Tuesday, January 2, 2018

In Memory of Smores 2003--2016

Loving another, human or animal, is part of life for most of us.  It's what makes our lives worth living.  Memories are part of our lives, too, and thank goodness for the good memories!  We have our spouses or significant others, our parents, siblings, children, grandchildren, extended family, good friends, and so on.  These relationships help to shape who we are and make each day special (or a challenge lol).  Pets can add to the richness of our lives as well.  I have had many pets over the years and loved them all.  Some are just flashes of recognition or a fleeting memory from my very young childhood.  Others were part of my life for many years.  Dogs, cats,chickens, bunnies, fish, lizards, birds--they all are part of who I am.

 Smores as a youngster 2003

I am especially fond of poodles.  When I was in high school, we got our first miniature poodle named Snorky.  I was hooked on poodles after that!  Don't get me wrong, I love dogs and animals in general. I hate to read of an animal abused, neglected or abandoned.  Poodles do hold a special place in my heart.  

When my husband and I had been married just over a year and purchased our first house, we happened to know a woman here in town who had some poodle mix puppies (3/4 miniature poodle and 1/4 terrier) who needed homes.  We spent 16 years with Socks, so named because he was a parti-colored (not solid colored) and had tan feet that contrasted with his grayish-black fur on his body.  Socks was such a good dog.  As we had children and our house became more chaotic, he would just go behind the sofa or under my bed to escape all the noise.

After Socks passed away, I couldn't bring myself to get another dog for almost 8 years--I was too heartbroken.  I guess the price of love is heartbreak or pain at some point.

Smores liked to be comfy.

My husband knew I was beginning to think about getting another poodle so in May 2003, just before Mother's Day, he surprised me by taking me to a couple's home to see the 2 poodle puppies they had from a litter their female poodle had given birth to.  The pups were about 8 weeks old at that point and a male and female were still there.  This adorable puppy came running up to greet me with such a sweet look on his face as if to  say, "Hello!  I've been waiting for you!"  So that little boy went home with me that day.  I named him Smores since my 2 other poodles had names that began with "S".  Sam didn't fit, Simon didn't fit but Smores did!  Originally his name had been Ace with his previous family but I didn't think he was an "Ace", either.

Smores was my boy.  Even with all the kids in the house, he always wanted to be with me.  I was his mom.  I am sure many of you can relate to that.  Smores followed me everywhere.  If I sat down, he was in my lap.  When I was in bed, he had to be touching me; if I scooted over even 1/2 and inch, he would grunt and move over to make sure we were still touching lol.  I remember once when I was working the night shift on the Med-Surg Unit at the hospital, after I got the kids delivered to school, as usual I got into bed about 0900 to sleep.  Smores would be right there beside me.  Usually he slept near my tummy or if I was on my tummy he would lie on my back.  Well, this morning I was so tired I fell asleep on my back.  I woke up a few hours later and there was Smores with his head right next to mine on the pillow.  When he saw me looking at him, he looked away as if to say, "No, I'm not laying on the pillow, you are".  Good times.

 Ali Rose, Smores and I.

Smores didn't always like what I had to do, though.  When I was in nursing school, I had to travel almost 2 hours away from home once I got into the program.  The weeks that I had clinicals at the hospital, mental health facility, etc., I would have to be gone Monday thru Thursday.  Smores knew that I was leaving once he saw the suitcase come out and his anxiety would kick in.  When I would return home after several days, he would great me oh so happily.  Mom was home! 
Then, after the initial greeting, he would show his displeasure with me by ignoring me.  He wouldn't sit with me, wouldn't sleep with me.  By the next morning he felt he had tortured me enough and would go back to being my shadow.  So funny.  Dogs have little quirks and personalities just like humans do.  

Smores began to decline a bit in his 12th year.  He had bouts of pancreatitis but would always rally.  I took him to a specialist who wanted to do exploratory surgery but I was concerned that this might be too much for him.  I opted to watch his diet, treat symptoms along with our vet's recommendations and just enjoy life with Smores.  Towards December of 2015, he began not responding to treatment and was losing weight and seemed to be in pain.  Several pain meds were implemented (not all at once) but the last pain med we tried had side effects such as weakness and disorientation.  Smores would look at me with concern and confusion.  We knew the time was coming but it isn't an easy thing to face.

On January 2, 2016, we said good-bye to my sweet boy.  It was one of the hardest things I have ever done.  I cry as I type these words.  I know some would think it silly and say, "It's only a dog".  He was my dog and I loved him and he loved me.  His passing was hard on the whole family but my heart is still broken and will be till I am reunited with my boy again.

I am a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and not long after Smores had passed, an article similar to this one appeared in LDS Living magazine: 
The article that I read, "Animals and the Afterlife" (which I couldn't find a link to--sorry.  If anyone wants a copy I will gladly send it to you if you comment or email us (right-side bar) was an answer to my prayers. While I still missed and ached for my pup, it made me glad to know that he is waiting for me, along with my other beloved pets.

I don't believe that a loving Heavenly Father would send animals to this Earth to be loved and be part of our family and not allow us to be with them again.  I know some people believe differently, but for me, this makes perfect spiritual and logical sense. 

After Smores passed, our groomer sent us a handmade card with a verse I had never read before.  It is  very beautiful and so true.   If you are dealing with the loss of a pet, I hope this helps.  

Pawprints Left By You
Teri Harrison
You no longer greet me,
As I walk through the door. 
You're not there to make me smile,
To make me laugh anymore.
Life seems quiet without you, You were far more than a pet.
You were a family member, a friend
...a loving soul I'll never forget.
It will take time to heal--
For the silence to go away.
I still listen for you,
And miss you everyday.
You were such a great companion,
Constant, loyal and true.
My heart will always wear,
the pawprints left by you.

If you are struggling with the loss of a pet, please know that it is normal to grieve and if needed, please seek care.  A good friend, a clergy member, your vet or even a counselor or therapist might be needed to hear your thoughts and emotions and help you live a good life.


I miss Smores everyday but know I will be with him once again.

Thank you for stopping by.  Please feel free to leave a comment about a beloved pet from your life, if you like.

1 comment:

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