Deployment thoughts · real life adventures

Foot locker feelings

Deployments affect the entire family. Remember when I told you about my husband’s foot locker being delivered last week? While it was super exciting to see his stuff, I can honestly say after dragging in to our formal living room to get it out of the way that I didn’t think about it again. That is, until several days later.

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If you’ve been reading my blog for a while (and if not-keep reading!), you know that my other true love is named Sammy. He is my golden retriever, my best 4 legged friend, my soul mate, and my all around buddy. He was how I got through severe post partum depression, and I love him more than there are words to describe. He follows me (and the girls) everywhere, and is always there when I need a good cry. He listens to my every word (except when I am reprimanding him, then he just cowers) and loves me no matter what, even on the bad days.

Well, Sammy hasn’t done so well over the difficult months of deployment. It’s aged him, and he’s not the normal happy Sammy. He’s sad. He sleeps a lot, and he is in constant need of attention. So the girls and I happily oblige, as loving him makes us feel better, too. So even though we have all been hurting, we make time to give each other extra love…win/win.

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But in this last week, he’s taken a bad turn for the worse. He won’t listen, he often refuses to go in his kennel, and he doesn’t leave my side from the time I walk in the door to the time I walk out the next day for work. For the majority of this past year, he’s slept in my older daughter’s room because her bed is smaller and he loves that feeling of security. (He’s used to sleeping between my husband and I, but since he’s left he’s only slept with me maybe 3 or 4 times.) But in this past week, he’s slept RIGHT next to me either at the head or foot of the bed. He’s touching me in SOME way. And I just couldn’t figure out why? Does he feel the giddy anticipation of my husband’s arrival? Is he not feeling well? Does he have a sixth sense about something that’s due to happen???

No.

None of those things are what is happening with Sammy.

He smells my husband’s scent from his foot locker. But he doesn’t know where he is, or if he’s even coming back. And as each day passes, his anxiety is increasing because he doesn’t understand. And realizing that this morning, made my heart physically ache for my sweet Sammy.

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I am praying the scent from the foot locker, fades…that, or my husband returns quick enough to heal poor Sammy’s broken heart.

Have your pets ever reacted poorly to a family member being gone for an extended period of time?? How did you comfort them?

Cheers,

Michelle

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15 thoughts on “Foot locker feelings

  1. Awww, poor baby!

    Sammy may also be picking up on some increased anxiety that you’re all feeling now that your husband is almost home. Animals pick up on a lot of things we project subconsciously. I’m sure it’s also weird for him to smell your husband but have him nowhere in sight.

    Just keep giving him love and attention and play, and try to keep him in his normal routine as best as possible. He’s a tough doggie!

  2. Oh, poor Sammy! That must be so heart wrenching to watch.

    As I’ve told you, my husband & I lived apart for a couple of years due to his job (with montly or bimonthly visits). Of course the dogs missed him, but since they’re used to being with me 24/7, I don’t think it was as bad for them.

    One of the hardest things about Chester’s illness (and I’ve gone through this with all my furkids with a terminal disease) is that they pull away from you. Chester did still sleep with us until the end, but he stopped laying on me like he used to. It hurt. It hurt a lot. All I wanted to do was love on him and he just wanted to be in his bed.

    Give Sammy some extra loving from me!

      1. I have actually experienced this with quite a few furkids with terminal diseases. It’s always really hard.

        Hopefully you will never have to experience it!

        OTOH, Chester wanted to come on walks with us pretty much right up to the bitter end, except on rare occasions. I think because he’d appointed himself my protector. And that meant we had to carry him.

        Well, don’t get me started on Chester!

      1. That’s why Bandit was so hard — I’d just been through a rough time with Chester. 4 years before that, we lost Gizmo’s brother, Simba, who was not quite 12 at the time.

        And it was the same thing with Simba — he used to sleep with us, but when he got really sick, he stopped.

        Oddly enough, I think that Bandit has helped us get over our grief about Chester! Although that certainly wasn’t the case for a long time.

  3. Awww, poor Sammy… I hope his heart is healed very soon when your husband returns. I hope you or one of your daughters thinks to record the reunion of Sammy and his buddy. I’m sure you’d make a lot of your reader cry happy tears if you shared that reunion! 🙂

  4. OMG. I’m crying!! I WISH I had a dog like Sammy…as you know, Abby is a princess…and if you read my latest post, you’ll see that she thinks living with is me is like jail right now! Don’t get me wrong, I love that little creature more than anything…but she also loves herself more than anything! lol

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