Coping with pet loss || Grief and pet loss || Pet loss and grieving

A loved one is never truly gone until they are forgotten, live in the hearts of those left behind is to live forever!



"Angel Laurus"  

I will never forget 12 nine-week-old Great Dane puppies all running toward me at the same time. The breeder woman asked me if I was ready. I said I was and in through the sliding glass door they ran! It was one of the most amazing experiences for me! All the puppies were so excited to sniff somebody new, but one pup jumped up on her back legs and put her paws around my neck. She gave me a hug and that is how our journey began. I called her Angel Larus. (Larus is the genus name for Seagull.)

She was born in San Diego, California on February 3rd, 1996. After leaving her mother and litter mates we went straight to the pet store to purchase a collar for her. I carried her around like the baby that she was. She was all legs and reminded me of a fawn. 

We lived close to the border of Mexico at the time on 730 acres of land. She enjoyed all the space and freedom there. She enjoyed the children and the cats very much; even Nova our potbelly pig! We took her to “Dogs beach” on the weekends and she traveled with me from home to home while I was working with San Diego Hospice. Everywhere she went people loved her and that is when it became clear that her path so closely entwined with mine. God indeed gave her the gifts of a Healer.

After moving to Victoria, British Columbia, Angel was tested by a local veterinarian to see if she was Therapy Pet material. She passed with flying colors!! We joined up with P.A.T.S. (Pacific Animal Therapy Society) and began visiting people in local care facilities where I also happened to work. She was a natural at spreading healing energy and love to all those who had the pleasure of meeting her. She lovingly accepted pats and bum scratches and of course BISCUITS were her favorites!!! The most common phrase that we heard about her was, “Oh, she is as big as a horse”! She really did not look anything like a horse, but her heart was definitely as big as one. 

During our wonderful life together and our painful moments endured, Angel and I had a special understanding of one another. My life revolved around the presence of her; my conciseness never failed to forget my relationship and responsibility for her well being. I cannot even imagine trying to count all the times I would rush home from work to meet her at the back door. Most times she would be there eagerly awaiting my arrival and the sound of my voice asking “Where is the most beautiful Girl in the whole world”. Our routine was probably boring to most, but she would go out side and “go potty” and would be reminded to “stay in the yard”. I felt so blessed that Angel would relieve herself as quickly as she could in order to come back inside with me and see what kind of goodies I had brought her that day and just to be in my company. 

Over the almost 10 years that we had together, she watched my 3 amazing sons grow up into men and comforted me when I cried; due to the loneliness I felt having them gone. She loved the friends that came and went throughout the years, and protected our home when she was left to wait. She constantly forgave the man that abused our family and never harmed him; although I felt many times she wanted to. She knew he was special to me and patiently supported me as I slowly grew stronger from the inside out. 

As many Danes do, it was common for Angel to take a seat on someone’s lap that she approved of. She would surprise people in doing so and would make people laugh! One time a friend of mine came over to visit that was afraid of dogs; especially BIG ones! My tiny friend took a seat on my bed. Angel just backed up and sat right on her lap!!!! You should have seen the look on my friends face at that moment….. Ah, she will never forget that day and neither will I.

There are so many pivotal moments in my life that involved my Angel Larus that I could write a book. Who knows, maybe I will someday. One thing I need to say in concluding her eulogy is that she was the truest friend I have ever had. She lived for me and would have died for me any time. Angel served me and always forgave, as well as forgot, my shortcomings. In her eyes there was never any doubt that I was perfect. “Oh God, PLEASE make me the person my dog thinks I am”! I do not know who I am quoting, but this has been a personal prayer of mine ever since I first read it on someone’s bumper. 

I miss the “Tasmanian Devil” that lived in the back of my truck each time we passed another dog walking along outside. I miss the looks and smiles of the passengers and drivers beside us as they watched my little truck shake vigorously. I miss the beautiful face of the one I consider my “best fur friend” in my rear view mirror and all the THOUSANDS of miles we traveled together. I mean thousands! I miss calling her name. I miss calling her name. Most of all, I really miss calling her name and knowing she is on her way back home.


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