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Of love, Princess, and the passage of time.

I never really wanted a dog.
I am more of a cat person – the coming, the going, the ignoring you, the keeping-their-distance thing was way more my style.
I value independence.

princess 3But, raising a single child as a single mother in the city that has more single people than families, that has lots of hard edges, elbows, and knees– I thought the choice of a dog for my daughter, rather than a sibling, was economical in every way.

The idea was that the dog would be hers. Not mine.
So, when she turned 4, I opened the conversation with the GPS*.
I have a strict policy that pussy* has to bring forth change in my life.

How do I accomplish that?
I lay the desire out, and then take steps towards the desire, and see what comes back my way.
There must be a series of miracles that demonstrates the rightness of the decision.
No muscling or forcing.
It’s a dance of call and response.

How does that work?
Well, I spoke to other dog owners, looked at the posts online for rescue dogs, researched good breeds for kids on the web, but nothing felt right. So, I let it lie. But, one day we heard about a stray that had been left with a doorman, in a building on 86th St, as its family had to leave the country suddenly.

We went to see the dog, who had been living in the basement for the past 6 weeks, with 2 other dogs. She was skinny, dirty, and shaved. She had a strange snarl and she barked hysterically when we approached. Neither of us liked her very much. Maggie preferred the little Pomeranian that belonged to the doorman. She was calm. And cute. But, we took this stray dog named Princess for a walk, took her to the vet, and took her home for a trial night .

As I was tucking in Maggie, Princess buried herself under Maggie’s covers.
So, she got to stay.

princess 4

She turned out to be an actual breed–a cockapoo–and when her hair grew in, she became glamorous. Turns out she was meticulously trained, except for the fact that she bit delivery men in an effort to protect us. And, in the way of dogs who have been abandoned, chose to never let me out of her sight.

I immediately wondered what I had been thinking.
Running a company, writing books, teaching classes, raising a child, and walking a dog three times a day, even when it snowed??

I had only had cats.
I was not in the least prepared.
But, this dog perhaps sensed her tenuous place in my heart, and began the difficult job of loving me fiercely. She did not have to work so hard for Maggie’s love; Maggie was in from day one.

regena-princess-beach

Princess followed me everywhere, dawn to dusk.
Learned to walk leashless and heel at corners.
Sat outside waiting when I went to the deli for coffee.
Drew admirers wherever we went.
Went insane with joy, on my return, if I left the house for any reason.
Fell in love with my best friends and made sure they knew it.

She saw us through divorce, moving, heartbreaks, exhaustion, failures, mistakes, and triumphs.
She watched Maggie grow from a preschooler to a senior in high school.
She watched me grow from a woman with a dream, to a woman running a wildly successful company.
She saw us through.

prinny

Her love was steadier than mine.
Which I found exasperating.
Had she no discernment?
Not everything I did was wonderful.
But she found even my impatience and irritation, enchanting.
And her joy at the sight of me was unwavering.
Even when she was the last thing I wanted to see or deal with.

In her 16th year, she began to decline.
In the way of older dogs, she lost her sight, her hearing, and had difficulty walking.
I learned patience.
She lost her taste for dog food so we made her steak.
Walking got harder, so we carried her.
The slippery floor became unmanageable, so runners went down.

Last Tuesday, she passed.
I thought I would be relieved.
That is not what happened.

I am not relieved.
Not one drop.
Rather, I am overwhelmed with grief.
Broken open with the loss of her.

Turns out, that I loved being her everything.
Turns out, I counted on her love the way I count on the sun to just always be there for me, for us.
princess 5Turns out, all those people who are obsessed with dogs and think they are their fur children are not crazy, like I thought.
They are people who have deliberately chosen to let unconditional love into their lives. They are people who want to be reminded daily that they are the most important thing in the world, and worthy of deep relentless adoration and affection.

And in a world that has lots of hard edges, elbows and knees – that is not a bad idea.

In fact, it could just be another one of the millions of glorious ways that the GPS has created to remind us of our extreme irrefutable value.
Which all of us need, now and then.
Or maybe more than now and then.

Princess was the dog of the world.
And she broke me open with her love.
For which I am forever grateful.

In the comments below, what are the ways in which you get reminded, daily, of the love of the GPS? How have you been transformed by the animals in your life? How have you been broken open to love?

In love and pleasure,

*Yes, I lured you in with a dog story, and then, tossed you a pussy curve. Let me explain. Pussy is a term that is normally perceived as slanderous and scandalous in our larger culture, but in our world, it’s actually a compliment. Pussy, of course, refers to the physical source of feminine power and creativity, home of the 8,000 nerve endings dedicated to pleasure. But, additionally, pussy is a way of connecting to your deepest most powerful intuition and truth, and your innate ability to attract, or conjure, your most deeply held desires.

In this post, I am speaking into a woman’s innate ability to collaborate with the GPS, or the “Great Pussy in the Sky”, which is how I refer to divine feminine power. The Great Pussy in the Sky is the ancient indigenous goddess, hot wet source of all creation, our higher power. The most glorious adventure for any human being is when we get to collaborate with that which is greater than us, even in small sacred mundane ways.

