Remembering Spike Baby

Last week, we lost our sweet Spike Baby unexpectedly. At ten years old, Spike led a long and happy life (at least we like to think so), but we were hoping to have at least a couple more years before worrying about the end. It hurts deeply either way, and we've been walking around with shattered hearts trying to make it through each day since.

I'm writing this after a run around Greenlake followed by a good, hot yin yoga sesh, so the endorphins are keeping my spirits as high as can be. This gaping wound in my heart isn't so painful right now, and I'm able to focus more on all the happiness and joy Spike brought into our lives than all the things we can't do with him anymore.

What do you say about the world's coolest dog? He was a gentle soul who brought so much joy and smiles to our friends, family, and countless strangers everywhere he went. He brought and was everything to the two of us. He was our anchor for everything - the quiet, relaxing moments throughout our days and weeks; some of the most special moments in our lives; and the tough times too.  We adopted him a year and a half after losing our first bulldog Meatball, and for six years he lit up our lives and so many others.

I can't help but think a lot about Meatball lately too - and trying to remember how I was able to get through the grief of mourning him. As terrible as losing Spike is, we've been through this loss before. This time around though, instead of processing grief by running away from it, I'm choosing to face it head on. I keep thinking of the word 'grace' - allowing myself and my husband the grace to feel our emotions as raw and as fully as possible.

Instead of suppressing the tears and sadness, letting ourselves just be in it for awhile. Instead of trying to escape the grief, working through it while trying to remember the millions of happy moments Spike brought us. We are taking things minute by minute - me especially. I am liable to be laughing at some beautiful Spike memory one minute, then sobbing at the magnitude of losing him the next. The yearning for his soft fur and sweet cuddles is constantly there and unbearable at times. Our hearts feel so heavy all the time.

We're getting through our days by trying to keep some semblance of ourselves despite being enveloped in a fog blanket of sadness. Choosing to work out, spend time with family and friends, trying to rest, get some work done, and eat consciously instead of choosing alcohol, partying, eating like shit, and avoiding real life. I've been reading a lot (more than usual.)

Losing a fur baby is so hard; they are our constant companions and often the most difficult moments are found in having to carry on simple routines without their presence. The toughest part is being at home, but I know one day we'll be in a place where home is a joyful celebration of him than heartbreaking reminders of where he isn't.

Grief is a process, but we find so much solace in knowing how Spike impacted the lives of our friends, family, and even people we don't know. Thank you to all of you for your kind words, love, and support. Thank you for checking in on us to see if we're okay. Thank you for your flowers, donations to Bulldog Haven, and offers of food. Spike was our world, but we are thankful for the community that loved him too.

Thank you for letting us be yours, Spike. Your legacy of kindness, loyalty, indiscriminate love, gentle cuddles, passionate love of naps and water, and slowing down to savor quiet moments will live on in our hearts forever. I know you are running around somewhere with our other angel baby Meatball and your girlfriend Bella. We can't wait to see you again one day.

We love you Spike Baby.