We adopted my dog when I was 10, and I’m now 18, which means she’ll be dead within the next four or five years. And I won’t be home in four or five years. (Or at least I hope I won’t be home.)

So really, I have five months and a bunch of Thanksgiving breaks left with my dog. Maybe a few summers, too.

My memories with my dog are mostly good. The problem is that I began to resent the responsibility of keeping a pet quite some time ago, and once I could stop walking her, when we moved into a house with a yard big enough for my dog to roam, I completely stopped interacting with her. I don’t even pet her. The only time she’s come in my room in the past six months was to bark about a burnt grilled cheese fire happening downstairs.

My friends joke about me hating my dog. I don’t really value animal domestication, but I’m not opposed to interspecies friendship. It just doesn’t come naturally to me anymore. It did once.

From the time I was 11 to 14, I walked my dog every night. Largely because I enjoyed pacing my steps to music, pretending I was in a video. The symbiotic relationship between my dog and I was strong. I need to start walking my dog again.

I need to start watching The Voice with my mom again, too. ♦