Is it just me or does it seem like each year Christmas comes faster than ever? This year is no exception. It’s incredible that despite how fast the year went, so much has happened during 2016. Just a year ago, Maverick would be at my foot as I typed away on my laptop, and getting excited for his next walk or treat if he saw me getting up. Everything felt ‘normal’ except the churning in the pit of my stomach that questioned “would this be Maverick’s last Christmas with me?”. He was in full remission from his lymphoma yet I knew good things could only last so long. Fast forward 12 months and he’s now in doggie heaven. 5 months and 11 days to be exact.
As I write this, it truly hits me the magnitude of what this means. I was still in university the last time I celebrated a holiday season without Maverick, which truly feels a lifetime ago. Virtually, he was by my side for my entire adult life as I know it. Every Christmas morning, he was at my bedside with me opening my sock from Santa and would spend the rest of the day gazing longingly for treats and turkey only to swiftly pounce on the variety of crumbs that would fall his way.
Christmas has always meant tradition and Maverick was as central to that as Santa Claus coming to town and watching Die Hard on Christmas Eve with my mom.
So how do you manage your favourite holiday without your Heart Dog?
While I haven’t discovered the answer to this question yet, I have come to realize that, like everything else in life, you have a choice. In this case, do I choose to wallow in the emptiness replacing his warm furry cuddles? Or do I choose to remember the happy memories and give Marti, my other sheltie, an extra hug, when tears creep up?
I choose the happy memories but with that, accept and appreciate that waves of sadness are bound to happen. I like to think these are simply moments helping me to stay connected to him. Similar to how the cold may not feel pleasant yet we relish in how it reminds us it’s Christmas. During these moments, it’s like Maverick’s little paws are reaching out from somewhere telling me he misses me too and reminding me that one of my greatest fortunes in life has been a twenty-pound spunky bundle of fur.
So if you are dealing with the holidays without your Heart Dog, whether for the first time or after many, I encourage you to choose gratitude for the wonderful memories you have. Think of your top 3 holiday memories with your Heart Dog right now.
Here are my top 3 Heart Dog Holiday memories:
Most of all, the best memory is him just simply being there. It’s something about the holidays that makes having your Heart Dog around all that more comforting. I miss him more today than ever because the holidays are meant to be the time you spend with your loved ones and he’s at the top of my list. I’m sure you feel the same way if your Heart Dog has passed and my heart goes out to you. If your Heart Dog is still with you – go give them the biggest hug possible, spoil them rotten with treats, and capture all the happy times you can this Christmas for memories years to come.
What is your favourite Heart Dog Holiday memory? Share in the comments section 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.