Losing my ESA dog, Rylie

I put off for writing this post for a few weeks (simply because talking about this topic and looking at photos was too painful) but it is an important part of my journey so here it goes….. about a month ago my 13 year old dog, Rylie, passed away.

 
Emotional Support Animal
 

I was given Rylie when she was only a few days old (and under 1 lb!) from a friend of my dad’s. He was on a trip in Mexico, found her on the streets, and brought her back for me because he knew I had been wanting a puppy (I know, I know, a puppy that age is much too young to be away from its mother, but she was alone and there wasn’t much else to do). 

For the first week or two I fed her a thick sugary paste from a syringe that I got from the vet since she was too young to eat solid foods and she still had to be fed every few hours. If I had to go out, she came with me. If I went over to a friend’s house, she joined. We were inseparable right from the start.

Shortly after I got Rylie, my health begin to deteriorate and I was basically confined to my bed for months unable to do much besides lay there. I read if I could, watched movies, and hung out with my dog. Having her by my side was my biggest comfort. She was there for me during every flare up, bad doctors appointment, and sleepless night for the next 13 years.

I used to joke around that I would be inconsolable if anything ever happened to Rylie, so she was just going to have to live forever. I am, of course, devastated by the loss of my dog, but I’m trying to focus on being grateful that I had her for all the years that I did.

To anyone dealing with any sort of chronic condition, I can’t recommend anything more than getting a pet. The love and comfort you receive is priceless. In fact, their human having a chronic illness is probably a great thing in the eyes of a dog; it just means more time snuggle time in bed.

-Emily