- John Stone Fitness - http://www.johnstonefitness.com -

Difficult week, but doing better; Thank you all.

Loki getting a Christmas treat!

Loki getting a Christmas treat!

First and foremost, I want to sincerely thank all of you who sent me an email, a PM, posted a comment on Facebook, called me on the phone or commented on Monday’s blog. The massive outpouring of compassion and support was extremely touching, and it truly helped us get through this week.

Those of you who were not fortunate enough to know Loki in person still got a taste of his goofy and sweet personality through my blogs, photographs and videos. I know he will be missed by many of you, too.

When I looked into Loki’s eyes on Monday I saw something I’d never seen before in his nearly two decades of life: his beautiful, soft brown eyes were telling me that he had nothing left. It was time, and I knew he was ready.

I wanted Loki’s final moments to be in his home, surrounded by family. Loki’s long-time vet (who also cared for Turtle right until the end), was kind enough to make a house call, just as she did when it was Turtle’s time to go.

Thank you!

Thank you!

Loki passed away shortly before 1:00 PM on Monday, February 3, 2014. He was warm in his bed, with Lisa and I holding and kissing him. As he passed away, I know he felt the love from us, and all of you. He was 18 years, one month old.

This has been a very difficult week. Everything I see and do reminds me of Loki. I still think I hear him in the next room. I subconsciously walk around the place where his bowls used to be, and where his stairs that led up to our bed once were. The space in the family room where his day bed sat for years now looks empty and cold. When I prepare my food I instinctively look down, and feel sad when I don’t see Loki’s smiling and expectant face looking back up at me.

The day after Loki died I was really struggling. I decided what I needed to do was get out on my bike and just ride. I wanted to ride without needing to put much thought into what I was doing. I wanted to avoid traffic, busy roads and even other cyclists. The Van Fleet Trail, which is extremely isolated and remote, is the perfect place for a ride like that.

Loki was with me in spirit, running right alongside my front wheel for the entire 115 kilometers. As I rode along there were a few tears, but mostly smiles as I remembered the great times we had over the past 18 years.

On Tuesday I wanted to be alone, so I went for a 115 kilometer ride on the most remote paved trail in Florida.

On Tuesday I wanted to be alone, so I went for a 115 kilometer ride on the most remote paved trail in Florida.

That long ride really helped me deal with the intense pain I was experiencing. The grief is still there, of course. I always feel it lurking just below the surface, and sometimes it breaches out of nowhere and I fall apart…

Some of you have asked if we’ll be getting another dog (or dogs). The answer to that is a definite “Yes!” Lisa and I are huge dog lovers, and there’s no question that we will welcome a couple more pups who are down on their luck into our family at some point. That said, we’re not even close to ready for that yet. We’ll know when the time is right.

My diet and training this week remained 100% in force. Those things were my “normal” in an otherwise surreal and turbulent week. I did lose a little more weight than I’d hoped for, as my appetite was way down while my activity level has been extremely high. I had to force myself to eat sometimes, and my daily caloric intake was still low on some days.

Thanks for allowing me a couple days away. I didn’t feel like writing this week, and no one wants to come to a health and fitness blog to read about the author’s grieving process anyway. Tomorrow it will be business as usual.

Have a great day! 🙂