Friday, June 26, 2015

Dear Simon - Dear Mom

Dear Simon,

You have been gone for six months today. The days don't really get much easier as the months pass. In fact some days it feels like they get longer. I wish I could say that my pain is less, but it's not yet. I doubt it ever will be.

You were my whole world for seven years. The best thing to ever happen to me was the day I met you. We had such a deep love, and truly connected bond. You only had eyes for your mommy. I still save your spot in the bed, and any time food drops to the floor, I think of you. Your food and water dish are still down and waiting for you, as are your toys.

This is going to be a very hard day for me. Life isn't the same without you here. I start typing a thought to you, only to erase it and start over. I don't know what to say to you besides how much, and deeply I miss you. That I love you.

You have a birthday coming up, seventeen. I think on that day, I'll have a cheeseburger, plain of course, in your honor. I'll even put a candle in it for you. I bet you are thinking your moms so silly for doing something like that, but when it comes to you, I have no shame. I will do anything for you. Speaking of which, I'm watching a Beatles movie today, just for you.

Can you remember laying beside me as I sang Beatles song to you? Did you have a favorite?

Dear Mom,

I miss you too, and I love you with all my heart. I spend my time watching over you, and playing with my new doggie friends. We tell stories of our moms and dads, and the time we had with them. I tell them all about you, and that you are also telling the same stories about me.

The seven years I got to spend with you, and be loved by you were the best years of my life. You spent all of your time helping me, and you showed me what true love is. You helped make my life before you become just a bad dream. Thank you for that mom.

Please don't hurt so much for me, it makes me sad I can't be there to lick the tears away. I can see and feel your sadness. You are right mom, our bond can never be broken, please try to remember that now.  You can sleep on my side of the bed, and that new bed does look pretty comfy.

I sure do miss cheeseburgers, that's something we doggies could use up on the Bridge, a good burger joint. And I always thought you were silly mom, but you loved me and that was all that mattered.
I didn't care what song you sang, you were singing to me. It was the love I felt, the words didn't matter.

Always remember I love you, I love you from the tip of my tail, to the top of my nose, and I always will. That will help you when you feel sad. When you think of me, know I'm thinking of you too.

I also wanted to add to this blog a video I had made for Simon, but it's almost seventeen minutes long. So, I figured, I would instead let anyone who would like to see it message me, or comment that they would like to see it, and I would give them the link to the video.

Thanks Emmy

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

The Photo The Never Was

So the next few days, and next few blog posts are going to be very hard for me. I may have mentioned it before, but this Friday marks six months that my Angel Simon has been at Rainbow Bridge. For me that's the day time stops. It marks a day that forever changed me.

It's also making me think about all of the wonderful times, and memories I got to have with Simon. And I wanted to share a big one with you. I may have told this story in short hand in other blog posts, but this is going to be the full story about the day I took the photos below, and forever changed my life.

 The date on these pictures is August 17th, 2007. In November of 2006 I had lost a little girl Bichon Frise, named Precious. She had to be put to sleep because of issues with her heart, and losing her had broken mine. I had also lost my grandmother in February of that same year. To say I was broken, and lost is an understatement. Everything in my world that I loved was gone.

I had told anyone who would listen I was NEVER getting another dog. I just wasn't going to put myself through that again. A few people said they understood, and agreed with me that loving and losing these pets are very hard. Some told me that I would find one I liked, and one day have a pet again. I wanted to scream at both parties that they didn't understand, and that no I wasn't going to get another pet.

So when one day a good friend and co-worker, who also happens to be in a Dachshund rescue group asked me to help her with her new fosters adoption photos, I thought nothing much of it. I would go, take there picture, email her the good ones. She posts them on the rescues website with a bio on the dog, and my job and good deed is done.

I. Was. Wrong. Very wrong.

The first dog she introduced me to was Simon. She was on her back porch holding him, telling me he was one of her tender ones. He was going to need only the best home. She also told me he would do better being carried to the spot I was going to take his pictures. Those words were soon followed by this little brown body being handed to me over the fence.

I looked at him, he looked at me... we had a small staring contest going on between us, as my friend gathered the rest of her "models"...and then he put his paw down my shirt.

