I just thought I'd let everyone know that the neighbor up the hill did get her new yellow lab puppy. I was up at the lake and then back at home in town getting a card for an engagement party and I just happened to think that this might be the week she had picked him up but I wasn't sure. Anyway I saw a card that was about dogs and was blank inside and figured I would get that one and send it to her at some point. On my way down my hill coming back I glanced back in my mirror and saw her walking out with the puppy so I hesitated but pulled over and walked back towards her. She was happy to see me and the puppy was cute although she was right he is not as white a pedigree yellow lab as Belle was and his hair was much darker. He also had a pure black nose where as hers was always brown and in older years even a lighter brown. As a puppy at 8 weeks she was much smaller than he is and she also had aqua marine/green eyes up until a certaIn age which he doesn't have. So he doesn't look like Belle did but he still triggered off a whole bunch of emotions. I stayed for about 10 minutes to talk and let him lick me and stuff. I felt happy for her and did give her the suggestion of taking lots of photos during this time period and it wasn't until I got in the car and drove down to my house that I felt the grief well up inside of me. Without even knowing I was going to see that puppy yesterday I had already decided that when I got home I was going to go down and visit Belle's grave sight. That morning I watched two doe and two fawns down near where she is buried and I had said to myself I was going to go visit her spot today. SO as soon as I got out of the car I walked straight back behind the house and down the backyard and into the woods where she is buried and I spent a few moments. I told her she had a beautiful resting spot which was fitting because Belle means beauty in French and that the newly planted grass had grown nice and thick and the ferns grew right up to the back and around the side of her grave making it peaceful. The trees above let in just enough sunlight through the canopy and I patted the ground and walked back into the house. I started crying and I just felt that pain and ache in my heart that you all know. So I called my mom and chatted with her. I miss Belle and I just hope the new puppy up the street isn't too much for me with everything else that's going on in my life right now. But he is cute although not nearly as beautiful as my Belle de la Foret.
The picture thing is a good idea. A few months before Sparky was gone I made a photo album of him from birth to Senior. It is a great comfort. I'm sorry that you will be reminded through the breed. I hope you can find the good times with your "baby" instead of the pain.
I am sure your neighbor would appreciate the advice... at least I would. Our animals change and grow quicker than our human children and they change constantly. Let us know how it goes.
Helen/Southwestern PA Joined SP 9/23/2007 Co-leader of The Rainbow Bridge--Grieving the Loss of a Pet Spark Team
"Without faith, nothing is possible. With it, nothing is impossible." ~Mary McLeod Bethune
"If you planted hope in a heart today in any hopeless heart, If someone's burden was lighter because you did your part, If you caused a laugh that chased a tear away, If tonight your name is mentioned when someone kneels to pray, Then your day was well spent.
I think feeling anxious is normal and natural. I also think that you are going to offer great advice about the pictures. If you do want to talk about anything when the puppy arrives, we're always here...
current weight: 176.6
Fitness Minutes: (9,124) Posts: 368 6/22/09 2:34 P
I just thought I'd share that since Belle passed away on Dec 26th 2008 this past year we have received several letters from different animal shelters and from Cornell Vet School in NY to let us know that donations were made in Belle's memory and honor. One was from a neighbor who ended up having to put her lab down a few months after Belle, another was from the vet that Belle saw for 14.6 years and whom she loved and got lots of treats from (she never was afraid of him) and another was from a distant cousin and her husband who had lost a dog several years ago. I think that is a wonderful way to let others know you are thinking about their grief, that their pet was important, and that animals are precious. SO I am grateful and plan on doing the same for other people I know well who may lose a family pet in the future. However, I am also anxious today because in less 3 weeks the neighbor that lost her chocolate lab a few months ago is getting a puppy that is 8 weeks old on July 8th. It happens to be a male yellow Lab which is going to be very hard to see prancing around. She said that this puppy is an English lab and has a darker color yellow with some reddish on its back so there is a difference there and also it is a male. Belle was female and if you look on my Spark page picture album you can tell that she was one of the lightest and whitish yellow pedigree labs most people around here had every seen. She was also an American lab which means she was of the leaner type, whereas the English labs are the ones that can get huge and even overweight and are at a higher risk of getting diabetes and other problems. We knew one family that had an English lab, actually two, and they were well over 130 lbs whereas Belle at her heaviest weighed 68 lbs but was more like 65 lbs and when she passed away she had gotten down to under 55 lbs. Anyway I'm anxious because even though it will be some distinct differences between this 8 week old puppy and the way Belle was at 8 weeks it will be hard to be happy for the neighbor while secretly inside grieving and longing for a return to the past with Belle. I will suggest to the neighbor that she take many pictures. One thing I regret is that we didn't take a whole lot of puppy pictures and by the time Belle was 3 or so she looked the same in pictures all the way up until she was 14. So unless we dated them we can't really tell what year they were or how old she was. But I want to give her that suggestion because I think later on she won't have regrets like I do even though pictures can only do so much to ease grief or help you through. THanks for reading. I know I don't summarize well at all and ramble on. It's a character flaw.
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