Tuesday, November 26, 2019

And Then There Were Two Sibes...



Siberian Huskies
"We miss our momma, Harley, and sister, Chloe, so much, but we're trying and doing better."

So many of you have reached out to see how our Wolfgang and Bandit are doing since our beloved alpha queen Harley left us to meet our furangels Chloe and Gibson and journey to north of the Rainbow Bridge. Your support and caring has truly touched our hearts, both during Chloe's loss in June, and with Harley's passing just two months ago.

This post alone I started and stopped and started and stopped for weeks. There is no sugarcoating it...it's downright sad, lonely, and so strangely quiet. While we do have Wolf and Bandit, everything here feels different. It's so surreal. My eyes still scan the yard as I mentally count for my five...even though it will be four years for Gibson in December, my heart and mind will always look for my FiveSibes, with memories flooding back of them running together so happy and free across my backyard.


Siberian Huskies
 Healing together under sunrises and sunsets.
 

Oh, why does time fly so? It is amazing to me just how we can move on with a broken heart.

When Gibson passed, my dear mother had passed just month prior.

My heart was so shattered, and quite honestly, a piece always will be with their loss. Somehow, and many days without us even noticing, the heart starts to heal. Never the same, but it does heal, just differently. And in some respects, it heals around the empty spots that will always and forever be theirs.



#LiveGibStrong
My beloved Gibson. I know he is now happy to have his love, Harley, and little sis Chloe with him at the Rainbow Bridge; forever in my heart.

"What we have once had
enjoyed we can never lose;
all that we love deeply
becomes a part of us."
~Helen Keller

Losing Chloe this summer was a total shock. One day all is fine, then our resident chow hound quit eating, which was such a red flag. Naturally, we think it's an upset tummy, as we've dealt with one or more of the Sibes over the past almost 15 years. Only this time, Chloe's was fatal. Sudden acute liver failure. Still shocked that it struck so fast, so hard, and one day she was here being her usual adorable chatty "CoCo Puff," and then she was gone.

#LiveGibStrong
 My beautiful now furangels: Gibson, his love Harley, and pupster Chloe. How can it be that they are no longer here?


While I always knew somewhere deep inside that our beautiful Harley was truly in her golden years, she was so spunky right up through the summer, I guess somewhere inside I wrote a fiction version where she would always be with us--always the alpha queen, our "mama" dog. Even going deaf two years ago, she was amazing. She adjusted so easily and well into seniorhood, that it just all feels like such a shock that she is now no longer here. Our pack is motherless; the alpha queen and leader only here in spirit now.

So, once again, we are dealing with two deaths so close to each other that my not-yet-healed heart smashed into a million more pieces. Just how many pieces does a broken heart have? Logic, and my heart, vet, and everyone who knows us and our dogs, tells me they lived a wonderful life. They did. I do know that. And it was such a wonderful time and one of the great experiences of my life to have been their FiveSibesMom. So this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for my amazing grandson and so thankful for having all of my beautiful FiveSibes in my life. I am so not ready for this adventure of a lifetime to be nearing a close. I will continue to enjoy each day I have with them, while always remembering all of them, my Forever FiveSibes.

"So this Thanksgiving, I am so thankful for my amazing grandson and so thankful for having all of my beautiful FiveSibes in my life.I am so not ready for this adventure of a lifetime to be nearing a close. I will continue to enjoy each day I have with them, while always remembering all of them, my Forever FiveSibes."
 ~Dorothy Wills-Raftery, FiveSibesMom 


And so now there are just two FiveSibes. And how are our last two Pupsters, Bandit and Wolf? Our girl,Bandit, is doing quite well. She is a tough girl. Our "Teflon" Husky, she rolls with the changes fairly well. Wolf on the other hand, is a very sensitive boy and he is grieving. Not over the loss of his fellow Pupster sis Chloe, the loss of his surrogate mama, Harley, has really affected him and he is requiring some additional love, support, therapies, and reassurance. His anxiety is at all-time high, but there is some improvement. 


 
Best Buds: Wolf and my grandson!
Some days Wolfie is a happy boy, and other times, his anxiety and grief slips in and he needs extra love and fun and reassurance. He has not sung his Husky song in a very long time, and that breaks my heart. Listening to my pack of beauties howl and sing was such a joy for me. Whichever pup started the howl, would get in Harley's space and bark until she led them in song. Wolf and Bandit sometimes seem a bit lost to me...as if they are waiting for the others to return. Harley was the queen. The mama dog. She kept them all in line when needed, and offered snuggles to the puppies who were not her by blood, but rather by love and and an amazing motherly instinct.



