To love a pet

Recently, John Scalzi’s cat, Rex, passed away and just a few weeks ago, my boss’ cat, Mickey Man, passed on as well.
I’ve had innumberable pets over the years, all of which I’ve loved dearly and every pet’s death brought me to heartbroken tears, even the death of the fish when I had the aquarium.
Ghengis is the first pet that was completely and entirely my own. The fish were for the most part, but also fish don’t cuddle. When I first brought Ghengis home he was just a little 11 week old puppy, so very small. I’d never had a puppy so young. I’d made up a little bed for him but realized immediately that I could not lock him in another room to sleep alone.
I brought his little puppy bed into the room with me, set it up on my bed next to me and fell asleep with my hand on his back.
This seemed to work well, so the second night I installed his puppy bed again in my bed next to me and drifted off with my hand in his bed. Eventually, he stirred and squirmed and there was a little thump as he rolled himself out of the puppy bed and onto my mattress. He whimpered once and curled up next to me with a sigh and he’s been there with me ever since.
The thing about that moment is that I was struck with thoughts of his death. It seems so morbid and wrong, I know, but he was laying there falling asleep next to me and I knew he was going to be my companion, he was going to be my dog-buddy, and I knew that (if things go well) in 12 or 14 years I was going to be standing in a vets office telling him what a good boy he is and thanking him for being the best dog ever. I’d had my dog for less than 48 hours, he wasn’t even 3 months old yet and already I was sobbing because SOME DAY he was going to die.
And this, people, is why I don’t have children.
So, yeah, I just replaced $684 worth of eyeglasses (but only paid half, thank you gods of the ‘buy one get one free’ coupon), the interior of my car is completely covered in mud, he’s eaten remotes, knitting needles, shoes, shirts, books, my very treasured security blanket and probably a number of things I don’t even know about, but…
But, he’s a loyal companion, loyal almost to a fault. He’s taught me to calm down and be patient (especially when housetraining him), he wants very little more than scritches behind the ears and the occasional snausage but you can see the joy when he gets a new stinky dinosaur or settles in with a giant rawhide (he’s not a big dog, but he has the jaw of a big dog so all his chew toys must be very big). He’s jealous of David and occasionally acts out and yet he loves D for taking him running around the park when I’m too tired and for feeding him when I’ve forgotten.
He IS the good and loyal comapanion that I always hoped a dog would be and though he is only a year old, i do definitely know that when it comes time for him to go, a part of me will go with him.
Morbid? Yeah, but also very happy for getting to have this delightful little monster creature with the big eyes and the dopey face.