Posts Tagged ‘coping with the grief of losing a pet’

It has been more than 2 weeks since my last post and I’m headed toward my quietest month on my blog.  But it’s for good reason; I’m recovering from heartbroken mama syndrome.  Shortly after the new year, we had to put down our oldest dog Sierra.  We found her more than 10 years ago on “doggie death row” and though we saved her life way back then, she was the one that brought so much to our lives.  She was our first dog as a couple, our first baby.


Sierra’s photo from the humane society

She loved the snow…I mean she really loved the snow (it was the husky part in her) and boy did she mush like a snow dog in her younger years (I’ve the scars to prove it!)


We were warned of her small prey drive and she would spend hours in the yard and on long hikes/walks looking for little critters…


But she also knew how to be lazy like the best of ‘em…


She was very tolerant of this curious & mischievous pug puppy we brought in about 5 years ago…


But she connected with Peanut most (we got them the same week 10 years ago after we first moved to Colorado) and to Peanut, Sierra was her best bud…


But if there was one word that most described Sierra, it is “sweet” – she was just a sweet, sweet girl…


Two years ago she was diagnosed with Cushing’s Disease which brought a host of physical problems.  I mentioned quite a few times on this blog how she was waking me anywhere from 2-6 times a night for more than a year, which was really hard on both of us.  But she was otherwise holding up well and our vet reminded us that she still had quite a bit of time left.   But in recent months her muscular atrophy was becoming apparent and when she started to have trouble with balance and falling and then her appetite fell off, we knew that she was telling us it was time.  We had planned for it for a while but nothing could prepare me for the amount of grief I would feel after saying goodbye.

So I did what most artists would do to help me cope with the grief and I got creating…

Sierra snow dog - web

I found it cathartic and painful all at once.  I wanted to do something to commemorate her, which felt great, but the more I looked at her pictures, the more I cried.

Sierra always in our hearts - web

Most of it was digital, but I had an idea of something I wanted to do mixing my photography with mixed media techniques.  And I finished it last night…

DSC_1128 DSC_1130



I will say that I feel much, much better now.  I think I “frontloaded” my grief that first week.  The first three days I literally could not stop crying; my eyes were nearly swollen shut, my nose was rubbed raw and I think I went through 2 boxes of tissues.  The grief was profound, something I’ve never experienced, even with the loss of friends and family.  But as you know, I don’t have children, I live in a rural area, I work from home and I interact with the dogs 24 hours a day (I typically leave the house only once a week).  So the change in schedule, going through all the firsts without her, going for walks and seeing her paw prints in the snow from our last walk together was excruciating.

But after that first week, the tears stopped and I was able to think of her with smiles and laughter instead of tears and heartache.  And I even had a really sweet dream of her last week where we were in a lush, green field and she was playing fetch with the vigor and pep of a young pup.  It was really heartwarming.


And when I think of her at the “Rainbow Bridge” – the picture above is what I envision.  And I look forward to seeing her again on the other side.

Thanks for letting me share ♥

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