When you bring a pet into your life, you begin a journey - a
journey that will bring you more love and devotion than you have ever known, yet
also test your strength and courage. If you allow, the journey will teach you
many things, about life, about yourself, and most of all, about love. You will
come away changed forever, for one soul cannot touch another without leaving its
Along the way, you will learn much about savoring life's
- Jumping leaves, snoozing in the sun, the joys of
puddles, and even the satisfaction of a good scratch behind the ears.
- Your house will become muddier and hairier. You will
wear less dark clothing and buy more lint rollers. You may find dog biscuits
in your pocket or purse.
- You will learn the true measure of love - the steadfast,
undying kind that says, "It doesn't matter where we are or what we do,
or how life treats us as long as we are together." Respect this always.
It is the most precious gift any living soul can give another. You will not
find it often among the human race.
- And you will learn humility. The look in my dog's eyes
often made me feel ashamed. Such joy and love at my presence. She saw not
some flawed human who could be cross and stubborn, moody or rude, but only
her wonderful companion. Or maybe she saw those things and dismissed them as
mere human foibles, not worth considering, and so chose to love me anyway.
If you pay attention and learn well, when the journey is
done, you will be not just a better person, but the person your pet always knew
you to be - the one they were proud to call beloved friend.
I must caution you that this journey is not without pain.
Like all paths of true love, the pain is part of loving. For as surely as the
sun sets, one day your dear animal companion will follow a trail you cannot yet
go down. And you will have to find the strength and love to let them go. A pet's
time on earth is far too short - especially for those that
love them. We borrow them, really, just for awhile, and during these brief years
they are generous enough to give us all their love, every inch of their spirit
and heart, until one day there is nothing left.
The young pup of boundless
energy wakes up stiff and lame, the muzzle now gray. Deep down we somehow always
knew that this journey would end. We knew that if we gave our hearts they would
be broken. But give them we must for it is all they ask in return. When time
comes, and the road curves ahead to a place we cannot see, we give one final
gift and let them run on ahead - young and whole once more.
"Godspeed, good friend," we say, until our
journey comes full circle and our paths cross again.