We said goodbye to a family dog late last week. She was my grandparents’ companion, and had lived a long and happy life. It hadn’t started out so well. Maggie was severely malnourished, terrified and pregnant when my Nan and Grandad brought her home. She had been found on the streets. They took her in, and my Nan set about feeding her a carefully constructed diet in order to build her strength steadily and try to save her unborn puppies. Amazingly, and thanks to the love and care from my Nan and Grandad, both Maggie and her pups survived. One of her sons remained with them, while his siblings moved in with other friends in the local area.
Such was the bond between Maggie and my grandparents that she refused to leave them. My Grandad has been very ill during recent years, as his aging body deteriorates. She has been his faithful nursemaid for all this time, barely leaving his side. Maggie watched my Nan and Grandad, she gave them love, and they loved her. Eventually she succumbed to old age and sickness, and now there is a gaping void in the lives of my family members.
As it turns out, I heard about the loss of a dog from two different friends earlier this week. Again the dogs were aging and ill, and they tried really hard to stay with their families. For me there is no greater bond than that between dog and human. They are our companions, our nurses, our supporters, and our entertainers. My dog, Baxter, is wonderful. Yes, he is a little bit naughty. Yes, he steals food when he shouldn’t, and he loves the sound of his own voice. But he has been there for me throughout two pregnancies, he cares for our children, and acts as both protector and playmate. He is beloved at the school gates, always receiving cuddles and offering up big, sloppy kisses to his human friends.
The bond of love between human and pet is immense. Words cannot describe how it feels. If you are a dog lover, or indeed you have pets of another species, you will completely understand. My love and warm thoughts go to those who are grieving for the loss of their pets at this time. And I thank you, beautiful creatures, for your affection. Blessed Be.
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