Essay Sample: The Dog That Changed My Life

I had many paths I could have taken, many focuses that I could have chosen but none of them seemed right after my beloved dog passed away. I was interested in so many topics, history, teaching, science, biochemistry, space, etc... but none alone truly fit. In the new MCU show What If...? they explore little things that if changed have the craziest out comes. I now see how that one change has completely altered the course of my life. I am adopted, but first I was fostered. I was about 4 maybe 5 when I first entered the house that has become my home, and the first sight when I opened that door (or that door was opened for me) was the largest creature I have ever seen in my life (that was not human). She was a Great Dane- Mastiff, one of the largest dog breeds ever, she had the floppiest jowls ever and the cutest giant wet nose known to dog kind. She had kind dark eyes and an even sweeter heart. She was a lighter brown but all the tips of her body was a dark almost black color, she was very heavy ( to say the least). I felt something stir in me when I saw her little did I know how attached I would become or how much she would have an impact on me. She was extremely patient, I would play with the extremely floppy jowls she had or her rolls of fat and she never growled or bit or showed any sign of annoyance no matter what we did. She always sat (or lay down) dutifully letting us little children have our fun. She was a dog who seemed immensely frightening but was scared of the silliest things. As she was getting older we took her to the vet's office and once we drove past a wacky waving inflatable balloon guy she totally freaked out, she got so scared she barked and jumped at it then it would wave and she would jump back whimper and then do it all over again. She was absolutely adorable and loyal, everyday for at least 5 years everyday we would come home, open the door and she would be there, every single day.

She was a Great Dane-Mastiff, two dogs prone to joint & bone issues, and her weight did not help any. She was going on 9 years which is the average max life for those dogs, but she was so healthy she seemed like she could have lived so much longer. To be honest she was not completely healthy, but what she had was ultimately too much for her. She had Bone Cancer and when we caught it, it was already too late, maybe it was already too late when it occurred I have no idea but it was harder than I could have ever imagined, it still is to be honest. Her health declined so quickly we never saw it was too late until it was too late. I knew she was old and later in her life but she was so amazing I was in shock, numb, I was in denial and refused to admit it. I remember It was only a few weeks before her death when we went to the pharmacy to pick up some meds to help her, we were giving it to her to help feed our denial really because we all knew it was over deep inside of us. Mom and the pharmacist were talking. They said something along the lines of, “Pick-up for Bailey Dixon”. They filled out the info and he brought it out and explained how to give it to her than, “ who is this for?”, “our dog, she has bone cancer” and he said “ oh yeah, there is no coming back from that one, sorry bout your dog” Mom said thanks and we left in a hurry. I mulled over those words for so long, I was in denial and those words cut like knives in my heart. He really did not know he hurt me so I never was angry at him, just the words he chose.

If we fast forward past all the doctor appointments only saying it was getting worse we would skip to the day she gets put asleep. I just want to say here and now that I am not and never was angry at mom & dad for putting her down, I was angry at the world, myself, never the people who saved her from the pain. That day my little brother and I were playing with a wood train set in the apartment we were staying in with our oldest brother watching us. I remember a weird look Brendan got on his face after receiving a text. I tried to put it out of my mind but that was futile. Only hours later I heard keys jangle in the door and got extremely excited that mom was here. That happiness died when mom had a tear stained face and dad had a pained tear in his gait. I was confused, then I saw Bailey and I was trying so hard not to think about the possibilities and why she was there too. Then it hit me like a wave when mom said “ Say goodbye” I was stunned and the not socially understanding little brother of mine asked why. Not wanting to hear it repeated, I got up and tuned out everything she said while petting Bailey. Dad let her off the leash and she went bounding around her new surroundings.My little brother followed her everywhere clinging to her, she came to me twice just for a second and I never went chasing after her like he did and I regret it every day of my life, I know I did not squeeze out every second with her like I could have and it stings.  

After Mom texted and said she was gone I was deep in denial, the world seemed so much more bland and colorless. The food had the flavor of air, the dim lights seemed all too bright. The smell smelled like nothing, except for pollen that the cat brought in. The brown stayed the same level of terrible home design color though. The carpet felt too much like a dog's coat.

It took years to get to acceptance, if that is what you call this feeling but with acceptance came a new responsibility. I always wanted to work in the vet field and I suppose all along I knew that but after she died I felt lost. I felt that I needed to help others and being a vet was always a goal of mine. I looked into it and I knew I couldn't be a vet but I learned about vet tech and it's like that job was made for me, it was just perfect and now everyday keeping her in mind I work for that future that she helped inspire.



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