“Money can buy you a fine dog, but only love can make him wag his tail.” – Kinky Friedman
I never thought I would feel such a profound loss for an animal as I do for Fifi. It actually feels the same as when you lose a human member of your family. I know, because I have experienced that, and this feels the same. What can I say… we got Fifi when she was just weaned from her mom and she has been a faithful member of our family for 11 years. Dogs love unconditionally! It doesn’t matter what you look like, how old you are or how much money you have. If you give love to a dog, you get exponentially more love in return from that dog.
We’ve had dogs over the years, mostly outdoor dogs, and we were sad when they died, but it passed. Earlier this year Miss Lily and Lil’Orchid passed away, but they were old – 18 years old and ailing as humans do. They had arthritis, were going deaf and had cataracts on their eyes. We knew it was their time and we could accept it. But Fifi was struck down before her time. She should have had a good 6-7 more years with us if the cancer hadn’t consumed her.
Fifi was such a good dog. Even on the day she died – Saturday November 19th 2011 at approximately 8:20 p.m. – when she didn’t feel well enough to go outside to do her business, she used the wee-wee pad I had on the floor for her.
When she was just six months old we took her to New York for a visit. We paid for her to be under our seat in a carrier on an airplane. She stayed in the hotel with us, drove everywhere with us, we even took her to the beach, where she got her paws wet in the Atlantic Ocean.
In the evenings she would sit with me in my easy chair (and so would/does Louie) and at night she would sleep on her pillow next to my side of the bed. By morning I would find her on the bed cuddled up next to me or curled up in the small of my back.
I know life goes on, and eventually I’ll get over this horrible feeling of loss, but for now, I just want the ache in my heart to go away. I know Rob feels the same but I don’t think his sense of loss is quite as great as mine – although it’s close.
It is selfish to think only of myself because I can see a change in Louie Philippe’s demeanor. He is missing his playmate terribly. Rob and I try to console Louie but he is just moping around. I’ve heard it takes a few weeks for a dog to get over the loss of their mate. I just don’t know how many weeks it will actually take. I know eventually Louie will be a happier dog if we get him another playmate – after all Rob and I both work and he will be alone most of the day. I don’t want to rush him – I think he needs time to grieve, plus hopefully this time alone with Louie will create a stronger bond between us.
Good bye Fifi, we will always love and miss you.
Pictured on the bench from front to back: Miss Lily, Lil’Orchid, Louie Phillipe, Lady Fifi of Sheba