Our Semi-Retired Columnist Reflects on a Dog’s Life, and Dogs’ Undying Loyalty

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For the past 15 years, whenever I came home, Buffy the Chihuahua was happy to see me. Every time I wanted to go for a walk, she was ready, rain or shine.

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Now, for the first time in a quarter century, we have no dogs in the house.

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We learned in January that Buffy had kidney disease, and the vet only expected her to live another two or three months. It turned out to be true, but his loss was no less brutal.

Dogs become a part of your family, and for a few years we had three of them. “It’s not a pack,” shouted a neighbor as my wife was walking with them. “It’s a tribe.”

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It’s amazing how humans connect to dogs. I recently Read about a Ukrainian refugee Jo was set to enter the US under a special program until, after crossing the border in Tijuana, she learned that dogs from Ukraine are not allowed because the country has a high risk of rabies. She spent several days in Mexico, delaying her slot to enter the US, before she found an American who would bring her dog without the applicable checks on non-Americans. Then she agreed to cross the border.

The woman said she would not leave Europe if she had known it meant leaving her dog behind. A part of me says this is ridiculous given the risk he took to escape the war in Ukraine and emigrate to the US that seems far more important than a dog.

And a part of me fully understands this refugee. I was deeply saddened when Buffy left our lives. He had stopped eating over the past week or two, but I still felt that I was letting him down when we went to our vet’s office for his final visit.

living in retirement

Finally, just three days before his death, we began our standard walks around the long block across the street. It took us 10 minutes or so. This time it took Buffy 30 minutes, but still she did her duty with pride. She was clearly nearing the end, but she hadn’t stopped being our dog.

I think that’s what makes dogs so cute. There are no limits on what dogs will do for us. And we make no limits to how we feel about them.

We can’t find another dog. I’m not ready Even if I were, my wife, Clarissa, would not want to take on the troubles and responsibilities.

But we may be ready again someday. And one thing you can count on: There will be a dog out there ready for us.

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Credit: www.marketwatch.com /

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