A few years ago I met Kris on a website called get glue. It was a fun site at the time. You checked into movies, you checked into books, you checked into music. And for your efforts you were awarded stickers. And after you accumulated 20 stickers you could send off for the real thing and in about a month you would have your own copy of whatever it was.
Kris was big into music. We started chatting one day and we found out that we like a lot of the same type of music. Our conversations grew longer and they grew more in depth until we realized that we had so much in common that we probably knew each other in a previous life. So, the decision was made that we would meet in real life. And that day I met my best friend.
Over the next few years we would get together whenever I came through Nashville to have dinner, a quick lunch, a trip to target when I needed stuff for my truck, or we would do what we both love the most, we would go to a concert. Music seem to be the tie that bound us together and it was in those moments that I realized I had never truly had a friend as wonderful as this woman.
I’m racking my brain here trying to remember our first concert. I keep going back to 2015 when we went to a little bar in Nashville to see the group Blue October. For the past 10 years I have been a huge fan of this band. Their music speaks to me. And I wanted to share that with my new best friend. So for 25 dollars a ticket we went to see an amazing show where only 250 people got in. After that concerts became the norm.
It was before one of these concerts that she had to go home and change clothes and it was easier to pick me up before doing so. So this was the first time I’d ever been to her house. And this was the day I met her best friend. I was sitting in the car waiting for her to come back down and lo and behold out came the biggest Doberman I have ever laid eyes on. He was intimidating. He was big, he was scary looking, And yet he was the biggest baby I have ever met. And his name is Obi. Yes his name is Obi-Wan the Dobie.
Obi is this beautiful, sweet, and loving creature that absolutely adores his human. When we would talk on the phone and she would walk in the door I could hear his happy feet on the floor. The click click click of his nails on the hardwood floor signifying how happy he was she was home became a regular part of our conversation. It’s no wonder they were best friends. Their relationship is how love should be. 100% give with no expectation of take. Because when you give like that you get 100% in return. 100% is what they gave to each other.
There was a point in time where Kris wanted to lose weight as is the norm for most women. So every night she would get the leash and her and Obi would go for a walk. It was their time together. Of course he had to stop and smell every spot on the route but that just made it better. It was just a few more minutes together. Time spent between two best friends. Time that can never be taken away. And time that will never be forgotten.
Over the past two years I’ve gotten to know Obi very well. I have actually come to adore this dog. He is a loving and trusting soul. And I am glad that I had the opportunity to spend some time with him. Dobermans are called Velcro dogs. There’s a reason. When you meet one and he likes you whenever you visit he will be attached to your side. Such was the way it was with Obi when I would visit. He would lay his head in my lap and I would scratch his ears and tell him what a good boy he was. And he was a good boy. A sweet gentle giant.
I tell you all this about Obi for this reason. About a year ago Obi started having problems breathing. Kris told me that his lungs sounded full of fluid and that his breathing was thick and heavy. A trip to the vet would lead to some devastating news. Obi had congestive heart failure and dilated cardio myopathy. Time was not on his side. There is no cure, There is only treatment, and even the treatment can actually kill. So for the last year or so Kris has been giving Obi pills to help keep him alive. Sadly their effectiveness is beginning to wane.
Over the past couple of months it’s become harder and harder to get him to take his pills. He has stopped eating and he has stopped drinking water. And while he still follows Kris everywhere he doesn’t want her to touch him as much. I think that’s his way of telling his best friend he’s tired of fighting and it’s time for her to let go. And I know she’s not ready. He’s been by her side for 9 years. And now she has to let go. How do you do that? How do you let go of that kind of love? You let go because you love them more than you ever thought possible. Because you don’t want to see them in pain. Because you know it’s the right thing to do.
A little over a year ago I got a call from my sister. It was the second worst call I’ve ever gotten in my life. The worst was findjng out my mother had passed away. The call I received from my sister brought back many of the memories I felt the day I found out that mom had died. On that day my sister called to tell me that she had to put her beloved Boxer Bert down. I have never in my life heard someone’s heart break like I did that day. And now I know I’ll be getting that same call from Kris. And just as it was with my sister my heart will also shatter again but this time for my best friend. And once again I will not know what to do for them. And that will make it worse.
Kris and I have talked about this day. We have talked about what it would mean to both her and her furbaby. For Obi it will be peace. For Kris it will be one of the most difficult times of her life. I will be there for her. I will let her cry. I will let her vent. I will cry along side her. I will give her space when she needs it. And I will hold her hand if that’s what she needs. Hopefully I will have words of wisdom although I imagine words will not come easily.
More than likely today is the day. I told her yesterday to take the day off. Take Obi to the dog park even if it is for a half hour. Let him feel the warmth of the sun one last time. Let him breathe in the fresh Tennessee air and let him run if he so chooses. Then, when it is time, hold his beautiful head and tell him how much you love him and how much you will miss him. And as he takes his last breath know he did so with love in his heart. Love for someone willing to make the hardest decision, yet the right decision for him. Then cry. Hold nothing back.
Today, my heart aches for my best friend. My heart aches for her best friend. Sometimes life just sucks.