September 1, 2013

White Dog nodded toward where Nuka was resting and smiled. "She is doing so much better," WD assessed and I nodded in agreement. Nuka has perhaps had the roughest time of all in the White Dog Army adjusting to the fact that Quinn is no longer physically with us. Her initial reaction was to totally withdraw to the point we feared she was going to give up. She was so grief-stricken and seemed to think that somehow her best friend had abandoned her; it made us ache even more because of her pain.

We have spent extra time holding her and sharing her loss. When Coral comes to give AWD her physical therapy massages, she spends time as she works telling our girl that Quinn is watching over her and loves her very much. It seems to help because after Nuka is more relaxed and rests calmly.

As she has come to realize that she has not been deserted by her best friend, she seeks out the memorial stone Becks made. Nuka rests on it lying on it or using it to cradle her head. there she sleeps peacefully with what Michael calls a smile on her face. For that reason we have left the stone in the living room under the coffee table, where she can easily find and get to it.

She also finds comfort cuddling the stuffie that was one of Quinn's last gifts. Nuka is not a toy user so her attraction can only be for the comfort it offers.
Quinn and Nuka had a very special relationship
The rest of the White Dog Army has stepped in to fill the physical loss. Nuka is a nonchalant pack snuggler and in the old days would just drop down next to (or often on top of) Quinn to share contact and to nap against. Since then, Oso has deliberately gone out of his way to snuggle with her and to allow her to squeeze up against him. Puff has always been patient with her sister's mis-aimed landings on top of her but will now simply shift to adjust instead of getting up and walking away.
Oso and Nuka 
YoYoMa has been particularly amazing in his consolation of his sister. Like White Dog, he does not really pack cluster and usually startles, gets up and walks away when the option presents itself. On several occasions of late, he has looked at me, breathed deeply, and calmly stayed in place as Nuka stretched herself along his flank. After a while he gently rises and leaves the sleeping girl to her dreams. I KNOW this is not easy for him.
YoYoMa and Nuka
The benefits to Nuka have been amazing. I believe that she is coming to understand...that she is loved and safe...that her pack is here for her...and that Quinn is always by her side. She is walking better and moving with more confidence. Her eyes once again have a sparkle of life. She is interested in her environment and the others. She still has moments when sadness wells up (dogs are so much more complex than we give them credit for being) but I can see her now seek comfort instead of sinking into depression. When she tilts her deaf ears skyward and closes her eyes, I am certain that Quinn is reminding her to celebrate life...and her tail wags.


rottrover said...

Oh Nuka! I'm sending you a special rottie snuggle!


Amber DaWeenie said...

Nuka...Quinn is watching over you from the Bridge and directing the pack in giving you all the comfort and love you need. Take comfort in knowing he is always with you.

bbes tribe said...

We are so sorry to hear your pack has one less member. BUT. There is a lot of love and caring going on. Nuka you are so loved by all and Quinn is watching over you all.

Jo's World said...

We have learned over the years that dogs experience grief as intense as we humans do, or moreso.

I am so happy that the pack is helping Nuka to deal with hers.

Jo and Stella

Random Felines said...

oh Nuka..... Quinn will always be with you along with the rest of the WDA

Brian said...

Quinn will love you forever too dear Nuka.

Sagira said...

The snuggling pictures brings tears to my eyes, love all the photos.