Dealing With Grief

There’s an old saying that time heals all wounds. It’s a lie. Don’t believe it. What time does is make the pain bearable. However, the wounds never completely heal – the scars remain.

Over a year after the passing of my dog Bear, I still miss him. My heart still hurts from time to time. I didn’t think that pain would strike me again so soon. I was wrong.

This past weekend I lost my little Pomeranian, Pixie. She was one of the best things in my life, but now she’s gone and the pain is at times unbearable. For those who don’t have children, often times pets become one’s children. I fed her, gave her a home, played with her, held her, bathed her, brushed her, trimmed her nails, took her to the doctor, bought her toys, Christmas presents, and snacks, and corrected bad behavior. In my eyes, she was my child.

Twelve years ago, my roommate had lost his Pomeranian, and after bearing that grief for several months, we decided that in order for him to heal, it was time for him to find a new puppy. After spying an ad in the local paper, we drove over two hours to Olympia to meet with a breeder. She had two pups left, sisters from the same litter, and they were adorable. Pure-bred and the offspring of show dogs, they were perfect. The only problem was in choosing one and leaving the other behind.

I had never owned my own dog (Bear arrived the following year)…I had always owned cats. But I chose at that moment to become a dog owner. And it was a wonderful choice. Pixie lived up to her name in every way. Full of energy, personality, and adorably cute, she was the perfect dog for me. She would hide under blankets, earning the nickname “mole”. She could jump into my arms from the floor, amazing for a little six pound dog. She loved chasing rabbits and deer. The cat, Attila, was her mortal enemy, always trying to steal her food…she was a picky eater, but just the mere mention of the cat’s name could get her to eat. She also loved to sit in the grass while I worked in the garden, and she loved watching TV. But most of all, I would constantly hold her, and she would sit in my lap for hours, building a bond so strong that when I walked in the room, she only had eyes for me. We were the greatest companions, inseparable.

When she passed this weekend, it was a blow I have still not completely recovered from. I’ve lost my only child. My only consolation is that I know in my heart that some day, we will be inseparable once more. For now, I must go on without her, but despite the pain, I don’t regret having her for a second. I think the following Peanuts image, sent to me by my Mom, sums up my relationship with Pixie really well:

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