Pets bring such joy and friendship to our lives. They are great examples of companionship no matter your circumstances. If it is cold or hot, windy or raining you can always count on your pet to be by your side. 

I have a friend who’s dog passed away before the holidays. He was like her child, friend and roommate all rolled into one. I could only imagine her sadness and the empty feeling she worked so hard to keep inside. She wasn’t sure she ever wanted another pet. She didn’t want to ever feel this pain again. 

We can’t avoid pain in this life. We can’t keep our hearts and affections bottled inside. Too much of life is learned by loving and losing and loving again. As Tennyson noted, it is better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all. By not allowing ourselves to love something – a pet, people, a place – we miss out on the glorious emotions and the expansion of our soul. If we keep it all inside, we will never become the best version of ourselves. 

But loving means we risk, we will get hurt, we will be disappointed and in the end everyone will leave us. We all end up alone, but only in the physical sense. The ones we love have touched our souls and THAT will always be with us, even when our loved one is gone. The joy and adventures they brought into our lives leave an impression that neither time nor space can remove. It takes courage to love, and love deeply. It takes guts to let people in knowing they will always disappoint…they are only human afterall. No matter the pain or sorrow, the disappointment or fear…loving is always the stronger path than being alone. 

So love your loved ones. Enjoy your pets. Let your cat sleep on your legs all afternoon. Throw the ball for your dog one more time. Open your heart without reservation and love no matter what. For it is better to love and know there will be loss. In the mean time. Love, learn, and become the person your pet thinks you are.