Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Life Goes On

After a loss, we all have our own way of dealing with our lives. Some of us may retreat, at least for awhile, to lick our wounds and reassess our positions. Don and I have known losses in our lives, big time. We both lost our spouses, coincidentally 5 days apart in June 2002. We found each other a few years later and began a new life together. But we still remember those lonely days after the loss of our spouses, and how it changed our lives.

Shadow was a part of our new joint life. He was a special part of our daily routine. Now that he’s gone, how will our routine change?

When we go shopping or out to dinner or to visit friends, when we return to our home on wheels, we will no longer be greeted at the door by an insistent puppy wanting to go outside to piddle. We won’t be pestered at the breakfast/lunch/dinner table for goodies from people-food. We won’t have to remember to give his treats after dinner, Milk Bones and Dingos.

We won’t have to constantly try to quiet him whenever he starts barking at whatever is happening outside, whether it’s people talking, dogs walking, or anything else that tweaks his super-human hearing or otherwise annoys him.

We also won’t have to worry about him when we’re on a bus tour that starts at 7:45 am and ends at 8:30 pm. We won’t have to wonder what we will do when we have to leave the motorhome on a ferry overnight and sleep in a berth topside, and we can’t take him with us, and we can only visit him during specified hours. And we won’t have to be concerned about going to a hotel for a night or two on a tour that requires it.

We won’t have to worry that he will become prey for wild animals as we tour Alaska or other frontiers of civilization.

But we won’t have his adoring looks, his hugs and snuggles, his joy at sharing a walk, a roll in the grass, an acceptance of a treat. We won’t be able to walk the neighborhood with him and meet other dogs, seeing how they communicate with each other. We won’t share his joy of running off leash on the beach or in a field.

We definitely miss our Shadow, but we will adapt our lives and outlook to take advantage of being pet-free, at least for now. We will talk about adopting a rescue animal in the future. But that’s still a long way off. In the meantime, we’ll get our puppy fixes from other people’s dogs, and maybe pet a cat or two as well.

We’re definitely healing from this loss, and appreciate so much the outpouring of love and sympathy from so many friends and family members. Thank you, one and all, for your messages. Love and hugs to everyone. We will be okay.


  1. I SO understand what you are saying. I think one of the reasons we keep hanging onto Poppy is that I cannot imagine life without her. It seems sometimes we are keeping her going by sheer force of will. In many ways life will be easier and we will be freer when she passes, but when she is gone, that will be the end of pets for us. It's so hard...we love them so much but at some point we know we have to say goodbye. Their lives are too short but so filled with love, devotion, and all the happiness a fur kid can bring. It's been almost a year since I lost Rusty and I can now remember the good time with laughter instead of tears. It gets easier and the memories get sweeter as the days go by.

  2. They fill our lives. I remember many years ago when we had lost both our dogs within the space of 6 months. I hated coming home. No happy faces and wagging tails at the door. I remember I used to complain about all the hair on the hardwood floors. Oh what I wouldn't give for a room full of that hair. It seems that our lives revolve around them, as you said making sure that they are comfortable and we worry, worry, worry about them. But you know, I wouldn't have it any other way. Because as you know when they're gone, the hole is so big, that it just is overpowering. I know what you're going through and it's so hard. Time does heal, but there will always be a spot in your heart that belongs to Shadow and no one else.

  3. Condolences to you, we know how you feel. Even though it is so difficult to lose a treasured pet, we couldn't be without their unconditional love and companionship. You have nailed the difficulties and pleasures of Rv'ing with our dogs, and as much as it would be so much easier without them, we can't imagine being without them!

  4. Our deepest condolences, we feel your pain. The unending love and companionship we receive from our pets is healing for mind and body. Remember the good times.

  5. I know how you feel, and you said it best. When we lost Murphy 4 years ago we still cannot bring ourselves to adopt another. Murphy was cremated and travels on the dash of the motorhome, that was his favorite place to lookout......

  6. I don't know if we told you the story of how we lost our Ellie, (who also came with me and was stolen by my husband, George) in Goshen following the Escapade in 2007, which was our first year on the road. We were so appreciative that the staff at White Veterinary Hospital in Goshen had been so compassionate. We busied ourselves and enjoyed our freedom from those dog-type responsibilities. A few months later, I was very tempted to steal a walk with a dog that had broken loose and thoroughly enjoyed walking with us in a park where we stayed but was tied up all day and left by its owners. It looked at me with such sad eyes and would whimper. I thought we would either get a dog or I would wind up in jail somewhere. We waited a year, thinking we would adapt, and every morning we would look out and see the dogs walking with their people and the tears still filled our eyes. It was not an easy decision. An artist friend had painted her picture for us, which we had to put away for months as it was all too life-like. We had been through a long period of demise and difficult good-bye with Ellie. We got one and then two dogs, and our hearts are happy yet our time is so very divided. We suspect we will face more painful good-byes. But we are certain our lives are richer because of our faithful companions. Ellie's collar still hangs above the dash of the car which we bought mostly for her comfort and enjoyment. Her memory will travel with us as we continue our journey! Best to you and Don as you find your way through the loss of your special Shadow.

  7. I'm glad you are able to at least write about Shadow in your blog. I found that very hard to do after losing our past 3 dogs. It does help though, I think.

    Again, the only remedy is time but it's very difficult so soon after.


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