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Monday, July 30, 2012

Goodbye?

I woke up this morning in the middle of a dream where someone was saying to me - "It's time for you to say goodbye to K". I went out onto the deck to drink my coffee while watching the hummingbirds buzz around, a time that K and I used to share. I thought about the concept of "saying goodbye".
All day, those words have hung with me, rattling through my brain like an ear worm that won't go away. As I've pondered them, I realized that I never really say goodbye to any of my departed dogs - and I'll never truly say goodbye to my heart dog, K. She'll remain part of my heart forever, and I'll keep thinking of her all the time. I see K in my mind's eye every single day, so vibrant and loving.
When a dog is still part of me, I have to deny that I ever really say "goodbye". I continue to let them be part of my soul even though they aren't physically here anymore.
I won't lie - these are hard times. I am fighting with all my will not to let the darkness take over but it creeps up on me when I let my guard down. I physically hurt because my beautiful and loving K isn't here with me anymore. For some reason, I received the gift of K's love... and I miss it so much.
At the same time, I try to do things to keep myself from falling in the inky black abyss - playing with R, riding my bike, seeing my friends, and going for hikes. And, I write blog posts, usually trying to be happy and upbeat. Today, I'll tell you truth that I've fallen into the darkness. Tomorrow, I hope, I'll be able to tell you that I'm climbing out again.

This boy's goofy antics do help!
But, despite R's smile-inducing games, I still miss my girl so much that I hurt.
Sorry for this "downer" post but, some days, I just need to be truthful.

Thanks to all of you who voted in the trail camera contest. If you missed yesterday's post, I'd be very grateful if you could check it out and quickly cast a vote for my photo. Thanks!

58 comments:

  1. Never apologize for your feelings and letting us know how you feel. We are here to listen and to help you through these days and months ahead. We will all be beside you through the good and bad days.
    K will always be a part of you...and your right, we never say goodbye...it's until we meet again.

    Hugs to you KB!

    Puddles and mum

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  2. Truth is what we need to know,and then our words might be of care,love and support.Each one of our animals are so special in their individual way, no-one can replace their love,devotion and place in our hearts.And because K has been with you through your own times with surgery and recovery, she is missed so much more. I hope this will pass, meantime maybe accept the dark days, sunshine will come when it is ready for you.Fondest greetings, Jean.

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  3. I don't think you need to apologize for your feelings at all! I think anyone who has read your blog for any amount of time understands that it would be a devastating loss. When I lost Treat, I felt like an amputee --like someone had cut off a part of me. It was really hard to recover from and at the time, I had no idea how I'd do it. Anyone who has loved a dog understands! Nobody is expected to be Suzy Sunshine all of the time, not even you. :) Be kind to yourself! If you want to spend a day or two or three or four crying your eyes out, give yourself that luxury. Recovering from grief isn't one of those things you do in a straight line plan. Some days are up days and then you get surprised by another downer. But soon there will start to be good days again. Little things that you start looking forward to can really help. I think anyone who reads your blog certainly understands and doesn't expect you to put on a smile when you don't feel like it! (((hug)))

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  4. Everyone who's truly loved their dog like family (me) understands how you feel.

    S

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  5. KB, So many of us totally understand where you are in this journey of grief, no apologies are necessary. We all wish we could go hiking with you or bring a smile to your face. Hoping time and R bring many to you.
    I just went and voted for your photo-best of luck, you deserve it!
    Hugs, Noreen

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  6. Hi Y'all,

    Just have to let y'all know you are still in our prayers...now to go vote since I missed yesterday's post.

    BrownDog's Human

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  7. Just voted!! Went to the Eukanuba Dock Diving yesterday and didn't get to the computer til now.

    KB, no need to apologize...just know so many of us understand how you feel. We are here to help you thru this difficult time. Give yourself permission to cry and mourn, be angry, it's all part of the healing process. K will always be in your heart...

    Now go hug that crazy tornado!!
    hugs, val :)

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  8. you don't have to apologize. Every single one of us has been in your shoes, and knows what it is like to struggle each day with the sadness.

    Have you felt her with you? When my first Dane passed away I was devastated. She was my heart dog, I had bottle fed her since she was 1 day old and she too died of osteosarcoma.

