Once upon a time, Woof and Wolf, my two-year-old Bichon Frise dogs, and, I lived together.
A few weeks ago, someone told me of a "heart-broken" woman and the death of her dog. That same person asked me if I would give her one of my dogs.
Well . . .
I took the request to the highest authority I know, namely God, and consulted with a couple of my closest friends also.
The rest is history.
But, not so fast!
The new family and resident, Wolf, are all content, reports indicate, and "they love to play with him," I was told.
But grief takes time.
I bet Wolf is adjusting also to his new home. Does he miss me?
And, two years living together in their puppy "growing" years is substantial enough to create rapport.
And, now, to feel the loss. There is an ache, for sure.
Loss of life, limb, love, and, pet is like that!
So. . .
I talk about Wolf and Woof. Especially Wolf. The good and not so good times of living together. The challenge. Yet, the memories. I relish thoughts of Wolf being there at the top of my stairwell when I come home after a day of counseling and pastoral carem or shopping, or church, or, the gym.
He's ready to play, to go for a walk, to be fed again from our lunchtime meet. . . and . . . well...
Woof has become a "new" dog, it seems, being King of the condominium where he and I reside.
Yes, Woof seems to like being without Wolf. Dog gone it! Well, you see, Woof is much smaller than his brother, Wolf, who seemed to dominate, and, wanted to be first in the door, first out, first to be fed, and . . .
Just look at Woof smiling now as I read this out loud to him. Happy as a lark, so to speak!
Woof, don't you miss Wolf?
He doesn't seem to mind Wolf being in another home. Not at all.
Not at all. My assumption. Must be some sadness, no Woofie?
Well . . .
Perhaps he was taught to "tough it out" when loss comes his way? (Not good, because swallowed grief becomes depression. Worse! My will he join the million who go on medication to get through this dark tunnel? Is he aware of this at all? Please God!)
I don't know? Will he need a dog counselor? Perhaps. (There are such practices also!)
I asked him if her misses his brother, Wolf, but, he keeps on wagging his tail, and trying to lick my face!
Ughhh..... And, he gets a lick in and I have to wash it clean and remind him not to lick!
Dog gone it!
It takes time.
This loss also. I will grieve. And, write, and journal, and talk. And . . .
Children will best appreciate this loss.
It's like the loss of their first pet fish, or . . .
They go through it also.
That's what I hope to embark on these months.
To grieve, but not as those who have no faith, as the first letter of John in the Good Book notes.
And, Lent, a forty-day retreat of sorts, getting in touch with the feelings of Jesus' own loss, abandonment by his closest friends, denial he felt, rejection, and, the whole set of feelings known to humankind (variations of mad, sad, scared!).
There is such a thing? (There is. Granger Westberg's, Good Grief, tells of ten stages of loss in a most succinct little tome with a price that is right also. It's the briefest, best book I've handed out to hundreds of people in the same boat I am now).
A grieving I go. . .
Dog gone it!
See, I'm doing it here, right now!