If you’re a dog lover and have had the joy of having dogs in your life, then you probably also know the pain of losing them. I’ve known people who have refused to get another dog when they’ve lost one they particularly love. I find that sad. While it’s true they’ll never have another “Rover,” folks who feel this way are depriving themselves of the wholly different, new, and equally wonderful “Spot” who could grace their lives.
I recently lost my best buddy, China, after 13 years. It’s taken several weeks for me to realize that one of the biggest things I’ve felt the loss of was the role she played as my playmate. She made me remember to play. And that’s something I too easily forget by being “responsible.”
If you’ve had driven Labrador Retrievers in your life, you’ll know what I’m talking about. Her need to retrieve was immense and her love of it was her reason for living. You could see the beams of joy flying off of her whenever she got to chase her toy. And, of course, that meant my job was to be out with her – throwing the toy, exploring the woods, hiking the trails, and so on. In other words, her joy in her job and her curiosity about life made me get involved and play, too. What a gift she was!
Each dog brings their own special gift to us. Some are cuddlers, some are workers, some are play machines, and others remind us to chill out – I’m thinking about greyhounds here. Whenever we open to the gift each one of them brings, our lives expand and become richer and deeper.
The impact China had on my life has prompted me to finally walk away from the frustration of corporate life and start a pet sitting business. Personally, I’m looking forward to discovering the gift each pet brings to everyone that’s willing to accept it.
What gifts have your dogs brought to you? I’d love to know.