We got the saddest email from a customer today.
“Please cancel my harness order. I had to put my dog down. I am devastated.”
Oh, my. It’s the worst day of any dog owner’s life. And in the midst of her grief, she thought about her harness order.
It may seem strange to think of a thing like that at the time, but it makes total sense to us. When you can’t cope with the awfulness that’s just overtaken your life, you concentrate on the little, peripheral things. Because you can’t focus on the huge, gaping hole in your life. The enormity can’t be grasped.
Been there. Cried over that.
Most dog people have had at least a few “worst” days. They don’t get better, or easier, or less painful no matter how many of them there are. It doesn’t matter if your dog was old, or sick, or young and seemingly in good shape. It’s unmitigated pain and your life will never be the same again.
For many people, who live in a wider world than the dog community, it’s magnified by the non-dog people who say awful things like “at least it wasn’t a person,” or “it’s just a dog.” But psychiatrists agree, mourning is normal.
We know that he wasn’t “just” anything. Your dog is your closest companion. No one else is allowed in the bathroom with you.. Your crappiest day gets better when you open the door and your dog is there. He’s never too busy or distracted to give you a joyful welcome. You’re always the best thing that happened to him today. Every single day.
Even if you have other dogs, life is forever different. His particular bark, footstep, mannerisms won’t ever happen again. That particular dog was unique and he was loved.
Because we love being part of our customers’ lives, we hear dog stories all the time. And we’ve heard the pain in people’s voices when they say they’ll never have another dog. Losing them is just too painful.
We disagree. It may not be time yet, but there should be another dog. Because the pain of losing that friend can’t be more than the joy of the time you spent together. The smiles and companionship, the laughter and love, have to be the legacy every cherished dog leaves behind.
Sadly, we empathize
When we got that email, we cried. We’d never met the dog. Only corresponded with the owner via email. We know almost nothing about this person’s life. We don’t need to. She’s a person who loved her dog and she was in pain.
These days we need to remember the things we have in common. One of the strongest is our love for dogs. The sub-culture of dog people that we belong to doesn’t have a test for membership. If you love your dog, you’re welcome here. Dogs make our lives better.
We’re reaching out to hug our customer who sent the saddest email. We’re so very sorry. We hope it won’t be too long before you can smile when you think of your beautiful boy.