A Dog's Love


It was raining on the day I took my St. Bernard, Buddy to the vet for the last time. It was raining on my windshield, it was raining in my eyes, and it was raining in my soul. My heart was heavy with the sadness of knowing that I would soon be losing a friend who had always touched my soul with his sad face and sweet personality. When he was a puppy I used to carry him around in one arm. Now his 170 lb body was ancient and ailing. Throughout all his life he had protected us with his strength and loved us with his gentleness. He was a part of our family and taking him on this last ride was one of the hardest things I ever had to do.

My voice like my spirit felt broken as I told the vet that it was best to end Buddy’s suffering now. I had watched over the last year as he slowed down. He was in a lot of pain. He seemed more and more irritable and uncomfortable with each passing day. Finally there came a point when I knew it was time to let him go. His days here on Earth may have been short by our standards, but every single one of them was full of love.

A person who didn’t own dogs once asked me why I would put myself through such pain. Why would I bring dogs into my home knowing that eight, ten, or fifteen years later I would be losing them to death? I couldn’t answer him at the time, but looking back on Buddy’s years with us I think I can now. A dog’s love is unconditional. It is pure. It is strong. It is blessed. It gives us such great happiness. It reminds us of what God’s love for us must be like. It shows us what our own love is capable of becoming. A dog’s love makes us better. If I have to suffer this pain then to have that love then I will do so gladly.

Take care dear Buddy until I see you again. You made me better. You helped me to love. You gave me so much joy. I will forever cherish in my heart the years we had here together.

Joseph J. Mazzella joecool@wirefire.com

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