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About Anappa

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    Magnolia, DE

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  1. @Connor'sMom I’m very sorry to hear about Connor, what a beautiful puppy he was. Routine is truly a gigantic source of pain as it relates to coming to terms with losing such a special part of the family. For me, I dearly miss that routine, every single thing I did throughout the course of the day had a plan for Abby and while that part is getting easier as I adjust to my new routine at least, the struggle very much continues. Shopping is for me as well quite a difficult process. There was always something on the list for her and part of my shopping routine included walking down the puppy aisle in search of anything I thought she may like. I just glance at that aisle from a distance now and try to fight off the sadness - darn routine. I think Kayc made a great point about not liking, understanding or agreeing with our losses in life but accepting them nonetheless. I struggled with this point greatly initially and found myself countless times deep in thought on a runaway philosophy train trying to make any sense of this that I could, but to little avail. It’s been nearly 11 weeks since Abby passed and at this point, I do accept it and that has helped tremendously as well as allowed me to consider things like my last post, which also help tremendously. I think the goal for me is to find a way (in time of course) to remember her for all the good and joy she was and brought and to feel happy when I think of her. I have no idea how long that might take and I know I’m quite a ways from being there, but I know that’s the way she would want to be remembered - Connor and Arlie as well, I have no doubt of this.
  2. After months of thought, I’ve come to realize something beautiful I thought I would share. Tonight is no different from any other night - once work is done, the kids are asleep and my wife says goodnight, I miss my little girl and usually cry for a while, but I have to take a moment to appreciate the true love she had for me and understand what she did on her last day and it’s really quite amazing. From between 4am-5am on that horrible day, I initially thought she was just overheated. After realizing this wasn't the case I held her until I could get her to our vet but the reality is that her lungs were full of fluid and she could barely breathe, but she hung on for hours. It wasn’t until 9:30 I was able to get her to the vet and despite all they did for her, she didn’t make it a half hour past that. Her final moments were spent protecting me, she wouldn’t let go until I wasn’t there - I realize this clearly, it’s not even close to a coincidence and I wish I could thank her for it, it’s one of the most beautiful things I’ve experienced in this life, even if my acknowledgement of it was delayed by my grief.
  3. I keep Abby’s tag on my keychain as well. I think there is some comforting symbolism there - maybe that they’re still with us. Abby’s tag is made from aluminum, anodized blue and over the years, she wore it down so it’s silver and rolled on the sides and to me, it means quite a lot to have that with me all day.
  4. I worry that we will defensively prohibit ourselves from becoming this attached again because we know “that day” is coming even if subconsciously. I have adamantly said “no” to another dog and my wife has talked about it a number of times - I just ... can’t and I don’t even think it would be fair to the dog given my current state. I know you and I share extremely similar pain on this so it is encouraging to me to hear that you’ve found love for another puppy and believe me, I understand so very well when you say that this one can not replace Arlie. I hope to get there one day, but right now the mere concept of another feels like in a word .. betrayal. What breed is your puppy? I think if the day ever came, it would have to be another mini dachshund for me. They have delightful personalities.
  5. Thank you, I truly appreciate that. It has been helpful for me to share this experience, this pain, loss and grief - I’m 35 and I had Abby from your age.. such .. turbulent and delicate years and she was there, always with love for me as I had for her. Love your pets every second you can because I regret to inform you that the clock is very much ticking. There is truly not enough time. Also, very much a pet dad here - lol, blame the emotional surges on my Italian heritage. When we love, we really love and my god does it hurt.
  6. A friend asked me for a picture I took 5 or 6 years ago tonight and I couldn’t find it.. not because I don’t have it - I do.. but because seeing these images just crushed me all over again. All I can think is how long it’s been since Arlie passed, Kay, and I have to tell you, it’s not any better for me either. I don’t think I’ll ever move on from this. Being upset and grieving in general is becoming the norm and I suppose that’s just life balancing itself out. (Happy for 10 minutes? Sad for 10 minutes as well.) and boy was I HAPPY when she was here. It was all I could do to wear a happy face for the family on Christmas. This little girl ran around in her little jingle bell sweater during the holidays for nearly my entire adult life and now there are no bells, no jingles... just a hung stocking with her old sweater in it. I even had a Christmas song for her that i sang to her every year, it was tradition, literally part of my holiday spirit. I’m SO sad. I miss her more than mere letters can depict.
