grief

IKE, THE RESCUE BOXER, CHOW, COLLIE, LABRADOR, HOUND, MIX (HE SAID, PART 3)

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“That was a long time ago, but I didn’t know if I wanted to go through that again.

It was a tremendous loss.

I still look at photos of him and tear up.

I also didn’t know, if Ike would live up to the standards of my last dog.

But, my daughter pulled the card of being an only child, and I caved.”

Leroy, the Maltipoo (Maltese/Poodle Mix), (part 4)

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“We’ve had a lot of losses.

Their have been deaths in our families, and friends, too.

Leroy has been there for us.

He gives us snuggles and love and I really believe he knows when we are sad or sick.

He instantly calms down and curls up on our lap or chest.”

Ellie (short for elephant), the French Bulldog that is an entertaining clown, and great comfort (part 5)

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“Time is malleable in your head but seeing something tangible, like the growth and aging of a dog helps to serve as a point of reference.

Sometimes my sister’s passing feels like yesterday, and other times it seems like a long time ago.

Ellie helps me focus on the time at hand.

She is pretty much my dog, so she is my job.

I would recommend people who are going through something emotional, like a drastic change in their life to get a dog.”

Ellie (short for elephant), the French Bulldog that is an entertaining clown, and great comfort (part 4)

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“Ellie has created new thoughts.

While I am sad about my sister, it’s also okay to be happy about having a puppy.

I want to be there for Ellie.

She depends on me, and that helps put things in perspective.

Watching her live in the moment with no past or future has been helpful.

Watching her grow has also been valuable because I realize how much time has gone by since my sister’s accident.”

Ellie (short for elephant), the French Bulldog that is an entertaining clown, and great comfort (part 3)

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“I pretty much knew at that moment that I wanted her.

That was in August and I picked her up a month later.

Ellie has been great for my parents and me.

It’s a new life in our house.

I think it’s good to keep busy when you are grieving.

Before I got Ellie, I was just alone, thinking about my sister all the time.

Ellie is a responsibility so she has helped me get out of my house physically, as well as my head emotionally.”

Ellie (short for elephant), the French Bulldog that is an entertaining clown, and great comfort (part 2)

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“One of my friends researched French Bulldog breeders online and found one up in the Bronx in an area called, Country Club, near the water.

My friend, my sister’s boyfriend and I went to the breeder’s house and she had two left in  a litter up for adoption.

There was a little cream puppy and a little blue puppy.

The blue ones can go for up to $15,000, so I didn’t think she was in my price range and I didn’t ask about her.

After hearing my personal story (because I had to fill out a form explaining why I wanted a Frenchie on her website before even being eligible for one of her pups), she offered to sell me the Ellie, for the price of the cream puppy.”

Ellie (short for elephant), the French Bulldog that is an entertaining clown, and great comfort (part 1)

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“I’d been wanting a Frenchie for a few years.

They are like clowns; they have funny temperaments.

I was a college student so I couldn’t afford to get a dog, and I didn’t have the time to care for one either.

I graduated from college last May and then a few weeks after that, my sister died in a car accident.

She was 20 years old.

My parents thought it was time for me to get a dog.

I wasn’t working yet, so I had a lot of free time.”

Jean Luc, the companion French Bulldog (part 4)

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“Eventually I took Jean Luc to daycare and printed the photos they posted on Facebook.

I put those photographs on my mother’s  mirror.

With Jean Luc, there was always something to talk about with her.

A few days before she died he wouldn’t go on her bed.  He wouldn’t even go in her room.

He was with her as long as she was consciously aware.

After she died and I brought him back to her house he helped me cope.

Snuggling and having Jean Luc around helps fill the hole.”

Wendy and her rescues (part 3)

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“Now I have Belle (an angel) and Macey (my soulmate).

After Gracie died, a vet tech asked me if I was looking for another dog.  She knew I was fond of Greyhounds, but said she had just rescued this little fox-like dog, who had been abandoned in the Bronx.

I said I would meet him.

They had shaved him, leaving a lion-like mane around his neck.  He had the most beautiful face I had ever seen.

I took him for the weekend as a trial, but didn’t even walk half a block before I knew not only would I keep him, but that he was my soulmate.

I wanted a companion for Macy and knew it was going to be a Greyhound.

They had ended the Greyhound rescue program at the AMC, so I found a rescue group in New Jersey.  I took Macy to meet his potential companion.

She was the smallest Greyhound I’d ever seen.  She weighed around 50 lbs .(the bigger Greyhounds can way up to 80).

If she were a woman, she would shop in the petite dept.

They got along from the beginning.  they don’t actively interact much, but occasionally I see Macy grooming Belle.

I feel their spirit.  Belle is not the old soul that Gracie was, but she’s sweet and without any malice.

Macy stares at me wherever I go, even if it’s just the bathroom.  He is connected to me all the time.

I don’t feel that I’ve had a human family, but my dogs are my family of choice.”

Kirsten, the animal lover and pet care giver (part 2)

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“Two of the dogs that I have a deep connection with are Carter and Rocky.

I have been taking care of Carter for 3 1/2 years.  I met him when he was 6 or 7 months old.  He is a very sweet dog–  it’s the way he interacts with dogs and people.  When he meets dogs and people he puts them at ease.  Even though I can tell he’s excited, he gets low to the ground or finds a way to be non-threatening, and patiently lets the other dog sniff for as long as it takes for the other dog to be comfortable.

He seems to be able to judge if a person is interested or unsure or afraid.  He matches people’s behavior.  If someone is interested, he approaches them right away, but if someone is sure or afraid, he gives them their space and lets them be.  He’s always up for a good time.  He adapts to any situation.

I brought him home with me for Christmas, which involved a car ride with my siblings who he’d never met and then meeting my human, canine and feline family in a new place in the suburbs.  He had a blast and chimed my family completely.

The one split second where he lost his cool, and gave in to his dog instinct, he tried to play with the cat.  The cat was having none of it and fled.  Carter went back to socializing with the rest of us (humans) and new dog friend, unphased.

I started walking Rocky at the same time as Carter and we just clicked right away.  He had a lot of energy and was very outgoing.  He seemed as excited as I was to go out on the streets of NY and see the sights.  He was my co-pilot.  I took him on multiple guided walking tours of Central Park through the Conservancy.  I would keep him out for entire afternoons even if he was only scheduled for a short walk.  I even once asked his owner to bring him to a dog luau that I was bringing Carter to, so that I could hang out with my dog friends on the weekend.

Last Spring Rocky started knuckling under with his hind right paw.  That leg continued to get weaker.  Eventually, he was diagnosed with a degenerative spinal chord disease.  He got around on wheels for a few months, which meant he could still find grass to graze on and patrol for squirrels.

The disease was progressive and incurable and ultimately took his life.

It was an honor to help his family take him to the end of his journey.”