Saying Goodbye: Grieving the loss of a pet
On the afternoon of December 12th our family got smaller….
We said goodbye to our sweet Hermann.
I have trouble breathing just writing that. My chest is tight, my throat hurts and I’m fighting back the ugly tears. There have been a lot of those.
Our hearts are broken, and yet I know they will mend. We have over 10 years of amazing memories.
He was a gift. He was truly one in a million.
Every person who met Hermann loved Hermann. He was hard not to love. Affectionate, playful, and loving he had a personality even bigger than he was.
He (and his big personality) have left a giant Hermann sized hole in our hearts (and our home). His absence in our home was suffocating at first. We are filling the void with cherished memories and embracing all the joy he brought.
He lived with us in our first home and helped us make this one a home too. He is the reason we decided on bringing Eddie into the family. He was the heartbeat at my feet and I know we will miss him forever.
For the first time in almost a decade I had a shower without his ‘supervision’ (he would take up the entire floor mat and wait for me, without fail every shower I ever took). When I would blow dry my hair, he would rise from wherever he was in the house to find me and stand behind me as I dried, enjoying the wind in his face. The sound of the popcorn jar opening would cause him to come running, knowing the strays from the air popper weren’t far behind and would make a nice snack. Those memories I cherish. Those are what I hold on to in those waves of sadness.
It warms my heart to see his beautiful face every morning and each night when we feed Eddie-Vedder. And I love knowing there are literally thousands of dogs all over North America who see his handsome mug each day too, and that his joy of life lives on.
I am ever grateful to Rayne and their amazing food for helping to make the last three years of Hermann’s life as healthy and active as his very first three. Without their food I am confident we would have had to say this goodbye earlier, for this extra time with him I am at a loss for words to express my gratitude. Rayne not only saved (and extended) Hermann’s life, but they also celebrated it by sharing his face and story on their packaging, through their social media, in video, and in person.
I am also grateful to them for this great family photo, taken this past summer while making this video.
Hermann, you were my baby and my best friend.
“I’ll love you forever,
I’ll like you for always,
as long as I’m living
my baby you’ll be.” – Robert Munsch
Be well my sweet. I will see you again. Until then, you are in our hearts forever.
Updated to add: I just found this article in one of our FB Griff groups and found it very helpful. It speaks to why our grief for dogs is so intense and links to a whole host of other great resources around the relationship dogs and humans have.