Wednesday, November 2, 2011

It's OK To Cry About Dogs

Yesterday was such a sad day, as everyone was reeling from the loss of my daughter's German Shepherd "Pepper".  Although Jess & Don knew she had cancer, an evil incurable type of cancer, and were preparing for the sad day, one is never really ready to lose a loved one of any species.  Sometimes we lose them suddenly, through accident or illness, while at other times we have a chance to get used to the idea that age or illness will soon steal a special friend.  Jess & Don had a month of good days to share with Pepper, and they made it a special month for all of them.  They had a chance to show Pepper how much she was loved and appreciated, but knew their time was limited. When the end came, it came quickly, following a weekend of fun & games & good times.  They had promised her that she would not suffer needlessly, and when she woke up in pain, with "that look" in her eyes, they knew it was time.   Perhaps that was the best way, if there is a best way.

Those who have never truly loved an animal companion will never understand the grief their passing leaves.  Dogs especially, provide us with love and companionship and make a special place in our hearts, but many people are no less devastated by the loss of special cats, horses, and other companions.  There is a special bond between many humans and their animal companions, and although their loss is devastating at the time, most of us agree that it is well worth the pain because of the joy they bring us during their lives.  We often hear people say they will never have another animal companion because they can't bare the pain of losing it, and I wonder why they would deny themselves all the joy to avoid the pain? 

We go into this knowing that we are likely to outlive any of these companions who join our households.  We love, cherish, and enjoy them during their often far-to-short lives and remember them with loves and tears when they pass.  The memories remain forever.

This is not complete, but the dogs are nagging for breakfast, and I'll give them each an extra hug in memory of Pepper.  They probably wondered about all the extra hugs yesterday, but obviously appreciated the extra time and attention they each received.

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