Sunday, March 14, 2010

The End of My First Day

As the day comes to a close, I cannot begin to tell you how very humbled I am by the kind messages, poems and even an e-card after the loss of our Golden, Cowboy. These kind gestures and friendship have meant so very much, and have truly lifted my heart and spirit! Saying "THANK-YOU!!" somehow doesn't seem like enough for this wonderful gift I have received from so many of you! You have helped me through what has been a difficult day.

We did go to church today, but only for me to teach my Sunday school class and then leave. I'm just not been ready to face the world and needed a day at home.

As you know, when we lose one of our four-legged family members, you have a day that becomes a day of firsts. It truly is all part of this whole process called grieving, and this is what this post is.

For me, it's always hard to look for the first time and see where "they" used to always lay.

And then there's the first time you realize that you now have an extra bowl that doesn't need to be filled . It's also sad the first time you don't see them standing in the spot where they used to eat. The first walks for me always take a little getting used to because you're so used to seeing them in their favorite spot in the yard--And you keep looking, expecting to see them there; but the place is empty and oh, so silent.

This morning out of habit I kept looking back to see if I was being followed by a dog that for 2 years was my companion on all of our walks. I think that today Cowboy was there in spirit "bringing in the herd" as I always used to say to him because he was always the last one to come inside. Another "first" was coming home for the first time; the barking from the inside of our house is missing a voice.
Yesterday afternoon the dogs kept coming to me and I just felt like I had nothing to give them, and I thought I wanted to be alone. But I let them in and just as I knew they would, the dogs became a source of comfort and strength.

I know that life does and needs to continue. But I'm thankful that I've been able to shut the world out today. Tomorrow will come, and I'll once again join the human race. I'm feeling the loss, but thankful for those like you who understand and have provided a cyber-shoulder to cry on. Thank-you so very, very much for that, you made a difference for me on "my first day!"
Thank-you Tanner for running off and distracting me on the walk this morning.
Sammy for reminding me that life does and needs to go on. Maguire for knowing that I needed a dog to hug.

Rudi for making me laugh by bringing me that branch this morning...

And Joshua for jumping on the bed when I was taking a nap. It helped to have you close.
And Charlie for telling me it would be okay.

Thank-you Sheba for understanding when I accidentally left you outside in the rain...

And Wendy for barking when it was mealtime, you helped to distract me.

Hamlet for offering me your paw to hold.

And thank-you Cowboy for being part of our life and our home for 2 years.


  1. Kim;
    You and your group are truly a Golden treasure.

    Hamish & Sophie

  2. Ms. Kim and Mr. Carl & pack,
    It does hurt so much when a beloved furkid moves on. They are granted such a short lifespan to begin with and as rescues some portion of that is expended before they do us the honor of sharing their love and lives with us for the time that they have remaining. We feel privileged to provide what kindness and understanding that they may have missed out on before joining us. We are rewarded daily by their acceptance and devotion. The rescues are always more appreciative with their understanding of how cruel life can often be. You and we have been through this before and sadly we will endure the pain of grief again. But it is fortunate that we have the opportunity to hopefully better and share the lives of these seniors for a time, no matter how short. Our goal is to make these the best years of their lives. Thank you both for being there and for being who and what you are; you do indeed make a difference. Your post tonight is a solemn tribute to Cowboy and to the spirit of canine rescue. So profound, so simple, and oh so true.
    - TBH&K + Mom and Dad

  3. Those of us who have made this painful trip do know what you are feeling. My thoughts are with you.

  4. If I came to see you-
    please open your door
    let me leap up on you lap
    and I will lick away your tears.
    I wish I could help your hurting heart.
    If only there was something I could do.
    Your words were so beautiful, and my heart is breaking for you.
    I wish there was something I could do.

  5. He looks so happy and comfortable. We are sorry that it was his time to go--always too soon. My mom takes in senior beagles--what a treasure the old hounds are!

    love & wags,
    River (the youngest beagle) & mom

  6. A very beautiful post. And it was wonderful to see the other members of your family. There is much love in all those furry faces.

    God Bless.

  7. Sending you lots of wishes for a very good day tomorrow!

  8. Those of us who have loved and lost will be feeling for you so much.Even though it's 5 years since we parted with our golden,your words still brought tears to my eyes as the memories of that time come flooding back.
    I am so sorry.My thoughts are with you.

    Bellaboo :o)

    Bellaboo :o)

  9. Bless their little faces bye bye Cowboyxx

  10. Sounds like it was a hard day for you. Having lost my dad last Thanksgiving, I am all too aware of the "firsts." Of all the things that will bring a gush of tears, it will be his garden as spring arrives and the bulbs he planted begin to emerge.

    May you be comforted by the paths Cowboy walked with you. His spirit is in your heart.


  11. Dear Kim,

    Thank you for so aptly posting my exact feelings for today. It was a day of 'firsts' for me too. And it's the first day in healing for us. But we will go on - our precious dogs, your Cowboy and my Java, loved us unconditionally and would not want us to be sad - they were both joy filled.


  12. This is a beautifully written, poignant post.
    No matter how many years we have them, they never last long enough...
    Thank you for loving so many,

  13. I'm sure Cowboy appreciates your thanking all

    AND I know he's proud of those entrusted to keep an eye on woo!

