Remembering Our Furry Friends
As the summer comes to an end and I categorize some photos in my phone I realize the enjoyment of looking back at memories past.
The dogs and cat I have had, the times we've shared, the places we have been and the fun photo bloopers I captured.
Although its bitter sweet and for quite some time I found it hard to look through photos of Max and especially could not look at the videos, there comes a point in time that it eases. Somehow the photos share a warmth with me now and come to life and I realize a smile instead of a tear crosses my face. For this reason I still share photos of Max on his instagram page Maxmilanthebernese and why not? He was a charmer and would bring a smile to anyones face. After all isn't that we should do? Bring love and smiles to others where you can? That's him as a puppy in the photo.
So if you are at a stage where you feel you are able to look and enjoy, scroll through your photos and share on a platform of choice in honor of your Soul pet or better still send me a photo with name and I will add to the new page I am creating on this website 'Om to our Soul Pets'.
Much Love and Light to my fellow animal lovers.
Oh The Places We Go. The Places We See. Without Thee!
Three months have passed since we brought 'Bluebelle' into our home and we are still smitten. She's intelligent, fun loving, playful and full of puppy love. She's the new dog on the block and gathers much attention. Her sometimes fierce look when she's intrigued can bring a passerby to take a second look or walk across the street. Her ears are standing up, so can look intimidating unless she's super excited and they fold right down. She is growing fast and coming along nicely from her earlier days and when we first brought her home.
Bluebelle is now able to go out and about to parks, and places that previously young puppies don't frequent. I have a beautiful park right next to my home that I would walk 'Max' to every day. Now the time arrived that I wasn't looking forward to....can I go to the same place with 'Bluebelle?'
The memories coming flooding back, oh so many. I had to look at it in a different way. I cannot stop going to such a wonderful place because of fear of the unknown....my emotions.
So one day I just did it. Yes, it was bitter sweet, however, it felt better than I had expected. The memories felt warm and my heart called out for 'Max' but in a different way. I know he's in a better place awaiting our next connection. Instead of allowing myself to go down the rabbit hole I brought all the fond memories to the surface and said a 'big thank you' for being able to have that experience with 'Max'.
I didn't think I would ever be able to go to the places that I took 'Max' but slowly I have. It's been a process for sure. His favorite place was a trail leading to a dog park, with a pond which has since be newly renovated. The first time I took Bluebelle she loved it and on our way out there stood a large Bernese Mountain dog just like my 'Max'. It absolutely brought me to tears yet I know full heartedly it was him appearing telling me he was with us in Spirit. I went again this last weekend and near the same spot another Bernese Mountain dog appeared that was 5 months old, the same age as Bluebelle. I was again shocked as in Southern California these dogs are not your typical every day dogs that you see. It's hot here and with their double coats they prefer the cold. So I took that to be another sign from Spirit. Or maybe, just maybe yet again I'm being told my 5 month old Bluebelle is the reincarnation of Max!!! Who truly knows....but how lucky am I.
So fellow animal lovers, stay strong in your quest for life after loss. There are moments of joy that appear along the way, as time passes more will reveal.
Love and Light to you all.
Timing.....When is the right time for another Pet?
When is the right time to bring a new dog, cat, pet into your home after the loss of another? For some, immediately. Others a waiting period.
For me, two years seems to be the right timing. I actually feel that I'm in a good head space to accept another.
After the loss of our first Bernese Mountain dog 'George', it was just over two years before we brought our second Bernese 'Max' into the home. It felt right.
Now more than two years after Max has passed I said to my children we could start to gently look. Now here I sit writing this outside on the grass with our rescue puppy 'Bluebelle'. The thumbprint photo is her. She's now 4 months old, a german shepherd mix, full of love and energy. The timing has been right. I know our 'Max' is happy that there will be 'dog' energy in the home again.
Interestingly enough we saw "Bluebelle" at the LA Expo, where I had an 'Omtomax' booth showcasing the "Conversations with Max" card deck and book. I had said to my two children a couple of months prior that I believed there may well be a dog for us there. If in fact they saw something that they connected with, I would definitely consider it.
The Expo was hosting many different adoptions. Low and behold the first day my daughter Clare saw our puppy and new it was for us. My son agreed and when I had a break I went over and took a look. I was wearing my Omtomax t-shirt and when i picked her up she literally turned her head and licked the logo which of our beautiful dog 'Max'. Of course, being who I am, that was a sign. Along with the fact that they believe she was born on February 10th which was when Max passed out from this earthly plane.
So the planning started......a week later we brought her home.
Valentine's LoveValentine's Love
We may be challenged with a heavy heart through many a trial and tribulation however with each knock we gain strength and can and will proceed with a greater undertanding of LOVE.
Keep the strength in you heart - even with loss there is still so much Love to give and receive.
Remember LOVE makes the World go round and is ENDLESS.
Happy Valentines my fellow animal lovers.....
ACCEPTANCEAcceptance with Grief
As I sit with that word....'Acceptance' I ponder on what that means for me personally. Yes, of course, per the dictionary, it is 'the act of accepting 'someone' or 'something' but what does the deeper meaning bring forward to you?
