September is Pet Insurance Month and in honor of this, Trupanion celebrated the special bond that we have with our pets. We collected your stories explaining how your pet changed your life. It wasn’t easy, but we chose our top 5 finalists and Anna’s story is one of them.
Growing up in Lafayette, Indiana without siblings can be lonely and living in the country while attending a city school lead me to realize how without companionship I was. Until one fateful day when my mother picked me up from pre-school and took me to get puppy food. “Why are we doing this?,” I asked her. Only the instructions of patience then silence were my responses on that long (fifteen minute) drive home.
Then, there she was – in a tiny cardboard box on the kitchen floor. Her pink blanket complemented her white fur and black spots. “Her name is Gypsie. Would you like to hold her?,” offered my father. From that moment (and for the next 14 years) I had a best friend for whom to call mine. And a best friend, she truly was. She rode by my side in my electronic jeep, watched vigilantly while I dressed my Barbie, and helped me draw by only leaving the colors of crayons she thought I should use (and eating the others).
And as I grew, she was a shoulder to lean on when my grandparents passed away, when my best (human) friend moved to another school district, and when my mother spent weeks in the hospital.
Suddenly high school activities and busy times with friends left less time for our friendship – but when I returned home each day, there she was at her post by the fence, waiting for my arrival. College quickly followed and the big “scary” move away from home. So far, this was the saddest day of our friendship. After the celebration of getting into college followed by the sorrow of losing the scholarship that was going to pay for it, her human was moving away.
I came home as often as I could to discuss life with her: boyfriends, employment, and what career I should choose; nonetheless, she spent hours sitting by the fence waiting for me to return until one day I returned home and she wasn’t by the fence any longer. She was inside, nestled in my father’s lap, and the tears slowly rode down my cheeks as my father told me how she had seizured the night before and he thought we had lost her. After the mad dash to the vet, I discovered that my best friend had a heart condition, and I chose to let her leave this world peacefully on June 6th of that year – just one month shy of age fourteen. In the sadness that followed her passing, I realized that she had taught me a valuable lesson about love and loss – and it was that day that I vowed to be a veterinarian.
I am currently a veterinary student, and I thank my childhood buddy each day for giving me the motivation to follow a dream that she helped cultivate. Her loss was devastating; but because of her, I have the tools at hand to save other’s best friends. And for that, I love her more each day.
If Anna’s story is your favorite, vote for it by clicking the Facebook ‘Like’ button on this post.
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