I can honestly say I've cried for virtually every one of them. A heart is only designed to take so much grief before it breaks wide open, never to mend again. "But it's only a dog." Let me tell you about Luna, my "only a dog." Born 5 days after my dad died, living up to mams theory that when one soul leaves your life another one enters. Knowing she was in the world and that I'd soon be responsible for her, be her protecter, her provider, her everything is what got me out of bed in the mornings. Doing the same for her sister Star is what still gets me out into the world each day.
She suffered with health issues from day one but never let it break her feisty spirit or sense of adventure. Demanding, regal, aloof, wiley, attention seeking, fiercely intelligent and independent, a true alpha. She couldn't have been less like her sister but together they were Ying and Yang.
We changed and adapted our entire life, routine, home and jobs to make room for these "only dogs." Relinquishing our passports, social life and income in favour of what may seem like a smaller life to some, but to us our hearts were fullfilled.
This sweet soul taught me more in 6 years about patience, compassion, sacrifice, compromise, friendship and unconditional love than I'd learned in a lifetime from anyone else. She helped shape me and my life into who I am today, a big legacy for such a small girl in such a painfully short length of time.
If this is what it means to be "only a dog" then we all have an awful lot to learn.
Goodnight Sleeptight Luna, mama loves you to the moon xxx