• You are smacked hard in the face with the true meaning of unconditional love, and the sad realization you don’t have it anymore.
  • You feel like there is no place for your love and affection to go.
  • You miss their quirks. How they chased airplanes like you were under nuclear attack. How they loved eating lettuce. How the sole purpose of a toy was to tear at its heart, rip out the squeaker, play with the squeaker for days, and then add it to the collection of dozens of squeakers living in every nook and cranny of your house.
  • You think about the adage, “dogs look and act like their owners” and realize that if you are half as cute, friendly, cool and smart as your dog was, you are doing well.
  • You miss having your very own mall cop, sidekick, foot warmer, crumb sweeper and master cuddler.
  • Your house feels empty, like it doesn’t fit you anymore.
  • You long for the like-clockwork greetings your dog gave you every single time you woke up and every single time you came back home. Each time, they acted like they won the dog lottery, over and over and over again.
  • You realize that your dog spoke to you because you knew how to listen.
  • You put the behaviours you used to hate – the woofing, the barking, the tearing up Kleenex from the bathroom garbage – into perspective.
  • You miss the responsibility, the complete dependence dogs bring and see it gave you a sense of purpose.
  • You feel like you failed. That you had this one thing you could insulate from reality (“other dogs don’t get as many kisses as you”, “other dogs don’t get their pick of couches to sleep on”, “other dogs don’t know what waffles taste like”) and in the blink of an eye you exposed and lost them to the harsh cruel world.
  • You know you knew they wouldn’t live forever. But to steal a phrase from a friend, you see now that you thought your dog was one of your invincibles.
  • You realize that your dog was smarter than you. Smarter than most people. Your dog, like most dogs, have it all figured out. They are focused on all the right things in life: food, naps, play, curiosity and love.

Forever my best little man, George.

George in the window