I remember the day I laid eyes on her. She was the most beautiful out of her siblings. Her golden locks that just seemed to glow. Her brown eyes had a million twinkles. I knew right then and there that I wanted her. I wanted that puppy. I was going to have that puppy.
"Mommy," I try and get my mother's attention. "I want that puppy right there."
My mother was hesitant but after a few short moments she caved in.
"Mommy, can we name our puppy, Copper?" I asked my mother. I got the name Copper from my favorite movie when I was young. I got it from the movie "The Fox and the Hound."
"Yeah. You can name the puppy, Copper." my mother told me.
She was going to be my first best friend because when I was young I really did not have any friends. So, Copper became my first best friend.
Every day I would play with my puppy. I would bring my puppy inside and my mom would put up our indoor gate. Copper and I would snuggle together. Copper and I would give each other kisses. I would even share my glass of milk with my puppy. She was my first best friend. I always want to do something with Copper.
"Mom, can I bring Copper to show and tell?" I asked my mom.
"I don't know, Kyle. Did you talk to the teacher?"
"Yeah." I told her.
"Well, I guess if it is alright by your teacher."
My mom brough Copper to school and came to my first grade class. I was so happy to see my dog. It was my turn to show and tell.
"Hi. This is my puppy, Copper. She is pretty and I love her."
My mom tried to take her home. But I was not going to let her take my best friend away. "Mommy, please don't make Copper go. I want her to stay."
My mother and teacher did not let me win this battle. My mother drove away with my dog. I cried for the rest of the day until school was over. Once I got home though I was happy again to see my canine friend.
On my sixth birthday my cat, Tigger, had a litter of kittens. I was so happy that I shared my birthday with my cat's kittens. As the kittens grew up I thought I had a brilliant idea. I thought that I wanted the kittens to meet Copper. I was so young that I did not realize that dogs and cats do not like each other. I was so young that I did not realize that the kittens were so fragile. I took the box of kittens to the backyard to meet my best friend. I set them down on the porch and I walked away. My sister goes to check on Copper and she finds what is left of the kittens.
"Kyle! What made you think you could leave the kittens with Copper?"
I could feel my hot tears fall from my eyes. "I thought they would be friends. I thought they would be like Copper and I."
I got in trouble for that stunt. I got a spanking on the butt. But finding out Copper killed the kittens did not change the feelings I had about her. It just proves how naive and innocent I was.
I came home from school one day so upset that I couldn't talk to my parents or siblings about it. I run strait to our backyard so I could be with my best friend. She knew something was wrong. She slowly walked over. I try and look into her eyes, but the tears were made my vision blurry. Copper hopped onto the porch and sat by me. She stuck her head between my arm and my torso. At that moment I hugged Copper. Her soft fur was like crying into a fluffy pillow. I pulled away and she licked my tears away.
"Copper, why do I get picked on at school? I try so hard to fit in and that is all I want. I just want to be accepted. I wish people loved me like you do. You don't care that I am fat or not. You don't care if I am ugly or not. You don't care about my flaws. You love me no matter what."
I hugged Copper again. It felt like eternity before I let go of her.
In fifth grade I would walk Copper as I rode my bike. I thought it was a fun way for Copper and I to bond. We would both get exercise. I would ride my bike to a park and I would let Copper roam free. I knew from all the times at the park she was a free spirit. She did not care if there were other dogs at the park or not. From what I could tell she was just happy to be with me. I was happy to be with her. After all she was my first best friend. She was the easiest one to talk to our of my family. She would play with me when no one else would. She would lick my face just to see a smile come off my face. She might be a free spirit but she was loyal. That makes the best kind of dog.
Copper gave me multiple heart attacks. She learned how to open the gate on her own. I would search all over my tiny town to find my beloved friend. As I would cry out her name I could feel my fears make my tears return to my eyes. Bad thought after bad thought would enter my mind and then it would swirl around and would not leave until I found her.
"Copper! Come here girl!" I would shout as if she would return to me if I called her name enough.
Days would pass before we would find out that the dog catcher picked her up. Finally I could put fears to rest. Copper came running into my arms and gave me a few wet kisses. I missed my best friend.
The summer I would give Copper joy rides. When I had to run and do something I always brought Copper along. She would have a blast. Her tail would swing so fast that it would actually hurt if you got hit by it. She would stick her head out the window and howl. I would just laugh because that was my first best friend. She was silly just like me. No matter what she did I could not love her less. She was the ying to my yang. She completed my half wrecked up life. Sometimes she would try and crawl into the front seat from the back seat while I was driving.
"Copper, what do you think you are doing?" I said with a smile on my face. "You think you are a person? You think you get to have shot gun?"
If dogs could smile I bet that is one of the times she would give me a giant smile. Then I would laugh and give her a smile back.
I brought Copper out when my sister's dog, Champ, was over. They seemed to get along. That is when I knew old age was starting to effect her. Her eyes were filled with clouds and her ablility to hear was cut off. That did not stop her from being her usual self. She was always curious. Checking under our porch for critters. Standing in water puddles. I knew that there was not much time left in her. Her experation date was coming closer with every sunrise. But I push that thought out of my mind because I am naive enough to think that she will live forever. She will never leave me on Earth alone. She will always be by my side. Keeping me company for the rest of my life. I loved her. She was my first dog. She was my first best friend. She will always be my best friend.
July seventeenth, two thousand twelve. I came home around ten thirty after getting off of work. I walk through the door and the first thing I hear when I get home is not a pleasant thing to hear. "Your dog is dead." My father told me. Not something you want to come home from work and hear. I start bawling like a baby. I don't care if I am a cry baby. I earned the tears I am crying. I would question myself if I was not crying. "You want to come see her before I bury her?" My father asked me.
On the inside I wanted to say no. But the outside wanted to say yes. "No dad. It is going to be too painful." I told him. Right when he gets out the door I changed my mind quickly. "I do want to see her."
We walk for a long time before we reach where my dad is going to bury her. I get on my knees and grasp my hand. I let my tears drip into my dog's new home. I never hurt so bad before. It felt as if someone grabbed my heart, ripped it out of my chest and squeezed it. The emotions were racing through me. I run inside and cry so hard that I give myself a headache.
It is not easy to find out your best friend died. Copper took a piece of my heart with her. I will never get it back. I will never be whole again. I never felt so much pain and emotions in my life. In time of tragedy is the time for grief and regrets. I loved Copper with my whole heart. But when I found out she died a sea of emotions sufficated me. Copper stole my heart from the first time I laid eyes on her. I will always think about her. I cannot wait until the day I am reunited with Copper. But for now I need to go to the store so I can buy flowers for my first dead best friend.
© Copyright 2016 Kyle Georgie Frydenlund. All rights reserved.