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kms4me

Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

kms4me
14 years ago

I know this is a place where most of you come to express your grief at the loss of your human family. I have lost my dad, my brother, my sister-in-law, my mother, 7 uncles,my best friend (she survived a double mastectomy only to die of Lou Gehrig's disease) and all those losses hurt, but the loss I am having the hardest time dealing with is the death of my dog Homer.

I am a fully functioning female, married for 24 years, two kids, a home, not a lot of friends but those I have are pretty close. I think for the most part I am well-adjusted.

But I can't seem to get over my dog's death. It is not a metaphor or a substitute for the humans I have lost--I have grieved them, been angry, come to terms with it, as much as I can.

But oh, I miss my Homer, he was such a huge part of my life, was never away from him for more than a few hours during our life together.

I feel stupid and shallow, but the truth is, this hurts worse than any other loss in my life.

Am I crazy?

Kate

Comments (177)

  • mum4
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you Kate.....As you surely know,the beautiful memories of our precious fur babies are what get us through each day, and being able to reach out for support on this site helps a lot.

    Cathy

  • alison_rushton_gmail_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I lost my little monster last week - he was 13 years old Border collie and had been my rock through so many of the darkest and saddest parts of my life.

    He choose me to be his mummy when he was just 6 weeks old -as soon as I walked in the room he came bounding up to me and wouldnt even let me look at another pup. He was the one that made me get up out of bed every morning and no matter what kind of mood I was in he always made me smile. He took on such a little character, that I actually honestly believe that he never knew he was a dog -he thought he was human.

    He was diagnosed with hip dysplasia 4 years ago and although his body was on the decline his mind was forever young. We bought him a set of wheels to help him run again and the excitement on his little face every time we picked them up was priceless!

    4 weeks ago he was diagnosed with haemolytic anaemia and even though the put up a fight to the very end we sadly lost him. I always said I wanted him to be here with us till the end but at the last minute we panicked and seeing that he was so scared we reluctantly took him to the on call vets to help him on his way. As soon as we got there the vet said we defiantly had made the right decision and we needed to let him go. We asked for a few minutes with him to say good bye, but as soon as the vet left the room he took one last look at us and went.
    It was a Saturday night and the vet said as he was such a big dog that we would need to leave him there till Monday �that was the most heart retching thing I have ever done. In the sadness and shock of it all we agreed and went home. I have never had such feelings of guilt. he looked after me all his life and at the end of his he had to go lying on a cold table with the air conditioning unit dripping on the table and I just left him there!

    We had the crematorium collect him first thing Monday and they made him look lovely for us to go and say goodbye, even though 12 of our friends turned up to give him the best send off the crematorium had ever seen I just can�t get over the fact that I let him down.
    He was so much more than a dog to me and so many others � he even has his own face book page

    http://www.facebook.com/home.php?#!/group.php?gid=24220948520. - you can see photos and videos of him

    I am so sorry my monster "Jordan" that mummy let you down just when you needed her x x x please forgive me

    Here is a link that might be useful: no mum I didnt go in the bin while you were out

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  • kms4me
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Paul,

    Sancho sounds like a wonderful little boy. You did so much for him, and all that you did was done lovingly and with his best interests at heart. You didn't explain how you got him for the last few years of his life and what he experienced during the period before you had him, but I know you knew him well and were the best person to make the right choice for him at the end.

    You weighed the 100% certainty that he would have gone through the risks and rigors of surgery, that he would have been frightened and anxious, against a 20% chance that the procedure would work at all. You decided with your head as well as your heart, and you who loved Sancho best did what was kind and right.

    I'm glad you found this forum, and that it has helped you. I know your posting about Sancho touched me as it will touch others who read your words. If you'd like to write more about him or post a picture, please do.

    My sympathy and best wishes,

    Kate

  • kms4me
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Alison,

    Making the decision and then following through with ending a loved pet's misery is about as hard as life gets. Even when we know beyond a shadow of a doubt that it is the right thing to do, most of us feel a sense of guilt--we wonder if the time was right, if there was something more we could have done, if we should have take the pet in or had it done at home, etc. In reality, a task as sad and painful as this can't be done perfectly--by its very nature, the ending of the life of something we love is the opposite of perfect.

    I understand your misgivings and feelings of guilt about leaving Jordan. You weren't given a lot of great options, and in the pain and sadness, you did what felt right at the time. Would you do things differently if you could? Many of us would, because hindsight as they say is 20-20. But regardless, what happened in those last few days at the end of your dog's life does not undo a lifetime of love and caring and right decisions that you did make for him. Maybe you didn't do things "perfectly", but you did the best you could under the circumstances, and that is all anyone can do. And I don't think I have to tell you that the last one who would ever want you to feel guilty and sad would be your little monster.

    I know all about getting caught up in the guilt. There are things I have never written about Homer's death, but trust me, guilt ate at me for a very long time, and it still nibbles now and again. But Homer loved me, with all my flaws and faults, and I know his love would have forgiven me for anything. Guilt kept the pain fresh and raw and wouldn't allow me to heal, and not healing kept me from remembering all the good times, the really fine life overall that he had with me.

    I know your little monster had a great life with you too. Forgive yourself as Jordan would have forgiven you, and don't let your grief get in the way of remembering all the things you lovingly gave him.

