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.
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.
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."
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.
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.
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!|
~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.