Life, dogs, grief
A soul is a soul no matter if it is a furry friend or human. Sending your loved ones on their journey home with love, prayers and gratitude opens your heart even in the midst of sorrow.
Choosing to invite love of another soul back into your life is not a form or way to replace that souls place in you heart, rather it is a way to expand the heart. The Goddess You “Love is the constant. When you give your love to someone, you cannot take it away, for it is already there.”
I will share with you now how loosing my fur friends invited an expansion of love and healing to my life.
Tank came to our family one fateful winter day. My husband and I had been our annual trip of R&R after an unusually chaotic year. It was January of 2012, and we were in need a break, big time! Let me recap 2011 for you, over the past year of crazy, my hubby going through turmoil with his business partner, I had chosen to close my shoe boutique in early February, our eldest daughter was married in the Spring and our eldest son’s wedding was in September, our next in line son graduated high school and was off to his first year of college in the fall, our youngest daughter was entering her first year of high school, ohhhh and also our oldest daughter was expecting her first baby in November had moved in with us when her husband a Marine was deployed to Afghanistan in September.
In between all of our many happy and memorable family happenings our big pup Mighty Joe, an English mastiff was diagnosed with bone cancer after falling down some steps and breaking his leg in early fall. Joe wore a cast for a couple of weeks before falling once again from the unstable cancerous bones in his legs. Joe’s pain was horrible to watch, as we did our best to comfort our big guy with pain medicine and love we also guided his trips outside with a belt under his waist as we helped hold his weight and guide him so he could do his “business”. After the second fall through things took a turn for the worst. Joe’s suffering was apparent in his lack of movement, our vet gently recommended we aid his journey and end his horrible pain and suffering.
Not being able to stand on his legs meant Joe could not move his large 210 lb body on his own anymore. We gathered together and agreed as a family to aid our Joe and end his suffering, not at all an easy decision but one we each believed was the right choice. We drove to the vet, Joe not being able to move his body any more my husband and boys backed my car up to the back deck and used a blanket to lift him from inside the house into my car, once at the vet’s office again they lifted Joe out under a big tree onto the lawn. As our other family members arrived gathering around our Joe patting him, the vet administered the medicine. Joe slowly closed his eyes as he took his last breath with each of us by his side, sending him with our love and tears, keeping with us forever, his larger-than-life memory.
Tank was sitting there in his tiny bulldog puppy body. We were in Miami beach walking around, soaking in the last two days of our getaway. Our kids at home all nestled in from the wintery blast outside as we walk guilt free hand in hand restoring our energy for what life held for us next! There he was, a little brown and white pup all nestled in a glass enclosed window with tea cup puppies by his side. The shop was a small upscale puppy store the beaten track in south beach. Our kids had been all over the tea cup videos going around, so it was not hard for Brian to convince me to go into this shop, if only for a quick picture. Tank got up from his slumber upon seeing B! The owner took note and gathered the puppy up placing him on a carpeted area in front of us. I said this is a bad idea, remember no more dogs we both agreed. After Joe had passed our other dog Lovey had been crying, howling is more like it every day. The kids tried to soothe her with treats and love, but she missed her big guy as much as we all did. But now, standing here in the puppy shop filled with photos of famous people with their new pups and the owner shaking their hands I was scared! Scared I would have to take care of another puppy, scared that I would not have freedom to do what I wanted to do because I would have a baby to care for. I already was raising my 4 plus now aiding my daughter and grand baby I had lost my sense of self again. Such a struggle for a woman, a mom to be, or know herself. I was not ready to take more on, so I said Street, don’t get any ideas! we are only here to take pictures! He shook his head and new where I was coming from, but his heart swelled with love as the owner put Tank down he ran right into Brian’s leg head first, like a bulldozer. Brian got down on the floor and got all kissed up by this new bestie. His heart was fully invested, yet my fear was saying NO. We left the shop and headed to dinner. We talked over the details of the possibilities and agreed to sleep on it. Somehow, Im not sure of the details, its all but a blur we ended up back at that shop making arrangements to fly home with this new member of our family. We knew our kids would be thrilled! I like dogs, I just don’t agree to say I love them when they are puppies and in need of training and such. I realize now this fear and resistance came from not having a connection to my soul truths. I spent so many years caring for our children, foster children, friends children, children in my girl scout troop, children in my CCD class. I was lost in all the doing for others that the idea of taking care of someone or something else made me cry! But now seeing my husband standing there with Tank, the love in his eyes, the love in both their eyes, It melted all the fear away. Love can do that you know. I made myself laugh when we boarded our flight home thinking about how me the gal who wasn’t the dog lover was the one with a bulldog puppy in a crate as her carryon bag!
Tank was loved by most… he had a honey badger type of personality, he didn’t give a shit pretty much about anything or any house rule we set in place. My husband, loved his new rugged companion with his honey badger attitude to boot. He brought Tank to work with him where Tank took charge of his office and was the gatekeeper of the staircase letting everyone who climbed the stairs of his presence. Tank had his favorite people, and those who liked to harass with his bark and body tanking into them. My brother Paul, the dog whisper of all dog lovers adored Tank. His laugh over Tank stories still warm my heart with the love he had for that dog.
Accidents happen, they are just that accidents. Though they change you forever you can find peace, love and healing in the midsts of your grief. Tank taught our family many lessons about life, anger, and compassion.
Tank taught me to use my voice in a positive loving way to help others forgive and release pain and sorrow that comes from grief, and this action would help me heal the grief I carried. That every soul comes into your lives for a reason, and if you are open to seeing with your heart rather than your fears, lack and guilt that your life will be forever changed with the compassion that rises from your souls core.
Tank sadly passed away after trying to “Tank” into a moving vehicle, his attitude and essence will forever be etched in our families memories. Lessons I have learned from my fur friends have taught me to be open to inviting love in and expanding my heart without fear. That in loving my family and inviting pets in, I am actually healing an old wound that created a fear around furry pals. And, finally the most important lesson of all, that just because someone calls my families new puppy a “replacement” I am all the wiser because I am choosing to expand my heart and love love love!
Fur friends are able to share their love from the other side of the veil, just as our human loved ones can. Open you heart and quiet your mind to see and feel them with you. They can also communicate through mediums or pet communicators to send you verbal messages reassuring you of their never ending love!!
Lessons you can learn form a fur friend
Love without restraints
Forgive every chance you can
Listen intently without adding your bark
Good-bye is never forever
Enjoy the scenery
How you can make a difference
Become a Foster family for a fur friend
Visit the elderly, homebound or ill with your fur friend
Listen in to my radio podcast Angels Don’t Lie where I connect listeners to their fur friends and more here
If you know someone suffering with grief, please share this with them!
Ps I would love to hear about your fur friends in the comment section below!