I have blogged here before a bit about the dog-blog I read, The Best Dog Ever. Not only have I enjoyed reading updates in Cub's life, I've talked with Cub's thumbhaver, a couple of times about work & school-related stuff.
Today I'm sitting at my desk in tears. Cub is gone, victim of liver disease that she and her family had fought for some time.
Yes, I'm crying, for a dog I never actually met, in the sense of being able to scritch behind her ears and offer a treat. But many of us got to know Cub, prayed through her illness, and laughed at stories about her short life. And so I grieve too.
My grief can't compare to Amy and her husband's, and I don't intend it to. But I'm not being silly; this is genuine grief, for a friend who has lost a close friend. (Anyone who doesn't think our pets become our friends probably doesn't have pets, and in my not-so-humble opinion, are the poorer for it.)
So today my prayers are for grace and peace for Cub's family, whose loss is real. And marveling, in a quiet way, that mine is too, as is the blogosphere's. I'll miss checking her blog every day to see what's new, and that's a revelation. Some people think that these relationships we form online aren't real, that reading someone's blog and offering the occasional comment isn't enough to make a real connection between us. But I would differ; I think sometimes we open our hearts enough, and share enough, that we are forming real, albeit unconventional, friendships here. And I have lost a friend.