The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

The student news site of El Camino College

El Camino College The Union

Coping with the loss of my best friend

Jeremiah Dela Cruz | Special to The Union

The saying about a dog being man’s best friend couldn’t ring a louder bell and be more true about my dog, Mooch.

The feeling of him no longer being here has been unbearable. He passed away in July 2021.

Every day that goes past I still think about him. He will always be in my heart and on my mind.

Mooch was an American Bulldog that was about the size of an average person.

He was always aggressive toward anyone who got near him. Somehow, my dog had a soft spot for me though, even with his aggression. He always waited for me to come home from school, having the need to jump on me every chance he got.

During the pandemic, Mooch could sense something was off when he realized I was always home. While my constant presence confused him at first our bond strengthened because I was home with him every day,

In the summer of 2021, I noticed a lump around his stomach area that just would not go away. Even though it was surgically removed, it kept coming back.

The lump was a mast cell tumor that already reached stage three.

My dog had a life expectancy of 100 days.

I decided the best scenario was to put him down. The tumor was already affecting him, I realized he wasn’t feeling well and living in pain.

Having to put my 6-year-old dog down due to a disease over which I had no control was the toughest moment I had ever endured in my life.

A few days after his passing, I tried getting back to my life like nothing happened.

I told myself everything was okay, but deep down, it wasn’t.

I hardly spoke to anyone about his passing and I tried to forget about it as quickly as I could.

According to the National Library of Medicine, about 30% of grieving pet owners in North America experience severe grief.

A pet owner’s grief after the death of a pet can cause complications like loss of appetite and lack of motivation.

Being a private person myself, I did not talk about my dog’s passing. I felt like I was holding all my feelings to myself.

One suggestion to cope with a pet’s passing is talking openly about losing the pet, in my case a dog.

A year later, I decided to open up to a close friend about his death.

Once I saw how easy it was to do so, I wish I had talked about it sooner. After discussing things through, I felt better inside.

If you have the chance to talk to anybody, whether it’s a friend, teacher or family member, talking to them would go a long way in helping you cope and helping you mentally.

Another way I was able to cope was to get another dog.

But the timing has to be right, so the dog does not just feel like a replacement for the pet you lost before.

My new dog Pancho is just as caring. I can see a lot of similarities between the two, in the way they both act and how they both showed me unconditional love and loyalty, no matter what.

I often think if the pain I endured was the price of being on the receiving end of having the best companion I could have asked for.

Despite the grief, I’d make the transaction every single time.

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