    Several months after she passed, I stared waking up at night...feeling the pressure on my bed, the kind she used to make when she'd lay her head on the edge of the bed. That went on for months, I missed her so bad I would crave that feeling that she was still with me in the darkness.

    Eventually, she stopped visiting. I dont know if she only stayed until she knew I'd be ok, or if it was just time for her to go on to that next place. Even now, thinking back on that time I am tearing up, a lump in my throat from the yearning that she were still with me. I know that's not possible though, and Murphy fills my heart in so many different ways that it helps me not dwell on missing her.

    You'll get there, its still too fresh and raw, but time does heal wounds. And so does crazy silly boy puppies.

    Murphydog's Mom

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  9. Hugs to you, I'm came over from Kona's blog. It's so hard to lose them, they are family, our furkids, heck our real kids. She looks beautiful, and she still is...she's just in another place right now, waiting till someday you can be together again. I really believe that, and hope you do too.

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  10. Puddles words right true, as do others. It is never goodbye, it is until we meet again. She will forever and always be apart of you and who you are. You never have to apologize for love, never.
    Blessings,
    Goose

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  11. Being German's here, we always say Auf Wiedersehen. We don't believe in good-bye's! To us there is no such thing ~ our loved ones are just in a different place at the moment where we can't see them or touch them.

    Unfortunately, rough days happen! We're here for you, so no worries!! We'll always walk by your side...

    Hugs,
    Kim

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  12. Please don't apologize for telling us how you feel. We're here for you, in the good times and the bad.
    There are no words that I can say to make you feel better. I still think of my first heart dog every day. But now I think of nothing but happy memories. Just know that, some day, you'll be able to think of K and feel nothing but happiness for the time you shared.
    Love
    Nola and mom

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  13. These mood swings happen. Don't apologize. Hang in there and I bet K will come visit you within the month. My Boo did.

    Merlin's Mom

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  14. It is all part of the grieving/healing process -

    Each day finds you experiencing another 'first with K there' -

    You know I'm always one to say it's not forever - it's just - for now -

    That song from Uncle Tupelo will always be a HUGE part of me -

    As will Dan Fogelberg's "Part of The Plan" and Ambrosia's "Biggest Part of Me"

    So, be who you must - that's a part of the plan -

    Along with 'more than an easy feelin' she brings joy to me' -

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=bOm0Dq_kKNU

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  15. KB,

    What you are feeling is unfortunatly normal, we all have gone through it and yes, it's rough...but you are strong and you have R and the Runner and your trail cameras!!! My thoughts and prayers are with you as you go through this grieving process.

    I voted!!!Loved looking at all the entries...yours is the best! Good luck!

    Take care,
    Lucy (silent MOD Troy, Ohio)

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  16. sweet KB
    Please don't be sorry for sharing the honesty of how you are feeling with us.
    You are doing what you need to do to survive.
    You are giving life all that you have at this time.
    You are looking for the sunshine,, you are looking for that special feeling that everything is okay.
    You are looking everywhere.
    I thank you for telling us,,, so we know when to carry you, and pick you up when you fall.
    If all of us have at one time loved a dog and especially a heart dog, we have experienced the pain you are in right now. And we will feel the pain again sometime in our life.
    You are broken.
    What happened to K was such a tradgedy, and a piece of your heart is missing.
    We will be beside you as you fight the darkness and heal. That is what friends do.
    Its impossible say goodbye to K. Her paw prints are all over your heart- and ours too. Her spirit lives on in your soul and each beat of your heart.
    We will never say goodbye..
    and please know you post is not a downer... It is honesty,,,
    and we understand.
    Thank you for posting the beautiful photos of K.
    Thank you for letting us carry you.
    love
    tweedles

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  17. There is no time on grief, and nobody has any right to try and put a timeline on it for you.

    I do hope to hear about you and R climbing.

    All of these pictures are a lovely testament to K, and her life with you.

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  18. Loss and grief have their own timetables, and can't be rushed.

    Wishing you much peace.

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  19. My heart cat died three years ago June 5th. I still miss her everyday and there are moments when I am still overcome with grief. I like to think that she is around me, watching over me, curling up with me at night, but it doesn't make me miss her any less.

