living with dogs

THAT Thing

Today as I was going to work I stopped at the gas station next door. My neighbor, who was my mom’s best friend and has become my surrogate mom more-or-less, informed me that their seven-year-old boxer had passed away. I know for them, me and many others, dogs are a part of the family. For some like me, they are our children. We all get dogs knowing that, most likely, we will outlive them, but it doesn’t make it any less sad.

When a person dies, we have rituals and things we do to help loved ones cope and move on. We have nothing like that for dogs. You probably won’t get flowers when your furbaby dies, and there will be no funeral. There will just be that unsettling, heavy silence. I’m not saying we should throw elaborate processions when a dog dies, but I think it’s good to remember that the loss of a dog can hit just as hard as a loss of a person and that in many ways it’s harder to deal with because of the lack of ritual. My oldest is four years older than their boxer was and it worries me that their dog was perfectly healthy six months ago. When she stopped eating as much no one thought she’d pass away less than a year later.

My oldest is four years older than their boxer was, and it worries me that their dog was perfectly healthy six months ago. When she stopped eating as much no one thought she’d pass away less than a year later.

Besides the morbid message of every dog eventually has to cross the rainbow bridge, I think events like this can be a good wake-up call and reminder. It’s really driven home for me that now that I work two more days and longer hours, I really need to commit to spending more time with my dogs and making sure they have the best lives I can give. So, give your furbabies extra pets tonight and maybe throw that ball a few times.

If you have any tips on coping with the loss of a furry loved one, feel free to share them.

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