Social media has been an incredible tool for us dog owners. We can share photos, videos, and stories about our beloved companions, and our friends and relatives and even casual acquaintances can get to know our dogs – laughing at their cute or funny antics, commiserating with us over canine behavior we find problematic, or just smiling in recognition of those tiny moments that “dog people” savor: from the quizzical puppy head tilts to the senior dogs sleeping deeply, peacefully entwined with one another.
But sometimes, our involvement with each other’s dogs means we also feel each other’s pain at the loss of a special canine friend. And if you’ve ever lost a “heart dog” of your own – and who among us haven’t? – the story of a friend’s dog’s death can hit you hard, bringing up echoes of your own canine loss or losses. You know exactly how your friends feel – bereft, hollow, aching – and all you can do is try to say something to let them know you are sorry for their pain.
It’s been said before, but every time I have experienced the loss of one of my dogs, or have witnessed someone else’s, I think to myself: That this is the price of all that love we have for our dogs, and all the love and joy we’ve received from our dogs. If it seems too much to bear, well, remember that the amount of pain we are going to feel is directly related to the love. Those “heart dogs” – the companions we love as much as life itself? Well, their loss is going to hurt the most, the deepest, and the longest. Keep it in mind as you hurt; this is the price of all the happiness we had together.
It’s easy to forget as we are enjoying our canine partners, playing, working, swimming, training, sleeping, and eating together. But, given our lifespans and their all-too-short ones, in the back of our minds we know that the price will have to be paid in our lifetimes. It’s a steep price – but also worth the pain.
Source: WholeDog Journal