Two years ago, I met my soul dog. Covid had hit. My oldest went to college. The world turned upside down in a million different ways, both globally and personally. Even though our family already had a dog at the time, Lila, who is still with us, and my daughter’s two rescue cats, I needed a baby, a comfort, a companion.
I found a breeder in Pennsylvania that had a litter of French Bulldog puppies. Since it was only a two-hour drive from my home, I went to meet the breeder and the puppies. The puppies weren’t ready to leave their mama yet, so I returned home, sent in a deposit, and six or so weeks later, drove another two hours to pick up my new companion.
Little did I know what I was getting.
He was a black Frenchie, with a small bit of white on his chest. I chose the color simply because he matched Lila, who was black and white. Choosing and adopting Ed was very much done on a whim. It was an impulsive and rash, and very expensive decision.
It was also the absolute best decision of my life. Why?
Because I met my soul dog that day.
His name was Edward Cullen Meyer, and he was a character. No one could look at Ed and not smile. He brightened every room he was in, touched every person he met. A stranger even came up to me at my son’s baseball tournament and asked, “Is this the infamous Ed?” I’d never seen the man before, and never saw the man again.
Ed was, simply, Ed, and everyone loved him. I adored, cherished, and bonded with him in a way that I knew, even when he was alive, was very special.
He was my best friend, and I don’t say that lightly. He truly was my soulmate. If you’ve met your soul pet, you know exactly what I’m talking about.
Ed had a congenital heart condition that would take him from me two years later, about five months ago. Only now can I even think about writing about him. Even now I am sobbing because I miss him so much. Some days I can’t stand it, my heart hurts so bad.
But we all know the price of love is loss. I wouldn’t trade a single tear, and I’ve shed millions since he died.
What is a soul dog? A soul pet is the pet that you have an almost otherworldly connection with; that you bond with at a deeper level than other pets; that you feel a spiritual connection with. When you have that connection, you don’t need to justify it. You just know it. Your soul knows it.
All animals are special. In fact, I believe all animals are angels. They love without condition, are happy without qualification, are silly, cuddly, and all around essential to quality of life. All they expect from us in return is love and care.
Soul pets, though, are a step beyond. There was something undoubtedly special about Ed, and everyone felt it. Especially me. I love Lila with all my heart. This post takes nothing away from how much I love her. But Ed was…Ed. Sometimes that’s the only way I can sum him up.
He had a big job to do, down on earth as my companion, but he did it with unconditional love and attention. He filled me with so much joy on a daily basis, the absence of that joy is strikingly sharp.
I truly believe Edward chose to come to earth to be by my side during the hardest two years of my life. I don’t know how I would’ve survived without him.
He was special with a capitol ‘S’, and we were very, very close. Where I was, Ed was. Where I sat, Ed sat. Where I walked, Ed walked. I stayed home on countless times just to be with him. I woke up every morning at 5:00 am to be with him, weekends included.
His presence physically warmed my heart. I could literally feel my love for him in my chest, it was so profound.
As his health declined, I would tell him that it was okay to leave this earth, that I was okay. And I would thank him for coming to me when I needed him most. And that I loved him so much, I wouldn’t want him to linger and suffer for me.
And then, we put him down.
I miss him so much right now I’m not sure I can finish this piece. But it’s important to grieve our animals, and that’s why this piece is important, to me and to others who wonder how on earth they can face another day without their beloved pet. And if you are fortunate enough to have met your soul animal, their loss is even more traumatic.
One day I’ll write about how incredible Lila was in the days after Ed’s passing, when I couldn’t stand to go downstairs in the mornings and not see him, when I felt pangs of such deep loneliness, I didn’t know if they’d ever lessen. My connection to her is deeper now that Ed has passed. She knew she had big shoes to fill and a very broken heart to help mend, and she has been such a blessing.
But Ed was Ed. Ed was my soulmate.
Ed is worth every ounce of grief that my broken heart is experiencing, so I don’t diminish it or rush it.
I hope the above wasn’t too rambling, but I needed to write it, and am crying too hard to keep going back and editing it.
So now to the next point of this blog:
Support and Resources
This first one might come as a surprise, but animal mediums can bring great comfort. Fortunately for me, I already had a relationship with a psychic medium who helped me through two other devastating deaths of (human) loved ones.
I spoke with her on the phone a couple of months before Ed passed. I was sitting at my desk, turned around on my swivel chair, staring at Ed, who was lying on the end of the bed, staring at me.
Two things I really needed to know:
1.Does Ed know how much I love him?
2.Has he been happy/had a good life?
She told me how much he loved me, and that he knew how much I loved him. She paused. Ed and I continued to look at each other. And then she said, “Kisses, kisses, kisses,” out of nowhere, and I started sobbing.
I kissed Ed’s head a hundred times a day. I’d say, “Give me kisses,” and I’d kiss his head three times. Literally a hundred times a day.
Her words verified and validated several things for me—that he knew how special he was to me and that he’d been happy—and her knowledge of the kisses confirmed she knew what she was talking about.
She also told me another thing that was tremendously helpful: pets choose us. That only validated what I already knew—Ed came into my life for a reason. I have zero doubt about this. He came to earth sick, and only lived two years, but came anyway because I desperately needed him.
I think he knew he needed to come to me when he did versus waiting for a time when he could come to earth healthier because I was not in a good place. I was in a dark place, teetering on a knife’s edge. But that was the sacrifice. Come to me when I needed him most, but break my heart by leaving me too quickly. He knew I was strong enough by then, though, and knew I’d manage, while devastated, once he left.
If you’re hurting, struggling, finding it difficult to manage daily activities or to cope with the grief, there is help. Of course, the starting point is loved ones and friends. You’d be surprised how many people suffer pet loss and the subsequent grief alone because they feel others won’t understand. This isn’t true. Many, many people understand, and will be open to talking about it. Some, like me, can’t talk about it yet, and that’s okay too. Writing this was a first step.
There are support groups for pet grief. Here are the resources I’ve accumulated:
1.Ask your vet for grief groups in your area.
Also reach out to others via social media. Pets are part of our family. They deserve to be grieved, and you deserve the chance to grieve. Without judgment or invalidation, or the urging to move on already. Finding people who can understand and sympathize will help mend your broken heart. Talking to others about your soul pet, others who won’t rush you or judge you is imperative in the grief and healing process.
How to Honor Your Soul Pet
Finally, deepest sympathies to any of you who have lost your beloved companion. The pain feels unbearable, so my last suggestion is do something that is meaningful, that honors that soul pet in a unique and special way.
1.You can purchase jewelry meant to hold ashes. This might be a way to keep your pet with you.
2.Purchase a piece of jewelry that will evoke memories of that special bond. For me, I started wearing black onyx. Every time I touch my black onyx necklace, I think of Ed. And I smile, even if I start crying.
3.Get a special frame and put their picture in it. Or have their likeness painted on canvas.
4.Get a tattoo.
I would suggest considering a new pet too quickly very carefully. Sometimes this works. Sometimes, we simply want to recreate what we had with our soul pet, and that’s not always possible. Each animal is different. Make sure you’re not trying to replace your soul pet, and are truly ready for a new experience.
Many hugs, my friends.
What a beautiful tribute to Ed. I’d never heard the term “soul pet” before, but it’s so perfect. My beloved Maltese Monty passed away several years ago from lymphoma. My family and I were broken. Honestly, to this day, I still struggle with the loss. I can’t seem to move on from the grief, let alone get another dog, knowing the inevitability of having to go through it again. Thank you so much for sharing your story. It was so beautifully written, it was worth the few tears I shed.