Losing My Best Friend

Karen Lee Richards Health Guide
  • They say that a dog is man's (or woman's) best friend. Last week I lost my best friend.


    Until Becca came along, I had always been a cat person. Growing up we always had cats––in fact, I've had one or more cats in my life almost since I can remember. When the kids were young, we also had a couple of different dogs but they were really more attached to my husband and kids than to me. To be honest, once the kids were grown and I was by myself, I never expected to ever have another dog.


    Then nine and a half years ago a little black and white ball of fluff in the form of a Shih Tzu puppy entered my life. I fell totally and deeply in love. I named her Becca and she and I became almost inseparable. She followed me from room to room and slept on my side every night. She was never happier than when she was on my lap. I even had to figure out how to wedge a pillow between me and my desk so she could sit on my lap as I worked at my computer. When I was sick or in pain, she never left my bed.

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    Last weekend Becca became very lethargic, her breathing was louder than usual and she didn't eat more than a couple of bites. When I took her to the vet's Monday, he said her red blood cell count was extremely low and she was in critical condition but he couldn't figure out what was causing it. He put her in ICU in an oxygen tent and treated her with a couple of different medications. When I last visited her Tuesday afternoon, her breathing seemed better so I was hopeful. But the vet called me early Wednesday morning with the news that she had just passed away.


    Everything seemed to happen so quickly. Shih Tzus have an average life span of a little over 12 years so I wasn't expecting to have to deal with losing her for at least a couple more years. Needless to say, my heart is broken right now.


    I'm thankful to have had Becca in my life. I'm grateful to have experienced the unquestioning love and devotion only a dog can give. I am still––and always will be––a cat lover, but thanks to Becca I'm now a dog lover as well. And now that I know the joy of loving and being loved by a dog, I feel sure, when the time is right, I'll do it again.


Published On: June 30, 2012