I’ve said goodbye to other dogs that I’ve loved in my life, but Scout was my heart dog. Not just my dog, but my best friend, my adventure/travel partner, my conduit to spread love and light people up, my teacher and the place where I found so much comfort. He just got me and I miss him so very much.
Scout passed away August 2, 2021. He was only 6 years old, and he had cardiac hemangiosarcoma. I still think of him everyday. Some days less, some days severe enough for me to break down in tears. Speaking about him always evokes strong emotions. Although difficult, I love to share his story.
The grief of losing our pets is something that only pet owners can understand. For people who have not owned a pet, witnessing the intense emotions that pet owners go through when their pets pass on is often bewildering. “It is only a dog,” they would say. But as dog owners, we know it is so much more than that.
Despite the heartache, I’d do it all over again…and again…and again. Through my grief I’ve learned that beginnings are never a guarantee, but the end is always inevitable. The end of life, the end of love, the end of a beautiful friendship and the end of a story — one that, for me, was so special, so unique and filled with so much love, hope, laughter, magical moments and life lessons.
“The reality is that you will grieve forever. You will not ‘get over’ the loss of a loved one; you will learn to live with it. You will heal and you will rebuild yourself around the loss you have suffered. You will be whole again but you will never be the same. Nor should you be the same nor would you want to.”
As I approach the year mark, I’m forced to reflect on new beginnings and fresh starts. Letting go is impossible to do all at once. It’s difficult and it hurts, but it starts with the closing of a chapter.
Scout and I had the most beautiful story, but now it’s Archie’s turn and my heart is open. I’m ready to write my story’s next chapter.
Archie and Scout are different in so many ways, but one thing that’s the same is how much I will love and care for them. I want Archie’s life to feel as full and as abundant as Scout’s did. It’s what he deserves. They all do, don’t they? I have to remind myself there is a season and a reason.
Having a rescue dog is something I’ve never experienced before and they come with their own set of challenges and their own unique gifts, but he deserves the best in life and the vulnerability of an open heart. My story is not over yet, but I know only I can make the choice to change the way my story goes and be brave enough to start turning the pages again.
Have you lost a heart dog? How did you get through the grieving process? I’d love any helpful tips you have and I hope this will be helpful to others whose heart may be breaking, too.
A few of the things that I’ve found helpful during my grief journey have been to continue to memorialize and honor Scout. We had a beautiful memorial for him at his favorite beach town. All of his doggy friends were invited to pay tribute and enjoy his most favorite place. We also adopted another golden from a local rescue group in his honor and have created this website to inspire and encourage others to make beautiful memories with their pups.
These are just a few of the things that help his legacy continue and help heal my broken heart in the process.
I hope you will get to enjoy some of Scout’s #pawtasticstays with your pup!
Feel free to visit my Amazon storefront where I share a few of the books that I have found helpful during my grief journey.