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Image: PV Bella

The day Jack died in September, someone asked me if I was getting another dog. The answer was a curt no. Since then, friends have asked the same thing, and the answer is a curt no. I cannot for the life of me figure out why the word no comes out so sharp.

The reason I will not get another dog is simple. Dogs are not human. Too many people treat their pets as if they are human or children. These people are insane. Dogs are not self-sufficient. A toddler learns to be self-sufficient. As they age, they become more self-sufficient and rely less on adults.

Dogs are totally dependent on humans for all their physical and emotional needs. They need us for the basics, food, water, shelter, and care if they become ill.  Dogs live in the present. Humans live in the present and the past. The past is our memories. The memory of Jack pains me every day.

Dogs know love and return it. For all we do for them, they provide little. But, the little they provide is enormous. Dogs provide companionship and bring daily joy to our lives. No matter how bad a day was or how sad or angry I was, seeing Jack waiting at the door window for me to come home made me happy.

Dogs give unconditional love. Need proof? Lock your spouse/partner and the dog in the trunk of the car for an hour. Which one do you think will jump out, wagging their tail, trying to lick your face, and happy to see you.

I never felt alone. Jack was always there, providing joy and comfort. He made me laugh with his antics. Sometimes, he was a knucklehead, which offered much-needed humor.

Some people think it is selfish not to get another dog since so many are awaiting adoption. I do not care what others think. I never want a being that is totally dependent on me again.

Knowing and feeling are two different things. I know Jack getting sick, and his swift death was not my fault. I feel that there were things I could have and should have done to prevent them. I know I did nothing wrong. I feel I should ask Jack to forgive me.

I will cherish Jack’s memory. When I look into the night sky and see a blinking star, I know it is Jack, winking one of those big brown eyes at me.

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