Our Dog, a Source of Love

I’m a mother. My beautiful baby girl Camila died six months ago and I struggle daily to live without her in my arms. I’m lucky to have my dear husband, who loves me no matter what, and I’m extremely grateful for that.

Today I want to write to thank our dog Caty. Yes, this must sound crazy to many of you, let me explain you why. We adopted her a year and a half ago. She is huge, full of energy and love. She gets in your way every time so that you have to caress her. While I was pregnant, I had pictured many times what a great friend she would have been to our baby girl.

The night that Camila died, my husband and the doctor that came to our place got me down from our bathroom, on the first floor of our place, with a wheelchair. At that time I was in shock and thus I couldn’t understand what was going on. My belly hurt and I couldn’t feel Camila but I thought I was just too nervous. While I was sitting outside on the wheelchair, waiting for my husband and the doctor to bring the stretcher from the ambulance, Caty came and placed her head on my lap. She looked at me with so much empathy, her eyes looking straight at me with such sadness. She understood something bad was going on and she wanted to show us her love. I have relived that night in my head so many times, going through every detail, blaming me for not understanding what was going on, for not acting faster, trying to find a way to save my baby girl though I logically know it cannot be done. Through all the horror, there’s that moment when Caty looked at me, and that brings a bit of comfort to my heart.

She has shown how sensitive she is many times more, like when we came back from the hospital. We were so devastated, so empty, coming back without our beautiful baby girl in our arms. It was not the drive we had imagined and had desired for so many years. I couldn’t get out of the car by myself, the stitches from the c-section hurt, so my husband helped me. He opened the door and once again Caty placed her head on my lap. I got out and my husband and I walked slowly home, with Caty silently walking along side us.

Caty is not our daughter, she will never fill the emptiness we have, but I thank her from the bottom of my broken heart for giving us so much selfless love and empathy. You, still parents out there, know what is like to daily come back to an empty house, to live in such isolation because most people are afraid of facing your grief or because you are also afraid of facing others you are living the life you have dreamt for so long. Caty cannot mend our hearts, she cannot fill the void we have due to the physical absence of our child, she just helps. And having something that helps, in the usual dark days we live in, is something to cherish and to be grateful for.

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Geraldina Golup is 34 years old and lives in Argentina with her husband Esteban and their dog Caty. They have been together for almost 13 years. They lost their only daughter Camila in May of 2017 at 28 weeks gestation. They miss her every single day, are trying hard to cope with her physical absence and find ways to honor her memory.

 

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2 thoughts on “Our Dog, a Source of Love”

  1. I loved reading your post. Our dog was a huge part of our family before our daughter was born — and is an even bigger part of our family now. Youppi (pronounced you-pee), a Golden Retriever, was at our house with a neighbor when I had my emergency C-section. Later, the neighbor told me that Youppi nudged her hand, woke her up and started racing up and down the hallway in the middle of the night. I asked her when it happened, and learned it was right when my surgery started(!). She must have sensed something was wrong. When we arrived home without our daughter (Avery Quinn) she went into deep mourning alongside us and always made a point to console me when I cried. She would lay on the floor of the nursery for hours and always acted as if a person was there with her. They are such incredible, loving companions that know much more than we think.

  2. I understand this completely. Our dog Phoenix reacted very similarly. I’ve said many times that he knew what was happening before we did because he would not leave my side. He was a great source of comfort after losing our Gracie in 2009. We had to put him down this past July, he was 14. It has devastated us. They truly are such wonderful creatures.

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