Fighting Loneliness

When Bob left the house was so empty I could hardly bear it. I didn't have kids or pets, so my modest 50's Rancher felt as silent as a tomb. A friend of mine advised me to turn on the t.v. "Keep it on in several rooms. It will give you an illusion that someone's in the house."

That was sound advice. I turned on televisions and cd players, and had them playing all at once. The external noise, however, didn't drown out the noise in my head, which represented my terror of being abandoned and of the unknown. But those loud machines made my house feel less empty and I kept them on.

One month after Bob left I began to crave affection and the touch of another being. My other good friend said, "Get a pet."

"But I have allergies," I answered.

She dismissed my concern and replied, "There are allergy free pets." Then she accompanied me to the SPCA after convincing me that a pet would provide the companionship I needed.

"I'll just take a peek," I said. "What are my chances of finding a poodle?"

In the last room, in the last cage, I found him. A tiny terrier-poodle mix. He was snow white and his long tail wagged so furiously it hit the side of his small cage. He sat in front of the cage, and with his eyes, tails, and friendly smile he shone so brightly I couldn't help but notice him. His ecstatic smile and exuberant body language begged me to choose him. I think we both fell instantly in love. Then I read the note on his cage: Cassio, 8 years old. From his entry date I realized he had lived in that small cage for over two months!

Then something - a noise or person - triggered all the dogs in all those cages to raise their voices in howls, barks, and yips. But not this little tyke. He stole my heart with his silence and calm bearing. I had to have him! As the years passed, I like to think that we chose each other.

When he was released from his cage the first thing Cassio did was to pounce playfully on a ball. His spirit had not been broken! Two hours later we arrived home. I renamed him Barney, a moniker that fit him perfectly since he resembled a tiny lamb.

We spent 6 happy and challenging years together (Barney had abandonment issues: Don't we all?)

This tiny creature healed me and I healed him. I will always be grateful to my little pooch for providing me with solace and comfort when I needed it most. Soon I began to turn those t.v.s off. With Barney by my side, my strength and confidence returned.

Moral of the story? I don't know if there is one, except that I advise you to seek something that will replace the emptiness in your heart. For me it was Barney. For others it might be a cat or a hobby, or more involvement with your family, friends, or children.

My canine friend stayed loyal and loving to the end. We adored each other and were inseparable. I put him to sleep in April after he had a stroke. He was fourteen years old at the time. Darling, darling boy. Oh how I miss you!


hisheulb said...


Just left a rather terse comment on your previous blog, but that was before I saw that you'd left a comment on mine, for which I thank you. I'm completely new at this so I may not be adhereing to the accepted blog etiquette. For instance, I don't yet know how to link blogs, although I will look into it as I would be delighted and honored to link yours to mine as well. It seems we are like-mined and traveling in parallel universes. I also like to have talk radio on or the TV on (survival tips for living alone) and wish I could have another dog, but I travel far too much. Be well. - H

Vic's Still Standing said...

That's ok, like minded soul. We are all raw and new at this. I knew where you were coming from as I was feeling a bit terse when I wrote that comment. It is easy to link. Just go into your html code and check your google link. If you've deleted it, blogger help will guide you through it. Hey, I learned this stuff at 57. You will too.

Your blog is extremely relevant, and I like your male point of view. As for travelling-my job takes me far afield. But I cannot live without my tiny companion.

Good luck to you too. Vic

Family Law Portal said...

As a dog lover and divorce writer, I really enjoyed your post. I'm usually 'barking' at people to put the pet first (i.e. be honest about who can provide the best care, never use the pet as a bargaining chip, etc) so it's great to hear how you were both healed. Regards...Family & The Law (Family Law Portal)