There is a great debate among my siblings and parents: to pet or not to pet.
Well. We here on Hagey hill obviously lean on the "keeping pets" side of things.
The general feeling of the anti-pet crowd is that pets are merely cute balls of future heartbreak.
Oh. Oh yes.
See, six years ago when we saw that silly, funny looking, overweight guy at the Pet Smart adoption day, I agreed to bring him home.
Jonah's story tugged at my heart. Two years he'd been waiting for a rescue, at nearly five years old, no one had ever even expressed interest in him.
I brought him home, but vowed to never love him.
Fond of him. Sure. I could do that.
But somewhere along the way, we got to know each other, and he was just the happiest guy. He literally smiled! It looked a bit scary, but he would grin. He was smart, and fat and an absolute pansy about the cold.
About a year ago we found a lump on his face. Cancer.
Being ten years old, the surgery costly, and far from a cure, the vet didn't suggest treating it.
Blessedly, until yesterday, he never really acted sick. He slowed, and struggled sometimes, but over all, Jonah kept smiling
Jonah died today.
We all cried for our friend. I told the kids through our tears, "It's good to be sad. It means we loved him."
It turns out, we loved him quite a lot. Somewhere, along the way, like an arranged marriage, we learned to love him.
Yes, pets are heartbreak in a fuzzy package.
And I wouldn't change a thing.