Still Hurting

It’s hard to believe Phoenix has already been gone for five weeks and five days.

I still find myself thinking about him each and every day.

Wondering where he is. Wondering what he’s doing.

Wondering if he misses me, as much as I miss him.

I’ve had people message me to say how much they are also missing Phoenix. He touched so many lives, that I know the pain of his absence is effecting not just our family.

I just don’t think people truly understand how empty I feel.

I’ve had people say they know how I’m feeling. But, I’m not sure they do.

I’m not sure how anyone can truly know how much I miss Phoenix. He was my partner for thirteen years. Even before Huib entered my life Phoenix was by my side.

He taught me the meaning of true loyalty.

He taught me the value of unconditional love.

He was with me through the toughest moments in life. He laid at my feet in the ICU, while I talked to my mom during her final hours. He gave me support when I watched my Granny leave this life.

Phoenix was also there during some of my major milestones. He walked me across the stage in high school. He walked me across the stage at the University of Guelph. He was there while I planned my wedding. And he helped Cessna become the companion I needed her to be.

With all the memories and all the love we shared, I really don’t understand how anyone can say they know how I am feeling.

Maybe you had a dog before that you loved, but they were not Phoenix and you are not me.

Maybe you were/are privileged to have shared your life with a service dog, but they were not Phoenix and you are not me.

Maybe you lost a friend who meant the world to you, but they were not Phoenix and you are not me.

Maybe you had the pleasure of meeting and getting to know Phoenix, but you are not me and it was not the relationship we shared.

I talked to Huib a little while ago about my feelings surrounding how people keep telling me they know how I feel. I told him that only he could even close to understand the thoughts and emotions which plague me. He said that he could imagine how I was feeling, but that Phoenix and I shared a bond that not even he could explain. He said that even though he lived with Phoenix and watched him age, he could only wish for the relationship him and I developed. Phoenix refused to be anything other than a “Mommy’s boy”. Huib tried to be his buddy when Phoenix retired, but no matter how hard he tried, Phoenix constantly reminded him that he was not me.

Phoenix, Mommy misses you dearly. Even though I know you felt it was time to leave, it’s still hard to believe you’re gone. The house is so quiet and empty without your smile and wagging tail.

The others really miss you too.

Aspen still lies in the kitchen by the sink watching for you to come through the side door, or to appear in your favourite sleeping place.

Canyon has taken on the role of protector over the girls. He knows you’d want him to keep them safe, since that is what you did when you were here.

Cessna is quieter. She checks in with me constantly, making sure I’m okay. And she hates leaving me when we’re outside, worried I might need her help.

Rogue is so different. It’s like you’ve left your imprint upon her. She’s so much older and wiser for her age. And, she has taken over your job of being my constant shadow.

I hope we meet again. It may be a long time before I can be with you, but I know you’ve got people to keep you safe.

So, until then, rest in peace my faithful companion.


  1. HUGS
    All I can say is that when Met left I felt the same way- people tried the same thing with me too- it made it harder in a way because frankly they did not get it and tried to act like they did.
    I think those partnered with guide dogs or combo trained service dogs get it a bit more but not everyone has that bond that you and I had with our wonderful partners.
    Give yourself time and know that Phoenix will ALWAYS be with you- just as Met is with me

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