Letter to My Ex-Dog

By Mike Foster, October 2014, Updated September 2019

Let me start by saying that I love you. No matter what else becomes true in the chaos surrounding my leaving, my feelings for you will remain. There is no force on or above this earth that could shake you from my heart.

The world of people is complicated. It’s not just about who smells nice or is easy to get along with. Even people with wonderful personalities and exceptional smells aren’t always made for one another. Things change. Souls evolve. Challenges emerge. People meet, connect, intertwine and separate.

Your person and I thought we had everything figured out. We didn’t. It’s nothing you did. We just ended up in over our heads, like an emotional version of the time you swam too far into the lake chasing geese. We believed we could love like dogs— pure, joyous, unconditional—but in the end we could only love like people. It is a flaw of all humankind.

I am sorry to have to leave. Know that it is difficult. Know that I would never “willfully” abandon you. Know that I will be there should your person ever need someone to care for you. Let me reiterate: I love you.

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Other people will come. Please love them the way you loved me, without fear. This is your gift. Love your person, as well. She needs you most in moments like these. She is more your responsibility than you are hers.

I promise this is not the end. I will see you again. I will call your name and bury my face in your fur. We will dance together, your paws in my hands. To you it will seem like no time has passed at all.