I don't have any pets. I used to always have a house full: dogs, cats, fish, hamsters. But for the past few years, I have tended only to humans and plants.
Today, I documented the story of Briggs, a Boston Terrier who was stolen from his East Side yard, but thanks to the relentless efforts of his caregivers, Josh and Tricia O'Malley, and many other volunteers and media outlets, he was returned, unharmed, after 17 days.
I am blown away by the O'Malleys' love for Briggs. Hearing and writing about this story reminds me of the tremendous impact pets, particularly dogs, have on our lives. They are more than "pets;" they are family members.
But when they leave us, there's a big paw-shaped hole that can never really be filled again in quite the same way.
This is why, in part, I do not have any pets. After my dog of 13 years Clay died three years ago, I decided I was not going to put myself through that kind of emotional pain anymore.
The end was the worst. I carried him up and down the stairs to let him outside when he was too weak to walk. At 75 pounds, he was almost too heavy for me, and he knew it. He looked at me with eyes so grateful, I would close myself in my office, away from the kids and weep. After one such occasion, I decided I would not get another pet.
And I haven't.
But I know avoiding the loss also means I'm avoiding the bond. It always goes back to Shakespeare, "It's better to have loved and lost ..." I believe this to be true, and yet, I am not ready to open my heart to another four-legged fur ball that's gonna up and die on me in a decade.
Maybe someday I'll feel differently.
When teaching knife skills, I often remind the student, "Once you conquer your fear of the knife, you will reach a whole new level. But remember, part of conquering that fear is cutting yourself."
I would be devastated if my dog was taken from me (by thieves or death) but I wouldn't have it any other way. It sounds like Briggs' disappearance also helped to save another dog as well, so that family loves, loses, gains, finds, and loves double.
2 comments about this article.
Post your comment/review now
Disclaimer: Please note that Facebook comments are posted through Facebook and cannot be approved, edited or declined by OnMilwaukee.com. The opinions expressed in Facebook comments do not necessarily reflect those of OnMilwaukee.com or its staff.
Recent Articles & Blogs by Molly Snyder
Published May 23, 2013
There are numerous terms that could be used to describe a person who is passionate about food and cooking. Like "food lover" or "gourmand" or "cuisine connoisseur" or even "food nerd." However, in our modern culture, "foodie" is the label that seems to stick like an al dente noodle on a wall.
Published May 22, 2013
The official kick-off of a partnership between Harley-Davidson and Miller High Life took place at MillerCoors Brewery today.
Published May 21, 2013
It seems like every week, sometimes more than once, we're grieving something awful.
Published May 19, 2013
Just because a woman turns 35 or 38 or 40 doesn't mean her wardrobe has to become a wasteland of frump and "mom jeans." Especially these days, when 40 is supposedly the new 30. But are there fashion dos and don'ts for middle-aged women?
Published May 18, 2013
Recently, four Milwaukee creatives opened the Cocoon Room, 820 E. Locust St. The goal of the group is to provide artists and musicians a space to share and sell their work as well as provide educational outreach to the community.
Published May 17, 2013
Rhino Food Store, 7411 W. Hampton Ave., is what I always want Pacific Produce to be: cheap, unoffensive to my sense of smell and filled with my favorite Asian foods and items.
Published May 16, 2013
Ninety-eight percent of my wardrobe is a size 6, and so, naturally, that's the size I grabbed at H&M. However, I could barely pull the pants above my knees. So I got an 8. Better, but still too small.
Published May 16, 2013
Maybe to fully appreciate Dretzka's Department Store in Cudahy one should approach it more as a living museum of mid-century clothing and household items rather than a shopping destination. But then again, few escape a trip to Dretzka's without buying at least one quirky item.
Published May 15, 2013
A new PETA billboard on West Lisbon Avenue shows a teen with a pimple-covered face, a milk mustache and the words, "Got zits? Studies Show: Milk and Cheese Trigger Acne. Ditch Dairy."
Published May 14, 2013
You probably drove by this mall a thousand times. Ever wonder what it's like inside? We did and here's what was discovered about this 20-year-old mall, formerly a Sears.