Grieving for a Lost Pet (In Memory of My Dog Sephi) - Part II
Before you read this, read Part I of my article "Grieving for a Lost Pet". This will tell you a little bit about my recent experience with losing my dog Sephi and how you too can deal with the loss of a beloved pet. This article that I am writing now (Part II) is more for me than anything. For therapeutic reasons, I want to share some stories about the dog with whom I have shared my life for ten long years. Feel free to share your beloved pet in the comments section below.
Sephi, the Chow/Shepherd/Lab/Border Collie Mix
Sephi is a mixed breed. My best guess is that she was half Chow Chow (hense the black spots on her tongue, the curled tail, and the aloof attitude), a quarter German Shepherd (note the big pointed ears when she is alert, also her herding instincts), and possibly also an eighth Labrador Retriever and an eighth Border Collie. I'm almost positive about the Chow Chow and German Shepherd but not so sure about the Labrador Retriever and Border Collie.
How Sephi Got Her Name
I got Sephi during the period of an ugly divorce. I won't go into details about that situation but I will say that Sephi's cute puppy antics kept me going. And since she was a puppy, she also helped to keep me from falling into a deep depression because she required a lot of care.
At the time that I got Sephi, I was really big into Greek Mythology. I had already named one of my dogs Achilles, now it was my new puppy's turn to have a Greek name. After much review, I decided I liked the name Persephone (Per-se-fony). But that was quite a mouthful and not one that many people would be able to spell or pronounce properly. So I shortened it to Sephi. I still called her Persephone at times, but I mostly called her Sephi.
Later she came to have other nick names. Boo Boo was one of the first. I thought it was a silly nick name and she was a silly dog so it was perfect. I also called her Nut Case, Brat, Boo Boo Head, Sephi Doodle, etc.
Moving? Gotta Bring the Whole Family
About one year after I got Sephi, I had the opportunity to work for a company in Kansas City. I lived in Texas at the time and had no family anywhere near Kansas so leaving home was going to be difficult. But I needed a job. The company that hired me offered to pay my moving expenses. Part of those expenses included putting me and Sephi up at the Marriott until we found a permanent place to live.
Sephi Pretty in Pink
Because Sephi was such an integral part of my life, I talked about her to my new co-workers all the time. Everyone at the company who came to know me also came to know Sephi. One time when I went back to Texas for the holidays, one of my co-workers/friends offered to take care of Sephi while I was gone. Her name was Heather and while she took care of Sephi, she made her a scarf. Sephi often gets mistaken for a mean dog because she is bulky and black but the scarf gave her a touch of feminism and cuteness. So ever since that time, Sephi always wore a pink or purple scarf around her neck.
Sephi was an aloof dog. She didn't demand a lot of attention. She did love to play but it often seemed that she only put up with the petting because she knew that it made me happy. There were times when she did enjoy petting and an occasional belly rub, but it wasn't often. Like most dogs, Sephi also enjoyed squeaky toys and walks. While she enjoyed walks around the neighborhood, she did not enjoy being in public places around a lot of people or a lot of dogs. She did not enjoy the Renaissance Festival or some of the pet events I took her to. And whenever I went on vacation, I found it was less stressful for her to have someone come to my home and take care of her rather than leave her at a boarding kennel.
Although Sephi didn't demand a lot of attention, she did like to be in the same room with me. It was like she needed me but she didn't need me. She wanted me to be with her but she didn't want me to bother her. I remember one time when I left for a few days, my roommate had said that the dogs really missed me, "Especially Sephi". "Sephi? Really?" I asked. I expected Maya to miss me more because she is such a loving dog. But since Maya loves everybody and everything I guess it shouldn't be surprising that Maya adapted to my absence better than Sephi. Well, Sephi, I will have a hard time adjusting to your absence too.
Sephi Saves the Day
Although Sephi wasn't as loving as Maya, she was a very good dog. She was very well-mannered (except when it came to her dog-aggression). I could always count on her being friendly with people and even with children. She had even protected me once when a stranger came into my apartment. I wasn't feeling well and forgot to lock my door. When I heard the door open and a man's voice, I freaked out. Sephi did to. Her bark was so vicious that the man had run off before I had a chance to come out of my room to see what was going on. Her bark really surprised me since she is normally very sweet. Even maintenance people who came into my apartment when I wasn't home didn't have any problems with her.
A Great Life for a Great Dog
I don't really know when Sephi's birthday is but she was about two months old when I got her in June of 2001. She was so cute and silly that I thought it would be funny to assign her birthday as April Fool's Day. She lived to be only ten years old but they were good and happy years. Thank you, Sephi, for being a part of my life and for bringing me such joy. I will never forget you – ever.
Sephi (Persephone) April 1st, 2001 – November 2nd, 2011.