Things To Know When Grieving A Pet

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This is something I have been wanting to write for some time. It has taken me a while for a lot of reasons, but most of all it is hard. It is really hard, especially when you consider him your best friend. I needed to experience it all, before I shared this with you. This is written from my personal experience, understanding all of our journeys are so different.

Losing my precious pup Murphy, was somewhat unique as not only did I know it was coming, as he was diagnosed with bone cancer, but I was also out of the country when it happened. In some ways I was fortunate, if you will, as he wasn’t expected to make it by the time I was home for summer, however I did have two months to enjoy him while I was home. (Something that I will forever be grateful for) During the”final few months” , I knew that each time I left, there was a chance that he may not have been there when I returned. These blessings gave me more chances at goodbye.

However, when I left for my study abroad, I knew. People say that they know things in their gut, and this I knew as I sat on the kitchen floor and said goodbye; I knew that it was the last time I would see him. Now of course, I cried, I would have cried even if he was his young and skippy self because all of our goodbyes where always hard.

While I was away, the time came. Shortly afterwards my family came to visit me. This was a blessing as we grieved together, and laughed over the many fond memories. Now it was easy to say that it was unfair that I wasn’t there for moments of goodbye,

But that brings about lesson one from this whole experience: 1.Fairness

Pets teach us a lot , which is impressive on its own as they don’t even need to use words. We realize how selfish as humans we can be, and the fact that an animal (even though pets are so much more than that) can really humble you. We agreed no heroic measures. It wasn’t fair that he was sick, but it wasn’t fair of us to have tried to keep him around for our own fear of heartbreak. When “the time came” Mom contacted me via Facetime and also afterwards. I felt so much peace as she told me how when he fell asleep, he was calm and relaxed. Just knowing the peace he experienced, brought me so much peace.

This brings me to another lesson: 2. Peace

My greatest fear was that he would think we were abandoning him, versus trying to help him and make him comfortable. But knowing that he was finally at peace and calm, that comforted me as if he had told us himself. Now having my family there right after was an amazing blessing, but being away also brought a new challenge that I would only be able to face later.

But fast-forward four weeks and there I was, which brings lesson 3: The Quiet.

My family had had a chance to be home and experience what it was like to have one less beautiful soul in our home, however habit got the best of me. He wasn’t loud, or even much of a barker, but there was just an emptiness that I could always feel in the house, one that I think only time can really heal.

However I think the hardest part that I was always looking, another lesson: 4. Always looking

I wouldn’t expect him to come up to me while I was eating at the table or watching TV on the couch, but the hard part was that I was always looking. Every time I went down stairs to grab something and then run back up I would always make a pit stop to say hi to him, or give him a quick pet. I found myself walking into the foyer, in a way that my feet just kept moving before my mind could tell them not to, and I would get to the spot knowing that he wasn’t going to be there. That was the hardest habit to break. However in the time before I left for school again, I grew some new habits, and I think others in my family did to

Which brings me to the fifth thing you should know: 5. Other dogs.

Of course I have always loved dogs and wanted to pet everyone I saw on the street, but now I feel it even more. Every dog, and I mean every dog is the cutest and I always try to pet him or her. Now in every friendly by nature conversation that came whether with these owners or even just close friends,

Which brings another thing to be ready for: 6. The Questions

The most I experienced were from others. The most common question we were asked, is, “ are you going to get another dog?” At first it almost seemed that having another pup around immediately would soften the blow. That if I just transitioned to another pet I wouldn’t have to sit in the quiet as long, and it wouldn’t hurt as bad. But the more we thought, and talked about it, I think we all knew that that wasn’t us. Ironically towards the end of Murphy’s life I began looking at the available dogs on the adoption page of the place we got Murphy. (Something that I still feel some guilt for) However as I read each ‘available dog’ description, my thoughts always brought me back to realizing and admitting that I was looking for Murphy!  (Interestingly enough once I had admitted to my family that I had done this we all confessed the same, and all had come to the same conclusion.)

Which is perhaps the greatest lesson of all. 7. Love and Memories

Our pets are unique! We are blessed to have interactions and experiences with every single one and the impact that these other souls leave on us isn’t something that can be recreated by another. Therefore, the greatest lesson in losing Murphy was knowing that because of him, I have changed for the better! For anyone who has grieved a pet, or is going through it now, or is going to at some point or another: it is hard. It is going to be really hard, but at the same time I found that the peace that came with knowing that such a loving creature was able to be at peace and somehow always in my heart was just as comforting; as well as the knowledge that I even got to have him in my life at all was enough to counteract the heartbreak. Although I write this mostly for you, at this point I realize it is really for me! Honestly, I cried…a lot while writing this but at the same time I smiled a lot! I know that my best friend is with me, and that might be the greatest gift he has ever given me.

RIP Sweet Murphy!

