Whenever something sad happens, my gut instinct is to sit down and write out my feelings.  I’m not one to internalize.  I need to talk about them.  Go over details.  Sort out all my messy emotions.  I am here to do that today.

After work on Tuesday, as I was driving home, my mom called me to tell me that she and my dad had to put our lab Maui down.

Unless you have a pet it’s really hard to truly understand the pain that comes with losing one.  These furry friends are more than just love embodied in 60 pounds of tail-wag.  They’re members of the family.  Shoulders that have been cried on many times.  Nonspeaking, nonjudgmental listeners.  It doesn’t matter how many times you get back from work, they’ll be excited each and every time you do.

They don’t even care if you have a terrible singing voice.

Which is why losing a pet is so hard.  They’re the embodiment of kindness.  Of everything good in the world.  Of pure, unadulterated love.

We got Maui 12 years ago when I was a senior in high school.  She came as a package deal.  When Kyle, my dad and I finally convinced my mom that we needed a dog, she decided that, heck, we may as well get two.  So we waited eagerly to pick up our Maui and Ashbury from the breeder.

Maui has always had a special corner in my heart.  She was the underdog.  The one that would let our neurotic, little Ashbury have the spotlight.  She was just happy to have a little love and a good belly scratch.

Knowing she’s gone feels like a chapter has closed.  I was 18 when we got her.  I’ve graduated, gotten married and had a baby since then.  Yet it still feels like yesterday I snuggled with that tiny puppy on that first car ride home.

It’s sad, but like many things, time will heal the strength of grief and I’ll be able to remember her sweet, little mug without tearing up.  But for now I’ll let my heart ache in it for awhile and miss my dog.

Love you, Mau-pie.