Longevity reigns supreme in the Jennings’ family when it comes to pets. We just recently lost our sweet Maggie girl, a golden retriever, after 14 ½ years of unconditional love on her part. It seems all of our animals tend to stick around for a while once we bring them home. The first pet I ever remember having as a child was a little cocker spaniel named Brownie. I can’t remember how long we had her but I do have a picture of me as a little girl with my arm around her neck, a look of contentment on both our faces. Then there was my favorite cat growing up; a big yellow tabby whose name was Yellow. He met his demise in the engine of my Mama’s car and since he was an old cat, didn’t survive the trauma of the accident.
Fast forward to marriage and children which brought us our Beetle or Bea girl as I called her. She was just a little ball of black fur when we told our neighbor we would take one of the mixed breed puppies they found themselves “surprised” with. She was Ryan’s dog and loved and protected him for 15 years. Every day she would walk the property lines around our house to investigate and make sure everything was okay. We lost her when Ryan was in college and I vowed we would never get another dog because it was just too hard to make the decision to put her to sleep.
Nike and Bear were the kittens of Lucky, a stray we rescued after we saw her take a tumble out from under a truck on a busy highway. Her girls, sisters, lived to be 19 years old. They were always outside cats and we never had a mouse or creature ever enter our house. Those girls were fierce hunters and always on patrol.
That brings us back to Maggie. When my youngest son Sam left for college, I knew this empty nester needed someone to care for so, sweet Maggie came into our lives. I don’t think I’ve ever known a smarter, more loving dog. Losing her has been difficult.
Life is full of love and loss. Letting go is so very hard but not having had the chance to love is even harder. Pets teach us a lot of life lessons about loving and letting go. So, love people, life, pets, etc. as much as you can while you can. Then be prepared that inevitably, we all have to let go.
Blessings, Cindy J