Two weeks ago we lost our amazing, one of a kind Luke. I don't want to dwell on his loss, his absence has left a huge void in my life. What I'd like to talk about is the aftermath and where Elsa and I are today. Perhaps just sharing our feelings and emotions might help others who are dealing with loss.
Elsa is most definitely suffering from the loss. She is happy and upbeat when we are busy but it is the quiet moments throughout the day when I see it. She spends a great deal of time in "his spot" on the couch. She's sighs a lot throughout the day. I often see her lay out on the double lounge (Luke's lounge) with her head up smelling the breeze, then quickly drop her head down, letting out a big sigh. She is still hesitating at meal time when her bowl is not the second one down. Her sit is just a fraction of a second slower as she is still waiting for the first bowl to go down before hers.
When we are out she is good. I always talk and write about one on one time. If I can drive home a message that is so very important, it is this. Elsa has always had a great deal of one on one which helps her now when there is no choice but to be just us. If you have two, three, four or more dogs who are always together, never having experienced being alone in the world; then this time when there is no option can be made even worse.
Probably one of the most important things that Elsa is use to other than going out alone is being left alone. Going out alone is one thing, being left behind another. So having been used to being left behind when Luke and I went out has given her life experience that she calls upon now. She needs to be okay being alone. I make sure to go out each day, even if I have no where to go, I go. I hit the gym in the morning which she is very use to but not the alone part while I'm at the gym, that is new. Then at some time in the afternoon or early evening I go out and do errands or just go out. When I return I make sure to not make a big deal of it. Separation anxiety can begin after a loss like this so leaving and coming home needs to be done strategically.
The house is quiet, too quiet.
I too am dealing. Loss is a very personal thing; no one can tell you how to deal, how long or anything else about it. Every single relationship is different, so to is loss. Keeping busy is good, but all of the stages of grief are a part of getting through it. Allowing the tears and sadness to come is an important step towards the hurt, hurting less. It's got to come, you must let the grieving happen. I know far too well what keeping it all bottled up can create. You must deal with all of the emotions or risk a meltdown at some point. (after the loss of Tilley, explained in And Back Again)
I make sure that Elsa has a great deal of touch in her days. As you all know she was constantly wrapped around Luke throughout her entire life, until now. Yesterday she did her "get off the computer" routine in my office which made me smile. She rolls onto her back and wags like crazy, snorting and wiggling like a fish. Of course it always gets me off the computer and onto the floor with her. We spent a great deal of time there on the floor helping each other.
Timing is everything, nothing could be more true than that with the addition of Elsa to our lives, 3.5 years ago. Thank goodness for Elsa. So here we are again. Back in the fall we had been considering the addition of a puppy; we had a choice to make when a puppy was available. We declined that puppy. I knew my time might be short with Luke and chose to give him all the care and time I could offer him. Looking back, it was one of the best decisions I have ever made as was adding Elsa to our very old pack when I did.
To the person who added the little boy to their life that we passed on; I hope that you have a long, amazing and happy life together. For some reason he was meant to be in your life, like Luke was mine. Timing is everything.
So with time, another will come. I am looking, yes, but I am not ready right now. Elsa and I will get through this. I would love to offer her a puppy right now, at this very moment to call her own but I am afraid that I am not ready. This has been a tough one for me, the toughest loss so far in all of my dogs. I have always been ready to open my heart to a new family member right away. It will be a while this time, and when the time comes to meet the next wonderful little man in my life, it will be the right time.
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