My Best Friend, My Gouda

My Best Friend, My Gouda

The last few months have been a few of the toughest… After hearing stories from friends who have lost loved ones, whether suddenly or from illness, I often wondered what was more difficult.

Well, for the first time, I think I know the answer.

My best friend died today. He was one of the great loves of my life. He made me laugh, smile, cry…he brought out the best in me. I was selfless with him. He could do no wrong. In my eyes, he was perfect. He was loyal. He was sweet and gentle. He was there for me. He was a prince. A king. He came into this world incredibly beautiful and he left it the same way.

He brought joy to my life, he filled a void that needed to be filled. Now that he is gone, my heart is just that much emptier.

I want to believe he is at peace. I want to be believe he is in a better place. All the books I have read on the subject, I want to believe he is having fun now and smiling. But how can I know? He is not here to tell me. His tail is no longer up and wagging. He isn’t barking or asking for cookies.

All I know is that when I learned of his illness, I knew we were on borrowed time. Sadly enough, I have to remind myself that each and every one of us is on borrowed time but when you aren’t told, you forget. Because I knew, I spent as much time with him as I could. I cherished every moment. And when I wasn’t with him, I checked in numerous times a day.

It was tough. I was stressed. We all were. Every day was different. We weren’t sure what to look out for. What does the decline look like? The doctors didn’t know-all they could tell us were case study examples. No one seemed to know anything and the sad thing is, the illness was not uncommon.

When I learned about his death, there was a sense of relief. Relief that he was out of pain (assuming there was pain). Relief that we didn’t have to worry anymore. Relief that the end result which we knew was inevitable had come and there is no more anxiety.

But there is no relief in knowing that after 12.5 years, I will arrive at the airport and he won’t be there to greet me. There is no relief in knowing that I will go to the refrigerator and he won’t be behind me hoping to get something to eat. There will be no more pawing me for treats or barking when someone comes over. Or just following me into my room, ransacking my garbage to get attention…

I will miss my best friend. He was a big part of my heart. We went through a lot together. He was my confidante. He was a gentleman. He opened my eyes to the real issues in life and not to focus on the insignificant ones. He calmed me down. He was my beautiful boy and he left this world with dignity, the way he deserved.

I will forever miss him. I will forever love him.

Thank you, Gouda, for being in my life, for joining me in my adventures and for putting up with me when I hugged you and kissed you nonstop. I hope you know it is because I loved you so much.