One Year Ago….
One year ago, I said goodbye to my dear sweet Lucy.
Photo: Mark Eric Weddings
One year ago, I realized how truly unprepared I was to deal with her loss.
One year ago, I wrapped myself in tears and tuned out most of the world.
She was gone. Unexpectedly.
And there was nothing anyone could say or do to comfort me.
One year ago, I forced myself to be open to the idea of owning another Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, despite knowing all too well the life threatening conditions they potentially face.
I frequented a local breeder,and friend’s home for “cavalier cuddle time” to get me through.
I wrote about it here.
In the three short years we owned Lucy, she provided more love than we could ever imagine.
More loyalty than we ever deserved.
More laughter than our smiles could handle.
But most of all, she taught us to live life as fearlessly as possible.
To not hesitate nor place limitations on yourself.
To play hard and love fiercely.
Lucy left behind a void so large, it has taken two Cavaliers to even come close to replacing her (my thoughts of merely “replacing” a dog later).
That tri-colored in the above picture? That’s Ace.
Little did I know at the time, that his little mis-marked black and tan offspring would become my sweet, sensitive Milo.
And two months later, spunky little Stella would travel across the country to join our family.
My love for these two little fur balls is intense.
Each have their own little personalities, quirks, and individual endearments.
Photo: Lida Matthews Photography
But these two don’t “replace” my Lucy.
They do, however, provide me the opportunity to hold onto the happy memories of her and release some of the hurt.
I’m sure people find it odd that Stella & Milo’s dog bed has Lucy’s name on it.
But there are some things that I refuse to part with.
I consider it Lucy’s little way of welcoming the two into our hearts.
I will always, always have moments when I cry my eyes out over not having her here.
Moments I see how close Stella & Milo are and regret that for her.
And moments that I feel downright robbed for the short little life she led.
But that little dog touched more people in her 3 years, than many people do in a lifetime.
She will forever be in our hearts.
So, this year as we prepare for our weekend activities that last year were cancelled I am counting my blessings for Stella & Milo and remembering the happy times with Lucy.
I miss you my sweet, sweet Lucy Goose.
Photo: Lacey Rabalais Photography
PS: I realize there are shelter dogs without homes. I donate my time, efforts, and money to several of their causes. So before you comment that I should’ve considered a dog without health concerns, please be sensitive. Until you have owned a Cavalier, you have no room to judge another person’s desires. Thank you.
I love that you have been able to heal enough to allow another (or two) Cavalier King Charles Spaniels into your heart and home. I know you miss your Lucy very much and it is so sweet of you to keep her bed for the ones who now take their rightful place in your heart.
Thank you, Shelley. I really appreciate your sweet words. PS: I like your new blog name change.
I feel your pain, dear heart. My dachshund pup of 13 years left in March and it breaks my heart. I could never have imagined how deep the void his, how his presence took up the entire room until he was gone. Yesterday was the first time I came home from a trip and he wasn’t there. I have two pups to cuddle but they aren’t Killer. I don’t know when I will get another… one day but not today. So thanks for writing about it so I could get a good cry out today… Hugs.
Oh, Peggy I’m so sorry to hear about your little weenie dog. I remember all too well how I was still feeling just a few months afterwards so I sympathize. It will get easier, but it’s definitely a rough road. Hugs to you.
Pets are darling, aren’t they? They manage to maneuver themselves right into our hearts and homes, making it so much harder to lose them. My little guy will be ten this year and he’s visibly aging and it freaks me out. I try not think about it, but it scares me to know that one day he won’t be here. He’s lived a good life, though, and I’ve lived a good life because of him. I have had someone tell me they would never get a pet because of the pain of losing them. I can see that point, but the love they fill our hearts with is a life lesson of epic proportions, and I would never deprive myself of that experience. Three years is much too short, but I’m so happy Stella and Milo are there to help guide you through – the little cuties. They are so lucky to have someone as caring as you!
Oh Aimee, this left me in tears this morning. I almost lost my sweet pup, Harold, in January. The unexpected shock and tears that come along with that are no fun for anyone. I hurt for you because I know that pain, but I’m glad you’ve found two cuties to ease it.
What a beautiful post! My wife and I almost lost our precious 7-year old Blenheim in February. She has recovered nicely but her sudden life-threatening condition–along with the realization that, at (now) 8-years of age, more of her days are behind her than in front of her–has reinforced our determination to cherish every moment we have with her. This is our first Cavalier and we can truthfully say that they are the most friendly, loving, and loyal breed we have ever known.
Oh, thank you so much for taking the time to comment. I think us Cavalier owners all share the significance these little pups have in our lives and so grateful for those I’ve met through the blog. I’m so glad to hear your little lady is recovering! You are so wise to cherish each moment.
Aimee, thank you for your blog. I lost my first and so far only cavalier Maddie suddenly this past June 7, just short of her 14th birthday. She slipped down two steps from our deck to the patio and and injured her back, and due to her age and other factors she was not a strong surgical candidate. I had to make a terrible choice the following morning when it was clear that the injury was permanent and getting worse.
When she was a puppy I feared MVD and foolishly thought that if I could have her for 14 years I would be so grateful.OK, I am grateful for her and all that she has meant to me and to my family. But that 14 years passed in the wink of an eye – it was not nearly enough time. I miss her every single day. I have a wonderful, healthy family and so much to be thankful for. But I miss Maddie, the peace and comfort she brought to me, and her warm little body snuggled up to me at night. I just wanted to write to someone who would understand. Enjoy your time with Milo and Stella!
Sending you an email, Robin. I’m sooooo sorry for your loss!
I’m trying to find comfort in losing my baby today & came across your thread. My Cavalier King Charles Spaniel Peri was diagnosed with a heart murmur and enlarged heart less than 2 weeks ago. The vet gave me antibiotics because he also had a urinary infection. She recommended a cardiologist because treatment could extend Peri’s life. She said it wasn’t urgent, but necessary soon. The appointment was scheduled for May 14th.
Peri stopped eating on Wed, I called the vet Thursday and we scheduled an appt for today at 12pm. I fed him through a turkey baster and gave him water thru an eyedropper over the weekend.
I held him all evening….I took him out at 10:30 to pee and he collapsed. I carried him back inside and laid him down in his bed next to mine. He was so hot, panting so hard….I checked on him til 1:30 and he was still in the same position and breathing hard. I woke up at 6:30 and he was gone.
I’m glad he went peaceful, but I am crushed. I left this morning at 7:30 to take him to the vet….drove to see my brother’s family and came home tonight at 10….I collapsed to the floor. the pain of the emptiness and the sight of his things is breaking my heart.
I do believe time heals all wounds…..how can I make the pain less? is another dog really the answer? I love Peri dearly and can’t imagine being in a home without a dog.
Oh Linda, my heart is absolutely broken for you. Emailing you privately.