When every breath is precious

Sally is my love.  She is beyond precious.  I know she is "just a dog", I respect her as a wolf-sister, and I dont treat her as if she were human.  But she is my love above and beyond all others.  I dont expect anyone who has never owned a dog to understand.  She is worth the world to me.  No human has ever, will ever, or could ever give me the kind of love she offers.

There is never a judgement, never an angry thought, never a let-down, never a betrayal, never even indifference.  She is simply incapable of anything but sweet dependence.  I know she doesnt love me as a conscious decision, nor out of some noble inner goodness.  It is simply how she has evolved, how she has been bred, how she has been taught to behave.  But that doesnt matter.  Her love is enough.  She is enough.  Although she is not beautiful, nor intelligent, nor valuable, she is enough.  When she pushes her head into my chest when I hug her, hides her eyes from the world in the safety of my arms, that is more love than my heart can hold.

But she is so mortal.  I watch her slowly ageing, track each grey hair, each stiff stretch in the morning, and it terrifies me.  The thought of life without her makes me cry every single time it crosses my mind.  Just writing it down brings tears to my eyes.  She is my best friend, my comfort and my joy.  She is the reason I get out of bed each morning.  The bond we have is unbreakable, trying to verbalise my love for her makes me feel as if my very soul is being torn in two.  And yet she will not be here forever.

At night she sleeps on my bed.  I wrap myself around her in the dark, she relaxes and begins to dream.  I lie awake, feeling her heart beating through her warm fur, listening to her breathe, feeling her ribcage rise and fall with every precious breath.  Every breath, every heartbeat, every moment, I try to engrave into my consciousness to sustain me for the future.

When every breath is precious, love is heartbreak.


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