Perhaps the second greatest compliment I’ve ever received, is being told by my husband that he wanted to come back, if reincarnation exists, as my dog. My favorite compliment of all time was from a Shepherd breeder/trainer, who needed to find a new home for an amazingly gorgeous 5 year old black fully trained Shepherd. My husband was still reeling from the death of our Mocha and he said no, but it broke my heart. The breeder said “I’m extremely careful about who I let take our dogs, but I know how much you love your dogs and I’d feel comfortable with you taking him.” This precious animal, and this statement, was the greatest compliment I’ve ever received from any living soul. We sadly didn’t get him, my husband was still too raw, and I needed to respect that. But I will never forget the enormous amount of grace that was in her offer and this statement.
It takes alot of courage to be a pet owner, but especially a dog owner because they bond with us in a different way from other animals. And the bonding and the love is very easy. These precious creatures want nothing more than our love. It’s so simple to give. We spend a little time training compared to the years of the happy greeting when we arrive home, or the joy of knowing a walk is about to happen. Addie, my current dog, jumps around in circles in glee. You can’t watch that without feeling some joy yourself and smiling. It’s the aging and the death that breaks our heart in unfathomable ways. And even with her body being consumed by illness at this point in her life, turning away at what used to be her favorite foods, too weak to jump up on the bed anymore to join me and take my husband’s spot when he leaves for work- while it’s still warm, if I go near the door or leash, the dance of joy will still begin. We would be so lucky to be dogs, to be made happy by so simple of pleasures, and feel joy with so little from others. The amazing love of dogs is what makes dog owners courageously take that step again down the road. It’s hard, for sure. Not everyone can do it more than once. I totally understand. This little sign helps.