I love dogs and I love having an entire day of my social media feeds full of pictures of them but this year, days like National Puppy Day remind me of a hole in my heart.

Like I said, I love seeing my friends and family showing off how happy they are and how happy their dogs are but back in September we lost my girl, Bella, and it's a little hard to swallow.

Grief is never linear and I know, sure, there will be people who say "it was just a dog" but I don't care. My dog grew up with me. She was there for every heartbreak, every awesome moment and every time I came home from college ready to not leave my side the entire weekend.

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I totally understand, it is hard to move on and it is so hard to see everyone sharing how full their lives are with their pups while you feel like yours has something missing.

Then there's the guilt you feel each time someone you know gets a new puppy or adopts a dog and you think "maybe it's time I get another one" only for that feeling to fade when you either worry you won't love them as much as the one you've lost or you just feel like you're trying to replace them.

It's a tough thing to work through and especially on days where the love we have for our dogs is at the forefront but I know that I, at least, am so happy to know that so many other people get to feel that kind of love that I had for so long and hope to have again.

I try to remember, too, that my Bella is up across that rainbow bridge having a blast with all the other pups that have crossed over and they are looking down so happy to know their families and friends are living their best lives.

Our pets would only want the best for us, that's what they always wanted when they were here with us, so while we can miss them terribly, they would want us to be happy, celebrate with our friends and look back on our time with them fondly.

If you are still reading this and happen to be someone who still has their furry friends by their sides, give them some extra love from those of us who may be missing ours a little extra today.

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