I have run a Labrador Retriever group on Facebook for a few years now. In general, it’s an excellent group with really good members. We do get our share of members or perhaps bots that post things that go against the few, simple rules that the group has.
We do not allow posting of dogs for sale or rehoming. Posting that type of thing gets you removed from the group and blocked. It is VERY clear to anyone what the rules are and yet, I get multiple posts a day that I remove. I had to turn on moderated posts, I see everything before it gets posted – that has cut down on a lot of the crap. People are inventive though…
Instead of making a new post, they comment on an existing post with their dogs for sale posts. Since the group is still pretty small (3300 members or so), I turn on notifications for every post so I am informed when someone posts a comment. I then go and look and see if it is a “you’re dog is awesome” post or if it is a post of dogs for sale. Sigh… I suppose it doesn’t take much of my time so I am ok with it. If the group ever gets 100,000 users, I would not be able to handle the sheer volume, but for now, I can.
To my story…
One of my regular members who’s been pre-approved to post in the group often posts awesome pics of her dog, Bowser and her family doing various things outside, inside, birthday parties – everything. Her posts are great, excellent pictures and I’ve watched her dog grow into a happy and healthy 2 year old Lab today.
Yesterday morning, I was devastated to see a post where Bowser was killed in a tragic accident. It hit me hard, almost as hard as if it had happened to one of my dogs really. I had tears in my eyes thinking of Bowser and his family who were mourning his loss. I have tears in my eyes now writing this entry. For those who have lost a dog, you know it’s like losing a member of your family.
I will miss the posts of Bowser and watching him grow and play. I really will. I wish the family all the best in this difficult time and may the memories of Bowser provide some comfort in the days, weeks and months to come. The pain does go away, it takes a while though. In another month, it will be 6 years since Zeus passed away and I still miss him to this day, even though I have 3 awesome dogs that keep me company and love me unconditionally.
Bowser, you were loved by many, many people and although most of us never met you, you will be missed. May you rest in paradise.