Suzi went travelling this morning. She was almost 24 years old.
I’ve always believed pets are on this earth to remind us that we were created to live in joy. In joy now. That to live the life we’re given we have to fight off the claws of worry about the fu
These claws are very powerful. We’ll life tomorrow. When this is finished, when my various diseases aren’t so painful, when the house is paid off, the laundry done, and that therapist fixes whatever’s wrong with my husband and sister.
The way I think about it, having a child is the most dangerous leap of faith a person can take. You actively bring into the world a being—that if you lose that being, your life will never be the same. You accept the possibility of that scar because of the joy a child brings.
With pets, when you offer them a home, you know that most likely you are accepting that you will have to let them go. Later after many years of laughter and love and an ever-growing treasured peace in your heart.
So, why do we keep doing this?
Years ago I had a client who wasn’t too happy with me and perhaps a bit over-focused on our relationship when that’s not the kind of work I do. As she was leaving she said, “You treat your dogs better than you treat me.”
You’d think the remark would hit like a nail, but not really. “You’re right,” I said. “But then I treat my dogs better than I treat anyone.”
The thing is Suzi, and every pet I’ve had, brought out the best in me. Suzi brought out my capacity for gentleness, my ability to forgive, on an everyday basis. I never gave her the silent treatment or held out some secret notion she’d one day change to be someone to meet my every need. I didn’t expect her to be less forgetful. I didn’t expect her to remember my birthday. I never commented on her table manners.
Suzi I’ll miss you and I’ll miss the me I was with you. Thank you, little Suzi. Thank you for every day.
I wasn’t planning on posting from The Mercy because quoting myself seems double silly, but this little part from the book is for Suzi. “Dogs are wonderful friends and faithful companions, but those reasons are not what makes our bond with dogs so powerful. Dogs are precious in our hearts because of their capacity to forgive. To beat a dog is heinous because it hurts the dog, but more heinous because the dog will forgive you. A gift we all need sometimes.”
Thanks for listening people.