Five years later…

Five years ago, our lives were changed forever. This day snatched away a very precious part of our family. We lost Rocky, our beloved Labrador Retriever to a prolonged illness. Our family lost a beloved son. I lost my constant partner in crime, my huggable moron, the only soul who could melt my heart with one look of his. Though there were days when he would refuse to hand over the ball to me after playing fetch, days when he would vent his anger on my shoes or my favourite flower pot, he more than made up for those lapses with his loving nature and unshakable loyalty.

Back when we were still reeling from his loss, the phrase “just a dog” used to make me see red. It still does. Though it might be hard for some people to understand (especially for ones who have never had a pet), losing a pet can have much more of an impact than losing a relative. Yes, go ahead and google it, if you don’t believe me. You will be surprised at what turns up.

He wasn’t just a dog, he was our baby, our little brother, our own special furball of joy. Void in my heart that can never be filled. For years, I couldn’t bring myself to think about him, about our loss without breaking down. I didn’t even attend a recruitment drive in my college that was held a few days after his funeral because I didn’t trust myself to not break-down in the middle of the interview. My heart ached and I was so mad, angry, sad and lost. Even now, thinking about the days following his passing makes my eyes tear up a little bit.

It’s hard to believe that it’s been five years without him. About five years ago, I was agonizing over the fact that I would forget his scent, the feeling of his soft fur under my hands, the immense happiness that would flood my body whenever I spent time with him. I hated that now there would be no wagging tail to beat against my leg as he positioned himself near me. I would miss him drooling while I carried his food over to him. So many little things that I had taken for granted at the time. And yet, in a flash, he was gone and along with him, the many memories that time and death had cheated us out of.

A part of me died along with him. The Rocky-sized hole in my heart will never be filled. Just like Peggy before him, Rocky too has left an indelible mark. But my love for dogs has only grown. Though it’s been five years, we never got another pet. It takes a while to recover from a loss like that. And with me staying in rented apartments, I doubt if I will be able to adopt one soon. But after so many years, I am able to think about him without the grief clouding over my memories. I can finally talk about him without breaking down in the middle of a conversation. But every time I see a dog, I’ll always think of how he was the best. I remember how his entire face would light up the moment he saw me. There’s still a painful tug in my heart whenever I see a golden Labrador that looks just like him.

I spent the entire day putting odd writing this post because this still wasn’t easy. But time has taught me that he will always continue to live in the hearts and memories of his loved ones. I know that he wouldn’t want me to stay unhappy for long. He was too gentle and kind a soul, and he would want his loved ones to be happy.

Rest in peace, my sweet baby. You will always be remembered. The footprints that you left in our hearts are strong enough to stand the test of time.

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45 thoughts on “Five years later…

  1. Pets stay with you always….you can always share your feelings with them for they will surely understand your pain. I believe pets will stay with you when family/ friends may not❤️
    It must be extremely hard for you, Shweta…
    Return If Possible, Rocky🥺❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I remember I ended with the guy I loved on the day he lost his pet.

    I asked him if he wants to talk to me or something and he said just leave me alone.
    I thought speaking to him would lighten his heart but he did not want to speak. After a while he behaved rude while talking to me.
    I too felt “it was just a dog”, and you cannot behave this way, but I did not say him anything. But that day it wasn’t just about his dog, he lost me that day. I never spoke to him after that.

    I was just trying to console him and nothing else.

    I’ve never been an animal lover, I am scared of dogs the most.
    But I am human too, I understand the pain one undergoes when they loose their pets.
    I feel sorry for anyone who looses their pet. I know the kind of equation people frame with pets.

    It was a touching post, thank your for sharing it Shweta!

    P.S- It reminded me how my story ended. And I just felt like sharing it to you.

    Liked by 3 people

  3. I’m just a stranger passing by but I felt your words pretty much sums up how I currently feel. I lost my baby girl a little over a month ago. The day she left crushed me and I feel like I haven’t been the same since. I cry every day because I’m still hurt, angry, and sad. I love her so much and I just can’t seem to accept her death. Most expect me to be over it but I don’t think you ever get over losing something that means the world to you. It’s gotten to the point where I just don’t want to talk to anyone, I mean what’s the point when others think that pets are not significant enough to grieve over and are easily replaceable. Her death really broke me and left a hole in my heart as well. It just came too suddenly and I can’t bring myself to say goodbye to something I love so much.

    I’m sorry for your loss. But thank you for sharing this heartfelt post. I’ve been mustering the courage to do the same but I’m just not ready. I don’t know if I’ll ever be.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m sorry for your loss. I know what it’s like to lose a special pet. I had a family cat, Rascal, who was truly one of a kind. I have had two other family cats since him, and I discovered I don’t like cats anymore because there is only one Rascal for me. I basically ignore my family cat now because she doesn’t like me, but I don’t care. That loss never goes away

    Liked by 1 person

  5. I’m sorry for your loss. May his soul rest in peace.
    It’s a loving post, for such a sweet member of the family. 💙
    I never had a pet, so I may not be able to understand it fully, but I pray that someday you are able to share your love with another four legged cutie, while remembering Rocky fondly. 🌸

    Liked by 1 person

  6. I can relate Shweta.. I too had one whom I considered as my own brother.. I lost him in 2012 and even today, I go home to discuss everything about him with dad.. he was most attached to my dad.. he never slept until my dad wished him goodnight and he got his favorite treat from my dad. Same way, his mornings too started with love from my father. Oh how I miss him 😦 We had to put him down due to a big tumor in in his stomach and he was in so much pain.
    Losing our pets is like losing a part of our soul. We mourned for him so many days.. and my eyes even now swells up thinking of him.

