I remember reading somewhere that having an animal, such as a dog or cat is very beneficial to one’s health. It reduces a sedentary lifestyle because having an animal allows you to be more active. For example, walking a dog or even playing with a cat. It also reduces the risk of mental illnesses like depression and anxiety. An animal will subside the loneliness and alleviate the anxious feelings of doubt. This is what I argued to my mother when I begged for a dog. No matter how much I begged and pleaded and used the presentation of facts, she was not persuaded. My grandmother was persuaded, but that wasn’t the only thing that aided in her decision to get a dog. She found an ad for this particular little dog and everything about him was seemingly perfect.
He became a part of the family. He was a small runt; he could literally fit in of both of your hands. He had black curly fur and his bark was like a chipper, almost musical. When we got him he was given the name Scamp. We never changed it because his name fit his personality. He was always getting into things that didn’t belong to him like Taco Bell sauce, water bottles, gummy worms, and virtually anything left out for him to find. He was also prone to mischevious behavior. He’d drag whatever he could find into the hallway and get to work trying to open whatever it was that he found interesting. He was very enthusiastic when people came over. He’d jump and leap high in the air trying to get attention. He was a very peculiar dog, he liked to wear shirts. We were always buying them for him. Whenever we held a shirt up he’d come to us and put his head inside.
I remember the day he got sick. He was not his usual self. He laid around all day and refused to get up and play. It’s when my grandmother realized something was wrong. The vet said he had a disorder; he had it most of his life. There something wrong with his blood. We had to make the decision of coming up with the money to afford the operation or simply put him out of his misery. The cheapest option was to put him down. The hardest part was having to accept the choice that was made. He was nine years old.
About a year or so later, my grandma made the decision to get another dog. A year was spent on grieving the loss of Scamp and trying to move on. I remember helping her with the selection of another dog. The day we found him was the day we met him. A few days later, we brought him home.
His name was Sam. He was black, like Scamp. He was a runt, like Scamp. He was already named, like Scamp As much as we wanted him to be like Scamp, he was very different. He was a shelter dog. He’s more rambunctious, bigger, and he has a habit of eating furniture. I could tell my grandmother was trying hard to love him like she did Scamp, but it was difficult for her. He’d eat stuff and shred it into something unrecognizable. He’d climb on the counter and dining room table and lick whatever he could find. She’d constantly come home to something he’d manage to find. I can understand her pain. She’s trying her hardest. I have caught her on occasions warming up to him. Smiling when she thinks no one is looking, petting his head gentling or talking to him.
Although I don’t live with my grandma, I still visited many times a week spending time with her. I treated Sam as if he were my own. I watched him when my grandmother went out of town, fed him lunch when she couldn’t and took him for walks when her arthritis acted up. Just as I was getting to know him, I had to leave him behind. I miss him more every day. We spent so much time together and built a lasting bond. I hope I get to see him again soon.