Many of you know that Arleah and I had a yellow lab died unexpectedly and inexplicably about a month ago. She (Jill) was the soulmate and constant companion of our black lab (Jack). She was the sweetest dog we’ve ever had and would make friends with anyone – dog or person. We’ve been trying to find out what killed her, and so far, no one we’ve consulted with – vets and breeders, has a clue. We had an autopsy done, and nothing showed up that would provide an explanation. Her death has been a gut wrenching loss, made worse by the absence of any explanation of what happened.
How has Jack dealt with her death? It depends on the day. Some days he seems okay and his eyes say that he’d like to get out and run – something that he loved to do with Jill. Watching them run together, with total abandon, was almost a spiritual experience. They clearly relished the freedom and the exploration. He still loves to run, but not with the enthusiasm he had with Jill
The last few weeks he has begun to voice his grief and loss. He goes out in the back of our property, where he and Jill spent much time; puts back his head and howls. I can not put in words how his howling penetrates every bone in my body. We have been around wolves, and Jack’s howls have a different feeling and sound. It is mournful and painful, and comes from the bowels of his grief. If it had words, I have no doubt that it would say – “Jill come back.” It is impossible for me to hear his sounds, without it touching me at the depths of my grief.
Jack is beginning to show some of the symptoms that Jill had, although at the time we had no idea of what they meant. We are preparing ourselves to find him dead one day, and have resolved to enjoy every day we have with him.