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  • SG Ooo La La! November 10, 2015, 12:24 am

    Hey Regena,
    What a beautiful story of you and Maggie and Princess, and unconditional love and having your heart broken open. My heart is with you in your loss.

    And, as I write this, my three adopted cats are sleeping or grooming themselves with me in my study. They are not dogs, yet it’s a pretty close second. They follow me around, and all sleep on the bed. And, recently, two of them have taken up bringing me “gifts” on a regular basis. Isabella “captures” and brings me little pink yarn balls, while Gigi “captures” and brings me little mice stuffed with catnip. Gigi will walk through the house crying to let me know she has something special for me. It is as sweet as can be!

    Much love and a big hug …. and see you in Miami!
    Susan

  • SG Kristine November 9, 2015, 11:45 pm

    Dear Regena,
    The poignancy of your loss is palpable. That some of our greatest teachers have four legs is undeniable. I am holding you in my thoughts.
    My horse, Roelie, absolutely transformed my life. I bought him as a 3 month old colt. For the first 4 years of his life- for the most part – he lived at home with me. He was/ still is challenging. On a number of occasions, when he was younger trainers would advise me to get a “quieter and gentler” horse – that he was too much for me. I didn’t listen – instead I stepped up my game learning how to be a leader (all of this was ground work – he was not yet under saddle). What that means is speaking with body language from a place of authority – no fear – no anger. In other words, when I would enter his stall, I expected him to step back into a corner until I would invite him into my space, I would expect him to move his feet, yield his hindquarters when I would so so, etc. all done with the gentle assurance to him that I am strong enough to protect him and keep him safe. This is essential to an animal of prey, unlike our usual interactions with dogs and cats (predators). It didn’t happen overnight, but little by little I gained his trust and respect. I was in an extremely abusive marriage at the time and my finances, my self confidence, self love and will to live were in ruins. However, the growing personal strength and self respect that I gained through my partnership with my horse gave me the fortitude to pack him into a trailer and drive away one night when enough was enough. He is 10 now and we are both in a great place. He is a champion dressage horse – all of that attitude has been channeled into work that he adores. The scars are healing for me and I am in a much better place in all regards. I have been so very blessed -he has truly been a gift from above!

  • sg kathleen November 9, 2015, 5:41 am

    Oh dear, Regena, I am sorry to hear of the passing over the rainbow bridge of your dear Princess…

    There is nothing like the love of an animal. I know the standard poodles I grew up with taught me how to speak a German dialect of Dog, had great intelligence and a fantastic sense of humor (not kidding…Calom and I would play tricks on my mom together). And my cats have each been unique and special, psychic, loving, and comprehend & communicate much more than many humans would give them credit for. (I had a cat who would say “no” when she objected to something)

    I just asked Pierdziec what else I should say about the love of cats, but he just purrs, eyes half closed, curled up on my lap in the crook of my arm. Tail twitching, slightly annoyed because words really aren’t necessary.

  • Marjory November 8, 2015, 11:09 pm

    Dear Regena, Your grief is so authentic that as I read your post aloud to my husband we both teared up as we related to your grief. We are parenting grandparents of 3 grandchildren and 2 rescued dogs and 2 rescued cats. Opening our hearts, hearth and home to our beloved family and friends is so enriched by the fur children who also reside with us. The enormity of the love these fur children nurture within us all is, to me, an expression of the deep unconditional, spiritual LOVE we can experience as we grow and evolve spiritually. So, Mama Gena, thank you for sharing your grief with us and allowing your vulnerability to speak to us from that Heartful place.
    I am coming to Miami with my daughter-in-law. We were in Mastery together in 2014 and are so enthusiastically preparing for our first ever Miami Immersion. Huge Love and Hugs to you and your daughter. So very sorry for your loss.

  • Tracy November 7, 2015, 6:13 pm

    Sending you and Maggie a HUGE hug, wiping away my own tears of understanding. OX
    Those of us who have dogs in our understand that relationship.
    I lost my sweet flirtatious, affectionate cockapoo, Missy this spring, during Mastery.
    Our dogs, Missy and Bruno, really are our children–we tried everything and have been unable to conceive our own.
    Missy, “Missaroo,” my husband called her, was always an ANGEL, a mischieveious funny nurturing caretaker, who would clean Bruno’s face before a walk and climb on my husbands chest and lick his face when he was stressed out.
    Now, after she passed, she shows up for us by leaving us pennies in funny places.
    Way to long a story to relate here, but my husband and I keep finding penny gifts in strange places-a planter, a pile in the trunk of a car rental, mingled in a bag that I kept her old toys, etc. and we feel that they are a wink from Missy, a sign that she is still visiting, hanging out with us.
    All of us who have loved a pet are better people for having known them and shared our time with them. They are really ANGELS in our lives.

