For those who don't know, my dog, Randy never came out of his epileptic seizure bout on Thursday. Maryann and I figure that about 2 AM on Friday, Jan 20, he was brain dead. Our vet came by early on Friday morning and injected the euthanizing drug amid tears and memories. He was my boy and he's gone despite heroic efforts from our vet and Maryann.
Pets are a significant portion of our lives. In this horrid economy, we spend a great deal of money on feed for the horses, ducks, chicken, rabbits, llamas, fish, birds, dogs, and cats. We love all our animals but the dogs and cats hold a very, VERY special place in our hearts because we live with them all day and night every day and night. Some even sleep with us either in the bed or right beside it. These felines and canines get loved on, cuddled, talked to (stepped on, tripped over, cussed at), scratched , brushed and generally have attention poured on them. In return we get love--selfless, unconditional love and devotion. These animals get our spirits and our hearts. Unlike the outside animals, they sit beside us for hours and touch us deeply.
Pets, and especially the dogs and cats that own us, generally don't live long enough lives. Some leave us after only a short time while others linger on longer but most often, we outlive them. Randy came to me in 2004 and the eight years that followed were full of joy for me and my family. Randy's job in life, and I've said this many, many times, was to be sure everyone loved him. And just about everyone he touched with his spirit did. This is the way of most golden retrievers.
I remember reading somewhere that humans are put on the earth to learn important life lessons, mainly how to love and spread love. This can and does take decades. A dog is born knowing how to spread love; therefore its time on earth need not be longer. Perhaps this is the case. In another blog I listed the sorts of things dogs and cats and other pets can do for people and why:
I've read case studies and stories about animals who have been able to touch and change autistic children; about animals who can reduce blood pressure for those who have hypertension; about animals who have brought back to life people who they loved; about animals who have rescued whole families from fire; and about animals who have traveled thousands of miles to find the people they loved. Creatures are a gift to us humans. Watching tropical fish in a tank is a tremendous stress-reducer. Seeing a herd of young horses galloping across a field is something that can take one's breath away. Puppy kisses make more than babies laugh! Cuddling up with a best friend or two while reading a good book or watching a movie is incredibly satisfying. Having an animal friend you can talk to or cry to without fear of judgement or recrimination is remarkable. They DO talk back...it's in their eyes. It's in their love.
Rarely do we hear of a companion animal living much beyond 20 or 30 years. There are some, indeed, that do but it seems that those most responsive to human touch linger only a little while. They have their job to do and once it's done, they leave us to our own devices and memories are all that remain. They pack a lot of life and love in their few short years and leave us with the imprint of that love. I wish they would stay with us longer but apparently that isn't in "the plan".
My dear, dear friend and buddy, Randy, may you Rest in Peace. I thank you for the laughter, joy, and time you spent with us. We'll see you again this side of the Rainbow Bridge and you'll remain in our hearts until then.