I was fortunate enough to meet my person when I was eight years old. Duke is unlike any traditional friend; he has four legs, wags his butt around when he gets excited, and even though he could never respond to the things I was saying, I know that he could hear me.
Throughout my childhood, my emotional pre-teen years, and all the way up until I grew into an adult, the same person slept by my feet every night. Duke was there through all of the heartache, the broken friendships, and the fights I had with loved ones. For twelve years, Duke never stopped loving me. No matter how badly I treated someone else, or even him, he came back into my room at night, wagging his butt when he got to spend time with me.
I never got to say goodbye to my best friend. He passed away when I was at college. At first, this made me feel guilty; almost like if I was there with him, he would’ve had the strength to keep on going. I know now that I was wrong. Duke dying does not mean that he is out of my life forever. Now, he can be with me wherever I go. I have a guardian angel, watching over every step I take.
I think this is why dogs don’t live as long as humans. A dogs love is stronger and more unconditional than a humans. All dogs go to heaven so they can be with all of their loved ones at all times. And although I want my best friend back, I know that he is right there at the end of my tether, watching me as I go along. And I never need to say goodbye.
“A dog has no use for fancy cars or big homes or designer clothes. Status symbol means nothing to him. A waterlogged stick will do just fine. A dog judges others not by their color or creed or class but by who they are inside. A dog doesn’t care if you are rich or poor, educated or illiterate, clever or dull. Give him your heart and he will give you his. It was really quite simple, and yet we humans, so much wiser and more sophisticated, have always had trouble figuring out what really counts and what does not”
-John Grogan, Marley and Me