Recently, we said good-bye to our dog Mo. Diagnostic tests and prescription medication did not help a spinal condition and her mobility had continued to decline. She experienced side effects from the medications and had begun to whine at night.
The staff at the vet clinic were wonderful and respectful. They made the final trip as peaceful as possible. The tears of staff were visible as we left. Staff later sent a beautiful card featuring the silhouette of a dog and cat by artist Sarah Brown. I later discovered many other thoughtful items on Sarah’s UK site including remembrance seeds.
There was a lot of sobbing at home before it suddenly became very silent. I tried to ease my pain walking my normal nightly circuit which Mo and I had traversed many times.
After a few days, we decided to take a tentative look at animals that might need a second chance home. We were amazed at the frenzy of people trying to buy or adopt. Many pages received 1,000+ views in a short time. It even seemed as though some people were buying puppies and then selling the poor dogs a few months later. Some openly admit to having bought pets as “COVID companions”. As their schedules move back to normal, they realize they cannot keep up with the demands. This is not fair. Dogs deserve forever homes.
In sharing our family story of loss, we managed to find Cleo, an adult Bernese Mountain Dog/Retriever/Beagle mix. Her previous owners could no longer keep her due to changed circumstances. She is calm and affectionate though a bit shy. She reminds us of the dogs we have loved in the past. She is a bit of all of them, but herself too.
As Cleo continues to bond with family members, she enjoys calm, quiet walks. She ambles quietly, stopping occasionally to sniff the air or to observe people and dogs in the distance. Her calm pace forces walkers to slow down so they can better enjoy the sun, the sights and the wind. When she is ready, she helps her new people move forward.
As we continue to grieve Mo, Cleo is likely missing the family she left behind. Despite our losses, we experience the love and hope of a wonderful new relationship. It is a time of transition for all of us. Tomorrow as we pick up Mo’s ashes from the vet, Cleo will go in for her first wellness check. As we remember Mo, we look forward to many more walks with Cleo.