Monday, 28 August 2017

Missing Missy

I started writing about losing Missy so many times since she died. I wrote a detailed account of how we took her to the emergency vet on Easter Monday, our hope that maybe just maybe it wouldn't be the last vet visit, what her last moments were like and how it felt for her to go limp on my lap and leave her spent little body there to be cremated.

I compiled a collection of the dozens of things every day that would jar my heart with longing for her.

There were lists of all the "remember when" things we comforted ourselves with by talking about in the days and weeks after and how it made us laugh and cry. I considered how in some ways it was worse than losing my dad last year almost to the day. I'm sure some people will be shocked when I compare losing a father with losing "just a dog". I know I can justify it, I rationalised it all out in detail but I won't foist my rambling verbiage on you. It all got rather personal and I'd rather keep it to myself.

But none of the handful of blog entries I started got finished, I couldn't actually see the screen for crying and none were really right, they became too mawkish or I knew nothing I could write would be good enough and so the effort was abandoned ... time and time again.

Today I almost abandoned it again but I have got to a position where I feel I cannot continue with my blog unless I address her loss. It was such a big thing to me that I can't tell my blog all the other things that are happening until her absence is addressed. So deep breath and here's the latest effort.

Today I almost wrote that you can replace a dog. As I continued, I came to realise that is incorrect - replacement is impossible but you can welcome another dog into your home and it will help - that's what we've done but it still reams out the jaggy edged hole in my heart whenever something reminds me of her. A few weeks after Missy left us, we couldn't bear not having a dog any more and we now have another Manchester Terrier called Bongo. Bongo has a different personality and some of his little ways are very different to Missy. He has done a lot to heal us but I will write more about Bongo soon. Today is about Missy and my dad.

I can't welcome another dad into my life to help ease that pain, I still miss him so much and that's the big difference between the two and why it's worse when you lose a parent than a pet. When a parent is gone, all the things you relied on them for, shared and enjoyed with them, there's just no-one else that will do.

My dad was very ill with stomach cancer at the end of his life. In his final days he asked me if there was a way of speeding it up "I wish there was a way we could hurry it along". He also asked his GP and the McMillan nurse if there was an off switch. But there wasn't. He had had enough when he was too weak to get out of bed and there was nothing I could do except be there.

Missy was also very poorly with kidney failure and a heart murmur. When she'd had enough, almost to the same day a year later, she couldn't ask me in words but I knew she too had had enough. At the emergency vets, we all knew. There was a way I could help her that I couldn't help my dad. When I was murmuring in her ear what a good dog she was and how glad we were to have her in our lives as the injection took effect, many of my tears were for my dad too. I was able to help my dog in a way I couldn't help my dad and I felt guilty I didn't do more for him. I am so sorry for that dad.

I miss you both.


  1. What a beautiful post Sue ❤️ I totally get how you compare losing Missy to losing Dad. Like you say, Missy couldn’t tell you how she was feeling but our beloved pets always let us know when they’ve had enough and we do the kindest thing for them to in letting them go, as heartbreaking as it is, it’s a true testament to the love we have for them and the greatest act of love we will ever do.

    Poor Dad had had enough of his suffering and asked for an off switch. It’s just not fair to witness suffering like that but we were there for him and gave him morphine for the pain when he needed it as he drifted in and out of sleep. I remember we asked him if he was proud of us and he nodded and smiled even though he couldn’t speak but he had tears in his eyes that matched ours. We held his hands as we watched his laboured breathing and hugged each other for comfort and he knew we were there.

    We all miss him but we have so many happy memories to help us through our grief. A memory came up from 2 years ago today when we’d gone to see him and he was sporting a black eye - he told us with that mischievous twinkle in his eye that he’d done it whilst playing football in his sleep, and was just about to score a goal when he fell out of bed 😂

    We had a wonderfully happy childhood growing up in Buckden and those memories will live with us forever even when the house is sold.

    Bongo is such a joy and I know he gives you both comfort. No animal can ever replace another as they’re all such different characters. I still remember little things that Wellie and Sooty did, those memories we can cherish and make new memories with our new little furballs. I’m sure you still remember things Guinness did too.

    Looking forward to hearing more about Bongo on your next post but in the meantime sending you huge hugs.

  2. Aw, thanks Sandy. I have dreams I'm playing football too, never managed to get a black eye yet though! Remember how much Guinness loved his football, they'll be having lots of fun together. xxx


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