“The bond with a dog is as lasting as the ties of this earth can ever be” – Konrad Lorenz
Have you suddenly felt that your nights aren’t punctuated by body jerks of a warm creature lost in his dream?
Have you missed that way too familiar sound of nails clicking on the floor?
Have you felt a void due to the extra time in hand that would otherwise be spent on walking the four-legged companion?
If you have experienced all this, you know what heartbreak is! It is an overwhelming pain that is almost paralysing in the beginning. As time goes by, the pain probably becomes manageable but no less intense. Manisha confirms this. Losing Snowy, her beloved 12-year old Labrador, was perhaps the most heart-breaking emotion she has felt.
“Snowy taught me how to be a mother. He taught me that I can love an animal; I can take care of him. Had it not been for him and that fateful day in January almost 15 years ago when he called us his family, we possibly wouldn’t have our current foster fail, Bruno.”
Snowy, of course, lived a wonderful life. He doted on his humans and had a fantastic temperament. He was even invited to interact with his human brothers’ classmates, to show them how to high five, beg for a treat and how to be kind even without speaking the same language. “Snowy was the kindest dog I’ve ever seen. When I was pregnant with my first child, he played the role of a comforter and a protector. He didn’t have a speck of jealousy in him; he was so even-tempered that we could totally trust him around our and other kids. He was my one-true companion who had an incredible connection with me – despite his weak heart, he gave me a few more months to prepare for a final farewell. But tell me, are we ever prepared to let our heartbeat go?”
When Snowy crossed the rainbow bridge, his humans couldn’t bear to look at his bed, bowls, toys. The sense of loss was too raw, memories were strewn around each corner of the house. Certain experiences are so relatable – the day we lost our Ned, we too couldn’t bear to look at her terrarium, the UV lamp; we missed the familiar scratch against the rocks.
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Manisha and her family decided to donate Snowy’s stuff to an animal shelter. “We were hurting really bad; we couldn’t even sleep at night. Snowy who naturally brought out my maternal instincts was gone! That he is gone is one reality, but the other reality is that I can still feel his presence through Buddy – our foster furkid for a month – and then with Bruno. It is as if Snowy conspired to bring us together when we needed each other the most. Buddy was tick-ridden when we first saw him at the shelter where we donated Snowy’s stuff and Bruno was a lost soul who couldn’t fathom why his previous family would give up on him. Call me emotional but let me tell you something – the day we immersed Snowy’s ashes, on our way back, it seemed as if the clouds had suddenly taken Snowy’s form. It seemed as if he sent us a message – I’ll always have your back.”
Yes, they do always have our back. Snowy did turn Manisha from someone who was afraid of dogs to someone who rescues them today. Snowy taught her human brothers to be compassionate. To date, Snowy lives on in their hearts.
Manisha is a proud mother of three human kids and one furkid Bruno…we will soon do another blog post about their adventures.