Seeing Miss Sadie here with Miss Stella brings to mind when it was Miss Maggie and Miss Sadie. When we first moved, many moons ago, Miss Maggie lost her buddy, Miss Sophie. We thought that being in a new place without her scent would help her adjust and she would do well in our new place.
However, Miss Maggie had a hard time. She missed her buddy, her friend. She was at a loss. You could see it and feel it surrounding her. Grief was creeping into the corners and trying to take over. Into our lives came Miss Sadie. Miss Sadie Lou Simba Nala to be precise. Our twins could not decide on one name so they each created a name and combined them. Miss Sadie brought out the pup in Miss Maggie – she was still young – only about 4 years old but she was actually quiet and almost depressed and alone. Miss Sadie became her buddy. They would talk and tousle, steal socks and play tug. They would keep watch for us humans and steal cough drops and gum if given the chance. As Miss Maggie began to age, Miss Sadie helped take care of her. Miss Maggie watched over Miss Sadie when she had her seizures, and Miss Sadie returned the favor staying by Miss Maggie’s side until the very end. With a cracked heart, Miss Sadie then began to seem older, more quiet, alone. She seemed almost sad. Once again, you could feel grief seeping in, creeping around. It did not seem right that Miss Sadie should be on her own with just us two legged people. Within months of losing Miss Maggie, we lost my father, and during that time our whole world just seemed to feel darker, out of kilter. The atmosphere seemed to shift and we all, including Miss Sadie, needed something positive and strong, something filled with joy and laughter, something to push grief back into the shadows. Enter Miss Stella.
Miss Stella truly changed our lives. We have loved and learned from each of our pups and treasured them all beyond measure. But there was something very unique about this Newfoundland pup. It is very hard to put into words the impact she has had on our lives. She can make even the grumpiest bear of an ol’ man (cue hb) belly laugh and smile from the soul. She has this quality that just is, well, Newfie. She took on the role that Miss Sadie had with Miss Maggie. She brought the pup and laughter back into Miss Sadie’s days. She pushed the grief back out to bay. They played and tumbled, chased and tugged. They spent their days together. They were buddies. Then Miss Sadie started to fade. She was strong willed and tenacious. She was determined and used her sweet Chessie smile to bend the world to her ways. She would have her seizures and Miss Stella would stand by until she was in recovery mode. Miss Stella would let us know when Miss Sadie needed us. She would lay by her side and watch over her. She used her big bear giant self to just be, just be present for Miss Sadie. Then it was time.
And Miss Stella, too young to be old, seemed to be very quiet … and aging well before her time. The grieving was once again upon us. It was trying to reach deep and if you know anything about Newfoundlands, or Newfies, they are bonded pups. They bond deeply with their family – four legged and two. Miss Stella had lost her fur buddy. She lost the pup that helped her learn right from wrong, how to play and bark at the wind, and even when to use that soulful pup face to try and gain anything she could ever want. Miss Stella was in the middle and the grieving was thick.
So who grieves? Is it something only humans do? Is this only for us to deal with, to face, to have scar our hearts.
If you have lived then you know. Grief is not just for us. It grabs hold of any and all. It can take over all walks of life if left unchecked. It does not matter who you are, where you are, or even what you are, grief is. It just is. How we face it, let it wrap itself around and through our lives is what we need to prepare ourselves to face. Not just us. But our pups too. They face the shadows and long fingers of grief. Grief knows no boundaries, unless we set them.
Any and all.
It is what you do when it enters that matters.