Requiem For a Good Dog

Originally posted several years ago.

Yesterday, the world lost a Good Dog.
I won’t go into the details; some friends of mine (my surrogate family, truth be told) had to make the agonizing decision to put their dog down after 13 years. It was the right decision, but right decisions aren’t always easy.
What makes this so difficult for me, when she wasn’t even my dog, is those 13 years’ worth of memories.
I remember that dog putting her head in my lap whenever I was a bit down and trying to hide the fact. Dogs and cats know, people.
I remember that dog immediately jumping up and coming over butt her head into my leg to be pet the instant I walked in the door.
I remember the times when she’d stand up on her hind legs, put her front paws in my hands, and dance with me a little bit.
There are other times, other memories…thirteen years is a long time in dog years.
She couldn’t do any of those things by the end; no more dancing on two legs when a dog can barely stand up on four. In my memory, however, she’ll be doing them forever.
We don’t mourn the dead. We mourn the living. Because honestly, I believe that she’s doing those things now. She might even have finally gotten over her fear of the vacuum cleaner now. What’s making me cry is the fact that I’ll have to wait a bit before I can see it again.
I don’t know, maybe I should be using this space to say something a little more profound, or about people instead of a dog…but you can love a pet, even somebody else’s, just as much as you can love people. You can bond just as much; that might even be easier than bonding with people, since dogs and cats always wear their hearts on their sleeve. If they like you, they love you, and you really have to be trying, to not let that affect you.
I’m going to miss this particular dog, and I think she deserves a memorial on my little corner of the internet.
So long…you were a Good Dog.

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