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Friends

Friends are hard to come by and in today's virtual world, you may not even know a person, well-in person, but I treasure them all the same.

I'm not a party girl, I don't really do "girls night out", I prefer the constant company of my husband in the confines of my home more than anything else, but sometimes I do need to comment on how warming it is to commiserate and have friends who know what you're going through.

In the last few weeks I've unfortunately shared the feelings of furkid loss with two friends.  One started off as a colleague-a PR woman who loved her Labrador for almost 9 years when cancer struck.  It hit me hard because I knew what was about to happen in our own home and it made it seem all the more timely and real.  We do know each other as colleagues, collaborators and lunch buddies.

It seems hollow to say, "I know how you feel".  Let's face it, we all grieve differently.  While some may find themselves okay knowing the loss was better than watching their animal in pain, others don't go through it with the same amount of bravery.

We knew that what we were doing was not only the best but only thing we could do, but it's hitting us deeper than the loss of our last cat and dog.  Maybe because we're older, maybe due to knowing the pain that was about to happen and realizing it was just something that was going to have to be.  So we just let the grief happen.

The week after Sunshine's passing; a cherished and dear friend whom I've never met in person lost one of her precious pups to cancer as well.  Our condolence cards and grief seemed to literally crossover to each other through cards and e-mails.  Our husbands and we, we're very much pet people.  Many's the time we have found ourselves admitting that some humans we know could take a lesson in decency from our canines-and we're dead serious on the point.

And then, a friend my husband and I have known for years did the sweetest thing.  This lady is also in the "fur parents of the world unite" club and has lost a couple of wonderful pups herself in years past.  Knowing how much Sunshine meant to us and how deep our grief she sent us a loving, sob producing gift.

A wooden frame with the following inscription:

They say memories are golden, well, maybe that is true. You never wanted memories, you only wanted me. You're the best family a dog ever had. If love alone could have saved me, I never would have died. In life you LOVED me dearly, In death, you me still. In your heart I hold a place no one else could fill. If tears could build a stairway and heartache a lane I know you'd walk the path Heaven and bring me back again. Although it hurts to lose a friend, know I will be with you till the end. SUNSHINE  

Immediately, we put our favorite picture of the world's best lab/retriever mix into our prized possession.

And with friends like these, you then realize that there are people who really are as wonderful as any pet could ever be-and to those of us who are lucky enough to have known this love, you also realize what a compliment this is.

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