As the car drove away, I watched her leave. She looked sad and confused, but I knew she felt deceived. Her eyes made my heart heavy. I kept looking at her as the car drifted away into the distance, as I begin to see trees instead, and then everything was blurry when the stream of tears began rushing down my face. I stood there on the still road, listening to calming sounds of the river flowing, as I felt my frozen body in pain from missing her already.

Zola Bud, my tenth birthday present. Our first Great Dane.

“Don’t get too attached Kaygirl..” mama would always scold me “..so that you don’t get too emotional.”

But the day she walked away, in someone else’s car, into another 14-year old’s life, the day we decided to betray her and give her away to another, tears rolled down my face which was soon accompanied by loud wails. Four years of unconditional unattachment made me feel this way.

I still feel the first time I hugged her.

I still feel her cold nose the last time my lips touched it.

I still feel her short smooth fur and warm body pressing against my legs.

When I feel alone, I think about how she used to jump on my bed and sleep with me when nobody was around.

When I’m sick, I think about how she used to sleep besides my bed when I had a fever.

When I’m sad, I think about how she used to put her head on my lap when I cried.

When I think that my world is over, I think about when I crawled under the table just to lay with her and tell her why I was so upset. I still remember her consoling me by putting her paws on my lap.

I still smile thinking about how her entire body shook when she was in deep sleep.

I still feel her

Next to me.

Always.

We never did.

The year I turned nineteen, we visited her. She jumped up on my entire family, wagging her tail, jumping high to smell them, but left me out. I called out to her asking her to come close, she ignored me.

I visited her in her kennel a few minutes later, she growled at me. I knew she felt betrayed by me. I was her best friend and I let her go. In that moment, I cried and told her how sorry I was, she looked at me and walked up to me, putting her paws on me. I hugged her for the last time and walked away.

The year I turned twenty, I had a vivid dream about her. She was running toward me really fast, she did not feel close, but I knew she was trying to. I woke up in sweats crying.

Later that day, mama told me that she received an email that Zola had died.

And although I still feel like I betrayed her, I know that she was always loyal to me. She will always be unconditionally close to me. A day never passes without me missing her.

“I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien.” I write. Poetry is life. I host a podcast. I’m constantly healing. Above all, I’m kind to mankind.

“I’m an alien, I’m a legal alien.” I write. Poetry is life. I host a podcast. I’m constantly healing. Above all, I’m kind to mankind.