by Kristine
(United States)

This almost feels wrong. I can't do any kind of justice to what my dog was or what he meant to me.

Chad was a Golden Retriever. My parents were split and close to their divorce when I got him. I was probably around probably 5, young enough that I don't have memories from before I had Chad. Very few anyway. I remember picking him out. There were 2 puppies left by the time we got there. I don't know why I, out of my 3 other siblings, was the one getting a dog. One puppy kept running around, pulling on our sleeves and playing, and the other came up and smiled at me, sitting there looking at me like I was the most incredible thing he'd ever seen.

That was my Chad. He cost $75 and mom asked us not to tell dad about the new dog (he had already moved out at that point).

Funny how you don't realize how much you depend on another until they're gone. I go to my mom for a lot of things and can talk to her. But there isn't a person in this world who could understand me and be there for me the way Chad was. I'm an insecure person so I have a hard time discussing a lot of things with even my closest friends, but it was never an issue with Chad. He loved me like no one could and he loved me for my true self. All my real troubles and the things I could take to no one else were eased as soon as I was with Chad.

I really am very sorry you couldn't know him- there's just no way for me to do a good job explaining what knowing Chad was like. He was my hero and everything I want to be as a person. He was loving and accepting and so kind and patient and loyal. If you could have looked him in the face you would understand. He really could smile and he got the goofiest happy looks on his face. Our family was practically represented by him, we all loved him and enjoyed his company.

Throughout Chad's life we had a lot of dogs, and we lost a lot of dogs. They don't come close to comparing to losing Chad. It really isn't even the same thing at all. He wasn't a dog, he was my best friend. More than that even. My dad was never around and I think that's the closest thing Chad came to - my father. And so much more.

I'm a senior in high school and Chad died a couple of months ago. I feel kind of cheated. Like he was supposed to get me through high school at least. There are many growing pains and lessons learned at this point in time and I feel incapable of getting through them or even functioning without him. Perhaps another lesson?? It's the hardest one yet. I don't know how to live without him. My childhood friend.

I do alright most days. I try to remember that someone that special couldn't be kept from heaven for long. But I am human with consequences of a selfish nature. I don't want to learn to live without him and I don't want to accept he's gone. It is a new level of lonely. I guess all I can do is appreciate the time we had together.

Who knows what kind of person I would be without having him in my life growing up. One time my mom dropped me off at a friend's house to spend the night and we took him with us. When I never came home, Chad went looking for me. He remembered where she had dropped me off and showed up at the house around midnight so he ended up staying the night with me. I guess he had been worried. A few times at school I would come out for recess and he would be outside waiting for me.

His manners were extraordinary. Mom used to always say, "I wish Chad was human. Thats the one man on earth I would be willing to marry again for." And it was probably true. Chad was a very happy dog and his happiness seemed to be so contagious. It was hard to be sad around Chad. He was just a big teddy bear.

Chad died from a porcupine.

We own horses and Chad LOVED to go with us on rides. He was old when he died. The rides were starting to get hard on him so mom, my sister and my brother's girlfriend took him out on his last big ride in the desert. I had homework so I couldn't go.

For reasons I cant imagine, Chad died on his last horse ride. The dogs got into a porcupine. My sister's dog had quills down his throat, Chad had them in his nose and eyes, and the other dogs had them on their chin. Long story short, my sister ended up rushing her dog to the vet. Chad was suffering and so was put out of his misery. I wouldn't have wanted him to live blind and in pain. He was old and he died doing what he loved, which is how I would have wanted it.

I'm sure this is a boring or maybe even stupid story to anyone else but I do appreciate the opportunity to write it. It's been incredibly difficult to let go of something so wonderful. I would expect it to get easier but it seems it just gets harder. There are so many emotions. Frustration, appreciation, love, loss, anger, misery. Acceptance will come someday I'm sure. Sooner would be better than later but I understand these things take time.

"Cryin' For Me" by Toby Keith reminds me so much of Chad. My family has dedicated it to him. While I was writing this, I listened to it for the first time without crying so perhaps this has given me some kind of... closure?

I'm sorry I don't have any pictures of Chad. Seems ridiculous, doesn't it? After all those years, hardly any pictures but so many memories. He was just such a regular part of life I took him for granted. That constant that never changed no matter what. Never failed at what he did best, which was be my best friend. Chad loved me and was there for me and brought joy to my life and for that I have to wonder if I'll ever stop missing him. I found the following poem and quote on this website and they meant something to me. I miss my friend.

I explained it to St. Peter,
I'd rather stay here
Outside the pearly gate.
I won't be a nuisance,
I won't even bark, I'll be very patient and wait,
I'll be here, chewing on a celestial bone,
No matter how long you may be.
I'd miss you so much, if I went in alone,
It wouldn't be heaven for me.

Only in the agony of parting do we look into the depths of love.

My immense gratitude and love for you is eternal, Chad. R.I.P.
(And I'm working hard at being really good so I can join you in heaven someday. Please wait.)

Comments for Chad

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Chad was much like our Rikki
by: Sam & Shirley Lasley

We have to tell you that your story brought tears to our eyes. We are in our late 70s and one year ago tomorrow we lost our little Rat Terrier Rikki, and we still are heartsick at her loss. She was with us 16 beautiful years, and our feeling for her is like yours for Chad.

We'd love to tell you that you'll find comfort in time, but only God knows how long that will be. There is a beautiful poem about the Rainbow Bridge where your dog waits for you. I think we got ours when Rikki was cremated (she rests on our mantel).

You are a talented writer for such a young woman. May God grant you some peace in your pain.

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