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Saying Goodbye to a Legend

Usually I don't mention personal things that involve myself when it comes to this website. This article I am writing her isn't entirely too sports-related, but I just felt like I needed to write this.

If you follow me on any of my social media, you probably know by now that my dog passed away on Friday night. Christy, a German Shepherd, was 10 years old at the time of her death. 

It was around the spring of 2015 when we found out that she was diagnosed with degenerative myelopathy (DM), a disease similar to ALS in humans. By December of that year, her back legs had completely gone out. 

Putting her down came into consideration around that time, but I am glad was able to extend over 7 months to her life when buying her a wheelchair, so she can still be active and mobile. 

On Friday, the disease progressed towards its final stage. With my family, we decided it's best to have her put down peacefully instead of suffering for another few months. 

Of course during this time as I was filled with emotions, I didn't want her to be put down. She was still the same dog as when we first got her—always joyful, hyper, hilarious, caring and loving. But I understood what had to be done. 

She was put to sleep peacefully. Knowing that she didn't have to suffer anymore and seeing that her last moments were her family caring for her, I understood.

Today and yesterday has made me reflect on the amazing memories. 

I still remember coming home from elementary school in third grade and seeing her in the living room. I knew she was a good luck charm, because within the year I got her, I got into sports at that exact same time while crazy events occurred, too. 

Within the time period of March 2006-March 2007, I remember one of the most exciting NBA Finals series I've seen in my lifetime when the Miami Heat defeated the Dallas Mavericks. I wasn't a Heat fan, but for some reason I was rooting for Dwyane Wade to win it all as a 9-year-old. 

I knew Christy was a good luck charm when my favorite NFL team, the Indianapolis Colts, won the Super Bowl. My favorite athlete of all time, Peyton Manning, won his first ring.

I also started playing football that exact same year, and did throughout for about the next seven years. I grew up with my dog being there for it all. I don't think there hasn't been a day where I didn't spend time with her. 

Other great sports moments happened that I will forever remember, such as LeBron James winning his first championship. I remember watching it in one of the rooms in my house and, of course, my dog was sitting right next to me.

The next year was the same in the 2013 NBA Finals. I was chilling with my dog while watching Ray Allen hit that shot in Game 6, no lie. Game 7 was no different. 

Throughout it all, I could say that my dog was my best friend. The saying, "a dog is a man's best friend," definitely speaks true. While others will say, "It's just a dog," they probably don't know what it's like to even have one. 

She was truly family, and all the major moments in my life she was there for it. Before I went to my high school graduation, I took a selfie with her right before it all. 

As you can see in the picture above, I always took hilarious pics of her in my sneakers. The funny thing was that she didn't even mind it all. Her personality is just funny. Up until her last breath, she always remained youthful.

The coincidence in it all is that my last year with her was the first year where I truly started adulthood. Moving to college at Indiana University was tough since I was away from home, but I always came a couple times a month just to see her and my family.

Another coincidence is seeing sports legends go in the same way. I grew up watching the likes of Peyton Manning, Kobe Bryant and LeBron James play. 

In 2016, I saw Manning close out his career with another ring, winning the Super Bowl with the Denver Broncos. The first year I got my dog, Manning won a ring. The last year with my best friend, my favorite athlete closed out his career with his second ring.

Two months later that same year, I witnessed Kobe drop 60 points in his final game. A couple of months after that, I saw LeBron bring home a championship to Cleveland. While he's not retired, this victory solidified his legacy. 

I grew up a lot in college during my freshman year as well. I learned a lot, and the fun I experienced coped with me forgetting about my best friend's terrible disease. 

It just hurt me knowing that she had DM. I knew that there would be a time where it would all end, so being at college helped me not wanting to think about that terrible reality. 

Despite it all, I never would of thought this summer would end up being my last with my best friend. From the start of my summer break in May up until now, I was able to spend tons of time with my dog, such as giving her walks often as well as just chilling at her when watching TV and what not. 

It's still hard to believe what happened. It feels like my home is empty—like a major part of the house is gone. It's weird all the little things a dog could do for someone socially. Learning through her, it helped me become a better person. I know she lived a great life.

At 19 years old, I have so far spent more than half of my life with my best friend right there chilling with me. I know time will heal all wounds, and I can always look back to the good times I had with her. Tears were shed the day of her passing, but I'll never forget the amazing memories she brought for me and for everyone. 

When I look back at my life when I'm older, I can always know that my childhood will forever have my best friend involved in almost every memory. 

Ironically, I always called her the Kobe Bryant of dogs, especially in what ended up—unknowingly to me, of course—being her last year. Kobe and Peyton, two amazing sports legends, have said their goodbyes. 

It's time I say goodbye to another legend, my best friend Christy. Rest in paradise bud, because I know you're in a better place.

02/15/2006 - 07/22/2016 

-- Josh Dhani

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