This morning I opened my eyes, and the tears started again as realization came crashing down. My beloved dog, Mylee, was gone. For twelve years she was a constant part of my life and a big part of our family. This past summer, we noticed that she was slowing down and seemed more tired lately. She was getting older, and her regular vet check-ups were still good, so we didn’t worry.
We adopted Mylee when she was just seven months old. She was a pure white Miniature Schnauzer, with a sassy attitude and a wonderful sense of humor that kept us on our toes. My favorite part was her unique canine language; she did more than just bark; this dog could talk! Although it was quite amusing, there were times when it actually got on my nerves, especially first thing in the morning when she demanded her breakfast.
On this particular morning, however, I long to hear her loud, bossy voice. Our house is quiet now. And it makes me sad.
Our younger dog Zoey, who joined our family just three years ago, is sad too. She misses her best friend, and it’s painful watching her grieve. Whoever says dogs don’t feel emotional pain, has never been through this kind of experience.
I am grateful for Zoey’s presence, and we comfort each other. We are all feeling a little lost as we grieve together and adjust to life without Mylee. Each day gets better, and I find myself smiling a little more. As with any kind of loss, the pain is necessary, and it was worth the love I felt. It’s okay to feel like this, and I know things will eventually get better.
Joy and love are a wonderful part of life, but we would never know how amazing it is without experiencing pain. I am guarding my heart and giving myself permission to feel bad for as long as I need. I will take it slow; one day at a time.
Experiencing the loss of a pet, or any loss for that matter brings on all kinds of emotions. Whether it’s losing a job, the end of a relationship, or a significant life change, be patient with yourself. Allow yourself time to heal. If these intense emotions feel uncomfortable, remember that they are there for a reason. Let the tears flow, and remember to breathe and treat yourself well.
Tomorrow is a new day full of promise. I have faith in that.