I've written before, many times, about my cat Milo. Today was the tenth anniversary if his death. It may seem silly or crazy (let's not forget I'm both silly and crazy) but that was the first thing I loved and he's still the love of my life. Had he still been alive he would turn 18 this year, which is a pretty unlikely age for a cat, especially one that goes outside. But that doesn't matter.
It's so weird to think of someone being dead longer than they've been alive. Milo died ten years ago, a few months before he would have turned 8 years old. Two nights ago I dreamed our dog, Tipper, was with me on an intense hike with a group of strangers. She was the only dog and she was a real trooper, even though she was older. Everyone loved her, she hopped up onto the rocks like a pup, and swam in the water with me, even though in real life she was a little afraid of water. I gave her a big hug, like I was just realizing how great she was, and it felt so real in the dream. I woke up pretty happy that I had that experience with her, even though it wasn't real. I miss her a lot; she was a great dog.
Part of the problem with loving animals is they don't live very long. That means I'll love, and lose, a great number of animals in my life. On the other hand, I've been lucky enough to not have had to experience the loss of people in my life yet. But I feel like I can have a stronger connection with animals than I can with most people, so maybe their losses have more of an effect. But that doesn't matter either, because that's something I never want to change.