Such short little lives our pets have to spend with us, and they spend most of it waiting for us to come home each day. It is amazing how much love and laughter they bring into our lives and even how much closer we become with each other because of them.
A person can learn a lot from a dog, even a loopy one like ours. Marley taught me about living each day with unbridled exuberance and joy, about seizing the moment and following your heart. He taught me to appreciate the simple things-a walk in the woods, a fresh snowfall, a nap in a shaft of winter sunlight. And as he grew old and achy, he taught me about optimism in the face of adversity. Mostly, he taught me about friendship and selflessness and, above all else, unwavering loyalty.
In a dog's life, some plaster would fall, some cushions would open, some rugs would shred. Like any relationship, this one had its costs. They were costs we came to accept and balance against the joy and amusement and protection and companionship he gave us.
. . . owning a dog always ended with this sadness because dogs just don't live as long as people do.
It's just the most amazing thing to love a dog, isn't it? It makes our relationships with people seem as boring as a bowl of oatmeal.
Only then did I see. Something was amiss with Patrick's snap-on one piece, or onesie as we manly dads like to call it. His chubby thighs, I now realized, were squeezed into the armholes, which were so tight they must have been cutting off his circulation. The collared neck hung between his legs like an udder. Up top, Patrick's head stuck out through the unsnapped crotch, and his arms were lost somewhere in the billowing pant legs. It was quite a look.
We now had three girls and one testosterone-pumped guy bird that spent every walking minute doing of of three things: pursuing sex, having sex or crowing boastfully about the sex he had just scored. Jenny observed that roosters are what men would be if left to their own devices, with no social conventions to rein in their baser instincts, and I couldn't disagree. I had to admit, I kind of admired the lucky bastard.
The rhythm of solitude, once so intimidating, began to feel comfortable. Aloneness, I was learning, does not have to equal loneliness.
In the English language, it all comes down to this: Twenty-six letters, when combined correctly, can create magic. Twenty -six letters form the foundation of a free, informed society.
Dogs are a really amazing eye opener for us humans because their lives are compressed into such a short period, so we can see them go from puppyhood to adolescence to strong adulthood and then into their sunset years in 10 to 12 years. It really drives home the point of how finite all our lives are.