A little over two weeks ago, our little 8 year old Cavalier King Charles Spaniel, Abby , died suddenly of a heart attack. She was only a few feet away from me, just out of my line of sight as i sat drawing in my recliner. She never made a sound and i didn't even notice until i called her for dinner and she didn't come. We are heartbroken. We expected to have her for many more years. Our consolation is that she went quietly, at home, amid the safety of her pack. She never had to stay in the hospital or get old or suffer through declining health. Her last day was just a normal, happy day for her.
She leaves her pack one short. We still have Ozzie, our 11 year old Brittany, who is confused and lonely for her. My son Tom, who lives with us, is so bereft. he is 33 and has Aspergers. Abby and he formed a bond unlike anything I've ever seen from him in his life. She brought out the affectionate, paternal, protective side of him and was someone he was safe being vulnerable with. From the time she was a puppy, she gravitated to him.
Will we get another dog? Of course we will. As painful as the loss of a dog is, it is nothing compared to the joy they bring our family, each in their own way, every hour of every day. Abby was the fourth dog we have been privileged to share our lives with, and I plan to have dogs until i die. I will be crossing that "Rainbow Bridge" in the middle of a huge dog pack!
So we will be on a quest to find a new dog, this one to belong just to Tom. It needs to be calm and cuddly and he has requested silky as well. The tactile aspect is very important to him. If we can find a line of Cavaliers without heart problems, we will maybe go for another, although I have learned that many of them share Abby's condition, so I am a bit scared of that. Other than that, they are a fabulous breed.
Ozzie helps us through our grief just by being himself. Our vet told us in May that his elevated white count may well be a sign of cancer, so we have been watching him for signs and symptoms and bracing to possibly have to say goodbye to him. We never thought he would outlive Abby. So we are loving on him all the livelong day, and it is a joy to be able to do so. God did a wonderful thing when he decided that dogs would be "Man's Best Friend".