I love this little dog. It is a good thing I can't post pictures because when I go back and look at what he looked like when he arrived, I am truly horrified. This dog was loved, deeply, and forever. He was purchased as a puppy, by an elderly couple with limited finances and outdated pet care ideas from a different era. Peter came here at 12 years old, after the woman had died, and the man was well into his nineties and incapable of seeing the absolute horror of what Peter had inadvertantly become. He came here blind from the damage of matted fur adhered to his corneas. He had to go to the vets to have his eyes repeated flushed, over and over to loosen the mats from his eye balls. He had a huge, baseball sized, vascular and bleeding cancerous tumour attached to his rectum. His teeth were so rotten that they had permanenetly and irrevocably damaged his little heart. We removed most of his teeth, and the tumour when we had him neutered. The man, who loved him, was too old to care for him and could not see that Peter had crossed the line into profound neglect. And, Peter loved him. Peter grieved the loss of the man upon whose lap he safely slept. He grieved the loss of the hand who so generously shared his dinner each and every night. He grieved the loss of his lifelong friend.
Dogs do not judge those they love. When they love, they love, without regret. Peter did not know if he was in a good home or a bad home, all he knew was he was in his home and he was loved. It took quite awhile for Peter to learn to love me. One day, he just decided that he was mine and on that day, I made him a permanent sanctuary resident. He lays on my lap, he sleeps in my bed, he shares my dinner every night and he is loved very deeply here too. And this is still not the right home for Peter. Peter so deserves a home where he gets all of the things that he loves, and all the care that he needs and all the time in the world to enjoy them. He shouldn't have to patiently wait for me to come home from work, and finish the chores around here and spend some time with all of the others, before I finally stop and lift him up onto my lap and tell him that I love him. But Peter loves me with the same lack of regret that he loved another, and his little damaged heart is so close to the end that breaking it one more time would be so very unfair.
I am not as strong or good as Peter, I love him as deeply as did another; and with that love, I feel a great deal of personal regret. In your next life, Peter with the wonderous heart, may you have every single tiny bit of it all, in every single possible way.