Saying Goodbye to a Friend

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Anyone who owns or has owned a pet knows how hard it is to say goodbye to our faithful companions.

When I was planning this journey, I knew I would not be able to take my girl Missy with me. As much as I would have liked to have her here, I knew it was not in her best interest.

Missy girl having some fun rolling around in the grass

Missy is an interesting dog to say the least. I found her through a bloodhound rescue in Southern California a couple years ago after losing my buddy Andre.

She had been a breeding dog, but when her owner realized he wasn’t making the big bucks selling the pups like he thought he would, he left the dogs outside with barely any human interaction.

Missy was scared of everyone and everything when she first came to my house in LA. 

On top of her already intense nervousness, she is near blind, so every little noise would send her running down to my room to hide.

Enjoying the road trip

It has been a long road working with her and getting her to calm down. Slowly but surely she started coming around.

This posed a big problem with my plans. How could I leave her knowing how fragile she was and after making such huge progress working with her!? 

I couldn’t just abandon her. I don’t know how long I will be gone, and not just anybody could take care of her. I had to make sure Missy was happy wherever she stayed. That was top priority!

Watching Missy for those 2 years made me realize the city was not the place for her. It was too loud and chaotic, so I decided the best place for her to stay would be with my parents back in Kansas…….and I don’t think I could have made a better decision!

Looking out at the amazing view from Big Horn Mine in the Angeles Forest

As soon as Missy jumped out of my car, she knew she was home. 

She put her nose to the ground and started exploring. I couldn’t believe how relaxed she was after just a couple of days!

I was overjoyed to see the happiness on her face as she ran around the farm with her mouth wide open, tongue hanging out, and her tail in the air.

When I left Kansas to start my trip, I was sad to leave her, but knowing she was in a better place put my mind at ease.

She had to take a rest after the long hike to the top of Strawberry Peak

Now I look forward to getting pictures and videos of Missy playing in the pond or howling at the coyotes. She is a completely different dog from when she came to my house 2 years ago.

I know now that Missy is a farm dog, and she is finally in her happy place.

The Dream

Last Monday marked the 2 year anniversary of the passing of my boy Andre, and not a day goes by that I don’t find myself thinking about him at least once.

My buddy Andre giving me his adoring eyes

To say he was my best friend is an understatement……Andre was my soulmate.

We were brought together by fate, and we spent 12 wonderful years growing up together.

He was with me as I grew from being a bratty teenager in college to becoming a (slightly)more responsible adult and starting my life and career in LA.

When I would travel, I would have friends stay at the house with him or he would go to a dog camp in the canyons of California. And when I got back he would definitely let me know how he felt about me being gone. He was such a curmudgeon old man!

He would always sit so proper

We discovered new hiking trails all around LA and went on numerous road trips throughout the U.S together.  

Andre and I were 2 peas in a pod, and I would give anything to be able to hug him again.

Well the other night I was given that chance…….kind of.

You know when you have those dreams that are so vivid they almost seem real?

I had one last Monday night, and it was about Andre. 

In the dream, I had dropped him off at the clinic due to his declining health. Days passed and all I could think about was Andre and if he was still alive.

My friends kept reassuring me that he had passed and I should stop worrying about him, but there was something urging me to go back.

Enjoying a hike to Switzer Falls

I finally talked my father into taking me back to the clinic just to see if Andre was still there. When we pulled up to the building, I saw his name on a board and knew he was still alive.

As I walked through the door into the bright glowing room, I saw a woman wearing a stark white uniform with a big black dog standing in front of her… was Andre!

He loped over to me, and I knelt down to give him the biggest hug I have ever given. He pressed his shoulders into me just like he used to, and I wrapped my arms around him and squeezed him tight and said, “it’s been too long old buddy.”

He pushed himself against me and rested his head on my shoulder, and we stayed there in our embrace for what seemed like an eternity.

And then I woke up.

Those first few moments after that were a bit surreal. I had to question if it really happened for a second.

Getting ready to take off on our last road trip back to Kansas

It was so real!

It didn’t dawn on me until I was writing in my journal later that morning that I realized it was 2 years to the day that Andre had passed.

Did he come to me in my dream just to say hi and to let me know he is still with me in spirit?

I like to think so.

Even though it was only a dream, I feel like Andre gave me what I had been wanting so badly for the last 2 years, and that was to be able to hug him again one more time.

Do you have a special story about your furry friend? Please share it with us in the comments below.


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