Losing a dog is easily one of the hardest things a family can go through. Whether that dog was in their life for two months, two years, or a decade, you lose a vital part of your family.
A quote by Majorie Barber sums it up perfectly:
“If you have a dog, you will most likely outlive it; to get a dog is to open yourself to profound joy and, prospectively, to equally profound sadness.”
With human relationships, you never fully get along with everyone. We disagree about politics, religion, race, money, and everything else.
Dogs are entirely dependent on their humans. They are pure. They show an unconditional love that I didn't even know was possible. They come into our lives for up to around 14 years, and in that time they completely steal our hearts.
Ralph Ryback, M.D., explains in his article Why Losing a Pet Hurts So Much, "the death of a pet can be a truly traumatic experience and create a large void in our hearts and lives—comparable to losing a close family member or friend. As humans, we project onto our beloved pets our thoughts, emotions, and ideas: We see ourselves in our animals."
A little less than two weeks ago, I lost my golden retriever, Sunny.
He was in my life for over 13 years, and throughout that time he turned into what felt like another sibling.
When we got Sunny, the idea of losing him one day never crossed my mind, not once.
For the past two years, I could tell he was getting older. I thought that I came to terms with the fact that we could lose him at any moment. I figured I was ready.
I was not.
The emptiness of my house haunts me. The spot on my floor where he slept brings tears to my eyes every time I look at it.
Sunny was a real psycho when he was a puppy, all the way up until his old age. He ate everything; he ruined probably 80 percent of our household items throughout his life. He slowly turned into a sweet, calm old man, and I loved both versions of him equally.
He will be irreplaceable, and I feel incredibly blessed to have had him as my best friend growing up.
We do not deserve dogs, hands down. We are lucky to have such pure lights in our lives that bring us so much joy and happiness.
We can learn something from dogs. The way that they love so unconditionally. They don't care about the mistakes you make or your beliefs. They love you regardless.
Dogs give us a purpose. They give us something to care about that will always care about us back. They show us what it means to love something truly.
The fact that you may lose a dog is unbearable, but that isn't a reason to not get one.
What they bring to your life means so much more.