In The Company of Animals


There is a cycle of love and death that shapes the lives of those who choose to travel in the company of animals. It is a cycle unlike any other. To those who have never lived through its turnings and walked its rocky path, our willingness to give our hearts with full knowledge they will be broken seems incomprehensible. Only we know how small a price we pay for what we receive; our grief, no matter how powerful it may be, is an insufficient measure of the joy we have been given.” ~ Suzanne Clothier


A couple of weeks ago, our friends suddenly lost their little Schnauzer, Lily.

She’d had some problems: a small cyst on her head that became infected, losing weight, arthritis – it all seemed under control.

But then, one morning her kidneys began to fail and by the next day, she was gone.

We often walked our dogs together so once we heard we went to express our condolences.

They met us at their front door, tears welling up their eyes and spilling over as we all hugged, and soon we were quietly crying with them.

Nothing has caused me greater grief than losing my dogs, especially Tatum, who died so young of an incurable disease.

I know there are humans that aren’t “dog people” but honestly, I don’t understand them.

Gov. Kristi Noem of South Dakota.

That’s all you have to say and your phones will light up.

Those of us who love all animals, especially dogs, who devote their life to us, their humans,  cannot fathom shooting a pet because of their behavior.

Why would Noem brag about this, as if it was a show of no-nonsense fortitude, a badge of Badlands honor, revealing toughness?

If you have a contrasting story…

of devotion, companionship and love…

of funny, quirky, unrestrained joy revealed every day they breathe…

a story of deep grief upon losing these unique animals that became family members, why wouldn’t you share it?

Especially right now, when the topic is on everyone’s mind?

Why wouldn’t you want your listeners to see your heart?