In context of Loss.... 'Accepting' that I lost a loved one...when you accept does it mean your ready to move on? Does it mean you undertand you've lost a loved one but still haven't moved on? Or perhaps youve accepted the loss, however a part of you knows life will never quite be the same with that 'being' gone and although able to move forward perhpas accepting it's just not going to be the same.
All any of us can do is 'try' to 'accept' because once we do 'accept' a part of ourselves is able to move forward to the next step...whatever that might be as we are all different in stages of grief.
For me, I am reminded of the Serenity Prayer... God grant me the serentity to accept the things I cannot change, courage to change the things I can, and wisdom to know the difference.'
Be in Peace my fellow animal lovers...you are all in my Prayers
WAITING FOR TRANSITIONWaiting for Transition
This is a sensitive and fragile topic, however one I have personally traveled along and continue to work through, so I understand and feel it is worth sharing.
Max was a healthy pup when we got him, at least I thought so. We had many fun times in the early days and it wasn’t till the 2020 holiday season, not long before Christmas when he became ill. Although he seemed to be getting better I thought it best to have him checked. What I thought would be a routine visit, with some advice on how to get him completely back on track turned into something much more.
After the consultation with our vet and subsequent tests she was emphatic that we take Max straight to the emergency pet hospital from her office, so that more extensive testing could be done, as primitive results showed something major was wrong and time was of the essence.
So in complete shock, but also hopeful that there would be some good resolution, we took him. Our vet called ahead so he was immediately admitted. We patiently waited in our car (as covid rules did not permit entry) for the outcome. Minutes turned to a couple of hours which as you can imagine were extremely intense.
Then, by complete accident a young assistant came to our car professing his deepest sorrow to us and asked how we would like to proceed!?!?!? Can you imagine? We were in complete shock. My words to this young man were, “What are you talking about, the vet hasn’t been out to speak with us, we don’t know anything yet!!!” His eyes widened and face dropped in the realization that he had just dropped a verbal bomb and made a major ‘faux pas’ to put it politely. Needless to say he disappeared quickly apologizing and went off to get the vet.
We still were unsure what the diagnosis was but now hearing it was devastating news our minds wondered what life without MAX would actually be like. Of course, your mind swirls and spins and gets carried to a place that's not constructive - anything but. I wondered how it was feasibly possible at such a young age when just the other week he seemed great. Sure enough when we finally got the news it was not good. Renal Dysplasia was diagnosed. The worst they had seen in such a young dog. He was on a steady decline and their advice was to leave him overnight to see what if anything they could do in order to give him a few more weeks.
The tragic journey began when we left our beautiful Max that night, to receive the treatment he needed. We traveled home without him, knowing that one day this would be the norm. One night went to another and another, a blood transfusion and meds later still were not enough for his release along with the fact he would not eat.
The realization set in that it was time to bring him home and learn what needed to be done in order to make him as comfortable as possible, plus I knew I could get him to eat. So it was decided and I made the call that we were heading to get him. Thank God we did. He looked disorientated, lethargic, sad and for the first time in his life less than enthusiastic.
The next couple of days he slept and slowly started to eat. We wondered if it was possible to get him through this and beat the odds. We took the steps of learning how to give him IV’s at home each day and researched as much as possible what else there was out there that could help.
Less than two months later Max met his maker. The details I will not go into. What I will say is that the time we had together those last few weeks, although hard, wouldn't ever change and I am glad we went to the lengths we did to make him more comfortable and spoil him in his own home. However, the day came and he left - Peacefully.
It’s still hard two years later to go back and relive those days. The sadness and grief felt with the knowing that his days were numbered and also wondering if we were just prolonging his life for our own benefit, were truly heartbreaking and tragic. However, I truly believe it's what he wanted. We went on lovely walks some days longer than others and some none at all. Our friends and neighbors were able to say goodbye and enjoy his beautiful character one last time.
We too were able to say our goodbyes in a loving, lengthy way ... .and to this day I think of him every day many times, and know that our bond is still as connected just in a different way. There will be another meet and greet on the other side for us and that I hold close to my heart.
So for those of you who have had a similar experience my heart goes out to you and I understand the hard journey that you have endured or are perhaps still enduring.
For those that are going through this now, my heartfelt prayers of love and support for you.
So with love, grace and prayers to you all…. my fellow animal lovers … one word of advice….always follow your intuition - it will not fail you.
Love and Affection to All....
Excerpt from Conversations With MaxExcerpt from Conversations With Max
As our animal friends pass over a big piecde of our Soul is affected. For some a fragment or even a Soul loss occurs. Each one of us grieves in a different way. Not one person is alike in this process. No matter how you react to the situation a loss is a loss. The void is there.
This card deck was inspired through my own loss and grief. I had a unique love for our beloved Bernese Mountain Dog Max. My children would tease and laugh that he was the 'favorite' and the most spoiled.
We have and still have a 'Soul connection.' We clearly knew each other before our meet and greet here on Earth. He is a part of my Soul Family and that I know. Our time was too short but incredibly impactful. I questioned why? What was the meaing of this short visit to Earth?.....