Kandy Cross

“A Hurting Heart”

"Professor Wilson"After losing three friends to three different types of cancer within three years, I also lost the last day of the month of July, one of my studio assistants to the disease. Having been through periods of grief, which are inevitable, yet another loss was difficult, and it brought back the memories and the pain. Luckily, I had a series of commissions to complete so that I could try to keep focused on my work.


My fur buddy was with us only a little more than a year as he had been adopted following the passing of his first set of parents. Since I had his twin brother and had kept him during their vacations, his transition into the household went quite smoothly, and he had just arrived at the point of acceptance into his new family. Wilson was the quieter Wheaten terrier, who preferred to oversee production and scheduling each work day within the studio. One of his favorite tasks was to alert me when it was time to finish painting for the day, and he knew exactly when that hour was there. When he didn’t want to eat on his last day, I knew that something was terribly wrong, and needed immediate attention. Within an hour he was gone . An autopsy was performed because it was rare for this breed to have this aggressive type of cancer at the age of six years, and I had hoped that it would provide clues as to what caused it, only that remains a mystery.


As anyone who has gone through the loss of a pet knows, life continues onward and time eases the wounds. If you would care to share in the comments, what did you find that made the transition to acceptance and peace easier?


8 Responses to “A Hurting Heart”

  • So sorry to hear about Wilson. I know you, Bruce and Topo will miss him dearly.

    Love you!


    • Topo seems to be doing surprisingly well, so I guess it’s going to be o.k. Love you, and hugs
      back…see you next month!

  • Losing a pet is a rip out of your heart it heels but always leaves a scar…be strong

  • Remembering the good times, cherishing the time that you had together and enjoying the friends and family that surround you with LOVE, I believe that is how you make the transition to acceptance and peace. We love you both!

  • What made it easier? Hmmmm that is a tough one. I would say not rushing to heal, allowing yourself to cry silently or whaling in pain. It took me months to put away her toys. I never wiped her nose print from the one little window by our deck and it was still there when I sold the house. Time was my friend. I was lucky, she was diagnosed and died within a few days. We came to visit her as the hospital she was at called and told us she had taken a turn for the worst, they wheeled her into us and she had been laying basically unresponsive all day. When we saw her condition my husband just said please put her down, she had fluids pouring out of her mouth and behind. When she heard our voices she tried to move and she responded. The vet said this was the only movement and signs of life she had shown all day. We stood there and cried and he came in with the injection. While he was preparing it she took her last breath, in front of us. The vet looked at us shocked, he told us “she waited for you” he never had to euthanize her. It will be 13 years Sept 25th. I still keep her collar hanging on my rear view mirror. . I guess I am trying to say don’t try to forget, it will hurt like hell for a while but allow yourself to grieve. Time does lessen the pain. She was only a little over 2 years of age. Still a baby. I am sorry for your loss . I cherish the times I have now with my three dogs. Mabel my Wheaten is only going to be 2 in November and I don’t take anything for granted. I

  • Colleen,
    I know sharing this brought up a lot of reliving the sorrow, but thank you for sharing this with me.
    What was the cause of death, and was she also a Wheaten? I got goose bumps all over when I
    saw that date. (That is my birthday.) I am also sorry for your loss, and will think of you on that day.
    We also were fortunate that he made the decision for us, and waited until we had gotten home from a family vacation so that we could spend his last hours together.

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