Intro: A Facebook post written the day after we had to put Tiddly, our beloved dog, to sleep
So is this where we hold our requiems now? In space? I'm doing this, honestly because I don't know where else to put it but I'll implode if I don't put it somewhere.
I killed my dog today.
He was old, he was ill, I think it was his time. But Tiddly forgive me if I made you stay too long or sent you off too early. I'm cursed with a voice that sounds like I know what I'm doing. I don't. I fake it just like everyone else.
Tiddly had 4 dads. Each of whom loved him every bit as much i did. And do.
Being gay and, perhaps, being British I've always felt a little embarrassed at the strength of feeling I've felt for our little dog. I've tried not to show it in public fearing that some people assume its like a child substitute. In fairness to them, its an understandable assumption. But in fairness to me: fuck you.
Comparisons are odious. I know what I've been denied in not having a child. But anyone who's ever loved a dog will know the two things are not the same and one should not be used to belittle the other.
When we choose to love a dog we make a connection across species and form a bond of profound love all the while knowing that the day will come when that love will leave us. We have to watch them grow old and frail. And then we have to kill them. That we continue to choose to make these bonds says more about the goodness and the grace of man than any religion can ever explain.
Watching Tiddly in his prime, chasing a squirrel, full pelt, ears back, tail stretched straight and under carriage down in aerodynamic mode - this is the closest I've ever gotten to experiencing pure, unadulterated joy. Thank you for that little fella. I'm a richer man for it.
I'm not religious. Sometimes I feel an essence of spirituality but what I'm certain of is any heaven that has no place for animals is no heaven to me. It's Hell. And the guardian at the pearly gates is a cunt.
There is no god. There is no afterlife. Life is a short, roller-coaster ride of joy and pain. Two shots of happy, one shot of sad is all you get if you're lucky. And we've been amazingly lucky. But now the luck has run out.
And I want my dog back.
To anyone who has ever lost a dog I say this: Don't feel embarrassed for those feelings. The love you feel is the closest thing there is to a god; the memories you're left with, the closest thing there is to a Heaven.
To Tiddly Baker-Ford-Monks-Woodson all I can do is thank you for letting us love you. You will be missed for as long as one of us still lives.
I believe it's traditional at this point to leave a mawkish YouTube video of old photos and a music track. And though I'm not religious, I do believe some rituals have their place. To anyone who chooses not to watch, I can understand. But to anybody who watches and scoffs at my act of pure sentiment, I say: fuck you, you're dead inside.
For a long time I thought I was too. I have Tiddly to thank for showing me that I'm not.