Mourning & Evening

I was totally unprepared for how devastated I'd be by the death of my puppy, Teddy. There was no time to prepare. He was so young. It was a violent death. My brain doesn't know how to process this and so, it just doesn't.

I was plunged so quickly and so deeply into pain that I felt crushed. I wandered around for three days absolutely useless. My brain was fuzzy. I couldn't complete sentences. I cried incessantly. Every time I saw his water bowl or a toy he'd played with, the grief would wash over me again. On Friday, I couldn't even get out of bed.

I never, ever, ever want to feel this way again. But I have no choice: to love is to grieve, yes? And I love so many things and so many animals and people. What will the grief look like as time goes on and I keep losing the ones I love? I don't even want to think about it.

It is really strange to me how this event is bringing up emotional baggage from my past. I am not angry. I just feel oddly abandoned and hugely, hugely anxious. Last week I felt guilt and shame. That is gone now. I just feel a hole in my heart where Teddy used to be.

Some people have asked if the other dog was put down. The answer is: no. I would never ask someone to do that. But we are seeking some other solutions.

At some point last week, I decided I better give the breeder a call to let her know what happened to Teddy. I was scheduled to give her an update anyway. I could barely get through the call I was crying so hard.

And then she told me something miraculous: Teddy had a brother. An actual litter mate that she had kept for herself because he was such a good dog. She said she felt so sorry for our loss that she would give Teddy's brother to us...

I had to sleep on it. Was I "betraying" Teddy by taking in his brother? Was I short-circuiting my grief? Was I "taking the easy way out"?

When I woke up the next morning I just couldn't imagine living without him. I needed to feel better again. I needed to LOVE another dog. I needed to get out of this horrible misery. I don't think there's really any "fix" for loss. But it does help to love again.

Over the weekend, we picked up Teddy's brother. I named him Bernie Sanders because I needed a future to believe in.

Elizabeth EstherComment