Mutt or champion sired. Furry or hairless. Big or little. What is it about a dog that allows it to work its way right into our being? I hadn’t thought too much about that until a few days ago when our 16 year old shih tzu decided to run free leaving a huge hole in our heart.
Both the hubby and I have lost parents, siblings, good friends. All made us sad, but left behind were lots of shared memories that eased the pain. So what is different about losing a dog?
With a dog there is little conflict. There are no upsetting arguments or words spoken that cannot be taken back. A dog seems willing to allow a do over, not always the case with us humans.
A dog doesn’t talk back. Tell it to sit or stay and it does so without asking why or stubbornly refusing. Sure, those positive responses require a bit of training, but the effort is rewarding.
A dog always loves you best. Sure, it made cozy up with other people, but there’s no question about where its loyalty lies!
It occurs to me that the defining factor in a relationship between a dog and its person is that it is nonjudgmental, particularly on the dog’s part. Never does a dog find fault. As long as it’s fed and cared for, all it offers is unconditional affection. That in itself is a gift not always given or received.
So, do we always think about these things when a much loved dog is with us? Maybe not, but they sure run through your head when that big or little one is no longer waiting at the door.