Two years ago…

Today, two years ago, you picked us 🙂  That’s what you really celebrate when you adopt a dog…who cares how old they really are.  We celebrate the day you changed our lives, and we changed  yours.

I can’t possibly express how much that rainy, cold Monday changed our lives.  I tried to tell you about it in the three letters I wrote to you (Here, here and last but certainly not least, here).

When I wrote those posts, I was caught breathless by the support from our readers (I say ‘ours’ because where would I be without you, boy??)  Everyone, and I mean everyone, said such kind, thoughtful things.  Some understood how I was feeling, some wished and hoped they never did.  One particular reader quoted a play/film called Rabbit Hole (which I have yet to see), but it really resonated with me.  In a nut shell (here’s the comment), a mom asks her mother about the loss of a child, and if it ever goes away (the feeling).  She hesitates, and says it doesn’t but that it does get easier, “The weight of it, I guess. At some point it becomes bearable. It turns into something you can crawl out from under, and carry around — like a brick in your pocket.”

The day I read that, I couldn’t wait for it go get bearable.  But you know something?  It is now.  I’m tearing writing this buddy, but it is.  I promise you.  Gosh I miss you so much.  Little things, like the other day when I was petting Holly and using her as a pillow… it wasn’t you.  Her fur was different, longer, a bit courser.  It’s strange the things that stick out.  It was a quick thought at the time.  My heart skipped a little beat, a pang maybe.  But then it’s gone.

My silky, boney-butt pillow

I certainly don’t carry a brick around, but I wear you on my heart (pretty close to it).  And just like the mom in Rabbit Hole, I don’t really want to forget, because your memory is all I have now.  We’re hangin’ in there buddy.  Brian is still tempted to keep every foster that comes to our home, though he has the ‘comparing to Knox’ syndrome too.  He used to be quick to offer you a permanent buddy, but it was to compliment you… not replace.  Hopefully we’re healed of all that soon.  People say you can never replace your Heart Dog, you just learn to love another.  I’m anxiously awaiting that time.

Until then, you can be my brick… and I’m totally okay with that.

Love you buddy.

You nursing me back to health after that terrible bug I caught in Peru– you didn’t leave my side for 2 weeks. Thanks for being an excellent nurse.

Oh, and here’s the comment– I figured I’d leave it here for you 🙂

TwoKittiesOnePittie on March 2, 2012 at 11:54 am said:

What a gorgeous gift and beautiful song! This makes me thing of a line from the play/film, Rabbit Hole, where a mother and daughter are discussing what it’s like to lose a child, and the following scene ensues (it’s long, but bear with me!):

Becca (Nicole Kidman) has been numb with grief since Danny, her 4-year-old, was killed by a car. Now, eight months later, her mother, Nat (Dianne Wiest) — whose son, Becca’s brother, died at 30 — is helping Becca to put away, finally, the little boy’s things.

Becca and Nat carry the milk crates of Danny’s stuff down to the basement, and put them in the corner with a few other things Becca has put aside.

Becca stands there, taking it in. Danny’s been reduced to a small corner of stuff in the basement. She lets out a breath, then turns to her mother.

BECCA: Does it ever go away?

NAT: What.

BECCA: This feeling.

They lock eyes. Nat can see she actually wants an answer. Maybe for the first time ever.

NAT: No. I don’t think it does. Not for me, it hasn’t. And that’s goin’ on 11 years.


It changes, though.


NAt: I don’t know. The weight of it, I guess. At some point it becomes bearable. It turns into something you can crawl out from under, and carry around — like a brick in your pocket. And you forget it every once in a while, but then you reach in for whatever reason and there it is: “Oh, right. That.” Which can be awful. But not all the time. Sometimes it’s kinda … not that you like it exactly, but it’s what you have instead of your son, so you don’t wanna let go of it either. So you carry it around. And it doesn’t go away, which is …

BECCA: What.

NAT: Fine … actually.

34 thoughts on “Two years ago…

  1. What a great quote…and 100% correct! We got Cotton soon after putting Storm down and I’ve been asked if I love Cotton the same because Storm and I were bonded in a way I can’t explain. My answer is that Storm will always be my heart and I love Cotton immensely, but in his own special way. You guys will know when it’s right and you’ll love the next fur baby exactly the way it needs to be loved and Knox will look down and be so happy that another dog gets to live such a great life like he did!

  2. This post has me running for a box of tissues… beautiful with so much feeling. I’ve been (and still am) in the same place as you are. When our “special” friends leave us, they always leave a huge hole in our hearts. We can never, ever replace them. But fortunately those who have “big hearts” can always find some room to love another. And that’s exactly what our “special ones” would want for us. (I just lost one of my very “special” ones just three weeks ago.)

  3. Beautiful, Jess! It does get a bit easier but Knox will always be in your heart. There are always “those special ones” that stick in our head, but there will be others who will fill your heart with joy and laughter too. Knox just might always be #1 though.

  4. I teared up reading this Jess, especially at the part of you comparing Knox and Holly’s fur. It’s the little things that you grow to love about your dog and that will always stay with you. I also love that photo of you lying on Knox on the floral couch.

