I am leaving in five minutes to go have coffee with a friend who recently lost her dog. Losing pet is one of the hardest parts of loving an animal and as I am trying to think of all the right things to say to my friend, I am reminded of losing my beloved Abby.
She was an amazing dog. She was a large (very large) lap dog. She wanted cuddles and hugs constantly. Every morning when we woke up, she would jump on the bed, sit in front of me and wait for her morning hug. I would hug her full on as she laid her head on my shoulder and closed her eyes. Her morning and my morning did not start officially until we had our hug. She looked forward to it every morning and it was a special ritual my girl and I had.
It was just one of many rituals but still - four years later - every morning I wake up and wish I had my dear sweet girl Abby to come up and ask for her morning hug.
Of course there are other memories that hit me, but that morning hug. Man, that was the best. She was a lovely, beautiful, sweet, affectionate and loyal friend, my Abby and I miss her every day.
The grief when I lost Abby was so overwhelming...I knew I could never capture her essence in a painting....how do you capture love, happiness, a heart full of love in artwork when we are always picking apart our work? Instead, I threw my grief into capturing her collar - it symbolized for me our special moments in the morning of her collar up against my neck with her head leaning on my shoulder and my arms around her. When I look at this piece (colored pencil work, btw), I don't see mistakes. I don't see "oh, I should have put a little more shadow there" or "that shape is completely off". What I see, is a memory of love.
Our pets are family and losing a pet leaves a permanent hole in our hearts. That's the risk we take when we love so completely and are loved so completely in return.
I am now leaving for coffee and hoping I have some words that will bring a smile to my friend's face or make her remember a special moment with her pet or even just give her a shoulder to cry on.