Loving someone or something and being loved back feels amazing. Love is, after all, about caring and concern for the other person and so to say you love a friend is just as valid as saying you love a dog or cat or even a 4 week old foetus.
My friend had the most beautiful puppy, he was confident, adventurous, playful and knew his own mind. I knew this puppy from 8 weeks old: when we viewed him, and bought him home to her house. And since that time I have seen him almost every day. I have been training him and loving him as if he were my own. Sadly at 15 weeks of age this little puppy became so unwell that the kindest thing to do was to allow him to die peacefully and with dignity. This was only 10 days ago and I miss him terribly and am crying writing this.
When I express my deep sadness over the death of this puppy, overwhelmingly people are sympathetic and empathetic. However, there are those who are unable to comprehend why I would feel so sad using phrases such as: ”it was only a dog” or “it was so young I don’t understand why you’re so attached to it”. “You can always get another one “and worse for me was hearing that, “he wasn’t even your dog”. I believe that the grief we feel over the death or loss of someone or something we love is a direct reflection of the depth of that love. And what I felt upon hearing these words was very similar to how I felt with the 6 babies I have miscarried. As I thought about my feelings, I also noticed that phrases I heard upon miscarriage were very similar to what I was hearing with the puppy.
He is never JUST a dog. My foetuses were real and my love for them was real, and it wouldn’t matter if I had lost them at 4 weeks, or 10 or 12 weeks as the loss was same. Furthermore, hearing you can always try again for a baby was not helpful, and as it turns out has not been successful. No matter how old a person or an animal is, we invest into our relationship with them. We have thought about things we would do, places we would go, and the adventures we would have. A relationship and a bonding are happening in our hearts and our minds from our first meeting.
Yes, it does hurt to have lost our puppy and it is also a comfort to know that he had lived, albeit short life, a very full and happy life with a great many experiences. I do not regret having him in my life and am thankful for the time we did have with him.