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I Got To Say Goodbye After All

December 2003

Iknow this seems long in the beginning, but it has a purpose.

A few years ago, my family had a shelty dog named Snooky. He was 14 years old, pretty old for a dog, and we'd had him since before I was born. Lately, he'd been having some medical problems with a tumor in his nose. My parents had taken him to the vet to see if it could be removed, but when his heart stopped on the table, they decided to just take him home and make his last days as comfortable as possible.

A few nights later, something happened and Snooky started sneezing badly. (My parents told my brother and I this, we were asleep.) He started sneezing blood because of the tumor in his nose, then tried to go outside to lay down by himself and die. (I don't know why dogs do this.) My parents couldn't stand to see him suffer, so they took him to the vet, not telling us kids, and had him put to sleep. When they got home, my mother tried to clean up the blood so she could just tell us kids that Snooky had died peacefully.

Well, that's what they told us, but I found some blood on the dresser, and when they told us what really happened, I got really upset, because I hadn't had a chance to say goodbye to the pet I'd known and loved for my whole life. That night, I cried myself to sleep.

Later that night, after I'd actually gotten to sleep, something woke me up. At first I wasn't sure what it was, then I knew. My feet were sticking out from under the covers, and I could feel my dog pressing his cold nose on the bottom of one of my feet. I told Snooky I loved him, and I heard him brush against the lamp by my bedroom door and leave. I slept a lot better after that, and I didn't cry anymore. My parents wondered why, but there was no way I could tell them that our dead dog had come back so I could say Goodbye.

I've heard a lot of stories about people coming back to say goodbye, but I never expected my dog to. Maybe this happened to me because it was my first encounter with the death of something I loved. I'm 18 now, and I still haven't forgotten it.

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