I was young. Inexperienced. Immature.

In a world filled with responsibilities and pressures, I was wholly unprepared for the burden that had been laid upon my shoulders. And just when I thought my very last shred of hope had evaporated along with my aspirations, I realized something. I could make my tomorrow brighter. I could put down my dog. 

First, I'd like to clarify that she wasn't ill. She wasn't injured. But I knew in my heart that removing the weight of her dependence on me would open up a whole new world of possibilities. I got Luna during a difficult time in my life. Always a reminder of that time, she had become somewhat of an emotional burden to me that I found nearly impossible to bear at times. And on the 23rd day of January, 2017, I changed my life forever. As she faded away, a new me was bursting forth. 

Dog food, flea medications, vet visits, grooming fees. All of it. Gone. I suddenly felt lighter. Freer. And I was able to breathe easier knowing that she wouldn't have to live a life of want. I suppose I'm not the only one who found new freedom. I gave her that gift as well. 

Studies have shown that people who remove from the their lives the stresser that a pet often is, are much more likely to report aspirational plans for the next year. And I've been no exception. I don't worry about her when I go out of town. No more subjecting her to unpleasant baths. Just my dreams for the future. Unfettered and forward-facing. 

I can honestly say it has been the best decision I've ever made. Pursuing my passion, my has changed me. And none of it would have been possible without this decision. No more memories of a dark past. Just the chance to take a step forward.

Now I can surge ahead with my goals and dreams front and center. And maybe in the future, I'll choose to have a dog. But it will be my choice. And at the time of my choosing. The right time. 

I hope that all of you can see the value and bravery of my actions and take it to heart. Don't live with the burden. And don't live with the shame and guilt that society tries to push onto us when we make the right decision for ourselves. It's your life and only you answer for it.

 Putting Luna down gave me the freedom to leave my toxic relationships behind and refocus on finishing college, graduating, and now having a career in which I advocate for the very rights that allowed me to change paths. Every day, I am thankful for putting her down. 

A sad & satirical response to this article: "I've Been Thankful for My Abortion Every Single Day Since I Had it"

Because foolishness deserves a fools answer.