Tuesday, June 3, 2014

Saying Goodbye to a Friend

One of the great joys of pet ownership is the deep sense of companionship you develop with the animal.  You are their entire world, and in return they give you unconditional love.  But that love comes at a cost.  The love is as real as you would have for any human, but sadly their life expectancies are not.  Their time with us is short, and somewhere in the midst of cuddles and walks we forget that.  When their time comes to an end, no matter how long it was in terms of animal years, it seems far too sudden.  All the justification in the world means nothing.  Our friend, and their love for us, is gone.

Ringo had been a part of my life the moment I met my wife.  She had Ringo from a puppy long before she met me, but he quickly became part of my family.  Soon after Janine & I married we brought Gromit (Ringo's offspring) into the fold, and our four legged family was complete.  We lost Gromit far too soon, and Ringo filled in as best he could.  He was never the cuddler that Gromit was; he was far too independent for that.  He had his space, and his needs and wants, and he made sure you knew what they were.

But in return for satisfying those needs, Ringo was fiercely loyal.  He spent his years believing it was his job to protect us and those he loved.  True, sometimes he protected us from plastic bags floating through the front yard or hummingbirds on the patio, but our house and the people within it were his charge.  And he never let you forget it.

The past few months Ringo's body started to shut down.  We used to have hour long walks twice a day; at the end we barely got out of the front yard.  It was tough for us to watch our active lil' buddy become so tired, so dependent.  Since he left us our house has become strangely quiet.  Sure, things are simpler.  Sitters don't have to be arranged for when we go out of town.  Rooms don't have to closed off so dogs won't pee on furniture.  But I'd give all that up just to have one more morning walk with him.

Goodbye buddy.  Hope you and Gromit are finally catching those squirrels.


  1. So sorry to hear about this... Can't imagine days without our two. Thoughts sent to you and the Mrs.

  2. My husband and I had 4 dogs our first decade of marriage instead of the real kind of kids. Those were some of our best times together - we'd all go camping. The hardest days were that they were all about the same age and we seemed to say goodbye to each of them one right after another each year as they grew old and weary.... it's so hard to say goodbye!


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