As many of you know, recently my dog died. While this isn't a super important event to most, for me it is the first of its kind. I've had loads of pets but none of them in my lifetime ever came to term because the animal either ran away or was given away before its lifespan could end. My mom is fickle and we have a habit of somehow losing our animals, a cat and a dog ran away. My pet duck died while I was little by getting eaten but my parents, because I was six, spared me that trauma and told me it ran away.
So after 11 years of having my dog (he died at 15 but we got him when he was already 4), my dog faced a very tragic end that I did not see coming. For one thing, I didn't want to even consider that my dog was dying. No one wants to think about that, ever. He was older and was slowly becoming more lazy which I attributed to old age. What I couldn't ignore was the few days before his passing that he stopped eating completely. It sent me straight to unsettled. I've had my dog for so long, I couldn't imagine a time I wouldn't have him.
For me, having my dog die was made more painful by knowing he was suffering. You know how some dogs just peacefully pass away in their sleep? Those are lucky creatures. My dog wasn't so lucky and the pain he went through will forever be engrained in my brain. My dog, no matter how much I would bitch about him, was one of the only things in this world I loved without restraint. If I ever love a man the way I loved my dog, he will be the luckiest person on this planet.
How am I dealing with this loss? Honestly? Not very well. I screamed and sobbed as I watched the life leave my dog. I couldn't eat the entire day of my dog's passing and struggled to eat the day after it. The first three days were the hardest because I noticed his bowls and bed missing from my kitchen which resulted in a breakdown and several other episodes occurred. On the third day, as I was walking on 8th Avenue in midtown Manhattan, I saw a woman walking a miniature black poodle (exactly what my dog was) and literally just started to cry.
Currently, I still sleep with my dog's favorite stuffed toy because it brings me comfort. I have to also admit as I'm writing this post that I'm crying because it still hurts. I realize it will get easier and so on but I think it is important to share that not everyone bounces back quickly. To say that it is okay to mourn, grieve and fall apart over a pet's death because it means your pet meant something to you. Lastly, I think it's important to note that no one responds the same way to loss.