Love Your Cuddlesome Pups–the Problem of Our Mismatched Lifespans

Wow, my dear, old Casey would have been twenty years old today!

Twenty years with such a companion seems too short, and yet she only lasted fifteen, which is a generous span for a dog.

Such reflections always put me in mind of these words by Konrad Lorenz, from Man Meets Dog: “When god created the world, he evidently did not foresee the future bond of friendship with the dogCasey and me, or perhaps he had definite, and, to us, inexplicable reasons for assigning to the dog a span of life five times shorter than that of his master. In human life there is enough suffering–of which everyone gets his share–when we come to take leave of someone we love, and when we see the end approaching, inevitably predestined by the fact that he was born a few decades earlier than we ourselves we may well ask ourselves whether we do right to hang our hearts on a creature which will be overtaken by senility and death before a human being, born on exactly the same day, has even passed his childhood; for it is a sad reminder of the transience of earthly life when the dog, which a few years ago–and it seems but a few months–was a clumsy cuddlesome pup, begins to show unmistakable signs of age . . .”

“Certainly the death of a faithful dog which has accompanied its master some fifteen years of his life’s walk brings with it much suffering, nearly as much as the death of a beloved person.”

He goes on to add what struck me as two important points. One, we must have the courage to pay for life’s pleasures with the coin of sorrow. And two, remember that we’re blessed by the similarity the dog of one breed will have with others of the same breed. They’ll never be identical (not even if cloned), but a dog of the same breed will soon come to occupy a similar place in your heart, and so comfort you. Therefore, the cure for grief, he says, is the axiom, “Same breed, as soon as possible.”

Advertisements

6 responses to “Love Your Cuddlesome Pups–the Problem of Our Mismatched Lifespans

  1. Reblogged this on Lisa Lanser Rose and commented:

    Wow, my dear, old Casey would have been twenty years old today! Twenty years with such a companion seems too short, and yet she only lasted fifteen, which is a generous span for a dog.

  2. Barbara Clabby

    We were fortunate enough to have our first border, Speedo, for 16 years. I said I was done, too painful. My husband “surprised” me with two borders. The new joys of my life. They helped bring back so many good memories of Speedo!!

  3. 10+ years with Cody (Codeman) has transformed me into a fanatic for the breed. Their desire to please, to do the right thing – always – their amazing keen sense of intuition, of knowing what needs to be done, of what should happen next, is fodder for many intriguing short stories. -Cody’s Dad

    • Thank you for sharing! Isn’t it something? People like us, we live with one of these dogs, and we’re changed forever. Ruined, as one woman put it the other day, for any other breed. But there must be people for whom the match is a disaster, or there wouldn’t be so many homeless. Or is there some other cause for that? I wonder.

  4. What timing for your post. My Aussie, 11 years old, has developed some medical problems that are being worked up by vet. He has been showing his age the past months…not hearing so well, groaning when he lays down, his front legs quivering when he lifts his back leg to pee, the copper brown fur around his muzzle turning gray. Now this illness. I clearly remember picking him up at the breeder’s and bringing him home…several blinks of the eye ago. Where does the time go?

Whatcha thinking? Gimme that! Grr! Grr!

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s