In life, there comes a time when your parents feel as though they have raised you well and strong enough to "push you out of the nest" in order for you to live your life as your own person. They send you off with the warmest medleys of "goodbye" and "see you later," knowing that you will prove to yourself that you were indeed ready to experience what life has to offer you.
Despite how happy and heartfelt the love of a parent is, and how hard it is to part, there are so many viable means in which we are able to communicate and stay connected with our loved ones. What is harder, is departing from the nonverbal members of our families who show just as much unconditional love for us as we do for them.
You know deep down that you love them, but your pets (may they be dogs, cats, hamsters, or birds) do not understand where you are going or how long it will be until they see you again.
For myself, this happened exactly a year ago.
My dog and I have been together since the day after he was born, and nothing could prepare me for living without him, with minimal visits, for a year.
Since he became a part of my family, I have loved him like he was a baby brother of my own. As a puppy, I slept with him outside his cage when he cried at night, and as time went on and he grew into a bigger puppy, he returned the favor when I was feeling low myself.
There is a beautiful feeling that you experience when your best friend curls up to you by your side when you go to sleep at night after a long day, that can remind you life really is not all that bad. If anything, having had someone to come home to that is more excited to see you than you think necessary is truly something to be grateful for.
As things go now, he lives 15 or so hours away from me, and our most convenient means of communication are that of Skype and FaceTime. Every once in a while he may actually look at the screen and possibly recognize me, but the way his ears spark upwards when he hears my voice is all the loving recognition that I need.