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Posts: 65

I posted this in my blog and I thought I would share it with you all because some of you have mentioned hearing the same.

It has been a mere two weeks since I lost my beloved Maddux and already, a few are telling me it's time to "get over it." The majority of my friends and family have been wonderful throughout this entire process I am currently undergoing. This message is not for those. Allow me to school some of you on the logic of death and grief.

When we lose someone we love, it matters not what "form" (so to speak) in which they come to us. Whether it be a family member, close friend, significant other, child, or pet. It simply does not determine the amount of time spent grieving for that individual.  The best way I know how to explain things is through example so here's what I want you to do: Imagine the people who are most prominent in your life; those who are constant.  Now, narrow that down to those whom you see on a daily basis. Imagine the individual who never disappoints you when the rest of the world does. Imagine the individual who wipes (or licks) away your tears. Imgaine the individual who runs to you when they are scared, hurt, or lonely. Imagine the individual who is with you 90% of the time. Imagine the individual who with one simple look--no words--can say, "I love you, more than anything in the world." Imagine the individual who can communicate with you with no words at all. Imgine the individual who listens intently when you talk, even if not speaking directly to him or her. Imagine the individual who protects you from harm, even when they are afraid themselves. Imagine the individual who greets you with warmth when you've been away. Think of how much that individual loves you and how good that makes you feel. Think of how much you love that individual and how good that makes you feel. Now Imagine losing it. THAT is what I had with Maddux....and I lost it. He went everywhere with me, whether it be college or the mailbox. He was by my side and he is no longer there. Now, the next time you think to yourself that someone who has lost "just a dog" should "get over it," Imagine how disrespectful it is to the grieving person and the memory of he who was lost. "It was just a friend," "It was just a relative," "It was just a husband/wife," "It was just a child." Hurts, doesn't it?

Again, it matters not the "form" of who was matters the impact he or she had on your life and the memories with which he or she left you. The larger the impact, the more memories, the more difficult it is to lose them...and the longer it takes to "get over it."

I don't WANT to cry, I don't WANT to grieve, I don't WANT to feel alone surrounded by a group of people...but I also didn't want to lose my best friend; my son. Of course, I have many other people in my life who I adore and love every bit as much as I love Maddux, but that doesn't make it easier either. You simply cannot transfer the love you lost into another. It doesn't simply go away. You grieve. When the grieving is done, you are at peace and you can move on. You have not "gotten over it."

"In the end, those who were carried off early no longer need us: they are weaned from earth's sorrows and joys, as gently as children outgrow the soft breasts of their mothers. But we, who do need such great mysteries (sorrow and joy), we for whom grief is so often the source of our spirit's growth--:could we exist without them?[....]and then in the startled space which a youth as lovely as a god had suddenly left forever, the Void felt for the first time, that harmony which now enraptures and comforts and helps us." --Rainer Rilke


Posts: 168
01 #1

Just a Dog

From time to time, people tell me, "lighten up, it's just a dog,"  or, "that's a lot of money for just a dog."

They don't understand the distance traveled, the time spent, or the costs involved for "just a dog."

Some of my proudest moments have come about with "just a dog."

Many hours have passed and my only company was "just a dog,"  but I did not once feel slighted.

Some of my saddest moments have been brought about by "just a dog,"  and in those days of darkness, the gentle touch of "just a dog" gave me comfort and reason to overcome
the day.

If you, too, think it's "just a dog," then you will probably understand phrases like "just a friend," "just a sunrise," or "just a promise."

"Just a dog" brings into my life the very essence of friendship, trust,  and pure unbridled joy.

"Just a dog" brings out the compassion and patience that make me a better person.

Because of "just a dog", I will rise early, take long walks and look longingly to the future.

So for me and folks like me, it's not "just a dog" but an embodiment of all the hopes and dreams of the future,  the fond memories of the past, and the pure joy of the moment.

"Just a dog" brings out what's good in me and diverts my thoughts away  from myself and the worries of the day.

I hope that someday they can understand that it's not "just a dog",  but the thing that gives me humanity and keeps me from being  "just a man or woman."

So the next time you hear the phrase "just a dog"  just smile...  because they "just don't understand."

Written by an unknown Doctor of Veterinary Medicine.
From the Therapy Dog Inc. News Magazine


Posts: 1,400
Dear Maddux's Mom:
I completely agree with all that you have written.  I would only say that anyone who would make such a thoughtless statement as "get over it" probably has never had the great pleasure of experiencing the termendous love of a pet.  I think that's sad.  I was just thinking today about how much love I saw in the eyes of my sweet Meister and how he spent most all of his life happy even when he had a problem walking or could not see or hear..still happy.  There are so many people who could learn to be more loving and accepting if they shared the great love of a pet as we have.