    No need to apologize. This is a safe place to let those feelings out.

    Pip's mom

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  20. Please do not apologize. I lost my darling dog last year and I understand how you feel. I am sure she is watching over you everyday.

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  21. One of the things I love best about your blog is how real and honest you always are. Indeed, that makes everything you share all the more poignant.

    I so wish I could say something that would help you feel better. Of course you miss your beloved K, and of course you hurt because she's not here with you now. That's very real.

    But what's also real is that you loved her, and she loved you, and I truly believe that that kind of love is forever. So there is no need for goodbye.

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  22. Just letting you know we were here, but can't find the words.
    Bert and My Vickie

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  23. Don't feel sorry for feeling so down. I think it's a natural, and needed, way to feel at a time like this. Before I had Z and A I had two cats that were with me since I was a teenager. They lived to over 21 and 19, and I lost them three days apart. They were my heart cats, we were very very bonded. I was devastated and three weeks after it hit really hard. One of the worst pains I've ever felt. I can get really down too. But, things did get better. I never said goodbye to them either. It just doesn't seem like it really fits and I don't think it's necessary. I don't think they really say goodbye to use either. Like you, I think they are still with me just in a different form. One thing I read that helped me said to remember that our pets wouldn't want us to feel so sad or have any guilt, at least not for too long of time. Remember K loves you. Hang in there.

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  24. We understand. Early days can be so rough. Take time to work through your grief as you need to, and know that we'll always be here to send [virtual] hugs and support. Love from SoCal --

    L

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  25. I think you're expecting way too much from yourself too soon. When my heart dog, Tony, passed away a full 17 years ago, I wailed as though the earth was splitting in two and I was falling into the fiery center. It was months before I could say his name without breaking down. It was years before I could love another dog as I did my Tony. Nine years ago my Scout came into my home (a three year old rescue) and life and became my second heart dog. He's twelve now and every day I spend with him I treat as precious as gold.

    Give yourself time - lots of it. The sadness you're experiencing will ebb and flow for a long, long time. It's natural - a part of grieving. You can't love so deeply without the loss cutting into your soul. Be good to yourself. Love yourself. Give yourself time to grieve and to heal and to mourn.

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  26. From the mom - I apologized for my feelings once - to my dad when he was getting remarried - I have regretted it ever since. I look at our feelings this way - we can't control them - they are what they are - like a dog's instincts - feelings are natural. Most of us have lost a loved 4-legged companion who happens to be a family member too - we totally get those feelings. Besides, I know what happens if you don't talk openly and honestly - your feelings can eat at you until you either just withdraw or until you can't handle it anymore and nothing in life brings you any kind of happiness - been there, done that.

    Now with that being said,. we are here for you - whether it is a good day or not so good. And who says you have to say good-bye to K - I never have with any of my angel dogs and I don't intend to start. K made a big impact on your life - there will always be a large part of your heart that belongs to K.

    Your mission right now is just to get whatever you can out of life- K's spirit will be there right by your side. Part of our mission is to be here and listen. Sorry this comment is so long - sometimes I get talking and don't know when to stop.
    Kim

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  27. Dear KB
    Be gentle on yourself, my dear friend - this is a difficult part of your life-journey.
    "Saying Goodbye" is just a label. The more you embrace your reality, the healthier you will be emotionally and stronger too. Simply recognising how you feel and acknowledging its value will make you feel stronger.
    My own personal take on this issue: You NEVER 'have to say goodbye'... (unless you want to) For example: Max's spirit continues to live with me, every day and I embrace it ... it's beautiful and is part of who I am. It's not that I don't recognise his departure from my physical world, but the value of his memories is immense and this continues to influence me from beyond the grave. Your connection with K happened and is beautiful, personal and valuable. Embrace what the universe offers you...
    Thank you for sharing yourself so openly and candidly. This is what makes us all stronger - our honesty and solidarity with one another.
    Hang in there, sweet friend.
    Lots of love
    MAXMOM IN SOUTH AFRICA

