I can always tell couples who don’t have kids by examining how they treat their dogs. If you don’t have kids, your dogs are your babies. I know because I used to be one of these people. Once kids come along, however, dogs disappear into the background. No more long walks or endless games of fetch. You just don’t have the time anymore.
For quite a while, my poor dogs got ignored–extensively. My first two kids are only 16 months apart so I had no time there for a while. Yet the great thing about dogs is they are loyal to the end and take what they can get. My dogs still loved me every bit as much as they did before kids. Yeah, their lives weren’t quite as exciting as before but they didn’t care. As long as they had their owners, they were content with life.
Then I read “Marley and Me” by John Grogan a few years ago, which really awakened me back up to the importance of dogs in my life.
Yeah, they are old and just one more thing to do on top of the endless chores of taking care of babies. But I love them–love them to the day they die and beyond–and so do my kids. If you even mention how our dogs are close to death, my oldest gets upset. She defends her dogs to the bitter end and since she has never known life without them, she wants nothing else.
I am definitely not looking forward to the day we all have to say good-bye. I think the whole family will be down in the dumps for quite a while. But it will be a good life lesson–for all of us. How you should cherish the days of your life before one day you are gone. How you can live in the moment, content with whatever you have and whatever you are given. “Creatures of Being” as Eckhart Tolle calls them.
I firmly believe all dogs do go to heaven and I tell my kids that. They may be gone for now but they will be in heaven waiting for us just as loyal as they were on Earth. I’m sure we’ll get a huge tail wagging and licking when we arrive. Maybe even we’ll be able to talk to them too and they can tell us what they really think (scary, huh?).
So this is for all the loyal dogs out there who can’t imagine life without their owners and their owners who can’t imagine life without their dogs.