Losing the love of my life

By Deluded Diva  Staff Writer Sherry White 

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The love of my life has actually been here all along. I just never really realized I had that love all along and didn’t have to search for it.

How could I have missed that it doesn’t take an E-Harmony search or a personals ad, or endless "what is your sign" dates?

That unconditional love that you long for was already there.

That playfulness, that joy,  was already there.

That adoration was already there.

Being there for me no matter what, letting me cry and being comforted, was already there.

The love of my life was there when I was a baby, a toddler, a child, a teenager, a young adult, and now into middle age. It always brings a smile to my face, happiness when I am sad, and joy at the unbridled zest for life the love of my life brings me.

I am talking about the dogs that have blessed me with being in my life.

Today I was out walking my two little best friends by the river. There wasn’t a cloud in the sky, the river was peacefully flowing, and they were running and playing with the innocence only a dog or a child can have.

The wind was blowing in their little faces as they zoomed on ahead of me enjoying all of the sights and smells, yet every couple of minutes they would turn around to make sure I was okay and still headed in the same direction.

They are both young now, and I dread the day when they start slowing down. Eventually you outlive them and once again lose a best friend.

As they were running, it brought back the day last year when my 16 1/2 year old dog died in my arms. The vet had told me that she was trying to hang on for me, because I would get hysterical when she would have a fainting spell.

The vet said she could sense my stress and wanted to stay for me. She said I needed to let her go, that she was suffering. We made the decision that if she hadn’t died by the next day, I would take her in for her to be put to sleep.

I didn’t want to make that decision, yet I knew I couldn’t let her suffer, so I brought her home, made her comfortable and talked to her. I told her that she had been the best friend one could ever have, that all of us loved her so much, and I said all of the names that she recognized and loved.

I stroked her gently as I talked to her in a calm voice telling her she could go now, that we would miss her so much, but that I knew it was time for her to go. As I spoke, her breathing got more and more shallow, until it stopped completely.

I lay still, tears streaming down my face, watching her little eyes close for the last time. She was in her favorite blanket. It was almost midnight. It was cold outside. I knew I was not putting her out in the cold. I didn’t understand until the next day when the vet explained it, that when dogs die of certain heart conditions, they don’t get stiff or cold. I thought she was staying warm for me to cuddle one last night, and I did. I cuddled my best friend until dawn when I was able to let her go.

I still dream of her and the other dogs in my life quite often. Usually we are walking in a big field and they are running and being free. I can even smell their little faces, then they run out of sight and I start calling them. That’s usually when I wake up and realize it was a bittersweet dream, because I was actually with them for a while, yet when I wake up I know they are gone.

I know that the Rainbow Bridge poem has to be true. It tells of the dogs in your life that have gone on and are waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge. It tells you that when they see you coming over, their ears perk up, their tails start wagging, and they are there to welcome you. I believe that…..their love for us and our love for them never dies. They are the loves of my life.

7 thoughts on “Losing the love of my life

  1. Exactly how I felt about the 3 goldfish that I watched over for my boys when they were young. They loved to sit in my lap and watch football with me and always perked up when I came in the door after a long day at work. Everytime I walked past the fish tank they wagged their tails at me…but, of course, I am a huge animal lover and they — like all animals –loved me.

  2. Thank you Jane and Lee. Jane that is why I love to write, your telling me I touched your heart is exactly what I love to do, touch people’s hearts. Thank you!
    And to you Lee Smarty Pants Patkus is there a bigger brat in the worlddddd Lee is my brother in law and loves to tease me about my love for animals. He is still lovable though in spite of it. Just can’t ever trust a non lover of animals completely though HA

  3. Sherry, I love animals….other people’s animals!
    Heck at one point I took those 3 goldfish to the bathroom and sent them on the “ride of their lives.” Of course, then I had to lie to Jackson and Brooks and tell them that “the goldfish ran away because they did not clean the water more often.” Jackson did not speak with me until I allowed him to get some more pets: 4 lightning bugs in a jar. The lightning bugs did not have the same interest in football as the goldfish, but did seem to light up when I entered the room.

  4. As a teachder or writing, you have captured the essence of your love for your ” friends”. I used to teach fifth graders to capture a moment in their heads, and like a videocamera, begin to replay the sights, smells, sounds, and feelings as the story unfolds. As I read novels to my classroom, I was sometimes removed to tears. As unsettling as this might be for a role model, my advice to them was, ” As you read a book, look for the author’s intent. If the author cannot leave you with a feeling of, happiness, sadness, anger, agreement, dis agreement, then it was probably not worth reading.

    This piece moved me to another perspective of what the author felt about her beloved animals.

    Well done, Sherry! I loved it!

  5. i have no pets……but after reading this moving article …i feel inclined to go purchase a few!!! sis ……..you are an amazing writer! you made me feel the love and pain of owning a pet. so well written….betsi…was amazed and enjoyed the article sooooooooo much!!! wish someone with connections could read your articles!!!

  6. Sandy go ahead and buy a few pets, just do not bring them home….unless, of course, they are well-behaved goldfish.

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