Friday, October 16, 2015

The Importance of Pets

Some time ago I was in to see a counsellor (not my usual one) and she invited me to write a piece for a presentation the she and her co-worker were doing. The subject was about pets and how important a pet can be in a person's life, especially a person with a mental illness. Having just lost my BFF Kalvin and knowing that I enjoy writing, the counsellor thought that it would be a good opportunity for me to get some "stuff" out, to help the healing process along. So I sat on my bed with Kalvin's picture on my bedside table and I wrote. And I cried. And it hurt. It hurt yet it felt good to hurt like that and to let it go, to release it into the ethers of the Universe. I would like to share with you how important my pet, my dog, my BFF Kalvin was (and still is) to me.

If you're a romantic like me, you spend your life searching for someone, THE one. I never expected to find the unconditional love and support that I needed in a furry four legged creature. Kalvin found me and found a way into my home and into my heart. When I was depressed and crying he was there licking my tears, literally. When I needed a hug, he was there, all 100 and some pounds of him, in my lap. When I felt and thought that life just wasn't worth living anymore, he was there, nudging my hand. He was the one that needed me to go on with my battle, to be strong and persevere. On my darkest days the last thought I always had was "If I was gone who would feed Kalvin?" When I met Kalvin I never dreamed of how important he would become to me, to my life, how critical his presence would be to mine.

In the last few months of Kalvin's life I became critical to his presence.  He needed bandaging, his hearing was going and almost overnight he lost his vision. He moved slower and sometimes stumbled. But he adapted and persevered and remained strong. He went on with his battle until it was too much for both of us to bear. When his tail no longer wagged in happiness and joy, and the light was gone from his eyes, I knew that it was time for us to say goodbye.

My life will never be the same. There will always be a hole in my heart, a piece of my soul missing without his giant physical presence in my life, my small home, what used to be our home. Some people will say that I've lost a pet but I have lost so much more. I've lost my sidekick, my best friend, the only constant in my ever changing life. I know what being alone feels like and now I know what loneliness feels like. But I go on with my battle. I lived for Kalvin and I will continue to live for him, wake up for him, walk for him, run for him. He was my everything and now, without him, I must be strong, adapt, and persevere just as he did when life became difficult for him.

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