And that’s what he was, a friend. To everyone. And today, after 16 years, he passed away.
When I started university I got the crazy idea to get a puppy. Not the best plan for a university student, but at the time was still living at home and after having lost a puppy in someone else’s care one day and having never fully recovered, it was something I was sure about. I knew I wanted a dog.
And when I saw him, the runt of the little and smaller than a guinea pig, I knew I wanted him. We named him Kennedy. He was my dog (I was reminded constantly) but we all loved him. And we all took care of him.
Over the first few years, Kennedy lived with me, but after some living arrangements with questionable roommates and a worry that he was not being treated by them as well as he could be, the decision was made to have Kennedy move home with my parents ‘temporarily’.
He never left them again. And although they spent a few years continuing to call him my dog, he was theirs. He loved my mom and Dave so much and gave up on me almost immediately. It broke my heart a little at first, but I came to realize that they were the perfect home for him. They had time for him when I didn’t. And, though they wouldn’t ever admit to this, I doubt they would have given him up even if I’d asked for him.
Looking back, deciding to get a dog when I was just starting school was the wrong decision, but bringing Kennedy home to be part of our family was not. He fit right in. He was perfect for us at the time and always.
Just a few weeks ago, our boy who was up until that point still playing like a puppy, took a turn for the worst. Dan, Jaia and I were down in Virginia for a week and I got a chance to say goodbye. I feel so fortunate to have been there.
When you are forced to say goodbye and your heart feels likes it is breaking you question why you did this in the first place. But I can say, that having Kennedy be part of our family was worth it. He was a constant in our lives when we needed him and without him, the last 16 years would have been a little less rich.
Rest in Peace, little man. You will be missed.