Would You Have Children if You Knew They Would Die Before You?
Worse yet, if you knew they would rapidly age and then die before your eyes? That's why I can't get a dog.
I love dogs. I'm crazy about dogs. I grew up with dogs. I pet dogs, visit dogs, and walk dogs. But most dogs, depending on their size, breed, and other factors, can only be expected to live about 10 to 15 years. And after five or six or seven years, they may start to show clear signs of aging. The playful puppy who tireless chased down tennis balls is suddenly the white-faced older dog who has trouble climbing and descending the stairs. And then one day, not long afterward, ....
Maybe it's because, when I was a kid, I saw my four year-old dog struck and killed by a giant Cadillac. But even if that didn't happen, I would have outlived her, and a succession of other beloved dogs that I might have acquired, by many years.
I keep thinking of the verse from the song "Mr. Bojangles," which now I find out was inspired by a man who was grieving about his dog being struck and killed by a car:
He spoke through tears of 15 years how his dog and him traveled about
The dog up and died, he up and died
And after 20 years he still grieves
Like the man in the song, I just don't know if I could take it.