Friday, June 17, 2011

A Commercial Stirs Up Memories of Missed Pets

Every time it comes on TV it makes me want to cry a little.

It's that "Trouble" ad, for an insurance company, featuring that expressive little white dog who wants to protect his prized possession, a rawhide bone.

The soulful theme song, and the effective narrative in which that  rascal is sleepless with worry, stirs up primal feelings in me. 

It reminds me of my belief that dogs must never worry. It reminds me that one of my best purposes in life is to make a comfortable world for our animal companions.

No matter...The world always, always, takes these friends from us.  Canine, feline, avian... they are with us for such a short time...  And they are gone in spite of our love, and our best efforts to keep them with us forever.

So many animals have been a part of my life.  The ad causes me to think of those times when I helped my beloved animals out of their troubles: my St Bernards, Tippy and Cassie; my cockatiel Cookie;  and all of the other dogs and cats I cared for, past and present.

I mourn for for the creatures that we have all loved, and inevitably lost.

I miss our basset hound Maggie, and how she would dig a hole in the garden with her front paws, drop in her bone, and cover it  by pushing the dirt back over it with her snout.  She would always dig it back up a few minutes later.

I laugh thinking about how she would lay in front of the couch and whine, until we moved the couch to find a little piece of kibble, which she must have flung across the room weeks ago until it lodged there.

Her comfort and safety always came first.

When she ran away once, Mark was frantic, until he found her across the street, sitting with a bunch of kids as they all watched a soccer game. 

When she was bothered by her digestion, or itchy ears, or allergies, or arthritis in her bent little legs, we were consumed by healing her. When July 4th fireworks frightened her, we tried all kinds of comforting remedies, from tranquilizers to distracting play, until we discovered that her beef bone kept her pleasantly oblivious.

She was never mean, never snapped at us, but if we came too close to her bone, she only picked it up and ran from us a short distance.

No matter how much we loved her, it still came down to her last day, and the impossible task of saying goodbye.

And when I see the little white dog in the ad, with "Trouble" on the soundtrack, and his profound little worries, I regret all the trouble Maggie had in her life.

She would not see it that way, of course.  In spite of her having forgiven us (I am convinced), the ad still makes me a bit melancholy.


  1. Tom, I too have such affection for our furry friends that commercials such as this have the same effect. My dogs were beagles and when I see all the images of beagles in advertising and movies I get a lump in my throat for my beloved Charlie and Daisy. My children are likewise affected. I loved this post because it speaks to the sadness and despair we animal lovers share when our pets leave us and the grief that persists long afterwards. Well done, Tom!

  2. Tom, I value your visits and comments so much! Thanks for showing your support. You and I will always share this fierce love for our animal companions.