A Member Of The Family – Not ‘Just’ A Dog
January 24, 2010
I had Barney from 14 weeks old. We spent exactly 2 weeks short of 11 years together. That’s a third of my entire life. It’s a long time.
Some people have dogs and they sleep in the kitchen/hallway, get walked because it’s necessary and are confined to certain parts of the house. Not Barney, he was a real part of the family. He slept in our room in his own bed, we went on family walks and even took him out for special walks on his birthdays. We wrote him cards and wrapped him presents for all special occasions (birthdays, Christmas etc). He was included in everything we did. He was a proper part of the family. He may have been a dog but we treated him like a child. Yes, he toileted in the garden but you have to draw a line somewhere. I’m sure that had we been able to train him to use a toilet, we probably would have done.
I get the feeling some people think that a week of grieving for a dog is more than enough, that I should be over it by now and getting on with things and just be grateful for the other things I have in life. Just because I feel depressed right now, doesn’t mean that I’m not grateful for my beautiful, (almost) 2 year old. My love for him is unconditional, just as it was, and still is for Barney. I don’t need to be told to be grateful for what I have. I already am very grateful but it doesn’t lessen the pain that I’m feeling about losing one love of my life.
I know time heals. Well, actually, that’s rubbish. It doesn’t heal, it just makes the pain feel less raw and grief easier to cope with. I know that in time I will be able to remember Barney with smiles and laughter, but, there will always be tears too.
Barney made up a quarter of this family unit, and we’re a very tight unit, so losing him has made a big difference to our lives. It’s had a massive impact and it’s not one that we’re going to just get over. It’s going to take time.
I’ve spent years supporting others, never asked for anything, rarely complained, so it’s sometimes a little saddening that I don’t get the same level of support when needed.
Such is life though.