The “Why” of dogs…

Posted: December 22, 2011 in Uncategorized

Our two German shepherds both stayed on our bed last night, allowed the intimacy of the Pack pile without interruption.  The puppy, Holly, usually is placed in her crate for sleepy time, as she has not yet earned the trust that she will leave the house in good repair.  Hans, my 2-year-old symbiont, will usually opt for the privacy and familiarity of his own cozy crate, off-the-clock, burdens put aside.

Tonight, we need one another,  as news of another Omorrow tragedy has reached us.  Earlier this week, Mia was tragically taken from us by an accident, and tonight Kreiger was victim of a similar incident.  This after what was arguably the saddest autumn in the history of the Omorrow Pack.  Those of you who went thru it, don’t need to be reminded of those events again, so I’m skipping the details.  Suffice to say, we deserve better.

I’m positive that when we heard the latest news, most of us asked, “What happened?”  As the news sank in, we all later asked, WHY?   Why do these things happen?  Why do we open ourselves to these situations by emotionally investing in our dogs?  And, most profoundly, I’m certain that our dear friend Rhonda and her family, again are asking “Why do we do this after all we’ve been thru lately?”

As I stroked Hansie’s ears, he started snoring, and finally gave that huge sigh that marks the end of each day for him.  It’s the sound of him telling his pack that he had a great day, his belly is full, he’s warm, he’s satisfied.  My wife and I love that sound, and we mark the moment each night.  Tonight that sound held something else, at least for me…

We’d been talking in “Whys”, for 3 or 4 hours already, about the Omorrow pack, and the events of this autumn.  The hurt was kept company by the lack of answers.  I was already well into sorting out my own thoughts, as I had been digesting Mia’s death for several days already.  Kreigs’ tragedy  changed the view dramatically…

Why do we open ourselves up to the inevitable pain of inviting a dog into our family?  Why does a sensible, wise, intelligent person like Rhonda open herself up to the inevitable pain she will share with all of us, along with her own? What drives her to continue doing what she does?  Inexplicably,  I found my answer in Hansie’s sigh…

Human beings that genuinely care for dogs, have a huge capacity for Love.  Our dogs can evicerate a leather sofa, whizz all over the carpet, steal our breakfast, and we’ll still insist that they are the greatest dog ever born.  They can put a serious dent in our monetary situation, and we still want the best for them.  We’ve all said, “My dog will never suffer as long as I have any control over it.”  Such is the oath of all dog lovers…The problem with that huge capacity for Love, is the very real possibility of being hurt.  When our dogs do suffer, we are hit especially deeply, in direct and opposing proportion to the love we feel for our four-legged friend.  That thought rolled over me like a wave…We take dogs into our hearts, because we have the capacity and desire to Love.  Rhonda breeds dogs, and undoubtedly will continue to breed dogs, because she has a huge capacity to Love.  And this love is NOT just about loving dogs.  It’s about loving people, family, friends, crazy dog-owners…(We know who we are).  I’ve watched this growing Omorrow Pack over the course of 3 years now…If Love isn’t part of this group of people and dogs, then nothing is.  When Omorrow was threatened by a terrible virus, look at how this bunch of people pulled together in a thousand ways, to help everybody ride out the storm.  If I mention certain puppies names,( Dusty, Piper) you can easily see that Love was the motivation behind their courageous struggles.  There were so many other acts of Love in this pack, acts of selfless generosity and support for each other, that I couldn’t possibly list them all.  No doubt, there are many unknown to all but a few, because nobody was looking for credit.  They just did them out of Love. 

Let’s remember this:  Rhonda, The Omorrow dogs, and her family are the binding tie that brings us together.  But we are sustained by our own individual capacity to Love, our dogs, and each other.  Thats what our dogs bring out of each of us.  When these tragedies strike, we pull together even tighter.  In fact, we allow more new friends to join us!  And isn’t Love supposed to be the goal of every human being?  Isn’t Love the greatest attribute we can aspire to possess?  The majority of us here put great faith in the Holy Bible, and that greatest of all books tells us that “God is Love” (2 Corinthians 13:11 , John 3:16)   So is there ANYTHING better for us to demonstrate than our desire to really Love?.

That, in the end, is what I will keep for myself from 2011.  I will not remember it for the losses and tragedies that I, my family, and the Omorrow Pack have experienced and gone thru together.  There were more than enough of them, Kreiger and Mia being just the most recent.  We will all grieve over them, because thats what family does.  But I will keep them all in my memory by focusing on the Love that each situation produced and created.  The support each of us gave and partook of from the Pack.  The examples of selfless acts of Love.  Our dogs and their breeder, Rhonda Sellers, are what bring us all together.  The dogs are an expression of Love, a beginning, a source…The rest is up to us.

And that, My Friends, is the “WHY” of dogs…

Dedicated to the memory of Kreig, Mia, Cinder, Dusty, Bella, and others lost to us this year.  With special Love to Piper, who has shown so much courage because of her families love.

  1. Robert, I cannot tell you what this post means to me. You hit the nail on the head. It IS about love..the love these amazing animals give which is unconditional that makes them such an important part of our life, but as well it is the our capacity to love that binds us. It has always been about the people and the joy these dogs bring.

  2. Rhonda says:

    Robert, It’s nice to have someone put these thoughts and emotions into words so eloquently. I know that losing Mia would not have been so hard if she was not loved so much. This support of this pack has been unbelievable and so appreciated.

  3. Kim Atwell says:

    Heck, I read it at work and we can have beer on certain days so crying was okay. And I did. Thanks Robert! Well said!

  4. Very beautiful Robert. I had to stop reading a couple times because there can’t be any crying at work.