Not a day goes by that I don’t grieve the loss of Charlie. It will be two months next week since we lost her and just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. She was my constant sidekick and my ever faithful shadow and to not have her with me is like a piece of me is missing. For 12 1/2 years she was my best friend and I try to count my blessings in that we had her in our family for so long and she lived a full and spoiled life for 14 years. I am so, so grateful that we celebrated her birthday with a bang as she started to decline a month later. Thankfully, her decline was swift so she didn’t have to spend a lot of time in pain so for that I am grateful but if we could have had her 1000 years, I would have wished for 1000 years and a day.
She was just a perfect dog. She was very gentle and quiet spirited. I had written a post on the power of pet therapy and I wish I had known more about it early on as she would have been the perfect therapy dog to visit nursing homes and hospitals because of her gentleness.
She never tore anything up except her bed or her toys. She would destroy her bed but even in her young years, she never destroyed anything in the house (her floppy-eared companion, on the other hand, destroys everything).
She loved hanging outside and enjoying a cool breeze. John and I took the girls (Charlie and Chloe) with us on our first family vacation after we were married to the Outer Banks. The house we rented was on the sound side and the porch was gated so we just left the front door open and Charlie practically lived out on the porch, soaking up the breeze.
She was just amazing. There just isn’t any other way to put it. She was a huge part of this family and we all feel her loss. Chloe mourned for weeks. She still looks for her but she isn’t quite a mopey as she was those first weeks. Abby will come up and sit on my lap and whisper in my ear that she misses Charlie. We made a stepping stone (we used this kit from Hobby Lobby) and buried a box with her collar, letters and our favorite memories so being able to see it helps. There are many times that I have went out and there to talk to her like I would if she was here. I know one day we will be together again.
Helpful resources for grieving the loss of a pet:
Rainbow Bridge – This is an amazing resource. The “Rainbow Bridge” poem is beautiful and they also have grief support resources, a community, and ways to memorialize your pet.
10 Tips on Coping With Pet Loss – This is article provides great advice for moving through the grief process and the website also has many resources such as helping children cope with the loss, creating a memorial, and deciding when is the right time to get a new pet.
Coping with the Death of Your Pet – The Human Society is obviously a great resource to keep bookmarked when you are a pet owner but they also provide a lot of advice and resources for dealing with grief after losing your pet.
What Not To Say to Someone Grieving A Pet – Goodness knows as with any life experience, you get bad responses from well-intended persons. They want to help but they just don’t know the right things to say. I hear it every day about chronic illness but you also hear it after losing a pet and every time I hear “Why don’t you just go get another one?” I wanted to scream. My Charlie isn’t was a thing to be replaced. We will likely adopt another dog but in time. This is a nice article to read and yell at the computer “I know, right?!” Definitely a must read.
Dog In Mourning: Helping Our Pets Cope With Loss – Like I said in my post, all members of our family grieved the loss of Charlie and that included Chloe. I knew she would grieve but I didn’t realize just how hard it would hit her. It makes since as for her 8 years of life, she has always had Charlie so to be without her was a big struggle. This article gives great advice on helping your pet cope with loss as it can help you identify the signs that your pet is grieving and ways to help.
I hope these resources can help you with grieving the loss of a pet like they have been able to help me! If you have recently suffered the loss of a beloved pet, you have my deepest sympathies!