  • Gayle November 6, 2015, 7:55 pm

    I just wanted to say how sorry I am for your loss. I cried when I read this. I know what it is like to lose such a fur member of the family.

    May you be surrounded by love and comfort in your time of grief and always.

  • SG Kathleen November 6, 2015, 12:03 pm

    Mama Gina – I’m so sorry for your loss of such a precious companion. I have two aging kitties (have always had cats in my life) and I think about this day often. I think it’s true – the grief we feel is in direct proportion to the joy they bring us all through the years. I hope that next weekend in Miami fills you with some in-person loving support and can help heal the broken heart a bit. As they say – love makes time pass and time makes love pass… Until then, we grieve. I honor and thank you for sharing your story and vulnerability.
    Xoxo – SG Kathleen

    • SG Kathleen November 6, 2015, 12:05 pm

      And sorry for the misspelling of your name! Darn autocorrect!! 🙂

  • Jolanda November 6, 2015, 9:12 am

    Sorry for the loss of your precious doggie Prinsess, her spirit and her unconditional love will always be with you. To me my pets are angels in disguise, love every moment with them.
    Sending you love & hugs

  • Leelee November 6, 2015, 12:31 am

    Thank you Regina for this beautiful tribute to your Princess. I’m sorry for your loss. This story nearly brought me to tears in a cafe. As Princess transitioned, I was adopting a dog. We brought home our new dog on Sunday and it has been a whirlwind of change. One constant is that this new dog adores me. I can see it in his eyes, in his wagging tail, his kisses, his roll overs for belly rubs and following me everywhere. I love this little one already, but he is hard. He pulls, he jumped on the kitchen table today, can’t be lured away from a squirrel, he needs to go out many times a day and is full of energy. Thank you for the reminder that this conjure of mine is a gift from the GPS. Sending love to you and your daughter.

  • Debra November 5, 2015, 11:19 pm

    What a being Princess must have been,
    To endure abandonment and suffering just so you and Maggie could find her. So she could spend the next 10 or so years relentlessly showing you two what love looks like.
    How she stayed until she knew you were both on the perfect path and she had done her job magnificently.
    AND how she left her body at the perfect moment, just before our rupture weekend so that we could all see you rupture with such dignity.
    I have never felt you so deeply, so profoundly as in these past 2 calls Regena.
    Princess did her job magnificently. I am grateful she came and left at the perfect time, even if it doesn’t feel that way to you. Your open heart and vulnerability touched me deeply.
    Thank you for sharing the full story.
    Blessings to Princess on her journey after a life well lived.
    I hope I can say the same when my time comes.

  • jeyan November 5, 2015, 8:15 pm

    Regena

    Only you could express this journey …. so glad you were able to take it with Maggie.. there’s nothing like it….

  • SG Wendy November 5, 2015, 8:05 pm

    Oh boy Regena this is gut wrenching and I am in heart to heart with your’s and Maggie’s loss.
    I am a dog lover, well an animal lover and have been my whole life. But it wasn’t until I was an adult that I got my first dog. He taught me many life lessons but mostly he opened my heart and showed me how to receive and give love in a new and deep way. He softened my edges and taught me how to begin to live in the moment. He was a West Highland White terrier and they are never to be ignored. He was my boy, my confidante my champion schnuggler a part of my heart beat. When he was 5 I rescued a mutt who on a good day looked like Yoda, part Pomeranian, part Corgi and part Chihuahua. Having them both was a challenge but was so much fun and provided many opportunities for me to stretch and grow.
    They were my teachers, about patience, what being a good mother was, an awareness of how big my own heart was, how to play, the joy of unconditional love and so much more.
    They passed within two months of each other. Roxie my rescue first, of canine dementia and Willie my boy of a rare liver disease. With all the losses that had come before nothing was more heartbreaking and painful as their deaths, nothing. I was overcome by grief and sadness and a heart pain that felt indescribable. Time passes, the heart pain eases.
    I now share a powerful, mighty mutt with a dear friend. I can’t imagine my life without a dog in it.
    Life is just better with dogs. That’s the long and the short of it.
    RIP Princess…..

  • Summer November 5, 2015, 4:03 pm

    Dear Mama Gena,
    Thank you so much for sharing your story, your learnings, your grief and your love. It brought tears to my eyes as I remember the dogs in my life, especially this little brown Pomeranian who was so full of character, aptly named Fox Tails. I am blessed to have been the last human mummy he had, and to have had his unconditional, unwavering love. I wailed for months, grieving his loss. It took a while for me to learn that he is always with me, and always protecting me like he did, loving me the way he always has. Much love to you and big, big hugs to you & your loved ones.

  • Grace November 5, 2015, 1:18 pm

    Dear Mama Gena,

    I loved this post and burst into tears as I finished reading it. I’m so sorry for your loss.

