How To Get Through the Loss of a Fur-end
This past week my puppy died.
I realize that was harsh, but I’m not out here tryna sugarcoat anything.
I’ve had Milah (pronounced: Me-lah as in Mila Kunis) since I was about 7 and I remember being so scared of her little puppy body and puppy teeth because she was so excitable and lets be real: a puppy that’s teething has some sharp @$$ teeth! #DontBiteMe
Anyway, although she was a tad feisty, contrary to popular belief, she was so freaking cute.
See, Milah’s eyes were huge (not the ‘oh she’s a puppy with big eyes and she’ll grow into them’ huge; more like the ‘oh she didn’t grow into her big eyes cause they still big and she’s full grown’ huge). Not only that but also, her eyes were ever so slightly pointed away from each other; it looked like her right eye was looking more right than center and her left eye was looking more left than center. But she was my puppy, she was my Milah, and I loved (*love*) her.
Fast forward a decade or so and Milah is starting to get grey hairs, gain weight (because lets face it, ladies and gents... the metabolism slows down after age 40 and things change), gather a few mild health issues (because that’s life for yah), and sleep more then play fetch - but still going strong.
A few more years and here we are: She’s more than just a few grey hairs into aging, and notably less “Milah” – not much barking (unless extremely necessary, like someone walking past the window of our apartment), running just wasn’t a thing anymore (sleeping and eating – mostly eating - was more her forte), and she was just, calmer. Now all of these aren’t necessarily a problem, but it let me and my mom know that she was running on her last few years; well… months.
Lately I’ve been a busy gal and haven’t seen my puppy (or family) in over a year, so I was obviously excited to see her (and them) when I ventured back to California. My hope was that Milah would be able to stick it out till I got home this December but, life doesn’t really like to play fair.
That Day I was real toe-up about it; possibly because I’ve been so ready to go home and be surrounded by family (and yes, that includes pets) – I cried and mopped for a solid day and then I did something about it.
SO… now that you’re all caught up, here’s what I got for yah!
I went on an adventure to find a cure for puppy-loss sadness and I think I have a few things worth sharing.
1. A supportive something/someone is key. Support can come from many different places: a therapist, a creative outlet, family, friends, a teacher, religion, a pet, a stranger – it doesn’t matter where it comes from, as long as it’s positive. For me, it was my mom, dad, grandma, and God: they let me vent, heard me cry, and gave me the best hug they could through the phone. (No, I didn’t call God on the phone -_-)
2. Feel Everything. Just let it out. This can relate to any and all emotional experiences - good or bad, big or little. Either way, it’s good to let your emotions run their course, as long as they don’t consume you. (You gotta move through it at some point)
3. I rented a car and set up a play date with some puppies. In the midst of my ‘oh my goodness, my puppy! *tears streaming down face*’ phase, I looked for comfort in the idea of buying myself a puppy – unfortunately, this was completely unrealistic in every facet of my life at the moment; but what else are you supposed to do when under emotional distress: not make an irrational decision??? Pshhhh – rash was my middle name! (Terrible middle name! Let’s just all assume that ‘rash’ is supposedly short for “rash decision”...)
Anyway, on my search for the perfect puppy I found this place called Petland. They had 2 puppies that I wanted to buy but no prices listed (Note to self: anytime there is something with no listed price just assume it’s hella expensive) so I called and asked about the puppies. They explained that I could come in for a play date and hang out with the puppies (Pay Attention: these next few words are key) with no obligation to leave with one. So I set up a play date and oh man… my heart was just so full.
Honestly, if my bank account and circumstance would allow it, I would have left with 15 puppies – well realistically 2 or 3 but I had to be dramatic for effect. #SorryNotSorry.
For a hot second (actually 3 hours) I was really considering buying a puppy – but the Lord almighty knows my heart and made sure that all 3 puppies I wanted were way (and I mean WAY) out of my price range. #NotTodaySatan
What I Learned (in no particular order)
1. All Boston Terriers smell the same. Milah was a Boston; one of the puppies I played with was a Boston. I happened to get a wiff of his coat and shoot! I darn near got all watery eyed because he smelled just like my Milah!
2. Adults should absolutely go on play dates (especially if they involve puppies - doggos, hounds, wolves, beasts, puppers; whatever you like to call ‘em).
#RealTalkTho - Throw back to the days when we went on play dates and didn’t know what ‘hanging out’ was. I’d like to redo the day 7 year olds out casted the word “play date”:
Any 7 year old to ever hear the words “play” and “date” uttered to form a compound word: you’re going on a play date – haha what! I’m gonna go hang out while you and your friends drink milk from baby bottles!
What should have been the response: … First off Timmy, I haven’t drank from a baby bottle in 6 years; second, I’m lactose intolerant, infact most people are so I probably won't be drinking milk at my PLAY. DATE. (yes, you heard me); and third, milk supports bone health so if I do drink it, I’ll have healthy bones while you go not have healthy bones…
3. Give yourself space. Time heals all wounds and although my situation could have been arguably worse, my puppy is my puppy, I felt the way I felt, and I am absolutely not ashamed. Taking the time to be by myself and do whatever the fu@% I wanted was so refreshing. I almost feel like this situation was a blessing in disguise because it gave me time to slow down, show myself care, and let life take me where it wanted. #Adventure
After it was all said and done, I walked out of Petland without a puppy, but with some ruff estimates of down and monthly payments for my 3 favorite ones. #DontTemptMe
I ended my day with a drive-thru Starbucks run, a much-needed hair cut (done by yours truly), and a PJ dance sesh in my kitchen.
But that’s According 2 Me,