Something I cannot let go of is the immense amount of guilt I feel for things ‘I should have done’ and/or situations I could have made better. I know that many of my friends would say I should not think that way, yet it stays with me like a disease. Sebastian lived a very good life – during the last few years I had to cook his food due to his colitis, he had one of the best veterinarian’s in the city AND a holistic veterinarian who is also world-renowned. And, the beds! Beds everywhere – the bedrooms, kitchen, dining room…! 🙂 More importantly, my love for him would speak for itself. However, I had an immense amount of fear when it came to walking him in the last eight years. This was the result of being chased down by a loose German Shepherd a few years back.
The first couple of years after the ‘dog incident’ were the worst, because I was like some weirdo who wasn’t supposed to be let outside and feared being caught! I was on constant guard for loose dogs and even the sound of someone’s keys jingling made my heart stop. You can imagine that this did not make our walks all that pleasant. The past few years did get better, partially because I sought different areas in which I felt safer walking Saby.
My guilt focuses on the thought that I took away so many opportunities of JOY for Sebastian. Walking was his favorite thing to do everyday – his wagging tail and hyper ‘n happy behavior when the leash came out was the best! Also, it was our thing. I relaxed and let the stresses of the day go and revelled in watching him do his happy jaunt. Sebastian, well, he just enjoyed the great outdoors sniffing and searching for anything he could eat on his little journey around the neighbourhood.
I would do anything to be able to go back in time to erase those fears and have a re-do. But, I know this is not possible. My goal is to try to refocus my thoughts on the happy memories. This has been a challenge for me, because the guilt is like a heavy cloud that won’t go away. I have to ask you – do you experience any guilt and, if so, what are your strategies for letting go of the ‘woulda, coulda, shoulda’s? The reason I titled my blog ‘Good Grief, Sebastian’ is so that I could share my own feelings of grief, however I also wanted to balance it with positivity. I have to believe that out of the root of grief there is happiness and gratitude. On that note, I am going to leave you with one of my happiest memories of my little Sebastian.
I’m terrible at relaying stories and jokes, so I’ll try to make this short and sweet. It was Halloween when Sebastian was just seven months old and, at the time, I had two male roommates. Two men = no candy. At the last minute, I ended up giving the children green mint gum (I’m sure they loved that lol!), which was originally handed out at a basketball tournament and made its way to our house. The next day we still had a ton of this yummy green gum, which was left on the counter in a big tin bowl. When I came home from work that day, Sebastian greeted me at the back door with gum stuck in his hair everywhere! On his head, his beautiful fluffy ears, his paws, but most adorable was the fact that he greeted me wildly wagging his bum and his cocker-spaniel-tail, while chewing a big wad of gum!* As I recall this funny memory tears come to my eyes…it seems like only yesterday. He has (had?) such a quirky little ‘person’ality and it is memories such as this one that makes me love him even more. May they feed you yummy green gum up at Rainbow Bridge my little boy!
(p.s. The nerd in me needs to remind you that gum, particularly the xylitol in the gum, is toxic to dogs!)