Losing SO Much More Then My Dog

I got my dog, L.V. as a puppy. He was only four lbs when I brought him home. He was everything I’d ever wish for in a dog.cb974930bf9df15e0cc90ba18f392175 L.V. went from being a 4 lbs puff-ball to a 75 lbs. guardian. He was my friend, my companion, my protector, the one thing that was always there for me no matter what. He loved me and he would have died for me. There were many a time when he came between me and danger – or at least what he thought of as danger. 

While everyone around me, had lives, families, jobs, children, whatever I had him. He calmed me when I was stress. He kept me for killing myself on more than on occasion because I was responsible for him. But most of all he brought me great joy and happiness, and a much need feeling of being safe.

So when he started to limp around New Year’s, I was SCARED!!! I knew that he was 12 years old and that is old for a Rottweiler. But the thought of losing this important part of my life was killing me. It got worse when the doctor came back with the fact that L.V.had bone cancer in his back leg, and there was nothing I could do but keep him comfortable and wait. The doctor told me that L.V. would let me know when it was time. I thought that this was crazy but because I wasn’t ready to let go yet I went with it. In the end, he did tell me when it was time, but for six weeks I went through hell. Was he comfortable? Was he in pain? Was he eating? Was he sleeping? Was I being selfish to hold on to him, instead of letting go? I will forever be grateful for those 6 weeks. I was with him almost the entire time. It helped me come to terms with losing him, and I got a few more memories to hold on to. When he went, he went peacefully to sleep in the vet’s office. 

Now I’m sure there are those of you that are saying he’s just a dog, what’s the big deal. But he wasn’t just a dog to me, he was everything I didn’t have. I know that, that is putting a lot on an animal but he was my emotional support. The thing that kept me semi-sane in all my madness.

Coming home was the hardest part, I had to leave a part of me lying on the floor of the vet’s office and walk away, knowing that I would never see him again. Then I got home to a house that was soooo quiet, and the thing that I usually used to comfort myself was no longer there.

I started thinking I could heard him, I keep seeing him, I became hyper-vigilant because he was no longer there to protect me. I wasn’t sleeping, I’d spend hours  – I can’t say crying because it was so much more than that – keening, whaling . Till I’d tire myself out but when I did sleep I wake up screaming because I couldn’t find him. My family wasn’t at all helpful. My father didn’t know what to do with the nighttime crying so he did nothing. He didn’t check on me, he didn’t even wake my mom to have her deal with it. All he could say was NO MORE DOGS. My therapist was worried and suggest that another dog might ease some of the pain. Or at least give me something else to love. My mom didn’t like the idea but begrudgingly took me to some shelters to look at dogs. None of which she liked.

Having spent a week and a half in utter misery, with both my parent basically saying no more dogs at least not now. I took matters into my own hands and went looking on my own. I came home with a puppy, Moo. He’s going to be less than half  L.V. size which is good because I can no longer handle a big dog. But Moo is colored the same as  L.V. which makes me feel like I haven’t lost him completely. While he is not  L.V., he is something I can love, and that loves me. And I don’t feel so alone.

I still grieve for L.V. nothing can take his place but Moo has help a lot. He’ll never be  L.V., but he can be Moo and that is enough.

No my dogs are not named  L.V. and Moo. These are just their alias for this page. I’m not so mean as to name a dog – Moo. 🙂

 

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Loss

Today instead of going back over the week I lost my adopted Grandma. I’m talking about what I lost with her. In a way maybe this can help my readers to understand that as I was going through that horrible week I was also trying desperately to hold on to her. To not let her go, because of all that she has meant to me. I will get to the rest of that week soon, but I need to write this first.

I added this poem to my grandma’s memorial program –

HER SMILE

Though her smile is gone

and her hand I cannot touch

I still have so many memories

Of the one I loved so much.

Her memory is now my keepsake

Which with I’ll never part.

God has her in his keeping

I have her in my heart.

Sadly missed but never forgotten

This last month I have been trying to stay in autopilot so that I didn’t have to deal with this loss. I realize now that rather I want to or not, I’m still going to have to deal with it. Every morning I wake up thinking I’m going to go see grandma today, only to remember that I no longer can. I’ve been trying to put all those feelings of sadness away in a box with a lock; disassociating for them and everything else around me. Last night I accidently, not even knowing it broke the lock on that box.

I had a friend over to have dinner and a movie with me, because I didn’t want to be alone. You see if was Wednesday and that was Grandma’s and my night for dinner and a movie. Anyway my friend and I end up watching Now, Voyager with Bette Davie. It’s an old black and white movie but it is my favorite movie. It deals with a woman who has been controlled her whole life by an over-bearing mother. The mother makes all her decision – what she wears, what she eats, what she reads, who her friends are until she has a mental breakdown and ends up in a sanitarium. There she learns how to be her own person. Afterwards she meets someone who gives her simple gifts that have a huge effect on her self-esteem and her outlook on life. I won’t go into the whole movie but it is wonderful.

It made me realize that was what my adopted grandma was for me. She was the person who made me see thing differently than the way the abuse taught me to think.

She was the one that told I was beautiful. She was the one that told me that I was attractive to men. Till her I never noticed, when men looked at me, or if I did I thought they were thinking how unattractive I was. She was the person who saw beneath my prickery shell to the beauty underneath and she never once miss an opportunity to say something about it. Sometime she’d be embarrassing with her compliments.  I’d once been told that I was like a pineapple, all hard shell and prickery skin, but if people took the time they would find the sweet fruit underneath, it’s just that most people don’t take the time. Grandma did, and that is what I’ll miss. I’ll miss the person who saw me more clearly then I can even see myself. The person who was like a mirror to me, with her undying love, who showed me what she saw in me, who let me see the person she saw. With her love, I began to believe the picture she showed me, and was able to quiet the years of other peoples’ voice telling me different.

I’m going to miss how even on a bad day; she could make me feel good. Now I have to work on hold everything she gave me in my heart and never letting go of her love and belief in me.