An Emotional Story of Loss, Grief, and Recovery

The author and Lucky, whose sudden passing revealed a phenomenon that
happens when your pet dies: You feel invisible.
Photo courtesy Bob Sullivan/NBC News

In this beautifully written, emotionally rich account of the sudden loss of his best friend and traveling companion, NBC News reporter Robert Sullivan deals with issues all pet owners face:

Among the cruelest truths of biology is this: A dog’s life is considerably shorter than a human’s life. The math is unforgiving; if you love a dog, you will lose a dog, and you will suffer the pain and biting lessons that death brings — probably several times over.

A million things are wrong when your dog dies. Here’s just one: You become invisible.

Sullivan tells the story of losing Lucky suddenly more than a year ago and how that experience profoundly changed his life. He no longer enjoyed countless interactions with other people that had revolved around the dog, and he began to feel his sense of self slipping away. But there was a kind of redemption on the horizon, and it goes by the name Rusty.

It’s been about a month now, and Rusty has changed everything.

This story, as well as Sullivan’s original post after Lucky dies, are well worth your time. He does a wonderful job capturing the experiences of loss and redemption that are simply part of dog ownership.

Click here for the full story.

Click here for Sullivan’s 2011 post about Lucky’s passing.

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