A dear friend of mine lost a four legged family member last week.
Unless you have a dog or cat that you have truly loved, this probably won’t even register on your emotions.
I have shared my life with various four legged creatures over the years. Dogs, cats and even a few two legged ones with wings that I have been keeper of, and very, very fond of.
There is that difference with pets just like there is with people. Some people you see day in and day out they make up the frame of your daily existence. Then there are the pets that look you in the eyes and make a bond with you that can’t be broken.
The ones you truly bond with are usually fewer in number, and when they leave you, you cry, and you mourn, and it hurts all the way to your very core.
Falling in love with an animal is never really anyone’s intention. Most of the time it just happens, and then it can’t be undone.
I have mentioned the rescue Corgi from the Olathe Dog Shelter before. Her name was Zydeco, like the music in Louisiana. She was adopted during hurricane Katrina, and it seemed like a good way to give a thumbs up to those hardy folks fighting to keep their homes.
She was smallish and brown black and white. She had very good manners and walked on a leash when asked to without pulling. She was also careful about doing her business outside and didn’t bark much at all. Her past was a mystery. She may have had puppies that were taken from her. She stole things from around the house and hid them in her crate. She listened for school busses and certain pickup trucks.
When she first came to my house, she wouldn’t leave her kennel even with the door open. She had distrust for women, but loved the man of the house. He was patient with her and never forced her to leave her comfort zone. It took about a month for her to come to the living room and socialize.
When her fellow moved she had to stay with me. We trusted each other, but she was never really ”mydog.” As long as I fed her and took care of her needs, I was given respect and trust.
She had a problem with seizures and medication seemed to control them most of the time.
On what was to be her last day, her guy stopped by. He was getting some things out of the yard shed, and I let her out to see him. She absolutely flew to him, and he sat on the ground and petted her and scratched her and loved her. They say dogs have short memories, but I don’t believe it.
Later that night she had a massive seizure. He came and got her and took her to an emergency vet; they decided it was best for her not to wake up.
Three days later her fellow died.
I am sad for my friends. Their loss is real, and it will hurt for a long time. They gave their little dog a great home and a very safe, secure loved life. When I mentioned this, my friend told me “he gave us sunshine.”
Dogs are never ‘just dogs,’ they are family