Wednesday, April 15, 2015

MOON 1998-2015

My heart is breaking. 

Today, at 6:30 a.m., Myladylove and I had to put our beloved Moon to sleep. A wrenching, soul-haunting decision, and one our hearts began beseechingly second-guessing even as compassionate reasoning knew it was the right choice.

I haven't slept a moment since Monday evening…and I doubt I'll be able to rest tonight, though I'm utterly exhausted. 

Moon has been my constant daily companion for the past seventeen years. Faithfully overjoyed when greeting me at the door, whether I'd been away for half-a-day, half-an-hour, or half-a-minute. Fully heart-invested in our relationship, a boundless love that asked for nothing more than to be loved in return. Which I did, always, with all my heart because it was so easy to love her. She was truly the most wonderful dog I've ever known.

Life, they say, goes on. Time heals. Maybe, to some minor degree. But right now, and I believe forever more, our home and life will remain unrelentingly empty with no warm-eyed Moon-the-Dog to fill this aching hole in our hearts. 

Moon was family. Godspeed, sweet girl.

32 comments:

Wanda..... said...

Deep sympathy for the loss of your beloved Moon.

Arija said...

My deepest commiserations Grizz. I well know the pain of that particular loss. Although I have an old 'han-me-down' dog now who thinks I am God and all the angels rolled into one, the hole in my heart left by our German Shepherd Franz in 1986 is still there.
You can never replace your dog but God can send one unexpectedly your way when you least expect it and life goes on . . .
Keep your heart open and you will feel you dear friend around you.

everett said...


a really great photo of Moon..
I am glad I got to pet her and talk to her just yesterday. a
good way to remember her.
your neighbor Everett..

George said...

So, so sorry, Grizz. I've been there; I'll be there again; and, believe me, I know how deeply painful this is. The pain of loss, however, is the small price we pay for the great, unspeakable love we have been given. Words, words, words. They all seem to fall flat at moments like these, for the word is yet to be coined that can adequately describe the love that we discover with our dogs. Here's to Moon. May she run forever in your heart, as I know she will. All the best ~ George

Out To Pasture said...

So sorry for your loss of Moon. In time you will remember that she was delt the very best in quality and longevity that a pup could acquire when she crawled onto your foot as a pup. But for now, I understand the feeling that your heart has developed a hole. Healing time required. In sympathy, Florence.

giggles said...

My heart breaks for you. I shed many tears with you. May she always and forever more rest in peace. Let the love I send to you replace a thimbleful of the love she gave you and ladylove. ((((Moon)))) ((((Scribe))))

Bonnie said...

Oh ... so very sorry Grizz. I know how heart-wrenching such a loss can be. Your grief will be a concrete demonstration of the years of love between you and your beloved Moon-dog. Take care of yourself. Moon would want that.

Carolyn H said...

Grizz: Oh, i'm so sorry to hear the news about Moon. I know how difficult this is, and I know about second-guessing, too. It will get a bit easier, and time does help. But the hurt never goes away. The only way to avoid the hurt is to never have another dog, and for me I eventually decided that I wanted the years of love they bring into my life more than I wanted to avoid the hurt. It's just not fair that their lives are so short.

Grizz………… said...

Wanda…

I appreciate your kind words of sympathy. Thank you so much for wiring. It's good to hear from you.

Grizz………… said...

Arija…

I truly appreciate your thoughts and understanding. No, I'll never get over Moon…though some day another dog may come into my life. I believe in such serendipity. A very kind man I met yesterday said, with tears in his eyes, exactly the same thing: "Please try and keep your heart open…because at some time God might decided to send another dog your way. Not to replace Moon, but to love you unequivocally and fill out some corners of that emptiness."

Again, thank you for writing.

Grizz………… said...

Everett…

Thank you so much. You are more than just a wonderful neighbor, Everett, you're also a friend—and you were Moon's friend, too. She never stepped outside without staring up the hill to see of you were out and about so that she could trot up for a visit. It might have been at 4:00 a.m. during a January blizzard, but coming and going, I'd have to allow Moon time to "look for Everett." I so glad you got to see and pet her Monday, and that she met you at the end of the walkway and sat with us while we talked on the porch. I'm glad you have that time and way to remember her. I know she enjoyed your visit.