In that moment, that little paw sliding its way down my shirt, created many things. I would realize only later, as he snored in my lap one day, that that move wasn't for safety, or from anxiety. He was claiming me. He had picked his person.

In looking back at the photos I took of him that day, to the photos I took of him those seven years he was mine. Those are two totally different dogs. The first one is shy and wanting someone to love and save him. The dog after, was happy and sure of himself, he was safe, and loved.

I took a few shots of him, only to not find any of them worthy of his adoption page. I feel, even then, a part of me knew he was meant to be with me. Those adoption photos I took of him, never got emailed to his foster mom, they never got posted to his adoption page, and until this blog post, never got thought about again.

I'm glad I took those photos, I'm so very glad. Those photos are what helped me find just what I needed, when I didn't think I needed it.

Simon and I both were in need, we were broken and lost. In finding each other, we found our missing pieces. That thing we both needed to be whole.

I didn't just rescue him...he rescued me too.

There will never be another Simon. He was meant just for me.

The pain of loss is great, there's an ache in my chest that has yet to go away.

But the joy of love, of being loved, and of loving someone. Now that can take your breath away.


Thursday, June 18, 2015

My Puppy Flower

I'm having a bit of writers block, so I'm hoping this post can help me get out of my writing funk.
From the moment I got Simon his personality towards the camera leaned towards that of a ham. I loved taking his picture as much as he loved posing for them. A candid shot was always hard to pull off, as soon as he heard the camera click he was posing.

He also LOVED to dress up. I swear for a boy he had more clothes and costumes than I did. So, of course getting dressed up and having his picture taken was the best thing ever. I swear if I was too slow in getting him into one of his shirts, he would try to do it for himself.  Most often dressing himself without my help.

But that's not my main story with this post. This post is the story of how a random photo shoot idea, became one of my favorite photos of Simon.

As you all know by now, I'm a writer by trade and by heart, but I also love having other hobbies. One of them being photography, and having such a perfect and willing subject as Simon, only made me love my hobby more.

The idea came to me one summer day, after spotting some over sized plastic planters my mom had bought for the yard. I loved seeing cute doggy photos online, and wanted to try my hand at one of my own.Gathering up one of the planters, my camera and Simon, a beautiful photo shoot was born, as well as my very own puppy flower.


Wednesday, June 10, 2015

This Ones For The Dogs

Well this is new. I've set down to type this blog, and I have no idea what I want to write. I try to keep my posts light and semi happy. I feel with all the sadness of losing such wonderful babies to the bridge, we all need a funny story or cute picture. I know I do. That's hard sometimes. And as I concentrate on what words I want to use, and what my point will be. I'm...stuck. I don't have the right words, or a cute Simon anecdote. I'm numb.

These pets, these "dogs" are anything but just a "pet". They are family, our kids. For some of us, they are all we have. We love them as they love us, unconditionally, and with everything we have. And when they are gone our hearts break so deeply, sometimes we can't breathe the pain is so bad. We didn't lose just a pet, we lost family.

Only a true dog lover, can understand this. For some of us, we are not going to be ok in a few days.It takes time, LOTS of time. It hurts my heart when I meet someone and they tell me they have never owned, or been owned by a dog. You feel bad for me because my heart is breaking over my dogs passing, well I feel bad for you, for never having been loved by such a wonderful, and silly creature as a dog.

Had a bad day at work, that wagging tail, and panting tongue can make it all better. They are a therapist that only asks for treats, and a belly rub as payment. They keep our deepest secrets, and never judge us for them. I think Simon knew more about me, than anyone in my life. I know he often times had better advice.

This month, the 26th to be exact. Will be six months since Simon has been gone to the bridge. I'm not really meaning to keep track. To be honest, I don't want to. I don't want one minute without him, how did I get to six months. That's half a year. I'm not ready yet. It still feels like yesterday. I'm still far from ok.

Which makes me relive, and feel heart broken all over again when I read another baby went to the bridge. I hurt for them, I hurt for me. I want to tell everyone of them I know EXACTLY what they are going through. I want to comfort them, and help them.  I know words aren't enough, there's not really anything we can do. It's the thought that counts. To know we have friends, and people who understand. That let us cry, and vent, and talk in circles.

