People who don’t have pets can’t understand that even though we don’t look the same or speak the same language, we treat our four-legged friends like family members and love them accordingly.

Their capacity for love often surpasses that of their human counterparts, and their affection really is just as unconditional as the cliche suggests. Whether we’re having happy meltdowns over well-deserved promotions or we’re in crumpled heaps on the floor over horrible breakups, pets happily join us in our joy and despair. That’s what they do. They put busy days of napping and tail-chasing aside whenever we need them, and we try our best to give them the attention they deserve in return.

And that’s why Ben Berst created a touching tribute to the pup that saw him through 10 long, wonderful years. What he thought was a trip to look for a new piano back in 2010 quickly turned into a pivotal moment in his life. That was the day he met Tammy, and now he’s saying goodbye.

They can’t tell us what to do when things get hard. They can’t tell us how to write cover letters or pick out engagement rings or choose baby names. What they can do, however, is jump over every obstacle alongside us. That’s a brand of loyalty you won’t find anywhere else.

It’s clear that saying goodbye to Tammy is the hardest thing that Berst has ever done, but his tears are testaments to a relationship that changed both of their lives for the better.