There is a sacredness in tears. They are not the mark of weakness, but of power. They speak more eloquently than ten thousand tongues. They are messengers of overwhelming grief…and unspeakable love.
Sam is going through a lot right now. Her owners are splitting up. She’s been noticeably disheartened, moving to a new place, leaving her human papa behind. She boards with my neighbour during the day and then I walk her home in the evening. Upon leaving, Malak gave her a big, loving hug and snuggle, reassuring her that when she got home her mummy would be home soon, and that everything would be fine. During this, Sam began making these low, grumbling noises. They startled me. These were husky, drawn out growls, which almost sounded like coughing, but were driven by emotion rather than by glottal irritation. It seemed she was sobbing. Usually dogs whimper when they’re unhappy or in pain, but this was something completely different. This was so identifiably human. Standing with her back to me, I could hear the sound coming from deep within her body, mournful moans of the entire being.
Dogs, at times, are more human than we are. Than we allow ourselves to be. They express joy and love without fear, without restraint, and allow compassion to effortlessly fill them. Raw displays of emotion are relegated to the realms of hysteria and the wild, and but we need to allow ourselves to feel both the heights and the depths of our emotional capacities. Whatever “civilized” means, it shouldn’t mean ignoring the true nature of our experiences- what our experiences make us feel.