MY GPS is off.

The only thing I know for certain right now, is that losing Jake is not at all like losing Melvin. The difference is not about emotions, those are exactly the same, but my navigation through the loss and the day is completely different.

Sadness and missing them aside, when I lost Melvin, I had a strange sense of hope. I felt a lot of purpose. I felt him guide me. Jake was here when I lost Melvin.  We survived it together. With the loss of Jake, I am trying all the things I tried last year, they are not as successful this go around. I am paying things forward (his things) and while it makes me so, so happy to do it, it makes me miss him so much more.  Probably because I’m donating his things and wishing they were still needed by us.

You can donate my things, but not to other dogs. You know how I feel about other dogs. IMG_5971

I know that having no dogs in the house is a 25-foot wall roadblock to my grieving process; it gets in my way every time. I’ll have moments, normal grieving moments, when I’ll think about Jake and tears come and then a funny memory will pop into my head and I’ll start to laugh. If only I could have that little moment. Instead, right as I’m having my teary-laugh, this loud, scary, bully of a voice screams –  THERE ARE NO DOGS HERE,  YOUR LITTLE FAMILY IS GONE. That voice is ruining my life. I know in my heart that it is way too soon to think about getting another dog but I also know that trying could alleviate the empty house issue and that even if it’s hard, it might make grieving easier. I’d be rescuing someone who also lost their family.

So, I went to an adoption event this past weekend. Let me explain me and adoption events to you…it’s not my thing. I don’t make life decisions that quickly. I need to meet a dog then go home and think, and think some more and plan and make some checklists. So I knew it would not be a fit for that very reason. That’s mostly why I went, to just get out there and test the meeting waters.

I cried after leaving the event. For two impossible and opposing reasons. It was way too soon to be looking for a dog and it feels way to long since a dog has been here. I cried because no matter what I try, nothing feels right. Jake not being here breaks me and there being no dogs here takes a lot of the air away. Grieving Jake and dealing with the empty house has been… a bit complicated.

I will find my way.

It’s been three weeks. I miss him. After losing Melvin, Jake made me laugh every day. I miss my little comedian. Melvin traveled through life spreading love and joy; Jake scooted along spreading love and comic relief. If you are having visions of me sitting around crying all day, there is no need for worry. I go about my day, I’m keeping busy, I’m honoring Jake in as many ways as possible. When a sad moment hits, I close my eyes to calm down and I have a vision, pretty much the same vision every time. It’s of a line of dogs that have touched my life. Not just my dogs, but dogs that impacted my life in some way too — my heavenly dog army. They are all sitting in a straight line in a field of grass, facing me. In front of the line of them sits Melvin and Max. And in front of my first two angels sits Jake. And they sit, still as can be. I know they are coming together for me and Jake. Jake is so close in this vision, I can almost touch him. He can almost reach me. And almost, at this point, is everything.


I know that everything will work out. I know that this home will not be empty forever and I know that the grieving process for Jake, while complicated is somehow just as it’s supposed to be. For all the beautiful love, I will carry all the heavy grief. I will continue paying love forward in Jake and Melvin’s memory and I will keep going to meet dogs that in no way could ever be Jake or Melvin.  One day, one of them will say to me, I am not them I’m just me. And that will be the one.

A look back to my little bug, using his good eye to conduct neighborhood watch. IMG_9817



28 thoughts on “MY GPS is off.

  1. I was just thinking about you this morning, wondering how you’re doing. Here’s hoping each day gets a bit easier.

  2. It will work out in time. There is no rushing the emotional process. You might consider foster. It is a wonderful way to help a dog on its journey, while filling up some of the empty space in her heart and home.

    • I have considered foster also, I’m a tad concerned about there being a dog and then not a dog and how that will fit into the whole loss chapter. But regardless of now or later, I def want to try fostering.

      • I turned into a big foster failure. I adopted the first dog(Midnight) I fostered. Now I have my sister in laws 2 dogs and I already trying to figure out how not to let them go . I really can’t afford vet bills for 4 dogs and have to think what is best for them but my heart says not to let them go.

