Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Grieving The Loss Of A Pet

For the sake of simplicity, I will talk in terms that I know.... Dogs...
Last year within a few months of each other, we lost both of our Golden Retrievers: Glory then Latte . The dull but throbbing ache that I felt seemed to come from the center of my body and radiate outwards. It went on for days but finally ebbed after a few weeks, only to return without warning and disappear just as quickly. This went on for months with diminishing frequency. The grieving for my dogs is completely different than what I experienced when a parent or a friend passed away.

I questioned and argued with myself..... Why is it different? Is there a connection between a dog and a human soul? I am not going to debate whether a dog has a soul, but I know for sure that I have one and if by chance you do not believe in souls, then you can call it your heart.

I have been mulling this over for a year and I have noticed a change in my emotions. No, I have not gone soft, but my emotions seem to be more acute. I am not going to elaborate on how they have changed, but I can tell you it was worth all the love and grief I felt for my dogs.

What happens when a puppy comes home and a bond forms between her and her humans?
What do I think happens when that physical bond is broken the day she dies?

A puppy works her way into your heart. Our hearts by nature are not totally pure. They have dark spots filled with impurities..... lets face it, humans are far from perfect. Dogs, however are perfect loving creatures, they pass no judgment and offer unconditional love. As the puppy grows, they consume more of our hearts forcing the impurities in our heart farther out to the edge. Our hearts expand making us better humans as those impurities are congealed.

What is THE ACHE that we feel after the passing of a dog?

The true gift that a dog gives us is what she takes with her when she dies. All those impurities in our heart are now all in one place and she is able to snatch them away …. taking them with her, guaranteeing her passage into heaven. The ACHE is the sudden deflation of our hearts as she whisks our impurities away leaving her humans with purer hearts.

I am not saying this is true, but it is what I choose to believe....... My thoughts about this come on the one year anniversary of the unexpected passing of Glory. Five months later, we lost Latte..... who whisked away more impurities leaving me in awe..... in the beauty of the DOG.


Before Glory and Latte there was Bianca and Sienna. For over 20 years we have always had at least one dog in our lives, and other times there were two. Sienna was our first, we raised her then she raised Bianca. After Bianca passed away, Sienna raised her new sister Glory. Sienna passed away at the ripe old age of 14. Glory reared her half sister Latte` and they hung around with each other for 5 years. Glory died suddenly in her yard on 2.13.13. Latte` was diagnosed with cancer 4 months later. We suddenly found ourselves with out a dog for the first time in 20 years. It was very quiet around our house that summer, that is until the middle of August when we brought home Luna, a Soft Coated Wheaten Terrier.... she is something else. We have a plaque on a wall that says Dogs Are Not Our Whole Life, But They Make Our Lives Whole. This sums up the importance to the family and the role of a pet in your life


Unknown said...

we pick up our new puppy and she will be coming home to our 6 year old Springer (our third Springer). Still miss my original one like crazy. Our new dog's name is Luna :)

jim cummings said...

We originally named our dog Luna because she was the color of the full moon. But now her name has taken on a new meaning..... Luna-tic or Luna-Tunes. She is still a delight and love her.... no matter how crazy she gets

Afan44 said...

Jim you are so right in all that you wrote..I lost my dog on Nov 13 last year and it was very unexpected...I was heart broken with the sudden loss. I have always have had dogs so I waited until my heart was ready to find one. I checked many shelters and did not find on that was compatale.. but I was definite that it would be a rescue..
As fate would have it a friend gave me a call about an abandon dog outside of Alex Bay.. so I went to take a look..that Is all it took.. I now have another dog who is a sweetie and such alovely dog.. her new name is Noella... and is precious..
thanks for you beautiful post.