I heard that in one of your books, you printed a very touching letter that your son wrote after his dog passed away. Our family just lost our 13-year-old dog, and so I was hoping I could show that letter to my 9-year-old son as a way of comforting him. Would it be possible for you to reprint that letter in your column?
Losing a pet is always hard. When our family dog Emily, died in my arms in 1990, it was one of the saddest moments of my life. Emily was a living example of the perfect dog-a dear friend to me and an inseparable companion to my son Jesse.
In memory of Emily, Jesse wrote the following letter.
Our back door creaked open with the same noise as always, It is difficult to recall bare specifics, but the extra and non-routine pair of footsteps nonchalantly intrigued my six-year-old mind. All of a sudden, as if it were an ambush, a three-month-old, 20-pound, uncoordinated German Shepherd puppy came pouncing into my room. I was knocked over easily as she continued her rampage of destruction on her new-found home. My long awaited dream become a reality as I was awed by my surprise Christmas present, "Emily". This "gift" eventually became my best friend, for I loved and trusted her with all my heart.
We grew up together, side by side. She was my true companion; whether fighting or playing, our friendship and love for each other broke all "barriers" of nature. Emily was not a helpless, inferior pet to me, for I looked upon her as a sister and a friend, and she understood me as well as anyone.
As we matured our unique yet beautiful relationship changed. Both age and time became serious factors as she could no longer keep up with me, nor did I have the time to spend with her. This is slightly misleading, for we were still able to maintain the friendship we'd always had. At the age of seven Emily underwent total hip replacement operation that improved her physical condition greatly. She was loved by our whole family, as she was considered a member, so the slightest problem gathered a terrible amount of concern.
Yesterday, my father came three thousand miles to visit me. When I casually asked how she was, an unknown frown appeared on his concerned face. Instantly, I knew that worst nightmare and my greatest fear had developed into reality.
Emily Margolis passed away last week as a bloated stomach cut off her blood supply. As she painlessly left she took with her a piece of my heart, as well as those of my parents. I have never loved anything as much as I did her, and I am grateful for all the wonderful memories that she has brought to my life. I dedicate my childhood to her, and I will never forget our friendship. I love you Emily.