  3. This hurts my heart to know you are hurting. Mostly because I imagine the day I will grieve for my own furbabies, and that thought terrifies me. It literally keeps me awake on some nights and can throw me into my own crazy anxiety filled state of mind. I know when the time comes, I can only pray that I will handle it as truthfully and gracefully as you have.

    Please don’t, for one second, think that it’s not okay to grieve or that you need to rush the grieving process. Your mind, body and soul will guide you and as most things in life, timing is everything. You have the love and thoughts of all of us and can lean on any one of us, if it is ever needed. You are not alone on this new journey. We are here, loving you and missing Melvin and Jake.

    • Ahhhhh, this means so much to me, THANK YOU! I can only suggest that you take your own advice (in a way) and don’t rush the ‘living process’. I know what you mean about worrying…but the reality that it will happen one day should not overshadow today. When the day comes that you are faced with loss, I will be there for you, like you have been there for us. Until then… run towards the JOY!!!

  4. I think you should consider fostering a dog during this time because it could possibly be the transition you need to help deal with the emptyness feeling but not overwhelm you with I have a new family member. You would be paying it forward by giving the gift of life and allowing yourself to love and heal. Love will live on.

  5. Bless your heart! As far as I’m concerned, there is not right or wrong way to grieve. You just do what feels right for you. Don’t worry about what anyone else thinks.

    You are correct when you say “THE” dog will come along and you will know it immediately. You will feel it in your heart and in your soul.

    Until then, take comfort in the happy memories, keep paying it forward and know that you have a band of interwebs friends standing beside you along the way.

    Thoughts, prayers and hugs to you.

  6. This post really touched me. I was lost when Talbot, our first Golden, died. She was ill for just a bit more than a month. But during that month I was completely consumed with caring for–and loving–her. When she died, I had no idea what to do with myself . . . except cry, and cry, and cry. The grief is part of the love. It was a long time before I was ready for another Golden. And then one day, totally unplanned, Harper Lee came into my life. It will happen to you, too, when the time is right. Thinking of you, and wishing I was there to give you a big hug and share a box of tissues.

  7. That voice is a dick! Made me cry too. Your dog family is always with you in memories, just sucks that they’re not physically there now. I’m glad that there are so many pictures & blog posts to look back on. <3

    I was looking at shelters and rescues on Petfinder a week after Maggie was gone even though we knew it was way too early. I definitely rushed it and brought home a dog too soon that ended up being a one night sleepover. Turns out that "lived with cats" meant "lived with cats but they weren't her favorite" which meant we had a T-Rex in the living room who tried to eat the cats. So glad we kept her on leash! 😛

    Anyway, you rock, we love you and any dog that gets to come with you is going to be lucky!!!

    • I think more rescues should allow overnights! I’m sorry we are going through this, it’s nice to hear that for every difference, there are as many similarities. The next dog will find us both, i know it!

  8. The right dog will find you, just as Melvin and Jake did and that dog will have hit the jackpot. Grief hits everyone differently and your heart will know when it is ready to love another. Take your time and take care xox

    PS: Thank you for sharing the photos of Jake, I just love a chunky monkey 🙂

    • I agree! That post was actually from August, since then a rescue dog adopted me. I’m able to grieve Jake better now, and am learning to move forward in a new way. Fostering is on my goals lost for this year though. ❤️ Thanks for stopping by!

  9. This post shattered me! I have 2 dogs, an 11 yr old Jack Russel/border collie mix & 6 yr old pug/shih tzu mix.. I don’t have kids. I’m single. They are my family. Every now and then I see age effecting my Sam and it crushes me. I can’t imagine his constant love & attention in my world. And Franny, like your Jake is my comic relief, my little love bug, that also has one good eye and doesn’t miss a trick. I’m dreading the day that will come soon enough when I don’t come home to their excited little waggy tails.I am so sorry for your loss. Grief, for humans & our pets, is a hard thing, but time is a great healer. <3

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