Monthly Archives: February 2017

Pawprints on my Heart

I put off today for as long as I could … I had to pick up my Chili dog’s ashes from the vet.  I thought making the decision to put him down, to sleep was hard but today was much harder for me.  So final.  My house is so empty.  My heart so shattered.  My head so confused.

When I put my first dog, Scruffy to sleep, I already had Chili, my second dog – so I found comfort in him.  But the past few weeks have been so hard.  Some people keep asking me if I am going to get another dog – they mean well, but I know they don’t understand.   Sadly, many people have been somewhat dismissive, not understanding this immense grief I am feeling from losing my fur baby, my best friend.  I am grieving, I need time to process all.  Moving on isn’t always that easy.   I need to allow the pain to subside.  I am feeling guilty because I think my time with Chili, I was very selfish, leaning on him too much especially after I lost my first dog, went through a divorce, cancer, and car accident.  All through this, my Chili dog always greeted me with kisses.

Coming home to Chili each day was the highlight of many of my dark days.  He was Home to me.  Chili let me lean on him when I was sad and I always counted on him after a long day.  Being barren and then single, my dogs were my family, they were my children.  Their unconditional love and trust filled such a void in my heart and daily life.  I never felt alone with them.  Chili was very therapeutic for me, as well.

I am still so raw and heartbroken.  The change in my daily routine and the pure emptiness and silence in my has been too much to handle these days.  I purposely been staying away from my empty home.   But today I had to deal with something all too real.  I started to put away my Chili dog’s winter coats, his leashes, his dog food.  I made the decision to go pick up his ashes because I needed him home.  I needed a part of him physically here.   Now he is with his older brother and their ashes sit next to other on the mantel.  Saying good bye was so hard but this trying to live each and every day without them is harder.  My two dogs were my number one reason to go home, my favorite hellos and now have become my hardest goodbyes.

A friend sent me the following poem and it more than sadly resonates with me …

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My Chili Dog

I no longer know who I am if I am not a doggie mom.  I have nothing to rush home to anymore.  It’s very disconcerting.  I have had dogs in my life steadily for the past 22 years … now only in my heart, memories.  My heart hurts.

Always greeted with such sweet kisses, wagging tails.  Today I walked into the vet with my precious 12-year-old Boston on a leash and walked out with an empty leash and broken heart.  Tears don’t stop.

I had that split second of indecision – should I bring him home, keep him next to me for a few more days or say good bye and hold him as his little heart stopped.   I pray I did the right thing.  I let him go.  Tumors and fluid had filled his abdomen and his heart was not working well.  His breathing was labored, he wasn’t walking nor eating.  I can’t remember him that way.  I want to remember him as the loving, kind companion he was.  My Chili Dog = my heart.

My first dog was my companion, my adventure seeker.  We traveled, we dined out.  He went everywhere I went, even to work a few times.  When my Cairn Terrier became a big brother, he became the protector, sharing his bed and toys with his baby brother.  He would bark if anyone got too close.  It was endearing.  Losing him was hard.  I never felt pain like that.  But my Boston would comfort me, snuggle up to me and together we forged a new life built on trust, love and patience.

My Boston was not much for adventure, he was more the stay in bed and snuggle.  It worked – I was going through a series of health issues – cancer, broken bones – and healing at home with the best snuggler was my saving grace.  He became my hero – just when I thought I couldn’t take anymore treatments, bad news, I was always met with wet kisses.  He just knew how to chase the demons away.

Today I am all alone.  But I know my two fur babies are playing together with no pain.  One day soon, this will comfort me.  Today I grieve.

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