The one about a dog…

… but not just any dog. The best, most amazing dog.

Ganda, our lovely Tibetan mastiff, passed away this morning at the honorable age of 14 years (1.4.2003-6.7.2017). I’m not going to sugarcoat it – I’m shattered. When I say she was the best, most amazing dog, I mean it. She was pure gold.

These 14 years hold a lot of memories – some of them good, some of them bad, some of them happy, and some of them sad. When I say I grew up with this dog it’s not in a dramatic, Hollywood-movie-like way, but in an honest, “this is life”-kind of way.

I was 7 (turning 8) when Ganda came to us, and I’m 21 (turning 22) when the time came for her to leave. I really did grow up with this dog. She witnessed my careless childhood years, my awkward teenage years, my stressful and excited high school years, and the beginning of my “adult” life as a university student. Through the years she has always been an unchanging, unfailing rock, and I believe she’ll continue to watch over me from behind the clouds. No matter if I was happy or sad I could count on this dog to always be there, never judging, always understanding – an honorable, admirable trait.

She was certainly not your average happy-go-lucky dog with a wagging tail and huge smile (I could probably count all the times her tail has wagged using one hand). That isn’t to say she didn’t cause trouble – stopping the traffic on our street, killing the “dog proof” kitchen gates, eating my sweets and chocolates, “reading” books, the list goes on.

However, when it came down to it, she relied on her instincts more than “I wonder what the humans want me to do”. Barking at the tractor spreading manure on the field across from our house because “That’s my field… I can see it, therefore it is my field… now it smells like cow poop…”, digging under the deck (and exposing the foundations of the house) because “I’m from Tibet… close to China… going to dig my way to China…”, not caring less about small, floppy eared dogs who came to the house, but “Big dog (or small)… pointy ears… must make sure this does not get near the house”, laying in the snow for hours on end because “Look like bear… bears hibernate in winter… must lay in snow until it covers me completely”, the list goes on.

To anyone who hasn’t had the privilege of being unconditionally loved by an animal – I’m sorry. And to anyone who has had the privilege of being unconditionally loved by an animal – I’m sorry. Why? Because the pain of letting them go is something beyond the power of words, and anyone who has felt it knows exactly what I mean.

I guess all we, as nothing but tiny humans, can do is let the tears come, and rest knowing, or at least hoping, we will see our furry friends again in some other time. Until then we hold on to the precious memories ❤

//jz

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