Its been 23 weeks and 2 days since I lost my best friend. She was a wolf Pomeranian (that mainly described her coloring). Her name was Butters and she was almost 9 when we lost her unexpectedly. It was July 20 and it was a horribly hot day where I live, I believe the hottest all summer reaching 112 degrees F. I had just moved away from home almost a month earlier and I was just getting adjusted to “adult” life. My sister had to stop by our mom’s house to let the dogs out and accidently left Butters outside. You see Butters had a tendency to take awhile outside and my sister was in a rush and trying to calm a screaming 4 yr old down. I don’t blame her one bit. Now Butters has separation anxiety her entire life. I raised her from 6 weeks old and she was my baby. So we think when she realized she was left outside she panicked and she managed to squeeze herself through a hole in our fence half her size. My mom arrived home from work 3-4 hrs later and found her beneath our neighbor’s tree in their front yard. I was at work at the time so my mom called my oldest brother not knowing how to break the news to me. So I get a call from my brother, which is odd cause we don’t typically talk on the phone, and he says, “Butters is dead” just like that I kid u not. Then I replied, “Please tell me this is some kind of awful joke.” and then I broke down right there at my job in front of at least 5 coworkers and 3-4 customers. I have never cried so hard in my life. Even writing this brings gut wrenching sobs out of me. So my brother came and got me and I’m crying from the depths of my soul the entire car ride there, making it worse by telling myself that she’ll be fine when I get there. When we finally pull up to my mom’s house I dove out of the car to where my mom was sitting in the grass next to my Butters. I will never be able to get the image of her out of my head. She was stiff with her tongue sticking out her eyes were open and the flies were just starting to come around. And I sat there and held her close to me and cried. I still feel as though my heart was ripped out because that dog meant more to me than most people. You see I have dealt with serious depression for a few years now and she was the one thing that kept me from committing suicide. She was all the good parts of my personality with fur. I just need to know that the pain gets easier to deal with….

— Leah from Indianapolis, IN