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24 January 2007


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I sat next to an older lady on a plane once who had just lost her dog...I think she just needed someone to talk to and I was a captive audience.

She started talking about how different dogs come to you at different places in your life--your childhood dog that leads you on adventures, the dog you get when you retire to keep you company--but she said the dog she had just lost was different--she was her "heart" dog. I (being 17 and stupid) asked her what she meant by that. She told me I'd be lucky if someday I knew, and that if I ever had my own I should enjoy her because you only get one.

Maybe Raven was yours....


My impresssion is that it's more of a culmulative thing from the last two years. Our sense (Reina and I both) is that you love them just as much as ever, but you try not to -- because you are being cautious with your heart. In time, I think you will get past it.

In the meantime, give yourself a break ... it's been a long and ever-changing few years.


You? Can't love?

Not possible.



One day you will come across a dog or puppy that calls to you, and you'll increase your pack. Raven loved you, after all. She wouldn't want you to live without the joy a dog can bring.

I have my "heart" dog right now. I've told Flyer she has to live to at least 30, because it will kill me to lose her. I love Zubie, Karma, and Giddy too, but Flyer is THE dog. Yet I know I will never voluntarily live without at least 2 Flat-Coats, because life is just too empty without them.


I hear you loud and clear. My parents each had dogs their whole lives. Real animal people, the both of them. When Ginger, my childhood dog, died of cancer when I was in college, they never got another dog. Their hearts were broken. They waged a loosing battle against cancer and lost. They said never again, and we all believed them. No question.
When my last dog Dina died, the next dog was just a dog for the next 6 years. I felt totally guilty and resentful for having her in my house when all I wanted was my "real" dog back. It took Charlee 6 whole years to be truly loved by me. I resented her and hated myself for not giving her a chance. Technically she is my second heart dog, so I have confirmed that you can have more than one. The two dogs are nothing alike and they occupy different heart chambers. Now we have a new dog who will be 1 next month, and he is just a dog.

Nancy Campbell

I wish I could say, "I can't relate". But sadly, I can.

To give yourself fully and let a dog completely into your heart and soul tends to leave a gaping chasm when they're gone. It doesn't seem possible that anything or anyone will *ever* fill that dark abyss. It's odd, because not only is that void cold and full of hurt, it also radiates the warmth of our memories.

Maybe it can be filled, but never completely and we may always hold back that white hot flame of total love we had, but sometimes...sometimes when we're not watching, that flame touches off a whole new wildfire of hope, compassion and undying love. It's scary to give it away again...
but worth it.

Don't be so hard on yourself, grieve as long as it takes. I still weep uncontrollably when I think of my Jesi and how she just ... left She's been gone more than THREE YEARS!


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