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  28. Don't be afraid of the darkness. It, too is there as a part of the process. Can I share a painting as a way of putting my arms around you? Ihope you understand why. It is called After the Fall and was done in 2008. www.rawhonesty.com

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  29. Ann..from..THE OUTER BANKS OF NC...said....I understand how you feel..I am so sorry .. the grieving process will take time..we all know how hard it is...but hang in there...there are no good byes...(it is just a new pathway of life-that unending sunshine of God's love)... and you will always be connected to K...she is forever in your heart.....I believe in due time she will visit ...her love is so strong...you could always see it in her eyes ... you know... R has beautiful eyes too......remember we are here for you...take one day at a time.....Hugs

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  30. Six months on and I still think about my girl every day and I kiss her photos around the house.
    Special friends don't leave us, they stay in our hearts forever... so no need to say goodbye. Don't be hard on yourself and cry when you want to.
    Sending my love to you xx

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  31. Dont apologize for how you are feeling. All of us who lost a fourlegged familymember knows the pain in your heart and soul. You was so near K and she loved you. It will take time until its going to be a little easier to make the day through.
    R will help you. He is loving you like K did..he has the best Mum to take him to these wonderful hikes and you will together make better days.
    I think of my little ones when I´m sitting with them and they jump with joy on me. I only look at them and they understand...thats the connection we have with them...
    K is still watching over you....

    Try to vote again, warm hugs!!

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  32. How can you ever say goodbye to a piece of your own heart? That is simply not possible, and should never be. You will eventually somewhat get used to the fact of her physical absence, but K will always be there with you. Don't ever let anyone suggest otherwise.

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  33. NEVER say sorry for telling us how you feel, we above all others know what you are going through, we understand and get it totally. How could we not ?
    In the past 7 years I have lost 9 dogs 3 have not crossed the bridge so I know they are safe but 6 have and I have never said goodbye. I refuse to say goodbye because they never leave me, They live on in my heart and memories, they visit me when time are hard or when they just need to let me know they are still around.
    The pain eases but it never goes away completely, for me anyway.
    Where is it written ' we have to say goodbye '? If you love anyone they way we love our furbabes you never want to let them go completely so why should our furbabes be any different.
    There will be times you will sink in a black hole of despair but there will be other times where you suddenly you will think of a moment where K made you laugh at something so small and silly and your heart will soar with the sheer joy that she bought you at that moment in time.
    So NEVER say sorry to us please, many of us have walked in the shoes you are wearing right now and we all know how uncomfortable they are.
    We are all here to walk beside you, for you to lean on when those shoes rub and hurt.
    With much love
    Momma Tea
    xxx xxx

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  34. I am still struggling to understand she has gone myself - it would be a miracle if you didn't have days like this when your wonderful beautiful companion has gone, before her time and in the peak of your lives together. It must be utter hell and I feel terrible for you.

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  35. We know exactly how you feel, KB. We have never said goodbye to Maggie. She is here with us in spirit every single day. Her photos are all over our house and we smile at her all the time, sometimes through tears and sometimes not.
    (((hugs)))

    Love ya lots,
    Mitch and Molly

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  36. Blogging is a great place to pour out your heart. I have done it myself, many times. It is amazing to me the love felt in this community of people that haven't even met each other. I feel your pain. I have lost pets that were so dear to me that I thought I couldn't even get out of bed after. People who don't own pets thought I was crazy. I do understand how you feel, it is a day to day thing and today is not a good one. I hope tomorrow is a better day. R is beautiful.

    Anne and Sasha

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  37. Maybe it was K herself who gave you that bedtime message. She loved you so and wants you to find happiness. So you should tell her, I am doing my very best, but my grief for your loss will go on for a time. Do you talk to her everyday? After five years gone (and 17 years of life) I still miss my Otis everyday and tell him so. I am Irish enough to believe he hears me. Do you write about K?
    Poems, stories, notes, that will help you too.

    Cheers and hugs,

    Jo

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  38. You are not alone. You will grieve for K for as long as you need to - no less and no more. Each of us is different in how we grieve and how long it takes us, but you have so many friends who understand how loosing a friend we love can hurt so much.

