If you knew someone who lost their spouse just a few weeks ago, would you say, “I know it’s hard, but there are other men/women out there looking for love. Get on eharmony and find one who needs you?”
Of course you wouldn’t. You’d know that the relationship needs to be grieved first. No matter how long it takes.
Not only that, but there are a lot of years devoted to a relationship. To get involved with another relationship takes a lot of effort. I don’t mean work-effort, but being vulnerable, and allowing the other person to be vulnerable as well. Sharing new experiences, learning how each acts and reacts to experiences, and learning to trust each other. Finally, coming to love each other unconditionally, warts and all.
It may seem weird to compare a spousal relationship to that between a human and their pet, but follow me here. It will make sense.
While I’ve been grieving over losing my boy, Max, I’ve come across some who have told me to go to the pound and give my heart to another who needs a home. To me, that’s like telling me to go pick another human best friend or spouse who needs love.Max was already three years old when we adopted him. He had a halfway decent home before he came to us. I wrote in his tribute how we had a difficult time bonding in the beginning. I think it was because he was waiting for his other people to come get him, and I was afraid of being vulnerable to loving a pet again. In other words, both of us were unsure about being vulnerable and trusting one another. Isn’t that what happens at the beginning of many relationships?
We raised our first guy, Piezon (Paesano in Italian), from puppyhood, and that relationship went deep as well. You see, Piezon is the one that taught me how to train a dog. I learned that dogs need consistency and regimens. I also discovered for the first time at age thirty-five, that a dog was a perfect pet for me, because I needed the same.
Once these dogs discovered I didn’t waver, that they couldn’t bamboozle me, they loved it about me. They could trust that I wouldn’t bamboozle them either. I meant what I said, said what I meant, and followed through. The trust, devotion and purity of love went infinitely deep.
Some people may be able to find solace in a new pet right away. But as you can see, for me, it took time for a relationship to build with Max. The same will happen with another, and I just don’t have that in me right now with the grief weighing me down. Isn’t that the fair thing to do for a pet, too?
I have a Part Two to this topic, where it takes a slightly different turn. Hope you’ll come back next week to check it out.