When I was 3 years old, we got our first dog.
I remember my sister (four years older than me) begging my dad to get a dog.. I remember the day we went to the shelter. The first dog they brought out we knew belonged with us. He was small, had black long hair, and a white chest. A Cocker Spaniel mix. He was so scared.
I remember being too small, too short to reach over my car seat to pet our new pup on the car ride home. I remember us trying to think of names. Oreo? No. Shadow? No. Mickey? Yes!
I remember the first week he stayed with us he slipped out the door at night. We panicked; how were we supposed to find a black dog at night?! But a car passed by on the road with bright headlights and lit up his eyes - he was sitting right there waiting for us.
I remember playing pretend games with my sister. We liked to play Harry Potter a lot, but we had a couple other games where we pretended we were dogs, and Mickey was our brother.. Mickey was our brother.
I remember growing up, and getting upset over stupid stuff like my sister kicking me off the computer, and Mickey would sit my side, comforting me. Mickey also liked to sit with me while I did my homework.
I remember when he got sick.. We thought he had a tummy ache from getting in the garbage, but after laying in his bed and not eating all weekend we took him to the vet. I've always been a pretty positive person, so I wasn't worried at all. But when the veterinarian called us back to look at his X-rays, my optimism changed.
Mickey had a giant mass on his spleen. And just like that, I was loosing my brother.
I stayed home from school, and spent Mickey's last days with him. It was so shocking to see how quick his health declined. I had to carry him outside, because he couldn't walk there himself. I remember him looking at me, and seeing how grateful he was to have me there with him. He knew.
I cried more for loosing my dog, than for loosing my father.
And when I look at Mochi, and think about how much I love him, how much he's a part of me, I see Mickey. Mickey was the one who made me fall in love with dogs and the bond we can have.