    I promise you that one day, when you have done all the grieving you need to do and cried exactly the number of tears you need to cry, that you will be able to think of K, to look at photos of her, and to talk to other people about her with out feeling sad, without tears but smiling agian for having known her.

    K will always be with you.

    With love from
    Riley's human

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  39. It is hard to know what to say. Chin up as we say over here and try and look at the good things. You feel low because you lost K but without her you would never have had so many good times. You are lucky to have had such an animal soul-mate. We are sure she watches over you.
    Best wishes Molly

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  40. KB my heart breaks for you xxx never feel bad about sharing your thoughts with us. im sure most of us have felt the agony of losing our furry friends. it took me months to get over losing my first dog deefa, he was the most amazing dog i was so so lucky to of had him in my life just as you were to have K. i know it hurts and it probably will for a very long time to come. but eventually the pain stops and all that is left are the happy times in the memories you had together. take one day at a time and keep trying to stay positive and look for the good things in life and one day you will notice things are good again. you will meet K again some day just as i will find Deefa again some day xxxxxxxxxx all my love xxxxxxxxxxx Charlene & Stormy xxx

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  41. There are a lot of strangers (like me!) who come to your blog because of your love for your beautiful dogs. I came along just when K started to get sick, and though I lurked, I was there with you. I am so sorry for what happened to K, but what a treasure she was! Absolutely the most beautiful of dogs, inside and out. There is no reason in the world you ever have to give that love up! It makes you pretty darn awesome in this stranger's eyes.

    I have had many, many dogs before but until my Maddox, I never had a heart dog. Now that I know, I understand even more. Yes there are days like today that it just all seems so unfair, but there will be days you can revel with happiness in the wonder that she was. Those days will get more and more but nope, you will never lose that love and ache but hey, that's what makes us the best of people.

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  42. It's ok KB - you are allowed to grieve. Believe me I know. It's like an 800 pound gorilla is sitting next to you, very close to you. If you move just a little bit in any direction it attacks you. My son's death is that 800 pound gorilla - K's passing is that 800 pound gorilla. Some days it just attacks even when we stay perfectly still. I am learning to live with that gorilla and acknowledge that he is there. My husband and I have always believed that when we lost our first chocolate lab Buster in 2008, we would never be happy again with another dog. We were so wrong - we both believe that Buster sent us our Indy Bones to take his spot. Our pets have permanent places in our hearts where they live on in our thoughts and dreams.

    Peace to you,

    ~dt~

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  43. Oh...forgot to add....I voted for your photo - it's a great picture!!!

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  44. When I lost my grandmother sometimes I found it hard to catch my breath. She was like a mother to me and I was holding her hand when she took her last breath. This was 3 years ago and it is still overwhelmingly painful sometimes. However, I've been able to find "messages" from my grandmother like the Cardinal male and female that showed up on the anniversary of her death this year. Then on her birthday a few weeks ago, there sat one of their offspring on my kitchen bird feeder. Red birds were her favorite. It might take a while but I'm convinced that we get signs from the loved ones we've lost. The signs remind us that it's okay because they are with us.

    Mamma Heartbeat

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  45. Puddles said it perfectly. It's never goodbye..only until we meet again. I understand how you feel. I lost my "heart dog" (DeeDee) in 2009 and sometimes I still find myself waking up screaming her name as I did on the day she left so suddenly. Then I lost her daughter, Angel, less than a year later and her other daughter, April, just recently. I still feel so empty inside. But I still feel them close to me, their souls embedded in my heart and in this house. This gives me comfort. I hope there are brighter days ahead for you soon. K is forever a part of you and will never leave.

