The Best Friend a Man Could Ever Ask For

by Adam Austin
(Bolivar, NY)

Wow, an 18 year old man fighting back tears and occasionally letting loose and crying like a newborn baby. Yesterday, August 8th, 2012, I lost my best friend. An eleven year old chocolate lab named Levi.

Levi was my father's dog, but we got him when I was seven years old. We grew up together and had a lot of fun over the years, except he aged much quicker. I believe my father and Levi were very close but not many know how close he was to me. We had such a strong secret bond.

Every day after school he would come to me as if he were asking how my day was. If I smiled and patted him, he knew I was happy and his tail would wag. If, in my frustration, I ignored him, he would instantly drop his head and follow me until I smiled. He would wag his tail in contentment every time I smiled.

I never talked to him like a dog but instead like a brother. At the ripe age of five, our family discovered a tumor that in a few years grew into a huge lump. Luckily it was just a fatty deposit, not cancer.

As he grew older, he became more lethargic but always ready to assist you if you were feeling down. He began to lay around all day and this is where all my friends met the dog. They did not know of the bond we shared.

Although it didn't seem like it, due to his lazy ways, we still had our best friend moments. Every time I would walk by him, his tail would wag, even if he was too tired to raise his head.

When I was working on my car in the shop late nights, he was ALWAYS sure to follow me in. When I became frustrated with a stubborn part, I would begin to lose my temper, but a friendly nudge would set me straight again.

Due to his rapid aging compared to me, he started as a little brother and passed as a big brother. Yesterday he was a bit more active than usual, he was in the gravel driveway scratching his back on the jagged stones. My sister was in a rush to work and threw her car in reverse.

I cannot even finish that part. I am at work and trying to keep my composure as best I can. I should have taken the day off. He lay in the driveway, clinging to life in his old age. His frail bones and aged body could not hold on much longer.

My biggest regret to this day is not stopping at home when I drove by and saw him laying there in his last moments.

I was told on the phone what had happened, and was on the job site nearby, but I was with a superior and I did not ask to stop when we drove by. I have never fought back tears so hard in my life as when I saw him laying helplessly. My father comforted him in his last few hours. When I got home, he was already in his grave.

The last thing I said to him was, "What's up boss?" As I said, I spoke to him as a friend, not a dog. I gave him some of my steak from dinner so his last memory of me was LOVE, and although in frustration I have yelled at him, I always felt true LOVE for him. He was my best friend and helped me grow into the young man I am today.

One memory I have that makes me laugh out loud to this day is when my fiend spilled spaghetti sauce all over the kitchen floor, and Levi walked up and looked at me as if he was waiting for approval. I said "It's all yours buddy," and he went to town cleaning every last drop up.

He taught me patience, what a true friend really is, how loyal a best friend can be. He gave me so many great memories that will linger in my mind for eternity.

Not just a dog, a Best friend.

Comments for The Best Friend a Man Could Ever Ask For

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Levi Is in Heaven With My Rimo

Dear friend,

Age does not matter. You are 18 and you have cried for your beloved brother. I am 37 years and lost my Rimo on 4th June 2012. I am a bachelor and Rimo was my everything. She was like my daughter.

I think i will be able to meet with my beloved Rimo after my death in Rainbow bridge and from there we will go to heaven and there we will stay permanently. Nobody will be able to part us.

I hope that you are able to meet with your friend in heaven.

Regards, Samrat

Best Friend
by: Anonymous

I know your pain, brother...

So Sorry for Your Loss
by: Anonymous

I share your grief. We are never too old to cry when we lose a precious friend. Do not be ashamed to cry.

Your Levi knew you loved him and right now your heart is broken, so honey, you cry if it's the thing to do.

You are a real man when you are not ashamed to show your grief, your respect for a valued friend.

If crying is not for men, then loving is not for men either. It is the manly thing to do.

Your friend and dog lover, too.


Your Buddy
by: Nicolette

I lost my Nala, a 15 year old pit/lab mix, on August 7th 2012. Yes they are our family and we don't realize the comfort, patience, understanding and love they give us. It's unconditional and never ending.

I totally understand. My son was with me too. He said "Why cry mom? It won't solve anything." I know he had his moment because he picked her out and we had her since he was 5 years old.

Sorry for your loss. I'm sure "your buddy" is with you.

Be blessed.

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