Everyone has a pet that they treasure when they’re younger. It can be a dog, cat, hamster, or any other type of animal.

I’ve had cats my entire life. When I was born, we had 5 cats and now we have 4 living here. They’re mostly a different group of 4 since the others passed away after awhile.

One day, me and my mother went to a kennel to look at dogs. We were finally moving into a place that was going to have a backyard that we could have a dog in for the first time. We were happy to finally look at them.

My entire family is obsessed with animals. When we got there, as any child does, I went and looked at this puppy. He was around 4-6 months old and was a little german shepherd. We couldn’t get him because he had just been picked up and the old owner had a few days to find him before they could adopt him out.

Next, we looked at this little beagle that was barking and howling at the cage in front of him. We could tell he hated being in there. I wanted to be nice and take him out of the cage and walk him a little. Little did I know, he wasn’t going to let me put him back in that cage. He ran me right out the door of that shelter.

That began my life for the next 3 years with my little beagle.

I named him Shadow. That was just a name I had always wanted to give a dog. It seemed to fit him perfectly. He would follow everyone, especially my mother, if he was even slightly nervous about anything.

He was a shy and scared beagle when we got him. He didn’t like contact with anyone at first. We could tell he had been abused and we felt terrible because of that. I made sure to give him space when we got him.

There’s nothing quite like seeing an animal go from being afraid of you to a part of the family. He always would be around my kitten that I used to have. We had the same 4 cats then that we have now.

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My dog Shadow at my dad’s old apartment.

He grew attached to my family over time. After 3 years of having him, he was a very close member of the family and we never thought of him as anything else.

One weekend, the weekend of thanksgiving, I left to go stay with my dad like I always did. I took Shadow out for a run in the backyard because he always liked being out there and it was the best way to calm him down before someone left.

Later that weekend, my mom had put online that Shadow was acting ill and she thought he had some sort of flu. On Sunday, she got very scared because he wasn’t eating or drinking anything anymore. My mom knew what was happening then and felt terrible that she hadn’t noticed it before.

My mom called him later that day saying that he had passed away before the vet could do anything about it. There was nothing we could do at that point.

We later found out what had caused it. There was a mass or tumor on his liver that was causing the problem. It made us upset that we had never known about something. We could have known, but that was all we could’ve done.

A few months before this, around 9-10 months, we had found out he had liver issues. The vet had seen that his eyes were yellow to the point that she was concerned. She gave us medication to see if it would help him because we couldn’t afford to have an x-ray done to see what was going on.

Even now, we know that we couldn’t have done anything for him. We knew that the x-ray wouldn’t have helped because it would’ve given us a difficult decision. He wasn’t in any pain at least. I miss him a lot still.

My only regret about it was this: I wish I was there when he passed away. I was far away from him at the time.

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