You guys, this place, my blogs and memories. It's all I have now. I'm glad I have you. Thank you

I'm not sure what else to say. I'll try to have a funnier post next time.


Monday, June 8, 2015

The Dog In The Sink

Well wouldn't you know. I had this all typed up once, hit a wrong button, and lost the whole thing. I guess this is take two, let's cross our paws it works.

Dogs teach us several lessons throughout our life with them. How to love, how to enjoy life, and the benefit of a belly rub.

With Simon, I learned how to give a the sink.

Simon wasn't a fan of the bath. That whole getting wet, smelly shampoo, slippery tub thing didn't work for him. He did it, and without a fuss. But would let mommy know his displeasure afterwards. I always needed new sheets after bath day.

In the winter he would get spared from the bath, unless one was really REALLY needed. I found doggy oatmeal wipes, and would "dust him off" with those during the colder months. But in the summer, we got regular baths, and a new routine had to be worked out.

Besides Simon not being a fan. Hovering over the tub for a long time would hurt my back and knees. So in the idea of using what we had, we set out to find a way to make it work.

Option one: The shower. Holding him in the shower to soap and rinse, then letting him out to run free and dry off. Myself stepping back in to take a shower cold water. This plan worked in desperate times. But overall wasn't the best.

Option two: The bathroom sink. It was the right size, easy on my back and knees, and Simon could even lay down...or nap. I was also able to pull up a chair if need be. We would get the water warm, lay him on his side, soap him up, and then do the same to the other side. The water would massage his belly as it came from the faucet. It was a weenie spa day. And Simon started to like a bath.

He did get one more bath,  in what would come to be his last bath, in a tub. There are pictures of it here on TB. But for the remainder of his life, he was the dog in the sink.


Thursday, June 4, 2015

Wild Flowers

It's the changing of the season, winter has left, and summer is in full bloom. Flowers are coming in, tress are getting new leaves. New life is moving forward all around us.

In the hectic day to day, some times it's hard to "stop and smell the roses". We rush past life, or are too focused in our own anxieties, to see the beauty and peace the world try's to offer us.

I got to see some of the peace today. My day started out busy, and going as soon as my feet hit the floor. Off to the DMV for license plate tags, then to run a few shopping errands.

I want to pause my train of thought here for a second. I'm not sure if many or anyone knows this. I suffer with bad anxiety and panic attacks. I manage most of the time pretty well, but I have my days that the world is a very hard place to shuffle through. I don't take medication for it, I try to work it out on my own. Meeting Simon, however, eased a lot of the wear on my already frazzled nerves.

He had a calm, everything's going to be alright, I'm here personality, you had no choice but to relax. So it's safe to say  that without my hotdog shaped chill pill, I have more nervous days then not.

So a day like today, would have me almost exhausted by time I got back home. And of course, I can always count on Simon to save the day.

Ok, back to my point. Over the start of last summer, a group of wild flowers moved from the back yard into the front. We had already stopped having Simon go down his ramp to use his "potty pen" since he was having weakening in his back legs. So when the wildness slowly moved into his pen, no one got concerned.

And as you know, by the time winter fully set in, Simon was gone, and the flowers were waiting for the warmth to bloom.

So today, on a day when I needed it the most, I happened to glance into Simon's old potty pen...and see his flowers. Open and enjoying the warm day, and setting sun.

His wild flowers, my calm boy, giving me peace.

Monday, June 1, 2015

I Need A New Trainer

It seems like winter has not been at all kind to me, and my scale is proving it. Now I'm not blaming that on Simon. But the thought did occur to me, I was in much better shape when he was around.

I walked laps with weights. Translated: I walked back and forth from my bedroom to the laundry room, carrying clothes one item at a time, while also carrying a Simon.

I lifted weights. Translation: Picking up and putting down a Simon every 5 minutes while working around the house.

That one can also count as squats.

I was never allowed to be "lazy" while he was in charge of me. Laundry, cooking, vacuuming. All got done with a Simon firmly in one arm.

So it's safe to say, since he hasn't been around to "help" I have gotten lazy. I use both hands to cook, can gather most of my laundry at once... you get the idea. I have also gotten fat.

I know Simon would want his mommy to be healthy, not just physical, but in every way. So with summer finally on it's way. I am trying to get back into shape, I just have to do it without my trainer.