Losing a pet is one of the hardest things we as pet owners go through, and unfortunately, I experienced this loss just a few days ago. My beloved dog, Yubu, passed away, and I'm still having a hard time with it.

Yubu had been a part of my life for over a decade, he fell short of his life span by five years. He was a loyal companion who was always by my side, no matter what. Whether I was happy or sad, Yubu was there, wagging his tail and giving me unconditional love.  As a member of my family, we shared so many wonderful memories together. From long walks in the park to car rides to the dog beach and lazy days spent snuggled up on the couch, Yubu was always there, making me instantly forget what I was irritated about. 

The day Yubu left was one of the worst days of my life. I had noticed in the days before that he wasn't eating, he was throwing up when he tried and his belly was getting swollen, when we took our evening stroll he walked so slowly.  When he wasn't getting better a day or two later, I took him to the emergency vet. The vet did everything they could, but unfortunately, his condition was too severe, his heart was failing. They said if I should take him home, he will only have to return every other day to have his stomach pumped. I didn't want to believe this; I didn't want to let him go. What would I do without our routine? I wanted so badly to take him home, put on his new t-shirt that he hadn't gotten to wear yet, cook dinner together, take our stroll, come home have a treat then settle in and watch a movie, there was alot of crying after this news. 

I didn't want my best friend to suffer so I knew what the right choice was, I told the vet to give me a little time with him to carry him around the building for our farewell stroll.  So, we walked, and I talked to Yubu and told him he was going  to go home, I thanked him for the joy and laughter he brought me, and kissed and hugged him soooo hard. I talked to him about the fun things we would do together we see each other again, he looked at me with sunlight dancing in his eyes, he looked around as we walked and there was a pleasant calm peace in his expression.

Since Yubu's death, I've been grieving deeply. I feel like I've lost a part of myself, everywhere I look, I'm reminded of him, and the pain is still fresh and raw.

But amidst the sadness, there is also gratitude. I am grateful for the time I had with Yubu, and for all of the joy and love he brought into my life. I'm grateful for all of the memories we shared, and for the bond we formed over the years. I'm comforted by the thought that he's no longer suffering, and that he's at peace in heaven where I'll see him again. 

I didn't expect this feeling, but I was also angry, angry that Yubu didn't get the full life that he deserved. I wanted to know why so I went back to where he was born, I was surprised to learn that purebred dogs are often overbreed making them prone to certain genetic health problems, such as heart disease, which took my Yubu, hip dysplasia and certain types of cancer. These health problems can be passed down to their offspring, which means that puppies from breeders may be more likely to develop health issues later in life. This particular breeder, out of St. Louis, was overbreeding, prioritizing profit over the health and well-being of the dogs they were breeding.

I've learned in a painful way how important it is to do research before getting a puppy from a breeder, seeking out a reputable breeder who prioritizes the health and well-being of their dogs and provides them with proper care, I'll also ask for reference to past buyers.  But more than likely I'll be adopting a puppy from a shelter or rescue organization; I believe that Yubu will pick for me a new love buddy while we help reduce pet overpopulation.

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