We all have our own way of grieving. We all take the time we need, or should learn to do so. We all have different hearts, feelings, and emotions that dictate how we will handle loss. Or not handle it.
For me, I’m historically knocked to my knees, no matter how prepared I think I am. It’s not pretty or graceful, or anything anyone would stick around to see. My heart loves deeply, purely, and entirely. Loss will never be easy for me. My children and husband grieve in different ways. Their hearts feel no less pain than mine, they just handle it with more grace than me, that’s all.
My dogs grieve too. I have watched this when our bunnies died, we’ve buried fish or a loved budgie, or simply when Grandpa has to say good bye and drive home.
Story is the most solid. He understands loss, and change, and leaving. He gets a bit mopey, melancholy even for a bit, but he’s OK if he is engaged in a fun game of fetch or a run. He is truly, as I have said a katrillion times, the most balanced dog I have ever known.
Watching Ocean morn loss is heart wrenching. Every animal that has lived in our house has been overseen to some degree by Ocean. The bunnies and birds have been hers to tend since the day they arrived. When one dies she knows it before us, and she will spin in circles, chatter, chirp, and do a guttural heart breaking cry, and then laying on their grave for days.
Then there is my dear $eeker. My Lost Boy. There is so much I don’t know about his heart. Everything is masked in his need to work, his compulsive nature. If it’s in front of him he will do it, complete it, finish it, all in the face of adversity. A truly great working dog. Maybe though, nothing is masked, maybe this is just how it is for him, but I don’t think so.
Since he was a puppy, he has been amazingly sweet and lovely with people. He is a people oriented dog. LOVES US HUMANS! But he is totally, undeniably, awkward with his own species, even nasty, and mostly a jerk.
Story is $eekers best friend, he is in awe of Ocean, and Franny he respected up one side and down the other. Franny was in fact the dog that held him in check. She didn’t ever put physical pressure on him, ever, it was simply her presences, which was huge, and a look at times. He never tried to push her, engage her in play, or pull stupid jerk moves. She gave him boundaries and taught him how to look at the world, and hopefully pause. She gave him a reason to hold his shit together. And with her around, he did. He would greet her each day, share meals off of the same plate, and they would sleep together sometimes.
Now he is lost. He is trying to figure out his way. Not having her here has left the doors open to rage in a way. This week I have watched him unravel without her presences. Reactive to the fence again, barking out the window, rude to our other dogs when not engaged in an activity.
But then he will stop. He will stop and look around. He will stop and take a deep breath. And he has a look in his eye. Lost. He depended on Franny more than I really knew, on a level I didn’t see before.
So our house is on play with a purpose or directed play, good mental exercise, tight management, and calm protocol. He is pushing boundaries and testing, so management both in and outside of the home is my focus right now.
We all miss Franny more than words can say. And I will have to say an extra thank you to her in my thoughts tonight, for taking such good care of $eeker. I didn’t realize all of the ‘real’ work she was doing over the past six years with him. It had to have been some what exhausting at times 😉
So, be kind, be thoughtful, love, and think good things … our hearts all need more of this, Nancy