Sharing the lessons along the way…

Posts tagged ‘grieving loss of a pet’

Maybe I do

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I have been without a canine companion for nearly two full months since Ruby died.  I have lost count of the number of people who have sent me posts of a dog in need of re-homing, the number of texts to take a dog, foster, and the number of times I have been asked, “Have you gotten another dog yet?”

Ruby was my back up dog for Duke and I did not have a backup dog for Ruby because I did not imagine I would need one for many years.  Her death was sudden and traumatic.  While I could not imagine a life without a dog exactly, I knew I was in no way ready for another.

My friends and I talked at great length about how we do not know me without a dog because for the last 16 years, I have had one or two.  My brother said I could not be me without one.

I made a conscious decision not to rush into another because emotionally, losing three dogs in three years was a lot.  I went on the hope method that I had learned how to stay grounded without the need of an external grounding source, which for me was always a dog or two.  My dogs taught me how to do this over the years, and I felt somewhat confident in the lessons I had learned from them.

Still, I was not sure.  I wasn’t sure if I would feel lonely without one.  I was not sure that I wouldn’t lose my mind or otherwise lose my sense of mission and purpose.

Two months in, I have not lost my mind or otherwise lost my sense of mission and purpose.  I still do not feel lonely.  I do miss having a living, breathing, always loving being under foot, but have watched others’ dogs and getting my dog fixes often.

I figured I would be trying to find ways to avoid coming home to an empty house, but as it has turned out, I still like my place.  It is still the refuge and the Zen space I created for my dogs and I.  While I have the freedom to do other things, and sometimes choose to do them, I am often simply choosing to come home after work.

It is not uncomfortable.  I do not feel like I am missing anything in my life.  I do plan to add another dog into my life next year.  I honestly never thought I would be ok under these circumstances.

Since I seem to be, I will go with that.

Duke is my Co-Pilot

Duke new roles collage

I am very fortunate that one of my jobs happens to involve my dog Duke.  The other one allows me to be sitting beside Duke on my computer at my house.  Being with Duke seems to be about the only thing making losing Amore somewhat easier.  We are together now nearly all the time.

Almost immediately, I was able to recognize just how different it is with one large dog instead of two.  For nearly 13 years, I often struggled as a single dog mom to manage two big dogs.  It was important to me that they get what they needed—a schedule with walks, attention, rules, etc.

I can appreciate the ease of one, now, after all those years with two.  I am still quite shocked by the difference during walks, as I get ready to go somewhere with or without Duke, feeding times, medication times, having company, and well, just about everything really.  It potentially allows me more flexibility as it is much easier to take one dog that two wherever I might want to go.

While I can see and appreciate the differences and the advantages, it still all feels wrong without the big goofy one.  My hope is I can continue to focus on those positives anyway as Duke and I set up new normal things to do for just the two of us.

I have no intention of missing any precious moments with Duke.  I didn’t miss many with Amore either, and often chose to stay home with them instead of doing something else because I knew our time was limited.

Now, I am more likely to stay home unless he’s coming with me.  Duke already is running errands and going most places with me.  At first, it was for him because he hadn’t ever been great at staying home alone, but now it is really for me too.  I will hold on tightly while I can.

 

 

 

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