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Tripawd Tuesday Reflections on Love, Loss and Acceptance

The following Tripawd Tuesday post about “Awful August” was generously submitted by Spirit Dakota’s Mom, Shari. We know you’ll find her suggestions about coping with grief to be extremely helpful when trying to ease the pain of a broken heart.

August was a hard month for Tripawds members. We’ve lost family, a lot of family.


Brendol and Sassy on the same day, Maggie Moo 4 days later, and Shooter 4 days after that. Those are just the ones we know of; there may be others who’ve not had the strength to let us know.

When Dakota died 8 months ago, I wrote this when I posted in the Coping with Loss forum:

The goal is to take off the leg that’s causing problems and allow the dog to die of old age. I guess we sort of attained that goal, but I’m not satisfied.

And that statement there is largely what makes us human. Our dogs and cats are satisfied with however the day turns out. We are not. A hungry dog will go take a nap if there is no food. A homeless dog will make a nest somewhere out of the rain. An abandoned cat under a car will clean her face and paws the same as if she lived in a palace. In the face of disaster, their faces show little more than gracious endurance.

We humans obsess over that which we cannot control. If the fridge is empty, we open it anyway to see if magic has filled it. We bounce a check and then yell at the bank for our poor planning. If something horrible happens that we cannot change, we still waste hours trying to change it.


We are difficult to satisfy in general and we are never satisfied with how long we have with our animal friends. We are never ready for them to go. It’s not bad, but it is human.

If we really want to honor the lives of our companions who have gone on before us, perhaps a good way is to truly try to be more dog (or cat!) and to decide to be satisfied. Make the conscious choice to be content with what we have. Accept that we are not in control.

We will never be ready, but there is no shame there. That part of our humanity brings us closer to the divine that is elemental in our dogs and cats, the spark that is never extinguished. The part that makes the pain of the broken heart worth it. After they are gone, we have proof of how much they mattered in just how badly we hurt.

Dakota and Evelyn

It’s OK not to be ready. It’s OK to want much more. It’s OK to have a broken heart. But if we can take a small step towards the same graceful acceptance of what we have that our animal friends demonstrate, I think we may end up happier. Or at least satisfied.

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16 thoughts on “Tripawd Tuesday Reflections on Love, Loss and Acceptance”

  1. Never ready…that’s for sure. At the beginning of Bart’s journey, I used to “practice’ what it would feel like to have to say Good-bye to him. I quickly realized that it never got any easier with practice so I had to let that idea fall by the wayside and recognize that it is just gonna hurt like Hell when he leaves me. And, even though I have been blessed with a lot of time with him post-osteosarcoma diagnosis, I will not be satsfied and I will not be ready for that absence.

    thanks for putting this out here for all of us to share…that is one of the greatest things about the Tripawd community – we totally understand and empathize with what each of us is going though!


    Darcy & Bart

  2. This has to be the most beautifully written post I’ve ever read on this glum subject. No, we’ll never be satisfied when the time comes, but it is comforting to know that its human and its OK to not be OK.

    I wish everyone who is grieving their losses, no matter how fresh, the best and please know that each and every one of you are often in my thoughts.


  3. Nicely said, Shari. I’ll give Jackson every chance to have his life be as full and as long as possible. When he cannot fight anymore, I’ll do my best to be OK with that. I’ll try. I’ll try really hard. But, I know I won’t be OK. Sigh.
    ~ Katy & Jackson

    • No, Katy, you will not be ok. I have said goodbye to 3 dogs who were truly suffering and older, and I was not ok. Even though it was a relief to know their pain was done, I was not ready. But being able to say that we are satisfied with what we’re doing for our dogs and cats frees us up to squeeze so much out of each day. That is the relief that I want to feel for myself! No second guessing, no regrets, no guilt.


  4. Shari,
    You’ve always inspired me to have the strength that was necessary throughout this journey. You also have assured me that it’s okay to get pissed because that sometimes was the only way Possible to let out the anguish and frustration which we often feel when we are doing everything to save our babies’ lives. I miss Bruno terribly but I am sure that he and D and all the other tripawd angels are frolicking in green pastures and having a blast.
    Maricela and Spirit Bruno

  5. Thisi s lovely. The Dakota Dawg id lovely. And is that Evelyn in there being lovely too?

    SHARI—you are a lovely, co passionate fun energy. The divinity in you domes shining through.

    Thank you.


    Sally and Happy Hannah

  6. Thanks Shari. I am trying truly I am. Some days I feel better some days not so much. Last night I cried myself to sleep I missed her that much last night. I feel like I make progress then not so much

    Thanks for sharing my friend

    Michelle & Angel Sassy

    • Michelle, you are doing better than you think you are! You really are. And it’s no one’s journey but yours so no one else can tell you what the road should look like. “Progress” is not something to allow anyone to judge. But you are indeed satisfied with the life you gave Sassy, and that’s a good thing.


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