A man grieving the loss of his dog wrote a heartbreaking about his Boxer from his dog’s point of view.
John Pointer, who lives in Austin, Texas, lost his beloved Boxer dog, Benny, to cancer. The Boxer had been his right-hand man since 2007 and his passing left a large hole in Pointer’s heart. He misses him deeply.
On January 28 this year, John shared a heartbreaking piece on his dog’s Facebook page.
Pointer told TODAY.com that writing the piece helped him deal with the “unbearable grief” of losing Benny after making the tough decision to put him down.The mansaid he penned the piece hours after his beloved buddy’s death while waiting for the crematorium to remove the body.
“It was the ultimate form of denial,” Pointer adds. “I thought, I can’t handle what I’m feeling right now …. so what might this all have been like for him?”
Pointer shared that channeling his Boxer dog wasn’t hard because he thinks that animals take on simplified versions of their owners’ personalities.
“I saw him as me, but with no baggage and no sadness in his personality profile,” Pointer said. “I wondered what would it be like to see the world with total compassion and empathy — to feel pain, but not to register any negative emotion from it. It flipped the story. The needle (that put him to sleep) became the miracle cure that healed him. It was such a painful irony.”
Pointer is a musician and his gigs and tours enabled Benny to travel with him.
With so many people who met the pup, Benny earned his own fan base.
“I felt a sense of responsibility to all the people who loved him,” said Pointer. “I wanted to give them something more than a post saying, ‘Benny died.’
“I thought that since it was his page, it should come from his perspective,” he said.
Pointer posted the finished essay within hours of completion.
But he was unprepared for what came next. Pointer has received thousands of emails from other people grieving not only their own pets, but also family and friends.
“So many people were struggling — maybe second-guessing their own choice to put animal down, or simply looking for something to make them feel less alone,” he said. “I hadn’t even really had space to grieve myself, but it helped me be present in the first, hardest days after Benny died. I tried to show up and just try to give people what they needed.”
The tribute and heartfelt piece has resonated and reached a lot of people. When Benny died, his Facebook page only had about 200 likes. Now, it has nearly 17,000 likes.
Pointer said the process has made him a better person. The man tries to respond to every message he receives – in Benny’s ‘voice’.
“He’s a soul extension,” said Pointer. “He’s who I wish I were. Like any good dog, I just try to be there for people.”
Here’s Benny Pointer’s piece.