I didn't check the date, but I believe the above photo was taken a few weeks ago. She's on her daybed near my desk.

Grizz………… said...

George…

Yes, I expect you do understand, because I believe we share a similar depth and perspective about many such matters. I've been there before, also, and may be again…but in all honesty, I've never felt such a palpably painful loss, because I've never been so emotionally involved. Moon was truly special. In my business, I've been around all manner of dogs—some of the finest-bred, best-trained, most expensive dogs in the world. But I've never encountered a dog with a more pronounced, intelligent, and wonderfully quirky personality than Moon. From the very beginning, we seemed to connect on our own wavelength. I loved her as deeply and unequivocally as she did me, and I know I'll never see her likes or share that bond of love and understanding again.

I don't think such grief and pain, emptiness and sorrow, makes us stronger. Not me, anyway. But I do believe it keeps us in touch with our humanity. Reminding us of the mystery, intangibility, interconnectedness, and value of love and life.

Words do fail at times such as this—and mine are certainly flat, inadequate, and miserably incapable of conveying what's in my heart. Nevertheless, please know I thank you so much for your kind and understanding comments.

Grizz………… said...

Out-to-Pasture/Florence…

My heart has indeed developed a hole—an unfillable emptiness that surrounds like a dark blanket. I know what you say is true, that I—we—did our very best from day one to give Moon the wisest, highest-quality, most loving care we knew how, for as long as we could. Time always wins over lifespan, though—but I believe we held back the inevitable for as long as possible. Still…it's a joyless victory when you finally lose the battle.

I appreciate your words and sympathy. Thank you.

Grizz………… said...

Bonnie…

Yes, it was—and will forever remain—one of the hardest things I've done in my entire life, simply because Moon meant so much to me. There's coping, and then there's getting over something. I'll cope, somehow…but my heart will carry this grief to the end.

Thank you so much for your kind words.

Grizz………… said...

Giggles…

While I have no wish to inflict my grief and pain on anyone else, your heartfelt sharing of friendship and love is truly appreciated. It means much to me—and it does help.

Sincerely, thank you.

Moonmuser said...

Although I have already sent you my sentiments about you and Moon, just want you to know I'm still sending out prayers for your peace and well-being. Glad to see you are open to another dog someday.. I wasn't going to replace my Capt. Midnight buddy of 17 1/2 years, but when my darling Lily serendipitously entered my life a few months later, nothing better could have happened.No pet could replace him, but she has made her own place in my heart. Just as Moon can never be replaced.

Gail said...

GRIZZ - today I weep, with and for you.


Love and prayers to you and your Lady Love

Gail
peace.....

Grizz………… said...

Carolyn H…

You understand and have stated the quandary exactly: the only way to avoid such pain is to never get involved, never put yourself at risk emotionally, by stifling any degree of caring. Which, of course, robs you of any possible depth of humanity.

When you open yourself to caring, you open yourself to the possibility—in fact, the probability—of pain and hurt, sorrow, grief, and all their negative, heart-wrenching cousins. So deciding to not care is an option—one which, unfortunately, too many folks choose.

But what sort of miserable, empty, wasted, disrespectful, and cowardly life is that?

It takes courage to care. But life is ALL ABOUT caring, about loving and being loved, about doing good to and for others, in all manner possible, every single day. Caring enriches your life and is simply and fundamentally impossible to replace by any other means; there is absolutely no substitute. A closed heart is simply another hardened stone.

The fact that our beloved come with such short life expectancies seems unfair…but maybe it's God's way of reminding us that caring originates from the same wellspring as compassion, and that only by doing so can we open our hearts to the richness and rewards of life.

Just look at those hills beyond your lovely cabin. You can't have a hill without also having a valley. One requires the other. To know life's ups, we have to face life's downs. Like you, I may rail at the unfairness of loss…but I don't want to miss out on the joys and rewards of loving and being loved.

I loved my sweet Moon; and she loved me. I'm hurting and grieving and floundering with her loss. But in spite of that—and of the second-guessing—I'd do it all over again in a heartbeat rather than miss out on the wonderful times and years we had together.

Thank you for perceptive and sympathetic comments .


