I have written frequently about my pets. I adore them all so much no matter how angry they might make me from time to time. None of them made me so angry as this one. She was the smartest dog which meant she caused the most mischief.
Remote control chewer. Fetch in the house. Knocking over things with her rampaging tail. Muddy paws. Frog chaser. Fence buster. Pumpkin trampler.
Susie was all of those things.
Susie would come and lay her head on me every single night that I was on the couch. We would cuddle, and I would share with her all the things I was feeling insecure or sad or nervous or whatever about.
She would reassure me in that way that only dogs can reassure you. Her head would lay on my shoulder or lap heavy as I petted her velvet ears. Her eyes would grow sleepy as she drifted off while listening to all of my problems.
Who will I talk to now?
Susie came to us because she was unwanted. Her former owners decided that she wasn't their kind of dog, and they were moving. They missed out because our family wanted her. We wanted her from the moment we drove in the middle of winter to pick her up at night. We wanted her when she got hit by the car, and we had to spend money and time to nurse her back to health.
I nursed her back to health with her leg hardware. I treated her skin infections, and I treated her ear infections. Every time she was sick she would come to me. It was like she knew that I was the one who took care of the sick ones or the ones who needed me.
I wish I had listened a little harder this last time. I feel an incredible weight of guilt. I should have known. I should have listened to her more closely. I feel like I failed her.
Logically I know it's not my fault. But logic does not prevail right now.
Pets are bound to break our hearts. We know when we take them into our homes and into our hearts that they will not live forever. They will get sick or hurt. Their lives are not as long as ours, and so we love them knowing that they will break our hearts. We love them, and they love us. We give them our hearts. We share with them pieces of ourselves that we share with no one else. We do this because pets love. They love us unconditionally. They don't judge us, and they forgive us. And because of that they will certainly break our hearts. And because of that we will continue to love them and let them break our hearts. They are priceless, and for the things they give us the price of a broken heart is the price we pay.