Recently I got the devastating news that my beautiful dog Bonnie has bone cancer. As you know, I am on Erasmus in Copenhagen at the moment, when rushing through Dublin airport to catch my flight over I realized I had not given my baby Bonnie a proper goodbye. When I received the news that she was sick the fact I hadn’t given her a last cuddle was even harder to swallow.
To our family Bonnie is not just a dog but a member of the family. I believe my mom loves her such as much as me and my sister, and sometimes (when she can’t talk back) even more. Bonnie entered our family nearly eleven years ago, just before Christmas. I remember my mom, my sister and I were decorating the Christmas tree when my dad came home from work. My sister and I were ordered to wait in the hallway as mom and dad had a surprise for us. I remember hoping and wising it was a puppy. At ten years’ old there was nothing I wanted more than my own dog and I can only assume I had had the same conversation with my parents over and over again about how responsible I was, that I would always bring the dog for walks and pick up the poo etc.
When my dad appeared with a little white ball of fluff in the shape of a gorgeous, perfect Cavachon puppy I don’t think I had experienced overwhelming joy like it before. I was in shock that my wishes had come true and this little puppy was ours to keep.
Soon the debate about what to call her came up, I am now very grateful to my parents that they did not agree to go with my ten-year-old suggestions. (I think I wanted to call her Tenji after an ant-eater on a zoo tv show I had watched that day.) My dad was actually the one who suggested Bonnie, after the Irish word for white- Bán.
From that day onwards Bonnie became the missing piece to our family jigsaw, she has been spoiled rotten, and has always been a constant source of joy and love. There have been many days and nights when Bonnie has licked my tears dry and just curled up in my arms when I needed it. I saw a quote once that said ‘dogs have the ability to speak, but only to those who know how to listen’. I believe Bonnie has had many conversations with us over the years, offering advice and promising everything would be okay.
She has given us so much in the nearly eleven years she’s been with our family that I would often have the discussion with my mom asking ‘how is it possible to love an animal this much?’
I really hope she’s felt all that love we have given her, and I can be sure our lives won’t be the same without her presence in our home, however I know she will always be in our hearts.
My heart in breaking while I’m writing this blog post, I have been promised I will get the chance to give Bonnie a cuddle when I go home next week, but unfortunately the bone cancer that was detected in her legs has spread quickly to her spine so her time with is short but precious.
I never cried at Marley and Me, I took the relationship I had with my dog for granted when I saw it, only now I can truly understand John Grogan when he said ‘“A dog has no use for fancy cars, big homes, or designer clothes. A water logged stick will do just fine. A dog doesn’t care if you’re rich or poor, clever or dull, smart or dumb. Give him your heart and he’ll give you his. How many people can you say that about? How many people can make you feel rare and pure and special? How many people can make you feel extraordinary?” The relationship with a dog is a special one, and I am so grateful for the bond that I have shared with my Bonnie, she is forever in my heart.
How I’m Copen: 2/10
“Dogs: while they may not be around for our whole life, they sure do make our lives whole.”