Dogs and this whole "circle of life" thing.
I recently lost a dog, a puppy grew up, and I'm about to get a new puppy. I tell you, it's all an emotional whirlwind. I wonder if I get too attached to my dogs. But even typing that sentence my answer is immediately "No!"
My heart dog, Charlie, died last September. Here he is about a year and a half ago with what was then the new rescue puppy.
Losing Charlie was really, really hard. Still is, in fact. But the puppy has now grown up and wound her tendrils so tightly around my heart that she has captured it, and every moment with her is joyous and important to me. Her name is Isabelle. Someday, Isabelle will grow old and die, like Charlie.
And soon I'm getting another puppy. This one not a rescue, but another show prospect. I'm almost afraid of the coming puppy taking something away from my relationship with Isabelle. Yet, I'm really excited about him coming, and I'm sure I will fall in love with him, too. But even on the day he first comes into my home, I know this brand new creature is just another tragedy in waiting, as every dog I love, I eventually lose.
I dunno. I read about people giving up their dogs, breeders sending adult dogs to new homes, and owners leaving their dogs outside all the time, or in the garage. And I wonder . . .
. . . am I off my rocker? Am I too enmeshed with my dogs? Am I the one out of step with the world?
I love my dogs.
Gibbs' Pedigree on K9data -------------------------- Ziva's Pedigree on K9data
Gone but not forgotten: Misty, Colonel, Ginger, Teri, Nikki, Sandy, Rhett, Kiki, Abby, Chelsea and Charlie.
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I am sorry for your loss. They will forever be in our hearts. Congrats on the new pup to come. They are always so different their is always room for on more our hearts just expand.
". . . am I off my rocker? Am I too enmeshed with my dogs? Am I the one out of step with the world?"
I think you are in perfect step. I believe most of us on the forum are walking right along side you when we are not skipping for joy.
A Dog Is A Commitment For The Life Of The Dog
Thanks for your post, and I have often thought the same thing about myself. I've heard some people say they don't understand why people own pets because the usual cycle is that they will pass before you do, and that's heartbreak that can be avoided by just not ever owning a pet.
Although I've experienced that heartbreak recently with my own dog, and also my dogs and cats growing up, I would never give up those memories that I had with them and I am thankful that I was able to provide them with such a great life while they were here. I don't think we are too enmeshed with our animals, but rather, I think it says something about our ability to love and care for another being, even though we know in the back of our minds that it will end in heartache and loss. But, we continue to put aside the eminent loss in order to provide for them and care about them, not only for their sake but for ours. The joy that we get from our animals, I believe, speaks volumes about our capacity to love beyond our fellow members of our human race, and I personally believe that those who are truly connected to their animals have a certain warmth and compassion about them that makes them better human beings as well.
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AMEN .... To that !
Mac & Gary
This quote always speaks to me.
"We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached.
Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way.
We cherish memory as the only certain immortality,
never fully understanding the necessary plan."
"To my mind, I hold that the more helpless a creature, the more entitled it is to protection by man from the cruelty of man."
"The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated."
Golden Retriever Rescue of North Texas
I see our dogs and puppies as just a small piece of heaven on earth. What they give us is what makes it so hard to let them go. Just so pure. I have found no love like that in my life. They love with all of them and they do not judge. Just a pure simple joyous love. Isn't it a gift. A wonderful gift.
Even at the end, the heartbreak is a gift, it is the result of and a tribute to this incredible love you were able to give and so extremely lucky to receive. To grieve is to have loved.. And why would anyone not want to have loved as much as they could in their lifetime?
Charlie was a gorgeous boy, I'm so sorry for your loss. I do think it's the Circle of Life.
Our dogs bring so much joy and love to our lives even though their passing hurts so much. We have too much love and compassion not to want to share with another.
Enjoy your new puppy, I'm sure Isabelle will too.
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I think you are spot on.
It is the nature of life, to have one's heart broken. The essence of human connection is to take the risk and build a bridge between one being to another. Whether it is between friends, animals or lovers. And as with all risks, we have something to lose. But most of us take the risk b/c the reward is worth far more than the loss we will experience in the end.
I recently lost one of my girlfriends. I was a bridesmaid in their wedding, when she joined hands with my best friend. I only knew her for a short while (a few years at the most) and when she passed, I felt like someone had run me over with a semi, buried me at the bottom of the mariana's trench and was slowly pumping cyanide through my veins. Surely I couldn't survive this. As the hours turned into days, which turned into weeks and eventually months, I've come to conclusion that the grief was worth every moment I got to spend with her and enjoy her.
I don't know how I'll react when my animals go, the meer thought of my cats passing bring me straight to tears.
But, you are not alone. A far majority of us are right there with you.
Hecate's Hellhound, Bearer of Mischief, CGC - "Bear"
Hecate's Hellhound, Gypsy Magic - "Gypsy"
People sometimes have to give up their dogs. God willing I will never be put in that situation but sometimes it is needed for both the humans and dogs. Wouldn’t you say it is better to give up a dog than allow it to suffer?
My breeder sends her girls to homes where they can have a full and normal life. She may retain co-ownership but her heart wants her girls to have a fuller and more family oriented life than she can offer since she has several dogs.
I do know many dogs who are outside or in the garage, and yet they receive as much quality attention (or more) than many indoor dogs. To me, there are many indoor dogs whose lives I think are terrible. They may be inside with their ‘people’ but are they getting attention? Are they receiving the training they need? Are they given jobs to do so they have a purpose? Or do they scratch at their owners legs, begging for interaction as their owners watch TV or play Nintendo?
I think there are many, many different viewpoints on how to properly raise and care for dogs (and cats and kids) and I really try to see the love and bonds. Sometimes owners just need a friendly smile – I still remember at one of my first trials, there was an unwashed gentleman with his dirty GSD. Everyone was stepping around that man and his dog, but I stopped and helped him find his ring and brought him to collect his number. The smile on that man’s face was beautiful and his pride in his dog a sight to see. He might well have been homeless but his dog loved him, he loved his dog and they went into that Novice Obedience ring together. I gave that man my catalog when he was done and as he quietly thanked me, I heard the whisper of those less fortunate. And who knows, perhaps he is the same gentleman who showed up out of nowhere one day when my King was stuck in a pond and I desperately needed help?
One of my brothers has severe MS: Before he was institutionalized, he loved having a dog but realized he could no longer properly care for his dog. Luckily he found a home within the family, but without family that dog could have been cooped up for days. Probably going frantic, one of the times my brother fell and could not get up.
Another example: There is a german shepard who is tied out all the time a few miles from my house. I felt awful for this dog until one day I was shopping nearby as his owner was pulling in. His owner got out of his car, went running over to his dog and wrestled and played with this dog before even going inside. For probably ½ hour or more and then he went to feed his dog and take him for a walk around the reservoir. I was entranced watching this man and his dog – the love & bonding between them was awesome. I don’t know why this dog is kept outside but I do know he loves his dog and provides to the best of his ability.
Sharon with her golden crew Faelan, Towhee, Brady and Aedan
Running on silent paws beside me now and forever King , Rowdy and Casey
You add obedience to the game,
not the game to obedience -- Shade Whitesel
Give up your goals,
Focus on the process -- Denise Fenzi