It’s now been two weeks since we lost our beautiful standard poodle of fifteen years, which I wrote about in my previous post. Slowly, but surely, life is getting back to a new normal for us. If you’ve never lost a beloved pet, you likely cannot relate to my thoughts today. But if you have, no doubt you understand all too well, and based on the feedback from friends on my Facebook page, it seems that the majority of people understand the grief of losing a pet.
I have been so grateful for the many kind thoughts that have been sent our way either in person or from friends that I connect with online. Our vet sent us a card and a wonderful personalized “paw print” memorial gift to remember him. My Facebook post on his death was overwhelmed with kind thoughts and prayers, and my nearest and dearest friends called, sent texts, and one even brought me a card with a timely news article clipping on the subject of losing a pet that was published only two days after he died in the nationally syndicated Dear Abby column. I wanted to share that link here, as it has brought me much comfort and was just what I needed to hear on that day.
I also wanted to share a link to another article about pet grief that was both comforting and informative to me.
The article posted in the Dear Abby column in the first article link above really spoke to my heart in a way that I had not really considered before. We as pet owners, or rather – those of us that are owned by some special pets, willingly open ourselves up time and time again to pet ownership, knowing all too well that one day, we will have to suffer the loss of their companionship and love in our lives, sometimes even through a serious illness preceding their death. Yet, it seems we just continue to invite these special creatures into our lives all the more to let them love us and be our best buddies. Having the love of a pet is so wonderful that we are willing to deal with the pain that will come our way at some point. I have known a few people in my life that swore off of pet ownership after dealing with the grief of losing a special pet, though, which is very sad. Dealing with grief is a natural and necessary part of life, even though it is no doubt a painful part for a while.
My family has now been blessed with the love of two very special “angel” dogs since our children were small, a miniature female poodle and a larger standard poodle. To say that we pretty much adore poodles is an understatement, and we have especially come to love the standards now, based on our marvelous fifteen-years with Big Ol’ Baby. We had no reservations at all two years ago when we got Girly Girl, our brown female standard poodle, and without a doubt, she is going to be every bit the love in our lives that our other two poodles have been.
Girly Girl has changed somewhat in demeanor over the past two weeks, and I am taking advice found in the second article to heart. She has always had another standard poodle in her life, and she is now on her own except for us. Her eating is a bit off, and she seems a little more needy as far as attention from us, so we are making an effort to spend more time with her and keep her active. Autumn is a beautiful time of year where I live, so more “happy distraction” walks are certainly a good thing anyway. I know that at some point in the future, we will find another companion for her (and for us), but right now, we are just not ready. It will come in time, I’m sure.
After two weeks, I am happy to say that despite the heartache of losing my big buddy, my heart is healing and I’m moving forward, just like I’ve done after losing so many dear relatives and friends and pets before now. While I miss them all, I know it is all just a part of life and does not have to cause me to withdraw from the love of those that are still here, both people and pets. We even took Girly Girl on a quick weekend camping trip this past weekend, and we had a very good time, despite the gaping hole in our hearts for our sweet ol’ buddy that loved to go in the RV and go for long walks so very much. I suspect I will always see him along for the ride on future trips, and I will have a big smile on my face every single time.