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My grief over the loss of my Fur-baby Sonnie A Letter to My Sweet Cuddle Bear, Sonnie

I know you’re in Heaven out of pain, having fun and watching over your mama. How much I wish I had more time with you, but it wasn’t meant to be. I got your message to me through your last reiki session when you had crossed over gave me so much comfort and peace. You were so proud that I was your mama but my sweet boy, I was so very lucky to have you for nine wonderful years.

You’re getting a kick out of the unlimited amount of balls to play with and being able to have the ball thrown just by willing it to happen. So much beautiful, lush grass to smell and all the trees my pup could want to claim as his own. You shared with me that there is always music playing which reminds you of me singing to you. This brings you comfort. How much I miss singing to you “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine” and other ballads I’d belt out as we’d be looking at each other in sweet admiration or as I danced by you, lol. I knew you got a kick out of mommy’s silliness as I watched your eyes follow me as you laid on the couch. You met a new friend in Heaven, a little girl that plays with you and from time to time my grandfather visits with you. You tell me that I now have freedom to be all I can be and do the magic I do which is in naturopathic healing.

Your showing off to Michelle on how high you can jump and how fast you can run, you were a quick majestic creature here on earth. This all warms my heart to hear but then soon after the deep pain and heaviness sets in my heart again. Now I know what they mean when they say you can feel a broken heart.

By the way, for anyone that has never tried reiki, I highly recommend it. It’s a Japanese healing technique based on the principle that the therapist can channel energy into the patient by means of touch, to activate the natural healing processes of the patient's body and restore physical and emotional well-being. It’s awesome but you must be open to for it to work. I was introduced to Reiki three years ago by a friend, Michelle Kennedy and have implemented it into my strategies for my overall well-being, mind, body and spirit.

Back to you my baby…. it's a week that your gone, and I’m completely lost. One of the many caring people in our circle called to check up on me and in his message, he said, “I hope things are getting back to normal.” I thought to myself “You were my normal.” My new normal is trying my best to get accustomed to a life that doesn’t include you. It’s been so hard.

Every morning, I wake up, open my eyes and your sweet face at my bed looking to jump up for our morning cuddle session will never happen again. I remember looking over and seeing your face pop up from the couch to acknowledge its time to go for our morning walk. I look at the clock and it’s either time to feed you or go to the park. I look in my rearview mirror and you’re not in my backseat getting excited that we’re going on a new adventure or just to run free in the park. I’m lost without you and the house is so empty. I break down sobbing so many times during the day because everywhere I look, you left your imprint. Most of all, your imprint is on my heart.

You were an amazing dog that brought so much joy to so many.

The day I had to make the decision to end your pain, I heard a woman sobbing uncontrollably outside with Nonno and when I went to see who it was, it was our neighbor Josephine. She was so upset. She knew something was wrong because she hadn’t seen us in our truck on our way to the park which was a part of our daily ritual. I struggled with putting you to sleep but to hear you crying in pain for two days and nights was enough for me to know what my decision needed to be. During the last two days, you started to drink so much water and when I looked up what would cause this, what stood out was kidney failure.

On your last day, you threw up at 5am, it was all water and when I looked closer, I noticed that it looked pinkish then I saw it, Ooo God, nooooooo, it was a small blood clot. I had to let go of having to be right and the “I must to heal you.” I really tried my best to reverse the terrible disease that invaded your body two months ago. You were such a trooper because I knew you knew you were aware that I was trying to cure you. I t was just like I did with your Irritable Bowel Syndrome, three years prior.

Who the hell would have thought that you would be gone in two months? Cancer took you from me, I still can’t believe it. In November you went for your wellness exam and all was perfect then you slip in the park in January, your knee swelled up. I took you to the vet for an x-ray and I heard my vet say the words but was in complete disbelief as he said “osteosarcoma.” I almost fainted right on the spot! They sat me down, gave me some water and I felt all the blood drain from my body. As quickly as he said the word cancer that’s how fast it started to show its terrible effects on your once strong and bold body.

I was not going to amputate your leg and start chemo because I saw a dog go through the agony of having his leg removed, go through chemo for six months and four months later he passed away. To each his own and everyone has the freedom to chose whatever they feel is best for their pet but for me I would not and could not put you through that. I called my mentor, Donia and through my tears explained to her what happened to get her guidance. She too thought it was impossible for you to have cancer because you were so vibrant and thriving. I started that day, January 19th with enzyme therapy as well as started the ramp process with your probiotics and other plant-based supplements because I knew I had to jump start your immune system in hopes of getting your immunity strong. I needed to boost it to start fighting back. Enzyme therapy has been proven to reverse cancer in humans so why not give it a shot for my precious pup. I started with twelve a night on an empty stomach but didn’t see a difference, so I increased it to twenty-four and every day I noted your progress until the last week when I increased to eighty the night before you took your least breathe. I know in humans they have gone up to one hundred and twenty capsules a day so because you were a big pup at ninety pounds, I increased it accordingly. But the monster inside you had already started to metastasize.