    And I have been narrating stories of him to my son too.. so many Jimmy tales.. and Deva is so fond of hearing them 🙂

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I am at loss of words here dear cos I know exactly how you feel. I had a labrador who took his last breath lying on my lap and looking right into my eyes. It breaks my heart everytime I think of him. And then there was Danny, who looked just like your Rocky, who had to undergo assisted dying cos of the medical condition she had. They have already given us enough love to cherish for a lifetime within their short span of life. Isn’t it? Lets just imagine that the rainbow bridge is real and they are at a better place now. Lots of love and hugs to you, Shweta kutti

    Liked by 2 people

    1. What was the labrador’s name? Those moments are just heart-wrenching, isn’t it. Poor Danny. But I’m happy that she didn’t have to suffer. Rocky suffered. Paavam. We literally begged the vet for assisted dying but he said he couldn’t do it. Said it went against his oath to save lives. Towards the end, I was praying for his death. So that he wouldn’t have to suffer any more. Just the thought of it brings tears to my eyes. Even now. And the worst part was that, we weren’t there with him when he breathed his last. The sheer guilt eats me from inside even to this day. We went back to his side a little too late. Yes, they make the most of their extremely short lives. Ee nalla aalkare daivam pettannu vilikkum ennu parayille. Athu thanneya. Dogs are literally angels without wings but with fur and paws. And tails that are just waiting for a reason to wag.
      Yes, I know that he’s in a better place. In a way I was glad that his suffering was over but I was still heartbroken. Feelings can be so conflicting and complicated, alle?
      Thank you so much, Achu chechi. ❤️🤗
      I needed those virtual hugs. Lots of love and hugs to you too.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. We always gave our dogs western names. But when this guy and one dashhound girl came home, Achan said, namukkini parishkaram okke angu nirtham. And we named them Chandhu and Chakki 🙂 Chandhu was a sweet heart, always jumping around like a little boy. Chakki was amma’s girl. She literally hated me whenever I went close to Amma. She would come and slide between us if I sat next to Amma. Kushumbhi ayrnu 😄 Everyday in the evening, she used to patiently wait at the door looking towards the gate to see if I am back from school. Sneham kondinnumallatto 😅. The moment she saw me, she ran towards kitchen and sat next to Amma and she would give me this death stare like, don’t even dare to come near her, she’s mine 😄 I would purposely give extra hugs to Amma to make her jealous. Achan loved dogs da. The day achan left us, Chakki who was perfectly healthy also passed away. And its crazy. but I would like to believe that Chakki left to give company to Achan on the way back to a better place. Like you said, they are literally angels without wings but with furs and paws ♥️

        Dogsinte kadha paryan ninnal njan nirthilla. Orupad per undayrnu veetil epozhum 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

      2. I’ve always wondered about what. We always gave ours western names too. My mother’s side is full of dog lovers, especially appooppan. I’ve only got to meet two though – Peggy and Rocky. And they were there with me for most of my childhood. Lol. Chakkide karyam kettittu chiri varunnu 😂
        Rocky used to get jealous too if we pet any of the cats and ignore him. Oh yes, he used to have a few cat friends. He even used to let them eat his food behind our backs. And he thought we didn’t know it. 😂 We played along too. But njan enghanum Kooduthal neram aa poochayod kalichaal Ivan kurach oodikkum aa poochaye 😂
        He was the protective type. If anyone touched my brother, they would have to deal with Rocky. So my idiot bro would take advantage of that. Enthenkilum kuruthakedd kaanichaal avande aduth poyi nikkum. 😂 Ah, so many memories.
        Omg. That’s a very strong bond. I would say that Chakki left to give uncle company too. Here’s to dogs and their unconditional love.
        Don’t worry. I’m all ears. I love to hear stories about dogs. ❤️

        Liked by 1 person

      3. 😄😄
        Chakki was the same. We had Danny at the same time. She played with Danny but never allowed her come closer to Amma. Also she was a drama queen. Idakku pinangi poyi stairsil irikkum. Nammal thaadiyilokke pidich pinangyo ennokke chodhichal mugham angu thirich kalayaum. Ennitu idamkannittu nokkum 😄

        Liked by 1 person

    1. That feeling of loss is universal. And when it comes to dogs, they love us so unconditionally that when they leave us forever, they take a part of us along with them. Thank you for understanding, Anisha. I’m sorry to hear about your friend’s loss. I hope that she’s able to remember her Rocky and cherish the good memories without the pain.

      Like

  8. This was such a heartfelt post. So sorry to hear about your pet, hope he rests in peace. 😔

    Yeah, pets do leave a huge mark in our lives: even though they have no voice to speak. We can easily share our feelings with them, and do many things with them. It’s almost as if they subconsciously know how to make your day brighter…. ❤️

    Liked by 1 person

  9. I have never been a pet person Shwe in fact I am a bit scared of dogs. But I can feel your pain through this post and the loss of a pet who is a family member. My daughter has always been pestering me to get a pet but I have been putting it off till I feel she is more responsible and can care for it. Also the fact that we live on rented apartments

    Liked by 1 person

  10. You are exactly right, dogs are family members, and their loss leaves an empty space in the heart. My parents, in their mid 80’s now, decided 4 years ago when their dog died, they would not get anymore. Six weeks later, they were happily telling us about their new golden retriever puppy.
    A dog just adds somethiing intangible to the joy of life, and helps motivate people to get outside and adventure more.
    I am sorry for your continued pain, but someday, when you are able to care for one, you will have that hole filled. Thank you for yet another wonderful post, we readers appreciate you.

    Liked by 1 person

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