I fully intended to post a recipe today, but couldn’t bring myself to do it. I have to write this.
My faithful, loving, sweet pup of 15 years passed away a few days ago. Although it’s sad, it was her time. She had congestive heart failure and had been having seizures until she finally couldn’t take it anymore.
I distinctly remember my parents taking me to pick her out when I was 7 years old. I immediately chose her from the litter: the runt with no tail. I loved her from the minute I set my little eyes on her. I named her “Sunny” because my favorite drink at the time was Sunny Delight, obviously a valid reason to name your puppy at 7 years old. My mom started calling her Sunny Double-D because that’s what she was, not just a delight, but a double delight (and also because my mom is corny).
Sunny really was a great, loyal dog. She loved carrying sticks that were too big for her little body, sitting by me at breakfast, lunch, and dinner, barking at every single possible intruder, following our cats around and nudging them until they groomed her, chasing squirrels, sleeping on pillows, going on short walks, playing with our kitties, getting everyone wet after a bath, barking at ridiculous things like lamps, pianos, and doors, greeting me every time I came home (even if I’d only been gone 10 minutes), eating my table scraps, making sure I pet her before I pet my cats, being outside, etc. I know that I’ll never have a dog like her and I’ll miss her forever.
It’s been a really hard thing to deal with. It’s incredibly painful to lose a pet. You don’t realize how much your pets mean to you until they aren’t there anymore. At first, I didn’t know how to deal with it and I spent the entire day crying. I couldn’t stop and it felt like I never would. I couldn’t eat in the same spot I usually ate because she always sat next to me. I couldn’t take a shower because I had planned on giving her a bath in the next couple of days. I couldn’t walk around the house because she was supposed to be there. So, I let myself cry. I cried, I looked at pictures of her, and I wrote in my journal. I didn’t automatically feel better, but I have felt progressively better over the past few days and I know it will only continue to get easier. But I do know that that first day, it was really hard to have any perspective or hope, and that’s okay. It really is okay to cry until you can’t cry anymore because that’s when you’ll gain some perspective, after you’ve allowed yourself to grieve.
I had a vivid dream a couple of nights ago that Sunny came to visit me and she was so happy. It was strange because in the dream, I knew that she had passed away and I was trying to tell everyone around me that she was standing right there, but I was the only one who could see her. I woke up wanting to go back to sleep just to see her again, but feeling at ease because she had been so happy. I wondered about the significance of the dream until today when I started a new book (which by the way, had been on hold for the past 2 months and was impossible to get my hands on. I was excited and shocked when I saw that it was available). The first chapter read, “If you have a visitation dream from a loved one who has passed, it means that they want you to know they’re happy.”
Have you ever lost a pet? How did you deal with it?