Preface: this blog post was written in Gina's perspective (one of the co-owners of Dog Threads) in an effort to help heal from the loss of our fur baby, Thomas. I plan to continue sharing as we go through this difficult time for a few reasons: to bring comfort to others who might have lost their pet and are feeling alone, to be transparent with our customers and to connect with all of our dear friends that have followed Thomas' journey.
It's been just over one month since our beloved Thomas passed away. Not much about the last 30 days has been easy and it has felt like nothing short of a rollercoaster of emotions. The first 10 days was mostly heartbreak and denial of him being gone forever on this physical Earth. I couldn't look at my phone, come home, go to bed, wake up, eat lunch or 100 other things without breaking out in tears.
Now, here we are just over 30 days since he left us, and I feel ready to move onto the next step of grieving. Not that I'm less sad, but the tears are fewer and farther in between, and I feel ready to connect to him on another level. He won't be back in my bed snuggling at night but I know that he's with me, or at least I hope so. I'm ready and waiting for him to give me a sign that he is.
Part of what is helping me move onto the next step of accepting his death is reading and writing. I'm almost finished with the book "Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die" by Jon Katz which has helped bring me comfort. There is something about reading the words of someone who has been through a very similar loss and who has talked to countless animal-lovers who feel the same way that you do which allows you to feel validated. Not that I fully believed that I loved Thomas more than any other person had ever loved their dog before, but I'll admit, it seemed like it was possible at times — which is why it was such a healing process to read about other's taking years to get over their loss.
The part about writing is more personal. I have this gut feeling that sharing how I feel and what this has been like will bring me further in the healing process. Sure, I could have written this down in a journal and tucked it away, but part of the most painful hurdle I have to overcome is the business which seems to revolve around Thomas. I also know and feel beyond grateful for how loved he was by all of our customers and friends on Instagram — and it felt right to share this with you. Because at the end of the day, we founded and operate a business, but we are also human and a family. A family that was and always will be incredibly in love with our dog, Thomas.
Side note — does anyone else think it sounds degrading to call their fur babies "dogs?" Obviously they are dogs but we definitely had an inside joke with Thomas and only called him a dog or "pet" if we were mad at him, like he cared. Insert cry laughing emoji.
Thomas and I worked together everyday for almost his entire life, so you could say there has been an adjusting period to life without him. We woke up together. We worked together. We ate lunch together. We enjoyed most evenings together. And we slept together. Now he's not here and it's not only lonely but I'm reminded of just how much I miss him every 10 minutes throughout the day. I've always known that I'd miss him when he left — but I never could have imagined just how lonely it would make me feel.
I'm hopeful that every day will get better than the one before. And I truly find joy in knowing that his legacy will live on through each dog that wears his designs. I plan to continue sharing as I experience new phases of my healing and hope that this can either bring transparency to our family-owned company or perhaps support for anyone going through a similar loss themselves.
It's better to have loved than to have never have loved at all. I am certain that I will see you again, my sweet angel. You changed my life, built our business and taught me how to love without boundaries again. I love you.