One of my co-workers sent me a link to a New York Times blogger who writes about his struggle with cancer.
The blog she wanted me to read, in particular, was called Life lessons from the family dog.
It was a good read, and it provoked quite a few comments from readers.
In one of the comments, a reader posted something that was e-mailed to him in one of those e-mail chains. I thought it was quite poignant, so I’m reprinting it here.
Just a dog
From time to time people tell me, “Lighten up, it’s just a dog,” or, “That’s a lot of money for just a dog.”
They don’t understand the distance traveled, time spent, or costs involved for “just a dog.”
Some of my proudest moments have come about with “just a dog.”
Many hours have passed with my only company being “just a dog,” and not once have I felt slighted.
Some of my saddest moments were brought about by “just a dog.” In those days of darkness, the gentle touch of “just a dog” provided comfort and purpose to overcome the day.
If you, too, think it’s “just a dog,” you will probably understand phrases like “just a friend,” “just a sunrise,” or “just a promise.”
“Just a dog” brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust, and pure unbridled joy.
“Just a dog” brings out the compassion and patience that makes me a better person.
Because of “just a dog” I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly into the future.
For me and folks like me, it’s not “just a dog.” It’s an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future, the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.
“Just a dog” brings out what’s good in me and diverts my thoughts away from myself and the worries of the day.
I hope that someday people can understand it’s not “just a dog.”
It’s the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being “just a man or woman.”
So the next time you hear the phrase “just a dog,” smile, because they “just don’t understand.”