It's never easy. No matter how many times we experience the loss of a beloved companion, it still hurts like hell. We know the day will eventually come, we try to steel ourselves, we think we're prepared...but when the time arrives, it just tears us apart.
As it did this past week with our sweet, sweet Aussie girl, Cadie. Also known as Cadie-Bear. Or sometimes just Bear-Bear...
Isn't she beautiful? The happiest, most blissful dog I've ever known, and I've known many. The world was Cadie's best friend, and she couldn't conceive of even the smallest unhappiness. On the rare occasions we raised our voices to her (usually for sneaking cat food) she would just wiggle her backside off, wagging her stubby little tail, and giving us that big Aussie smile, as if to say "Yeah, I know, but aren't I cute? Don't you just LOVE me?!"
And we did. So very much.
We adopted her at age 4 and she was with us for 9 wonderful years. It was a blessing that the passage of time between the first symptoms of illness, through two vet visits, one ultrasound and her gently assisted passing, was a total of only five days. So we take comfort in believing her suffering was minimal, and that we did the right thing in helping her cross the Bridge.
Her crazy little brother Cosmo is still with us. A bit confused, and overprotective as always, but we'll get through this together...
And whether dogs or cats, we know we'll walk this path again and again. Because despite the pain and loss, we can't imagine life without these companions. Because we know the love they give us, and the love they inspire, makes the eventual loss more bearable.
(Photos 2 and 3 by Jennifer MacNeill)