Three years ago, the day after birthday, my Sheltie, Simba, passed away after 16 and a half amazing years. The true “love of my life”, Simba was the first dog I ever totally raised from a pup. We were truly best friends. She was my constant companion on long walks, trips to the basketball court, the beach, and Simba faithfully slept next to my bed every night.
This was no ordinary dog. Simba knew over 140 words, hand-signal commands, and truly had an old soul that seemed to understand everything you would say to her. Simba appeared with me on ESPN’s Incredible Dog Challenge and numerous appearances on the Home Shopping Channel as a guest dog salesman. She outlived a marriage, my return to college, another dog’s life, and every landmark moment in my life.
One of the hardest things any dog owner will ever experience is letting go of the cherished member of your family. We love them so much that we project our wish to do everything we can to make them survive forever. But their greatest gift is giving us all of their heart while they’re here and trusting in US to love them enough to let them pass peacefully without prolonged suffering. Simba let me know when the time was right. The pain was so intense but lessens over time. The beautiful memories live forever in my heart and I’m honored to have all of the wonderful years we shared together.
Today’s post is in memory of Simba and everyone who has ever lost a pet. A special tribute video was recently made by my girlfriend’s brother’s family for their beautiful St Bernard, Zeus, you can FEEL the huge love this family and dog shared together. Here are some quotes that are much more than words, they are truly profound messages of hope and inspiration:
“Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened. “
“If there are no dogs in Heaven, then when I die I want to go where they went.”
“Whoever said you can’t buy happiness forgot little puppies.”
“Dogs have a way of finding the people who need them, Filling an emptiness we don’t even know we have.”
“He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion.”
There’s a stone I had made for Luke at the top of the hill road, where the pasture opens wide and the setting sun highlights the words carved into its face. “That’ll do, Luke, that’ll do.” The words are said to working dogs all over the world when the chores are done and the flock is settled: “That’ll do dog, come home now, your work is done.” Luke’s work is done too. He took my heart and ran with it, and he’s running still, fast and strong, a piece of my heart bound up with his, forever.
– Patricia McConnell
For the Love of a Dog
FOR SIMBA: (Flogging Molly “If I Ever Leave This World Alive”)
FOR ZEUS: (Javier Colon “1000 Lights”)