Sarah SilvermanComedian Sarah Silverman's adopted dog, Duck, died at 19. Sarah penned the most loving and touching tribute to him. Sarah had Duck for 14 years and described that relationship as the "longest" she's ever had. She adopted Duck from a no kill shelter when he was about 5 years old. By the end of his life, Duck was blind and couldn't walk very well, and Sarah carried him around in a sling like a baby. It truly shows you the bond that can be made between human and animal. But one of the most touching and sad things about Sarah's ode to Duck is that she says he was her "only experience of maternal love." Wow. I don't know much about Sarah's history, but I'm guessing she's referring to not having any children, and how Duck was her child, her only experience of feeling maternal. But it also sounds suspiciously like Duck was her family -- her true family.

Sarah said she knew it was time to "let go" of Duck after he stopped eating, and became skin and bones. She wrote:

I couldn’t figure out this hunger strike. Duck had never been political before.

Oh that Sarah! Somehow always managing to find the humor in the worst situations. Supported by her boyfriend and sister, Sarah called the doctor to her home to have Duck pass over the rainbow bridge in peace. She wrote:
 
I held him close [and] told him how loved he was, and thanked him for giving me such happiness and for his unwavering companionship and love ... Then finally, when his body lost its heat, and I could sense the doctor thinking about the imminent rush hour traffic, I handed him over ... 14 years. My longest relationship. My only experience of maternal love. My constant companion. My best friend. Duck.
 
You truly do get the feeling that Duck was Sarah's most important relationship. Certainly animals can be that way. I myself had a cat for 16 years -- she also outlasted all of my other relationships. I even lived with her longer than I lived with my parents. When she left this world, it truly was as if my best friend had left.
 
The thing about pets -- they don't leave you (unless they get lost). They don't betray you. They don't lie, don't cheat, and they love you even if you've had a shitty day and snap at them. This is why we love them. Yes, they CAN be more loving, reliable, and trustworthy than humans. In fact, they usually are.
 
This doesn't mean that humans are bad -- but the idea that we're at the very top of the species hierarchy ... well, I've never bought it. Animals don't commit the atrocities against each other that humans do. And animals don't commit them against us in the way we routinely and cruelly commit them against animals.
 
I guess we "rule" the planet because we're capable of being so cruel and they're not? Not buying it. Hopefully, someday we will figure out that their way is the better way.
 
Have you ever had a pet who was your most important relationship?


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