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Man’s Best Friend

July 26, 2016
by Anesa McGregor , Emmetsburg News

They have been called man's best friend for hundreds of years. In the beginning, they helped us hunt for food and guarded us at night and at some point, we humans decided that dogs made good companions and took them into our homes and lives.

For those whom have had a dog, we understand why they are called "man's best friend." They are always there to greet us when we come home. No matter what stupid thing we do, they are always loyal. We can scold and yell at them, but their love is unconditional.

They are there to cheer us up when we are sad and they let us wipe our tears on them. They teach children responsibility and protect us with their lives if necessary. For all they do for us, they only ask to be fed and watered and loved.

The downside to having a dog is sometimes in the end, we have to make the right decision and let them go. It is hard and anyone who has experienced losing a dog understands that it is like losing a family member. The grief process is the same as losing a parent, sibling or friend. It hurts just as bad and leaves an emptiness that lasts a lifetime.

My family had to make a hard choice last week. Our dog was old, 12 years old, and was starting to have trouble getting around. The last weekend was the hardest. He could no longer go up the steps and could only walk a few feet before sitting down. He was a happy, healthy looking dog when he was lying there but when he got up you could see the pain he was in because of his hips.

He was a loving, trusting dog that simply enjoyed the company of people and I will cry and miss him for the rest of my life.

Yes, having to put a dog down is one of the most difficult things an owner must do sometimes. But when it is done out of love and respect for the dog, knowing that the pain and distress he was in is no longer hurting him, the decision becomes easier but it is in no way less painful. So for everyone who has every lost a dear canine friend, this poem is for you (I do not remember where I saw it or who wrote it):

Paw Prints Left By You

You no longer greet me,

As I walk through the door.

You're not there to make me smile,

to make me laugh anymore.

Life seems quiet without you,

You were far more than a pet,

You were a family member, a friend,

a loving soul, I'll never forget.

It will take time to heal

for the silence to go away.

I still listen for you,

And miss you everyday.

You were such a great companion,

Constant, loyal and true,

My heart will always wear,

The paw prints left by you.



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