This Article is About
best buddies
beloved pets
companionship
emptiness
Grieving My Perfect Pets
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What I would like to talk about today is a very personal and heartbreaking subject. We all know that the loss of any loved ones, especially family, is a very difficult and trying time. It is no different when we lose a beloved pet. If you are like me, your pets are so much more than just “pets.” They are your family, your friends, and your best buddies. As human beings, we are all seeking some form of love and companionship to fill a certain emptiness within us. Often, it is our pets that fill that void and provide us with the joy and satisfaction that many of us miss out on in our daily lives.

Why the Hurt?

Many people like me would prefer the love and companionship of a beloved dog or cat or other animal over that of a fellow human being – maybe because these beautiful creatures do not carry the emotional and mental baggage that many humans do. Our beloved pets seek only love, companionship, and the basics that a loving and caring friend would provide. They, in return, provide us with friendship, loyalty, faithfulness, and unconditional love without strings attached. I believe that God has placed us in a position of stewardship to protect and care for those under our care – because many left to their own would live pitiful lives and face unhappy endings.

In my lifetime, I’ve been blessed with the love of numerous furry and feathered friends. I have had to face the facts that like my human family, my animal family members will also one day pass away. Although death is a prospect that I can accept for myself, I find it very hard to face that same consequence with my pets. Maybe the basis of this is that I strongly believe that I could have done more for them in their short lives and that in turn, leads me to accept some measure of guilt when they die – especially after sickness or injury. I know deep inside this is usually just a fiction that I’ve created within myself based on my initial grief. But the pain and tears are real and the loss I feel is real.

Mojo and Mushi

I had two friends named Mojo and Mushi (short for Mustafa), a couple of wonderful dogs I inherited from a friend who could no longer take care of them. They were inseparable in life, best of friends. I had them in my stewardship for almost 4 years before they both met a tragic ending on the same night. I still find myself shedding tears over their memory and even now as I type these words, my eyes swell up over their loss. Mojo was a black and tan German Shepherd and Mushi was big dumb Rottweiler and Shepherd mix. I loved those two guys beyond all ending. They were full of life, rambunctious, mischievous, and always looking forward to a game of wrestling with me. They were simply two of the best damn dogs I ever had. Period.

One night, I took my wife out to dinner and a show. We came home early in the dark hours of the morning and I found them both in the front yard next to the road. They had somehow dug out of the fenced area they had lived in for four years. They had never made an attempt to leave that area before, even when the gates were standing wide open. But here they were, laying in the grass next to the busy road I live on. They lay within just a few feet of each other, not moving. I slammed on my brakes as I pulled up to the curb and ran to Mojo, my eyes flowing with tears, already knowing he was dead. Then I saw Mushi, and my heartache was complete. I lost both my friends that night and still don’t know why.

I buried Mojo and Mushi the next morning. I was numb, yet still I cried like a baby. My heart was broke. I didn’t care about anything else back then for days after that. I was angry at God. I was angry at every car that went down that road. I was angry at the road for being there. I was angry at Mojo and Mushi for digging out of the sanctuary I had provided for them just so this wouldn’t happen. And most of all, I was angry at myself. Why didn’t I do more to protect them? Why didn’t I provide greater security so they couldn’t have gotten out? Why didn’t I do this or do that to prevent this from happening? What more could I have done? Why was I such a lousy steward and why did God put so much love in my heart for both of them, and then allow it to be torn out?

Getting Past the Loss

To this day, I don’t have all the answers. It took me a long time to get past this. As I sit here and type this story, I realize, I’m still not past it yet. But this helps. I think. Mojo and Mushi have been gone for years now. They are buried in the same yard I’ve had for over 30 years now – along with many other beautiful and equally-loved friends. I still talk to them every now and then. I guess that’s part of the healing process I’m still going through. They were the best of friends with each other and my best friends. I thank God for allowing them to be part of my life and I expect to see them again one day. I still feel I owe them a big apology for having let them down and I feel I need their forgiveness. But you know, I know their love for me was unconditional and I know they will both feel like no apology is needed. They’ll just be happy to see me and wag their tails like they always did. And once again, we’ll play and wrestle.

Perfect Love

There are many of you, who like me, have pets and friends that you feel about as strongly as I do. There are also many of you who have faced their deaths and grieved for them as I did Mojo and Mushi. This grief of dealing with pet loss is real and it hurts, physically and emotionally. But I hope that like me, you were able to come to terms with your pain and grief in coping with your pet loss and that somehow, you found someone you could talk to who understands the depths of your heartache. We humans are a funny lot. We have great compassion in us so deep for the lesser creatures of this world, especially those whom God has seen fit to place in our care. But yet we see around us the world of hurt we cause each other. I would like to think that maybe, some day, somehow we can show each other that same compassion that we share with our perfect beloved pets. Wouldn’t the world be a wonderful place if that were to happen? My beloved pets are and were all perfect pets to me and I hope I was able to give them back the love they gave me. After all, theirs was a perfect love and they deserve no less in return. In the end, it’s all we have anyway. If you are dealing with pet loss you are not alone. I would love for you to share your stories with me. Tell me about your best friends so we can keep their memories alive. It might just help you heal and move on as it has me.


Street Talk

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