  7. Today marks one month. What a terrible period of time - I think the worst part for me is that I spent 11 years protecting her from everything I could and that I truly believe she still exists (spiritually, maybe even physically in another form) and I can’t be there to continue doing so. Perhaps I’m simply consumed with my responsibility to care for her, but is that not truly what love is at its most basic fundamentals? Anyway, I came across this song recently and it really hits home so I thought I’d share it - I think when I can play it start to finish without holding back the tears, I’ll know things are okay again. sigh. 🙁
  8. My wife actually just ordered something similar to that, great suggestion. Until that arrives, I have a marble slate with one of my favorite pictures I rendered and engraved with a laser engraving machine in my shop on the tree directly in front of her. Her nickname on the bottom came from a little joke revolving around some name play on her and my cats name. Since she was always the dominant one of the two and his name is Pickle, I called her “the Brain” (Pickle and the Brain playing on Pinky and the Brain) and it stuck, perfect for her personality. She was a little nugget.
  9. 3 weeks today. That’s a week longer than I ever had to be away from her and my goodness do I miss her. I made exactly one decision throughout this nightmare with absolutely no regard to any opinion other than my own - my wife and her entire family wanted and pushed for cremation and I just couldn’t have it.. I brought her home and in a race against time and with the last warmth leaving her body(a big problem for me for some reason), I found the most beautiful place on my property and dug a hole I could barely climb out of (for fear of foxes mostly) and kissed her sweet face for the last time (her eyes were open, which was so hard for both my wife and I). I was so conflicted as I covered her one shovel full at a time, but covered her gently, my sweet friend, crying the entire time. It is the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do, but I had to do it, I just couldn’t accept the word of someone else that shoveled out some .. ashes from a furnace ... “this is her”.. not the one I loved so dearly, no. Anyway, loosely compact soil is fluffy and takes more space than compact soil, so naturally, there was a mound, a rather large one (a couple of feet high or better) and I was/am completely incapable of compacting it due to my thoughts on what happens to her below (those thoughts are graphic and bother me greatly), so I’ve done nothing and as a result, somehow I’ve connected my loss to the settling of the dirt on top of her. In 3 weeks, the mound has gone from two feet high to a foot at most and begs the question, how can one love anything so much that the height of dirt and the simple effect of gravity can be directly related to my emotions? As it turns out, my wife has come to appreciate my decision on this one. The ability to go out to her grave and talk to her is so helpful. I have been there 2-3 times per day since she passed, I realized today how much I’m there because of the rather large pile of small stones that sit on top of the mound. As I talk to her, I pick small stones from the dirt, clean them and stack them, I’m not even sure why. Gosh this is hard. No days are good, but some days are this.
  10. Canine soulmate. That sums it up nearly perfectly. I used to ask her regularly, particularly when I knew she was starting to decline to make sure whatever it is that makes a life personal, in my case I called it “our energy” (some would call it a soul, etc) to make sure that her energy finds mine when I leave this place, that I think explains my hope and I think my greatest ability to cope with her loss. That said, even though I am hopeful beyond expression, I don’t know it for sure, so round and round I go on the yin and yang train of grief and hope. There is truly nothing worse than a logical person overwhelmed by emotion, it really doesn’t work well. At any rate, thank you for pointing out the article on what a heart dog is. She truly was mine. 🙂
  11. That’s really quite an elegant way of looking at it. A simple notion but profound to me nonetheless. I have to say, there was even premature stress on my end while she was alive and healthy - considering your point, I think that rolls right into the equation. I knew the day would come and that her day would be before mine and I worried about it, for years. This little girl was special. I’d had cats and dogs before as a child and adult, I was always fond of them all and loved them, but this one ... it’s so much different. There was such a rare, special type of bond/love between us, dare I say even spiritual but I knew it and so did she - it all gets philosophical from here, but immeasurable love in life equates to immeasurable pain in grief.
