Gratitude Friday

1. Hiking. Woke up this morning to no Dexter. No cuddles in bed, no happy dance while I made his breakfast, no invitation to play with his baby. I am realizing with him gone how much he did to lift my mood, bring me joy, every moment I was with him. He was just such a happy dog, full of so much energy, even with cancer. We couldn’t stand to take our normal walk this morning to Lee Martinez Park without him, so we went to Big South and hiked for four hours instead. It was a beautiful hike, good to be somewhere different.

2. Samson. Eric and I took turns on this morning’s hike walking the dog, the dog we have to share, the dog who has brought us out of our grief over two losses now (he came to live with us four months after our Obi died), Mr. Sam. I can tell he’s trying so hard to know what to do, now that he is the only dog, and I’m making sure to do what I can to love him double and let him know that it’s okay, he doesn’t have to do anything, just be the goofy loveable dude he’s always been.

3. Home to Heaven, kind and wise caregivers like Dr. Cooney who will come to your home to help you let your loved one go, to release them gently from their suffering, all the while asking you all kinds of questions, letting you tell stories about how they came into your life, what you love about them, giving you all the time you need. Other than a brief moment when we thought Dexter might throw up (his belly hadn’t been feeling too good all day and the sedative made him feel a little woozy), it was an easy death for Dexter, peaceful and gentle, and I am so grateful for that.

4. Kind, generous friends. I’m not talking about just my local people, I mean all of you out there, people I barely know or have never even met, all of my kind and gentle readers and friends sent us so much love and support yesterday and into today. Knowing we are so loved, being sent so much good energy, made things much lighter — I did not have to carry this sadness alone. We absolutely were not alone in our loss, and I am so so grateful.

5. Eric. I have no idea how I would have made it through Dexter’s (and Obi’s) cancer and loss without him there to support me, to suffer with me, to cheer me up, hold me when I cry, cry with me, help me make the hardest of decisions. Having the right partner, a good fit and a good person, is such a blessing.

Bonus Joy: We didn’t make it a whole week this time, but still I am so grateful for our final days with the sweet Mr. Dexter. These are the last two pictures I ever took of him. I miss him so much, but I’m so glad he won’t have to suffer anymore.


17 thoughts on “Gratitude Friday

  1. piercedfuzzis

    I continue to send you healing energy. A few months ago, we lost my almost 17 year companion, Peach…a sweet, sweet kitten who never quite got over the other cat and certainly never the dogs but who would come crawl into bed with me when she knew I needed her. Those things for which you are grateful are the same things for which I was and am grateful as we adjust to not having her cantankerous self around anymore.

    Peace and blessings to you and hugs across the miles.

  2. Tina Tierson

    I, too, continue to send love and healing energy. What a joyous blessing Dexter and Obi were to your life, with Eric and Sam there to love and support you as you begin this new path. xoxo

  3. sherrybelul

    I’ve been thinking of you and Dexter all day today. Sending love. Giving extra pets and hugs to the dog I’m babysitting. It’s wonderful to hear about Sam being there with you/for you. I feel great gratitude that I got to know Dexter through your blog and that your journey together taught me so much about life and love and letting go. xo

  4. Lisa Kaftori

    Dear Jill, I am so grateful you shared your love story with Dexter. He will remain forever our hearts… I have been holding my loved ones, human and canine, extra close since yesterday. I continue to hold you and your dear ones in my heart ❤

  5. Vicky

    The picture of the two of them on the bed is, oh so sweet.
    My dogs have never been that way with each other and I swear that April doesn’t much care that Skippy exists. But when April goes out without Skippy or is having a bath, Skippy is tied up in knots. I know she would grieve the loss of April terribly.

    I hope that Sam is ok. The double dose of love will help everyone.
    You’re lucky to live with the bounty of nature around you. The bigness of it is the best medicine for healing sad hearts.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Vicky, what is even sweeter about that picture is that Dexter and Sam were never really like that with each other either, loved each other reluctantly. In fact, when Eric saw them curled up like that, he said “Do you think Sam knows something we don’t?” because it was such a rare occurrence. Sam is doing okay, doesn’t so much seem sad (which is how Dexter mourned our Obi, who was his best friend in the whole world) as he seems a little lost. Dexter was his big brother, the one he looked to to know what to do, to check what the dogs should be doing in any particular situation, and he doesn’t have that now. And you are right about us being lucky to live where we do, to be able to disappear into the green and quiet is such a comfort. ♥

  6. Deborah Tisch

    This sharing of grief and good memories and loving photos of Dexter, all of this reminds me that these days do come, we will have sadness with us now and then, but how we face it and share it…oh, that makes such a difference.

    Holding you in my heart..

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      Yes, Deborah, you are so right. I keep thinking about the tagline for this blog, my intention for the way I live: life is beautiful and brutal, tender and terrible — keep your heart open. ♥

  7. Trish

    I thought of you and all your boys all day today, Jill. The silence of them (Obi, Dexter, and when it is her time, Marlowe) being gone is what I fear, and what you expressed well here. What a great idea to go somewhere different with *the* dog. I hope I get to meet your Sam someday! Love you, Jill. Thanks always for sharing.

    1. jillsalahub Post author

      That is the hardest part, Trish, that you no longer have the target of their soft body, the directness of that energy as a place to put all your love — you still have all the love, just no where to put it. It’s confusing and sad, but having them is so worth it, for whatever time you’ve got. xo


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