By Angela Z., 5th Grade

April 2019

The thing that brought magic into my life was my grandmother’s dog. Everytime driving to my grandmother’s, I would look towards feeding, walking and playing with Goldie. Sadly, last June she died due to a tumor in her leg.

I had always wanted a dog. The way they licked your face was like a person firing a water gun at you. The sheer joy and surprise from a lick was enough for me. Though there was more to a dog that I liked. The happiness that sparkes up in a dog when you tell them that it’s time for a walk is like a toddler realizing that they were getting ice cream. All of these reasons and many others proved one thing: I needed a dog. Though it was always the same answer, no and no. My parents usually came up with excuses such as “when would he be taken out to walk?” or “you have to many things going on.” Though I knew it was just because they didn’t want to get into the trouble of going to the vet or picking up after it. So even after luring them into many pet stores the answer was always no. They just didn’t get it.

We had come back from an another exhausting day in China’s capital Beijing. Hopping from bus to cab, from zoos to carnivals I finally flopped down on the bed I was sleeping in, not knowing only in around 5 minutes time would I receive a message that would change my life as a child.

As I was about to fall into a light dream, my mother’s phone dinged. “ Mom, you got a text!” I yelled partially annoyed that I had been woken up.

“Who is it from!” my mother yelled back in Mandarin dialect.

I quickly looked at the screen and shouted “ It’s from Daddy!” though when I looked closer I saw that it is a picture. Squinting to look at the lock screen and not daring to look at the text on the Imessage app I saw my grandparents with my dad and a dog? A million and one questions popped in my head. Is that a dog? If so what kind? Where did they get it? Is it nice? Is it a boy or girl? Finally my dad sent one text that answered all my questions: This is Goldie, a Golden Labrador Retriever and she is very nice.

The first time I met Goldie, it was at a Thanksgiving dinner. I, giddy with excitement, finally hopped out of our car and grabbed the nearest dish I could find. Then, running to the door (and trying not to slip down the ramp that my grandmother installed for my grandfather) I eagerly rang the doorbell. I immediately heard barking and craned my neck to see if I could catch a glimpse of the dog. Sure enough, I saw a beautiful golden retriever sitting on my grandmother’s sofa barking and staring at me. My grandmother opened the door and I eagerly walked inside, greeting everyone at the table. As I glanced at my cousins, I noticed that they were playing with Goldie in a over the top way.  Emmett was petting her over and over again while Mavis stared into her eyes an inch away from her. Then, I looked at Goldie and realized that she was feeling uncomfortable and almost backing away. I quickly went over to them and taught them to how to properly pet Goldie.

Over the course of the 4 years that I knew Goldie, we built a very strong bond. She always gave me comfort and made me laugh. I still have memories of when she would go on the same route she loved and would sniff everything in her way. Then, she would try her best to leave her mark on the territory. When I would walk her through streets of silence, and it would just be me and her, it was very peaceful. The one place that she wouldn’t go is in or by the park. This was because there were huge trains passing by and she didn’t like the smell, look or sound of them. Whenever I drove to my grandmothers house, I would be so excited and always knew I had something to look forward to.   

In 2017 my family and I went to Ireland. We explored Dublin, Dingle, Tennies, Shannon, and various other cities. In each city we visited, we all had a blast. Though it was during the last days, that my Mother and Father found out from my Grandmother that Goldie had to go to the hospital due to the fact that  she had 2 tumors in her legs and a growing 3rd. When she was taken to the hospital, the vets said she wouldn’t make it. Around that time, I also had a violin audition and was preparing for that. My parents knew that if I found out, I would be devastated, and it would completely ruin my sleep and eating schedule which would then hurt my practise schedule. So, my mother kept Goldie’s death a secret, until I drove to a ranch near Starved Rock, Illinois. My mother slowly hinted at it and then finally told me. It was a bittersweet moment for me. I knew that it was for the good of Goldie, but I also knew that it was going to be painful.

Looking back, I realized that maybe Goldie’s death was overshadowed by my grandfather’s death.It happened a couple weeks after my grandfather died, and the whole family was frantically trying to put things together.Although it was devastating, I had other things to do so, it was a year before I actually had serious time to think about it. Driving to my grandmother’s house, I used to always look forward to something more than just playing with my hyper 8 and 3 year old cousins.Or, looking forward to eating too sweet dessert. Nowadays, at my grandmother’s house, I always pester my grandmother to get another dog, even though I know it would be tough. To this day I still miss Goldie.