Prior to meeting my husband I didn't have a lot of consistent emotional support. I have family that lives close but most of my friends were married and so I often found comfort with the family dog, Fishy.
Fishy was always a sort of lumpy dog, we had his various lumps checked and none of them were cancerous but the last few years have been hard on him as he started to be affected by arthritis. When my husband and I got our own puppy we had to leave her outside when we came to visit because Fishy would get really excited and want to play but then would be in obvious pain for days afterwards.
It's been difficult to watch Fishy's health decline. He used to be so sprightly and excited to play but his arthritis had taken a toll and he was no longer able to climb the stairs in the house or the backyard. What this meant was that someone would have to help him up and down the stairs anytime he needed to go outside and "do his business." The last year specifically Fishy has been a companion for my Oma who moved into my parent's home. My parents finally decided that even though he was companionship for my Oma, that it was time to let Fishy go. So on June 20, 2016 at around 4:45pm Fishy went to sleep and didn't wake up again.
It was something I had been expecting for a while but knowing that doesn't mean I was ready. I'm lucky now to have a husband and a puppy to go home to. But I still treasure the times that I had that big hairy mutt sleeping on my bed or blissfully sticking his head out the window during car rides.
I no longer need Fish for comfort but he was a pretty large part of my identity and even though I will miss him I am grateful that he helped me become accustomed to being comforted by big hairy beasts, it made the transition to loving my husband that much easier.