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I Am Sorry To Bother You
By Mike Harvey - 87 Years Young

Dear God,

I am sorry to bother you with a question that may appear silly to you.

The question is this: Is it okay to love a dog more than you do a human being? The reason I ask this is simple. Dogs have always been my very best friends.

As a youngster I was shunted into the background as my parents divorced and then remarried.

I was the excess baggage disposed of by being sent to a boarding school. I had friends, of course and as I was thrust into my teens, I found myself with that indescribable fascination of ‘puppy love’ which is probably more a drive of testosterone than emotions of the heart.

Romances both fleeting and permanent held me within their embrace. Death raised its ugly face both in the army and on the home front.

Eventually, my parents were whisked off this mortal coil, as well. The darkness of loss dimmed the sunshine of day temporarily.

However, it didn’t compare to the excruciating loss I felt when my beloved dog Laddie succumbed to sickness and old age.

He was followed by more than twenty other beloved dogs and cats at whose death I felt my being encased in misery. I loved them all but, of course, some more than others. The last loss of a pet has been the greatest sorrow of all.

I only had my little Cairn terrier Hijack for 14 months. He was old when I first met him at the local dog shelter. He was outside the building with a trainer when, upon seeing me, leaped up and snuggled against my chest. “That’s odd” remarked the trainer, “he usually isn’t that friendly.”

To skim the details briefly: Hijack was given to me for no charge and he was old, abandoned and in poor health. Never have I felt the immediate, all-embracing love that enraptured us both. It seemed as if we had been together since his being a puppy. He utterly worshiped me as I did him.

We were blessed with being together for 14 months. Every moment of it was bliss although many hours were spent at the Veterinarians’ attending to inflammation and weak kidneys.

One afternoon he simply collapsed. I rushed him to the Vet and was told there wasn’t much hope.

I clung to any semblance of recovery and was allowed to crawl into his cage in the animal hospital where I held him and told him of my love for an hour each day. He clung to life for six days which came to a shuddering end when the Vet phoned early one morning to say that he was sorry.

The tears flowed for three days. The sense of loss was indescribable. I was in abject misery.

Never before has such a hopeless sense of loss engulfed me.

A year has passed since Hijack died. He still is entwined in every fibre of my memories. I miss him so very much. Once again, dear God, I raise the question: Is it right to love and miss a dog more than our human brethren?

If the answer is no I guess I’m in trouble.

.

A Pet Bereavement Resource:

Canadian Centre for Pet Loss Bereavement

www.petlosssupport.ca

“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France

Update:

Walle, a Chihuahua/Cairn Terrier mix,  rescued from L.A. California by SAFE AT LAST RESCUE, has now found his forever home with Mike Harvey. They even share a birth-date , April 26th. (We think Hijack helped bring them together.) We wish them many happy years together full of love.

Mike Harvey Bio:

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Mike is 85 years old, has been fighting cancer for more than 30, but is still able to walk dogs on a daily basis.

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COMMENT (1) | animal companion, loss, relationships
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Comments

One Response to “I Am Sorry To Bother You”

  1. Diane Brass
    September 19th, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

    Michael,
    Your writing and devotion to Hijack moved me to tears. He was lucky to have you as his companion/owner. I just lost my soul mate dog and I’m still grieving. And in answer to your question, is it okay to love and miss a dog more than a person – in my humble opinion the answer is YES! I wish you many good times with Walle.

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