Finding & Fighting The New Normal

We live in a fast paced world as well as one where you can post any type of media and within seconds anyone in the world can see, read, comment and even download the content. Struggles are still always going to be there and have to be dealt with, but in a lot of ways….it’s easier. 

Most of us have had periods of loss…be it the loss of a grandparent, parent, aunts, uncles, cousins, sibling, spouse, child, grandchild, neiece, nephew or their furkid. Loss of a job, marriage and so on. Personally, I’ve been through the loss of both parents, a husband and most recently the loss of my furkid. The above picture is of Mary Elizabeth….my furkid.

I had had Mary all of her life, I had both of her parents and little Mary was born a little over 14 years ago in my living room. She was in every way my baby. She was my little shadow. If I went somewhere, she generally went with me, with the acception of a store or church, she was with me. If I went somewhere to stay the night, be it at my sister’s, at my adopted parents or anywhere else she went with me. She was always, always at my side or in my lap. 

March 18th 2017 at around 10:30am I had to make the decision to let her go. The day before she had had a stroke and her little body had worn completely out. She’d not been sick prior and had enjoyed excellent health. With my arms around her, my face in her fur, I told her I loved her, crying as I did so, my sister in front of her stroking Mary’s paws and telling her she loved her as well. Mary had a peaceful send off from this life. 

I had known, a gut feeling, the night before that whatever had happened, whatever was wrong, that Mary would not be coming home from the vet’s office the next day. That sick, unstoppable feeling that claws at your very insides that the end was near. That there was nothing that I could do to make her better. I didn’t know that she’d had a stroke until we were at the vet’s office saturday morning. 

Mary had never been “just a dog” to me. She was a little life to take care of. A blessing in my life and also a responsibility. In my life she was…best friend, companion, secret keeper, my shadow, my clon & cheerleader when I was down, and my little furkid. I’ve never had children, so little Mary was also my furkid. There was never a time when I don’t remember being concerned in the winter if she was warm enough, cool enough in the summer, if she had had enough to eat or enough water to drink. She had a rather large toybox (at last count she had over 60 toys), she had a bed in the bedroom, a crate filled with cushions and a bed in the living room on the floor. Even though at night she slept with me on the bed, on her left side, me on my right as she snored with her little head on my pillow. 

It’s not that I thought that she would live forever. No one gets out of this life alive. It’s just…..there was no warning beforehand. Her last time at the vet’s when she had her last shots in July of last year….she was in excellent health. She was happy and bouncy all of her life. 

Mary was…such a big part of my life. I was always a firm believer that I hate to wait to go to the bathroom so I would even set my alarm to make sure that if she didn’t tell me beforehand that she had to go outside that I wouldn’t forget. My alarms were set for even at night and I would get up and take her outside then too. At 14 years old why should she have to wait? 

Since Mary was treated with love and basically just like a kid, (because she WAS my furkid) her personality was huge. She was loving and gentle….and stubborn. She was more different than any dog I have ever had in my life. I was told by many neighbors, family members and friends that when I was gone, if someone knocked on the door she wouldn’t bark. However if I was home, she would bark a few times to let me know that someone was at the door. 

As with any loss…..there’s a big hole in my heart. The pain is huge. I’m grateful that she didn’t continue to suffer. That day before she died was the only day and while I wish that she didn’t suffer at all, I’m grateful that she it wasn’t longer. I was blessed to have her for all of her 14 years, 5 months, 6 days and about 5 hours. She added so much to my life and I hope so much that I added to hers. She gave me soo much love, loyalty, sass and fun. 

Finding this “new normal” hurts. It’s hard. So much reminds me of her. So much of my time was devoted to her. Walking into the apartment it hits me full force. She’s not there to bark a hello to me. She’s not there to give me what for for not taking her with me or for being gone longer than what she thought I should be. She’s not there to cuddle with on the couch as I watch tv or read a book or crochet, or to take her downstairs to the yard. She’s not there following me in the bathroom to (I’m assuming) supervise me on things. When I go to see friends, she’s not there to come with me and visit with people. She’s not there to go for a walk and watch the animals outside cross our path. 

So many people have made comments about me getting another dog and it’s basically a slap in the face. It cut me to the core till I felt like I was bleeding. You can’t replace somene…be it a person or a furkid. 

For those of you who read this…please do something for me. if you have a furkid of your own, take a moment. Go love on him or her. Give them an extra treat. Let them know they are special to you. They give so much love and loyalty, so much devotion. Let them know that you love them. 

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