I’ve always been an optimist, and tried to see the reason behind things happening. But I’ve also always been someone who feared the worst case scenario, which has definitely increased since having kids. So last week I had to reconcile one of my worst fears and find a reason for it. Easier said than done.
This past week my husband and I had to watch my kids and my mother go through something awful – my mom’s new rescue dog – which we named Carson after Downton Abby because of his dapper black and white fur – was killed in front of us. It was a freak car accident – somehow he freaked out at the vet, wiggled out of his collar, flew through the front door as another client was coming in, and took off. We all chased him for nearly 20 minutes with the vet techs, but he was out on a joy run. The only saving grace was it happened instantly, no blood, no gore. Which of course is a pretty low standard for “the good news is…” (Sorry have to keep the sense of humor or else I’d be crying again!)
I felt like we were in a movie, that surely we would catch him. But that didn’t happen. It’s made me think of other tragedies friends and family have endured. When children get sick you think they’ll get better. When friends are diagnosed with serious illnesses, you think they can be cured. But that’s not always what happens. Handling the reality of life can be overwhelming to us adults, so how do a 7 and 9 year old handle tragedy?
Unfortunately my kids have been around death before – death of their dear grandfather, death of my mother’s pug Jessie, and the death of a close friend of ours who had kids their same age. But I realized it was the trauma of seeing it happen and the sudden shock of it that made it so hard to understand.
I also know that I’ve passed along the Murphy “dog crazy” gene to my kids. And as hard as everything has been, I have to say I am happy to see my kids developing a true love of animals. It’s heart wrenching to lose them, but it’s so rewarding and wonderful to love animals. Would we ever choose to be different? Although I have to admit momentarily as we were running down the side of a busy highway I did think we were all crazy, and I should get my kids back to the car (they weren’t near the traffic we were being safe). But I couldn’t turn around. We had to keep going, keep trying to save the dog. Why?
I think it’s unconditional love that is so rare in life. And even though my 7 year old said “Nana needs a cat” which was heartbreakingly funny and such a simple solution for a child, I knew that wouldn’t fly.
Because we are dog people. And proud to love our pets because they sure deserve it. So the old cliche is still true, and it’s the only reason I can find in this hour – I’m glad we’ve loved and lost, than never to have loved at all.