“If you feel sad I’ll be your smile. If you cry I’ll be your comfort. If someone breaks your heart, we can use mine to live. I will always be by your side until the day I die.”
So many wonderful moments come when you own a dog. Funny memories, vacations, long walks and daily talks. Dogs are there for us at our worst moments. They never judge; just listen and comfort. The world could turn on you. Your dog will not.
Every dog owner knows though, in the back of their mind, that the day will come when they have to say goodbye. Losing a dog is one of the hardest losses. Often people try to put a human aspect on it.
“It’s like losing a child because….”
“It’s like losing your significant other because…”
Humans want to humanize it, but it doesn’t need to be. Losing a dog is like losing a dog…and in my opinion, a dog is special enough that it gets to be itself in this category.
To understand this, you must understand what a dog is.
Your dog is your biggest fan. Everyday you will wake up, with a to do list and schedule. Your dog wakes up excited to see you. Whether it’s all day or just for a few hours they are going to spend as much time with you as they possibly can. Your dog’s life is centered around you.
Are we having coffee? Ok! I will sit by you.
Are we looking at the phone? Not fun, but if I’m next to you I’ll take it!
Car ride! OMG! Who cares where we go, let’s just ride!
And don’t even mention the word outside! Outside time, together! There is nothing better. Unless you change your mind and want to stay inside. Then we get to sit on the couch and watch TV. We can watch anything you want. I don’t care at all. I’m just so happy to sit with you.
You know these moments. They just want to be with you. Who else does that?
Who sits at your feet when you go to the bathroom? Or is right there when you get out of the shower. They lay next to you when you’re sick.
They run full speed ahead, (honestly, they would run through fire to get to you) when you walk into the house. Even if you just went to get the mail.
We all have humans in our lives that are excited to see us, comfort us and support us…but none do it quite like a dog. Consistently, no matter what.
Until the day they die.
The first day after losing your dog is when it all hits.
You come home and it’s just…nothing. A family member may say hi, but nobody rushes to greet you. No Ticker-tape parade. No tail wagging.
It’s quiet. It’s horribly quiet. The barking that you used to hush is painfully missed in what is now empty loneliness.
Your best friend, your sidekick, is gone.
Eventually, someone will say to you “it was just a dog.”
Just a dog that made your life richer and better…that loved you unconditionally.
There is no love on this Earth purer than that.
For everyone out there that can relate to this, cherish your memories. Cry when you need to. Never stop telling their stories.
And know, this was not just a dog.