One of the really hard things that happened recently (a little over a month ago) was that we had to say goodbye to Fay. My girl. I miss her so much.
The week after her fourteenth birthday she developed a problem with her lungs that wouldn't respond to treatment. She felt fine if she was in an oxygen crate at the hospital but she could only breathe for about a minute and a half if she was removed from the crate. She wasn't going to get better.
She gave me thirteen years and nine months of joy. She lifted my heart every time I interacted with her. Every difficult thing I ever did for her was so worth it.
Of course having a pet counts as saying yes to love. Some people say that your pet doesn't really love you, that they're ingratiating themselves to you so you'll give them food and shelter. I don't know if that's true. It doesn't matter if it is. The opportunity to feel and give love is so important, whether or not your love is returned. The love you give is the love you get to keep.
Love is more than worth its cost in pain.