More than a Mutt

I had to say goodbye to my best friend of 14 years this week. Scrappy and I found each other in 2007. I was in college and was visiting my best friend at home. She was dating this guy who had just ended up with a puppy that he didn’t want to keep. We spent the day at his house watching SEC football and I just loved this puppy. He kept saying, “If you want that dog, you can have it.” At the end of the day he packed up the dog, the kennel, and the dog food in the back of my ’97 Jetta and Scrappy came back to Auburn, Alabama with me.

14 years later Scrappy and I have been through multiple moves, road trips, college graduation, marriage, multiple job changes, and several children. Before we had kids, Scrappy went EVERYWHERE with me. He was my road dog. I’d like to tell you how much he loved my kids and what a great dog he was to them. He was not a fan of children. By the time my kids came along he was 10 years old already… an old man in dog years. The day I brought my first-born home Scrappy didn’t talk to me for two weeks. He didn’t like the way I smelled. The kids made him nervous. He wasn’t aggressive towards them, but he’d growl when they hugged him or sat on him.

The last few years with Scrappy we’ve seen him get older and grumpier. He was physically still getting around, but his mind was just not there anymore. He was taking more and more “crazy pills” and getting more confused. He was a one-woman dog. And although he was old and grumpy, he was loyal to the end. He spent his last day with me being as sweet as ever staying close to my side. It’s like he could sense just how deeply sad I was to let him go. I wasn’t prepared for this ending. I thought I’d be ready. Afterall, I’m just a few weeks out from delivering our third baby and I am mentally and physically exhausted. But nothing can prepare you for losing this kind of friend.

I don’t think I’ll ever love a dog the way I loved Srappy. He was my baby before babies. He was my best friend (even when I yelled at him) for a decade and half.

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