"There is no set time for grieving, and no one way to grieve. With so much loss here, it may take a long time to get to a new normal, whatever 'normal' is." 
 ~Dorothy Wills-Raftery, FiveSibesMom

 
 My grandson truly helps the dogs. He stepped right in when we lost Chloe to cheer up Harley, Wolf, and Bandit. And now, he is is Wolf's and Bandit's constant joy. They absolutely love that he now helps me feed them. and since they are all about the same height, they love giving him Husky sniffs and kisses! And, grandson loves petting and talking with them. I especially see a glitter of excitement in Wolf's eyes when my grandson is around. His tail wags again and he is once again woo-wooing! Kids are amazing, especially when it comes to my grieving Huskies. My grandson is truly their healing medicine! With all the credit to him, Wolf has now begun "talking" and howling again, and loves to "chat" with my grandson. It just swells my heart with love. Here's a little peek at Wolfie back to talking:





So good to hear Wolfie's voice again!

Lots of play, hugs, reassurance, and yes - treats - are the best medicine for helping to heal a dog's grieving heart.







"While teaching my grandson about caring for animals, he is not only learning about caring for dogs, but his genuine and kind love is in turn helping Wolfgang and Bandit with their grief; letting them know they are okay, fun can still be had, and life is good."  
~Dorothy Wills-Raftery, FiveSibesMom

There is no set time for grieving, and no one way to grieve. With so much loss here, it may take a long time to get to a new normal, whatever "normal" is. For now, even though our hearts are heavy and sad, us humans are faking a happy new normal for the sake of the remaining dogs, who I pray will be with us for years to come.

What is real is the growing love and bond between them and my grandson, and new granddaughter, and what a joy that is to behold. While teaching my grandson about caring for animals, he is not only learning about caring for dogs, but his genuine and kind love is in turn helping Wolfgang and Bandit with their grief; letting them know and they are okay, fun can still be had, and life is good.



And that, I believe, our Harley mama would approve of.



#ForeverFiveSibes
"I do," says momma Harley from the Rainbow Bridge. 
"I definitely approve."
 

Note to My Dear Readers: 
Slowly, I am making my way back to writing. To say the creative muse took a hike when I lost Harley right after Chloe, is an understatement. But these dogs were such an inspiration to me, how can I help but continue with what we started so long ago? No matter how many Huskies I have, we will always be #ForeverFiveSibes, and we do have some great posts and stories still come to. Thank you for all your support, kinds notes, and patience during this break. We appreciate each of you!
 đź’–


#ForeverFiveSibes
A thoughtful Thanksgiving Thursday throwback photo taken after a brisk Autumn walk with all of my FiveSibes.

May you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.


6 comments:

  1. I can't begin to tell you how often we've thought of you and all you've gone through. We know all about those multiple losses way too soon. Thanksgiving hugs to all of you from all of us.

    ReplyDelete
  2. The hardest part about having dogs that we love is having to deal with the loss of them. You have had a lot of loss in a very short time. We have a feeling that little grandson is helping you heal quite a bit too:)

    Woos - Lightning, Misty, and Timber

    ReplyDelete
  3. I remember when Brut died, the dogs were lost for some time, as they had lost their leader. But when Momma Silver died, the two packs of dogs and the cats fell to pieces. It was so heartbreaking and awful. Silver was the glue that kept everything together and they all fell apart hard after she passed. It took almost a year or so of everyone grieving and adjusting until we started to grapple with some kind of normal. And for some reason my two cats took it the hardest. Anxiety through the roof. Never had I'd seen them like that. My Siamese was almost bald from licking herself raw. It was such a terrible time for us.

    THe worst part is being patience and letting everything play out in due time. I'm so glad Wolf has been perking up around the grandson. That's a great sign.

    We will keep you and the FiveSibes in our prayers.
    May you have a wonderful THanksgiving. We will be thinking of all of you through this time period.
    (((HUGS)))

    ReplyDelete
  4. When we got Cheyenne and Lakota, Moose was already 11 and Apache only 7. By the time the girls were almost one year we lost Moose and Apache within one month of each other. It was so sad to watch them mourn. I mention Moose's and Apache's name often and I truly believe that if they showed up today, the girls would run up to them and say "oh my gosh , where have you been, we missed you so much." They remember them and by me mentioning them still, it helps them move on. Sending hugs.

    ReplyDelete
  5. So sorry for these losses-dogs definitely grieve on the passing of a packmate. May the upright part of the pack help Wolf recover and adapt to the new normal. Sending oodles of poodles of healing comfort as you and the family celebrate Thanksgiving. Hugs and tail wags from us.

    ReplyDelete
  6. I do understand how you feel and it's especially hard during the holidays. Back in 2003 my Doxie, Tiffany, was diagnosed with cancer early in the year. In April my mother passed away. Our dog, Sandy, passed away on the day of my mother's funeral. Three weeks later my mother's dog, Gypsy, who was in our care, passed away. In July our Tiffany crossed the Bridge as a result of her cancer. Then Tiffany's mother, Ginger, followed her daughter to the Bridge in October. Finally in December of that year we lost Tiffany's brother, Bart. So we lost 5 dogs and my mother between April and December of 2003. It was very hard. My heart is breaking for you because I do know what you're going through. Time does heal but the pain never goes away completely. One day at a time.

    Hugs and love,
    Linda

    ReplyDelete