Wednesday 24 March 2010

Finding Our Way Home

No. Dogs are not like children. I have been thinking about this for a while now and I used to believe that. But let me explain. This inter-species connection that some of us are lucky enough to have is unique to dogs & people. When we become the guardians of dogs and let them into our hearts and our lives, we sign on for a wild ride. We sign on for a lifetime of unconditional love... really with no strings attached. Well, maybe some, like getting out and about every day to see the world and maybe being responsible for feeding and keeping them healthy. But even when some of us fail or fall short on these most basic things, our dogs make no judgments and hold no grudges. Imagine that -- not holding grudges -- wow. This relationship can't be explained, it can only be experienced. That seems to be why their deaths are just so personal and seldom shared. When we lose our dog, we lose a part of ourselves that we won't see anymore and that was what we saw through their eyes. Those who do understand become our saviors and for that we say thank you. Yeah, we move on. We may even get over 'it' but we will never, ever forget how they looked at us and how each and every look told us and only us exactly what was up. We get to have them their entire lives, by our sides. We don't have to let them go their own way. Our way is their way. It is our own secret club. We are the lucky ones. So I guess what I am saying's simply a case of a girl & her dog.


ingrid said...

wow. just what I was thinking.
When Indie died, I didn't feel like I lost a child. My second cousin lost her 20 year old child a while back. Great great kid!! Losing a child - it's a totally different monster. Really - a monster.

The death of a dog does not usually come with the loss of years, of lost potential and growth which leave one with unanswered questions and doubt. The loss of any early human life will always leave the living with some sort of blazing half empty canvas. But dog's don't have that long life span or human potential.

However, the loss is indeed, very, very great. And the loss is all our own. And what we lose is so difficult to understand.

A dog, as you said, is a combination of every great relationship a human has, and then some.

Dogs are the only creature on the planet that cross over from animal world to human world. They learn OUR language, not the other way around. Nothing else does this, and no human can be in both worlds, just the dog.

It's a strange and beautiful magic that is added to the recipe of perfection we find in our dog relationships.

I know parents care very much for their children, but how many of us were booted out as early as possible, and replaced by a spoiled, "can-do-no-wrong", wonderful dog?

Joey Boshart said...

I remember a similar rock with a similar pose, but the dog and her owner... they seem different.....

The "gift" they give is what they are; faithful, loyal, ever present. The gift we give is that we relish their personality; goofy or calm, silly or stoic, active or retired.... Every dog has their day...and we are just so very blessed to be a part of it.

Love you... can't wait to meet my new niece... just know I'll LOVE her.

Hugs to you all... If I make it there this summer we'll have to do Pulpit... I know you BOTH will leave me in the dust.


Your lil sissy... Hoey

Sparky's Mom said...

What a beautiful post -- I feel like crying right now, because you were so right on. When I read the first couple sentences I was thinking "Na-huh, Sparky was my child" ... but then I realized you were talking in different terms and I wholeheartedly agree with you. I was always amazed and almost felt a little selfish when I thought about how my world became his world ... only later did I understand that I saw my world through his big brown eyes (sneaky little pooch). I miss that. I miss that so much. You are right, parts of us die, and I miss the innocence in my life that Sparky contributed. I talked to my mom the other day, and we both noticed how my pictures just aren't the same ... Sparky kind of erased the daily struggle and (the dare I say) jadedness ... *sigh*. What wonderful beings they are.

I loved how we all updated today ... I don't think that's happened before. Here's to our girls and the boy: Cowgirl, Indiana, and Sparky :)


(PS: Yes, like Cowgirl and Indiana, Sparky was amazingly possessive when I dared to touch another dog ... he'd wedge himself in between the other pooch and I, shoving my hand off the other pups back and looking at me like "Excuuuuuuuse ME!" Worked every time. Hah!)

Dog By Nature said...

Well said! Maybe it can't be explained but we just need to enjoy it:)