From Virginia Wolf To Paul Auster, literature has captured the loss and mourning of pets, and yes, the pain is all the same.
All the cruelty and abuse humankind is capable of has made many of us lose all hope in our own species. Instead, we've formed stronger bonds with animals, especially with dogs. They have proven to be far more noble and caring than most people. That's why many writers have given examples of their absolute loyalty through some of the most magnificent books in literature.
Picture by @wallaper_hd8
We can't tell for sure the moment when dogs became humans' best friends. However, we share the theory that they may have become attached to us when we started to settle down and cook food. We both realized that we could hunt, gather, and share food as true companions. Such an ancient relationship has made us feel a very special connection to pooches above all other animals. Even when we haven't grieved a pet of our own, we certainly can relate to the pain that someone else experiences by the loss of their furry and devoted companions. The violent age we live in has rendered us unable to trust and empathize with people completely, so it is easier to do so with somebody who brings nothing but joy to our hearts, our sweet four legged friends.
Picture by @bkbookfest
Whoever has mourned the loss of a dog know's that part of the joy in our hearts extinguishes forever along with their lives. That's why it's impossible not to grieve the death of dogs, like Hachiko in Hachi: A Dog's Tale. Hachi is our most popular canine hero, but not our first. Literature still has more touching and sad stories for us. Flush by Virginia Woolf tells a story from a dog's point of view. Its puppy protagonist is forced to leave his carefree life in the countryside and finds it very difficult to adapt to life in London. This novel tries to portray how dogs experience confusion when life turns around unexpectedly. Timbuktu by Paul Auster is another great example of loyalty between a human and a dog. Mr. Bones is a scruffy and loving mutt who speaks English perfectly. He befriends a vagabond and they become each other's lifelong unconditional pals. This deep and heartfelt book shows that dogs do have a soul.
Picture by @violetayanastasy
Along these lines, we'll find heartwarming and spirited Karenin, the dog from Milan Kundera's renowned novel The Unbearable Lightness Of Being. She is a female dog, though with a masculine name, that accompanies the novel's central characters, Tomas and Tereza. The bond between Karenin and Tereza is an example of complete love and devotion which contrasts with her relationship with Tomas:
“It is completely selfless love: Tereza did not want anything of Karenin. She did not ever ask him to love her back. Nor has she ever asked herself the questions that plague human couples: Does he love me? Does he love anybody more than me? Does he love me more than I love him? Perhaps all the questions we ask of love, to measure, test, probe, and save it, have the additional effect of cutting it short. Perhaps the reason we are unable to love is that we yearn to be loved, that is, we demand something (love) from our partner instead of delivering ourselves to him demand-free and asking for nothing but his company.”
Picture by @cavdashians
When the time comes for Karenin to deliver a final smile for her humans, the only thing left for the couple is to reflect upon life, their feelings for each other, and the pup's capacity to be happy:
“And therein lies the whole of man's plight. Human time does not turn in a circle; it runs ahead in a straight line. That is why man cannot be happy: happiness is the longing for repetition.”
These books will make you burst into tears. It is hard to realize that the happiness of a dog lies on the little things and that it contrasts to the never ending pursuit of happiness of humans; a pursuit that may appear that one that nothing nor nobody in the world can fulfill this expectation. Dogs have taught us how to appreciate the simple things and precious moments in life. That's why there is no loss as heartbreaking as that of our furry loyal friends.
* Translation by Andrea Valle
** Cover picture by @alittlecuriousreader
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