This beautiful fur baby Maui, does not get enough credit around here. We got her as a tiny puppy shortly after we had lost our first baby because, well, that shit is hard to navigate and I was lost and broken and needed something to love. In addition to several weeks of counseling, we bought a dog, I got a tattoo, and I cut off all of my hair. You know, normal, totally healthy responses to loss, and honestly I regret nothing. Counseling helped validate my feelings.
Maui helped give me an amazing distraction to love on and spoil. My tattoo will forever be a reminder of our first one that we didn’t get to meet, and my hair grew back.
Picking up my shattered heart and continuing forward with life when I know a piece of me will permanently be missing is to date, the most difficult thing I have ever had to do. Hell, there are still days grief hits me as if it all happened yesterday and it’s been 3+years. I am thankful for my story, regardless of how off path it went. It’s still my story.
I am thankful for this beautiful gift that Maui was to us three years ago. A mutual friend that I had never met who experienced loss about 20 years before me gifted Maui to us. Her and her husband decided that it was one way they could help a helpless situation and asked if they could gift this sweet puppy to us while we were healing.
Full disclosure, my husband has NEVER been a fan of dogs, especially large breed dogs. He was attacked by one when he was younger and obviously never really cared for them since. So when this couple asked if they could graciously give us a puppy I knew even though I was broken this would be a hard pass from him. However, he said yes. I was floored. He said yes? Why? Was I really that broken that he needed to say yes to help fix me? Damn. He did love me!
Though he will never admit it, he loves her. Honestly I think she loves him more than me, which is totally not fair. This beautiful energetic ball of fur helped me get up the next day. Even if it meant me moving from the bed to the couch. She has been the most loving dog to both Michael and I, and even more so to her partner in crime toddler. (Which that love is 100% mutual. Zoe adores Maui.) She is a sweetheart and watching her take on the role of guard dog with Zoe has been such a beautiful thing to watch. She is always by our side, and I am so thankful for her shedding fluffy self.
There is no right way to go through loss and grief. Do what you can, when you can, and take the time you need to heal. If you need to cut your hair, buy a car, get a tattoo, sell your house, get a puppy (or five), take a vacation, turn off your phone, have some wine, ignore people, get counseling, don’t get counseling, whatever it is you need to do to move forward, do that.