It was a cold and cloudy day, below forty degrees. It had just snowed the day before. Customers coming in, wiping their feet on the mat and walking past by “Caution: Slippery When Wet” sign. Ann was ringing up customers at Wawa where she worked when her sister suddenly burst through the entrance-way. Ann’s heart jumped and her stomach sank. Debbie never visited her at work. Something bad must have happened. Ann rushed out from behind the counter and immediately noticed Debbie’s eyelids. They looked puffy and red. Debbie threw her arms around Ann and spoke solemnly into her ear: “Kiam..she..she passed away. They tried everything they could. I am so sorry Ann.”
Ann let out an involuntary yelp and then put her hand to her mouth when she heard herself. Hot tears began wetting her cheeks as she rushed to the back to tell her manager what had happened. Then, she followed her sister out to the parking lot where their mom was waiting in the family minivan. Her mom stepped outside the car with her arms out and said, “Awe my poor baby, come here.” Ann wrapped her arms tightly around her mother’s thin frame and buried her eyes into her mother’s left shoulder. She continued to squeeze tight for several seconds before her mother ushered her into the car through the driver’s side sliding door. Ann recalls shivering as she sunk into the backseat, and her mother turned the heat up to full blast. Ann then leaned forward and placed her head in her hands and cried for several minutes without looking up.
“We can get another dog if you want, honey.. ” Her mom said softly.
“There’s no other dog like her, mom. She would lick my face every morning and every time I come home she runs and jumps on me. And that one toy, you know the purple ball that has a hole in it? She still plays with it because that was the first toy I gave her,” Ann said as her snot drips down her nose.
“I miss her too, Ann. Every time I walked her around the neighborhood, she would drag me to her favorite dog park, a few blocks away from our house. She would roll in the grass, stare at the sun and lay on her back waiting for a good belly rub,” Debbie said.
“She just died so sudden. I just wished I got to say goodbye to her,” Ann said as tears flowed down her cheeks.