    I’ve recently been feeling more grief from the death of my beloved kitty of 12 years, Ella, who died 2 years ago. What a wonderful companion she was! Her death was so painful that it actually broke my heart! I was diagnosed with Atrial Fibrillation not long after the death and it was all quite an ordeal. I conjured the most amazing, loving hospice vet, who loved and guided us through Ella’s final weeks, and then even took her to bury her at her home after the “wake” we had for Ella.

    Your beautifully written tale is a lovely tribute and reminder to me of my love for animals.

    Thank you, Mama Gena!

  • Beloved Brenda November 5, 2015, 10:27 am

    Regena, I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. I remember meeting Princess and seeing love in her beautiful deep eyes. You gave Princess her life back and a wonderful home when you rescued her. I adore your pictures, which capture how happy she was with you and Maggie. Thank you for sharing your story and your love.

  • Belinda Wurn November 5, 2015, 9:46 am

    Hi Mama Gena

    I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet fur baby! If you haven’t seen the website before now, please go to https://rainbowsbridge.com. Rainbow Bridge is a virtual memorial home and grief support community for your departed baby. It will give you much comfort as you grieve the loss of your sweet fur baby!

    I have had Golden Retrievers for the past 23 years, and have lost 4 to either old age, or cancer. Having had cervical cancer 31 years ago, the radiation therapy killed my cancer, but threw me into menopause at 33. I am still here- 64 years young! AND.. never could have human babies, so my fur babies ARE my children! (3 of them now- Grand Champion Dylan- 8 1/2 years young, Champion Tebow- 4 1/2 years young, and my little girl Dara- 2 1/2 years old. I decided I didn’t want my babies away from me and Larry on the show trail any more. Dara has 5 points towards the 15 points necessary to be a champion. My time with my babies is too precious for them to be away with trainers and handlers. Our time on this earth is so precious, and dogs don’t live nearly as long as I wish they did!

    My loving thoughts, and big hugs to you on your loss of your sweet doggie baby!

    xoxo
    SG Belinda

  • Lisa November 5, 2015, 5:03 am

    oh mama – i am so sorry for your loss <3<3<3

  • Georgina November 5, 2015, 3:44 am

    When my Charlie dog died I didn’t really get to grieve because I was too busy supporting my twin girls with their grief. I raised them on my own, when Charlie came into our lives it felt like we had a Nana…like the one who guards the nursery in Peter Pan. She just sat watching over us from morning to night. It was as if she had been sent just for us. My heart goes out to you Regina. Thank you for sharing in such a moving way. I even shed a few tears for my Charlie, and she’s been gone 6 years now. GX

  • Bobbie November 5, 2015, 2:40 am

    My heart goes out to you in your loss. Our beloved furry babies are amazing. Like you, I was always a cat person until the miracle of a little dog named Sassy. She was a true gift from the Goddess and taught me more about unconditional love than I would have believed possible. After over 11 years together, I lost her this last March and still mourn her loss deeply every day. You were blessed to have her love, which will never leave you!

  • Stephani Adams November 5, 2015, 2:08 am

    Mama Gena, let me first say how very sorry I am for your grief over the loss of Princess, and honor her with you as she crosses over the Rainbow Bridge. Now she stands at the ready in the meadow in the sky (like she always did at the deli) for when you and Maggie will be with her again. What a wonderful burst of energy her soul did take to run- like a puppy again- over the bridge, she is pain-free!
    I have 2 Boxers (Starla & Rocket Boy) and 2 cats (Dublin & Chacherie) that are all the most loving, well-behaved, full of personality, harmonious dwellers a Goddess could have! And EVERY day I thank GPS for them, every day when I get home I thank them for being the best things in my life. In every gratitude list they are at the top. They are family. They are cherished. And oh, I lament the day I will have to say good-bye.

  • Debbie Dunham November 5, 2015, 1:47 am

    I am so, so sorry. I am a crazy dog person. We currently have four and I’m scouting for my next. She will be a black lab to replace my sweet Czar who died almost five years ago. I wrote about him on my blog Debbie Does 50! http://blog.debbiedoes50.com/2011/01/big-dog-down.html

  • [email protected] November 5, 2015, 1:40 am

    That was so beautifully written — it was like taking a journey into the wonderland of dogs and love. I have 3 pussy cats — They keep me company some of the time and are sweet and adorable. Hugging them brings comfort to me. They let me snuggle into them. They know I am their Mommy. I never liked cats until Heidi came into my life. My heart flew open for not only cats but also dogs. Actually all animals touch my heart — except for sn…s.

    Animals are as essential as water and air. I am so glad I found them and they found me.

    Maggi (no e) — I love having a dog name.

