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It all started on a nice day in September 2011, when I got a puppy. My very own puppy, no one else's. I was about 12 or 13 years old, and my friends cousin had puppies that they couldn't keep so I offered to take one. I was so excited, I was determined to be the best owner I could ever be! I decided to name her Hershie, as she looked like the color of a Hershey's bar when she was smaller.
Anyway, Hershie was mine and I was living the greatest life. I potty trained her, and taught her the basic tricks. Yes, she was a small dog and she had the annoying small dog YAP!, but I was teaching her not to bark as much if not at all.
I was learning responsibilities, while simultaneously having fun! Hershie was living a spoiled life. Many toys, treats, lots of love; everything a dog could've needed and wanted. She had adventures. Camping, swimming, walks; all the stuff you can do living in a small town. We had another dog, Taz, and although he was so much bigger than Hershie, they were the best of friends and played constantly!
I had Hershie for almost two years. August 2013 was a terrifying year for not only Hershie, but for me as well. I can't even remember what day it was exactly, I just remember that Hershie started acting weird one day. A couple days after she started acting weird, she started throwing up.
My parents assumed that she was just a little sick and would get better within a couple of days. Well, a week went by and she still wasn't getting any better—if anything she had gotten worse—so my mom took her to the vet. They figured out that her kidneys were failing.
They also suggested that she might've eaten something that could cause it, so they gave her medicine, hoping that it would help her get better. When my mom got home she asked if we saw her eat anything besides dog food, dropped any food lately, or if we saw any food on the ground within those last couple weeks.
One of my siblings said that they had dropped grapes. Right then and there, my mom knew that it was the grapes. We had been giving Hershie the medicine for a good month or so. September was when my whole world came crashing to pieces. It was easily one of the top two worst things I have ever experienced and felt in my whole life.
It was September 5, 2013 and I had just gotten home from school. I was ready to go check on Hershie when my mom who was sitting on the porch— which wasn't unusual, as she's a smoker—looked at me, her face all red.
She had to deliver news that she didn't want to have to deliver, news that she knew would break my little heart. Hershie was dead. My heart dropped. I raced inside, not wanting to believe it but tears streaming down my face with no signs of stopping. I opened her cage and petted her lifeless body one more time before my dad got home and we buried her.
Taz knew that Hershie was down there, so he'd always try to dig her up. He missed her, too. To this day she is still buried in the backyard, undisturbed. I learned something from all of that though. I learned that love is powerful. I had never known it was that strong, or could get that strong. I also learned that grapes are extremely toxic to dogs, big or small.