Sadly, Carrie’s four legged friend passed away.
When she told me about it a day later, she struggled hard to fight back the tears. She was surprised to be so affected. After all, it was just a dog, right? Wrong. Psychological experts are increasingly acknowledging the importance of pets in our lives. Indeed, they provide companionship, loyalty and even love—all qualities of a true friend.
To move through the grief, I suggested that she write a letter to her furry pal. She did, and I was so moved by what I read, I urged her to let me publish it. I explained how it could help many, many people who have suffered the same loss. What’s more, that single letter described so perfectly the special bond between humans and pets.
She agreed to having it published. Here it is:
I miss you!!! I am writing this letter to let you know how much you have meant to me. You have only been gone for a little over 24 hours and I miss you everywhere. I miss you at your dog bowl and at your bed in the closet. I miss you at the top of the stairs barking because you were no longer capable of making the long journey down. I miss you licking your paws endlessly and begging for the crust from our pizza on Sunday nights.
But most of all I miss you by my side. You have always been there when I was sick. You never left my side for days when I was down and out.
You were such an inspiration to me. Loyal till the end!
You were the smartest dog I’ve ever known.
You made us laugh so many times. Thank you for that. You will be missed by all.
I miss you so much.
Your jealousy of Amy [Carrie’s daughter] has always made us giggle. Seven pounds of dog trying to wedge in between us lying on the bed.
As I write this letter to you, I am realizing how much you made us all smile. In today’s world, you don’t always get a lot of that. Did I mention I miss you?!!?
Thank you for being my best friend. Sometimes I feel bad for saying that because most people consider their best friend to be a girlfriend, mother or spouse. (Humans!!!) My criteria for best friend is: faithfulness, understanding, loving, being accepting, never judging, taking care of my needs, listening to my problems. Yes, you meet all the qualifications of a best friend. I hope I was the same for you, because you gave me such great joy.
As I sit here and write to you, I feel as though I’m 10 years old. Not only were you my friend, but you were everything to me that my parents weren’t.
With you, I never felt alone—never felt judged. You were always on my side, always protecting me, and always standing up for me.
Did I mention I love you??? It’s lonely here without you. Some day there may be another dog in our home but he or she will never, ever replace you. I love you with all my heart.
Until we meet again! I wish you Godspeed.
Love you forever. ~ Mom
If reading this brought a tear to your eye like it did mine, good for you. 🙂
I welcome your thoughts!
Names are changed to honor client confidentiality.
(c) 2007 Salee Reese