I know my dogs won’t live forever, but that only makes me love them more.
I am the mom of two medium to large sized dogs. Their life expectancy is anywhere from eight to 14 years and I’ve known that from the beginning. As the mom of larger dogs, I am aware that they won’t live nearly long enough. Parents of smaller dogs are fortunate in the sense that they get a few more years out of their dogs, but they still understand the lingering fear of losing their best friend too early.
Watching them grow at an alarming rate, becoming young adults before the age of two, I am roughly 20% through their life, but 100% in love.
As a young adult, my dogs are my children. There are no human children in my foreseeable future and that is perfectly alright with me. I will treat my dogs as my furbabies and I will raise them with all the love and devotion a mom would with her kids. I just have to make more memories in the short time we are granted together.
Dogs are possibly the most decent creatures on the planet. They teach us the value of friendship and unconditional love. They are loyal, kind animals with honest intentions and selfless actions. And, though we may not get as many physical years with them, the lessons they teach us stay in our hearts forever.
Knowing and understanding your dog’s mortality is the first step to leading a fulfilling life with them. Each moment you share is cherished in its own special way. The puppy years are some of the toughest hurdles to overcome with your dog, but you will look back on them with joy. As your dog ages, you will wish time could move backwards, making them younger with each day. Because living another 10 years of puppyhood would be worth the mess.
Your dog will be your best friend, your partner in crime. He will show you the value of communication, and the importance of unity and respect. He will be there with you at your best of times, and he will be there for you at your worst of times. His home is by your side.
As your dog grows older, you will learn to appreciate little things, like the wag of a tail, or a snuggle on the couch. Everything your dog does will eventually feel like a small miracle. One day, even leaving his bed will be celebrated, because you know how hard he fought to stand.
Caring so deeply for your dog will make you appreciate others in your life. It will teach you that love takes effort. That love is easy and difficult at the same time. That relationships should be treated with respect and kindness. And, when the time comes, your dog will also teach you how to say goodbye.
What you learn from your dog, and every dog throughout your life, will help forge strong foundations for healthy relationships. You will take all the lessons you’ve learned from your dog and apply them to every day situations. You will also use what you’ve learned to open your heart to more dogs in need of loving homes. And you will learn from them as well.
So, dogs might not be forever -not even close- but that certainly doesn’t mean they don’t matter.