My little bear

First let me start by saying, I always try to keep JforJamie.com a cheerful and positive space but in this moment, I can't think of a better outlet to express my grief than through the blog community. Reading about other people's loss has actually helped me navigate through this painful time. So thank you for taking the time to read and allowing me to share. Yesterday we said goodbye to Roxy, our beloved dog and "little bear". Chris and I knew this time was coming but nothing could prepare us for the pain and heartbreak of losing such an essential part of our family. We all held on as long as we could but in the past week, she stopped being able to walk or go to the bathroom on her own because of her severe hip dysplasia and as a result, muscle loss and nerve damage. We had to carry her around, all 60 pounds, like she was a small puppy. She was in constant pain and we couldn't see her go on like that so we made the extremely difficult decision to let her be at rest. On the last night we had with her, Chris made Roxy's favorite foods, hamburgers and sweet potatoes and she happily enjoyed every last bite (she even tried to eat the bowl). The past few weeks, she's been anxious and restless so we laid on the floor with her until she fell asleep. In the morning, we tried our best to make the most of our last few moments with her but we were constantly reminded that soon we would be coming home without her and that pain can only be expressed through tears. In the car, on the way to the vet, she sat up and leaned against me, occasionally giving me kisses, as if to tell me it was going to be okay. Somehow, it's always been that way, her comforting me. We brought her bed into the room at the vet, we held her and gave her kisses, told her how much we love her and how wonderful of a dog she has been to us, and then we watched all of her pain go away as she was finally able to rest peacefully.

Coming home without her was the most painful feeling I've ever experienced. Right now I feel like a piece of me is missing and there's a constant pit in my stomach. Yesterday, I laid in bed all day, not wanting to get up and face the reality that she wouldn't be sitting there in the doorway where she always is. Chris and I hold each other and cry together and he tells me it's going to get better. Right now, it doesn't feel like that but I know he's right - time heals. He has been so strong through all of this and he has let me grieve in the odd ways grief happens to people. I know it's painful for him too but he is persevering for the both of us. I get flooded with happy memories of her but also the memory of watching her go which triggers uncontrollable sobbing. Chris tells me Roxy wouldn't want me to be sad and he's right, she was happiest when we were happy because that's just the wonderful being she was.

Roxy was the most vivacious dog from the time we brought her home at 3 weeks old. She loved to chase squirrels, run after cats and occasionally bolt out the front door to go exploring around the neighborhood for hours at a time. My mom and dad brought her home as a surprise when I was just 12 years old. Over 15 + years, we watched each other grow up. She has taught me so much about responsibility, compassion and patience. From the day she met Chris, she was as much a companion to him as she is to me. I truly believe our relationship is stronger because of her. Words can't express how thankful I am to my little bear, absorbing every one of my emotions through the years but always wagging her tail and giving me kisses just like she did in her final moments - she always reminded me it was going to be okay. The support we've received through this time has been overwhelming and I'm so grateful for the love we've received from our friends and family. I know Roxy was so loved and she loved right back.

I love you little Roxy bear, thank you for coming into my life and changing it forever, a piece of my heart will always be yours. Get some rest little girl.