I first met Rudy on Christmas Eve in 2003. My wife bought me a short-haired miniature dachshund puppy for a Christmas present that year and surprised me with a delivery to the door. She did everything on the sly and completely surprised me! Rudy was a great dog. He always wanted to be on my lap when at home and took great pride in finding and killing moles from the yard. He was great with small children and learned quickly to stay close to home. He was a true joy from that first day he came into our home.
Yet, as often happens with dachshunds, Rudy started having back problems when he was only seven years old. We tried several treatments suggested by veterinarians, tried keeping him quiet to allow healing, tried medications, etc. However, as much as we tried, nothing made him better. Eventually, his back became so difficult that we could tell he was in pain most of the time. In the end, he couldn’t even go outside to the restroom himself… we had to carry him to the grass to allow him to do his business. Our veterinarian told us that he was indeed in pain and there was nothing more we could do. The humane thing was to allow him to be euthanized. The final decision was mine, of course. I hated seeing him in that condition, but he had been my special friend for seven years. My wife offered to take him for his final ride to the veterinarian, but only when I gave her the call. I remember that day, knowing that I needed to call, but simply not being able. Making that final call was probably the most difficult thing I have ever done. I can honestly barely write this even now.
I have heard many individuals say, including another just recently, that they could never having another dog once they lost that special one. They just cannot put themselves through that kind of loss again. That is a legitimate opinion. Knowing that losing a special dog is one of life’s most difficult experiences. However, you have heard the quote, “It is better having loved and lost than never having loved at all.” If every decision we make in life is one to avoid a potential negative, just think of all the things we might have missed. For example, I did get another dachshund. This one is a little long-haired girl named Chloe. Chloe is even more special than Rudy, if that is possible. No one that has ever met Chloe has not asked to be on the list if we ever decided we couldn’t keep her. She is friendly with everyone, is a true lapdog, and is nearly a perfect pet companion. Had I not been open to love another dog, I would have missed the experience with Chloe. Had I not taken a chance, I would have missed on many blessings from this little girl.
Our lives and our work involves many decisions regarding risk. We could decide to get into our rut and stay there forever, but, in the process, potentially miss relationships, rewards, or experiences that may only come once. We could avoid any risk of loss, or disappointment, or heartbreak. But, by avoiding all risk, our lives are less rich and, likely, less enjoyable. Sometimes, despite the risks, we just have to go for it!
Don’t miss something special today or this week or this year just because of a fear of disappointment or heartbreak. Be bold and courageous! We only have one chance at life, so it is worth taking a chance, now and then.
Have a terrific day. I do believe, this has a chance to be one of our best yet!