And just like that, I felt a sense of peace

2 Comments

Many of you who have read my recent blog posts know I had to say goodbye to this beautiful soul on January third. We had twelve and a half years of a wonderful relationship together. She was so much more than just my dog and every facet of my life changed drastically when I had to make the decision to let my baby girl go.

There has not been a day during the last two weeks that I haven’t cried. The moments of grief have ranged from glistening tears slowly rolling down my cheeks to sobs that mimicked the sound of a mewling animal being viciously slaughtered. I have been physically and emotionally eviscerated.

Morning is the worst time for me. We had a routine that I loved. Even if I was ready to get up, I would rub her ears, give her the butt scratch she was waiting for and tell her “ten more minutes”. She would dutifully acknowledge my request and lie back down in her bed, anxiously waiting for that ten minutes to go by before we went for our morning walk. Her level of intelligence and understanding was remarkable.

With the passing of each calendar day, I knew the phone call would soon come telling me her ashes had been returned to the veterinary office. That call came at 1:22 pm yesterday while I was at work and I was crying before I even ended the call. I put forth my best effort to do my job as effectively as I could but I wanted nothing more than to bring my baby home. I left work early, took care of some deliveries to the food bank and slowly made the turn into the familiar parking lot.

After the welcome distraction of giving some love to the vet assistant’s beautiful dog, I took the package that looked like a giant Tiffany’s box and made my way home. When I got home, I couldn’t open that blue box. I poured some wine, paced around my house and finally gathered the courage to remove the urn that held Callaway’s remains. I placed that urn in its rightful place and I came unglued. I cried so hard I made sounds that are not of this world. But as suddenly as those tears came, they stopped. I don’t think my words will ever do justice to the sense of peace that washed over me just knowing she was home where she belongs.

There will still be many more tears shed as I remember the life we had together and how special she was but I know the happy memories of her will slowly replace the overwhelming sense of loss I currently feel. I miss you, baby girl.

 

An ocean of sorrow

1 Comment

I have cried a million tears for you
and I will cry a million more.
The house is so unnaturally quiet now,
like it’s never been before.
I’m talking to you like you never left,
like you’re lying by my side.
I’m waiting for you to lick my tears
like you always did when I cried.
My heart is broken knowing you’re gone
and I will never again see your face.
An ocean of sorrow fills this house
and I’m drowning in the emptiness of this place.
But I know, slowly, I will come up for air,
face my grief one breath at a time.
I will cherish the memories of the bond we had
and forever thank the Gods who made you mine.
I miss you, sweet girl, your smiling face
and the love you unconditionally shared.
Your paw prints remain forever on my heart,
and together we will always be paired.
You went to sleep, knowing I loved you
and you will always be in my heart.
And each moment I spend thinking of you
means we will never truly be apart.

 

Losing the biggest part of my heart

8 Comments

On Friday afternoon, I had to say goodbye to this beautiful soul. She was my child, my best friend and the greatest listener I have ever known. I had the extreme honor of having her in my life for twelve and a half years and I am gutted knowing I will not be able to come home to her smiling face ever again.

It was a peaceful transition and the vet was wonderful as he explained what would happen. With my brother by my side, I petted her and told her how much I loved her as she lowered her head onto my arm and just went to sleep.

I know I did the right thing, for her, but I want her back so much it physically hurts. Every time I get up from the couch, I still look down to make sure I’m not going to step on her because she was never far from my side. When I look at the door to my bedroom, I expect to see her looking out from her second favorite spot behind the door since she always had to know where I was. And, for the first time in over a decade, I have gone to the bathroom without her lying outside the door, and I hate it.

When you lose a pet, people respond with empathy and sadness for your loss but the inevitable question always presents itself in the conversation that soon follows, “are you going to get another one?” I know the intention of the question comes from a good place but I don’t recall anyone asking so soon after my father or my mother died when I was going to get another one. She wasn’t just a dog, she was my family and to think of moving on from her so quickly is unimaginable. 

One day, my heart will heal enough to make room for another dog but it won’t be any time soon. She was special. She was smart, she was sweet and she was beautiful. And she was the biggest part of my heart. 

Oh, baby girl, I miss you so much.

Why goodbyes are always so hard

14 Comments

Today I had to say goodbye to, not only an office mate but, a sweet soul and a dear friend.  Ellie May was an 11-year old Landseer.  Her breed is considered to be a black and white version of a Newfoundlander.  She had the disposition of a wallflower and the radar of an airplane.  It took three months for Ellie to warm up to me.  Until then, when that radar detected my presence in her force field, she would alter her course to avoid a collision.  She wanted nothing to do with me.  I didn’t take offence because she was like that with most people.  She was a gentle giant and a very private dog.

Ellie may

Months later, my tenacity seemed to wear her down and, after a long period of the silent treatment, she finally tolerated my presence.  She wouldn’t run the other way but she didn’t seem enthusiastic to see me.  After many months that, too, would change.

This may read like a eulogy, and perhaps in a way it is.   Perhaps it’s easier for me to write my emotion and deal with my loss in cyberspace than it is to confront the empty space in the office where Ellie would to lie and demand her treats.

Although she wasn’t my dog, she was my friend and it is never easy to say goodbye to a friend.  It will take me a while to not hear her footsteps running to the office door and see her silhouette through the glass, looking at me and barking to let her in.  I will miss seeing her “smile” as she and her flapping gums ran down the road to greet me after seeing my car pull into the parking lot.  And perhaps the thing I will miss he most is the whispered bark that she saved just for me and the small circle her lips would leave open for me to “put the cookie in the hole”.

She and I had a connection, a language that we spoke to each other.  And although she was unsure of me in the beginning, she quickly came to realize I spoke dog.  I got her and she got me and we really did become friends.  She left many footprints on my heart and that is why saying goodbye was so hard.

I can only hope that Ellie is now comfortably enjoying her new life beyond the Rainbow Bridge, that her body is as young and spry as her spirit and that she knows how much we will miss her.