Inhuman Losses: A Pet Dies

Last week, my family’s first dog died. I called and knew something was off in my mother’s voice. He had passed away after an intense sickness the night before.

His name was Sandy, and he was a Great Dane mutt. We had originally got him from my uncle when he was about two years old (he has no real birthday) as a guard dog. But he was useless in that function. He was more of a lazy cat than a menacing guard.

The only time he looked vaguely threatening.

That didn’t stop my siblings and I from naming him Sandy after Annie Warbucks’ stray. He would be our magical dog that would protect us and always be there. He didn’t really protect us though. And he by laws of nature couldn’t always be there.

We would have company once, twice, and then he would love them just as much as he did us. He would walk up to us and wait to be pet, never being satisfied with our affection until we shooed him away. He was a simple animal to please.  He was also relaxed. He didn’t complain. Before the ending year f his life, he was easily excitable and impressed. He was willing to go on walks or just sit, resting beside my dad when he wanted to be alone on the patio.

I would “torture” him with piece of chicken and bones, forcing his lazy behind to work a bit for his food. In fact, other than going out for walks, he adored get food so so much. My mom even had a special soup for him since he hated actual dog food, our Taurus dog through and through.

We haven’t experienced any tragedies together, only happy moments while I was growing up  and so many lazy weekends doing nothing but shading himself in the sun. Our saddest moment was me leaving for college and not seeing him again until Christmas that year.

I never took for granted his time on Earth. He was a dog after all; it is inevitable that at some point he would have died, if not this moment then in the next five years. That doesn’t make it hurt any less though.

And yet it is for that same reason that I feel at peace with his death. He had no regrets, he was loved deeply and sincerely, and he lived a life without significant tragedy.  He had dinner every day at 5pm, he wandered around and played with his owners, he went on walks. I will miss my four-legged friend, but even as I grieve his death I know it would not compare to the feeling of loss of a parent, a sibling, a friend.

His death was uncomplicated. Sweet and simple.

He did not commit original sin, and so even though he does not have a soul, his spirit is free to do as it pleases. Maybe at the end of my own life I’ll see him in heaven (if I can finesse my way in) or just see him wandering the new Earth described in Revelations.

Death is sad, but it’s apart of life. And if all the deaths I experience in this life are as uncomplicated and regret-less as this, I would have lived a good life.

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