Everyone has lost someone, and although the cause of those losses might be different, the grief we all go through is the same. In January of 2015, I lost my best friend. We had known each other since I was 14 and we literally did everything together. If you ever saw us together you would probably wonder, “how on earth could possibly have anything in common?” And you wouldn’t be too far off the mark. We were quite different, Scarlett and I, although there were some things that were the same. We were both very reserved around new people and new things, we liked the same foods (sharing meals was a favorite pastime of ours), and we both loved kicking soccer balls around in the backyard.
The only difference between was this: Scarlett was a dog. A 75 lb. German shepherd dog/Labrador retriever/Chow chow mix to be exact. She stayed by my side for 13 years, and passed away peacefully in my arms on January 3, 2015 after suffering neurological damage. But how is the loss of a pet different from losing a human loved one? “it’s just a dog/cat” they say. “It’s just an animal, you can get another one.” The truth is it’s not. Scarlett was with me everyday for 13 years. Sometimes is with you everyday for that long and then suddenly it’s not there anymore you’re going to miss it. I still feel sad every time I open the door and my best friend is not barreling into the room to greet me, sniffing and snorting, or I don’t hear the vacuum-like noise of her nose sniffing from the other side of the back door. It’s no different.
Therefore, I decided that I wanted to find a way to try and help others who might be experiencing, or have experienced the same thing I have and began looking around for inspiration. I immediately thought of my 5 yr. old niece and realized, Scarlett was her best friend too, and with that in mind I decided that the best thing to do would be to write a book geared towards children, because children experience loss too (although it is also my hope that adults will find some comfort from it as well). It’s been a long road, one I’m still walking. But I know I’m not walking alone, and I want everyone else to know that they are not walking alone either. It all starts with puppy steps.
The Tail of Scarlett will soon be arriving on February 28, 2016.