Our little hairy chums are brother and sister. In four and a half years they have never been apart.
Today we experienced a little does of separation anxiety as doggy hospital took Dandy (right) away from Rosie.
It’s nothing fatal, just a procedure that requires sedation (for me when I pay the bill), but if you ever doubted that a dog could look forlorn, Dandy’s backward glance as he was carried out of the consulting room was proof enough for any cynic.
Rosie was in a tail-spin when I came home without her other 4 legs. Crying, sniffing, searching. Where the **** is Dandy?
I felt a very unexpected surge of emotions that I hadn’t felt since I was 14 when my childhood dog died. There is, of course, an inevitability that they won’t be with us forever, but in that tiny moment I felt what I can only really describe as absolute, total love for these little dogs.
We take our pets for granted. Who doesn’t? But their big brown eyes and soft affections worm their way into our hearts and lodge there with the very same intensity that we might feel for any other member of the family. If I feel it, my children most certainly must.
So, do we let our children revel in the joy of a pet, knowing that they will face loss and catastrophe at the end? Or do we spare them the lows by depriving them of the highs?
There is only one thing greater than being loved, and that is to love. Let them lick the kids’ faces. A lot.