The Love of My Life

Tuesday, 15 April 2014

For almost 14 years now, the love of my life has been my dog, Otto. As he is getting older and older, it's becoming more and more obvious how little time we have left together. I've been aware for a good few years now that he might not be around for much longer, but he's pulled through any rough patches, and he still jumps and around and acts like a young dog. The expected age of a Weimaraner is 11, so he's successfully passed his expiry date! Despite not acting like the average old dog, he's lost most of his hearing, and he looks increasingly unhealthy as his ribs become more and more visible. It's only a matter of time before he passes away, but the mere thought of that alone is enough to shatter my heart into a thousand pieces.

To anybody that has never had a dog, and especially to anybody that has never even had a pet, it might sound strange when I say that Otto has been 'there for me'... but it's true. Whenever I've been going through a rough period, or I've been upset over one thing or the other, I found a source of comfort in confiding in him. Maybe it's just because he can listen, and there isn't any awkwardness of him not knowing what to respond with - he just listens, which is what I need far more often than not. Whatever the reason, he's helped me in dark periods of my life... I miss him ever so much when I'm at uni because nothing is quite like the support system of a dog.

My family and I have far too many stories of Otto, some good, some bad, and some just plain ugly. My favourite few include:- the time that he was locked in the garage with 48 packets of crisps in big cardboard boxes... and he ate them all, plastic packets included! the year that my mum bought special easter eggs with our names iced on, and otto managed to find them under her bed one day and he ate them all! the first time i came home from uni since moving to manchester, he ran around the house for 5 long minutes to show me how excited he was

Otto is honestly the love of my life; he's never let me down. I was only 5 when we got him, so I don't remember a time when he wasn't around. Although I live without him now, as I live in Manchester, there'll be a hole in my heart when he finally dies. It'll be almost eerie to come home and to not be greeted by a happy dog, to be sniffed, and licked, and pushed over. As I'm typing this, he's lying next to me on the floor, fast asleep, with his leg and tail twitching every now and then as his body reacts to the dream he's having.

No word of a lie, I could not have asked for a more loving dog to help me grow up. The reason we got Otto in the first place is because I was like most other 5 year old girls - I was terrified of big dogs. So what did my Dad decide was the best idea to get me over my fear? To have one in our house. Obviously I loved him straight away, as he was a tiny puppy when we first brought him home. But as he grew into a bigger dog, the type that I was scared of, I'd already grown to love him, and so my fear slowly went away.

Sure, I complain about him from time to time, but who doesn't complain about the thing that they love occasionally? He's annoying, he eats food that he's not supposed to eat, he will not leave you alone if you're the only person in the house, he'll cry for my dad when he's not here, he begs for food as if he hasn't been fed in over a month, and he ran away uncountable times when he was younger. But he's a dog - it's his job to do all of those things. At the end of the day, he's been a source of comfort for me and my family, and he's been a best friend.

I was prepared to lose him in October when we had a scare that he was in pain and couldn't function properly anymore, but he's still here, 6 months later, just as healthy as ever. I'm no fool - he won't be around for much longer. He's old, the vet told us a year ago that he has cancer, and his senses are slowly deteriorating. All I can say is that I'm beyond thankful that I've had the opportunity to have such an amazing friend for the past 14 years, and that I'm glad that my family and I could give him such a long and happy life.

I love you, Otto. You will forever be the love of my life.

Edit: Otto passed away at 2am on April 17th. He wasn't particularly ill when I wrote this post, it was just a coincidence that I happened to write it 27 hours before he died. There are no words that can express the pain I'm currently feeling, and how much he will be throughly missed.

4 comments:

  1. I just want to give you a big hug right now, I'm so sorry for your loss and Otto looked very handsome, especially with those big eyes and ears. Also, he sounded such an amazing character, you really captured his personality and how he adored you and your family.

    I can't imagine how you must have felt when you got the news, I have 2 cats and would be distraught if anything ever happened to them. As you beautifully illustrate in your post; they are more than a pet and regardless of what mischievous acts they get up to, they do become a part of your family; your best friend, playmate and even agony aunt/uncle and it looks to me that Otto saw you as the same; a great friend and family member who he had a long and amazing life with, even if he did scoff your Easter egg :o (hey, we all have our moments!)

    Wishing you well and so hope I haven't made you feel worse, just didn't want to read and run xxx

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    1. Thank you ever so much for your kind words, it means a lot! Don't worry, you've certainly not made things worse! If anything's got me through this, it's the kind words of others like yourself, reminding me how great of a life he had and, although it's a shame he's no longer here, I will have those memories forever :) xxx

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  2. This post was so touching. I have a dog too and I can't image losing her. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Cheers,
    Eileen

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