Nothing but a Memory
In the poem “Weighing the Dog”, Billy Collins has a breakthrough with his dog. He realized that he never considered what his dog meant to him until he subtracted the dog from himself. Many people experience this very thing. They do not realize how much a person or a pet meant to them until it is too late. In April of this year, my family experienced the death of our beloved dog Chloe. Chloe had been a member of our family for fifteen years. I was four years old and she was two months old when she came into our life. She was a one pound ball of long fluffy light brown hair. When she died, she was ten pounds and had arthritis to the point that she could not walk. Chloe was just like a human in that, the older she got the grumpier she got. I truly did not realize what she meant to me until she was no longer here.
With me being an only child, Chloe was like my sister. We played together all the time. I would ...view middle of the document...
I do not think she ever forgot that either. I did that when I was about ten and from then one I could not touch her without her trying to bite me. There were many times that she would lie in my door way and the only way I could get in was to step over her. When I would try, she would bite my foot. I would look at her and she would almost have this smirk like look on her face.
Like some sisters do, we started to grow apart. Once she turned thirteen, she really started to go downhill. She had to have knee surgery and we did not know if she would make it through that. After she made it through the surgery, she never was fully able to walk again. She got to the point where she just sat and scooted wherever she wanted to go. Then she got to where she just laid in one spot and never moved. We had talked about putting her to sleep, and I thought I was ready for that. I knew she was hurting and she would not let anybody touch her. We kept hoping that we might walk into the laundry room and find her dead. That would have been easier than putting her to sleep. On April 13, 2010, we had Chloe put to sleep. After class was over that morning, I came home and checked on Chloe. She was in her usually spot asleep. Daddy came home that afternoon and said he was taking her and wanted to know if I wanted to go. I told him I had homework and that he could take her. Truth is, I could not stand to see her face when they took her back. Daddy came back home with her and buried her in the back year next to my cat Sam. It was in that moment that I realized what she meant to me. Billy Collins says it best, “I never figured out what you amounted to until I subtracted myself from our combination” (11-12). Once she was no long with us physically, I realized how much she was a part of me. We still see her face all over the house. Sometimes at night when the house is really quiet, we can still hear her bark.
In conclusion, most people realize what people mean to them after they are gone. We just assume that we are going to be here tomorrow and so are they. We think there is always another day to tell them what they mean to us. Truth is, all we have is today. Once our love ones are gone, so is our chance to tell and show them what they really mean to us.