Loss and Saying Goodbye (to Thumper)

July 6, 2020

Thumper was a loyal a good dog.

It is never easy to lose someone or a pet that you love. It’s a sad aspect of life that when we become close with another living being, that at some point, it ultimately comes to an end. In the back of our minds, we all know that we’re mortal, and that time is limited, however, we seem to approach each day as if that’s not the case. We like to think that things will go on forever. However, the reality is that all things are finite including relationships. My dog, Thumper’s, time, came to an end today.

The gift of spending time with another individual or a pet, is in fact just that, a gift.  Our journey can get bumpy at times and it’s nice to know that there’s people or animals there to help smooth those bumps when needed. The nice thing about pets, unlike humans, is that their love is unconditional. I know there are some skeptics out there who don’t think that pets are capable of love. I disagree with them. I have had connections with my dogs through the years that could be explained by nothing else but love.

Everything in life has a beginning, middle, and end. We know that. Sometimes we lose sight of this fact as we labor through our work and our responsibilities. We can take others for granted. We just assume that because they’ve always been there, they will still always be there. Ultimately, we find out that is not the case. I try to live my life with as few regrets as possible. I’m not always successful. I’m sure there are many do overs in life I’d like to have if given the opportunity. What’s most important to me is that strength of connections I form with other people, and my dogs.  Sometimes I think I am better at the dog part.

I lost a good friend this morning. Thumper entered my life at a time where I needed him. We in essence rescued each other. Little did I know how much of an impact that small, proud, overly handsome, sometimes aloof, but always hungry dog would have in my life. I felt like I was always under his gaze. He always wanted to know what and how I was doing. He was on the constant lookout for any opportunity to solicit and receive my affection. Sadly, those opportunities no longer exist. Today, I wish I would have petted and loved him more.

I know that there are many of you out there who aren’t interested in having pets. I respect that. Pets are a lot of work and a big responsibility. Like children, you shouldn’t have pets, unless you are willing to make the necessary sacrifices and do the hard work.  But, we all strive to have loving, supportive, and meaningful relationships in our life.  Love is an incredibly unique and specific thing. Cherish it when it happens.

What I do hope is that the significant others in your life, including your pets if you have them, receive the respect, attention, and love you would like to receive in return. We never know when we’re going to have an opportunity to welcome another into our life. I rescued my dog, Thumper, ten years ago, from a shelter where he had been for almost a year. When I picked him up, the staff literally stood in line and clapped as we left. I will never forget that. I will also never forget the countless times he laid at my feet when I had a bad day or when I wasn’t feeling well.  It was obvious he just wanted to make sure that I was OK. I hope you have that in your life. And, more importantly, I hope you appreciate it when you have it.

Loss is a powerful thing. Everyone in our life well ultimately leave us at some point. Until we make the final act of departure ourselves. Life is lived moment to moment. It’s the small interactions. It’s the small gestures of love and kindness that make the difference I will be forever grateful that I spent time with Thumper. I have no doubt that his loyalty, attention, and affection made me a better person. I also have no doubt that his reaction to me during a period of transition in my own life was something I sorely needed and was a divine blessing from above. Once someone or a pet is gone in our life, all we have are our memories. Please do your best to cherish the experiences in the here and now, so, when the time comes, you can reflect back without regrets and with gratitude for the gift you received.

I wish you strong, supportive, and loving relationships in your life. I also wish you the wisdom to understand when and where they happen. Don’t take loyalty, love, or friendship for granted when you find it. It is one of the great treasures in this world. And, it should be treated as such. 

I hope you get to experience your own Thumper in life.

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