Since I was brought into this world my parents have surrounded me with the one kind of love only animal lover’s know about. I have had dogs, cats, puppies, kittens, horses, rabbits, birds, turtles, Easter chicks, a calf I fed with a bottle, fish, lightning bugs, and hamsters. I firmly believe that the opportunity of being able to love and care for an animal has shaped who I am today. Animals love us no matter what we do,what we say, how horrendous our morning breath may be, or the mistakes we make. Over the years I have always had a dog. Dogs have been said to be man’s best friend. Besides the friendship of my mother and sister, my dogs have been my best friends. Just recently I thought I might have to euthanize my yellow Labrador of 12 years. Because he still has that “sparkle” of life in his eyes I decided not to let him go too soon. Although, there is a time we HAVE to let our best furry friends go. As much as we wish they could be with us forever, the love we have for them is eternal in my opinion.

Chase, my lab, is now at my parents place enjoying the land and place he has always known as his real home. I miss him terribly and still feel the same eternal love I did when he was here with me in person, but making the decision to take him there was for him. Not for me. A few weeks later my parent’s Bichon Frise of 14 years had a stroke the day before his 14th birthday. On his birthday he went to be with all of our other pets to frolic and tail wag in a place only they know about. As painful as these losses may be, the way they have touched us is unique to us. All the animal lovers out there know the feeling.

The pain and agony we go through when losing a pet is like no other. Even though we are never given a certain amount of time with our loved ones or our pets, one thing I know for sure is the way we are touched and forever changed by being blessed with their presence and love. The love and loyalty of an animal cannot be replaced…..just remembered and built upon or multiplied as we go through our busy lives. I wonder what the world would be like if we were all just a little more understanding, a little more caring, a little more loving, and a little more loyal to the things we care about the most…….especially to what is eternal instead of just the temporary things we have been given in life. My faith has been tested, but one thing I know for sure is that if my faith and loyalty toward the eternal life were as strong as my dog’s faith and loyalty for me…..my inner happiness, dedication, the way I treat others, my attitude, and my relationships with others might be more fulfilling. We all ALWAYS  have room for improvement in this area. A verse I think says it all…….2 Corinthians 4:18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.