It’s been quieter around here. There have been fewer tails wagging, and fewer dinnertime noises. The random barking at seemingly nothing has quieted. The bed feels a bit emptier, there is no squishing and smooshing to fit on the sofa. When the back door is opened, there are only two that rush outside. It’s weird and calmer, but mostly just weird and I’m not used to it.
Two weeks ago, right after Valentine’s Day, we had to say goodbye to our sweet babies, Tweak and Jesse. Our mom and daughter inseparable pair were inseparable even at the end and went over that rainbow bridge together. Tweak’s health was not getting better, and we knew when she was diagnosed with heart disease that there’s no cure and not many options. We tried to manage her symptoms and make her days happy and full of love. It was the hardest, most heartbreaking decision we’ve ever had to make. It’s hard to explain why we chose to let Jesse join Tweak at the same time, but I think all dog parents will understand their bond, their old age and that it was just the right thing to do.
Dealing with grief has been tough for everyone, including the other two dogs, Marilyn and Ripley. Ripley has been fine, he didn’t know T and J for as long as Marilyn has so I don’t think he understood. The kids did not understand, and for a few days would ask when they were coming home. Or they would ask where they went. Explaining that to an almost 6 and almost 5-year-old is HARD. I can say that emotionally, we are all still healing.
Marilyn, however, just lost her two best friends. She was loved on by Jesse so much it was like Jesse had adopted HER as her baby and would clean her and love her. It was precious. And then all of a sudden, they were gone and Marilyn was left here with just Ripley. You could see the worry in her eyes. I think the worry, the sadness, and the stress got to her because she got sick – an upset stomach that was not fun at all. We had to have her fast and then slowly introduce a bland diet of rice, then rice with plain chicken, and eventually start to mix in her food WITH the rice and chicken until she was weaned back to her regular food. Phew.
And we had to love on them. We took them for a walk out at a nature preserve, they got bones and treats, groomed, cuddles. Through all of it, we’ve relied on comfort items – things we love, foods we love, for both the humans and dogs. The dogs have enjoyed their Luvsome, which keeps them happy and healthy with balanced nutrition so I don’t have to worry about what they are eating, I know it’s good for them. Combined with the convenience of shopping at Kroger and using their ClickList, I can add their Luvsome food right to our order and they bring it right out!
(side note: It’s very hard to get photos of Marilyn. She’s still timid so unless you sneak attack it, there’s no way. I caught the above by pure luck!) I’m very thankful for the friends and family we have that have helped us through this hard time. Dealing with the loss of a pet is hard, and it’s not something I would wish on anyone. You will be okay, though. If they were sick at the end, think back to their happy and healthy days! I very much remember the first time we met Tweak and Jesse, how happy they were for some interaction and how they stole our hearts. Remembering those happy times, their unique personalities has definitely helped.
If you do decide to bring a new furry friend into your home after a loss, consider your food options and opt for an easy and affordable brand like Luvsome. Available at Kroger and their family of stores, it doesn’t require a special trip to pick up.