It comes as no surprise to fellow dog owners that we empathize with fellow dog addicts. We understand the frustration during training, the laughs shared when the dog does something so ridiculous that there is nothing else to do but laugh. People that are good dog people are simply so alike that they can sit and tell stories about their animals for hours on end with no ego involved.
While I had only met Bob St Pierre but once in person, we talked semi-frequently on social media. At first it was just bantering back and forth, me mocking his music choices while writing, his mocking my lack of birds in hand. It was good-natured ribbing between two like-minded individuals that understood that it was not about who shot more pheasants, or who actually enjoyed Taylor Swift songs, it was always about the dogs.
So when I heard the news of Bob’s young pup, Izzy, dying from a freak accident in the field, I felt as if I had lost one of my own. The many good words spoken and written by fellow dog-owner/lovers helped ease the pain of a loss of a good dog, but nothing truly helps completely heal that hole that is left when a friend leaves you. They say that a dog is man’s best friend, but no words can truly capture that bond. Fleeting memories of an amazing point or retrieve is all that is left.
Having lost a few great dogs in my life, I understand the pain involved; however, nothing can erase the memories you create with a dog. I still think back to some of the things dogs that have passed have done. You can always tell when someone is reminiscing about a dog memory, it is impossible to hide that smile or the slight tear in your eye. That tear could be pride over something that the dog did on its own, something you accomplished together, or just some random moment that you will never forget. That memory is something that will never leave you, it helps shape who you become as a human. That memory is the reason you, as a dog owner, can’t help but tear up when you see a story on the news or in a magazine of someone recounting a story of a great dog. You have been there, you know how the pride and the emotion all tie into one, and you want to reach out and pat the dog and shake the owner’s hand and say, “You get it, thank you for being a wonderful person.”
Dogs truly make everyone around them better people just because of their very nature. They love everyone that even shows them the littlest bit of kindness; whether it be a treat, a pat on the head, or the squeal of excitement a kid lets out when a dog comes running up to lick them. There is no lack of love in a dog’s heart, and though they live far too short of lives, they can teach us so much.