Yesterday I took my two Jack Russell’s, Riley & Jessie for a quick walk. The sun was just setting and it was a beautiful evening with no breeze in the air. The summer evenings in Cape Town are slowly shifting into autumn, my second favourite season of the year (I am a summer baby after all). And I thought about all the things I am grateful for, how blessed I am, and how lucky I am to have kept them…challenging on some days, but by choice.
To me they are more than just dogs, but I’m sure all people will say that about their four legged children. It’s amazing the love you can develop for an animal, how they grow on you and at times save you. My dogs saved me in more ways I can ever describe, but let me try…
Dogs offer comfort in silence, companionship, loyalty and a type of love only dog owners will comprehend. When I was at my lowest, crawled up on my bedroom floor wishing for the gaping hole in my body to disappear, they would be there in their silence, licking the salty sorrow from my face. I would laugh at my silliness and realise that not all is lost. I am loved. But the next day would be the same, a devastating cycle that went on for months. I hated coming home, because it was not a home anymore. I hated the memories that still drifted like a forbidden scent in the air (it’s better now). I tried to keep busy, going out with friends, attending a braai, having coffee or wine, running and more running, but I always ended up having to go back to an empty house because my dogs needed me. Or I needed them. I think I needed them.
They were my saving grace. When I look into their soul piercing eyes I’m convinced they are angels sent in a different form to look after us, to look after me. They are only borrowed to us for a little while, maybe longer if we are lucky. But they teach us to love unconditionally, how to be loyal and to be excited about something even if you don’t feel like it. They bring joy and make you smile, and for that I will be eternally grateful.
Not to dis any of my amazing friends, family and loved ones that were such a great support. But the furry ones I call Snooklepuff and Muishond where there at nights when I was not afraid to hide my grief anymore.
PS. Even through my medical induced stages from my anti-depressants when I talked to them, they never talked back...ever….which is a good thing. I’m not mad after all.