Being a part of the Facebook community allows us to make friendships with people that most of us will never meet in person. But everyday we invite these strangers into our living rooms to share a piece of our lives with them and them with us. It's a comfortable environment. We can pour ourselves a cup of coffee and lounge around in our pajamas without having to get a robe to cover up. We get a peek into their relationships both good and bad. Sometimes they share too much information, but some feel this is a good way for them to vent their frustrations and disappointments. There also are lots of good news........babies born, engagements announced, birthdays celebrated, etc. Then there are the deaths and those that are grieving for their lost loved ones. Well yesterday one of these loses came across on my screen. This was from a man who seems extremely popular and well liked if the number of responses he gets from people everyday is any indicator of this. I don't know him personally, but by reading his posts everyday, I feel I know a little something about him. We share his life through his pictures he shares with us and his words he writes on his posts. You can tell this man has a lot of love in his heart for those that are in his life and his beloved dogs. They say every picture tells a story and in his case this is very true. The picture that he posted yesterday will remain in my memory for a very long time.
Most people think of women as being the ones that can share their pain and express their emotions more easily than a man does. I mean we are raised in a culture that applauds the hero in men, the strong, the noble.....the "men don't cry" persona. You know the mind set......big boys don't cry! Well yesterday, this man's picture blew that mind set out of the water! His picture showed just two faces, two faces with their heads laying down on the floor. The man had his head touching his dog's head. A picture of a man and his dying dog stared back at me. The black eyes against the dark fur with a blank look in her eyes and the sorrowful eyes of the man who was saying good bye to his beloved dog was a picture of unquestionable love. "Good bye my friend, good bye a part of my heart" spoke to me from that page. We shared in his sorrow. We knew that we were looking at a very special bond with a man and his dog. He shared with us his vulnerability; unashamed of his sorrowful heart. Although it was very heartbreaking knowing the pain he was suffering, it was also very beautiful seeing this man share his softer side. I say that because I look at all his pictures and he seems like a macho type of guy. He trains his dogs and shares those pictures with us as well. They are so beautifully trained and cared for and loved. He handles and loves his puppies with a loving, gentle but firm hand. We see pictures of him and his love who he just became engaged to. We see him and his sons and his grandchildren. This is a man who is loving his life and has much to be thankful for. But it's the loss of his very special dog that brings him to his knees.
When there are times when our hearts are heavy, it seems that it's just you and your beloved dog against the world. He's got your back covered. When he's no longer there, it's just your memories that get you through. For all the times that you cried, he was there to lick away your tears and reassure you when you didn't feel so sure yourself that all would be alright. He never left your side. It's when he has to leave your side that you may feel alone against the world. But if you watched the lessons that your dog taught you throughout his short life, you will take that love into all the other areas and relationships in your life. You see once you've decided to own and love a dog, your heart no longer belongs to you. You've just signed up for 10 - 15 years of unquestionable love, but nothing can prepare us for when that purity of love is taken from us. They may have taught us how to love, but they never taught us how to say goodbye!
You may ask how can one of God's creatures that is not another human being do this to us? To ask that question would mean you never shared your heart and life with a dog. If you view the dog as "just a dog" than you missed the whole point of that animal coming into your life to begin with. It is this writers belief that the dog is one of God's angels on this earth. If you own a dog and you miss that, you've missed one of life's greatest mysteries. There is no other purpose for them to be here. Sure you can train them, use them for herding, protection, breeding, etc. If you miss the point that dogs are pure love and I mean pure love because of their desire to only be with man, then you have missed the opportunity that has been given to you. This is why I feel that they are here such a short time on earth. They are here to teach man about loving and if you ignore it, you've denied yourself the most beautiful of all emotions, the most beautiful of all gifts. If you just breed them for the champions that they may produce or the dust collecting trophies that you may accumulate than you have used the dog for your own glory instead of the blessings that has been bestowed on you for even being in their presence. They are angels. You can be sure of that. They can do no bad unless they are ignored and forgotten about. Then you are left with a dog that is angry at you for not recognizing his real purpose here on earth. Listen to what he is saying to you without his capability to utter a single word. If you don't know that love is standing in front of you and if you've ignored it, then you've ignored that angel that was sent to you. Think dog spelled backwards is God is a coincidence? If you believe that God is love and loves unconditionally, then the dog that he has sent to you is indeed a Heavenly gift.
So I'm sure this man on Facebook will compose himself and continue to love the rest of his dogs, but he'll never forget the girl he just said goodbye to. He's acknowledged the fact that she was love. He said that she was his beginning. She took a part of his heart to Heaven with her where it will be written in the Book of Life.........this man knows how to love. Good night "Mocha," your time on earth was well spent! You did what you came here to do. Your master was touched by an angel and he'll never be quite the same again!
From the book: GOODBYE FRIEND: HEALING WISDOM FOR ANYONE WHO HAS EVER LOST A PET: For pet lovers, the loss of a cherished pet ranks almost as high as the loss of a close family member in terms of grief experienced. In Goodbye, Friend, Gary Kowalski takes you on a journey of healing offering warmth, guidance, and practical advice on how to deal effectively with death by honoring your animal companion's life. A superb and comforting book for both adults and children.
My rating: Dealing with the loss of a dog: (1 - 4).....there are stages we all must go through to it through it!