If you came to this story thinking it was another one of my stories, it is not. This is all true.

When people talk about loved ones dying, they usually say they "passed away." What a kind term for such a horrid tragedy. My dog, Littlefoot, just died. People thing this is sad, but I will get over it. They are wrong. You see, my dog was not just some pet. I had him since I was seven or eight years old. He was a tri-colored sheltie. He was born on October 15, and we got him a few weeks afterward. A few weeks ago he died, around 6:00 am, on October 15. He turned 13 years old that day. I loved him, even more than my entire family. When people say they passed away, they have no idea how wrong they are. Yes he had a peaceful death, but it was anything but a passing for me. For months we had seen his body grow frail and weary, and I tried to accept what was coming. I tried to harden my heart somehow against what was to come, but that never works. That morning, I received a call from my mom. Somehow I knew what had happened before even answering the phone. I drove all 108 miles back home from college going an average of 90 miles an hour, trying to see the road through a visor to tears.

Seeing him was terrible. How can anyone cope with seeing their best friend, their brother, their love wrapped in the cold embrace of death. Real death, not that shit you see on TV. I must have held him for hours. The post mortem started to set in while he sat in my arms. The legs stiffening only added to my grief. The worst part was his eyes were still open and I could not get them to close. They had no life in them. We got him cremated that day. That was the hardest thing I have ever done. There I was standing with the vet waiting for me to hand him Littlefoot. Seems like an easy thing? It would be easier to cut off your own arm. How do I describe it? That by giving my Littlefoot to this Vet to be cremated, I would never be able to hug my dog again.

The Vet gave us his ashes a little later on. They are in a nice little wood box. Mom asked me if I wanted to see his ashes. No, I said. NO. I NEVER want to see them because I refuse to believe all that is left of my Littlefoot is in that damn wooden box. I believe down to the bottom of my soul that he is in Heaven right now, and that one day I will see him again.

Littlefoot did not pass away that day. He was ripped out of my life. People talk about the death of a loved one as a pain deep in your heart, and they could not be more right. It is like someone took a knife and cut half of your heart out of your chest. It truly is a physical pain. Something changed in me that day. Ever since I was a little kid I have dreamed about flying. I have dreamed of having angel wings and soaring through the sky, and that if I could have anything in the world, it would be that. No longer. Now all I want is to be reunited with my Littlefoot. Since he died I have had this one memory lodged in my mind. It was back when I was just 13 years old. We lived in Issaquah, Washington State back then, and behind our house was a green belt, a small forest maybe a few square miles. I remember Littlefoot and I would explore in that forest for hours every single day, no matter the weather. When we were in that forest, nothing of the outside world mattered. It was a like a portal to a different land, with magical adventures shared only by dog and boy. That is my new dream. To return to those times in the forest with my Littlefoot. That is my Heaven. I don't know what possessed me to write this, but now that it's done, I'm never going to read this again. I would much rather relive the fun times with my Littlefoot than think on his death.