  • Nina November 5, 2015, 1:33 am

    Dearest Mama Gena, I can deeply relate to you and your love for Princess and the love you received from her. My dog Hoomy, my two girls and me share these same feelings. Our dog saved our lives when we were in a deeply traumatic situation – just by being there and loving us. I wrote a book about everything my dog taught me. I promise to send you a copy as soon as it is in print. Big hug from Germany, Nina

  • kaz November 5, 2015, 1:27 am

    Thank you for sharing. I am in the process of opening my heart to the unconditional LOVe of a precious being that follows me everywhere and only wants to be LOVed and PLAY.
    6 months ago the man i thought i was the love of my life, changed. Within a heart beat and not a look back, he walked out our door and didn’t look back. He had come with a dog and had left alone. I would NEVER have chosen to have a dog at time point in my life. But, creator’s will and life circumstances have brought Boots to me. In moments, I am resentful of the responsibility and commitment, desperately seeking freedom from the intense grief. I continually surrender to the moment, the opportunities and need to get outside, to find dog friendly environments and to open to his unrelenting nudges of affection and LOVe.
    Yesterday, my ex drove by one of the local dog parks in his work truck. In the last week, i have seen him drive by 3 times, for 6 months there was no sights of him. Boots played with 3 other dogs, i was laughing with their owners, and i was overwhelmed with sadness for him. Because in the momentary frustrations of living with Boots, I have found that true LOVe really exists, in the simply gestures of a dog.
    Blesssings of LOVe and light for your loss. And thank you for sharing, your words will help me focus on the blessing of this time with BOOTS!

  • carla s November 5, 2015, 12:45 am

    What a beautiful ode to your beloved pooch! I was right with you in all that you said. My family just got a puppy about 6 weeks ago, and he’s lit up everyone’s hearts. Sending you love and hugs during this difficult transition. Sounds like you were a most beautiful mama to her.

  • Eileen November 5, 2015, 12:42 am

    Regena,
    The beautiful and painful story of your loss took my breathe away.
    My first dog was also a rescue and after she died it too me years to have the courage to love another again.
    I adopted Sophie from a rescue shelter 3 years ago at the age of 8. Like Princess she was depressed and unkempt. She had been in a kill shelter first for a month then a month in a dirty rescue shelter in a cage. She was malnurished and unwanted by potential owners because of her age.
    I had searched the web I was looking for a dog under the age of 5and then I found her. When we met she jumped in to my lap, Pussy fell in love. Sophie and I were just about the same age.
    It was not easy. She had been mistreated, suffered with PTSD.
    She hated city life and loved when we were home in New Jersey…so after a year of figuring out how to change Sophie GPS
    Advised me to use Sophie as my guide and move to the beach.
    We love it here.
    Sophie is my therapist, my Angel, my child..and a gift I never expected to have.
    She came to me with a shorter time than had I chosen a puppy but she has filled every day with life and joy. Turns out Sophie like
    Princess is a Goddess and turns
    Everyone on.
    I will be in rupture too when she passes..
    Sending you love and appreciation for your willingness to share..
    Thank you and Bless you
    Eileen

  • Sasha Stone November 5, 2015, 12:07 am

    Mama Gena,
    So sorry for your loss, and all the heartache and grief that goes with it. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story of Princess.
    Right now, I am being broken open by my beloved, who is suffering deeply with longstanding depression. There are moments when I want to run away, but I don’t. I am here and learning how to take amazing care of myself in the context of this very real challenge.
    Blessings to you All-Ways!
    Sasha

  • Wild November 4, 2015, 11:59 pm

    Having rescued many doggies, wondered at my sanity as I waded through years of dog-care, been loved out of my frustrations by each of them, being known as the woman with the ”doggy geriatric home for 18 year old wieners”, I deeply resonate with this pain among pains from your darling’s crossing over.
    Princess gifted me, once, when she deigned to allow me a gentle stroke of her fluffy head 🙂
    I treasure that memory and am grateful for her genteel graciousness as your doggy guardian.
    Squeezes to you, beautiful Regena. xx

  • Lesley Edwards November 4, 2015, 11:30 pm

    I am moved to tears by your story 🙂 So many hugs for your grief!

    Matt is the love of my life and he loves me like this, totally unconditionally, and even when I am grumply with him he hears it as “I love you Matt”. I swear if I could bottle his delusions of love, we’d make a fortune 🙂 He breaks me open daily with his love and makes me softer and way more potently powerful, what a gift!

  • Monick Halm November 4, 2015, 11:30 pm

    Oh Regena, I’m so sorry for your loss. I have felt that with the loss of my beloved Max. It is devastating to lose the love of a being that loves you so unconditionally, and your post had me crying.

    My favorite frame from your post is this: “[People with dogs] are people who want to be reminded daily that they are the most important thing in the world, and worthy of deep relentless adoration and affection. …In fact, it could just be another one of the millions of glorious ways that the GPS has created to remind us of our extreme irrefutable value.”

    Thank you for your posts and your extreme irrefutable value in my life.

    • Lisa November 5, 2015, 5:10 am

      <3 you too lady – its lisa from Noah's YTT. amazing to see you on here sister xoxo

  • Renée Suzanne November 4, 2015, 11:07 pm

    Dearest Mama Gena,

    So very sorry to hear of your loss. I’m sending love and hugs to you and Maggie.

