“Man’s Best Friend.” Just hearing these three words triggers an immediate picture of an owner and his/her dog, and the kinship that is formed through a myriad of life experiences. Ask a dog owner what it’s like to own a dog, and in most cases, you’ll get a response in the neighborhood of “(dog’s name) is like one of the family,” an instant clue on how important and integrated of a role dogs play in our lives.
My parents took a big step many years ago bringing two beautiful, playful Irish Creme Golden Retrievers into their world, and their world was never the same. The dogs brought love, humor, peace, worry, frustration, connection and support to their lives…all things we would expect to exchange with family members. But there is a secret to becoming a dog owner that my mom so eloquently described: “when you become a dog owner, you sign up for a broken heart, but it’s totally worth it.”
My mom recently wrote a book as a tribute and ode to her beloved dog, Brighton.
In the book, she navigates through the latter part of his life, including some traumatic episodes and decisions as he neared the end of his journey. You’ll experience the anguish of critical decisions, the emotional roller coaster of joy and pain, the raw feeling of a broken heart, and the spiritual optimism that can only be connected to something that is truly loved.
The book is a walk on the spiritual side – the tangible connection during life, the love and respect between dog and owner, and the possibility of a spiritual life beyond our world. It’s intense and emotional, but if you have ever felt the love and loss of being a dog owner, you might relate, and you might just look for signs that your beloved four-legged friend is connecting with you in unique ways.