It’s the look of sadness in their eyes because you both know their time here is coming to an end.
Their food has been untouched for days and they are walking a little slower and they are sleeping a little more. You hold them wanting to take their pain away, knowing the hardest decision you have to make is for the best.
It’s the goodbye you wish you didn’t have to say and the tears you can’t control.
It’s looking down at this animal and a flood of memories flash through your mind of the first time you got them to every moment they were apart of over the years.
How easily they became part of your family.
There isn’t anyone you love more and it’s interesting really how someone who couldn’t speak still had the ability to love.
Through dogs, we learn to love aren’t words said but simple gestures.
It was in moments of pain they sensed it and loved you.
It was in moments of sickness they laid by you not leaving your side
It was in moments of danger they protected you.
It was in moments of anger they made you smile.
It was in moments of loneliness they gave you company.
Losing a dog is like losing a family member.
Then you go home without them and you know something is missing.
It’s the greeting you no longer get when you enter the house.
It’s that empty feeling like the house is too big without them.
It’s the morning wake-up call you don’t get anymore.
Or the interruptions while sleeping you miss.
It’s the sound of their collar that grows silent and the uncomfortable quietness of a house.
It’s a house a little cleaner when you’d take a mess if it meant having them back.
It’s the bed you can’t seem to throw away yet.
Or collar you hang onto.
The toys that sit untouched for weeks.
And the hair you still find on your clothes.
It’s the leash you no longer need but can’t throw away.
And the tears you cry and missing someone who took up all of your heart.
And unless you have a dog it’s hard to explain to people this relationship and this connection.
But I think the reason dogs live shorter than people is because they know something that takes us our entire lives to learn. They know unconditional love is the most important part of life. And it’s through losing them we learn that a little bit because even in their absence there isn’t a love more strong and honest than between a person and their dog.
And while it hurt to lose them, you know you’d take having a dog to love and love you back over never having them at all.