Death, grief, love and losing your BFF.

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Reddenblu’s Rhythm on the Range, aka Rhythm. June 17, 2005 – April 17, 2016

Yesterday, June 17th, 2016, was a tough day.  We should have been celebrating our Rhythm girl’s 11th birthday but in January of this year she was diagnosed with a mast cell tumor and sadly, her life was cut short as I had to help her cross the Rainbow Bridge on April 17th. Logically, I know we were lucky to have had her in our lives for a decade and that we were also lucky, as some are not, to get a few really good months cherishing what we knew would inevitably be our last times together. Emotionally, though I wasn’t quite ready, I had hoped to have this summer and one more birthday to spend with her. This post is a memorial to her and the years of happiness, laughs and great joy she brought into our lives. As well, as a way for me to deal with the rawness, pain and guilt that is still in my heart.

Maybe grab a tissue, it could get dusty in here.

Now let me start off by saying, I’m not unexperienced at handling grief. I’ve come to know the wound left by the loss of a loved one does slowly, albeit painfully, heal; eventually turning into a beautiful scar that you carry with you always.  And even though life is never the same, you are able to move forward with memories to hold, reminding you of that loved one’s place in your life. I’ve lost many family and friends, of both the human and animal variety, to this point in my life and if I continue on my life journey the reality is I will lose more.  I recall my first real understanding of the finality of death came with the loss of my pony, Danny Boy, at about the age of 8.  I’ve lost a Great-grandparent; both sets of Grandparents; my Dad to suicide; two co-workers I was quite close to; as well as our beloved dogs Baron and Helix ….all of which had a strong, lasting impact on my life. At times I have felt overwhelming sorrow, pain and emptiness grieving for each and every one of them.

So losing another dog to cancer at the senior age of 10 shouldn’t come as a complete shock.  I mean, come on now,  I understand how life works at this point and I know none of us is getting out of here alive. As well, I am fully aware that our four legged friends typically have a shorter stays on the blue dot than our two legged ones (unless you have a turtle, they will probably out live you and maybe even your children). But then again, I am getting older and having to face my own mortality; so maybe this death just has me thinking more (or maybe it’s menopause and I’m just more emotional?).

Regardless, Rhythm’s death has been a difficult one and even though I’ve come to accept her passing, I am still dealing with feelings of anger and confusion. After all, she was an Australian Cattle Dog, they are supposed to live forever!  Ok, well maybe not forever, but ACD’s are a hardy breed that have even held the oldest dog title in the past. If you don’t believe me check out Bluey, who lived to the ripe old age of 29 years 6 months and 12 days!  Rhythm was active and had no health issues for the past 10 years. Honestly, I thought she’d be with us for at least another 5 years. It was my French Bulldog, Dooley, who I’ve been nursing with an injury that had me thinking for the past 18 months we’d be saying good-bye to him sooner than later. But, I guess the universe thought I needed a reminder to embrace the moment and live every minute fully and completely, as life rarely goes according to your plans or what you think is supposed to happen.

 

OH Rhythm, we miss you!  I miss you.

We miss your how your tail moved like a propeller when you loped out ahead of us on our daily walks; we miss how a Heeler never comes without a gift, and that you always somehow found a toy to bring back for an endless game of fetch.  We miss your intense stare; your head in the dishwasher; I miss stepping on you every time I back up from my easel;  we even miss the tumbleweed balls of hair rolling across the hardwood floors (seriously, you shed…A LOT!);  we miss how you talked in growls & grumbles;  your competitive nature at having to strike like a lightening flash across the room to get to a chew toy that no one else was even remotely interested in; we miss giving you shit for heeling the Frenchies. We miss so many more things too, but most of all we miss your hugs.  You were the best hugger ever.

Until we meet again my Silly Goose, I promise to hold your memories dear and close to my heart. I still feel you at my side and I am sorry we had to say good-bye too soon. The yard is filled with your spirit and I am glad that we were able to bring your earthly body home and lay you to rest here in the place where we loved spending our days together.  The Froglets and I visit your grave often. Did I mention we miss you?!?!???  Hugs my sweet, Pretty Girl. Sleep easy and rest in peace until we meet again on the other side. You were a once in a lifetime dog.  💙💙💙

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Thank you for stopping by and I promise to try and make next post on a little lighter note.

One Comment on “Death, grief, love and losing your BFF.

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