A year ago today, I lost my Boada Bear. My heart dog. There’s still a tightness that creeps up in my chest and that welling behind my eyes poised to leak if I dwell too long in memory. I wrote almost the entirety of this article shortly after he passed in hopes it would help with healing to get it out. I’m convinced it probably did somewhat, along with actually allowing myself to grieve - something I’m not well practiced at - at least the “allowing” part. I decided this morning to post it after my iPhone’s “one year ago today” photos popped up and momentarily stopped my breath. As I settled into what I was feeling, I began looking through the photos from a year ago today and my unexpected pang of sorrow turned into sheer gratefulness. Don’t get me wrong - it still hurts, a lot - but my dog went on his own terms, in my arms, and that in itself was something to be immensely thankful for. I won’t forget that. I’m so happy to have known Boada. Given all of the firsthand experiences of death in so many ways as a veterinary nurse that I’ve been witness to over the years, I’m ever so grateful that his was a fairly peaceful exit.
Sara, this is such a touching, heartfelt tribute to Boada Bear. Thank you for sharing. The connection the two of you shared will never be completely lost. Like you, I do not believe we will be reunited with loved ones after death, but I have no doubt that those we have loved will always be a part of us. I love your term, heart dog, as that seems to be a perfect description. I recently went through old photos of my first dog, Daisy, and read through all of the condolence cards I received. It was after she died that I understood why people want to clone their animals. She has been gone over 8 years, and I still miss her dearly, but I am always able to smile when I think about her.