04 April 2007

In Praise of Dogs

submitted by our friend Chet Brinkley--and we all sincerely hope Danny gets well very soon!

Meaning no disrespect to Buddy, Queen Lexie, and their generous hosts, but in the interest of pet bipartisanship I think it’s about time we gave a little glory to our canine friends.

I grew up in a household with no pets other than occasional goldfish. My parents—good-hearted, practical people—had no intention of taking over the feeding and care of a pet after their children’s two days of excitement and dedication wore off. My lovely partner, however, grew up with a menagerie of cats, dogs, and horses, and so it was clear that if we were ever to wed, I was going to have to pass the “sniff test” with her pets—which fortunately I did.

When we changed domiciles eleven years ago, our cat freaked out and began turning our entire basement into a litterbox, so alas, we had to bid her a sad farewell, and haven’t had one since. So dogs rule the roost in our home.

Some of our biggest laughs and most serene moments have been brought to us by our dogs. And the amount of comfort a dog can provide in times of sorrow in many ways outstrips any human feat of word or deed—mostly because dogs know how to shut up and just be there for you.

Unfortunately, getting pets (unless you make the dubious choice of buying a bird that will live a hundred years) is a devil’s bargain. You know they’ll worm their way into your heart, you know they’ll become a part of the family, and you know the chances are extremely good that they’ll depart this mortal coil well before you do, leaving you in a crumpled, weeping mass with vet bills resembling a payment on a Mercedes Benz.

Our pal Danny (pictured above) is 12 years old. The vet says he has the constitution of a seven-year-old, but out of the blue he started having seizures. We haven’t given up just yet. We’re not going to take out a second mortgage, and we certainly don’t want our friend to suffer unnecessarily, but we hope we get some more quality time with him before that wordless communication and those soulful eyes finally make it clear to us that the devil must be given his due. And after tears are shed and precious memories are tucked away for safekeeping, we’ll enter into that bargain again, and see some of the grief assuaged by a new introduction and courtship that turns into another enchanting though all-too brief love affair with another best friend.

1 comment:

L.P. said...

I read somewhere recently that "grief is the price we pay for love." Here's hoping that Danny is with us for several more years to come, bringing Chet and his l.p. more laughs and serene moments, and delaying the price-paying a bit longer.