Think about your pets. Think about what they add to your life. Think about all that you do to keep them happy – to keep them safe, and healthy, and in good spirits. Think of all of the idiosyncrasies you’ve grown to love, from the way your dog sprawls out on the arm of the chair in what looks like the most uncomfortable position you’ve ever witnessed to the things your cat piles around the house in little groups like a snow-plow delivering snow to the outskirts of the city.

Today one of my co-workers lost her dog. It ran onto 57th street and was killed.

It happened this morning before work. She came in, though I’m not sure how she managed it. I couldn’t imagine doing that – I’d be a mess. I kept thinking about Becket. About how much of a pain he can be at times, but how I love him all the same – a little fuzz ball that eats, barks and shows unconditional love. With his conditions only.

Isn’t funny how attached we can get to our pets? We consider them subservient, fit to stick into a kennel and keep confined to a fence. We don’t give them any choice in anything they do, and we get mad at them when they follow their natural instincts.

But we do it for their own safety, a classic case of “this is going to hurt me more than it hurts you.” We do it because we really can’t bear to be without them – to the point where vacations can be ruined by the prospect of a lost pet and hours will be wasted looking for a dog that will probably return home on his own.

We love our pets. And we don’t want anything to happen to them.

Think about that. Think about how you care about your pet. Think about how you would feel if one day, out of nowhere, he or she was gone. Think of all the pets that have come and gone. And then think of all the love that was given, and shown by, those pets.

Then think about yours. And remember what he or she means to you.

This was lovingly handwritten on April 26th, 2006