Jump to content
Grief Healing Discussion Groups

Unconditional Love


Recommended Posts

Today I am ready to put more of my feelings into words on the loss of my Schipperke/Poo, Benji, five short months ago. Much love was packed into the short year we found each other at the pet rescue place.

Unconditional Love

Benji, I miss you so much.

You were my sunshine at the start of every day.

You were my companion throughout the day.

You made me laugh when you stumbled across the tile floors running after a rolled up sock that you knew had a treat inside.

You were my companion for our morning and evening walks ~always waiting at the garage door whenever I put on my shoes ~ your signal that we were going out. If you weren’t going with me I could see the disappointment on your face as you headed to your crate where you were more comfortable when I wasn’t home.

You were cautious when I’d water the plants yet you liked the pool.

You became an escape artist a few times too many when you figured out how to get out of at least three different leashes! My heart dropped to my feet each time.

Thank goodness I always got you back.

You never tired playing fetch the tennis ball ~ you would run, try to catch it in your mouth after the first bounce and always brought it back to me.

Breakfast and dinner found you dancing in circles until I sat the bowl down. I must have been feeding you right. You were so polite waiting until I said, “Okay.”

I always knew where you were when I was in the kitchen fixing anything. You loved food and it was so hard not to allow you to be my taster. You did like it when I mixed some green beans in with your food and one of your favorite treats were carrots. I could not open the peanut butter jar without you being right at my feet. Peanut butter and apple slices ~ yum.

You liked playing hide and seek ~ I was amazed that you always found me!

There was nothing wrong with your nose.

Evening time was the best for me because you’d curl up next to me with your head in my lap and want to be rubbed. Belly rubs were your favorite.

I was terrified when you suffered your first seizure. I didn’t know what had happened. Your Vet explained and told me what to do to care for you but I always feared if there was going to be another one that it be in the house and not outdoors.

Unfortunately, there were many more and your heart could not take the stress.

When I had to say good-bye to you I went into my cocoon just like I did when my Jim died. You would have loved him.

I am not going to lie, I miss you every day and cry to have you back but I am grateful that you were in my life for that one very short year.

I had two trees planted in the yard and when I finish a step stone I’m making in your honor I’ll take a picture and show everyone what an amazing little dog you were.

I have also decided to make a Shadow Box with some of your things arranged in it and keep it in the den. Some of the things I’m thinking of placing in the shadow box are: a picture of you before and after your first hair cut, your red collar with your Benji bone name tag, your tennis ball (one of your favorite toys) ~ a rolled up sock, and the little toy dog you took with you when it was bed time. You were so hard on your other toys but you never tore into the little dog!

I will always love you Benji. Thank you for coming into my life and loving me.

This is a big step for me ~ to acknowledge that you are gone. I'll continue to hurt but I'm starting to look at the joy you brought into my life.

Your mama human,


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Oh Anne, if Benji could write this, I'm sure he'd write of the same memories! My heart goes out to you.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you Marty and Kay for acknowledging my thoughts for the feelings I expressed on losing my Benji. So many of us are animal lovers and it hurts to lose any of them. I had crossed a hurdle that had been hard for me for a few months now and that was to come to grips with Benji's death. Talking about it does help to come to terms with it. I'll miss him but I choose to remember the happy times we had for that very short year we were together.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I am so pleased to learn that you've come to this point in your journey, dear Anne. Treasure those precious memories you have with your darling Benji, and keep writing them down as they come to you. Nearly three years after he left, I still have Beringer's adorable face on my PC's desktop, and I still love looking at his picture there, several times a day. It makes me feel warm all over, and it keeps his memory very much alive for me.

Link to comment
Share on other sites


Dear Anne,

Thank you for sharing your letter to Benji.

I am touched and glad for you that you are now able to write such a beautiful tribute to dear Benji. He is worth every word, and I know you will always carry him in your heart.

They do give us such beautiful unconditional love. {{{Anne and Benji}}}




Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 6 months later...

Thank you for your kind words. Those of us who have lost a pet know how our hearts hurt when we lose it. It makes no difference how long it has been our hearts still hurt ~ the 16th was one year ago that I did not have Benji running around the house. Thank you for your sensitivity to my loss.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thank you so much, Pati for your kind words. I can't help but smile whenever I look at pictures of Benji. I have had pets in my lifetime, but Benji was special to me. I still cannot make any sense out of why I had him for only a year. I do know that he helped me through my grief of losing Jim. He was such a sweet dog. I so miss having him and until my health improves I can't think of bringing another dog into my life. I pray that sooner rather than later I'll be able to rescue another precious dog.


Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 10 months later...

This piece came in my email today and I wanted to share it with all of us who have lost our precious fur babies whether it be a while ago or only a short time ago. It is about this time of year that I begin to have memories of my beloved Shipperkee/Poodle, Benji, who suffered seizures and heart failure. 

Giving Back During This Holiday Season of Light
and All Year Long . . .
Dear Friends, Colleagues and Clients, 
For me, the holidays hold an energy of heightened love and gratitude for the animals in my life--the animals in my family, the animals of my clients (some of them in the photo below!), and every wild and domestic animal on earth.  I am so very, very grateful for the opportunities I have had to talk with so many precious and magnificent animals over the years, and to support their people through so many stages of life with their beloved animals. The world is such a better place because of the tremendous love that is created and continued every day between animals and people. They give us so much . . . and it certainly is the season to give back to the animals and others who are in need.