    He'll always be there -

    Khyra & Khousin Merdie

  14. I read your latest post - you have such a gift of words and it was so good to talk with you yesterday. I cry again for dear Cowboy and all the sweet white faced dogs we have loved & lost. I so appreciate your blog - thank you Kim for being you.

  15. Oh Kim, I am so sorry for your loss. You gave him a wonderful life hun. RIP Cowboy. Sue x

  16. Cowboy is still with you in spirit, right there beside you, ready for you to accompany him on his walk...

  17. What a wonderfully sweet post.
    Our hearts are heavy with the news of Cowboy. We had the same decision with our Golden Honey last April. Never time to let one of our best friends go.
    The love shown in these photos is so tender and amazing. Rest in peace sweet Cowboy.

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose and mom

  18. We are so sorry. Cowboy has a special place in all of your hearts and though his body is still, his spirit is there.
    Never a decision we would think of for one of our best friends, yet pain is relieved as our sadness grows. We had the same with our Golden Honey last April. Just looking at her sweet gray face in a photo now. Ahhh, her BIG LOVE will always have a piece of our hearts.

    Rest in peace sweet Cowboy.

    Hugs and snaggle-tooth kisses,
    Sierra Rose and mom

  19. oh Kim, you have me in tears........take care of yourself...

    Gill in Canada

  20. Momma says when you are in rescue you never have your pals long enough - but you get the best of them. And they get the best of you...
    Thank you thank you for all you do for all the Goldies.
    Ben and the fellas

  21. Dear Kim and Carl,
    I just found about sweet Cowboy. It doesn't matter how long of a life our pets have, it is never close to being long enough.
    I love reading about your adventures with all of your sweet boys and girls..the recent video of getting to meet everyone..and stories of their lives. I am so glad that you recently wrote of Cowboy. I will go back and meet him all over again.
    With your large group, I am touched how you and Carl continue to open up your hearts to even more goldens. Some might think when you lose one, that it would not be so painful. But, what it reminds me of is the story in the bible of the one lost sheep out of 100. That one is more important because it needs to be found. That is the way you treat all of the goldens that need help. You know all of the ones that live with you are loved and well taken care of, but you can't stand it if there is one in need. And in turn when one leaves there is a painful void. Each, is equally important and they all know it, they feel the love.
    I am so glad that Cowboy had the oppurtunity to have such a good home for these past two years. And I am so very sorry for your deep loss. I wish I could take the pain away. But, so very glad you have all of those wonderful sweet souls to love you. Cowboy will be remembered with love,
    Sophie's Mom

  22. We are sorry to hear about your Cowboys going to the Rainbow Bridge. This was a lovely tribute to him.
    XX-BabyRocketDog and Hootie
    & their human, Cassie

  23. Dear Kim
    My heart aches for you as I know its something Im going to have to face not too far off. Thank you for sharing your heart - this is what helps others like me.
    I know its painful, but it might strengthen you to know that others are aligned with you.
    All your dogs are so precious. It is such a joy to see individual photos of all of them. Sheba has a face like Max.
    Please know that I am thinking of you and holding you in my heart. Take time to grieve, be gentle on yourself and simply know that you and your Goldens and your family are loved.
    Much love

  24. I have been where you are now and I will be where you are now again and again and again. Life wouldn't be life without dogs in my life and home.

    I wish I had words that would soothe your soul and comfort your heart but I know that I would fall short. Please know that, along with the others, I offer my deep and sincere condolences on the loss of your friend, Cowboy.

  25. Oh Kim. Oh, oh, oh. My heart is beating a mile a minute. It is never, ever going to be easy to let go of one of our furbabies. When we lost Achilles, I thought maybe it might be a little less painful because we'd lost Nick just a couple of years earlier. But, no, not one bit. Scout & Freyja have a banner on their blog for a departed furangel and it says, "You left and forget to tell me how to go on without you," or something similar. That is such a TRUE statement. We end up wandering about the house bereft and lost.

    Your writing reminds me very much of my own and I'm drawn to it because of it. It's as if I'm speaking your thoughts, as if I've lived your moments.

    Blogistan has been an unexpected blessing. I didn't know how much it would be mean to me to have these virtual connections, but it does. For some reason, the simple knowledge that there are so many friends out there sharing a life's burden with us makes that burden just a tad bit lighter in weight. I don't know if that makes any sense or not, but I've felt it twice. Once when we lost Nick, and then Achilles. If you don't mind, I'd love to share with you their stories.

    My Achilles reminds me of your Cowboy, and he missed being with me for 2 years by just 2 months. I love the comment about the one lost sheep. Cowboy was one of yours, found in love and nurture within your home, and now a permanent resident within your heart and soul. May he rest in peace dear friend.

    Sending you many warm hugs and tears from San Diego. I love your blog, I love your Goldens, I love that you rescue. You come from within my soul. Thank you.

  26. You express yourself beautifully, and it breaks my heart :( We're sending you giant hugs and hopes that it will get easier. Take care Kim!

  27. Oh, Kim - I'm just catching up on your news now and am so sorry to hear that you have lost Cowboy. Our love for our animal friends always carries with it the knowledge that someday we will need to let them go, but that makes it no easier when it happens. The depth of your sorrow is a testament to the great love you had for Cowboy, and the place you made for him in your life. Our world needs more people who can care and love as deeply as you can for your dogs.

    I have never heard of the Rainbow Bridge before - what a wonderful image to keep in our minds.


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