If you ever love an animal, there are three days
in your life you will always remember...
The first is a day, blessed with happiness,
when you bring home your young new friend.
You may have spent weeks deciding on a breed.
You may have asked numerous opinions of many vets
or done long research in finding a breeder.
Or, perhaps in a fleeting moment,
you may have just chosen that silly
looking mutt in a shelter--simple because
something in its eyes reached your heart
But when you bring that chosen
pet home, and watch it explore,
and claim its special place in your hall
or front room--and when you feel it
brush against you for the first time--
it instills a feeling of pure love you
will carry with you through
the many years to come.
The second day will occur eight or nine
or ten years later. It will be a day
like any other. Routine and unexceptional
. But, for a surprising instant, you
will look at your longtime friend
and see age where you once saw youth.
You will see slow deliberate steps
where you once saw energy. And
you will see sleep where you once saw
activity. So you will begin to adjust your
friend's diet--and you may add a
pill or two to her food. And you
may feel a growing fear deep within yourself,
which bodes of a coming emptiness.
And you will feel this uneasy feeling,
on and off, until the third day finally arrives.
And on this day--if your friend and
God have not decided for you,
then you will be faced with making
a decision of your own--on
behalf of your lifelong friend, and
with the guidance of your own deepest Spirit
But whichever way your friend
eventually leaves you---you will
feel as alone as a single star in the dark night.
If you are wise, you will let the
tears flow as freely and as often as
they must. And if you are typical,
you will find that not many in your
circle of family or friends will be
able to understand your grief,
or comfort you.
But if you are true to the love
of the pet you cherished through
the many joy-filled years,
you may find that a soul
--a bit smaller in size than your own---
seems to walk with you, at times,
during the lonely days to come.
And at moments when you least expect
anything our of the ordinary to
happen, you may feel something
brush against your leg--very very lightly.
And looking down at the place
where your dear, perhaps dearest,
friend used to lay---you will
remember those three significant days.
The memory will most likely be painful,
and leave an ache in your heart---
As time passes the ache will come
and go as it has a life of its own.
You will both reject it and embrace it,
and it may confuse you. If you
reject it, it will depress you. If you embrace it,
it will deepen you. Either way,
it will still be an ache.
But there will be, I assure you,
a fourth day when
---along with the memory of your pet---
and piercing through the heaviness
in your heart---there will come
a realization that belongs only to you.
It will be as unique and strong as
our relationship with each animal
we have loved, and lost. This
realization takes the form of a
Living Love---like the heavenly scent
of a rose that remains after the petals
have wilted, this Love will remain
and grow--and be there for us
to remember. It is a love we have earned.
It is the legacy our pets leave us
when they go. And it is a gift we
may keep with us as long as we live.
It is a Love which is ours alone.
And until we ourselves leave,
perhaps to join our Beloved Pets--
it is a Love that we will always possess.
-Written by Martin Scot Kosins