I began a blog this morning about canine maintenance and looking over some photos for it. I came across an old blog filled with photos of Luke and Elsa playing and just hanging out. The tears came. I decided in that moment to savor the moment. So many days when the thought of my man (now gone) comes to me, I quickly brush it away and get on with the day. Grief is tough, but it has to come and the sadness needs to be dealt with.
I've had a lot of grief days and it has gotten easier. Time helps. Learning to go through the day to day without your heart dog gets easier by simply doing it. But you must also deal, so when I have time I let it come. I council many people on the issue of losing their dogs and so I must listen to my own advice.
Death is a part of life; but sometimes a life has been so entwined with your own that it is a difficult loss to lessen. I have loved every one of my dogs over the years and suffered from deep, sad grief. This has been the most difficult for me. Luke was a funny and quirky boy and I miss him deeply. I cannot tell you how many times I say "I still cannot believe he is gone."
Memories are the greatest thing. Time helps to lessen the blow and then the memories come. As they come, so do the tears. Allowing the time for them is important. Realizing how your dog changed your life and altered you as a canine guardian is essential. Each and every dog that walks through your life can make you a better caregiver.
As dogs age, they need more care. The care of a very senior dog creates an amazing time of giving back. When the end comes, that huge amount of care leaves a void in your life. This in itself can make the loss even more powerful. There is nothing like caring for an old dog; I would never, ever miss it, not for a second. And I miss it now.
I hope that all dog guardians get to experience an amazing connection and bond with their dog. If you have many dogs in your life then you will also have great loss. With each loss comes sadness but that sadness comes from a great love. I have had so much love from the dogs in my life; and I look forward to more love.
Savor the moments with your dog; the puppy, teenager, adult, older dog and very old senior; for those moments will stay within your heart for all eternity. Hug your dog today.