So the other day, someone posted this thing on Facebook ( which is where I get all my information from) about a family having to put down their dog. As a puppy mommy, and someone who has had many, many pets over the years I almost didn’t read it. In my hormonally and emotionally challenged state, it could be enough to start the taps running for a very long time and my husband was home. I usually only allow such outbursts when completely alone, because as an Irish-Italian girl, I would hate to display such weakness as crying in front of anybody. Even him.
But I digress. The story was about how the family vet, the parents, and a little 6 year old boy gathered to euthanize their dog. When it was over, they adults belated how unfair it was that our animal companions have such shorter lives than us. And the little boy basically said that people usually spend their lives trying to be good, to do good, to learn to love unconditionally, and it sometimes takes us a very long time to do it. But animals, he said, are pure from the beginning. They have it figured out early on, and so don’t need a huge long time on Earth trying to be better. Because they just are.
And this got me thinking. First, how wise children are. They don’t complicate things much. They just see it and tell it like it is. Sometimes we appreciate it more than other times, depending on the moment and subject matter, but if only we all could interpret things like this. With total certainty and sincerity.
Secondly, about life and death itself. About how often we have lost someone too soon, too unexpectedly. And how it often seems like the people who have the most love, the most purpose, and the most goodness are the ones who go first. And we always wonder why?
This little boy, real or fake, has it right: They were done. They figured it out and didn’t need to spend any more time in this life learning how to show love. Or how to make other people’s lives better. They were complete.
And maybe the assholes out their who seem to have everything go their way and live long, prosperous lives are just living in a charade that can’t last forever. Maybe they have to spend a long time here because they are unable to discover love and family and loyalty the way that a family dog will. Maybe they live long lives because they are unable to learn anything really useful at all about how to be decent human beings.
And maybe, there are a few people who have figured out the secret to life’s purpose. Who are loyal, and protective of their family, and affectionate, and unwavering in their trust and love for you who stay in this shitty life longer than they have to because we need a few teachers along the way.
I don’t know.
But I do know this. I have never been surer of anything in my whole life than I am of the love my big, brown, clumsy brown dog has for me. She would never leave me voluntarily, and you would have to go through her to get to me. Not because she’s trained to do it, but because she chooses to. Because it’s pure.
And we humans could learn a lesson or two from it.