Tuesday, February 2


Webster's definition:

grief : noun. intense emotional suffering caused as by a loss.

My definition: a heart that feels as though a giant has reached into your chest cavity and placed it in a strangle hold; a pit in your stomach that makes you want to puke, eyes so blurry you can't see, and a brain that's fuzzy that you really should make important decisions. The fetal position is now preferred for self protection.

I woke at 4a.m. this morning, patting the area on the bed where Gracie would sleep. No furry butt taking up most of the area, no gentle moaning as I would rub her belly. The space between Ron and I was empty--my definition of grief slammed itself on my chest and stayed.  The tears streamed down my cheeks as I curled up to assume my state of protection.

A few days before we set Gracie free from her pain I started running again. I haven't run in a long time. Those that know me are thinking wait a minute--Val's a runner. Well yes, but in the past few years running hurt, the knees would scream, the back was howling and frankly running just sucked. I was rather surprised last Friday when I laced up my shoes and started running--there was no discomfort.

This morning with Schatzie's locket urn and Gracie's id tag in hand I tapped the timer on my watch, I was off. My pace was quick, the breeze was light, my breathing wasn't labored, I felt the sweat beading up on my skin, my grief was fading it was a freeing 25 minutes.

I pushed the button on the timer as my feet stopped... and the grief came rushing back.

I need to keep running.

Thank you all who have left comments, called, sent texts or just kept Ron and me in your prayers. We are grateful.  I'm not sure what direction this blog will take, but for now it will be one of  my ways of dealing with my sadness and grief. I hope you will continue to stop by, I promise to share more of our Hawaii adventures.



  1. Love you, Val. Pets are such wonderful gifts from God. When my last dog died, I decided I was not going ever have another one because the pain of losing them is so bad. However, about a month later, I changed my mind and that was a good decision. Although no other dog will ever take up the spaces in your heart that belong to Schatzie and Gracie, you have a big heart and you will eventually find room for more dogs that need your love even more than you need theirs and they will bring you comfort. Praying for you.

  2. We are here to share your grief, come by when you need to or want to. my heart hurt when i read your words about patting the empty spot... there are no words to describe loss, but you came close... thinking of you

  3. Of course I can understand the running and from my viewpoint you should not stop. Running has helped me sort out many things. But it isn't going to fill up the empty spot in your bed. We waited a LONG time after we lost 2 dogs in a short time. The time never made it better and saying "Never Again!" was nothing but a lie. I know it seems too soon but don't wait too long.


  4. We are also keeping you in our thoughts and prayers...and are here to listen when you need to share.

  5. I so understand, that's why I wrote the book for Barkley - to capture all of those happy times, as I grieved for what was lost. Hold on to the memories.

  6. Glad running can offer a little peace. Your girlz were beautiful, thank you for sharing so many memories and wonderful pictures on the blog over the years. <3

  7. Just found your blog so I didn't know your girlz, but we lost our top dog of our bunch, just 7 months ago and my husband and I are still very much struggling. I share your grief. I'm so sorry for your loss.

    Keep running when you can, Gracie is right next to you.

  8. We can't imagine how hard it is for you right now. If running helps, run. Mom is a runner and I bet she would run more too in your situation. You are in our thoughts.

  9. It's is hard and it never gets any easier but it does get better with time. Do what you need to do to get through the grief. Just remember the grilz were loved and cared for and that's the best life they could have had.

  10. There aren't really any words. Just know that I'm sorry, and understand the pain of your Loss.

  11. I just found your blog last week and didn't know Gracie, I wish I had...she looks like she was a beautiful dog. Sending you (((hugs))) and my deepest sympathy DakotasDen

  12. Mom Kim here - yes, doing whatever you can to pass the time will help - the running is good as your two girlz will be right beside you, cheering you on and letting you know you will never be alone.

    Since the subject has been mentioned - only you and hubby alone can make that decision whether or not to get another dog - only you and hubby will know if and when that time is right. My one belief is that if and when the decision is made to get another - I look at it as you are honoring the dog(s) you have lost because they taught you so very much about caring for and about a woofie. I am sure all of Blogville will support and understand whatever decision you make if/when the time comes. Right now - may be too soon for such a decision.

    And by all means, I know I will be stopping by to read all about your adventures and all those beautiful pictures.

  13. I am so very very sorry to read about Gracie. I had to take a break from blogging after you lost Schatzie and did not know that Gracie's health had taken a turn for the worse. Please accept my sincere condolences for your poignant and heartbreaking loss. My heart breaks for you.
    Marty's Mom


Thanks for dropping by...I would love to hear what you think of our adventures, so please feel free to add a comment.