How many losses have you suffered over your lifetime? A handful, more? What if you endured numerous losses in a single week?
Losing a loved one is hard. Strike that, it’s suffocating. It’s devastating. It’s traumatizing. It’s confusing. It’s unfair. It’s beyond the capacity of being defined by so simple a word as hard. Losing a loved one is losing a piece of your journey, your memories, your laughter, and your love to an intangible enemy.
We can all agree, losing a loved one is painful in ways words can’t often express adequately.
But what constitutes a loved one?
Any person we have loved throughout our life?
Is love an emotion that can only be shared between people?
Any person who has ever shared space with a pet wouldn’t hesitate to express the enormity of their love and how valid a feeling it is for both them and their companion. This love, this shared expression of life is as meaningful as any other.
Love has been categorized as being unconditional, affectionate, familiar, enduring, and playful. It is a connection shared beyond words. A bond made in quiet moments. A joy created when two souls play and dance together in happiness. Agape, Philia, Storge, Pragma, Ludus, LOVE a word so strong the Greeks bestowed it with 8 categories to try and contain its exponential meanings. The love of a pet could fall under many or even all of these categories.
But where does the love of another’s pet fall?
The love that is built when we first held you in our arms as a puppy. When we comforted the scared and confused kitten after their life-saving procedure. When we shared giddy moments as you danced about our space hoping for a treat. Softer hearts don’t often fare well against those literal puppy dog eyes and you definitely have the cutest. We are here because of our immense love of animals. We are here to serve you in your big times and small. We are here, loving your animals as though they were our own. After all they’ve been ours in immeasurable ways across countless dog or cat years.
Life and love are larger and more evasive than we can imagine. In a single day, we can see both halt over and over and over. In a single day, we can come face to face with death until our hearts can’t bear anymore. In a single day we can experience some of the lowest lows known by man’s best friend. Yours, and our best friends. We’ve formed memories, moments, and meaning that can only ever be revisited. We grieve for you, in our way. We also grieve for them, for those souls who never spoke anything but the language of love. The hardest part is our love and our roles don’t end when their lives do, not for them and not for you.
We push forward with hope. We cling to joy. And we pray you never forget how grateful we are to you for entrusting your precious lives and loves in our humbled hands.
If you haven’t recently, thank your vet, your techs, and your clinic staff. It means more to them than you may realize.