My beloved cat, Tadhg, and constant companion for 19 years passed away during the first week of Lockdown. My partner John and I were living in Ireland at the time. We had moved temporarily to Ireland so that I could take care of my aging father. Tadhg came along for the journey. We travelled all over Ireland and Spain with him. He just loved getting on the road and going for an adventure.
When Tadhg passed away my world stopped, as Ireland and the rest of the world went into lockdown. There was a silence that only grief creates. It was as if things weren’t quite real. Life stopped… literally. I went for long walks on the beach and started meditating every day. I read “The Power of Now” (excellent btw). But none of it seemed to help me feel better. Tadhg was one of a kind. Anyone who met him was calmed in his presence. That was my Tadhg – a radiant being. There wasn’t a day in the life we shared together that he didn’t bring me joy. He had this ability to open hearts.
Life then became very busy and all consuming. My father’s nursing home never got Covid19 which was one less thing to worry about but I could not visit him at all for a couple of months and then I was allowed to wave at him through a window once a week for 30 minutes. Not being able to hug my father, to hold his hand and comfort him was crushing. Another loss. I also had to organize the sale of the family home in Dublin. It was the only way we could afford to keep my dad where he was. The journey of emptying the house and ultimately selling the house that had been the family home for over 50 years was profoundly heartbreaking. Another loss.
John and I returned to Canada on the 1st of October. Coming home to our house without Tadhg was strange and sad. One of the things that Covid19 has given me is time. Time to contemplate, time to listen to myself, time to understand myself more, and time to learn what I need to be and feel happy. I need love. That’s it. Our furry friends – be they our own pets, someone else’s pet, the squirrel that comes to say “Hi” to me in the back garden, the family of Cardinal birds that hang out in our trees, the birds that circle in the sky above me… these sentinel beings have one thing in common they have open hearts and exude life, living, and pure positive energy.
I am ready for another pet to enter my life. Not because it’s been long enough since Tadhg passed; Covid19 intensified and sped up the grieving process. I am ready because I know it feels right. I also know I am someone whose life and mental health is enhanced by having a pet. John is ready too. This time however we are rescuing a dog. I grew up with dogs but have not had one since I was a teenager. So, it’s a big step. A new family member, a new friend.
Finding a dog has been quite the journey as, along with the passion of making sourdough bread during Covid19, the whole world has also decided to adopt pets. So there really aren’t many out there! But we think we have found him. It’s a long process to adopt/rescue a dog – interviews, virtual home visits, and all kinds of modifications that need to happen to the house, supplies to purchase, budgets to make, insurance to buy. We are now planning around him and we haven’t yet met.
So for the next couple of months I am going to be writing about getting organized for the arrival of our new dog. I hope you will join me on this journey and also offer me your own insights and ask me questions.
Let the journey begin!