You probably know the story. Someone comes into your life, stays for awhile, and then…all of a sudden, they are gone. We live the same story over and over again, whether it is a person that we lose, or a furkid. And yet, even though we know the ending, we keep on loving, and we keep on letting our hearts be broken. And we also can’t accept that it will happen again. I won’t. Because I can’t.
The last time I went through the heartache of losing my furkids, I swore I would never go through it again. I am sure the story is one you have lived as well. And somehow, three weeks later, I had a little pound puppy back in the house again, and back in my heart. And somehow, this time, the bond was deeper than ever, even though I fought having a connection with him. The more I fought, the more I knew that one day, this loss was going to be something I could not go through. And I still feel that way.
When I look at Brickle or Digby sometimes, I can’t help but look to the future. What is going to happen to take them out of my life? What is going to be like after they are gone? And I just don’t know why I do this to myself. Sometimes, I think it is to prepare for the inevitable, thinking that maybe if I am prepared that it will be easier. But I know it won’t be, and I don’t know how I am going to live without either one of them. There. I said it. I just don’t think that I can.
Voicing the way I feel about my dogs has sometimes brought a look from people. Maybe you know “the look”. They may think that I am crazy, and I am. They may think that I love my dogs too much. Maybe, I do. They may think that I went through some traumatic experience to make me into the most devoted dog parent around, and that the voids I am trying to fill are making me crazier. But even if that was the case, do I care? The meaningful life I have because of my dogs is something I would never trade. And I suppose that the ending is part of the deal. And I just don’t think it is a fair deal. There. I said it again. I just don’t.
Being a dog parent comes with a lot of trade offs. Maybe you don’t go out as much with friends, or maybe your house isn’t as clean. Maybe your life changes more as your dog gets older. But when you love someone so much, you simply don’t care, and you no longer view those things as trade offs. If we are to start enjoying our dogs as much as we can, I know that thinking of when our time is going to come to an end is not a healthy thing.
So for those moments when I get angry that they won’t be with me forever, I have started to stop and try to forget. Am I being naive? Unrealistic? No. But why try to deal with something that hasn’t happened yet? I won’t ever be able to accept that one day I will wake up and they won’t be with me. I won’t accept it even after it happens. Because in some ways, they are a part of me. And that won’t ever leave.
-Rachael Johnson, Girl Person of 2 Traveling Dogs