    Thank you for this heartwarming post. I almost feel like I knew Princess myself.

    xoxoxo

    SG Renée

  • Linda November 4, 2015, 10:47 pm

    Mama Gena,

    You pierced my heart wide open to tears as I read this. I am really sorry for yours and Maggies loss. My dog is so dear to me, my husband and son. You have rocked my world in Mastery and looking forward to Creation.
    Thanks for writing this beautiful story!

  • Megan November 4, 2015, 10:22 pm

    What a beautiful piece of writing. I am reaching out in connection. I lost my dear, loving kitty last weekend. The experience has been intense for me – a first close experience with death. So much sadness, and yet what I used to do when I was sad was return home and cuddle up next to her. She always knew when her presence was needed. It is such a loss, and yet I am feeling that her spirit has not gone but is merely expanding into the rest of my life. Nothing will replace the feel of her small warm furry body, and yet, like finding your post, she will by my consistent wordless spirit supporter. Thank you for sharing your story. It was healing for me.

  • Maryanne November 4, 2015, 10:22 pm

    May the pain of your loss be lessened by the joy of your memories of sweet Princess. My daily snuggles with Pepito, my Bichon, remind me how vital it is to our health and happiness, to touch and be touched!
    Looking forward to learning more about the GPS next weekend in Miami 🙂
    warm hug,
    Maryanne

  • Anne Wallace November 4, 2015, 10:22 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss.

    For me, dogs are a direct portal into my heart. Some extraordinary ones have found me when I didn’t even know I needed them.

    PS – I highly recommend reading The Genius of Dogs by Brian Hare and Vanesa Woods.

  • Carolyn November 4, 2015, 10:14 pm

    Princess is a beauty. My heart hurts for you. Thank you for sharing.

    I don’t worry about what my Pomeranians will do without me, but I do worry what I will do without them. This is what is so hard about love. It contains the loss. We had our male Pomeranian for only 3 weeks, when his first visit to the vet revealed a grade 5 heart murmur. It was due to a PDA, and as I researched the problem and realized my little guy was not even 3 pounds and would have to have heart surgery, I could not look at him without feeling a stab to my heart. He was adorable and full of mischief, and he made me laugh, but I did not know if he would survive and every smile was filled with ache. That was 7 years ago. He had the surgery and is supposed to have a normal life span. That is not to say he has had two broken legs, and his stomach pumped when he ate an Aleve. We live in Florida and I worry he will eat a Bufo frog and die. He loves to chase lizards. His sister, Princess Pumpkin, (not biological) is 5, and causes us no grief. She sits prettily as though she is posing for a photo, and waits patiently. She has many cat tendencies, independent and aloof but also loves to snuggle. She makes me very happy. I call her a Ca-dog.

    I often compare my feelings for them to my feelings for people, past and present. I love their honesty, their sheer doggyness. I love the fact that they would leave me for a piece of bacon. I would try to win them back with filet mignon. I love that Mojo sits on my lap whenever I sit down. When Princess Pumpkin burrows into my side, it is very special.

    I dread the loss. I dread what you are going through, but it is so worth it to have this love in my life. I often tell my single friends, forget about husbands. Get a dog, a variety of sex toys, and a handyman. A trust fund would be good too!

    I am so sorry for your loss. Sending love.

  • Jill is Magic November 4, 2015, 10:02 pm

    Regena, my heart goes out to you and Maggie. Thank you for sharing your love and grief so vulnerably – you honor Princess beautifully.
    My fur children are feline, although I like to say they are dog-cats, because they love to be around people and wait at the door for me. I call Mina the heart opener – she cracks my heart open daily – she knows when I am going through something and is always by my side, or trying to walk in front of my laptop , offering love no matter what. Also, being my child, she finds a way to make everyone who comes in the house fall in love with her – she just has a way of worming her way onto someone’s lap, especially cute guys lol. I often call her my princess and she definitely rules my heart.
    Her older brother OZ is in his elder years, he is 18 which is quite old for a cat. I am his 3rd owner and he was always the red headed step child…until a few years ago when I rescued from the jaws of a dog that had come in our yard and attacked him. He became a different cat after that, more loving and bonded to me, but I also opened my heart to loving him in a deeper way. From the X-ray after the attack, I learned he had bad arthritis and have been able to better care for him in his elder years. I even have a ramp for him to get onto my bed – the gramp ramp 🙂
    I try to love and appreciate them everyday, but sometimes I am in my own world and they are just living beside me. Your post touched the core of what is is to let an animal into your heart and how they come to rule you, in the best of ways. Your words brought tears to my eyes. And how you tied your experience to GPS is brilliant. I am so grateful you are my teacher, that we get to share this incredible moment in time together as women, and for all you do to raise consciousness and champion the feminine in our patriarchal culture.
    Sending massive hugs and love as you grieve
    Jill

  • Deb Castellano November 4, 2015, 9:54 pm

    Oh, Regena, what a beautiful post! I know EXACTLY how devastating it is, and how beautiful the unconditional love of a pet. Sending love to you and Maggie. xoxoxo

