rainbowbridgeIt is now 4 days PC (post Curley) and it is only now that I feel able to write about how I feel.  What I’m about to say may shock some of you reading this, although some of you will hopefully understand it.

How I feel about losing my Curley is right up there with how I felt about losing my precious Frankie.

There, I’ve said it, and I’m sure that some of you reading this will be thinking “for crying out loud, it is a dog, not a baby, get over it.”  But as an empty armed mother my Curley was the baby I never had, albeit my furbaby.

I’ve had dogs since March 2001, first my Toyah, then my Howie a few months later.  Toyah was 2 when I had her and she went to the Rainbow Bridge at the grand old age of 11 when she died of a heart attack.  I got Curley a few weeks after I lost her, and then I lost Howie a year and a half later at the grand old age of 14 and a half.  So I just had Curley until now.

Being without a dog is the worst thing in the world for me at the moment and feels just like being without Frankie in the early days.  This is the first time in 14 years that I’ve been without a dog and my whole life and routine has been thrown into chaos.  After I lost Frankie I at least had my Curley to focus on.  I had to keep going because of her.  I had to feed her and take care of her, and in return she took care of me and gave me lots of love and attention.  She followed me everywhere, never left my side, and earned the nickname “Shadow” because she was always near me wherever I went – even in the bathroom!

But now I have nothing to focus on – no baby, and no dog.  Life feels empty and pointless right now, I don’t feel I have any direction or purpose.

I can’t bear to be at home so I’ve been going out to work this week rather than working at home as the house is so quiet.  All of Curley’s toys and belongings are still out, and I can’t imagine putting them all away. I feel tearful all the time, and there are times where I have had to find somewhere quiet while I’ve been working so I can cry.  Everything feels so unfamiliar and I feel, well, lost.  Probably more lost than when Frankie was born sleeping, because I at least had my Curley to take care of then to give me a focus and help me carry on with life.

I know some of you will be reading this and thinking, “but it is just a dog, get over it.”  But Curley wasn’t “just a dog”, she was my family, my baby, my protector.  From the moment I brought her home she bonded to me, and only me.  She was my first thought when I woke up as I put her outside, and my last thought when I went to bed.  She was always there for me, giving me fuss and love, and looking at me with her beautiful eyes as if to say “it’s okay”, especially with all I have been through with losing Frankie and since then. Curley was my rock, my reason for getting up in the mornings with all I’ve been through, because I knew I had to take care of her.  Now that she’s gone, my purpose in life has also gone.

I’m trying so hard to keep going right now.  Making myself go out to work is to help ensure that I actually get up in the morning, because if I didn’t I know I wouldn’t get out of bed at all.  Her bowls are around, as are all her toys, her blanket and her bed – it is so sad to see them but at the same time I can’t bear to move them.

I know she was old.  I know she was very, very ill indeed.  I know that it was only a matter of time before I lost her, as she was almost 13 which is old for a German Shepherd.  But my Dad hit the nail on the head when he said you know all these things, but when it does happen it is still a massive shock. He’s so right, it was a massive shock, although I knew in my heart deep down that she was very ill and her time with me would be shorter rather than longer.  I know all that, and yet it was still utterly heartbreaking when I had to let her go last Friday.

She was my baby, in every sense of the word. I really don’t know how I am going to go on without her, but somehow, someway, I have to try.  Does it get any easier I wonder? When I lost Toyah I had Howie, and when I lost Howie I had Curley, so trying to cope right now without a dog is killing me.

How have any of you reading this coped if you have lost a dog? How did you deal with the loss? Leave me a comment on here or email me via hello@frankieslegacy, I would love to hear from you.