The Never-Ending Gift of the Bordeaux

 by Judith L. Cantrell   (October 2015)

Everyone who has ever lived with a Dogue de Bordeaux has had their heart broken by the loss of their beloved dogue, or felt extreme sadness for someone else who lost theirs. This breed affects us like no other can. They are such a huge part of your life that losing them is just devastating, but if your dogue came back to check on you months later and saw that you were still mourning them, I honestly think they would be crushed.  I think they would feel guilty that they caused you so much pain.

Maritime's Titans Final Destiny, "Destiny"

Maritime’s Titans Final Destiny, “Destiny”

Every last one of us says a Bordeaux will steal your heart. In the case of this wonderful being, I don’t think that is what is really going on. Bordeauxs are not thieves, they are gift-givers.  They are the most loving, non-conditional, giving dogues I know.  I don’t think they ever knowingly ‘take’.  I think they give YOU part of THEIR heart instead. It lives inside you beating at the same rate as yours without you even knowing it is there. You feel it sometimes when you feel that ‘extra’ love, ‘extra’ happiness, ‘extra’ joy and/or ‘extra’ pride.

Unfortunately they have a pretty short life span. A life packed THAT full cannot go on forever. Like a beautiful firework display, they pack a powerful punch of love, laughter, fun, and emotion into the better part of a decade and then silently fade away.

They are very wise souls. They know we humans cannot let go easily. They try to prepare us for that day when they must go. They do what they can to teach us to laugh and enjoy every aspect of life.  They show us how to be brave. It is up to us to learn from them. They show us how to be forgiving, even to forgive those that have wronged us or that do not seem to deserve it.  If they can forgive humans after some of the horrible things humans have done to Bordeauxs, they really are saintly creatures. We need to learn from them.  They are setting the example we should follow; to be brave, to love, to forgive, and to laugh and enjoy life to the fullest!

Another gift Bordeauxs give to their humans is the gift of a quick ending. They do not linger on this earth once their bodies begin to wear out. They do not make you helplessly watch them decline as the months and years drag on. They go quickly to keep YOU from suffering. THEY know they are not really leaving; they will still be there watching over you. They are just leaving their broken body and their pain behind. Humans haven’t figured this out yet.

Humans dwell solely on the ‘loss of their friend’. Many humans just cannot let go. Bordeauxs do not want us to be sad. That is why they act the clown; to make us laugh, to keep life happy. They work hard to create many good memories so we can look back at the lives we shared with them and smile.  They want us to go on.

After they pass, some say our heart feels like it is broken in two. It feels like there is a giant gap that will never be filled. I don’t believe that is true. Remember that piece of their heart they placed inside you? The pain you feel is that piece of heart beating differently from yours; YOUR heart is out of sync, not theirs. It is because as long as we grieve and cry for them, our heart will not beat as it should.

Dimples De Legeane "Dimples"

Dimples De Legeane “Dimples”

Their piece of heart continues to beat a strong normal beat to give you strength and help you return to living a happy full life. As long as we fight it and focus on the loss of our beloved friend, our hearts will beat separately and out of sync. Once we start to concentrate on the life we shared together, accept that they are OK and understand that they have not really left us, our two hearts will merge together and beat as one again. That is when they heal us; THEIR heart strengthens ours. Their best gift is indeed heartfelt.  They continue to guard us and watch over us.  Their spirit surrounds us forever.

They must miss us as much as we miss them because they seem to visit us often, usually when we least expect it. When you see another dog do something yours used to do…it is them. When you see another DDB that looks like yours…they brought you together so you do not forget what they looked like. When you hear the same bark, yodel, or snort…it’s them. When you remember something they did…THEY sparked that memory.  They never leave us. It is, however, up to us, to learn how to continue to enjoy them after they have passed. It can be done.  Their heart allows us to go on.  That is the never-ending gift they give to us.

They watch us from over the bridge. They will keep watch over us forever. When they feel we are ready, they will provide us with the opportunity to share our lives with another bordeaux angel. They know it is not their replacement. They are neither selfish nor greedy. They know it is an addition to their family. It’s someone to fulfill our human need to physically touch, hold, kiss, and love again. It’s someone new for a playmate they may have left behind to play and walrus with. It is someone they can laugh with when they come to visit.

Personally, I would rather go through the pain and heart merger, than to lose out on the amazing friendship this unique breed has to offer. I will do it over and over and over again. I will do it until my chest is so full of Bordeaux hearts that mine doesn’t exist anymore!

God love the Dogue de Bordeaux!

I know I do.