Every single one of us who has ever had to make that agonizing choice to put a dog down knows down deep that it was the right choice. You think about cradling your pal for the last time -- maybe even holding him or her for the last few moments. The trusting look in their eyes is haunting. I had to have my first dog, a beautiful Dobe, Topaz, put to sleep in her old age -- and I still shudder and groan inside as if it was yesterday. The pain doesn't go away, that's true -- but it gets different. Because we grow in love. No other pet can ever replace that one. The ache we feel is the pain left by love. But guess what? The heart expands (it sometimes feels like breaking) to make room for more love. It's true for pets...it's considerably more true for people. So the irony is, the more we love, the more we can expect to hurt, but the more still we'll have a capacity for love! So "embrace" the loss, and use it as a springboard to greater heights of love. Our loving God will send along an opportunity to put that love to good use, I promise you.
--Father Jeffrey Lawrence
29 July 1997
I have sometimes thought of the final cause of dogs having such short lives and I am quite satisfied it is in compassion to the human race; for if we suffer so much in losing a dog after an acqaintance of ten or twelve years, what would it be if they were to live double that time?
--Sir Walter Scott