A Quiet House

A week has passed since our precious Henrietta died.  Because she was very ill, we made a final trip to our beloved veterinarian who put her to sleep quietly and painlessly. In a matter of minutes, she lay relaxed in our arms as her beautiful soul joined Herschell. We could almost hear the happy barking exuding glee upon meeting again. I can examine that thought now, but not a few days ago.

quiet_houseWhat is it like to live in a dog less  home?  We are learning quickly. There is no clicking of paws on our wooden floors. There is an empty water bowl in the hallway. There is only the sound of a doorbell ringing because no barking occurs.  The refrigerator has extra space because there is no shelf designated for dog food. A dog treat jar now holds granola bars. The furniture holds no body imprints from naps atop stacked pillows. Leashes remain unused ready to be donated to a shelter.

In remembrance of our once two-dog home, I ordered two Gund stuffed dogs. They arrived yesterday via the mail lady who rang the doorbell at three.  Even though there was no audible barking, I knew the babies had run to the door. I knew their little souls were wrapped up in the cardboard box that was presented into my arms.

I put Herschell’s collar on one and Henrietta’s collar on the other. The familiar tinkling of the metal ID plate again returned in our ears. I think having these little “pets” will be good for us as we gradually adjust to this huge change. In my heart, I can love them in a different way knowing Herschell and Henrietta are romping on the Rainbow Bridge.

About the Author

Maryann Hartzell-Curran, a retired educator and counselor, has written a personal account of her journey through the first year of grieving the loss of her husband in her book, “From We to Me,” to help support those who have suffered the loss of a loved one.
Maryann founded a successful family therapy practice and taught in the public and private sectors. She also founded and directed a church-based preschool in Lombard, Ill., and gained experience working with the elderly as director of a senior dining center. She has a bachelor’s degree in education from the University of Wisconsin and a master’s degree in counseling from Illinois Benedictine University.

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