So Long, Dear Friend


I called home today to wish my dad a happy Father’s Day. My mom told me that my dog Winger died this morning. He was about 8 years old and got in a fight with my brother’s dog over some bones. My dad and brother split up the fight, and I guess Winger was really upset about the whole thing and got all growly. This morning he seemed okay and my brother let him outside to go to the bathroom. He went into the woods and died.
I always expected his dad Cooper to die first. So, I started to prepare myself for his death as he moves along in age…I just never prepared myself for Winger.
My dogs have always been so significant to me growing up. I started showing my dog Annie when I was in 6th grade. I loved working with her and eventually started teaching classes, grooming dogs, and building equipment. My father and I spent so much amazing time together working with kids and with dogs. It’s where my love of teaching started. It’s where my love of animals grew profoundly. It’s where I learned about who I was.
In high school, when asked to choose between cool parties and my animals, I always chose Cooper, Annie, and Winger. We lost Annie two years ago, and now only Cooper is left. I feel a space in my heart has been left a little empty, and I wish I could have just thrown his stupid ball for him one more time. So, for whatever this means…here you go Winger. Go get it.