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My dog baby. I never thought I could be attached to an animal the way I was attached to him. Mom bought him for me when I was 17. I was nervous about getting a pet because I didn’t think I was ready for that kind of responsibility. Grandma and I picked up him from the breeder in June 2011; he was 8 weeks old. Out of 8 Maltese puppies he was the only boy left, so grandma picked him. I sent mom a picture and asked her to name him; she chose the name Monroe. Monroe was so small and precious when we first got him. I was instantly in love. And, he was the best sleeping buddy when he was a baby. But as he grew bigger, he liked to lie in the middle of my bed and stretch out in the most inconsiderate way ever. Lol.

Everyone in my family fell in love with Monroe. It was just something special about him. He was like a human in a dog’s body. I tried to train him without using a leash. Baddd idea. 2 months after getting him, Monroe ran into the road and was hit by a trailer that was attached to the back of a truck. It was a Sunday afternoon. I had to drive over an hour to the nearest vet for an emergency appointment. Monroe’s front paw was sprained, but thankfully not broken. Slowly but surely, my baby bounced back and continued to develop into the dog man he became.

Grandma and Monroe bonded a lot while I was in high school; they quickly became besties. Once I went to college, their bond grew stronger. She even called him the nickname she used to call me when I was little. I was jealous. Lol. I would visit home and Monroe wouldn’t even sleep with me. One night while home, I put Monroe in my bed so he could sleep with me. Grandma took him and put him in bed with her. Grandma said Monroe was her dog since I left them there together. Lol. Grandma and Monroe’s go-to snacks were chili-cheese fritos, kit-kat bars, and peanuts. Since Monroe’s death, grandma doesn’t eat those snacks nearly as much anymore.

Grandma used to make me say goodnight to him when I would call her to say goodnight. I know it seems silly, but Monroe enjoyed it as much as grandma and I did. He would put his ear to the phone to listen to me and then lick the phone repeatedly like he was telling me the latest gossip.

We all miss Monroe so, so much. I miss his kisses, him licking the scars on my arm, and us play fighting. My grandparents’ home doesn’t feel the same without him there. Honestly, I was worried more about grandma that I was myself, though. She lost her twin sister and then her dog 11 months later; that’s tough. She has her own dog now though; it's a toy poodle.

I really didn’t know how I was gonna cope with Monroe’s death. I literally made myself go to Lake Mattamuskeet and take pictures this day. I needed to feel God’s comfort. As always, He exceeded my expectations and gave me the most amazing, breathtaking sunset to help me remember and say goodbye to my dog baby.

Life Lesson:

· Even on the saddest days, life and time are continuous and waits on no one; keep going.

How I Apply it to My Life:

· I give myself 4 hours a day to be lazy or sad or in my feelings, then I get back to business.


· Lauryn Hill – The Miseducation of Lauryn Hill

Every time I look at this picture or read about it in my book, I cry. This is my favorite album. Whenever I’m sad or in a bad mood, I listen to this album from beginning to end to help me feel better. Works every time.

SLIDESHOW: My dog baby, Monroe Sinclair 3/30/2011 - 11/23/2020


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