Loss & Grief

Both of these subjects are not new to me. They are painful reminders of how short our lives truly are and to appreciate every up, down, good, bad moment we have with not only other humans, but the animals who choose to come into them.

Last Friday, we lost one of our dogs. Gizmo came to us abandoned, alone and starving. His previous owner was arrested and sent to jail for dealing drugs. Her father came to clean out her apartment and informed the apartment manager, who happened to be my childhood friend, that there was a dog and a cat in the apartment. He didn’t know how long they had been there and didn’t care. He told her to do what she wanted with the animals. She immediately reached out to me, knowing that my girls and I have a soft spot for dogs and horses. I was hesitant because I heard horror stories about chihuahuas; shaking, yapping, nervous little ankle-biters. But the shelters down there were full, and this little guy needed a safe place, so I agreed.

For the past 9 years, Gizmo etched his place in our hearts. He rarely barked, loved everyone he met and his favorite place to sleep was on my pillow. Every morning, he would race around our bed with crazy puppy zoomies and on Friday night family movie night, would enjoy fresh popcorn (without the butter, mind you) Last year we noticed he was losing his sight, and shortly after that, his hearing was starting to go. We made sure to keep the furniture in the same place, so as not to confuse him. When he would get lost outside, he would stand and bark to notify us he needed help getting back inside the house. These were all little things that none of us minded doing because he was so happy and healthy.

Friday when the girls and I came home from fixing fencing at one of the pastures, we noticed he was twitching, similar to how he would if he thought Rose’s big Border Collie tail was going to hit him in the face, but he was doing it repetitively, which was very different. Within minutes, he would lay still, and I recognized he was having seizures. Madison held him as he had another one. I knew immediately that there was nothing we could do with his age. I tearfully called the vet, who said they would stay open for us to make the trip in. Once there, the vet affirmed that he was having seizures and the kindest thing to do was to let him go. We all said goodbye to him, I kissed the white streak on his head repeatedly telling him what a good boy he was, how much he was going to be missed. I couldn’t stop crying and even asked the vet to double check to make sure he was truly gone.

My heart is still hurting, and as I get older, realize they leave bigger holes in my heart but the idea of other senior or abused dogs and horses out there reinforces my dream of opening up a senior horse and dog rescue. A place where older animals will go to live out the rest of their lives in loving and compassionate arms; where they won’t be tossed away because of the irresponsibility’s of humans. If you would like to donate to Mane Tails Retirement, and help other senior animals find comfort in a forever home, please click here. Rest in Peace Little Man. Until we meet again.