Broken Hearts

Morgan - Newport News, Virginia
Entered on April 28, 2009

I believe that animals can cure a broken heart. Animals are loving and caring creatures by nature. Animals bring joy and happiness into a home from the first day they arrive. They immediately adore the family that has adopted them and seem to owe their life to the family.

I have had five animals since I was six years old. I have suffered two painful dog losses that were a part of my family. Our first dog passed away from cancer at the age of six, and she was a great dog. After a week of training she knew all of the basic commands: sit, stay, and lay down. She always listened when called and never ran away or chewed our belongings. Madison was like a third daughter to my parents. When she passed away, it was tough on our family. To our surprise, only two days later we received another dog as a gift from a family friend. She was everything we could have asked for. She was loveable and well behaved. We named her Meadow from our first dog’s middle name, but we called her Puppy. It was as if our first dog was reborn into this new puppy. She was well behaved and almost immediately took on the role of our previous dog. Most people, as well as my family, feel that when they suffer a loss nothing can change that and that their pet cannot be replaced. I feel this is true but it sure does help the pain. Puppy helped our family heal from a horrible loss and that is what we needed most.

Then, our second dog was taken from us because the veterinarians misdiagnosed her twice before finding a tumor the size of her heart that was too big to treat. She was only three years old. The pain my family suffered from this loss was even harder because it was only about a week from the time we found out until the day she passed away. We watched her suffer that whole week, unable to breathe well. We got another dog of the same breed about a month later; it was almost as if she knew we needed her love to heal our broken hearts. We named her Brooke from Meadow’s middle name. She was playful and affectionate with all of us. She caused trouble that kept our minds off the grief we were suffering inside. She liked to chew random objects like highlighters and pens. This dog did not necessarily replace either or our previous dogs, but she brought comfort and love that our family had lost. She was our angel in disguise.

The losses I have suffered made me realize the value of life. I know these losses are not as severe as some people have suffered in life, but they were important to me. An animal’s life is just as valuable as a human’s. And the love and joy animals bring during the hardest times in a person’s life make animals cure broken hearts.