Yesterday marks the six-month anniversary since I lost Maverick. It was also one of my busiest work days, which was both a blessing and a curse. In one way, I’d have loved nothing more than spending the day at home reminiscing his memories. In another, keeping busy saved the bucket of tears that no doubt would have led me to go shopping to replenish my tissue supply.
It got me thinking about how random grief is. Just when you think it’s getting better, it comes out of nowhere like a gust of heavy wind making you struggle to stay upright. One minute you can be thinking about items on your grocery list, the next you experience an intense wave of longing for your Heart Dog because the cheese on your list was his favourite treat.
Life without your Heart Dog becomes an army of reminders about his existence. The corner he often sat in, his place on the bed that is now empty, the furry magnet paws I no longer step on by accident, the food bin that goes down much slower feeding one mouth instead of two, or the pictures of him on the walls that catch my gaze daily and will never be updated. The whammy of all reminders occurs when chatting with new people about my canine counterparts. My response is no longer plural. It's simply “I have a dog”. “Her name is Marti". "She’s a sheltie”. It feels very unnatural to eliminate Maverick from the conversation yet getting into the full story with people I have just met seems a bit awkward. Sometimes, if it's a mutual dog lover who I feel comfortable with, the full story comes out but as a whole, my dog mom identity is now singular ... this is taking some getting used to.
But like anything in life, grief is not a straight arrowed path. It comes with many curveballs, unexpected twists, makes you fall on your behind like nothing else can, and yet it also offers a source of pride for the strength you didn’t realize you had. Grief also provides the opportunity to bond with others having gone through the same thing and awakens the truest sense of gratitude for the unconditional love and loyalty your Heart Dog provided.
Proof of the randomness of grief comes when it overshadows even the busiest of days. Currently I have a full time job, a part time job, and a business (as well as this blog). My days are filled to the brim from the moment I wake up to the moment my head hits the pillow (and then some!). But that doesn’t stop the memories of Maverick flowing into my mind at all random times – whether in the car driving to or from work, in the shower, or at night just before bed as I’m winding down and my head isn’t quite as filled as the rest of the day. Night time was always our cuddle time (and his “More treats please!?” time..lol!). The best was falling asleep and feeling him snuggled up against my leg and then waking up to him relentlessly bouncing all over me under I fed him breakfast.
Maverick was my Heart Dog, my canine soulmate. My fluffy companion that glued himself to me 24/7. Whether six months, a year, or many more thereafter, nothing will change what he means to me and I will continue to embrace every random moment of grief as an opportunity to remember all the wonderful things he filled my life with.
How does grief from the loss of your Heart Dog creep up on you? What lessons does this offer you? Share in the comments section below.
To share your Heart Dog Tribute today, fill out this simple form. It’s an opportunity to reminisce, reflect, and rejoice all there is to love about your Heart Dog.
Read past Heart Dog Tributes here: Westie, Pebbles, Oliver, Shadow, Wynston, and Maverick
Heart Dog Tribute is a place to offer support and celebration of our beloved Heart Dogs (aka canine soulmates). What better way to do it that submitting your very own Tribute story? Your Heart Dog(s) will be "paws"itively thrilled!
Here are the 5 Reasons to Share your Heart Dog Tribute:
1. To Honour Your Heart Dog
Your Heart Dog loves you as much as you love him (or her). The funny part is they may not realize they are the star of the show when published on Heart Dog Tribute but you'll know and will forever cherish your story being eternalized in their memory online.
2. Opportunity to Recall, Reflect, & Rejoice
The super cool thing about writing a Tribute is that it allows you to "paws" for a moment and truly reflect on all the things you already know are so special about your Heart Dog. Whether you are seeking solace or closure of their passing, or celebration of the life you have the fortune of continuing to share with them, writing a Tribute will offer the opportunity to contemplate and express all things you love about your Heart Dog.
3. So Simple to do!
Now that the Tribute questions are available on our online form, there is no more need to download the template and deal with any troubling tech issues. It's as easy as shake a paw :)
4. The Opportunity to Share with your Friends and Family
Writing a Tribute will help you express the special connection you and your canine soulmate share, which will make you feel every bit the proud parent you are. And what proud parent doesn't like to brag about their baby? Here's your chance! Once published, you can share your Heart Dog Tribute on Facebook, email, or any other social media platform you'd like!
5. Be part of our Growing Community!
Every day, Heart Dog Tribute is connecting with new canine-loving friends with one thing in common: we have experienced what it feels like to have a canine soulmate; all the love, joy, sadness, and despair that comes with it and we wouldn't give up a minute with our Heart Dog for any treat in the world. We also understand the value of celebrating this connection as much as the benefit of having a community to offer support in times of need.
How do I submit my Heart Dog Tribute?
First of all, know that all Heart Dogs qualify! No matter how old or young or if they are still with you or have passed. If your Heart Dog is a duo or trio, or another type of fur friend altogether, the unique bond you share is the only qualifying aspect of contributing your Tribute story.
So what are you waiting for? Click here to go straight to the Tribute form and submit your Tribute today!
Any question? Email me at email@example.com
Today marks 6-weeks since my Heart Dog, Maverick, has gone over the Rainbow Bridge. In his memory, I have created a handout to share the ideas I have done (or am working on) to make sure he lives on in my heart forever. Are there any ideas I am missing? Please share in the comments below!
How can this blog help you?
This website and blog originated from the experience of learning to let go of my beloved Heart Dog, Maverick. By sharing my story and offering the opportunity for you to share yours, I hope we can all truly celebrate their lives. pay tribute, and heal from the loss of our one true canine companion. I hope this website will also raise awareness of the meaning of a Heart Dog because it is a concept that is not largely understood.