"Art is the only way to run away without leaving home" (Twyla Tharp)

For Gracie xxx



Gracie ... a heartbeat at my feet.



I could not imagine losing our dearly beloved companion and the pain and sadness it would bring.

For many of us with furchildren, our chosen animals are much more than pets - they are dearly loved and valued members of the family.   Grace was the epitome of unconditional love … she adored everyone and shared herself amongst all of us … usually reserving the cuddles and attention to those who needed it most at the time, whether they be suffering health issues, relationship problems, or just feeling down.   She knew intuitively who needed comfort most … 


Teeny tiny Gracie ... 2002

With her buddy Max 
 
 She was a mixed breed who was chosen for her smaller size and hypo allergenic coat.    As I work and study at home, often in a solitary environment, I wanted a companion who would suit being inside often and be happy to keep me company.   If I was at work in the office Gracie was under my desk, if I was in my studio, she was right next to me.  She loved human contact more than anything.


With our Cozzie who lived to be 16
   

 She was the heartbeat at my feet … a shadow at my side. I realise now because I was with her 24/7  that I spent more time with her than anyone else in the last ten years.   Happy times.
 Gracie was also extremely loyal and intelligent, a good watchdog with an acute sense of hearing which made us feel safe.  She was very obedient and easy to train, always wanting to please, with the sweetest nature that never went unnoticed by those who knew her.

Beautiful soul ...

We asked a lot of her … there have been a number of family traumas and trials over the past few years and at the end of the day sometimes the only thing that made sense was holding a warm, happy puppy with the softest fur you had to touch to believe.   Even though she lived almost ten years, Gracie was the eternal puppy … joyful, cuddly, funny and soulful with the sweetest nature … she touched the hearts of many who knew her.

 Poor girl must have been worn out from all that loving and healing.  But appearances showed she was happy and healthy, so we felt we still had a lot more time left with her and many more memories to be made.

Toys all around the house ..



After playing during the day and enjoying the spring sunshine, she ate her dinner and was impatient to come inside.  I was busy with work and she was resting in her bed at my feet.    It was only moments later she suffered a severe brain haemorrhage and collapsed in front of me.  Within two hours she passed away in my arms. 



Gracie’s passing has hit the family hard.  We realise how much we turned to her when times got tough and the comfort it brought.   I will be eternally grateful that she did not suffer a long illness, even though it has been so difficult to come to terms with her sudden death.



We miss the beautiful soul that she was, her constant presence … and we struggle to adapt to the changes in the household.

 
After almost ten years to no longer wake her up in the morning to go outside, not checking on her to bring her in or make sure gates were shut and doors closed, at dinner time that she is not there waiting, not being at my feet during work and study, no barking at the front door to let us know guests had arrived, no soft furry teddy bear of a pup to cuddle late at night when everyone else had left.    

Constant companion ...

 I will endeavour to replace the sadness with endless gratitude for all the joy she brought to our lives, once my heart stops hurting so much and it’s easier to breathe.   


Best dog ever ...

So, enough of my sadness.  That’s the price we pay for being blessed with her unconditional love … and it is a small price to pay.   


 Thank you sweetheart, you have left us with so many happy memories.  
 Our life with you could fill a book and we all miss you so very much.     
Thank you for easing our pain so often,  for being the smile that was missing when times got tough.    
I am eternally grateful for the time you shared with us and we will never forget you.  





28 comments:

  1. .... in between my own tears.... So much happiness can end in so much hurt, but oh Vicki, wasn't it worth it! My heart is sharing your emotion and hurt right now dear friend. I know its no consolation just yet, but believe me when I say the pain does begin to ease in time. In the meantime though, take care of you, be kind to yourself, give yourself plenty of space, and remember to breath! Love and hugs when you need it most, to you all, from us. Jacqui Richard and Missy Mahya xxxxx

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    1. Thank you Jacqui, I know you feel our pain after losing your sweet Molly. xxx

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  2. A beautiful tribute Vicki,my heart goes out to you xxx

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  3. Oh Vicki, what a beautiful obituary! xxx

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  4. What a sweet, sweet soul. Her beauty shines through in your words and photos. X x

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  5. The most beautiful message of love...

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  6. A truly beautiful tribute amongst all your sadness. Such wonderful memories, thank you for sharing Vicki. Best wishes and more hugs and thoughts. x

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    1. Thank you Claire, Alena, Anne, Manon and Jarnie ... xxxxx

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  7. I am so sorry, Vicki Lee. We've been through this. It's heartbreaking. But remembering all the joy and wonderful moments shared does help.

    Thinking of you.

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  8. What a beauty! And I'm so sorry for this loss, Vicki Lee. Hoping the pain goes away and only the happy memories remain.

