, I would have been inconsolable, waiting to hear his familiar footsteps around the house that always followed me as if he were my shadow.

I would've been left pondering what to do with all of Ronnie's belongings. His crate, treats, and food would be a constant reminder of his absence, and the cushion he loved to play with would now be still and untouched. Even the hairdryer I used to dry his soft, white fur after his baths would serve as a poignant memory of him. The black plastic bags we once used to pick up his poop would now seem unnecessary,

Ronnie came into our lives like a beacon of light during a dark time. As a nine-week-old puppy, he arrived just after I had suffered a miscarriage, and his presence brought much-needed comfort and joy. I would've missed him distracting my son to sit on my lap. Ronnie's playful and affectionate nature provided us with a sense of happiness and purpose that we desperately needed, and he quickly became an integral part of our family.

The moment I laid eyes on Ronnie, I knew he was meant to be a part of our family. I had visited the litter of puppies, but when Ronnie looked up at me, our eyes locked, and a bond formed instantly. It was as if he had chosen me and not the other way around. I felt an undeniable connection to him that I couldn't ignore, and I knew in my heart that Ronnie was the one I wanted to take home. It was like I didn't choose Ronnie, he chose me, and I am forever grateful for the joy and love he brought into our lives.

I would've looked at my birdfeeder in my backyard, wondering if Ronnie would eat the pieces of bread I had just left for the birds.

Although my children have grown up, but I would've wondered and pictured him eagerly jumping up on them, looking for any scraps of human food he could get his paws on. Ronnie always had a knack for finding his way into our laps during meal times, his big black eyes pleading for a taste of whatever we were eating.

Ronnie had a way of touching the hearts of everyone he met, not just in our household but beyond. His compassionate and loving nature was infectious, and he had an innate ability to connect with people on a deeper level. We would often joke that if our boys could be even a fraction like Ronnie, we would consider ourselves truly blessed.

Ronnie's passing felt like a double loss to me, as it reminded me of the pain of having to give him away six years ago due to our travels. Even then, I felt the deep ache of his absence and cried uncontrollably as we left him behind. It was a heartbreaking decision, but we knew there was no way we could take him with us overseas. We were fortunate enough to find a loving Caucasian family who welcomed him into their home with open arms, even though they already had a household full of five kids, two dogs, and a cat. We were left to wonder how they agreed to take him in, but we were grateful that he was in such good hands.

If you happen to have read my previous blog posts, you might have come across my writings about Ronnie from the time we had to depart. I spent months grieving over the thought of leaving behind a pet that I had raised and cared for, like he was my own child. It was an emotional time for me, and I poured my heart into my writing. However, as they say, God works in mysterious ways, and perhaps Ronnie's passing was part of a greater plan that we don't fully understand.

The new family gave Ronnie a loving home where he could roam free without any restrictions, unlike our house, where he had to stay off the beds and couches. He quickly bonded with their middle son, who had some disability and became his loyal companion. I stayed in touch with the lady who adopted Ronnie, and she sent me regular updates with pictures of Ronnie happily settling in with their family. She's one of the kindest and most compassionate people I've ever met.

As time passed, I came to realize that Ronnie was fortunate to have found such a loving new family. I began to accept that everything happens for a reason and that his new home was a blessing in disguise.

Last night, I received a message from the lady who adopted Ronnie, delivering the heartbreaking news. On Sunday evening, Ronnie had a sudden cardiac episode and passed away quickly. Earlier in the week, Ronnie had not been feeling well, and the vet prescribed antibiotics, with an appointment scheduled for further testing after the medication was completed. However, he appeared fully recovered two days after starting the medication, and we were relieved, thinking that was the end of it. On Sunday, he was playing with their dog and enjoyed a long walk through the neighborhood and park near their house. When her boys arrived home, he sat on his buddy's lap (her middle son) for a while, then headed to the front door, where he threw up and passed away suddenly. It was devastating news for me to hear. She expressed their love for him and gratitude for the opportunity to share their lives with him, which our family had given them.

She also mentioned that their home has become very quiet since Ronnie's passing, and her son is missing his constant companion terribly. Despite the sorrow, they cherish every moment they shared with Ronnie, and hold on to the memories of his happiness and sweetness.

It's hard to fathom what the family is experiencing right now as I'm struggling to cope with Ronnie's passing myself. Whether it's a human or an animal, the loss is never easy to deal with. What's ironic is that we both view each other as kind-hearted individuals. I'm truly thankful that they provided Ronnie with a loving home when we needed it, and they are grateful for the joy he brought into their son's life.

At the start of this year, on January 1st, I announced to everyone that Ronnie had turned 11. I knew he was getting older, but I never expected him to pass away so suddenly. I hope he can see us wherever he is now and know he is still loved. I also hope that he can forgive me for the time I told him he would pass away in my lap.