Monday , 11 December 2017

A new perspective on the word “replacement”.

This year has been about me..I mean, putting me first and thinking about my health and wellness.  After losing almost 30 Ibs, I am happy to say I am feeling better and healthier in so many ways.  With losing that amount of weight, it’s true…many of my clothes no longer fit:)  Yesterday, my Co-worker said, you must be anxious and excited to go on a shopping spree so you can “REPLACE” all those old clothes.  I pondered for a minute and realized that I do not really live to find replacements. I guess I live more on “need” than “want”.  I am not a big consumer and if I give things away, I rarely look to replace, I am juts happy to de-clutter and pay it forward.

But this week, the word “replacement” came in a different form and I really had to think about the meaning.  After having to put our seven year old Pug down, after she broke her back from a misfortunate fall, so many thoughts went through my head.  This past weekend was probably one of the worst weekends I have even had to live through.  We have been preparing awhile for my older guy,  my 14 year old Border Collie, who has had his share of ups and downs over the last year.  But our Pug Kayla….well, in many ways, it’s still a bit sureal.

Last weekend was nothing short of devastating.  Wayne and I got Kayla, 3 months into our relationship.  She never lived a day of pain with us..She was so loved and cherished that she never felt insecure but never wanted us out of sight for long.  She  loved the car, she loved treats, she loved attention, and she loved everybody.  In fact, Kayla was my side-kick on my weightloss journey… Whenever we left the Vet’s office, she would always end the visit with a Benny Bite but also with the message, “Wouldn’t hurt her to lose a few  a couple of pounds.”  Kayla was like me in many ways, would much rather watch the treadmill than get on it:) She was also one of the inspirations behind my own health and wellness journey and learning documented on my Nutrition-InCheck page.


I miss her so much..we both do….Last weekend, the house was lonely and theair filled with silence.  But I am proud of how we handled it.  Everyone handles grief on their own terms.  Some people say, they never get another dog because the pain of losing one is too much.  Others wait for some time,  there are those who don’t wait at all.

When we have a new responsibility, we have no choice to change our minds because suddenly, we do not have a choice…responsibility requires action.

Just like Oscar, Kayla can never and will never be replaced!  Impossible!  However, we decided that we could not live in silence or pain.  The only way for us to be better and feel better would be for us to put our energy into something positive….Almost immediately after putting Kayla down, Wayne and I started to search for rescues/ fosters online.  We searched every site necessary, every rescue possible, and what started out as a local search soon expanded… was not about the time or distance, it was about finding a Pug that needed us just as much as we needed the presence of a Pug. After 3 hours of endless searching, no food on our stomachs, but endless tears, a connection was made.

A roadtrip was planned for Sunday….the roadtrip itself would be 4.5hrs but would offer us some time out of the city and a chance to be away from the sad environment that was consuming us.  Wayne made a comment yesterday that it was one of the best days and best road trips we ever made together.  I realize that it was so theraputic and what was overcast in Montreal, was sunny as we drove past Ottawa and towards Petawawa. It seemed fast, it seemed strange but it also seemed so right for us.

So, now almost a week later ( hard to believe), we can now introduce you all to our new 6 month old Pug called Callie.  It’s hard to adjust to a puppy but she is full of puglet joy and is adjusting well to her new and wonderful life with the Elsliger-Bennett family.  She has allowed us to get out of our heads and by offering her a new lease on life, a way for us to work on providing her with a new and happy life… instead of just wishing minute by minute that we could turn back the hands of time and do something (anything) to prevent the accident that took our Kayla away.

I took all of Kayla’s photos down but now put a few back up.  We are sad, we are grieving, but we are also living. Even our Boston Terrier who was feeling a great loss, is now enjoying the company of a little one who enjoys the chasing of a tennis ball just as much as Maya:)

So, the word “replacement” means something different to me now.  I still do not have to replace things, I can not replace loved ones, but I can replace ( to a degree) pain. Grief is grief and we have to go through it… but how we choose to go through it is a personal choice.

This has been our first time losing a beloved pet; and I am happy we followed our hearts and what worked best for us. There was just too much “doggie” love in this household and not to pay it forward just didn’t seem right!  And the funny thing..Callie has so many similiar characteristics to KK that we get to remember those good times that we were so blessed to have had with her over the last seven years!

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One comment

  1. Hello,

    I read your story with a very heavy heart. I too lost a dog earlier than I had planned, and it was very painful. I am the kind that needs to wait for some time… Luckily, an entirely different personality needed saving, so from Coffee (a lab-german mix), we now have Dixie (a basset-teckel mix). She’s not Coffee, but she does her zootherapy job just as well! However, I had to grieve something else: when I finally found that connection you spoke of after months of searching on every rescue site, my husband announced though he loved Dixie tons, he just can’t have 2 dogs. I can’t force him, but I never imagined this would happen 🙁 Can’t foster either – he knows us too well and knows the foster would never leave…

    So now I dogsit. It’s my replacement. And he can’t take that away from me. I would animal-sit just about anything, but Dixie, part hound, would have a heart attack having something she can hunt soooo close and not be allowed to touch it! So I dogsit. Any and every dog that needs a home for a night, or a few days, I dogsit. Luckily, Dixie is sociable enough. She doesn’t like them all, but she’s always very tolerant. This replacement will keep me happy, until Dixie’s time to pass comes. Than I’ll let some time go by, and if it’s like Dixie, a dog needing to be rescued will come to me 🙂

    Thank you for sharing your story!

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