I stopped listening to music June 28, 2021.

It was the day my Charlie took his last doggy breath.

In listening to music again, here's a photo of my sweet Charlie boy

I didn’t make a conscious decision really.

But I knew that it was going to be hard enough to adjust to sitting in my chair without him being by my side, his body warming mine.

I’d have to get through that part first. So one step at a time.

Why Music Makes Us Feel Emotional:

A neuroscientist explained that music is the language of emotion. He went on to say:

Much of the emotional significance that we find in music comes from our own life experiences. While still in the cradle we learn to associate the music we hear with the emotional environment we hear it in. So a mother’s lullaby might imprint us with calm memories for major keys, while a lovers’ lament in A minor would remind us of breakups and ex-girlfriends.

The CD Bright Future by Peder B. Helland

The loss of Charlie was like a stone I had to swallow every single day.

You can’t lasso love and put it in a box. It follows in your footsteps wherever you go.

Some people don’t see pets the way I do. To me, they are beloved family members. I would rather be around my pets than be around most people.

Pets love you unconditionally. How many humans can you say that about?

A dual photo of Charlie and on the other side is Abi
Charlie Ross & Abi Rose

Why Losing A Dog Can Be Harder Than Losing A Relative Or Friend:

Cornelia H. Dudley, Professor of Psychology at Knox College, wrote the following about his and his wife’s experience with losing a dear pet:

When people who have never had a dog see their dog-owning friends mourn the loss of a pet, they probably think it’s all a bit of an overreaction; after all, it’s “just a dog. However, those who have loved a dog know the truth: Your own pet is never “just a dog.”

He said that many times, he’s had friends guiltily confide to him that they grieved more over the loss of a dog than over the loss of friends or relatives.

Research has confirmed that for most people, the loss of a dog is, in almost every way, comparable to the loss of a human loved one.

Certain pieces of music can remind us of past events, experiences, and people. And this triggers memories and associated emotions.

Thus the pain of loss seems to be intensified when listening to music that already brings up emotions.

Front of CD of Jim Brickman's Greatest Hits

Yesterday:

I took the remote to my Crosley CD player out of the drawer where it had been for the past six months.

I had no idea what CD was in the slot, but it really didn’t matter. For the most part, I listen to instrumental piano music.

I let the melody flow through me and absorbed the accompanying emotions.

Once I listened to one CD, I got up to pick out another one. I realized that I’d missed this.

My grief still walks with me. I savor my memories and my photos of Abi and Charlie, for they are precious.

I just keep telling myself: One step at a time.

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18 Comments

  1. Anyone who has had a pet can relate to what you’ve written. Yes, your own pet is never just a dog, and they are absolutely, positively family members who give us their whole hearts in exchange for ours. Glad that you are finding joy in music again.

  2. Great post. Music does bring back so many memories..both good and sometimes borderline bad..or what may have eneded not so good in our lives’ relationships…. For those who have never loved a dog or pet ..what a great loss..its an unconditional love that humans do not always give each other.. … and “Music is the Universal Language” and I agree its provokes a lot of emotional…..even the Christmas music evokes for me both happiness and sadness of the Family members who are no longer with us and when driving alone in the car..I have to switch the channel sometimes ..so as to not mess up my makeup. Enjoy the peaceful music and the sweet memories of your furbabies. Merry Christmas. I know you are getting excited about your future relocaton. :0)

  3. You hit the nail on the head perfectly with speaking of grief and our pets.
    It is like you say a nail in your throat.

  4. Yes! There is just something about the special songs that have many memories! I still have a good cry after I listen to some songs and it has been six years since my husband and beloved dog have passed away!

  5. I fully agree Brenda! No kids here so our cats are/were our kids. When our last cat passed away I was so sad for six months. The one thing that really helped was getting back in my gardens again the following spring. It took us five years to get another cat. I am glad you are able to start enjoying music again.
    Take care.❤️

  6. I understand and agree with all you share here in this post, Brenda. I think no one who has not had a dog who lived beside them in the house…well, they can not know what we do about such. After all, our dogs are with us more than any other human ever is…and yes, loving unconditionally!! I wish I could have a dog again, but right now I could not handle any more to do frankly!!

  7. My beloved dearly departed dogs show up in my dreams regularly, and they often talk like people do. In dreams, of course, anything is possible and seems not so out of the ordinary. But when I dream of one or more of my dogs on any particular night and wake up remembering them, I have a smile on my face and laugh in the shower at dogs “talking” like “Mr. Ed” (the talking horse) did back in the TV show (in black and white as I remember it) in the “olden days.” LOL! Note, though – my doggies usually talk more common sense than some humans around me do. So, there’s that. I expect my “dream talking dogs” will be with me until I breath my last, and I’ll listen to them and take their advice as long as they continue to talk to me in English.

  8. So so true. There is a special love between you and your furry people. It’s devastating when that separation happens.
    Lovely post, sending you all good wishes.
    Mary

  9. We have pictures in our home of all the pets we have lost and a couple collars by them.Plus a little box of ashes..except for my Spooky cat..just cannot do it yet.We tell stories of past memories and still grieve and some have been gone for years..our little 3 year old teddy bears keep us going and are such a joy…I read your blog daily also…we are all addicted…it is the only one I follow..love the decorating…plants and flowers and just reading your deep thoughts…we will all be excited to see you do this all at the new place..Take care of yourself and good luck with the move..have a blessed holiday❄

  10. Sweet little Charlie. He was the cutest little guy and I know you loved him so much. Yes us doggie owners know they are not “just a dog”. They are part of our family and they give us unconditional love. In fact I feel dogs and cats love us more than a humans and do it unconditionally. I love music too. So happy there are several types of Christmas music stations now too. I love the soft Christmas station that plays softer piano and lite songs of Christmas. Have a good week.

  11. Hi Brenda, I read yesterday’s blog this morning and had to let you know that you are a part of my day. It is good to check in with friends & that’s what I do when I read your blog. My “real” BFF even asks how you are doing. I had no idea that there were blog rules and how they can contribute to your income. Just know that way up here in North Central Alberta, Canada you have a Friend. I am looking forward to your move. Best wishes to you and your beautiful kitties.

  12. So true. I was at a stunningly beautiful concert the other night and cried for the last 15 minutes. And so true about pets. Maybe it’s about their dependency on us and making a decision about a little life. Heartbreaking.

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