I’m sorry to tell you that my canine friend, Maisy passed away yesterday. Maisy was the 14 year companion of my good friend and and neighbor Beverly. I am completely devastated, so I can’t even imagine how Beverly feels. Beverly got her when she was 8 weeks old at the Humane Society and they’ve been together ever since. Maisy got very ill yesterday morning and Beverly took her to the Vet. Maisy passed away at about 10:30 yesterday morning. I went to the Vet’s office when I got the call to see what I could do. I simply did what I could and followed Beverly home. All I could do was be there for her.
I took care of Maisy 3 or 4 days a week when Bevy was completing her clinical work while in the process of getting her Master’s degree. And I ended up getting quite attached to her. So I feel like I’ve been run over by a truck, and I can’t concentrate on anything. The grief from losing an animal, even if it’s not yours is a real side-swiper. She was my friend and buddy. In the 9 or so months I looked after Maisy, I wrote a series of letters to Beverly from Maisy to have Maisy tell Bevy how her day went. “Letters From Maisy” is actually a very fun account of her days and evenings with me from her perspective and I’m so glad I wrote them because both Beverly and I have a diary of sorts of a period of Maisy’s life.
So, it was a tough day for us. But I don’t feel any better today. I know it will pass, but I haven’t felt this bad since Alex the African Grey died. Alex was the brainy bird who was the colleague of Dr. Irene Pepperberg. Not even my Grey! I never met Alex (although I have met Irene) and that loss took me 2 weeks to get over. I modeled a lot of my training methods on Irene’s work with Alex.
Here is a Video of Alex:
This is even more difficult for me because even though I felt horrible about Alex, Maisy was my friend and I feel so empty and beat up. I love the fable of the rainbow bridge and it has helped me immensely. It just makes me feel better.
The Rainbow Bridge
Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.
When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.
All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.
They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.
You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.
Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together….
This grief is very real to me and even though Maisy was a very elderly dog and had a wonderful life, I loved her very much and I am finding the loss of my friend Maisy quite painful. Maisy will be missed by lots of people, but I will miss her tremendously. Play in peace at the Bridge, Maisy. I love you.
Patricia Sund is a Free-Lance Writer residing in Florida with her three African Greys. She has been published in About.com, Bird Talk Magazine, Birds USA, In Your Flock Magazine, Good Bird Magazine as well as numerous websites and newsletters. She is currently doing research for a book titled "Parrot Nation".