Just a few days ago, there was a local pet masquerade featuring plenty of dogs in costume. I even saw a dachshund with a tiny stuffed cowboy in its back. Adorable! The real tearjerker though was an older golden retriever without a costume. The owners were incredible friendly, and we got to talking about how much they love their dogs. I told them I grew up with a golden retriever, and we bonded a bit over what incredible pets golden retrievers make. I asked them if they had ever read Dean Koontz's book A Big Little Life and she said they had not read it. This is when the tears formed on my lower eye lids and I wiped a couple away before they had the chance to trickle down my cheek. I miss my beloved golden retriever Gnomie. Sometimes seeing people with a golden, quite often one that looked like mine, is just enough to make me misty-eyed.
Animals, especially dogs, have such an amazing ability to soften our hearts and make us want to become better people. I am hopeful for the day when my husband and I get to have our own golden retriever. They are sometimes the best at comforting a sad heart. It's okay to cry, and dogs will always be there to wipe away a tear without judgement. They offer endless unconditional love. What a gift.