All my life, I have grown up with dogs. I am 22 years old now and I have had eight dogs throughout my life: Midnight, Blanco, Shelby, Bessie, Zoey, Bella, Pogley, and Wrigley. 

My family rescued Blanco when I was around five years old, but he was not friendly around children, so we gave him to a family friend. We also rescued Pogley when he was 15 years old, but he passed away a year later.

Midnight and Shelby passed away when I was younger, so I did not have too strong of a connection with them.

Bella is still with us; she is a loyal but feisty Yorkie. Little Wrigley is a dachshund/yorkie mix and he is a rambunctious puppy.

Bessie, also known as the Big Fat Cow, had the biggest personality of any dog I have ever met. She literally ate everything—from five sticks of butter to whole loaves of bread. Although she was 100 pounds, she was such a cuddly, friendly doggy.

Sadly, Bessie passed away over this past summer. Her passing took a toll on all of my family; she was twelve years old or so and was practically a member of our family.

But nothing will ever compare to my Zoey.

We got Zoey when I was in the second grade and it was love at first sight. She was a purebred Cocker Spaniel with the most beautiful freckly face.

I think her freckles is what drew me to her initially. I was such a freckly child that I was bullied throughout elementary school and middle school for it, but Zoey was always my one continuous friend.

One night after we just got her, she was crying at my bedroom door. I let her inside, and she immediately fell asleep on my bed with me. After that, we became inseparable.

To say Zoey was a psycho is an understatement. I have never seen a dog that was as camera shy as Zoey.

Of course, I was obsessed with her. I wanted to document her every second of every day, but as soon as she saw the camera, she zoomed away.

My mom and I used to always joke that she was a dog on the run because she never wanted her picture taken.

Zoey was terrified of everything and everyone; she hated new people and loud sounds. But that did not stop me from following her everywhere.

Anytime I saw Zoey, I simply had to pick her up and squeeze her. It was my way of showing her love, even if she despised it.

Zoey was the furriest, fuzziest dog I have ever seen. I loved putting her hair in little bowties and taking pictures of her, but of course she was not a fan.

Although Zoey was not too keen on reaching outside of her comfort zone, there was one attribute I especially loved about her: her loyalty.

After a rough day or if I were feeling down, Zoey could immediately sense it. She would spend extra time with me. She was my personal, fuzzy therapist.

I could truly talk to her about anything; she was a great secret keeper. She would lick the tears from my face while letting me pet her.

One weekend when my parents were out of town, I was in charge of taking care of the dogs and I woke up one morning and immediately knew Zoey was sick.

Stressed and worried, I called my aunt for help. We tried to call every veterinarian office, but they were all closed because it was a Sunday.

My parents explained they would be home in a few hours, and I should head to work; everything would be fine.

Sadly, Zoey passed away after I left for work and before my parents came home. My dad buried her in our background and made a little headstone for her.

My heart was—and still is—broken. The love I had for Zoey will never compare to anything. I hope everyone can have a dog who truly becomes their best friend.

If you have a fuzzy, four-legged friend, then give them an extra hug because, sadly, they do not live forever.