The bond between dog and master is strong and this goes back through the ages. The dog is the only animal that has been domesticated that has altered its behaviour by developing a bark, in its effort to communicate with his human owner. It never ceases to amaze me at just how many barks a dog can have and how I can understand the different meanings of each one. Conversely my dogs understand many of the words I use and where words may fail them they know my body language inside out. Mutual joy is gained by both dog and human as walks, play, training and simply being by your side strengthens the bonds that join man and dog.
So although I may laugh when Muffin plays dead and sigh inwardly at the clean up that inevitably has to follow
the reality of the death of your friend is as personal, heart felt and sad as when you lose a someone close to you. Let’s face it – the dog has been part of your family life for many years and the love you have for them is deep in your heart. I have found that the way they die heavily impacts on you. Since my husband and I have been married we have lost three dogs and have one that is heading quickly down the path of old age.
Our first dog together, Mungo, was my husband’s first dog. He was a delightful gentle German Shepherd that helped many people overcome their fear of dogs.
Roger was never going to be ready for his death which happened at home, but the vet did not want us to hold him as he died which left us with regrets.
Our second dog Jerry was my shadow and much more protective of us. He missed Mungo keenly and became unwell about a year later. The vet diagnosed pancreatic cancer which, he told us, with immediate surgery could be a cure. Our biggest regret was agreeing to let him operate. Jerry’s look of desperation as he was led away continues to haunt us today. We’d betrayed that bond between us. He had ultimate trust in us and we had let him down. We didn’t see him alive again.
Our third dog Zac had a beautiful death. He was a rescue dog that had come to us with so many problems yet had survived despite them all. When his time came he put his head on my lap, Roger and Bundy said goodbye and as the vet gave him the injection he snuggled in, happy to be with me and happy to be leaving his problems behind. Although we grieved we rejoice at the life he had with us and that we didn’t break the bond between us in a way that we felt uncomfortable with.
Unlike family and friends you can get another dog to fill that part of your heart. When I was in my twenties I read a book about dog ownership and a chapter on losing your friend suggested that the greatest compliment you can give to the one that has passed is to, as soon as possible, bring another dog into the family. This will let him know that the time spent with him was so wonderful that you are prepared to let another into your heart. I have lived with this philosophy ever since and come to believe it even more so when the last cat we had, although we loved her dearly, our experience was that of terror and we have had no desire since to bring another cat into our lives.
I had written this post and only had the photos to add when I read that Charli had lost Grenny. her beautiful big brown dog. Her pain was now and raw and I knew how that felt. I couldn’t post this the same day and would on posting would like to pay tribute to all our dogs whose bond with us has been broken physically but in our hearts they live on. Her flash fiction prompt for this week is to write a story about a Big Brown Dog
October 5, 2016 prompt: In 99 words (no more, no less) write a story about a Big Brown Dog. I just want to read Big Brown Dog stories this week. I know dogs arn’t everyone’s cup of tea, but you can write about that, too. Keep it happy, write something funny, surprising or tender. Thank you.
Respond by October 11, 2016 to be included in the compilation. Rules are here. All writers are welcome!
Big Brown Dog
“His food looks better than mine. Besides which, I’ve eaten all mine.” The big brown dog moved his head tentatively towards his siblings bowl, pulling it back as he saw bared teeth accompanied by an angry growl.
“I want his.” The big brown dog let out a ‘someone’s at the door’ bark and raced to the front door. His sibling followed, not knowing what he was barking at but definitely not going to let the side down. The big brown dog passed him as he returned to the food bowls, quickly wolfing down his brother’s meal before being seen.