what is so brave about loving a pet?
when you enter any relationship, caring and loving another being, it means accepting that one day you will lose that loved one
given the life of a pet, this relationship will be so much shorter than you want
your pet is part of your life, your home, and your daily routine
like all family members, especially ones that you live with, you are going to face reminders every single day
there is the corner of my bedroom where my dog slept, and made me feel safer every night just by being there
there is the patio where he lay in the sun
there is the forest across the road, where he ran like the wind and howled with joy at the top of his lungs, endearing him to everyone who heard him and met him
there is the spot in the hall, outside the kitchen where he watched us eat dinner, and waited for his dinner while having a fake seizure to show us how hungry and desperate he was for food
there is the patio door where he would fake convulsions again if we didn’t immediately let him in, on a perfectly sunny and mild day
our stanley was an accomplished actor, turning into a heaving shaking street urchin anytime he wanted something
and there is no sad face like a hound’s sad face (there is no sad face like a hound’s “happy” face, for that matter)
there is a special anguish of loving and caring for one that cannot let you know in words, what they want, need, if something is wrong, or hurts–this is so hard
and most animal lovers, make the choice to add a loved one to their life, over and over again, knowing that you are, in effect, agreeing to this whole grieving process when they die
knowing that many people, including family, friends, and colleagues, will never understand the depths of your sorrow when you have to say good-bye to your pet (“it’s a dog!”)
I think that we are brave, to love our pets and make them part of our family, time and time again
but not nearly as brave as they are, to put all their trust and love in us, their flawed human owners
I am thankful for all the dogs and cats I have loved and been loved by

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