The number 3 pops up often in my life. I was born on the 30th. The address of my childhood home was 936. My first novel, intended as a stand alone story, morphed into the New Life in Love contemporary romance trilogy.

So it did not surprise me that three random blips on my personal radar screen last week merged to form a common theme for comment.

“Allie,” the almost 12-year-old Aussie Shepherd mix who will always and forever be my pretty puppy, passed away in my arms on the first day of Spring nine years ago.  The cancer that invaded her body robbed her of breath but not her spirit. My husband and I had to make the painful choice to give her the sleep she could no longer enjoy in life.

My cousin-in-law Paula summed up our mutual love for animals with wise words of insight only a true pet parent can understand.  We look into their eyes and see a person, she said. We see mischief and sadness, joy and hope. We see love.

A column in today’s paper written by a journalist whose work I have long admired described the anticipated pain of loss and the relief at reprieve.  Everyone who opens their heart to loving a pet knows this precious life is too short and separation is inevitable.

I held the red satin jewelry case punctured by puppy teeth marks.  How annoyed I was at that puppy! But the mischief in her eyes made me laugh instead of scold.

We are upset when something we received as a gift or bought with money earned by giving our most finite asset is damaged by a pet or a child. Years later when that child has grown and moved away or that pet exists only in memories, that damaged possession becomes a reminder of a precious time in our life.  We hang on to what is broken to make us whole. And the scars have new meaning.