    • It is the little things, isn’t it? I love that picture too 🙂 We were at a friend’s cottage in St. Michael’s… catching a break from the heat. Despite his boney butt, he was my most favorite pillow.

  5. I always cry when your write about your Knox. Sampson is my heart dog and I know some day I will ache in the same way you do.

    I haven’t lost him but I’ve lost plenty of humans, and for me it is never ‘fine.’ It becomes tolerable, where the hurt isn’t always right there on the surface waiting for any opportunity to pop up. But it is always still there like a brick in your pocket. 😦

  6. Awww, you are tugging at my heart strings! Our girl is 10, and I can’t imagine life without her in it. For every little thing that pops up (age spots, a wart on her foot) it reminds me that her time here is temporary, and unfortunately I’ll know all too well exactly how you feel.

    Ugh great, now I’m crying, and she’s staring at me with those big brown eyes, hopefully saying “don’t worry Mom, its far, far away”

  7. I’m reading this at work, pretending I have allergies and I’m not crying over here at my desk! I never met Knox but can so relate…it IS tough. And painful. Its been a little over 5 years that our dog passed and I still have pictures of him up in the house…Its a part of my life that I can never “put away”.

  8. God I’m bawling. This is hitting way too close to home, as you know. It gives me hope that even if coco doesn’t make it, we can be ok after some time too. She is certainly our heart dog. Thanks for sharing all that you do on here

  9. Was it only 2 years? Knox had enough personality, love and presence for 20 years. How much he gave us all in those 2 short years. For others it take a lifetime to have such an impact – for Knox less than 2 years. Here’s to you buddy!

  10. My rottie Zoe was far and away my “heart dog.” She’s been gone 5 years now (actually, 5 years exactly next Thursday) and I can still feel the weight of that brick in my back pocket when I look into the eyes of another dog and see something there that reminds me of her. Or when I find her favorite ball out in the yard, left there by one foster or another. I love my current dog Olivia with all my heart but you NEVER lose that place for your one true love. That quote is very right, though – at first, the weight would make me sob but now it makes me smile, maybe with some tears mixed in, but smile all the same. Thinking of you and your boy Knox today, Jess.

  11. love, love, love the rabbit hole “brick” explanation – really puts something into words that I have yet been able to in life.

    Thinking of you today. Thank you for sharing this post. Just thank you.

  12. Oh jeez, now I’m all teary-eyed too. This is so beautiful, and I love your strength and honesty in being able to sort through these complex emotions and share them so eloquently. Sending love from sunny Austin, A

  13. What beautiful words. You are both so wonderful to continue to share your love with foster dogs even in this time of loss, and you will certainly find another wonderful dog to call yours again!

  14. I just recently started reading your blog, so glad I stumbled across it. I lost two dogs last summer to the ugly cancer. Both dogs were (are) so special, (Augie) was my “heart” dog, my other dog (Murphie) was my “rock” dog (my pillar of stength). There isn’t a day that goes by that I don’t think about them (and tear up)… babies! I never read something that so describes the feeling as well as the “brick” analogy. Thank you so much for sharing!

  15. Every time I read your posts about Knox, I have to stop mid-way. I cannot imagine the pain, but the feeling of carrying a brick around I can. Seems like I’ve been carrying one for a long time, because just the thought of their loss if unbearable to me. And after Sasha being diagnosed with Cancer, it’s always on my mind. Though I want to believe she will be around for many more years, I cannot help but get saddened at the thought that she might not. We just have to be strong, cherish the time we have with them, and make their lives as amazing as we can.

    One lucky dog is waiting to be found and loved by you and Brian. I am sure Knox will be happy once you find that ‘new’ special companion – he would not want for that love and devotion to not be shared.

    ~ L.

  16. Aww, I’m so glad that the quote resonated with you. It really affected me when I saw the film, and helped me think about what it means to lose those we love. Thanks for another beautiful post. ❤

  17. We feel so lucky to have known Knox through your words and photos, and our hearts ache for your loss. It has been a little over four years since I lost Dakotah, my amazing companion of sixteen eventful years, and I used to say that I had walked through the world so long with him by my side that it took me awhile to learn how to walk on my own. His loss felt huge and world-altering at first, but time does heal. Not completely, never completely … but then, I wouldn’t want that anyway. Knox will always be part of you, and his new place is somewhere on the inside, rather than tangibly by your side. And when the time is right, another dog you’ll love just as much, but in a different way, will find his or her way to you, and change your life in ways you never expected. We can’t wait to meet the dog who will bring about that change.

  18. I’m still thinking about you and Knox and that email you sent me especially when I see my boys with the baby. I also can’t believe how little time you had with him. It’s just not fair. When I hear all these terrible stories of dog abuse and see dogs on Facebook that are URGENT, I take comfort in reading about things like your relationship with Knox and how there are good people out there and that the elusive match made in heaven can be made, even if for a short time <>

  19. I know I don’t know you but I have tons-o-love for you and any post about sweet Knox. And since you posted that you love my bed, I don’t feel so weird about telling you of said love.

  20. Reblogged this on Pittieful Love and commented:

    A friend is going through an equally tough time today… She asked if it gets easier so I’m re-posting this for her and her boy. Heart dogs are irreplaceable. Still miss him every day, but it does get easier.

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