Losing Lexi

Writing can be such an intimate way to communicate, and I love using my blog as a way to share my passion, express who I am, and what my business is all about.  Today's topic, though different from any topic I've ever posted on my blog, is part of who I am.  For that reason, I'd like to share it with you. No tutorials, before/afters, or thrift tips today....but a heartfelt story of how a dog came into our lives, and transformed us forever.  


Last week we said good-bye to our beloved yellow lab, Lexi, of twelve and a half years.  Lexi came into our lives at a time when we needed it most, and it was no coincidence why.  After experiencing pregnancy losses early in our marriage, we were left feeling empty.  It was as if a hole had been right in the center of our hearts, and nothing seemed to fill it.  It was a deeply sorrowful and lonely time in our lives.   I remember how difficult it was to go out in the world and live my everyday life; because no matter where I was, or what I was doing, that empty feeling remained. Over time, that emptiness felt a little more bearable, and the sorrow a little less heavy.  More time went by and we started talking about the possibility of getting a dog.  Little did we know the happiness and joy our hearts would soon feel.....

To this day i cannot remember how we learned of the Sheboygan Falls Labrador breeder, but the opportunity fell into our laps at just the right time.  We inquired, and a few days later we met our girl.  With just two yellow lab puppies left in the litter, we chose the quiet, cuddled up female (as opposed to her male brother, who ripped around the house).  She quietly sat in the arms of Brian, (Breeder, owner of Countryside Kennels), and with her loving brown eyes looked at us as if to say, "I'm yours".  And then our journey began....... 

Lexi filled that hole in our hearts, and I believe that is why she came into our lives.  She was our child; our "first born".  I have always viewed Lexi as our rescue from sadness.  And she has brought nothing but joy ever since the day we brought her home.   When Lexi was still a "pup", we were blessed with our first baby boy. Indeed a miracle.  There was Lexi, always standing by, always protecting.  Then, two more baby boys came along, and every time I could count on Lexi to be there; to protect,  and to love.  Her devotion to and unconditional love for our growing family was always apparent.   She was so gentle with our boys.  She had so much love to give.  I spent many days lying with Lexi as I fed our baby boys, or rested after a long day with toddlers.   Even as our boys have grown, we continued to give Lexi our attention and love, just as we had before children.   

As our family grew, Lexi was always part of it.  She provided us daily entertainment, comfort, love, and cuddles.  She made us laugh.  Oh how she made us laugh!  In the summer of 2015 we spent a week in northern Wisconsin; one of her favorite places.  My fondest memory of her was the evening we all jumped into the lake, and of course, there was Lexi, making her grand entrance off the pier as usual.  She wanted to be close to us.  Man could that girl could swim!   She acted like a puppy that week......repeatedly jumping off the pier into the lake and fetching countless tennis balls.  We are so thankful she had that time to do the things she loved; and to do it with such vigor!  Lexi turned 12 that week, and we knew her time with us was getting shorter.  We treasured every minute left with her.  

There are many special things about Lexi that I miss.  On a tough day, Lexi's presence lifted our spirits.  On a happy day, she was there to celebrate with us.  On a summer evening in our yard, you bet she was there running after tennis balls, or sniffing endlessly; tail wagging non-stop.  If you have loved a special animal, you know the feeling your animal gives you when you are welcomed upon entering your home.   That is one thing I miss the most.  When the boys are still at school, and I walk into the house, and it feels empty. It is quiet, too quiet.  I have found myself searching for her, when I'm reading on the couch, or when I just need a restful break with my "brown-eyed girl".  

I've also found myself slower than I'd like to get back painting.  Lexi was my painting buddy.  I don't think there was ever a project I worked on, that she was not close by.  She loved keeping me company, and I loved having her near.  Whether her tail got into my paint cans, or her body brushed against something freshly painted, it was a common scene for Lexi to have paint on her fur.  It was a miracle we never had paint paw tracks in our house!  

I am reassured by others who have walked in our shoes that it is OK to grieve hard over this loss.  It is a loss unlike any I've experienced before, but the empty hole is there.  I know Lexi would want us all to get back on track with life as it was before. Though It is a different routine, and a quieter house (even with 3 boys!),  I know it's time to get back to painting and blogging about the things I am most passionate about.  I am aware that my grieving will take time, but I struggle with the uncertainty of whether I will be able to find my groove as quickly as I'd like. I know this is a normal response to loss and I need to allow myself time to adjust to a life without Lexi.  

Grieving the loss of our beloved animal has taught me the depth of my love for Lexi, and her profound ability to provide comfort during life's ups and downs.   I am forever grateful for the life we shared with her, and the many gifts she gave us.   Lexi made our little family complete, and one day, we will see her again at Rainbow Bridge; where she is watching over us.....