Without going into too much detail, we lost one of our dogs in a freak accident recently. My wife and I were out on a date when we got the call from the emergency room.
It’s a highly emotional moment for both of us when something like this happens – especially when it’s sudden. For folks that know us well, our dogs are our children. We know each of their personalities, quirks, mannerisms, barks, and even their barking styles and what they mean. Sure, call us crazy and maybe we are, but the love we have for these dogs transcends just a simple relationship.
It’s hard to describe the range of emotions that one can go through when something like this happens. We all cope differently. My wife does it all at once. I tend to chunk my grief into stages and spread it out to ease the pain. There’s no one way to cope with a sudden loss of someone you love.
It’s a cliche saying but make every moment count. I was putting on my shoes in the morning when our lost dog came and nudge me to scratch her neck. That was my last memory. For my wife, hers was cutting her nails, grooming her hair, and giving her a kiss on the nose. You never know when something tragic will strike. I don’t think it’s reasonable to always live like tomorrow won’t come, but I do think I’m realizing it’s becoming more important to take more frequent moments to appreciate the things in life that you have – especially those around you that support you (whether human or animal).
We tend to ignore them because we’re too busy with our lives, focusing on what we perceive is “important”. Money, jobs, politics, news, whatever. At the end of the day, we all die. When we die, the moments we remember that create a foundation and central tenancy for who we are is what we will remember. I believe those moments are often reaffirmed and hardened through deep emotional connections with those that support us through thick and thin.
There’s a great quote that we have on a painting in our kitchen: Dogs are not our whole lives, but they make our lives whole.
You were way too young to go. We’re sorry we couldn’t protect you. I hope you know that we love you very much and that you mean the world to us. I hope there’s a lot of giant fields in dog heaven for you to play in. We’ll miss you, Eve, and I hope you forgive us.