We dogs are like you humans in a lot of ways. We grow fond of our routines, our "certainties” and our special things because they make us feel secure. I eat the same basic food every day, go on walks with my human in the same places, have my favorite doggy friends, and grab my same special squeaky toy for comfort.

My human isn't all that different, in that she sees the same friends, likes the same types of food, but instead of a squeaky toy, she comforts herself with me! We both count on those things to be there, to stay unchanged and to continue to be a part of our daily world. They make us feel secure, and we don't like for them to change.

Anyway, just recently my human has had to face making some changes; changes that she didn’t anticipate and doesn't want to make. But she knows she must do it, so that she can continue to take care of me and my siblings. Because of her reticence, I’ve been thinking a lot about why change is so hard. I’ve thought about when I've had to make changes and admit that they haven’t been easy. It doesn't matter if they turn out best in the end, they are still icky to face and unpleasant to go through. I wonder why?

I think maybe at the bottom of it all is fear. Fear seems to be at the root of lots of discomfort for both dogs and humans. But it's not fear like the kind I feel when I see a big, aggressive dog running towards me. Or the fear I feel when my human gets sick or goes away on a trip. It's more about the fear of loss and of not seeing certain people and beloved places ever again. And I guess that is silly when I say it out loud, but when it sits in my brain or my heart — it feels scary and my tail doesn’t wag.

It's is spring now, though, and that's a great thing. And that means a change from cold weather, the hard ice and the buildup of snow. And those are changes that I like, and for them I’m grateful. So maybe I can just adopt a “springtime” state of mind all year long and view other changes as I do the advent of spring. Some things will leave, but other good things will come in. At least then I won’t be sad. And then maybe I can navigate other changes without fear, because while they’ll involve loss, they’ll also result in gains.

Gains of new people to meet and new places to see and new doggy friends to hang with. And that will be good, too. So, my main thought in this column is a simple one. When faced with scary changes, remember that eventually, it will be springtime again, and new things will come into your life. Love what has passed, and be grateful that it made your heart bigger. Also know, that when it departs – it leaves space for new things to come in. And take comfort in the fact that you will never, ever forget them. And they probably won’t forget you, either. With love to you all, Benny H.