May 8, 2024

I’m slowly coming back to the world of the living after Hugo’s death. It’s been exactly five years since he passed away. He was my only companion and the only living soul I could rely on. He made my life easier to go through. When I had absolutely no one, he was there for me.

I found Hugo aged just seven months old in an abandoned warehouse as Axel, Mario and I strolled around town one day after our soccer match. He looked starved and petrified. We played with him for a while, but then it started to get dark and we had to get going, but he wouldn’t let us go. We started heading back home, and he followed us until I arrived in front of mine. My parents had a strict No-pet policy so I knew keeping him — even just for a few days, was out of the question. I thought I’d let him in just so to feed him, but mom threw a fit when she saw him walk around leaving muddy paw prints everywhere. Somehow, she ended up liking him enough to allow me to keep him overnight. The next day, we drove to the shelter to put him up for adoption, but they couldn’t take him due to overcrowding. We brought him back home and after some consideration, we decided to keep him. Rosamunde picked the name and I liked it, so we decided to go with it. We all bonded with him immediately and he played a big part in making our home environment more vibrant and entertaining. I was struggling with mental health issues and he gave me the strength to overcome most of them. When I found him, I was quite suicidal and depressive; I’d barely get out of bed unless it was for school. Hugo helped change that. He encouraged me to get out. Being outside with him did me a lot of good. I never thought the bond between human and animal could be so strong. I’ve always admired dogs but thought their unyielding loyalty to their master was a bit lame as some easily abused them and took their friendliness for granted. As I went through life and saw how unreliable friends can be though, I learned to appreciate Hugo’s true dedication and heavily relied on him for comfort; no matter how tough of a day I’ve had, I knew he’d always be at the door to greet me with his tail wagging. He’d jump on me as soon as I’d step in through the door.

Hugo loved romping around the Black Forest where I eventually buried him; he’d run with his tongue out through the grassy stretch of freedom, enjoying every second of his slender slice of liberty, occasionally frolicking with his own kind. He enjoyed chasing over a stick I’d repeatedly throw away in the distance. He also loved chasing after little animals different from him, but never with the intention to harm them. He was just intrigued to see things he wasn’t normally used to see. Every time I put his leash on to leave, he’d flop to the ground and lay on his back; his eyes and expressions would shift to sad, knowing his playing time was up. During the remainder of his years, he had gained a lot of weight that it was almost impossible for me to carry or even lift him. The week before his death, I was brushing his hair, and as I removed the remains off the brush, I stopped for a second; instead of aiming for the garbage can I aimed for a small ziploc bag and put them in it. Hugo’s hair has a very distinctive smell, and I wanted to be able to hold on to that to remember him by.

I’ve been redecorating my apartment these past few days. I’ve painted the walls and threw away stuff I no longer needed. It was therapeutical and a good distraction for me; the whole place looks all freshened-up and clean. However, as soon as I sat on my living room couch, I felt a decline. I guess I need to find myself a new distraction.

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