Anne Lammot once said that a dog’s love is the closest thing we will ever find to divine love.
A dog’s love is a love that is unconditional, forgiving and selfless. It is a love that is staunchly loyal and forever reliable. And it is a love that is only understood within the partnership, within the family.
My parents lost their dog two days ago. Sophie was a good girl. She filled the empty nest they had after my youngest brother went to college. When she was a puppy, she used to crawl inside the dishwasher. She once ate two large bowls of Hershey kisses with the wrappers. She loved chasing squirrels. She let my babies crawl all over her, tug her fur and poke her eyes. If you pet her (or even just looked at her and thought about petting her), she never left your side. Ever. My dad called Sophie “the most beautiful dog in the world.”
We rescued our pug Hutch six years ago. When I say rescued, I mean, literally, rescued. I flew to Oklahoma with only a dog carrier in my hand and brought him out of a very bad puppy mill life. Until he came home with us, he had never slept a night indoors. Since that day, Hutch has moved into three different houses and learned to love three different kids. He is truly the sweetest dog in the world. He seeks out the sunny spots in the family room for naps and he camps out under the high chairs during mealtimes. He lets three crazy boys trample all over him without so much a blink or wince. He likes bones, walks and every other dog on this planet. He is so incredibly homely that he is adorable. He is an intricate, indispensible, irreplaceable part of our family and he is loved, loved, loved. It makes me teary to think of the day we’ll have to say goodbye to our little super pug.
Pets come into our homes and into our lives for such a narrow window of time. But they weave themselves into our days, into our celebrations and into our heartbreaks. We grow so accustomed to their presence that sometimes it’s not until they are gone that we realize their constancy. And there really are so very few constants in this world.
If you’ve ever loved a dog, you know. And you’re lucky.