Thank you for sharing that with us.

Meisters Mom Forever

Posts: 2,285

You are right, people do not understand. I have a few friends who truly worry about how I am feeling, and from time to time ask me how I'm doing with it. Everyone else has just put it all behind them as though I've forgotten all about it in two short weeks. Two short weeks that, on the other hand, feel like a lifetime of sadness. One minute I feel okay and the next minute I am in tears. Yesterday I sobbed many times. Today, on her 2 week anniversary, I cried once. Of course the night is still young and I was at work all day, now I am home. There will be more sobbing. But sometimes I can control it, and other times it just bursts out and I can't stop it from coming.  Last Thursday at 6:18 (her time of death on July 3) I sat in my car and cried, because that was where she died the Thursday before. Tonight at 6:18 I planted some pretty white and purple wild flowers behind the rock in the backyard where I wrote her name and dates on. She's not buried there but I wanted the rock in the backyard since she loved it so much out there. Of course it was pouring and thundering and lightening but I didn't care, I wanted to plant those flowers at 6:18 for her tonight. I'm rambling but my point is, I agree with you, many people don't understand how much time, love, affection our pets gave us. You don't just walk away and forget that, ever.  


Posts: 1,001
Your post is such a comfort to all and the truth in it is enormous. We never get over losing such loving beings. We get through it with each tear and each day that passes and hold tight our memories that they left for us while they were here with us.
It will be six years since I lost my golden Max and it still hurts at times especially when those closest to me (husband, mother , grown children ) can't understand how I still can feel sad. Life goes on and carries me with it and my pain is less but I will always celebrate Max's life on his anniversary and his birthday and it doesnt matter how others feel. I know how I feel and how much his life and love touched mine.
Thank you for sharing these lovely words.
Hugs to you,
Max's mom Jo


Posts: 493


Chiquita's Mom

Posts: 555


Just Everything


The one who gave all in a heart beat
Only asking for love in return
Gentle warm eyes speaking many
words of acceptance with a single

Belonging was given without
judgment. Seeing in us who
we are meant to be, who we
could be. True love in
believing. Bonding written
by a silver star.

Those who say to us was
'just a Cat', 'Just a Dog'
have never known what we will
forever hold near and dear
Just everything to us who
have been given that rare
gift of true love. Something
few are given a chance to

The center of our very being
If not for them enriching our
lives would be forever lonely
Just everything to ones who
opened their hearts, letting
them in.

In this place of understanding
where others know and feel
the grief you know, are always
there for you. Many caring hearts
to lean upon when the waves of
sorrow come.

For the gentle ones have taught
us how to give of ourselves
and through that giving
we touch again.

Forever and always
Just everything
to our hearts.


© BarTendersBluesWolf

Aka J,C. Stewart



Posts: 148
If they aren't a pet person they just won't understand. They don't get that these are our kids. Sunday will be two weeks and I was just in a ball on the floor crying. There was a vein on my forehead that looked like it was going to burst. I don't care what anyone thinks about me being depressed over my dog. I will never get over it.

Posts: 185

Maddux's Mom, you are so right. It boggles my mind that there are so many people who don't understand the bond of love that forms between a person and a dog or cat or other little creature. They are unfortunate indeed. When you think of it, there is NO human being who can do what our animals do for us. Yes, a spouse or significant other might live with us and be with us most of the time, but humans are not capable of unconditional love. The love we share with our furbabies is truly unconditional, and the perfection and deepness of the bond can't be compared to our oftentimes difficult bond with our human loved ones. Also, human children grow up - they become independent and move away, unlike our furchildren. Our animal companions are forever dependent on us, and the trust they place in us is very dear and touching. They help us strive to become better people, I believe.

Zelda has greeted me at the door every day of her life (until recently, as she has been so ill). All her life, she has followed me from room to room, always wanting to be near me. She watches me and listens to me, and blinks her big green eyes at me with pure love and happiness. People who say she is "only a cat" and Maddux is "only a dog" are to be pitied, when you think of it.

I remember when my grandma Jo's dachsund, Muffin, passed away. We were all heartbroken, but grandma most of all. Muffin was her constant companion during her widowed years, always underfoot (looking for scraps from her delicious cooking), always there for her to talk to. We buried Muffin behind the apartment building, in a little field. Grandma visited the gravesite every day, and spoke to Muffin. One day a neighbor friend said to her as she returned from a visit, "Now Jo, she was ONLY A DOG." Grandma wouldn't speak to her after that. To her, Muffin was a daughter, pure and simple, and the neighbor had offended and hurt her deeply.

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