Sunday, November 4, 2018

The Distracted Hearts Recovery. Getting and Going On After Losing Your Pet.

It has been about a month of wallowing. Wallowing interrupted by abrupt volcanoes of tsunamic tears. Blubbering, hiding, angry, guilt-ridden crocodile tears.

I lost my pup over a month ago. It was put it all lightly.

Jekyl and his dearest admirer, Jitterbug
I don't know how to process this grieving any other way. I can drown in it, if I could find the time and lifestyle to get away with it. I could run, escape, evaporate either geographically or spiritually. Or, I can trudge on with a try.

I can try, try like the hell it is to just get through it.

I am one of those people. I talk to myself, provide affirmations projected from long ago, to be resurrected when they are needed, as I try to go on when life denies me the reprieve to stop, sit and process. I don't have a life that permits me to not to go forward, (even when I don't want to, and,even when I'm not so sure I can).

How do I try? I try to live the laudable jargon I spew professionally daily. Be the model grieving parent who doesn't go belly up begging for medication or evisceration. TRY, like hell, to be that person. That person who can, when I know I am simply the empty, broken, hollow other who can't and isn't.

But, after the weeks pass, the cards collect, the flowers retire, I grab my own bootstraps and jump back in. I am happier thrashing forward chaotically than wallowing and submerging. I start to put out subtle feelers for a soul in need to distract my shattered self.

Me and Jek leaving radiation.
That smile, those adoring eyes, his trust in me, and our bond..
I couldn't imagine how I would go on without these?
Distractions aren't contraindicated. Are they? What if they do good while providing much needed static-chatter-fixation? I could save a life. Maybe two, (and, maybe my own?), concurrently. Who needs a shrink to tell me I should take time to process my emotions? Truth is my emotions are eating me up from the inside. Making me want to dig my own hole to lay my own dead condolence flowers upon. Rest in peace my ass. I am tussling in bed in tears. There is no peace. There is emptiness. Quiet (I hate quiet), absence, loss. PAIN.

There were loads of options available to lessen the self-imposed grief ridden burden:

Vacation. (Check). Helped immensely, but left me dreading the deadness of the house I had to go back to.

Dwell. The worst option for me. It is like walking into a black hole. I get sucked in and there is no way out. I can dwell for 48 hours and then even I hate who I am looking at in the mirror.

Redirect. I took some time to sprinkle extra adoration on the remaining kids of the clan. My biggest secret to managing the death depression is to never have an empty nest. It is the work out plan without  the "congratulations, job well done!" display. Get up every morning and invest yourself in others. You may feel that life has left you, but, you are never left and alone.

Resurrect. Find something you put off while the hospice care, death dueling, and grief was governing your time. For me I got 5 books to keep me from getting too far into my own head. I scattered them like toys. One in all the places I was likely to get stuck. Bedroom, kitchen, tv room, and living room. Get lost in someone else's story, especially when your own is so bleak.

Repurpose. I fueled my empathy into the patients whose parents were in the same dilemma I was. Don't rush them, never judge their difficulty in saying goodbye, and for Pete's sake don't expect anyone to be as hard-boiled-headed as I was. Maybe 9 months of oncology wasn't everyone else's answer to compassionate care? Maybe a quick goodbye saves everyone from considering swallowing a lung full of wine? (There are always too many "maybes" to haunt me).

Suck Up Your Own Self-Pity, Jump Back Into Pet Parenting, and move on. I preach that, I better be able to follow it... I was soooooo hesitant to do it. I talked myself out of multiple adoptions because I was just to pitiful to do anything but cry about the millions of reasons this dog wasn't my dog. It took me apologizing to a lot of puppies for failing to be ready for them, and for them not being him.. (I know it wasn't their fault, but they were paying for it).

Even last night I was in the presence of the perfect beagle puppy. She was everything on my wish list,, and still I wanted to walk away. I could make up a million excuses. (I deserved every damned one of them. I hurt this bad). BUT, I stayed. I walked, I confessed (always be honest, especially with animal people, they get it). And, as I was about to walk away the foster mom pulled out the most brilliant trick in the book. She put her in my arms and rested her head on my shoulder. That little puppy surrendered. Went limp. Sold her soul to my broken heart and reminded me it can breathe again.
Fripp. Our first embrace
It was the slap to my egg-shelled wall of self protection I needed. It shattered into dust.

I realized that I might be able to move on.. might.. I realized I had to try. If I started to shut myself off from loving another pup again, making time for them again, I would just be this lonely,, still.

Those ears. She has those ears. The ears that Jekyll had. Long, soft, velvet, spilling around her gentle brown eyes, and able to be lowered to the sides of her smile when she needed them to elicit something from someone. She had them,, and,, I needed them back... I needed to be reminded that there is always another chapter to be written. I can write it in the dark, some Shakespearean eulogy to a devoted mom who died years ago as a tribute to perfection. Or, I can distract my heart and rewire my head. Post pictures of her in all of the cracks and gaps that sorrow brings.. and walk on the end of a leash to a horizon full of beagle-adventures awaiting.

Then; this photo;

became this photo,,

repeated, just a few weeks later.

And,, I realized I might be able to go on. Get through one loss, with the gain of (two) others. I could do it. It might not always be pretty, but what in real life really is? We all want it to be neat, tidy, manageable. Check a box on a list of the things a normal life brings. Accept them, get through them, and try to not let your mascara run in public. It's an expectation set up for failure.

Life isn't that easy. If you are really living it as you muddle through.

Jekyl begs for steak from Joe,
who oddly,,, repeated the photo a short few weeks later.

same begging puppies, and Joe in the same shirt...
and life goes on.
My advice; simple, take what you need to. Be kind to those who just don't live like we do. Those of us who love beyond what the norm thinks is reasonable. Be passionate. Grieve, full on ugly if you have to. Don't apologize for it. And, then try to see the beauty in the next generation. There is always another one to sink your heart and soul into. 

Meet Fripp and Storm. My new distractions, and, my heart full happiness. Jekyll would approve. He would adore her.


Fripp, on Jeks bed.
For more on grieving see these related blogs;

For more on Jekyll's journey see these;

Fripp, Storm, and Charleston, 11/3/18
To learn more about my journey please follow this blog. To learn more about pets and pet care please follow my YouTube channel. If you have a pet question, are a pet lover, or think that you would like to contribute to helping other pets across all socio-economic borders please join us at It is a free question and answer site dedicated to educating, empowering and inspiring pet people the world over.

I am also punching a clock for the shear love of wet noses everyday at Jarrettsville Vet,, the greatest little vet clinic in the solar system.  And for the best Facebook page take a lookie over here at Jarrettsville Vet Facebook.


  1. I am so sorry for your lost Krista! I cannot imagine losing my baby one day. Please take care!

  2. Losing a pet is a very hard to accept and doing a pet euthanasia is very tough decision to our pet, the pain is so strong while I'm holding my beloved Lucy while doing the procedure. Thank you for sharing this.