Death often happens when we least expect it. We don’t go around thinking that we’re going to lose our loved ones, but then it happens and we don’t know what to do with ourselves. This is especially true for losing dogs since they live such short lives. Even though we know they won’t live forever, we still don’t know how to cope with it when we finally do lose them. However, author Amy Kite decided to use the loss of her own dog to help others.
Gus was an adorable Bichon mix that Kite adopted from a local shelter. She and her 3 kids had bonded with Gus quickly in just a short amount of time. He was a young pup at only 2 years old, so they figured he still had a long life ahead of him.
However, when Kite was walking Gus one day, something out of the ordinary happened. Gus got stung by a bee and had a horrible allergic reaction! Before she could even process what was happening, he was already gone.
Just like that, Gus was taken from the family without warning. They didn’t know how to handle their grief.
“I was heartbroken,” said Kite. “For me, everything with a pet is connected to joy and love so there’s this void when that gets taken away. When you walk into the house and he’s no longer there, there’s an emptiness and it’s devastating.”
As sad as Kite was, she knew that her children were in even more pain. They had very little experience with death, so it hit them harder than Kite could’ve imagined. They were all either angry or sad about what had happened to their beloved dog.
For many dog lovers, sitting around being sad seems like the best way to get through the pain. But Kite knew that there was more she could do. Being a writer, she knew she could find a way to help others that were going through a similar situation. So, Gus’ story inspired her to write a children’s book on the topic of grief and loss.
Kite’s book titled Goodbye, Gus was recently published. It’s designed for kids ages 2 to 8, but she hopes it can help anyone who really needs it. Not only is it a tribute to Gus, but it’s also a tribute to rescue dogs as a whole. Kite hopes that the book will help kids learn how to deal with the loss of their own dogs.
“Death is an unavoidable part of life. Everyone will experience loss,” said Kite. “So, it’s ironic that we steer away from the topic. Death shouldn’t be a taboo topic. Being someone who was younger when my dad died, I still love when people bring up my dad.”
In terms of when it’s okay to get another dog, Kite says that it’s completely a personal choice. After Gus passed away, she adopted another dog the next day in his honor. She believes that just because Gus is gone, it doesn’t mean she can’t open her heart to other dogs in need.
“I felt like to honor Gus, I had to open my heart and so I went back to the rescue shelter and got Cosmo the next day. I was rescuing him but he was rescuing me, too,” said Kite.
Gus only had a short life, but he was lucky to spend it with people who love him. Kite says that’s what having a dog is really all about: living in the present. Enjoy the good moments with your pup so you will have something beautiful to look back on when they pass away. Don’t ever take the moments you spend with your dog for granted.
You can now purchase Kite’s adorable children’s book on Amazon!
Featured Image: @AmyKiteAuthor/Facebook
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