Best Dog Ever

faveWhen I was a kid, someone told me that the rain meant God was crying.  Today, my inner child wants to believe that this is true – that it is raining because even God is sad that my beloved one-year-old puppy died.

It was a freak accident that caused the spinal cord injury – a quick twist of fate during a puppy playdate.  The vet assured us against regrets but we are reeling with hurt.  There is no explanation that will help us make sense of the pain in our hearts.

We held Oakley on a ‘Best Dog Ever’ pedestal.  He was our one-of-a-kind dog, aka mutt, unique and unrepeatable.  A friend described him as a bag of spare parts and we cherished that about Oakley.  Each of us loved him with abandon and he returned the affection without playing favorites.

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There is a secret that dog lovers know – such that it cannot be adequately explained to one who hasn’t experienced the unfettered loyalty and sincerity of a canine.  The secret is that dogs fill a need we didn’t know we had.  They reveal to us – an oft undeserving lot – the experience of unconditional love as only an unencumbered creature can.

I’ve read that dogs never lie about love.  They are honest with their emotions and far less confused than we humans about relationships.  This is why we are devastated when they leave us.  Having shared in this mutual exchange of magical affection, we can never fully reconcile the loss of it.  Dean Koontz said, “If you’ve had a wonderful dog, life without one is a life diminished.”

Oakley’s life was cut short in his people’s eyes.  We had hopes and expectations about a future with him.  In our minds, Oakley’s image was already painted onto the canvas of every child’s soccer game, every family party, and every first day of school photo.  How will we ever un-paint him?

Those who have healed from the loss of a dog will remind me that Oakley lives forever in my heart.  Someday, that reality will comfort me.  Someday, my hands will not ache for the feel of his fur; my ears will not notice the deafening silence created by the absence of paws running to greet me; and my mind will relinquish its relentless chatter about the unfairness of life. But right now, as I tumble through the stages of grief, my immense love for Oakley hurts because it has no tangible recipient.  It has only a memory of what it felt like to have him, and sadness that he is gone.

Rest in peace, my sweet friend. You will be missed.

oakley tree (2)

6 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Elizabeth
    Oct 27, 2014 @ 10:52:53

    Oakley was an amazing dog and we continue to feel and notice his absence. We are deeply sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing your experience.

    Reply

  2. Karen Rhodes
    Oct 27, 2014 @ 18:23:05

    So sorry to hear of you loosing your Oakley. Being a dog owner-lover we all feel sad for your loss.

    Reply

  3. meg
    Oct 27, 2014 @ 23:19:05

    You and your whole family were in my thoughts and prayers all week. My heart still aches for you all. Just so sad.

    Reply

  4. Sacha
    Oct 29, 2014 @ 15:30:38

    What a beautiful tribute to an angel with fur that graced your home for such a short time. My heart aches reading your words thinking of how much i count on the love of my dog. Much much love to you and your family as you grieve. x0x0

    Reply

  5. Trackback: City Girl in the Country – With A New Puppy | Chaos & Clarity

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