Life PC (Post Curley)

rainbowbridgeIt is now 4 days PC (post Curley) and it is only now that I feel able to write about how I feel.  What I’m about to say may shock some of you reading this, although some of you will hopefully understand it.

How I feel about losing my Curley is right up there with how I felt about losing my precious Frankie.

There, I’ve said it, and I’m sure that some of you reading this will be thinking “for crying out loud, it is a dog, not a baby, get over it.”  But as an empty armed mother my Curley was the baby I never had, albeit my furbaby.

I’ve had dogs since March 2001, first my Toyah, then my Howie a few months later.  Toyah was 2 when I had her and she went to the Rainbow Bridge at the grand old age of 11 when she died of a heart attack.  I got Curley a few weeks after I lost her, and then I lost Howie a year and a half later at the grand old age of 14 and a half.  So I just had Curley until now.

Being without a dog is the worst thing in the world for me at the moment and feels just like being without Frankie in the early days.  This is the first time in 14 years that I’ve been without a dog and my whole life and routine has been thrown into chaos.  After I lost Frankie I at least had my Curley to focus on.  I had to keep going because of her.  I had to feed her and take care of her, and in return she took care of me and gave me lots of love and attention.  She followed me everywhere, never left my side, and earned the nickname “Shadow” because she was always near me wherever I went – even in the bathroom!

But now I have nothing to focus on – no baby, and no dog.  Life feels empty and pointless right now, I don’t feel I have any direction or purpose.

I can’t bear to be at home so I’ve been going out to work this week rather than working at home as the house is so quiet.  All of Curley’s toys and belongings are still out, and I can’t imagine putting them all away. I feel tearful all the time, and there are times where I have had to find somewhere quiet while I’ve been working so I can cry.  Everything feels so unfamiliar and I feel, well, lost.  Probably more lost than when Frankie was born sleeping, because I at least had my Curley to take care of then to give me a focus and help me carry on with life.

I know some of you will be reading this and thinking, “but it is just a dog, get over it.”  But Curley wasn’t “just a dog”, she was my family, my baby, my protector.  From the moment I brought her home she bonded to me, and only me.  She was my first thought when I woke up as I put her outside, and my last thought when I went to bed.  She was always there for me, giving me fuss and love, and looking at me with her beautiful eyes as if to say “it’s okay”, especially with all I have been through with losing Frankie and since then. Curley was my rock, my reason for getting up in the mornings with all I’ve been through, because I knew I had to take care of her.  Now that she’s gone, my purpose in life has also gone.

I’m trying so hard to keep going right now.  Making myself go out to work is to help ensure that I actually get up in the morning, because if I didn’t I know I wouldn’t get out of bed at all.  Her bowls are around, as are all her toys, her blanket and her bed – it is so sad to see them but at the same time I can’t bear to move them.

I know she was old.  I know she was very, very ill indeed.  I know that it was only a matter of time before I lost her, as she was almost 13 which is old for a German Shepherd.  But my Dad hit the nail on the head when he said you know all these things, but when it does happen it is still a massive shock. He’s so right, it was a massive shock, although I knew in my heart deep down that she was very ill and her time with me would be shorter rather than longer.  I know all that, and yet it was still utterly heartbreaking when I had to let her go last Friday.

She was my baby, in every sense of the word. I really don’t know how I am going to go on without her, but somehow, someway, I have to try.  Does it get any easier I wonder? When I lost Toyah I had Howie, and when I lost Howie I had Curley, so trying to cope right now without a dog is killing me.

How have any of you reading this coped if you have lost a dog? How did you deal with the loss? Leave me a comment on here or email me via hello@frankieslegacy, I would love to hear from you.

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6 thoughts on “Life PC (Post Curley)

  1. Hi Lise, I have to say I do know exactly how you feel, losing our dogs, were as painful as Losing Lucy. There now I’ve said it, people thought I was a bit dotty too, most, even members of my own family were horrified how quickly we got Diesel, but you are NOT and never could replace the ones you have lost, but you need a direction for all the love and attention for a dog to go to, just because you have lost your dog doesn’t mean all the feelings disappear. I couldn’t speak for days after Max died as it was so sudden and a shock. As you so rightly said earlier,Curley was your focus, so at the risk of being shot down I think you need a new focus xxx love you Aunty Deb xx

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    • I for one was never horrified over how quickly you got Diesel, in fact, my thoughts were just how amazing you were for giving another furbaby a much needed home. I know how devastated you were over Max, I remember your Sam and Max so fondly…like you have a special affinity with Weimaraner’s, I too have a special affinity for German Shepherds. I must get that from my Dad (I’m sure you have heard that he had a girlfriend before Mum who he only went out with because she had a German Shepherd). It is no coincidence that Toyah was a GS, so was Curley and Howie was part GS, part labrador. I just love German Shepherds to bits.

