Lessons in Loss 7: Four-legged Friend

Caption "Lessons in Loss" above clouds low in the sky at sunset

I think about loss from time to time, as you probably know if you’re a regular reader over here. I’ve discussed recovery from loss of a baby and other people’s reactions. But, we don’t only struggle or grieve over the loss of a person – whether they were fully-formed or not. Sometimes loss is part of growing into the person we have become, sometimes it leaves us feeling like something’s fundamentally missing, sometimes we can’t remember what it was like before we lost whatever it was. In this series of posts, I’ve asked some of my favourite blogging colleagues to write about a loss that they’ve experienced and how it affected them. You can find the full list here.

Today’s post comes from the kind and generous Brenda at My Angel’s Voice.

Losing my four-legged friend

We have and will always experience different types of loss in our lives. Not one is more important than the other…nor will they be without tremendous heartache. But for me. this loss was almost more than I had ever expected.

Most of us have at least one maybe even two… “what would that be?” you ask….well it’s the four-legged family member. For me, growing up we had a couple of dogs, but I remember once I went into high school our dog lady became ill, and then we never had another pet after that. Fast forward to many, many years later, when I was in my late thirties my husband and I married and combined our blended families, his two young boys and my one son. We tried to have a baby of our own, but there were newly discovered thyroid issues for me that sadly put an abrupt halt to that plan.

With a heavy heart I agreed to a new puppy… we settled on a six-week-old miniature schnauzer weighing in at a very tiny 1 and a half pounds. Being so small we decided to name him “Peanut”. This little puppy and I had a very special connection from the “get-go”. You see his little “birth bracelet collar” indicated that he was born on April 29… my birthday is April 29… it was meant to be.

Years go by, he is such a sweet and kind little dog, so very friendly to everyone that he would meet. Until one day when he was a little over six years old, he began drinking more water than usual and waking me up multiple times at night to go to the bathroom… very soon after that, I noticed he was losing weight. I immediately took him to the vet, where it was confirmed that he had diabetes. My world as I knew it would never be the same.

It was extremely important that I give him an insulin shot twice a day with food and it was very important that he get his shots at the same time every day. So with that being said I would rush home from work… start to stress-out if I were caught in traffic because I didn’t want to be late with his shots. I stopped going on vacations or visiting friends because I didn’t trust anyone other than myself to give him his shots. You would say that I was obsessed with taking care of him.

Six months later he sadly got cataracts in both eyes and was blind, luckily he was a candidate for surgery to repair his cataracts… but he had to wait three long months before he could have his surgery… he was on a waiting list. I cried the day I picked him up after recovery from his surgery… because he was so excited when he saw me for the first time in such a long time.

The connection that this little dog and I had was more than words could describe. Every day, night and day, he received his insulin injections….being such a little trooper getting them… day in and day out. However, the day finally came where his dosage began to increase to the point that was almost unsafe for him. Shortly thereafter, he had a stroke and the heart-breaking decision to put him down had to be made… it was one of the hardest days of my life. My heart was broken into so many pieces.

After his passing… my days were complete confusion for me. You see my entire life revolved around taking care of him for almost two years… I was completely heartbroken and lost.

Days did finally get better… we ended up adding to our family with another little miniature schnauzer, my sweet little Riley. He will never replace my Peanut… because he just touched my heart so.

One must understand, that once you have a “four-legged” friend… you too will know that they are not just a pet…

… but a part of your heart and a part of your life.

18 thoughts on “Lessons in Loss 7: Four-legged Friend

  1. What a beautiful post. There is nothing more painful than the loss of our four legged soulmates. Sending you lots of love and comfort in your memories together.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. What a beautiful post. Our fury friends are family, bottom line. Wishing your sweet pup lots of happy frolicking at the Rainbow Bridge. 🌈🐕🌈

    Liked by 1 person

  3. So so sad. Pet’s are so much a part of our lives, our families. To lose that is just as hard as any loss.

    We had to have our beloved pet put down after he bit me, totally out of character and unprovoked and the vet feared that he may have had a stroke. Mum was a childminder at the time so there is no way she could have risked it.

    I carry that with me even and 30 years later breaks my heart, I blamed myself and couldn’t process all the emotions that came with that x x

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I have heard it said that we each have a ‘heart dog’. It’s that one dog that comes into our life at a specific time and connects with us on a deeper level than any other pet ever will. That’s not to say that other pets won’t hold an important place in our hearts – we will love each pet we bring home in their own way, but the ‘heart dog’ is a step beyond that. If this is true, it sounds like Peanut was your heart dog. I believe my current girl Daviana is mine, so it breaks my heart that she’s getting older. Sending love!

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I couldn’t help but cry at this post! I know the feeling of losing a four legged friend. I once had a dog who was so cute and so loved by our family. He got sick and didn’t survive even after getting him checked out at the vet. It was so sudden. Even my parents cried when we lost him.

    Liked by 1 person

  6. They definitely become family! I just lost my Shih Tzu Leroy 2 weeks ago. The entire first week was so difficult! This week is a little better, but it’s still so hard getting used to the fact that he’s no longer here.

    Liked by 2 people

  7. I relate to this so much! We lost our chocolate lab Izzy 3 years ago and it took me so long to finally be ok with it. She was only 4 and it was so unexpected. Thank you so much for sharing your experience with us. They are such a big part of the family❤️❤️❤️

    Like

  8. I read myself so much into this. I lost my baby four-legged two years ago while living abroad and not being there was the most heartbreaking thing. The first time I went back home I was expecting to find her at the airport and she was not there, it was like grieving all over again. Thanks for sharing your experience!

    Liked by 1 person

  9. Dogs are like family and when you lose one it hurts so much. I desperately want another pup but my parents refuse – they’re still sad about the dog we lost last year.

    All the best, Michelle (michellesclutterbox.com)

    Liked by 1 person

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