I had to have my precious baby, Daisy, put to sleep on Wednesday. I'd never had a dog before in my life, and didn't understand how they can become such a huge part of your heart, your life and your identity. I got Daisy as a puppy and we had 11 wonderful years together. She was an english bulldog, and for her breed, 11 years is considered 'geriatric'. I've known for many months that we didn't have a lot of time left together, and dreaded the day I knew was coming. We were together 24/7 and I'm totally shattered at her loss.
I've lost both my parents, my husband and a sister and I can honestly say the loss of Daisy is every bit as debilitating as the loss of my other family members.
Here's one of the things I feel so bad about. All my life I didn't understand the bond other people had with their dogs. Whenever a co-worker or friend lost a pet I would offer some pat word of condolence, but was never as sympathetic as I could have been. I DIDN'T KNOW. I didn't know the depth of their grief and couldn't sympathize. I didn't know how their lives were turned upside down and how their hearts were bleeding. I didn't know that it wasn't 'just a dog'. What a jerk I was.
Fortunately, I've had some friends and family members who do understand and have been checking on me to see if I'm ok. And my neighbor even sent flowers (daisies, of course)...complete with 'In Loving Memory' card. I guess the saving grace is that now I know and will be able to be more comforting and understanding when the terrible day comes for someone else. In the meantime, I'm so sorry.