Too soon. Always too soon

She was always friendly.

We saw her every day on our walks, and she would always greet us warmly, happily.

She loved her walks too, but hadn’t been able to take one in a while.

And last week, she died.

Kilo was only 9, and even in dog years, that’s too soon.

My dog, Murphy, really liked Kilo, a beautiful golden retriever. Tails always wagged when they saw each other.

I knew she was dying. I think Murphy knew it too.

For the past couple of weeks, when Kilo could no longer walk, Murphy would trot up to her courtyard, where Kilo was lying in the warmth of the morning sun. Murphy would carefully sniff her swollen leg, and look at her face, at her eyes, as if worried.

Don’t tell me dogs can’t feel emotion.

When I last saw her, she summoned all her remaining strength and willed herself to limp down to the curb to greet me, tail wagging, as always.

Pam, her owner, walked down too, surprised at the movement. And maybe needing someone to share her pain and sorrow.

As we quietly cried together, I stroked Kilo’s head and whispered in her ear. I wanted her to know what a good dog she had been, what a good job she had done.

I wanted to thank her for always being kind to Murphy and me.

I wanted her to know how much love and joy she had brought, and how much she would be taking with her.

I don’t think we really deserve dogs.

Maybe that’s the point. Maybe they teach us about grace.

Thanks to my sister, Cheryl, for finding this for me.