Grizz………… said...

Moonmuser…

Thank you for your comments today…as well as your email yesterday. I just couldn't answer—but I did appreciate what you said.

In time, perhaps there will be a another dog in my life. Not another Moon. Right now I'm not sure I'm capable, or willing, and certainly not ready—for that again. I know Moon is irreplaceable, and wouldn't do it if I could. But I've not forever closed the door on a future dog, either. As Carolyn H. noted above, the years of love they give supersedes my desire to avoid pain.

Thank you, too, for your continued prayers and supportive thoughts. I welcome them.

Grizz………… said...

Gail…

Both Myladylove and I really need, and appreciate, your kind and understanding thoughts and prayers. You are a dear, sweet friend…and I know your heart. Thank you so much.

Scott said...

My sincere condolences, Grizz. Honestly, since I've become an adult, I think that I have grieved more deeply over the loss of my animal companions than I have for the death of my parents and in-laws. It's not that I didn't love and cherish my parents and in-laws, but I understood that their death was inevitable and somewhat anticipated. With an animal companion (with whom you share your life every minute of the day), it all seems so unfair and tragic.

John said...

Jim,

You describe that pain beyond words so well. I used to have Golden Retrievers, no children. Realizing that the time our dogs have with us is so short, we staggered to arrival of the next younger dog after the older one was about halfway through his life cycle. For most of the time there were always two dogs, it makes house breaking the younger one easier.

Now I am in a nursing home (due to MS) and the house, dogs and spouse are all gone do to Medicaid, lifespan, and inability to grow with the times). The memories That are the most vibrant are of the walks in the woods, camera in hand, with the dogs; camping and sleeping in the tent with the dogs, swimming in Lake Michigan with the dogs. All for the reasons you articulate. They could communicate better than most people I know, using nary a word in the process.

Like you, I miss them desperately. And like you I am better for having had them in my life. The tears are bittersweet.

Grizz………… said...

Scott…

Thank you, and please know your sincere comments mean a great deal to me this afternoon because I understand what you're saying. I grieved and shed tears when my father died, and I've continued to miss him and sense his loss from my life every day since. My dear mother…I cooked her every meal, did her shopping, took care of her house and finances and such for the last twenty years of her life. And I was holding her hand when she passed away. I grieved and shed tears for her, too, and I feel her loss daily.

But I knew, and shared Mom and Dad's faith. We'd had numerous conversations about death and dying—and all the rest that goes with it. Plus their deaths were not unexpected. I've lost many other family members, friends, and acquaintances…and at the bedside of several at their passing—starting with my Grandmother Williams when I was a youngster. Death was not some strange and unfamiliar thing during my growing up. I've been to a lot of funerals over the years, wept and said my goodbyes to more too a lot of dear, good folks. As an uncle, now himself dead, once remarked: "I come from a long line of dead people."

But losing Moon [and I'm so glad you said "animal companion" and not "pet" which, to me, trivializes their worth, reducing them to nothing more than an accessory] has affected me in a deeper way…at least I feel a deeper grief and sense of loss. And maybe that's wrong to admit—but I do, because it's true. Possibly I'm just too emotionally raw right now. But I don't think so.

I have been told that I'm too emotional about things, that I allow my feelings to run too deeply, get too involved—that care too much. So is all this just a wimpy geezer letting his feelings get the best of him and subsequently showing himself to be a fool in print? Perhaps. But I'm never going to stop being me, never going to try to hold my feelings in check, to try and care less those I love.

I loved my sweet Moon, and my heart still aches with her loss.

Grizz………… said...

John…

Oh, my friend, you say exactly what's churning around in my heart…and yes, the tears are so very bittersweet. I do miss my lovely Moon so desperately.

There are really only two sorts of dog people…those who view dogs simply as animals—fun to have around, possibly useful, but animals. Then there are the likes of me and you… for whom dogs are fellow sentient beings, intelligent, reactive, think cognitive individuals with personalities—and as you say, capable of communicating better than many people "using nary a word in the process." Moon and I conversed all the time, through tones and body language, but mostly by staring deeply into each others eyes. Moon could see into my heart and soul; she read everything…and I truly believe I could do the same with her. We had no secrets. My life was greatly enriched by the years we shared our love and understanding.