  • Nikki Torres November 4, 2015, 9:51 pm

    Dear Mama— I am so sorry for your loss. Dogs are family without a doubt. I loved seeing the pics of your adorable Princess! So aptly named in seeing her mama is a Queen. I live with the most beautiful Pit-mix, Dakota, who loves us unconditionally. She is our protector when Dan is away, and a cuddle buddy when I need a friend. I can relate to your feeling of having non stop affection from a dog even when we don’t want it—my 65lb baby can be like a magnet at all times if I give her the chance. When I finally went back to school after waiting about 20 years, I nervously worked on some Online assignments (a whole new concept to add to the intimidation of being outside a learning environment for so long) and Dakota would sit next to me the whole time. She made my efforts feel not so lonely, and became my silent cheerleader. I earned a 4.0 that first semester, and I thanked her for being my buddy. Then I realized that since she’s currently 8 years old, she won’t be there to see me through my bachelors & masters degrees. I made a note to remind myself to include her in my thank you speech for when I win most awesome student ever award (Because that’s gotta be a thing, and I will win it) for her undying companionship. I thank you for sharing the love you have for that beautiful life that your family saved and made complete. I think dogs are so wonderful because they appreciate every second and forget any slight from a good person who loves & cares for them. Knowing how much love she had in her life, and that you were involved in that, you can feel blessed that you made her existence exquisite. Much love-SG Nikki

  • Tara Dixon November 4, 2015, 9:38 pm

    “Because of the dog’s joyfulness, our own is increased. It is no small gift.” — Mary Oliver from Dog Songs

    Blessings to you and Maggie.

    much love-

    Tara

  • Julie November 4, 2015, 9:32 pm

    My beautiful Beau – 10 year-old golden retriever – passed the day before your sweet girl. You’ve captured so much so well. Thank you. I got him as a single mother of two girls and Ashley the cat to bring some masculine energy into the house. He watched my every move and was under my feet at all times…unless the girls were in bed when he expertly positioned himself at the bottom of the stairs with a sight line to me. Pets were my thing growing up, however, having this partner, of sorts, leave has been such a profound loss. I’m so sorry for yours.

  • SGC Teresa November 4, 2015, 9:22 pm

    Regena, I’m so sorry to hear that your loving, cuddly, precious, four-legged pet princess died. Lovely article capturing all the phases of welcoming a furry friend into our homes. Years ago, my best confidant was my beautiful Persian cat! Oh the stories he could have told of adventures, grief and happiness if only his big loving face could speak human. So glad that no adult ears ever heard the pity party I’d share on occasion with my furry friend! GPS runs its course and while I now have no pets in my life, I sure do reveal in what all our pets hear, see and feel as part of a loving member in our homes! Now mine would say, “live life full throttle” MGSWA!

  • Carme Algueró November 4, 2015, 9:19 pm

    Mama Gena, I don’t have any pet, but your writing about Princess has moved me to tears!

  • Holly W November 4, 2015, 9:08 pm

    Thank you so for your share! I’m so happy that you found a soulmate through your dog and i’m sorry for your loss. We had to send our sweet dog, Gia, to live with my in-laws when our son was born last year. It broke my heart and i got filled up with the love of taking care of a newborn. Now i’m expecting another baby next month and not sure how i can love even more! This is the beauty of animals, children, people…. I’m learning to love more than i ever thought i could, to love more than i ever expected of myself. I’m hoping we get Gia back to live with us in the future because she truly is a soul mate to me but i’m happy knowing that she’s loved and respected (and can run for acres instead of walking a few city blocks 3x per day). I’m in trust of The GPS that she knows what’s best for me and my growing family, and for you and yours as well. RIP, sweet Princess.

  • Patty November 4, 2015, 8:56 pm

    Regena
    I’m sorry about the passing of your littlest family member. All the lessons and all the love just make the hole feel a little bigger. There will never be another Princess. That’s what I think about my last “child”, who I snatched up to fill the quiet when the kids moved on to college. I love this line from O’Henry, “It seemed like a good idea at the time, but wait til I tell you”. And that was her. Unfortunately , I need her now and not sure how that happened….she just snuck in there with her big browns. One of my best friends. And I don’t care who gets it. I get it.

  • SG Rorie November 4, 2015, 8:52 pm

    Regena~ I am hugging you fiercely and with such deep love! I am celebrating Princess in her earthly and etheric JOY. The widest love to you and Maggie. As Princess shows up everywhere now. Thank you for your rupture and wide open allowing. BIG HUGS of love, grief, joy and celebration of such a blessed souls life. To family, furry and ferocious! Love SG R:)

  • Shannon November 4, 2015, 8:44 pm

    Regena, I’m so sorry for your loss and so filled with joy for the life you and Maggie shared with Princess. I am a 3rd generation cat person and receive from my kitties (currently 4 former strays/shelter/rescues) the unconditional lap-sitting, pillow-sleeping love you described. And I have many beautiful wooden boxes with the remains of my earlier feline loves. One of my favorite times is to realize there’s a cat snoozing in my lap and I had no idea when she crawled in. One used to lie across my shoulders while I worked on the computer, until he got too big. When it’s their time to pass, I help them if they need it, and whisper “I love you. Come back to me when you can.” And I think some of them have. Knowing I’ll have to say goodbye to these four someday helps me remember to love them today the way they love me.

