Whenever I read about the loss of someone’s pet, it always reminds me of the loss of my Little Dog, Holly.
Holly Berry-Lound was my companion and best friend. A long-haired chihuahua with attitude. She shared my life from the moment I birthed her on a crisp, cold Christmas day morning, to when she died in my arms, a peaceful death by a log fire in a candlelit room some 13 years later. She died in 2009, in my arms, and I think of her everyday and often feel her around me as I got about my everyday tasks. I wrote this about Holly just after she had died as a way of coping. It is called ‘For Holly’.
On the night before your death I couldn’t sleep, I lay listening to your labored breathing. I knew the time had come for me to make that final choice for both of us.
When you were born I held you in the palm of my hand. And I have carried you ever since both in my arms and in my heart. Whilst one will cease, the other will continue for time without end.
Forever will I see your bright eyes and button nose in my mind’s eye. I will hold close the memory of your soft fur, your blonde eyelashes,and your smelly little feet.
Every sunset you will sit on my lap and watch it with me. In a pizza, there will always be a piece for you. Every ice cream will be shared. You will always be laying next to me whilst I work on the computer and say my prayers. And sleep snuggled up against me in bed.
The frenzied greeting when I come home will still be there in my imagination. And I will still feel your paws bounce against my leg and hear your silent little barks. The sigh of boredom from the back of the car on a long journey and squeals of indignation if I drove over too many bumps.
And the memories will remain like precious stones to be taken out and polished.
The choice of doggy t-shirts on a cold day – ‘Fashion Victim’ or ‘Spoilt Rotten’. The way you hid if the fire crackled. The bum washes and the toweling down game. The anticipation we shared together of visitors. Your pleasure in a sausage. My finding your biscuits marinading in the cat dirt tray.
The way you crouched down and wagged your tail when you wanted to play. The endless tummy rubs.
The lecture I gave you on karma after you ate a fly – only to realise Uncle Charles was listening and laughing. The treasured memory of the Medicine Buddha empowerment and your blessing from Ringyal.
How you never left my side when I was ill and had to be taken away from me to make you eat and pee, but immediately rushed back to be with me, my little guardian angel. How you made me want to live.
Howling at the moon together. The noises you made when you saw your boyfriend Pissolo coming down the drive. What a good girl you were and how everyone loved you.
Whenever I left you for any length of time, I would tell you that we had a golden thread connecting our hearts, and that if you were ever lonely you could pull on the thread and Mamma’s love would flow through. We still have that thread, though now it is me who is lonely.
I am counting the darknesses for you my little dog – until we meet again. I will always love you.
Love Carries On
It was privilege to share a big part of my life with my little dog Holly and I don’t remember her with sadness, just that continuing warm love that always characterised our time together. Death doesn’t stop that. All these years later I can feel her, I can smell her, I can hear her. And she continues to make me smile. That connection has never been broken.
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Before you go
My name is Dorothy Berry-Lound an artist and writer. You can find out more about my art and writing at https://dorothyberryloundart.com.
Thank you for reading!