I lost a piece of my heart on Friday, so please forgive my silence. I lost Hope,my Bernese Mountain Dog, my emotional support fur baby.She had cancer and it was aggressive. She had a spot on her back which we, at first, thought was a fatty deposit. But then is got much bigger and the vet tossed the word ‘cancer’ in the mix. I knew that cancer was attacking my poor baby. She started having trouble getting her back end up. Speed up a couple weeks and she could barely stand. I was bringing her food bowl to her, wherever she was – the living room, the dining room. I just needed her to eat so she could take her medicine tablets.

Hope. She lived up to her name. I bought her in Oklahoma from the only breeders we could find, and she was the only girl in the litter. This was after I had done a lot of research on temprament, dependence, size, how she would fit in a family if I had decided to have children. She was what I needed.

I picked her up with my mom driving to Oklahoma City. The puppy was in a crate in the back of their SUV. I saw her and I loved her instantly. I held her close to my chest. She was scared,as we expected she would be. Everything was new to her. She was kept in a crate at night and when we were gone until she was potty trained. She was pretty smart and got the hang of things quickly.

She had a lot of adventures. She lived with my parents’ and I in Oklahoma after I tried to kill myself in California. My parents hoped that a puppy would cheer me up. I was in such a dark depression. You know, the higher you, climb the farther you will fall. So for some time I was a sad fur baby mom. But I had to get up in the mornings to feed her and let her out.

We moved to North Carolina with my parents. Hope did not have a fenced in yard so she and I went on walks of our neighbourhood every day. She was my best friend. Then I got accepted by the University of North Carolina at Wilmington to study creative nonfiction. So off we went. I was scared to death to move out on my own, but Hope was with me. I was going to be okay. After class sometimes we would share the cream off my iced mocha as we sat on the top floor’s balcony. She would watch the people three stories away; I would study(aka read).

After one semester I took a medical leave of absence. I left school and moved in with my now ex-boyfriend in Virginia. She loved him. She had a yard and a big house to manage. He had three kids and she LOVED kids. She also loved snow which we occasional have. She also got along with my ex’s dog.

As you can guess, that ended. What should I do? Well, move to somewhere I have never been but was hip – Nashville, TN. I had a good time there and here was a dog park nearby that myself, Hope, my friend, and her dog frequented. A year passed and my family convinced me to move near them so when I needed medical or psychological help they could be there.

Hope came to North Carolina with me. She lived a 3 years here with me. She died at the remarkable age of 12. (Berners usually live from eight to ten years). I had her put down. That is when my heart broke.

I do have another dog, Bailey, and we are helping each other live through this pain. But no dog will ever be my Hope dog.