  12. So very true and pain it is indeed unfortunately. I honestly cannot imagine how I won’t feel the same in 4 months either, 4 years, it won’t matter, I’m beginning to consider the likelihood that a piece of our hearts will remain broken. Perhaps there is some beauty to be found in that, I hope to find it one day. I truly hope you are able to find peace and happiness with Arlie’s passing. It is okay to cry, I fully and entirely agree and believe me, I have, quite a bit actually. It’s a rather difficult and ridiculous situation if you think about it (expectations of a man from others and of himself). We’re supposed to be these tough, rugged creatures (traditionally), which simply means we feel as everyone else does but have to cope with everything and present ourselves differently. That part I’m not terribly concerned with I suppose.. being a husband and a father however, my outward emotions can compromise my wife and children very quickly and that is the larger motivation for me as it applies internally. My wife in particular on this one, we’ve been together 14 years and this is the first time she saw tears on my face, if it helps her cope with this better, the least I can do is to stay strong. Thank you again for your responses Kay, I want you to know that I really do appreciate them and the time you’ve taken to write them. Wish I could give you a hug 🙂
  13. 11 years. It feels like just a minute and that minute wasn’t even close to long enough. I visit her 2, 3, 4, 5 times a day and just talk, even though I know she can’t hear me. Even if she could, 4 feet of dirt would be quite the pair of earplugs - my logical mind is just whittling down my heart at this point. I miss her, so, so much. I cannot stop reliving the moment they brought her to me, lifeless and as long as I live, I can never “unfeel” that moment and it is truly one of my worst. All positive hopes forward and truly, I mean them all (she’s not in pain, she’s happy, not thirsty every 10 minutes or tired all the time, etc), I miss my best friend and what’s worse, I have to keep it together for the people around me because I’m a “man” and we aren’t allowed to feel how I feel and we certainly aren’t allowed to show it if we do - I cry at midnight and focus on holding it back throughout the day and even typing that out makes me feel guilty. How could I focus on myself when she is the one who endured the cancer and died? Life is a cruelty and for all the beauty it gives us, I would be dishonest to say I don’t resent it for the horrors it provides in tandem. It’s been over two weeks, I feel no better, I see no light in this tunnel and again, I miss my friend. ☹️
  14. Here is my sweet little girl.
  15. I’d like to thank you for your sensitive, insightful and helpful response and for sharing your story about Arlie with me. Please know that it was really very helpful and I truly appreciate the time you took to write it. I am so very sorry for your loss - I too am struggling with many of the same things you mentioned, a glance over to her favorite spot on the couch and she isn’t there or just this evening when one of my children dropped a plate of food on the floor - my response being to jump up to beat Abby to it so she couldn’t eat it all (she had a mild weight issue that we managed carefully as extra weight for her breed is detrimental to their backs and hips). I have an 11 year routine to break and the force to retrain me is nothing short of sorrow, it’s so difficult. I don’t know how much time is enough, I think that must vary from person to person and must be dependent on situation. My two boys have been a light for me these past days, fortunately being 1 and coming up on 3 years old, they do not have to suffer through this and I am so very grateful for that. I truly hope you are able to (that we both are able to) find peace with the fact our wonderful companions are no longer with us. My wife told me something a few times that has been helping me that I’d like to mention to you as well, perhaps it will be helpful. She said, “Abby wouldn’t want this, she wouldn’t want you feeling this way, what was the first thing she did whenever you were upset about anything?” “Lick my face and make me smile with her silly antics” I had to reply. I know Arlie would feel just the same by the little bit you’ve told me about him. It doesn’t prevent the onset of those feelings (I’ve probably choked up 40 times today throughout the day) but it’s helping me to control it a little better than I was because my wife is right, Abby wouldn’t want that, she was a joyful, happy little girl and she knew if I was upset and really did have a way to communicate to me that she didn’t want that (just as Arlie could communicate with you). I do look forward to the day it’s not painful to think of her, but happy, as you noted - time they say heals all things, I hope they are right. The video you attached is beautiful and a wonderful concept, I would love for her to be waiting for me, happy, warm and in company and I truly pray that it is so. One of my largest problems presently (along side of the rest of course), is that I don’t know where she is or if she’s happy, I don’t know anything and there’s no way for me to know until my final day comes. The intellectual direction on that path ultimately leads to faith and when in so much pain and duress, faith just comes up so .. lacking, which circles right back around to the fact it is called faith. Such a bewildering conundrum, particularly while emotionally distraught. I do know one thing for certain though. Abby and Arlie aren’t in pain or discomfort any longer regardless of where they went and for that, I am grateful. I love Abby far too much to have even considered letting her suffer a mere moment. Every decision with every vet throughout the myriad of health issues she had started with “This is about what is best for her, not what is best for me.”, because in reality, if you truly love your companion in my opinion, what’s best for them is actually what’s best for you. Wherever she is, I just hope she knows how loved and cherished she was and that I know in my heart that she is a part of me and that I’ll have and treasure that until my final breath.
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