Present Tense

Still learning…

I’m an over-thinker, but I try and learn something from each painful experience in my life.  The discomfort that I’ve felt over losing our dog, Chili has got to mean something to me.  What have I learned from the past few weeks?

First lesson:  trust my intuition.  I’ve always been in tune with what I can feel or ‘know’.  Unfortunately, I’m also a very analytical and logical person, so I tend to override my gut instincts.  I knew that there was something a little ‘off’ about the dog all summer.  Even before the summer.  I kept telling my husband that something wasn’t right.

There were no overt signs.  She seemed healthy; her blood work didn’t show anything out of the ordinary.  But, there was something in her behavior that I found unsettling.  She wasn’t enthusiastic about her food, she seemed a bit depressed and sluggish at times.  I attributed it to our move, the new surroundings, the heat.  I had even written a couple of emails to a local holistic vet, saying that I felt like something was going on with her and I even felt like it was involving her liver or kidneys.  But, I didn’t act.  I suppressed it because I didn’t have any firm evidence.  Until of course, she got sick and died.  My gut spoke; my brain ignored.

The next thing that I learned:  reach out to folks who are going through a bad time.  We often don’t know what to say or how to react to people who are grieving or struggling or in pain.  It doesn’t matter what you say.  Say SOMETHING.  Let them know that you’re thinking about them.  Express your condolences.  Either by a note or a text or an email or a phone call.  Just do it.  More than once, if need be.

The comfort that comes from hearing from other humans is immeasurable.  Even from strangers, who only know me via my blog, my Facebook or my radio show.  The notes and comments that I received were of great comfort.  We are all humans, bound together by our common experiences of sadness, happiness, joy, sorrow, triumph.  Let’s suffer and celebrate together.

Lastly:  time really does begin to erode the pain.  It’s been less than a week, but I’m already beginning to soften.  I can finally talk about my sweet, departed pooch and feel warmth.  The pain I felt is morphing into gratitude for the memories and the time that we had her.  Everyone said this would come if I made a little space.  Everyone was right.  The collective psyche knows what it’s talking about.

Seems like we’d all have learned our life lessons by the time we reach the age of 50.  Not true. Gotta remain open to the wisdom that so constantly is knocking to get in.  Open the mind, open the door, open the heart.

October 31, 2013 - Posted by | Musings | , , , , , , , , , ,


  1. It is so hard to lose a pet suddenly and without warning. I took my cat to the vet one time thinking she had a cold–instead it turned out she had had cancer for a long time and it was beginning to affect her respiratory system, and she died that very night at the vet. I could not believe it and still miss her. It will get better, though, and it sounds like it already is starting to get better, for you.

    Comment by Bonnie at Tarot Salve | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  2. Yes, I agree with Bonnie and with you, Jane. We had a golden retriever named Bailey. Eleven years old and he was diagnosed with a thyroid tumor. We had that removed and put him on some oral chemo. He was doing great. Looked clean on the recheck. Not quite two years later, we threw his bone and he stepped on it, causing him to fall. We took him to the vets and he had broken his shoulder and was riddled with bone cancer. Of course, we put him down that day. It’s been six months and looking at his pictures last night, I surely miss him but time does heal all wounds in various means and methods. One looks at all the wonderful pets we have in life and while we know the end will eventually come, we do it over and over. The unconditional love they give us is something unsurpassed. The love we give them cannot be compared to anything we give to another living creature. It’s worth every second.

    Comment by Vicki Archibald | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  3. I listen to you on the radio every morning. I’ve always told my husband that you are “my people” because I feel we have a lot in common, including a love of animals, especially our pets. I’m so sorry for your loss. I have a 14 year old Aussie that is the love of my life and even though his blood work says he’s fine, I know something is off. I’m going to take him to the vet this week to make sure I’m doing everything I can. I appreciate your honesty and willingness to share your experience. Hang in there Jane. RIP Ms Chili.

    Comment by Loretta Eberle | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  4. Lessons learned indeed. . . You teach us well.

    Comment by Kathleen | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  5. Oh Jane….I’m truly so very sorry about your loss of Chili 😦 I know all too well the void and emptiness that you are experiencing in your heart. I lost my Zion last February. He was a sphinx cat, so full of life and energy….such a ham!! At his 6mo. check up, the vet detected a heart murmur. I was told it didn’t seem too bad, and unless I notice excessive coughing, spiting up blood, and severe lack of energy, he should live a long, healthy life. One year later, I woke up, and Zion was dead….next to me. He was only 1 1/2 years old, a baby. Although the pain is slowly going away, I still cry for him.
    I do listen to your show on Mix 100, and I must say, you are my hero. You are such a strong, brave woman to make so many people laugh, while you are hurting so badly inside. I’m thinking of you 🙂

    Comment by 37rebecca | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  6. Such a great article Jane. Thank you for sharing your heart. Love you always! 🙂

    Comment by heidi oberle | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  7. Jane this is a wonderful posting. It will get easier and easier but we just learn to accept our losses and put them in a special place in our hearts and minds

    Comment by Marge Beem | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  8. Feel your pain Jane, lost our sweet girl Gidget in April. It is very difficult and the memories of the joy do help. Talk about it, you are not alone in this. Take care, Kathy in Denver.

    Comment by Kathy | October 31, 2013 | Reply

  9. Jane, as always, love your blog. Truer than true. Hugging you.

    Comment by Carolyn | November 1, 2013 | Reply

  10. Sharing hurt and joy with others creates the human experience. Thank you for allowing us to share in yours. We cry with you over the pain and rejoice in the new day of healing.

    Comment by Susan Herr | November 2, 2013 | Reply

  11. Im so sorry about your lost Janne! Pets are part of the family and losing one of them is very sad!
    Hugs from Paraguay! :):)

    Comment by andy royg | November 15, 2013 | Reply

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