If you ever love an animal, there are three days in your life you will always
The first is a day, blessed with happiness, when you bring home your
young new friend. You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed. You may
have asked numerous opinions of many vets, or done long research in finding
a breeder. Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment, you may have just chosen that
silly looking mutt in a shelter--simply because something in its eyes reached
your heart. But when you bring that chosen pet home, and watch it explore,
and claim its special place in your hall or front room--and when you feel
it brush against you for the first time--it instills a feeling of pure love
you will carry with you through the many years to come.
The second day will occur eight or nine or ten years later. It will
be a day like any other. Routine and unexceptional. But, for a surprising
instant, you will look at your longtime friend and see age where you once
saw youth. You will see slow deliberate steps where you once saw energy.
And you will see sleep where you once saw activity. So you will begin to
adjust your friend's diet--and you may add a pill or two to her food. And
you may feel a growing fear deep within yourself, which bodes of a coming
emptiness. And you will feel this uneasy feeling, on and off, until the
third day finally arrives.
And on this day--if your friend and God have not decided for you, then
you will be faced with making a decision of your own--on behalf of your
lifelong friend, and with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit. But whichever
way your friend eventually leaves you---you will feel as alone as a single
star in the dark night.
If you are wise, you will let the tears flow as freely and as often
as they must. And if you are typical, you will find that not many in your
circle of family or friends will be able to understand your grief, or comfort
you. But if you are true to the love of the pet you cherished through the
many joy-filled years, you may find that a soul--a bit smaller in size than
your own---seems to walk with you, at times, during the lonely days to come.
And at moments when you least expect anything our of the ordinary to happen,
you may feel something brush against your leg--very very lightly.
And looking down at the place where your dear, perhaps dearest, friend
used to lay---you will remember those three significant days. The memory
will most likely be painful, and leave an ache in your heart---As time passes
the ache will come and go as it has a life of its own. You will both reject
it and embrace it, and it may confuse you. If you reject it, it will depress
you. If you embrace it, it will deepen you. Either way, it will still be
But there will be, I assure you, a fourth day when---along with the
memory of your pet---and piercing through the heaviness in your heart---there
will come a realization that belongs only to you. It will be as unique and
strong as our relationship with each animal we have loved, and lost. This
realization takes the form of a Living Love---like the heavenly scent of
a rose that remains after the petals have wilted, this Love will remain
and grow--and be there for us to remember. It is a love we have earned.
It is the legacy our pets leave us when they go. And it is a gift we may
keep with us as long as we live. It is a Love which is ours alone. And until
we ourselves leave, perhaps to join our Beloved Pets--it is a Love that
we will always possess.
Written by Martin Scot Kosins,
Author of "Maya's First Rose"