I am sharing the stories below because they describe this so much better than I ever could.
Several years ago a dear woman named Christine Price wrote and shared with me the first story below called, "The Concert of Tiny Bells." It's a true story--one about doing something seemingly small that brought great joy to animals without homes and families. I hope you enjoy it and consider carrying forward her tradition of helping shelter cats (or dogs or any species!) enjoy a concert of love and joy at the holidays or anytime at all during the year. The animals in shelter care need us. Please consider making even a small donation of food, toys, blankets, towels or money--and always love and prayers. 
The second story, "Finding Your Song" was sent to me years ago and without attribution.  Though I do not know whether it is a true story or not, I am exceedingly grateful for the message. A powerful way we can give back to others--humans and animals--is to remind them of their own song, especially during times of heartache, hardship, trauma, celebration, and growth. This holiday season, you might deeply touch the heart of someone who has been there for you, someone who "knows your song," by sending them the story and thanking them for their support. 
May we give of our hearts abundantly to others when they need it, 
and may we receive the same when our own hearts need it the most ~
With much love and blessings to all, 

P.S.   Don't forget to click on the video "You'll Be In My Heart."  You may cry buckets of happy tears for all the rescued animals in the world. 
The Concert of Tiny Bells 
by Christine Price
I'm a volunteer at my local SPCA in their Cat TLC Program. Every year in the spring "Kitten Season" arrives, and staff and volunteers rally forces and valiantly prepare to greet the hundreds of unwanted kittens who will arrive at the Shelter's door. It can be an achingly disheartening time. We watch the adoption rate for our adult cats take a plunge because most people want kittens. And we watch many precious kittens, just beginning their lives, get passed over, again and again, because they happen to be older, sick, shy or "homely." The hard truth is that there are simply not enough homes to go around and space at the Shelter is finite. 
One day during the height of this difficult season I noticed a small, solitary kitten looking very glum inside her kennel. She needed some attention and, perhaps, a toy to play with. I went to our usually full toy basket and found it empty--or empty at least of those wonderful little balls with bells inside, the toy loved by kittens worldwide! To remedy this, I headed over to a pet supply store and purchased every single package of balls with bells that they had in stock. 
Returning to the Shelter, I set about distributing a brand new toy to each kennel housing a kitten, through the four rooms of our cat building. It took me about twenty minutes to complete my task, and it was only upon pausing that I heard it. Throughout the kennel, from each room and every direction, came the musical sound of a myriad of tiny bells punctuated here and there by percussive bangs. The toys were being played with, and the cumulative effect was a concert to rival the Boston Pops! The adult cats also heard the music and perked up to listen.
I stood very still for several minutes, my eyes closed, simply enjoying the concert of bells. And I was reminded anew of how contagious joy can be and of how a small, simple act can have such impact.
Finding Your Song

Author Unknown 
When a woman in a certain African tribe knows she is pregnant, she goes out into the wilderness with a few friends and together they pray and meditate until they hear the song of the unborn child.
They recognize that every soul has its own vibration that expresses its unique flavor and purpose.
When the women attune to the song, they sing it out loud. Then they return to the tribe and teach it to everyone else.
And when children are born into the village, the community gathers and sings their song, one unique melody for each unique child. 
Later, when children begin their education, the village gathers and chants each child's song. They sing again when each child passes into the initiation of adulthood and at the time of marriage.
When there are times of trouble, challenge, heartbreak, failure or confusion, the villagers sing to the individual again. That person is called to stand in the center of circle formed by all members of the tribe. And once again the villagers chant the child's song. The tribe recognizes that the most powerful healing is remembrance of true identity. When you again hear and recognize your own song, taking it in, you have no desire or need to do anything but be yourself. There is peace.
Finally, when the soul is about to pass from this world, the family and friends gather at the bedside, as they did at birth, and they sing the person to the next life. Tribe members already in heaven join the singing, welcoming the soul home.
A friend is someone who knows your song and sings it to you when you have forgotten it. Those who love you are not fooled by the mistakes you have made or the dark images you hold about yourself. They remember your beauty when you feel ugly; your wholeness when you are broken; your innocence when you feel guilty; and your purpose when you are confused.
Sometimes, individuals who have known and acknowledged our song the most leave us. They may die, betray us, forget us, or go off on a new path for their own journey. It is then that we have the opportunity, even as we hurt, to sing our own song to ourselves, learning it more deeply and intimately than ever before, treasuring each nuance of who we are.

             May we all be blessed to have others to help us remember our own songs,   
may we sing our song with confidence and love, 
and may we help others remember theirs.  
You'll Be In My Heart ~

A video dedicated to all Animal Rescuers in the U.S. and around the world ~

Be ready for your heart to be overflowing with love as you watch!
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Beautiful, Anne...losing your beloved dog is one of the hardest losses.  The love and bond between dog and parent is so great.  I don't think we ever stop missing them.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

  • 1 month later...

I know that you are coming up on the anniversary of Benji's death two years ago, dear Anne ~ and I know you miss him as much today as you have missed him each and every day that he's been gone. He was such a special little person in your life, and he left you way, way, way too soon. I know he lives forever in that Benji-sized hole in your heart, and I hope it brings you comfort to know that he and your beloved Jim are somewhere out there taking good care of each other until it's your time to join them across that Rainbow Bridge. 

  • Upvote 2
Link to comment
Share on other sites

It's hard for me to believe he's been gone that long...it's also hard for me to believe Skye has been gone so long.  Especially when time passes but the missing them doesn't.  It is nice when you think that Jim and Benji have found each other...hanging out until the day you can be with them.

  • Upvote 1
Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
  • Create New...