On December 15th, a baby was welcomed into the world and that baby was me, Grayce K. I had many people welcome me into the world, my parents, my sisters, my relatives, and my dog Gunnar. Gunnar was a Golden Retriever and loved everybody he met. He loved playing with a tennis ball and laying on the couch.
5 years later, I was sitting with my mom at home, after my half day of kindergarten, when we heard that dreadful sound on the radio. That sound that appears on radios and interrupts your t.v show to tell you that there is a tornado coming your way. My mom instantly called the school where my sisters were and they said, “Yes, if you want to get your kids you can, but if not we will keep them safe here.” My mom decided that she wanted to go get them, so we went out to the garage and got into our old white minivan(aka Betty White). When we pulled out of the driveway the tennis ball sized hail came banging down on our windshield. Leaves, umbrellas, trampolines, people were flying around everywhere. Trees had fallen down blocking the road and blocking people from getting to safety.
The conditions were so bad my mom had to pull over on her way to go get my sisters. We sat there and she said, panicked, “Oh my gosh it is so bad out here, we should probably just stay here until it blows over, but I don’t know.” Even though she didn’t know if we should stay there or not, we did. We sat there with tennis ball sized hail banging on our windshield and leaves, umbrellas, trampolines, and people blowing around. About 5 minutes later my mom started freaking out, “Oh my gosh, oh my gosh...GUNNAR IS OUTSIDE!”, she yelled. She put the car in drive looked before she pulled onto Garden St., and drove straight home as fast as she could. I was so shocked and freaked out, I didn’t know what to say or to do to help. When we got home we let Gunnar in safely and went downstairs until the tornado passed. Ever since that day my mom has said that Gunnar saved us from the tornado because the spot we were pulled over at, is right where the tornado went through.
Gunnar was a great dog, he liked playing with his ball and other toys, he liked to cuddle with you, and was the sweetest dog to other dogs and people. My favorite memory with Gunnar was with I was sitting on the floor, criss cross applesauce, and he came over to me and sat in my lap. He was the literal definition of a man’s best friend. Until one day he looked depressed, we decided he need a best friend of his own. So we went shopping, until we found the dog her name was Lilly(I choose that name) and she was a terrier mix.
One day Gunnar had a limp in his left paw, we checked his paw if he had something in it but he didn’t. So we thought maybe the next day it will be gone, but it wasn’t. That was when my mom thought something was wrong and she took him to the vet to get it checked out. I went with her because who knows why, but she made me sit outside the vet room and play with the dog that is always in the vet business. When she came out with Gunnar, she was crying and the whole time she was paying I kept asking her, “What’s wrong, What’s wrong.” But she wouldn’t answer. We drove all the way home in silence.When she was ready she came into my room and Gunnar and I were laying on the floor together. She came in and sat down on my bed. Cancer she said. Cancer is what is hurting your dog. Cancer is making it so you have 8 weeks left with him. Cancer is what is making you have to put your dog down. Cancer is what is making it so you only have one last time to be face to face. I looked at Gunnar and laid on him and cried. My sister had a special bond with Gunnar and when we told this dreadful news to her she cried for 3 days and didn’t go to school.
1 week later, before we left for school my sisters and I were playing with Gunnar, and when he came down the step to go outside he yipped. My mom was freaking out, “What do we do?” No one knew until my mom said, “Maybe we should take to the vet and put him down so he doesn’t have to suffer in pain any more.” My sisters and I were extremely sad, but we just had to go with it so when we were about to go to school, we took many pictures and said our goodbyes. That day in school I cried because I knew that while I was sitting there doing whatever I was doing my dog was out there at the vet getting put into ashes, while my other dog was home alone wondering where everyone was.
Now Gunnar lays in ashes spread across the Earth’s surface somewhere. A part of him everywhere we go. A picture of him still sits there on a shelf in our living room today. Along with a print of his paw next to it and his collar laying empty with some of his fur still on it.
A dog is a man’s best friend
And my dog was mine
And my sister’s
And my mom’s
And everyone’s who met him
He was a hero
At least to my mom
He saved us from a tornado
Even though it wasn’t direct
He was still a hero
But my dog Gunnar was hurt
Hurt in is mind
Hurt in life
Hurt in his heart
Hurt in his paw
Cancer they said
Cancer did this
Cancer made your dog hurt
Cancer made it so your dog can barely walk
Cancer made it so you only had 8 weeks left with him
Cancer made it so you have to take him in early because the pain he was in was so bad
Cancer made it so you had to put him down
Cancer made it so you only had 1 last time to be face to face with him
Now he rests in heaven
His ashes spread across the Earth’s surface
His photo on a table in our living room
A mold of his paw print next to it
And his collar empty with his fur still on it