Recently I’ve come face-to-face with a strong sense of loss, and I’ve needed every ounce of mindfulness and self-compassion that I could muster to allow the feelings of sadness and loss to be there, and to go gently with myself. My beautiful wee border terrier, given to me by friends after my last dog passed away, was put to sleep last week due to age-related illness. It hurts. Life feels fundamentally different and the lights seem dimmed. I don’t compare my loss to that of others and indeed no comparison is necessary, for each loss is painful and no loss less worthy of attention.
For those of us whose lives have been touched by a relationship with an animal, it may have been the first time that we have truly encountered the experience of complete acceptance. We don’t judge our pets and they don’t judge us. They have no expectations of us. They simply invite us to open our hearts.
A relationship with an animal is so simple and yet so profound. Bowen was the best companion a family could ask for and the most incredible gift to receive. I shall always feel deeply honoured to have been able to walk awhile through the journey of life with my furry wee friend, and for all that he taught me.
Rest in peace, my sweet, and if there is indeed a rainbow bridge, I’ll see you there.