Losing A Pet
Losing our family pet
She was perhaps the most beautiful English Spaniel I had ever seen. It was her eyes. She was loving and such a good dog. Then the aggression started. You know a nip here, a growl there over a toy or a possession she didn't want to give up. Then I think our darling Abbie discovered that growling scared us into doing what she wanted.
One day, glassy eyed she chased my mother and I out of the bedroom.
You have to understand this was a family pet we raised from a puppy, she was part of the family. Abbie was the little sister I never had and she filled a place in our hearts we didn't know was there until we had to put her to sleep. Was it rage syndrome or just dominance? We don't know, but one day she bit my arm because she didn't want a bath. Now our dog is gone.
Part of grieving, other than the tears is anger and a lot of maybes. Maybe if we did this or maybe if we did that things would be different. Guess what? All the maybes in the world haven't changed the fact that she's gone. Every where you turn in the house there is a memory. Every morning you wake up and the realization is there.
Some don't understand that losing a dog is like losing a person. They figure it's just an animal. Obviously, those people have never had a "best friend" that was their pet. My mom is taking it the worse (or maybe my Dad who just swallows his emotions like he does a glass of water).
There is more to grief than the pain or missing whatever or whoever is gone. The maybes are just the beginning. There is the anger, at one's self, at the one you are grieving for, at family members. There are the questions too. "Did we do the right thing?"
Don't forget the "whys". Why did this happen? Why did she act that way? Why couldn't she have just behaved? Why us? How about the "what ifs". What if we would have taken her to a dog trainer who specialized in aggression? What if it really was rage syndrome? What if we would have not put her down? Would she have bit someone else?
How about the Coulds? Could we have trained her out of it?
I don't have the answers to that either. All I know is Abbie is gone and there is a big hole in our family that only she could fill...