“His memorial started with a collar and four bones”

I’m always astonished at the outpouring of love and grief for an animal like Iggy. Not that the death of Iggy isn’t an awful thing (it most certainly is). Sometimes in similar situations, it can seem as if the outpouring of emotion exceeds what might be expressed for a human being.

I suppose part of it is the innocence we impart to pets. We seldom attribute bad qualities to animals. When we think of our pets, we think of things like loyalty, unconditional love, and the times they comforted us when we were down. Our pets are tightly woven into the fabric of our existence, in some cases as much a part of our families as any biped could be. Anyone who’s owned a dog understands how completely and utterly honest their devotion can be. It’s as if dogs exist to reflect the best in humanity back to us. They love us unconditionally and ask nothing more than we feed and love them in return.

When I look at my dog, I don’t see the trials and tribulations that impact my daily life. I see a force of nature who wants only to love and be loved. Magnus is pure joy and energy, like the Energizer Bunny on an endless sugar high. When he’s awake, he tears around the house like a Tasmanian Devil, chasing our cats or working overtime to beat the crap out of The Dog Toy That Never Dies ©.

Magnus is the son I never had. He’s so completely woven into the fabric of our existence it’s no longer possible to imagine our life without him in it…and I don’t want to. Dogs represent the best of life- love, devotion, joy, sincerity- reflected back to us. Losing one in the way Iggy died is a sad occasion because it represents a loss of innocence and something capable of pure, unadulterated love.

How many of us could say the same thing?

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