Below is something I wrote four years ago. Most families experience something similar when losing a pet that has been a part of you or your family.
Just some thoughts:
Last night, our families lost an old friend.
Her name was Ruthie. Ruthie wasn’t, well, let’s just say, if you placed her in a contest of “tricks and fetch,” you would not place a bet for her to win, place or show. But she had one great quality: she was always there, and she was always your friend. In trying to write her “Obit,” I’m not sure what to say. She was our youngest daughter’s dog for about the last twelve years. She got Ruthie before she was married, and they were always there for one another. In the words of our daughter, “I got Ruthie twelve years ago during the hardest time in my life. Thankfully, she was there to see me through some good times too.”
"Oh, that face and those eyes. What he could do to me with that face and those eyes. He would perch himself next to me on the sofa in the living room and look at me. And love and loyalty would pour out with that look, and as long as I had that, there was very little the human race could do to harm my self-esteem. Good dogs don't love bad people."
I wonder, over the hundreds of years, how many thousands of families have buried their dog friends. I think the first dog funeral I attended was back in the late 1940s’ Ol’ Blackout, and he/she wasn’t even my dog. It had belonged to my two cousins Tom and Mona. I don’t remember the circumstances, but I do remember Ol’ Blackout was buried out near the “outhouse,” on my grandfather’s small farm west of Shelburn, Indiana.
Years later, as a sixteen year-old boy, I remember finding our dog, Toots; she had been hit by a train. I found her, brought her home, and then went inside to tell my parents. After doing so, I went to our garage and sat on the back bumper of our family’s 1957 Chevy and cried. I still remember my dad finding me and how the two of us sat, talked and cried about our loss. Years later, upon becoming a parent I would realize that the sorrow my dad was sharing was more about the sadness his six year old son was feeling than the passing of the family pet.
Fathers and mothers, when our children hurt, whether it’s over the loss of an animal or much more, we hurt also. Parents never lose that sense of pain they feel for their children. Age nor time does not take that feeling or emotion from a parent.
2000 - August 4, 2012
August 4, 2012