Because I got a puppy in my 20’s I am very aware that he will be with me for a lot of important milestones. He will be there when I graduate college, He will be there when I get my first job, he will be there through many moves, many relationships, many long nights. Through good times and tough times, I have made a commitment to this dog to be with him through all of his life. My close friend, Sarah, made a similar commitment when she was in middle school to her beloved Chihuahua Lexi. Lexi loved Sarah, was obsessed with Sarah’s boyfriend and was with Sarah through her parents divorce, graduating middle school, high school and recently college. Lexi was there for Sarah before Craig ever was and Sarah was always there for Lexi. A couple days ago I woke up to a text from Sarah reading, “Lexi died”. I did not know what to say.
I sent her my condolences and asked if there was anything I could do. When she did not respond I started thinking up a plan. It has been awhile since I dealt with a loss like that. A couple years ago my boyfriends dog passed but we were broken up at the time so I was not there to grieve. I asked around on reddit and to other dogs owners how I could be there for Sarah and honor Lexi.
The first thing that was recommended to me was the poem “The Rainbow Bridge”
Every time I read it I tear up a little bit.
One idea offered to me was making a donation in Lexi’s name. I looked into the shelter I adopted Beau from to see what my options were. Their online donation form allows you to give a minimum of $10, mark it as a memorial gift, and see if your employer will match your donation. I have not donated yet, I am waiting to speak to a couple other friends to see if we can combine gifts do to the most good.
I thought of things Sarah might like, going to target, getting starbucks, watching HGTV. I thought maybe she would like a distraction. That is how I grieve. She might want to get out of the house she raised her dog in, sometimes memories are too painful. A change on environment can be healthy and it will not remind her of any responsibilities she may be forgetting while she is in pain.
Finally I came to the conclusion I should do all of these things as well as digging through my computer and my phone and gather all the pictures I have of Lexi. Not all of them will be of stunning quality and she might not want to see them right away but I know in time she will appreciate them. I have about three years of text messages and facebook posts between Sarah and I that I can choose from.