Monday, 6 November 2017

The Realities Of Losing A Pet

This is something that I never thought I'd have to be writing, or at least not for a very, very, very long time. There has been a slight radio silence on Salt And Chic over the past few weeks, the reason being that I lost my baby Harry, a little dog who any social media followers of mine will have undoubtedly seen plastered all over my channels over the past two years. 

Harry came into my life in September 2015. The family who were looking after him then weren't able to keep him due to having two young children who didn't understand how careful you need to be with puppies and so after seeing him on Facebook, my parents and I couldn't resist him. I named him Harry (after Harry Potter of course) and Luna took to him straight away, meaning that Harry never left my side. He turned into the most cuddly, affectionate dog you'd ever know who loved everyone he met and of course, he was ridiculously naughty (read: a loveable, cute little shit). He emptied bins, he chewed through a pair of brand new GHDs, ate a £100 underwear set, stole and ate an entire 10" margherita pizza while I turned my back for one name it, Harry ate it. It was part of his personality that he was naughty but he'd wait at the door for me coming home from work, he'd throw his own ball down the stairs and chase it in a little game with himself and he'd take up the entire bed every night. He was best friends with Luna and had an ongoing beef with my parent's cat Oscar but he was clearly a huge part of my life and it was an absolutely huge blow to lose him.

I live on a busy front road and have a little yard on the side of my house where I let the dogs out. Unfortunately, a few weeks ago Harry managed to open my gate (such was his nature to constantly be doing things that he wasn't supposed to be doing!). I looked outside and saw that he was gone, with the gate open and went out looking for him and it was then that I saw him trot into the road and he was hit by a car right in front of my eyes. It's easy for a lot of people to say "it's only a pet" or "it's just a dog" but I can tell you I felt like my whole world had been ripped apart in that second. I was absolutely hysterical and ran down the street screaming, picked him up and ran back into my house with him but it was very obviously too late and speaking from the heart I can say that it was the worst thing that's ever happened to me in my entire life.

Pets become huge parts of our lives and the bonds that we build with them are like no other. Whether it's a dog, a hamster, a cat, a fish or any one of the unorthodox pets that you may have, the relationship we build with them is like no other. My dogs, both Luna and Harry, were with me through some of the most difficult times of my life, including the breakdown of a long-term relationship and adjusting to living alone. They were with me when I was with my grandma when she died over the summer, when I was struggling with personal issues and also, through some of the best times of my life. They were waiting at the door for me when I arrived home, I'd often wake up with Harry literally laid on my face in bed cause he loved me so much he didn't understand the concept of personal space (something which I had absolutely no problem with - doggy cuddles are the best). To lose all of this in a single minute, totally unexpected and out of the blue, is absolutely devastating.

It still feels empty when I come home and there's no Harry there. You go through a grieving process, feeling numb and in disbelief until one day you're driving home and it hits you like a blow to the stomach. I don't think you can truly understand what it's like to lose a pet that's such a huge part of your life until you've gone through it yourself and felt that sense of loss. It's hard to put it into words in real life as I still think that there is that sense of feeling judged, feeling like you're being "daft" and whether that's there in reality or not, it's still very difficult to put into words. There will always be a Harry-shaped hole in my life that will never be filled; he was only two, just a baby and only just at the start of his doggy life and I can honestly say my life will never be the same without him. 

Amy x
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