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  46. Dear K:
    Two years ago I came to live here with my Mom and Dad. Their little minpin who was 15 had just passed away a few weeks before and Mom said she was never ever going to get another furkid cos she didn't know how to deal with her grief. It was hurting her heart to much, and her days felt heavy and dark. One night a friend of hers came over and told her to go for a ride with her to a kennel cos she was dropping off some items for the dogs that lived there. Mom went, and as soon as she saw it she was sick. Dogs in cages, barking, smelly, sad, horrible, horrible place. Mom started to cry and just wanted to go home. She waited in the car, but as she was sitting there she started to feel a calm feeling, a peaceful feeling and decided to get out and walk around. It was a classic puppy mill. She had never seen anything like it before. In a pen with three large dogs was a little black puppy. Mom didn't know what kind of pup she was but the person told her she could hold her. It was me. Mom started to laugh cos I looked like a baby gorilla with big big eyes. The lady said I was almost blind cos of the big dogs and they couldn't sell me. Mom carried me around for awhile (I smelled really bad) looking at the terrible place and a all the dogs. The person told Mom she could just have me if she wanted me cos I wasn't worth anything. Mom said, no..cos of Zeus and losing him, and no more furkids, but she couldn't put me back in the pen. Needless to say, I went home with her that night, stinky, and dirty but oh so happy. Mom took me out to zeus's grave and we sat down and she just had to know it was okay that she brought me home, and that he understood why. Silly Mom!!! He sent her there to save me, to bring me home to heal her heart....to take the love he left with her and give it where it was so much needed. Later Mom went back and rescued my brother, Sam and aunt Trudie. Listen carefully and follow your heart...you will come out on the side of love. All My Love Stella Rose

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  47. Dear KB,

    Don't feel that you have to apologize for how you feel. It's not good-bye. This is just a temporary separation. We will all meet again soon.
    When I lost my Samantha almost 3 months ago, I couldn't stop blaming myself. I kept thinking it was my fault that I didn't "feel" the tumor. I could have saved her. Then I started regreting not spending enough time with her. I must admit, after having a baby, I have not spent as much time with the dogs as I have had before. There were even times when I told her to go lay down when she wanted to play but I was just too exausted.
    Would I do things differently if I can change the time? Yes, in a heartbeat. But I can't turn back time, so I made a promise to myself and to Samantha that I will spend as much time with June as I can. We will take more walks, play more often and cuddle more.

    YD

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  48. Don't apologize. Getting your feelings out to those who care is part of the healing process.

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  49. Posts such as this one are part of the healing process, and the photos you've included are treasures you don't ever have to let go of. I hope the days become easier, but I understand how hard it is to keep up as if nothing changed when there's a big hole where someone or something you love used to be.

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  50. just know that all these feelings are normal. You got to share a lot, you and K. No one can take those memories from being in your heart
    Benny & Lily

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  51. It is never really goodbye for they never leave our hearts and souls. All that you are feeling is so normal but that doesn't make it any easier. Hope today was a better day for you. Mega hugs.

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  52. KarenK in PortlandJuly 31, 2012 at 6:09 PM

    So sorry you have to go through this. As with everyone else, I can relate. My beloved kitty, Harley, still drops by and visits me once in a while. Hopefully "talking" to your blog buddies will help your heart heal in time. That's what we're here for now -- and to vote for your wonderful bear picture of course! Take care.

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  53. Sending hugs upon hugs upon hugs.

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  54. I haven't been blogging much lately, but have had you in my thoughts. Our Roxie has been gone for four months now, and I still struggle with her loss. A few good things about blogging are the many friends we have to lean on, and all the wonderful photos of healthier, happier times with our beloved pets. I know K was such a special girl, and her loss is great, but just continue to take it a day at a time. xoxo

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  55. It was two years ago that I lost my heart dog Barney and I can still have panic attacks when I let myself stop and think how much I miss him. I don't think my heart will ever stop aching for him, but it's worth all the love we shared. Don't ever apologize for being human. :)

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  56. I've lost dogs that I love but I don't know if I've ever had quite the relationship that you had with K. She was your daily companion. It's hard for me to think of you without K so it must be so much harder for you. So as others have said, no one expects you to not be hurting and to have that come through in your posts. But I know the darkness you speak of and want more than anything for you not to be there.

    I've been reading Pema Chodron and I wish I could remember the exact quote but it was something about actually embracing the hopelessness. In other words, to stop fighting the reality of the moment and that somehow in acceptance of the pain, it will lessen. But I do still believe that your activities are what will help you see the beauty around you and hold you up.

    I'm no wise woman, but you are, and I'm pulling for you.

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  57. Life is never always 'UP' or 'HIGH'...you are going through the natural grieving process and I applaud you!! Warm regards...Ron

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