“The Memory of Joy in Present Grief” and Our Gretchen

15 Jul

GretchenNumerous posts of mine have addressed the psychological, emotional and health benefits children (and adults) receive when pets are a member of the family.

Reading this post today, The Memory of Joy in Present Grief, reminded me of our family dog who was put to sleep when I was in college. When Gretchen passed, she carried with her a multitude of memories from my childhood.

Our hearts grow bigger when we receive the unconditional love of an animal.  During my early years, our beautiful dog was truly my best friend. Gretchen made the painful parts of my childhood bearable.  Conversely, she made my joyful moments more jubilant.

I can remember her licking the tears from my cheeks when I cried.

I can remember her running in “figure 8’s” on the front lawn when I clapped my hands in excitement.

I can remember running with her and feeling complete and utter abandonment.

I strongly encourage you to read the post written by MacKenzie Kincaid linked here and above. If you are a “dog person,” you’d better get the tissues ready first…

Please share any memories of your beloved “best friends” you may have.

Cate Pane

5 Responses to ““The Memory of Joy in Present Grief” and Our Gretchen”

  1. atimetoshare July 15, 2014 at 8:15 am #

    I love your words, Cate. I remember having many dogs over the years and each one holds a special place in my heart. One particular Golden retriever still hangs tightly to my heart even though he’s been gone for several years. One thought that lingers is the night he passed. We were hosting a home Bible study group and Bo was so happy to be able to greet everyone with a smile. He loved it when we had company. He had so much fun that night. As the evening wore on and people started to leave he became listless and went to his favorite spot to lie down. All the guests departed and he came to me and laid his head on my lap. I could tell this was going to be our last night with him. I got down on the floor with him and cradled him in my arms. His breathing became rapid and he struggled to catch it. Soon he quietly fell into his final sleep. I am so glad that he died this way, because I could be there for him in that moment.

    • Cate Pane: The Clear Parent July 15, 2014 at 1:11 pm #

      How lovely that Bo spent his last night with company and he was able to receive your love and comfort in his last moments. Beautiful story, Cate

  2. isabelvida July 17, 2014 at 11:13 am #

    This is uncanny–I’ve been wanting to do a post about the relationship between Max and Lupe (our black lab) since Max started crawling. I am heartened every day by the connection between them and I know she is teaching him things he could never learn from me. She’s also remarkably good at gentle roughhousing, which is something I have no patience for. I can’t wait to see how their relationship unfolds.

  3. TK July 18, 2014 at 10:45 am #

    That reminds me of the first cat my family ever had. The poor thing was a stray, probably wandered away from a farm somewhere. Maybe someone tired of it and just threw it on the street. Whatever the case, this cat was already neutered and declawed. He came to us skin and bones just days before the first big snowfall of winter. There’s no doubt in my mind he would have been dead within the week had he not walked up to our house.

    He was the most passive animal I have ever met – perfect for kids. I played with him, carried him around, used him as a pillow and had conversations with him. Somehow, he always seemed to know when I was crying, because he always walked up to me when I had tears rolling down my face.

    Three years later he developed a condition that forced us (after many surgeries trying to find a solution) to put him down. My life would have been so different without him, though. He came during some of the hardest years of my life. Pets truly do grow the heart.

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