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Murphy Monday: The Rainbow Road

IMG_1849As many of you know Murphy hasn’t been doing well for some time…and  unfortunately we had to let him cross the big rainbow yesterday around noon. Although I couldn’t be there as I am currently studying abroad in England, I have no doubt that he knows I was there in sprit giving him so many hugs and kisses. I know I haven’t been writing in about three weeks, but I hope to share more this week and really get back on track. In light of recent events I hope to write more about this soon, amongst other things.  Losing a pet is a very challenging and different type of grieving and as I am currently experiencing it now, I hope that I can share as much as possible with you all to help not only me, but anyone else who is going through this. Thanks for being y best friend Murf! ❤

Caul Me Crazy Cauliflower Pizza

Caul me crazy (and bad at jokes) but I am obsessed with Cauliflower pizza. I saw a recipe online and heard cauliflower2recommendations from friends, so I decided to give it a try. Now the third time I made it was arguably the best as you learn as you go.

Ingredients

1 whole head of cauliflower, cut into florets (for the non chef extraordinaire like myself this just means cut it into tiny pieces by the stem but leave the ‘tree looking part’ together)

2 eggs

¼ cup of parmesan cheese (I say the more cheese the better it tastes )

1 tsp of onion powder

1 tsp of Italian seasoning

salt & pepper as desired

Recipe

  1. Use a food processor to finely chop the florets of cauliflower. If you do not have a food processor like myself, simply put all the cauliflower into a pot with water and bring to a boil, then turn down the heat to a simmer and let sit as the cauliflower softness. This usually takes about 20 minutes for me, but test the softness of the cauliflower as necessary.

  2. Next place the cauliflower in a dish towel and ring out all the excess water. (In my case I had to mash the cauliflower first and then ring it out because I didn’t have a food processor. The softer the cauliflower the easier the abashing will be, and this can be done with a potato masher)

  3. Once DRY AS POSSIBLE, transfer to a bowl and mix in the rest of the ingredients. once combined spread across a parchment lined baking sheet (or a baking sheet heavily covered in PAM or other non stick cooking spray)

  4. Bake the crust at 400 degrees for 40 minutes, then add topping and bake for another 8 minutes or as desired!

So along with the recipe I have included the holy grail of tips about this dish: make sure you get as much water out of the cauliflower as possible. I mean when you think that it is all gone and as dry as can be ring it out again. I apologize for being so MIA recently but soon enough I will be back in full swing! Let me know what you think of this recipe below!

*disclaimer: pizza may come out in all shapes and sizes but all are delicious! aka mine came out in a terrible oval and one even triangle like.

So Obsessed Saturday: Nearly Midnight Edition

This weeks so obsessed is slightly less conventional, but I would say even more important than nearly any other I have posted. I have been having some late night thoughts brought on in the rush of the freedom and bliss of summer that has brought me to the conclusion of the following:

A million times over I would choose a million unique experiences and adventures than a million dollars.

I began thinking the other day how much value we, as a culture, and therefore as individuals (whether we mean to or not) put on money. Outside of the numerical value that is required to be a functioning member of society, but really think of the value and the control that it has on our lives. We spend our time thinking often with that piece of paper in mind, it often dictates many of our life choices. But at the end of our lives, when we lie on our bed, surrounded (hopefully) by all those we love, we will be looking back on the great memories and experiences we have had. When did it become the social norm to live for money instead of living to live. Now I am not saying being financially secure isn’t important, but I think what we do with the security says a lot about us. Wouldn’t it be worth it to spend that money on experiences to know that something you earned brought you to something new?

Therefore I have reached the above conclusion. The value of adventure and experience has been vastly underrated in our society, however that doesn’t mean that it always has to be this way. Perhaps what I am saying is that instead of buying a brand new outfit with your bonus check (although there is nothing wrong with bringing yourself that happiness that comes with clothes that make you feel great about yourself, cause I love an amazing outfit as much as the next glitter obsessed gal) put some aside for that amazing trip that you think you are never going to take (and decide that you are going to) or even just grab a friend and try something new like paddle boarding or ordering something you can’t pronounce off of a menu. See the world around you, just so you can realize how much more there is to see.

#MurphyMonday

Current countdown of 13 days, 6 hours and 20 minutes until I get to see this adorable pup again. It’s also a beautiful sunny day in Olean, New York, so here’s a lovely Murphy Monday of us enjoying the sun at our home in Virginia.

There's actually quite a funny story behind this photo, but we will save that story for later this week :) 

There’s actually quite a funny story behind this photo, but we will save that story for later this week 🙂

Frosty Friday

Happy Friday Everyone! Hopefully this week treated you well! Mr.Murphy at home was definitely treated well (LOL). My mom sent me some of the cutest pictures of the prince himself enjoying some lovely ‘Frosty Paws’.

photo 3Now you may be wondering what on earth are Frosty Paws. Well ice cream is definitely one of the greatest pleasures of this life, and someone decided that dogs should also be able to enjoy the pleasure that is ice cream. It is basally a skippy cup of ice cream for you dog! Murphy is hilarious with them because once we take the top off he runs away with it because he does not like to be disturbed.

This also makes me excited because it is just one more sign of how close summer is! Yay! I can’t wait for the warm weather! Any who Murphy’s favorite flavor is peanut butter.And how can a dog eating ice cream out of his very own skippy cup not make your heart melt?! I guess you could call it somewhat of a summer tradition that we share.

photo 2What are some fun treats you like to share with your furry friend?