Musings on the death of dogs

imageWhat is it about the death of our dogs that strikes so hard? So many tears, so much sorrow. Does the weight of all our other losses compound this one? Yet we still consciously put ourselves in the position where we will experience it again. My first dog was a Jack Russell called Rufus who ran in circles before collapsing due to a brain haemorrhage. I was just 8 and the loss really passed me by. But my Sam, who arrived as a puppy when I was 10 and lived for 18 a loving years, now his death was the third in a year so full of death of people close to me that it seemed more than coincidence. My next dog was my first Hearing Dog, Lucy the magnificent, the greedy, the affectionate, the clever and the beautiful golden retriever collie cross, who was my companion at home and work for 15 years. When the time came for her to go, I waited for the vet to come to administer the injection as she lay in her favourite sunny spot in our seafront garden and once it was over, stayed there immersed in sorrow that was surely much more than just for her. Now the death of my brother’s dog yesterday revives that memory.

Returning to the question of why we continue to replace our dogs (and cats and others pets) in the knowledge that we will almost certainly have to say a final goodbye to them, as I watched my dog frolicking in a river this morning the answer seemed clear – the joy outweighs the sorrow.

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