Simon and Babe were two unexpected blessings to not only us but to each other. They spent only a few years together before Babe left this world on September 3, 2016. Unfortunately her good buddy, Simon, who always snuggled with her, was taken too on June 16, 2017 just nine months later. Now they are together in paradise with Shamus and Kodi who went before them and we are left to deal with the emptiness in our home.
Simon showed up in August of 2013 when Elizabeth, our firstborn granddaughter, was visiting. She was only 3 at the time and spotted this beagle in our yard and asked me if we could feed him. Of course I replied but Simon was really scared and it took the innocence of a child to gain his trust. It turned out that he had heartworm. Chloe, our daughter who fought hard to keep him despite having 2 dogs and a cat already, paid to have him take the treatment to get rid of the heart worm. It cost her $1000.00, every cent she made that summer working at the local golf course. He had a cough but that was the only symptom that he was ever sick.
I can't tell you how much I miss him and how much I regret that fateful morning of his demise. It was my husband birthday and I was making him a special breakfast. The dogs had already been out that morning and I caught Simon at the mailbox which is across the street where he knows he is not to be but there he was. In December of 2016, we took in another great paraneese like our dog Babe, aptly named, Chloe. So we have Chloe the dog and Chloe the person in our house. Unfortunately, Chloe the dog has a tumour on her pituitary gland and that has caused Cushings Disease. I am treating her with cannabis oil in the hope that it will kill the tumour. Stay tuned folks. On June 16, after I scolded Simon, he came right in the house, which is a little bit out of character for him as he stayed outside all day long and on our property (for the most part). I fed the dogs some sausage and about an hour later, let them both out again and watched as they head out into our backyard of 6 acres and a creek. I must have got distracted and forgot about them because as I was getting dressed my husband came in and told me that Simon had been hit by a truck and he thought that it was really bad. Well it was really bad. Simon was killed instantly. At least I know his last moments on this earth were happy ones and he didn't feel any pain. The guy was on his way to work shortly before 9 am and Chloe was chasing Simon, still on our property, but close to the road in the ditch. Mark stepped out of the house as he watched in horror as Simon turned his head back to look at Chloe and in so doing, he wandered onto the road and was hit. My worst fear realized. Then I had to call my daughter Chloe who was in Toronto trying to have some fun with her friends, that her beloved service dog, was dead. Truly the worst day of my life and I have been crying every day since.
The weird part about that day was when I asked the guy if he was dead he said yes he is gone. I went in the house to look for a blanket to wrap him in. I felt a tremendous amount of peace and remember thinking "shouldn't I be freaking out right now?" I got the blanket and wrapped him in it not realizing that his guts were spilling out, I carried him to his grave with my husband's help. He was buried within hours of dying and my grief is immense.
I have experienced so much grief in my life but this is the worst, very similar to the way my mom died. Violently, suddenly and by a vehicle, in her case a train. My only hope is that Simon is now with Babe in heaven and he is going around to everyone's house, Nona, my mom, Auntie Ida, both of my grandmothers etc and he is being spoiled with food and love. I don't know how some people go through life believing that there is nothing after death. We are body, mind and spirit and the spirit doesn't die.
Grief comes in waves. One minute you feel strong and capable and the next you are crying like a baby. The littlest thing might remind you of your loss, for me, Simon followed me everywhere and I keep thinking that I see a glimpse of him running past me. I hear him scratching at the front door but I go and he isn't there. He could be found rolling in the driveway or stretching out in my garden. He dug many holes on our property that my husband is filling in. All the things that he did that were an annoyance are now things that I miss. If he was out at night, often, he would not come in but instead howled at the moon.
There are stages of grief, denial, anger, bargaining, depression and acceptance. I have been through 4 out of the 5 but bargaining isn't one of them. I was angry that God didn't protect my little dog. When he would be out at night and refuse to come in, I would pray for him, asking God's angels to watch over him and keep him safe, why didn't he do that on June 16? Why do we have to go through so much pain? He was only 7 years old and he would have been with us for many more years. His loss is immense and it will never go away but like in all things, it does get better, with time.
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