Dealing with the loss of a pet is something almost everyone has to go through at some point in their lives. The joy and love from being around them makes it all worth it though. Recently I lost my best friend to cancer that we didn't catch before it was too late. Maya was thirteen years old, and I had been with her since I was ten and she was three. We grew up together, and as I got older, so did she. She even came to visit me when I lived in the dorms and she earned her degree in cuteness. Having to let her go was the hardest thing I have ever done and I am still not over her passing. There are a few things I have done that has made it a lot easier saying goodbye to her. 

The best thing I did was cry. Believe it or not, crying my heart and soul out while talking to my boyfriend made me feel better. I was not holding onto all of these emotions and shoving it down. Not only did it help to let it all out, it was nice to have someone reassure me that I did all I could to take care of her. She was in rough shape towards the end and I did everything in my power to make her feel better.

The next thing I did was make a way for me to remember her. I was able to have Maya’s collar when she passed away. The feeling of walking out of her vet with tears in my eyes, and collar in hand, killed me. I saw how people were looking at me carrying her things without her there. That collar now hangs up on my wall next to her picture. I also have her paw print that I took the day she passed away. Having these physical representations of Maya around makes her absence less painful. When I start getting sad I will grab her collar and sit on the couch with it and run my fingers along the tags. It helps me think of the good times we had and how much I love her. 

One of the best things you can do is think of the good times with your pet. When Maya was a puppy, she used to grab my underwear and run behind the couch with them. She was a crazy little ball of energy as a puppy and she made my life way more exciting. As she got older, she calmed down a lot! She became very lazy and would come up to me, roll onto her back for belly rubs, and start to growl at me until I gave her attention. This, and food, were the only times you could get her to willingly move. When I think of the good times, I'm sad, but not in a bad way. I am sad she is gone, but happy that I was able to spend time with her and honestly, most of the time I start to smile. Thinking about what you could have done, how much pain your friend was in, or anything along these lines will bring you down a bad path. With life comes death and that is something that is hard to learn but something everyone needs to accept. My puppy lived a long wonderful life and passed away surrounded by family while eating goodies and even though she passed away I would not change anything we did together for the world.

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