Bambi lost her long battle with canine lymphoma on 9/11/2015. Though she fought a tough fight and came so close to being the first dog to get a new treatment for lymphoma, it was supposed to be ready for her in 2 to 3 weeks, ultimately we lost the battle and our baby girl to this horrible disease. Having come so far and getting so close to a cure makes this even more painful and frustrating.
Grief is such a lonely experience. Though we often say we share in someone’s grief, or have on occasion grieved collectively, we each experience the actual process on a more solitary level. Though we three Bitter Betties are all grieving the loss of Bambi at this time, she was a member of the household for two of us and grew up seeing us just about every day since she and her brother came into our house as very young, very small puppies. Though two of us had shared the same home with her for her entire life, and were both with her as she took her final breath, the two of us are experiencing our loss of her in relative silence so as not to make the other cry every time a thought, or image of her pops into one of our heads.
Each of us has experiences that change how we are feeling this. One of us lost another dog a few years ago and still feels that loss. One of us lost their cat, Tigger, just over a month ago and he was believed to have been suffering from cancer at the time of his passing. Tigger had lived a long life of nearly twenty years, and had been bottle fed as a kitten by his Betty so his loss was greatly felt. Tigger had also been the offspring of a family pet (his mother got out before she got fixed as she was still a kitten and it was nearly 20 years ago) that belonged to another Betty, me, so it was like losing a family member to me as well. I’ve had multiple pets over the years and experienced more loss than I think is fair for any one person to experience and it never seems to get any easier. This past year and a half has been so difficult for me, what with my mother having a stroke, my stepfather having two heart attacks (one just a couple of weeks ago), and just in the past few months I’ve lost two family members that I cared about very much, and on top of all of this one of my cats is seriously ill as well. To really make me feel horrible I had to spend the past month taking care of my mother knowing the whole time how Bambi’s condition had worsened and hoping against hope that my return would cheer up Bambi. Instead I was greeted by a weak and visibly sick Bambi that tried to greet me with kisses and a wagging tail, but had to quickly lie down because she did not have the energy for her usual displays of affection. In just a few short days after my return Bambi would be forever lost and our home would become filled with grief. Though we all grieve we all process it differently. Grief is an individual and lonely experience.