Before I was born my parents bought a dog. He was a huge Burnese Mountain dog named Milo, and he was the sweetest, most affectionate dog you could imagine. My parents considered him their child because he acted like a human. He loved everyone and everything, but he was deathly afraid of cats even though he could squash them if he wanted to.
When I was born about a year after Milo was, my parents directed their attention to me. Milo still got a lot of love, but not as much as he used to. You would think that he would hold a huge grudge against me, but he didn't. Instead he loved me almost as much as my parents did. When I was cold, Milo would sit next to me and curl up around me. He would let me do terrible things to him like sit on his back and put decorations in his fur, and not snap or bite. He was patient and kind, and he had become my best friend.
One day Milo had a problem. Half of his face had become paralyzed, and when we rushed him to the veterinarian, they only made it worse. Milo was to live the rest of his life unable to move half of his face. He couldn't blink one eye and he was constantly drooling. Being a mere child, I became disgusted with the saliva that ended up on my shoes or I stepped in and I began saying things to him that I regret even today. I called him things such as 'Stupid Dog' and began to ignore him. Milo still loved me though.
Later in his life he developed other problems. He had a large cancerous tumor on his back. During his last two years he was unable to move around without being in pain. He couldn't climb stairs or take a long walk. My parents had to carry him around. Even though he was in such a feeble state I continued to be rude to him.
I woke up one morning to crying and immediately I knew what had happened. I rushed down the stairs and immediately threw my arms around my mother sobbing. Milo had been unable to get up. He couldn't move. My parents had lifted him out to the car and my father had brought him to the veterinarian, where he was told that Milo was going to have to be put to sleep. We had lost our wonderful dog to cancer.
I never really realized how much I loved Milo until he was gone. If I could take back all of the things that I said to him I would. If I could bring him back I would. But it's too late.
That was four years ago and we have two new dogs now, and although they will never replace Milo in the hearts of our family, I treat them like they were my own children. I never want to make the same mistake that I made four years ago.
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