Today is the day my faithful companion, Sally Bear, died. She was our dog for a really long time. To be honest I can’t remember how long we have had her. She’s just always been there, and I’m incredibly sad. She’s had a great life though; she lived a long time. She’s had two litters, and she’s been there for the birth of around ten nieces and nephews. We’ve had other dogs, but Sally stands out because she was the greatest. She was my backseat driver, shotgun rider, my pillow, comforter, an amazing listener, avid fisher, she loved taking long walks on the beach, and was always up for going for walks in the neighborhood. She wasn’t the friendliest to strangers, but she was a great protector. She loved chasing field mice and howling at the moon, and more than anything, she was my best friend.
High school was a dreadful time for me. If we’re going to be completely honest, elementary school wasn’t a walk in the park either. I was bullied and in high school I didn’t have any self-confidence. In one year, I attended three different schools. It was a rough period. Two of my sisters got married in one year, and much drama ensued. I was caught in the middle. My best friend moved across the country. I was depressed. Life just wasn’t smooth sailing, you know? But Sally? She was my constant. They say that the only constant in life is change. I see that now, but for more than a decade, Sally was my constant. Through all the changes, through all the drama, she was there for me. She saw me mature from a gangly eleven year old to who I am now.
A while ago, approximately a year ago, Sally was dying. She had given birth to her last litter, and there were complications. We gave her medicine but the outlook was very bleak. I believe in the power of prayer and I don’t care what anyone says, I know God listens to prayer. Even for animals. Because Sally was dying, there was no denying that. I remember crying my heart out to God, pleading for Him to heal her. I would pass by the dog house and spend time with her before leaving for school or work, praying for her, touching her, comforting her. And you know what? She bounced back, albeit slowly, but she was no longer at death’s door. I knew death was inevitable, but I am just so thankful that God gave her to us for a little while longer. She got to meet new members of our family, live out the rest of her days in a nicer place, and we got to spend some more quality time together. God is just amazing. I am so grateful to Him and for the fact that He listens to our prayers. No one is ever going to convince me otherwise. No matter how trivial the prayer might be, no matter if it’s not for a human being, God listens to and answers our prayers. I testify to that.
This post is dedicated to Sally, and to other animal owners who have had their best friends pass away. Not everyone understands the pain, but it’s very real, and it’s nothing to scoff at. I will always remember her and cherish her memory. This one’s for you Sally Bear. I love you.