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Dealing with the loss of a pet is very difficult. When I was a teenager, I lost the only pet that I remember ever having as a child. She was a black lab and she was my best friend. Her name was Midnight and she had big brown eyes just like me. Just as with the death of any family member, it was a long healing process.

I was very sad but I talked about her and often remembered the good times we had. My favorite memory of Midnight was the Christmas we got her. My siblings and I woke up in the middle of the night to see what Santa had brought. There was something moving in a box but all we were too scared to go and look. My oldest brother was volunteered and he pulled out a black puppy with a red ribbon.

I did not rush to get another dog because Midnight was irreplaceable and I needed to deal with my feelings before I could love another animal. Although I will never forget Midnight, since I took time to heal, I appreciate and love my new dog Shelby even more.

Hearing other people's stories just like this helped me a great deal. It made me realize that other people had felt the same crushing grief, and came out of it with love and wonderful memories of their pet. It gave me hope for my own healing and made it easier to deal with my loss.

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