Monday, December 1, 2008

Remembering the Fur Kids

I am not an overly dramatic woman. Drama makes me cringe. But this month, it seems as though a bit of drama slipped just beneath our radar and approached with warning, but without welcome.

When Rob and I met, we both had fur kids. He had a spry 85 pound German Shepherd named Louie. Louie had the energy of four dogs and shed enough hair that I could have built another dog on any occasion. He was a love of a dog and though my watering eyes and sniveling nose would not permit me closeness to our big ol' Lou, I did enjoy seeing him with his crooked ears and feeling protected by the sheer magnitude of him. I was certain very quickly that Rob and Louie were a package deal - allergies or no allergies, if I married Rob, I was inheriting Louie:)

I, on the other hand, had a small, yappy four pound poodle. The complete antithesis of Lou, Molly sprang from spot to spot jingling ever constant behind me. She was groomed three or four times a year whether she needed it or not. She slept faithfully at my feet or on my head, depending upon her mood. Molly played like a champion and was loyal to a fault.


These dogs, whether we ever intended them to or not, rescued my husband and myself at difficult times and were definitely family members. Lou's health began to fail last year. We were prepared to put him down at that point. Because of the nature of his problems, he went to live at Rob's parents' home. He would stay with us while they were away and the last time he came to spend time, we knew that he was not long for this world. The day before Halloween, Louie went home to Heaven. We all grieved Louie's death. I thought the girls would be the saddest but surprisingly, when I explained he was whole again and could run and jump like when he was little, both girls were so happy.

Exactly one month later, Molly began breathing inconsistently and I was worried. She did not run or play, she struggled just to sit. An emergency appointment would confirm that Molly was in heart failure. So, the day before Thanksgiving, alone in the vet's office with just the vet and his wife, we allowed Molly to fall asleep forever. She too, is now whole, joyful and breathing easy.

I never noticed how much of my day revolved around this four pound wonder. In the past thirteen years, I have never closed a door behind me, I close it part way, wait for Molly to escape and then close it the rest of the way. I am still doing this. I keep looking for her when I don't hear the pitter patter of her little feet - she followed me everywhere. When I sit down, which is not often:), I keep bending to pick her up and lift her onto my lap. I know these habits will die hard, but they are encouraging to me that I did love her in the most precious ways while she was here with me.

So, today I am remembering the fur kids. I am thankful for them and the special times they brought to our family. I know that eventually, we will introduce a puppy to our family. In the meantime, I will continue to lick my wounds and remember our sweet pets.

17 comments:

Kate said...

Heather,

So sorry for your losses. Gosh those little furry friends just become such important family members and see us through such tough times. I am sorry you lost both good friends so close together.

Hugs to you,

Kate

Michelle said...

Oh Heather,
I am so sorry to hear about the passing of both dogs. They are trusted friends and family members both. Please know that I am thinking about you.

Sending you hugs,
Michelle

Joy in The Truth (Sharon Sloan) said...

How amazing that the Lord used your "fur kids" to encourage you both during difficult times.

I am NOT a pet person, but I have to say this is so touching...I have tears in my eyes. I think it slipped by me that Molly was put to sleep, too. I am sorry.

Will be praying for all of you during this sad time. You will be keeping your "Molly habits" for a while...like leaving the door partly open, etc. I pray each time you do, you smile and remember the love she shared in your family.

Half Gaelic, Half Garlic! said...

Heather I am so sorry that you lost your furry family members....it is really tough to lose a pet, but to have lost two a month apart must be devastating. My heart goes out to you...you have really had quite a bit of excitement over these past few weeks. I have thought of you often....not sure if you ever got my message, but I did leave you a voice mail a couple weeks ago. Hope to catch up with you soon.

Sending hugs,

Lisa

Missy said...

Hey girly,

I am sitting here literally wiping the tears away from my eyes, as I feel your pain! I ran over my 14 yr. old dog in Sept. and he became "whole" again ( I love the way you put that, it puts me at ease ). They are our babies...furry or not.
I am praying that you will remember all the love your sweeties gave you!
Hugs!
Missy

Jboo said...

Hi Heather -- So sorry for the loss of your pups! They were certainly beautiful dogs and sounded like they added so much to your life as you did to theirs. What sweet memories you've shared. Take care.

Janet

Meredith Teagarden said...

I always think of the verses that a sparrow does not fall that the Lord does not see. I am so sorry to hear of the losses of your beloved family members. when I lost a puppy i could not speak of it for months without crying!

Lori said...

Aaah, it's so tough to lose a beloved pet, they become so much a part of our day. Your little Molly was just the sweetest. :)

Beverly said...

so sorry for your losses.

Sheri said...

So sorry for the loss of your fur kids. Pets really are a part of the family. Here's a big hug for you!

John & Michelle said...

I am so very sorry for this loss. Our dog (5.2lb yorkie mix) is our fur baby and love of both our lives. She has slept in front of my tummy every night since we brought her home, at only 1lb! I'd get up several times each night to take her to peepee so she wouldn't have an accident in our bed. Hubby wasn't too thrilled at first...now he is totally smitten with her!
(((HUGS)))
Michelle

Denise said...

I am so sorry. In the past 2 years we have had to put down both of the dogs that we had before children. One of the hardest things we have had to do.
I am so glad that you have such sweet memories to remember them by.
I am also glad that your daughter is better. Those stomach bugs can be pretty nasty. We had 2 at once in the ER a few years ago!

Hugs~

Shelly and Family said...

Oh Heather...this post is also having me remembering our fur kids. Our Hank - who was so very sick his whole life & my little fireball - finally said good-bye to us only after 9 months of Francesca coming home. I swear it was like he was saying, "OK mom, she is here...I am going to go now." He got so sick those last few days that my heart broke. We still have our other fur kid, Honey Bear, who is this big, lump of a yellow lab that has been with us for 13 years (we adopted him when he was 3 so he is actually 16 years old and let me tell you, he can shed some fur too). He is such a good boy and my protector. He too is having some minor health issues, but I think this big guy is here to stay for just a little while longer....

Thank You for this post. It took me back to a time of our two fur kids and how life was than & how life is now...

I to am so sorry for your losses...

MacMui Mom said...

Beals Family-

We are so sorry to hear that you lost your fur children. Growing up with dogs, I know how hard it can be to lose a pet. Our hearts and thoughts go out to you at this tough time.

Lots of love,

Lisa R and family

sheryl said...

Heather,

I am so sorry for your losses. I can only imagine how sad to lose both of them so close together. I know this pain all too well. DH and I became a "blended" family when we married. He had a dog and I had my kitty. It was a blissful union for all of us. :-) They were both the childhood pets that my older two children will always remember. We lost both of them within a year of each other, right before Linzi came home. Even though she never met them, their pictures are everywhere and she knows all about them. Four years later and they are still a huge part of our family and hearts.

Thinking of you sweetie!

Hugs,
Sheryl

Kristy said...

Heather I am so sorry for your heartache. I know exactly how you feel. Bless your heart.
Love, Kristy

prechrswife said...

Sorry for your losses. We dread the day when this starts happening with our cats. They are all fairly close in age, too, so they will probably go in a brief time, as these things go.

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