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    1. Thanks you BLW and Angie ... remembering the happy moments ... xx

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  9. I had one "dog" in my life ... it was not an animal, it seemed to me a person! Was my shadow for 10 years, happy if I was happy, tender if I should be comforted.
    She knew everything!
    She felt us away, very long before we were at the door
    of the house.
    She was beautiful and young until an infection did not kill her.
    A wonderful puppy, full of sympathy!
    Everything you write for Gracie could be written on MIA, that was her name.
    I totally understand what you had
    and what you've lost.
    A hug
    Rita

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    1. Thank you dear Rita ... and hug to you for your sweet Mia.
      xx

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  10. I have never had a dog - but this must be awful for you all. So utterly devestating - must be like losing your best friend. My thoughts are with you all. As a family you have been through so much! I'd like to end by saying a big well done to Gracie for being such a superb dog. Well done Gracie, wherever your essence now is!

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  11. Dear Vicki, I'm so so sorry, I know just how you feel, I feel the same about my Daisy. I still tell her good night every night. She was my constant companion too. Like you said we were so blessed to have them and I'm so glad it wasn't a long illness. Sending you a big hug and much love to you and your family,with Sympathy,Diana

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    1. Diana I know how you felt about Daisy ... hugs back to you xx

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  12. Dear Vicki
    I am so sorry to hear about Gracie. Your tribute to her is so touching, I feel like I knew her as well. You will be in my thoughts and prayers. Hillys

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    1. Thank you for your kind comments Hillys, much appreciated.

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  13. Hi Vicki, I'm so sorry to hear about Gracie, what a dear little soul she is, she will always be with you in your heart. There aren't any words to make you feel better right now, but I can say I am so happy that I picked today to show the pictures of St' George's to give you some happy memories. Take care, Grace....

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    1. Thank you so much and I did love those photos x

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  14. That was just so beautiful. Although I have 3 gorgeous pups with me almost constantly, I still miss my old mate, an Australian Red Terrier called Skupper. He was the first dog I had from puppy stage and I think of him almost every day. Thank you for all your images of Gracie. x

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  15. Such a beautiful, heart felt tribute to your little girl in furry pajamas. We lost George, one of our Cairn terriers, 3 years ago and I think of him everyday. He was the healer in our family, the link that joined all of our family members. You're right, it will take quite a while to remember her with smiles instead of tears but this separation is only temporary. -- Jan

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    1. Thank you ... sorry about your losses also ... we are the lucky ones for having had such dear companions.

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  16. Oh, my......the tears are falling...we too lost our beautiful girl unexpectedly last year and reading your words were like the thoughts were pouring straight out my head. I totally understand your pain and sorrow and we still have days where we still weep for her loss. Our Belle will never be replaced, but we have peace in knowing that we were truly blessed to have had her our lives. She will never be forgotten, she touched everyone that crossed her path. She will stay in our hearts forever. Every evening my children say goodnight to the brightest star in the sky which we have now called Belle and its comforting to them to know she is watching over them. Thoughts are with you. x

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    1. Thank you Gail - it's heartbreaking - because they meant so much to us and gave so much love.
      Belle sounds beautiful (as in her name) - so my thoughts and wishes are with you also.
      We are lucky to have had such love x

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    2. It is heartbreaking, especially when a lot of outsiders don't really understand the emotion connected to owning and loving an animal. A lot of people thought I was crazy and would say, "but its just a dog". Eventually I gave up trying to explain and it became too painful, why should I have to explain my grief? Eventually I started telling people that I had lost a close family member, only then did they begin to realise what I was going through, as sad as it was.

      The thing that helped me was gathering up all her belongings and storing them into a box. We collated all photos and put them into a photo album, even got the kids to draw pictures, this they still continue to do today. I also searched online for bereavement poems for pets. this helped enormously!

      My daughter goes to a Christian school which I found helped her to understand what had happened to Belle. I found her prayer book that she wrote in once a week from school and every week she would draw pictures and pray for belle and ask god to look after her up in heaven. It was all part of the healing process.

      Now I can honestly say the pain as subsided a little and 18 months later we have finally come around to getting a new pup. We slightly changed the bread to Spoodle (belle was a cocker, we didn't want exactly the same), her colour is white, with golden ears (belle was black) but fleur (our new girl) brings great joy to our lives. Belle will never be replaced and will always be in our hearts but it is lovely to have a dog around the house again, it doesn't feel so empty! good luck with your journey and I too hope you find peace from your pain.

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    3. Happy you have your new pup Fleur - beautiful name!
      We also have our new puppy - girl Bailey - has been with us almost two weeks ...
      much joy in the house - but as you said - can never replace beloved companion and family member.
      xx

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