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Hi hello, beloved: Farewell to my Gretel | Israel Hayom


Highlights: Our beloved dog passed away last week, and amid my longing for her warmth and addictive smell, I dedicate this column to anyone who has ever lost their personal Gretel. Anyone who has a close relationship with a dog understands exactly what I'm talking about. The pain is felt most in the most everyday things - sitting on the couch in front of the TV, taking care of me as much as I took care of her. The depth of grief over a dead pet seems disproportionate, but Gretel's memories are the very essence of what makes our home home.

She was my confidant and a family member who filled our home with love • Our Gretel has passed away, and amid my longing for her warmth and addictive smell, I dedicate this column to anyone who has ever lost their personal Gretel

This moment, when I sit in front of the computer and type, one of the most routine activities of my life, is especially painful right now. Every time I press the keyboard, I feel the absence of Gretel, who never let me work on the computer without her sitting on my feet, it wasn't an option at all.

Our beloved dog passed away last week, and beyond my personal sharing, I want to dedicate this column to anyone who has ever loved a dog or dog, cat or cat, and did not feel they had anyone to share the pain of this loss with.

All in all a?

Throughout my years of raising animals, and especially throughout our journey over the past year with Gretel, which required intensive medical care, I have encountered the full spectrum of reactions: from empathy and hugs to contempt and sarcasm for "taking so hard." There's a remark repeated by those who don't connect with devotion to four-legged people: "Get into proportion, it's an animal, not a human being."

The first thing that springs to mind when someone says this sentence is the realization that this person has never experienced the pure joy and unconditional love that fills your heart when you walk home after a long day, and a warm, furry creature jumps on you with enthusiasm. I can understand why, to someone who has never experienced this, the depth of grief over a dead pet seems disproportionate, but Gretel's memories are intertwined with the very essence of what makes our home home. Therefore, anyone who claims that it is just a probably does not experience the difference between a house where four-legged walkers look at you with questioning eyes and a house that does not have this unique component.

Gretel has been a companion at many significant moments in my life. She was my confidant, and when we would ride together in the car and she was on my feet, as always, I vented my frustrations and shared with her what made me sad.

You might think I'm weird, but I could feel Gretel smiling, photo: from the family album

It may seem to strangers that she was "just a," but the daily care and concern for her well-being filled my thoughts every day, and when I think about and care for someone, they become very important to me, no matter if they are a person, a parrot, a hamster or a. Beyond our personal connection, she was also a beloved family member who filled our home with love, friendship and lots of humor and laughter.

When you meet someone mourning the passing of your beloved pet, trying to comfort yourself by saying, "Well, it's just a dog" is not encouraging at all, but rather diminishes and eliminates that person's sadness over the loss of a special emotional connection for them.

Researchers are also recognizing the profound psychological impact of bonding with a pet, and numerous studies have shown that pets not only provide companionship and emotional support, but also help reduce stress, improve sleep quality, reduce depression and anxiety symptoms, and even balance blood sugar values and lipid profiles.

My therapist

Gretel came into my life six years ago, as a surprise. We didn't plan on adopting another dog, we felt that the house was full with the two girls, Hamsa on them, three cats, two dogs, Leon and me.

One day, during a break between two patients in the clinic, I was browsing Facebook and came across a post by a man I didn't know, who wrote that he wanted to give away a. I saw a picture of a tiny, not young, dog with scruffy fur and good eyes. I called and told him that it was hard to find anyone who would adopt such a dog, and during the conversation I realized that he just wanted to get rid of her, it didn't matter to him who she was given to.

With my characteristic impulsiveness, I said, "Bring her to me, I'll find her a home." I was filled with frustration that another family that bought a small purebred dog, which was an amusing toy, gave it up as soon as it became necessary to treat its medical problems.

It may sound illogical to adopt an older dog, and one who needs medical procedures, medication three times a day, and nightly breath-counting rituals to make sure she's okay, but I assure you in all honesty that she gave much more than she needed. It may sound cliché, but she took care of me as much as I took care of her. Anyone who has a close relationship with a dog understands exactly what I'm talking about.

Cargo of pain

The pain is felt most in the most everyday things - sitting on the couch in front of the TV or in front of the computer without her barking a small bark, the kind that signals me to lift her into my arms because she was too small and short to jump on the bed herself, but she never felt that the fact that she needed help would prevent her from getting what she wanted. I feel empty where her presence has become almost part of my body.

Over the past few months, I've had to calculate every exit from home that I can't take with me. When we left the house in full ensemble, the whole family, I ordered a dogsitter because I was afraid something would happen to her when we weren't there.
When her breathing became heavy, I didn't want to leave her alone, and being together, 24 hours a day, because she also slept on the pillow next to me, created an understanding between us so that I could recognize every nuance in her nonverbal language. I could tell when she was comfortable and when she wasn't, I recognized when she needed to pee before she signaled to me, and you might think I was weird, but I could also feel when she was smiling. Her gaze at me, my gaze at her, these two filled a large part of my life in a way that is hard to explain.

She also had time to vote. Gretel with Paula and daughters Sheila and Arbel at the ballot box,

Gretel's physical absence is felt in every corner of our home. The floor, for example, fills up every day with the tips of cucumbers and pieces of bell peppers that I still throw away, waiting for it to run and pounce on them, and then realizing that this will no longer happen and picking up in the trash. Her leash, which was standing orphaned at the entrance to the house and that I hadn't yet been able to touch, her little barking at the cat's flakes whenever they bumped into each other in the hallway, and especially the heat of her small body attached to mine that I missed most, along with the smell that was unique to her.

For the past year, Gretel and I had a daily ritual where she received her medication. The pills she had to swallow were wrapped in a piece of yellow cheese or stuck in a slice of cucumber, and as the sound of the ball box opening sounded in the kitchen space, all the animals would gather from all corners of the house, because even though only Gretel was medicated, everyone earned a slice of cheese. On Wednesday, when I felt her breathing getting heavier, I ran to the hospital and Gretel collapsed shortly after we arrived. Nurse Bethel and the two doctors said there was nothing they could do anymore, and at that moment my lesson began by letting her go.

The Price of Love

Dr. Therese Rando, author of Coping with the Sudden Death of Your Loved One, wrote that grief is the price we pay for love. It is true, from the moment we surrender and open our hearts to a dog or cat, there is also the realization that one day we will have to endure the heartbreak of their death. Still, we choose to love anyway, because that relationship is worth the inevitable pain.

Gretel taught me new dimensions of the concept of resilience, because really, what she didn't go through. Surgery to remove her left eye, which had an ulcer, a procedure to remove almost 20 teeth that had rotted due to the neglect of its previous owners, problems with the anus, severe heart pain, seizures, high blood pressure. In all these I have never seen weakness on her part. She was a fighter and displayed a lust for life that energized everyone around her. Hi there, my beloved Gretel.

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Source: israelhayom

All news articles on 2023-06-08

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