One of the most moving moments that I can ever recall in my life actually came from observation, not involvement. I was about 17, working in a pet store where we sold puppies (when I was too young to realize that this is not the way to come by a new puppy). One day this younger guy came in with his girlfriend and he wanted to look at a Shih Tzu puppy. So I brought a little bundle out for him and we sat in our “puppy love room” so they could get better acquainted. They played for a bit and then he just held the dog while deciding if he was going to take him home.
We had a sign up in the room, and it said: Will you love me when I’m older?
The guy looked up at it, and read it out loud. Then he looked down at this tiny puppy and said, very quietly, “and even after.”
That moment has stayed with me for the rest of my life. We outlive our pets, that is just the way of it. I imagine it is to prevent Hachi situations from happening all the time, because as much as I know I will be forever broken when my dogs pass on, I would never in a hundred lifetimes, wish my dog to wait, endlessly, for me to come home.
And I’m sure some people think I’m crazy, and that I put too much time and efort into my dogs. But dogs only get a fraction of the time on earth that we do, so I would like to make that count for as much as I can while I’m lucky enough to have them with me.
They’ve also been better to me than any people ever have, so I absolutely begrudge them nothing. I love and cherish them endlessly – they are the best boys that I could ever ask for. And since I will probably never have children, they’re all I’ve got. And I wouldn’t trade them for the world. <3