When I said goodbye to our childhood dog last week, I thought my heart was going to actually explode in my chest. It was a pain so real, so cutting, it physically hurt. Not 45 minutes after I said goodbye to Hazel, our 14-year-old Chocolate Lab, I was holding our brand new puppy, Maple, a 10-week-old Bernese Mountain Dog in my arms. Timing is a real bitch.
My family fiercely loved Hazel, I mean, like- she would drink a Bud Light around the bonfire with us love, she did water-therapy love, she had an acupuncturist love. And she knew it. Not one car ride, one hip rub, one walk was wasted. Dogs can do that, they simply love you, and you love them back.
Maybe one day I'll write more about Hazel and Maple and the weird universal 'circle of life' that took one from me and brought me the other on the same day. It's too hard right now. However, this week has taught me a valuable lesson.
The love we give is never wasted.
I see this most clearly in our pets. We love them, and they know it. They know it when they poop in your kitchen, and they know it when they take their last breath. They never question the love we give them, rather they just absorb it and authentically love us back.
Maybe this is why dog love is such a pure, unselfish love. It never waivers, instead it only grows stronger. It isn't without its growing pains, but during the cycles of life they never just give up on you. I mean, they love you even when you're singing Taylor Swift off-key in your kitchen in your underwear. They love you when you're not being nice, or your temper is short. They love you when you can't even say you love yourself.
If we could all be just a bit more like our dogs, the world would be a much better place. Accept the love you're given. Don't ever take it for granted. And try and do something in return to show that you love that person. And do things that make you happy. Isn't that all dogs are doing? What makes them happy? When we are happy we can love authentically.
Give love and it gives back.
Love you Hazel.