You look like your dog just died

There’s a reason that expression exists.

Losing a dog is a sadness so profound that it’s useless to explain to anyone who hasn’t been through it.

People ask why I’m looking sad and telling them opens the floodgates to them sharing their personal-loss stories.

Comparing personal tragedies is not a good thing.

I would never say my sadness is equal to that of anyone who’s lost a job, a home or a child.

I will say simply that in losing my best friend, my sorrow is complete.

No one, nowhere, will ever love me like my dog did.

As pet owners know, you can’t just replace your lost loved one.

Pets aren’t like cars or refrigerators.

The timing is different for everyone, but you must wait until the time is right and until then it will hurt – although a bit less each day.

This kind of loss leaves you searching for answers.

I didn’t find any.

Sharing makes nothing better.

It doesn’t replace a wet nose, a joyful face, the endless presence of love that follows you everywhere.

But still, sharing eases pain.

As in “real” life, mourning the loss of a pet doesn’t get quite the same regard as mourning the loss of a person, and perhaps it shouldn’t.

No one can tell me that right now, however.

The simple fact is dog’s have a shorter life than we do.

We have a dog, we will be there when it dies.

Uncertainty is something we use to ignore death.

The probability of death is always there, but as long as it remains a fuzzy possibility, it’s possible to ignore.

Once it becomes a certainty, there’s no way to hide.

We’re all fighting a losing battle with death, and the outcome is always the same.

Time heals all wounds.

The problem is, when things are bad time seems to stand still.

Having a little faith

It started off with a simple Internet search: “Are there dogs in Heaven?”

It was more a hunt for comfort than a search for truth.
Bargaining and denial are part of the grieving process.

It’s an amazing voyage through various opinions, stupidities, closed minds and plain ignorance.

There is no real answer.

Actually, the answer depends on whether you have faith or not.

One has to believe there is a heaven to have that argument of whether animals will go there.

The one has to decide whether an animal, like your favorite dog or cat, has a soul and whether the Bible ever mentioned anything about Jesus or God saving them.

There are those who say animals do go to heaven based of their being without sin.

Others quote numerous passages from the Bible that they say point out there are no animals in heaven.

And then there are those who seem to find some comfort is believing they and their favorite animal will meet someday across The Rainbow Bridge.

Whatever that is supposed to be.

It’s all enough to make a thinking person to want to move on to some other discussion more rational, like time travel.

I’m not picking on those who believe in Heaven and Hell.
They have something to give them comfort.

Nor do I dismiss the people who don’t believe.
They have found what they consider to be good, rational reasons for their position.

I do have problems with the people who, with great kindness and the best intentions, promise me I will see my best friend again across the Rainbow Bridge.

It’s hard not to be cynical when you’re hurting and this mythical, undefined, impossible to envision destination is handed out like a salve to make things better.

I can’t help but compare it to leprechaun’s and pots of gold at the end of some rainbow.

Something we learned was baloney about the time our belief in the tooth fairy and the Easter Bunny crumbled as we paid more attention to the world around us.

For those of us on Earth, death is final, whether man or animal.

Whether any or all move to something else is something mere mortals will never know.

It comes down to faith, not in religion but in whatever you believe.

Beginning the long goodbye

I picked up her ashes from the vet’s today.

It’s amazing how little the box is.

Not much left over from 10 pounds and a lot of years and memories.

It’s funny the things one thinks about at this time.

I asked the vet for a “private” cremation.

That means she was to be cremated separate from other animals, not in a pile of other dogs and cats.

It’s important to me the ashes I get back are from her – not some mixture of God knows what.

When it’s important to you, you wonder if that’s what they really did.

No one is watching – just do all the animals together.

No one will ever know.

It’s not important to them and it’s easier, faster and saves them money.

And you know that happens, maybe not at this place the vet sent her – but it happens because some businesses don’t care.

Short of peeking through the window late at night there’s no way to ever know.

It’s amazing the things we come up with to torture ourselves.