      But I’m glad that I’m not the only one to feel this, the pain of losing Curley is as painful as when I lost Frankie, and I never expected that. When I lost Toyah I still had Howie, although the pain was still unbearable, and when I lost Howie I still had Curley. I miss them all in their own ways, but losing Curley has hit me especially so because I no longer have a focus or reason to get up in the mornings, she was it, even when I lost Frankie. It hurts so much now she’s gone 😦 love you loads xxxx

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  2. I understand how you feel about your dog…I understand completely. When I lost B.D., who was my doggie soulmate, I was beyond desolate. I lost him when he was not quite 10 from congenital kidney disease. He was a cockapoo, and so intelligent, gentle and kind. He was devoted to me, and went everywhere with me. He would do anything I requested of him. He never growled…he just gave unconditional love. The day he passed on, I could not bear to see his new bed or his little toys, so I took them to the local RSPCA for their sweet doggies. A little Llasopoo was being brought in after a walk. She was a black tangled mess of fur. The volunteer said to me, oh you could come tomorrow and visit her. I shook my head and left, still crying about B.D. I told my husband about my experience. He said that we were going. I didn’t want to, but we went. They brought the little girl in and she ran over to me wiggling. Then she saw my husband sitting near the door…my husband who did not like to spend money at all. She ran over to my John, jumped up into his lap, put her front paws on his shoulders and kissed him on the nose. He put her down and pulled out his cheque book and asked how much. Molly came home to us two days later. I knew she was sweet, but she wasn’t my dear little B.D. Today, Molly is 14 years old and has been a beautiful and loving companion. She helped my husband through his dementia, and has given me unconditional love and devotion all these years. Though I didn’t want to take her right after losing B.D. — how could I bear to be without B.D. — how could I give love to this new little one so in need of affection — I have not regretted it for one second these last 13 and 1/4 years (she was 8 mos when she came to us). No dog can take the place of the one you lose, but they find a new place in your heart, sharing that space with your babies who have passed over the Rainbow Bridge. The heart expands to take in that new little expression of love, and you can never regret the decision. There are so many very special furbabies out there desperate to share all the love that they have, all the goodness of their little souls.

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  3. Beautifully written Lisa, Debbie and Fabe. (Tears currently rolling down my cheeks!) I don’t think you can ever get over the loss of a loved one, human or animal, but life has to go on. Years later, something happens, or someone says something, and you relive all the sadness. Personally when one of my animals dies, I get another asap. Some people may think this heartless, even disloyal, and the new dog, cat, guinea pig, whatever, will never replace the one you’ve just lost, but it helps you come to terms with the loss. I have thought, “No more, I can’t go through this again” and then I look at all the homeless animals in the rescue shelters and think of the happiness we can share. I’ve tried to foster animals and not get attached; big fail!

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  4. Thank you all for your lovely comments, I’m breathing a bit of a sign of relief now, because well, lets face it, society doesn’t view the loss of a dog in the same way as the loss of a baby or child xxx

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  5. You know all these things folk will say and yet it doesn’t make it any less painful. I know how much even a hamster is a child-substitute (and how it isn’t) because I went out and bought a hamster on the anniversary of the first year after Chris’s suicide and because IDS had just announced the idea of American style food stamps/benefit cards that would not allow us to keep pets. I sat in my hallway howling, “They won’t let me grieve, they killed Chris and now I can’t even have a PET, screw them!” Pickle’s never been very healthy and has had more trips to the vet than any of my previous pets (total four, but still) and I really thought we were about to lose him I realised how much frustrated love i poured into him.

    There’s only ONE version of the pet-baby scenario that irks me and that is people who want to tell me how _their_ pet was ‘just like their baby’ when those very same people have dismissed my miscarriage and my desire for kids and yet want endless sympathy. I don’t speak to them any more for fear of losing my temper.

    It isn’t mad and in a society that expects us to recover from losing a baby…. what are those rules really worth?

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