The Death of Your Best Friend

Those who have never known the pleasure of having their heart dog lay quietly with his head on their foot or the contentment of watching the sun go down with a four-legged-friend will also never know the devastating loss of the death of a beloved pet.

The grief suffered by animal lovers when their friend dies is often incomprehensible to family and friends. 'But, she was only a dog!' they say in disbelief.

Sadly, as a dog's life span is so much shorter than our own, the pain of their passing is an almost inevitable price we must pay for the joy of having them near us for their short time on earth.

As a dog grows older and we try not to notice as the effects of old age creep up on them, a quiet voice inside us whispers that there is still so much that can be done to ensure quality of life. Perhaps medical intervention will help us share another year, another month, another day ... but as we watch our proud old friends fading before us we know the day to say goodbye is coming soon.

Those who have never known the pleasure of loving a dog will never know the heartbreak of admitting that the day has come to say goodbye. So... is it worth it? Sharing your life for so few years, knowing that one day you might have to hold your dog's head while the vet gentle eases hinm out of this life, into the next?

Only those who have never had a dog would think not.

From A Canine Friend to Those Who Love Him

You're giving me a special gift
so sorrowfully endowed
and through these last few cherished days
your courage makes me proud.

But really, love is knowing
when your best friend is in pain
and understanding earthly acts
will only be in vain.

So looking deep into your eyes
beyond, into your soul
I see in you the magic, that will
once more make me whole.

The strength that you possess
is why I look to you today
to do this thing that must be done
for it's the only way.

That strength is why I've followed you
and chose you as my friend
and why I've loved you all these years
my partner 'til the end.

Please understand just what this gift
you're giving means to me
it gives me back the strength I've lost
and all my dignity.

You take a stand on my behalf
for that is what friends do
and know that what you do is right
for I believe it too.

So one last time, I breathe your scent
and through your hand I feel
the courage that's within you
to now grant me this appeal.

Cut the leash that holds me here
dear friend, and let me run
once more a strong and steady dog
my pain and struggle done.

And don't despair my passing
for I won't be far away
forever here, with your heart
and memory I'll stay.

I'll be there watching over you
your ever faithful friend
and in your memories I'll run
a young dog once again.

-Author unknown

If you haven't already read it, please also see Rainbow Bridge - a beautiful poem by an unknown author for all of us who have ever loved and lost a pet.

And the other side of the coin - what happens to a pet when its owner dies first?


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