September 8, 2006

when blogs attack...

...and reduce you to tears.

I knew it was going to happen as soon as I saw the header, but todays post from my friend Bill Dawson on his blog "woof" did it to me. I don't even own a dog - (yet...I swear...yet), but many of you know I'm pretty nuts about 'em. Today Bill paid tribute to Eddy (photo above stolen from 'woof'), who left the Earth a year ago. (the movie takes a little while to load - it's worth it)

The 'advice' in this post isn't meant for Bill, but the past month has brought about a very disconcerting string of news from many friends who have lost their pets - a trend that I hope has passed. But I have found myself giving the same advice repeatedly to those suddenly left without a pet they loved, so I thought maybe I'd post it in case it helped someone else. And, in full disclosure, I'm not a pet owner, and its none of my business how anyone grieves - so I mean this with all due respect, please don't be offended... (I feel like the reaction would be "what do you know?!")

Anyway, the advice I find myself giving is not to delay too long in looking into adopting a new dog (or cat, or whatever). The natural reaction is always "no, I can't, not yet" or "it just doesn't seem right". As I was explaining this to my friend Darrin recently, some of the reasons crystallized for me. One, is that I believe it is a part of the grieving process and does not have to wait until after you think the grieving has passed. And two, passing on the love that you had to a new pet allows the spirit of the old one to live on and grow with the new one. In that way, getting a new dog actually honors the one that passed, rather than the natural reaction of it being some kind of betrayal.

I could be wrong, but I do know that everyone who ever gets a new pet always says that its the best thing they ever did, and they wish they hadn't waited so long. Bill's post is a reminder to me of the love that is wasted by those of us without dogs. Its not just about what they give us, but what we can give them.

Meanwhile, Eddy lives on not only in Gus, but Bill and Danielle. That's about the best tribute any dog could ever wish for.

(and Bill, its hard to animate with soggy eyes, damn you.)

  • Woof: Remembering Eddy
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