  • Melanie Christner November 4, 2015, 8:44 pm

    I identify with the reluctance to accept a canine into my world. I already had four children when we felt it was time to add Maisie to the mix. Adding a puppy (a demanding and intelligent German Shepherd no less) was like adding a newborn all over again and I was quickly regretting our decision.

    But I slowly let her in and became her mother – the one to train her…and make sure everyone else was consistent with her training. Troubleshooting her puppy issues, cleaning up her accidents, feeding her the best food, and taking her to the best vet.

    We made it to one year and our/my hard work was paying off. She was a delight to have in our lives…so smart, so loving. Then she went to get spayed…and never woke up. 7 months later and the tears still come sometime. I wasn’t a dog person, and now I am.

  • SG Laura November 4, 2015, 8:42 pm

    omg this made me cry! thank you for sharing – what a beautiful expression of your love, so sorry for your loss. It also made me so happy you rescued her – rescues are my favourite breed! I am one of those crazy dog people with 4 dogs and they are my children – and my parents have finally resigned that they are the closest they will have to grandkids and adore them too! The pain of that loss is so deep it would be so much easier to say no to letting them into your hearts, but being so involved in the rescue world here in the Bahamas I do wish even more people would let themselves be vulnerable for the sake of that little dog or cat as so many dogs and cats never know what it is to feel safe or loved. The grief gets easier each day and the joy of changing the life of a lucky animal forever is exponential. “Saving one dog will not change the world, but surely for that one dog the world will change forever.”

  • Jane November 4, 2015, 8:37 pm

    Oh Regena, I so feel for your loss. And I am so happy that you had the experience with Princess. I have found nothing like it. My first dog, Clyde, a handsome Yorkshire terrier sat on my pillow and licked my tears as I processed through the pain of my divorce. He protected me from delivery men and mailmen, and happily welcomed me home as Princess did for you, whether I was gone 5 minutes, 5 hours or 5 days.
    How fortunate we are to have had the experience of such profound unconditional love. I send you mine.

  • Meg November 4, 2015, 8:37 pm

    Oh Regena! I’m so sorry to hear about Princess. There is nothing more amazing and more heartbreaking that the unconditional love of a dog for her humans. They come into our lives, turn them upside down, witness our raptures and our ruptures with love and devotion, and then leave us all too soon but always for the better. Sending you and Maggie love and hugs.

  • Tracy aka SG Mystery November 4, 2015, 8:36 pm

    First of all, my sincerest condolences on your loss. I know that this will be a very difficult time for you and Maggie, but, having lost 3 dogs over the course of my life firmly believe that the immeasurable pain we suffer at their loss is in direct proportion to the unconditional love they gave us and we gave to them. In other words, it hurts like hell, but it is worth it. I have been dealing with a preparation of loss with our own dog, Annabelle, who, at 13+, is showing signs of age due to pre-congestive heart failure, etc. so your story is quite timely for me. I hope that time will make it easier for you to remember Princess with less pain, but may those memories always keep her close to your heart!

  • Suzi November 4, 2015, 8:30 pm

    Oh Mama. I’m so very sorry for your loss and have a similar tale of my darling Maggie Mae, who we lost at 15. She was my first baby before I had human babies, and saw me through family issues, the birth of 2 children who she grew to love and protect, then divorce when I thought I would literally fall apart. She was always there, tail wagging, wise grey beard and brown eyes loving. It’s amazing what they give us. And now we have Flurry, who loves my children almost as much as I do. She’s my running partner, alarm clock, and wakes my kids up with licks every morning. She climbs under the covers with them in bed, and goes berzerk when we get home from school/work. There is something to that saying, “I just want to be the person my dog thinks I am.” And I’m sure you were that for Princess. Thank you for giving her a loving forever home.

  • judith pepper November 4, 2015, 8:29 pm

    Regina,
    Sending big Texas hugs to you as your heart moans and sobs with the loss of Princess. Animal loyalty is absolute. Animals have helped me open my heart and home to the least wanted. Four stray cats later, with two perched on my bed waiting for nothing but a gentle pat and sweet kiss, my heart joyously sings, “thank you for loving me.” xo jf

  • Leslie Berliant November 4, 2015, 8:26 pm

    I am so sorry for your loss and so understand the depths of grief that seem to be beyond reason. I read somewhere that dogs are the only creatures that love you more than they love themselves. In July, our one and only dog died in my arms. Like Princess, he was a sibling to my daughter, a partner in raising her, and my constant companion, loving me through all of my impatience and frustration. I’ve lost people and not mourned the way I have for Sidney. Sending you and Maggie so much love as you navigate your grief.