Thank you so very much for writing.

The Solitary Walker said...

Oh, oh — I'm so sorry, Grizz. I know how much Moon meant to you.

'I don't think such grief and pain, emptiness and sorrow, makes us stronger. Not me, anyway. But I do believe it keeps us in touch with our humanity. Reminding us of the mystery, intangibility, interconnectedness, and value of love and life.'

Yes, do hold on to that. It is absolutely true.

Grizz………… said...

Solitary...

No indeed, I do not believe that awful, hurtful stuff helps. I know the older I get, as life's collection of tradgies and horrors accumulates, each one just takes a piece out of me, carving away at the strength and reason for getting up each day. I wonder sometimes whether, should I live too long, I'll be nothing more than a numb and empty shell, bereft of feelings and passions, reduced to little more than a human machine. I can live through a lot, survive the wounds and losses...but will I be truly alive?

In the end, all I can do is cherish the good, find beauty whenever and wherever possible, and never allow the trivial and petty to come between me and those I love. Compassion and friendship are so very important. Time it too short, and there is never enough for the good things--places, people, or a beloved old dog.

Thank you for writing, and for your warm thoughts. It means a lot to me.

Nancy J said...

Hi Grizz, I hopped to your from Florence at Buzz and Flutter. I know so well the decision, the heartbreak, the empty home, and then the question of...why. I have coped with losing both parents, at different times, my parents-in-law, holding a hand as they left. But for our Finn, Toto, Poppy and Tom, the loss seemed even more, and I hesitate to tell that, in case the person thinks I'm uncaring. But with our dearest cat or dog, the one member of our family who means so much, we grieve in a different way. Have an open heart as well all send these words, hoping that maybe one or two will help ease that sadness right now.

Grizz………… said...

Nancy J...

I really appreciate your kind and thoughtful words, and I'm glad you visited Riverdaze. Please know you are welcome anytime.

Only someone who allows their hearts to be open, who cares so much about their family members, can truly understand how deeply their loss goes, how much it permeates your days and emotions and life. The grief and emptiness hurts, and is justified because of the depths of your feelings and caring.

You know, a friend who's also a fellow dog person, in fact the most dog-attuned person I know, said something interesting about why this loss of your dog can seem to hurt more than the loss of a person. He said partly it's the guilt and doubt from being directly responsible in making the decision to do what had to be done. Never mind that it was the right thing, the compassionate choice. It was still your call. And a part of you hates and resents having been the one to do so. We certainly don't want to see our dog suffer...but neither do we want to have to cause their life to end right at that place and moment. We're ill equipped to play God when love is involved.

Anyway, a thought. Again, thank you for understanding and your lovely comments. They really do help.

KGMom said...

Oh, Scribe, few words. Just deep heart-felt empathy. It is always a gift when we have such a pet in our lives, and so wrenching when we must let them go.

Grizz………… said...

KGMom...

So true, indeed. You face an unfilable hole, physically, emotionally. The acute pain lessens, but the sadness and emptiness remain...and nothing will ever be quite the same ever again. Thank you for writing.

KGMom said...

Scribe--one additional word (echoing what your friend said about keeping your heart open).
When we had to let our dear dog Tipper go, I thought there would never be another such friend. And then, we rescued Ziva. No, make that--she rescued us. Her sweet unassuming nature and sheer lab goofiness has been such a balm. Even now, 5 years after Tipper was gone, I still feel a clutch in my heart when I look at photos of her. And then there's Ziva, next to me, just being there. And that is all that is needed.

Grizz………… said...

KGMom…

I won't ever get over Moon. I know that, simply because we had such a deep and special relationship for so long. I've never been around another dog like her…and never been so in tune with another non-human creature. We bonded on day one, wholeheartedly. That part of my heart remains with her, and always will…and I wouldn't take it back if I could.

Which doesn't preclude another dog in my life. Not right away, and maybe not by design. But dogs have a way of finding people, and I can be open to that in time. I love dogs, truly, and know how they can, in so many ways, enrich your life. So I'll open my life as much as I can to a future dog, though what of my heart remains unbroken I simply don't know.

Thank you, however, for your kind words of encouragement. I appreciate them.