In my research on how a perfectly healthy dog gets Osteosarcoma there were only a couple of things that rang true for what may have caused this because I knew it wasn’t your age. Yes, you were nine and a giant breed but you were very healthy so what made this dormant monster take life in your body? I believe it came down to two things that would have caused this, one was the injury to your knee from slipping a couple of times in the park within a two week period and the other was it said in an article I read that osteosarcoma can come from prior surgeries whereas foreign bodies were left in the body. You had surgery to fix your gastric torsion which resulted in having to remove his spleen because it started to die. They performed the Gastroplexy procedure which prevented your stomach from twisting again but they also used staples to tack pieces of your stomach to your abdominal wall hence what led to your colitis that developed into IBS. Was it the staples in your belly? The foreign body that slowly caused this? I don’t know…

Almost immediately you started having an issue with being able to sit and lay down without pain, you would circle and circle trying to find the most comfortable position that would not cause you as much pain to plop down on the therapeutic bed I bought you so long ago that you refused to sit down until now because you were unable to get on the couch without assistance. When you finally did lay down, I noticed that you would grind your teeth. That was a result of how much pain you were in.

I even started giving you essiac tea which I read about it on Sloan Kettering’s website as well as fur-baby parents that had success in using it to treat their dogs that were struck down with this deadly disease. It’s a blend of eight herbs and there is a process on making it which includes letting it sit for over twelve hours or overnight which is what did. I gave you CBD/Cannabis oil for the pain but as the days rolled by, I saw no improvements only a decline in the way your leg started to cave in and become more brittle, now much more noticeable on how much smaller your thigh become compared to the other which killed me.

The last two weeks of your life, I was coming to the realization that my sweet boy was dying. Just the thought gives me a huge lump in my throat, a tightness in my chest once again and a wave of anxiety comes over me. We would go on our walks now shortened from 30-45 minutes down to a quick walk to relieve yourself. Our daily walks in park came to an end because I saw you lost your balance a couple of times trying to get up on the little stool that I got for you so you wouldn’t hurt yourself getting into the truck. The day before your passing, it was cold and raining. I remember cursing because I dreaded taking you out in this weather but even more so having to get you up which was not so much a problem because I would help prop you up on your paws. I knew the torture it was going to be for you to lay back down. I’d caress you and whisper we will beat this! We will win this battle like we did before! But unfortunately, we couldn’t conquer this.

On this walk, I put your booties on and rain jacket as I always did but as we walked your paw went from underneath you, you were unable to pick up your leg to fix your paw, so I fixed it for you. My heart sank, I knew what was happening, it was the beginning of the end of our lives together.

On your last day, your Uncle Ed came over for his morning coffee and how you loved your Uncle Pat & Ed, that was another thing that changed…You would hear their voices and come charging to greet them and in return they would kiss and hug you. You loved every minute of it but the last few times, you no longer got up from your bed so they came to you instead. Uncle Ed heard you whimpering and said, “I’ve never heard him like that before.” I knew him and my parents were right and you could no longer endure this.

I had a reiki session done on you that morning and many may not be open to it, but I sure am a believer and have always been very spiritual so as I was saying. In your last session it confirmed what I knew but didn’t want to face, it was spreading. You were in so much pain, I couldn’t bear to see you in pain a moment longer. Through my uncontrollably sobbing, I called my vet and he came within the hour. He heard the relaxing music playing in the background which I had on mostly all the time even before this and he said all I needed was incense which made me laugh. At the same time, I called Friends Forever Pet Crematory, they were wonderful, I knew my baby would have private cremation not as I’ve heard many horror stories of what some places consider individual cremations, my boy had to have the best. I would have done anything for my boy and changed my life to fit around you which I did happily.

I have peace that you are no longer in pain and I have solace in the fact that we will see each other again. I know you’ll knock me over and be the first to welcome me to Heaven. For now, I will follow what you said and do my magic to help others heal naturally. It’s too funny that you said it that way because that’s what the vet said when you were cured of your IBS…”whatever magic you used to heal him”, lol.

I share my story for all of those that have lost a sweet fur-baby and for all the ladies out there that don’t have children but love their fur babies as if they were their child which is exactly what my Sonnie boy was to me.

Until we meet again. I love you always and forever my sweet cuddle bear. Your mama misses you so much. Nonna misses you watching her cook, praying that something delicious would fall to the floor and nonno misses petting your handsome face. Aunt Jahn, the girls & Dean miss you too. They got me a locket for your ashes that I wear every day, so you are always close to my heart.

So many to mention that truly loved you Auntie’s Kim, Julie, Rosie, Emanuela and Paula are so deeply saddened even those whom have never met you like Carol & Donia. A special thank you to you Donia, our earth angel. Without your guidance and how much you have taught me, I would not have gotten 4 more awesome years with him.

Your K-9 family changed their profile picture in honor of you which touched my heart and I know made you smile.

You left your imprint on all of us that will never be replaced.

The Paw Print of Sonnie

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