    Please take care and be kind to yourself,

    Kate

  • pjbuehler
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you Kate for your kind words. Actually it is a unique story, I found Sancho as a very little puppy in the cold outside in some bushes where I lived in Lancaster, CA. He was so little I was shocked he was still alive. I had 4 dogs at the time but was going to keep him but my friend, who lived on a large horse property in much warmer Los Angeles wanted to take him. So, a week after I found him I brought him to her and he immediately loved it. Warmer and lots of other little dogs to play with. 5 years later my friend was the victim of random violence and she passed away leaving her seven dogs, cats and neighborhood strays with no one to care for them. Sancho had been her favorite and became very anxious after her passing. Although I said I wanted him back, her best friend who was heartbroken had to have him. She kept him for 3 years and then developed some health problems and wasn't able to keep him. So, I took the trip to her home, picked him up and brought him to live with me. In January 2007. He was very anxious at first but as time went on he became very attached to me and I to him. My job changed so in September of 2007 I rented an RV and drove my then 4 dogs, two cats and two birds across the country to upstate NY. He was very playful, energetic and just a great dog (I called him little dude). So, I had him just about 3 years when he was diagnosed and you know the story from there. I'll upload a picture later as I'm traveling for work the rest of the week.
    Thanks again,
    Paul

  • Ninapearl
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    cathy, paul, alison...your stories are so touching. kate has such a way with words, i won't even try to add to what she has said. i will only echo her sentiments and add my deepest condolences. these are such hard decisions we have to make for our furkids but make them, we must.

    big (((hugs))) for your continued healing.

    nina

  • kms4me
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Paul,

    Wow. Sanchez had such a champion in you, far more than I could have realized. To have found him as an abandoned pup, kept track of him throughout his life and seen him through two owners before you brought him to his home with you for his last years is an incredibly touching story. I've heard of dogs being called guardian angels, but in this case you truly were Sanchez's guardian angel. Wherever he is now, how could he not be ok with you loving and remembering him, keeping his spirit safe and sound, as you always have.

    Please post a picture. We'd all love to see him.

    Kate

  • priek_aol_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    February 19, 2011 started like any other day. I was in the kitchen and heard our 6 year old Border Collie, Scooter, stirring upstairs. A few minutes later he came down and headed for the living room. I followed him in and sat down on the couch. He put his paws around my neck and kissed my face, then suddenly his eyes changed and he started to growl at me. At first I told him to stop, but he kept growling, which he'd never done before and I sensed something was very wrong. I told him to get down and went to stand up. He growled again and bit my right hand. I was in shock. He was the sweetest, gentlest dog. Then he went into full blown attack mode, biting me repeatedly on the hands and arms. Somehow I ended up on the floor and I kept screaming for help. Luckily my husband was home and he came down and got him off me or I think he would have killed me.

    After a trip to the hospital, we came home and made the decision to have him put down. DH had talked to the vet while I was in the ER. My nephew who was visiting that weekend said Scooter never barked or anything while we were gone and when DH went in to get him to put his leash on, he was calm and normal.

    Being a Saturday, the office was closing at noon. His regular vet wasn't on that day and the one we had seemed to be in a rush. I was still reeling from the trauma of the attack and then the thought of having to put down our sweet boy too. They wheeled him in on a gurney (already sedated) and we had a few minutes to say goodbye. I tried not to cry--he always got so upset if I cried, but I couldn't help it. His passing was not peaceful and it haunts me still.

    The vet said he probably had a brain tumor and after a lot of searching for symptoms on the Internet, I've come to the same conclusion. His symptoms were so mild that no one would have ever thought brain tumor. A few things here and there that made me think, "That was odd," but nothing major. By the time I had time to think, it was too late to get a necropsy so I have to believe that's what it was or I'll lose my mind, wondering if it was something that could have been controlled with medication.

    I've been having flashbacks of the attack every time I try to sleep. I have no interest in doing anything. I cry a lot. The hands are getting better, but they still hurt. I had several deep puncture wounds.

    My heart aches for my sweet boy. We shared the same birthday. He knew things. He knew me. In the six short years we'd had him, he'd helped me get through the death of my father, DH's aneurysm surgery, hernia surgery and finally in June, lung cancer surgery.

    I miss his beautiful face. The way he'd heave a big sigh if I was keeping him up late because I was on the computer. Stroking his fur that always gave me such a complete sense of peace and contentment. I miss everything about him. He was my heart dog. DH is grieving too, but I can't help him. I'm too much of a mess myself. He feels guilty because he signed the papers to have him euthanised.

    I feel so totally overwhelmed--trying to get over the attack, trying to heal from the physical wounds, the emotional pain of losing him so young and in such a violent way, and just plain missing him.

    Everyone says to remember the good times we had with him, but that actually seems to make it worse. There's been so much grief and sadness in our family over the past 12 years. I feel like this was the last straw for me. I can't imagine ever being happy again.

  • Ninapearl
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    oh pam, your story is just heart wrenching. i am so sorry for your loss and what led up to it. most often, when these things happen, there is a physical reason and brain tumor would seem to be the obvious one in your case.

    yes, it's very hard at first and doubly hard when circumstances force you to make the decision to end the life of a beloved pet.

    you cannot continue to beat yourself up over this. it was something you had to do out of necessity. i think, in these situations, we always grieve harder and longer.

    some day, you will be able to smile at your happier memories of your sweet dog. it wasn't your fault and it wasn't his fault. it was just something that had to be done.

    gentle healing (((hugs))) for your broken heart.

    nina

  • kms4me
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Pam,

    If I could be granted any wish, for me and everyone else who has lost their loved dogs, it would be a way to get the memories of those last sad days or moments of their lives forever out of our minds. Even when our animals are old, in pain, and have lost their zest for life and we know without a doubt it's the right thing to do, the images surrounding the decision and then their death play like an endless loop and torture us.

    What you went through is one of the saddest stories I've ever heard. To have Scooter, whom you adored and trusted, who meant the world to you, attack you, is unthinkable. It must have felt like the world turned upside down.

    In truth, the Scooter you loved and trusted was no longer there BEFORE you made the decision to euthanize him. I think, as suddenly as his symptoms came on, that he most likely had a brain tumor, but even if it was something else, you could never have trusted him the same way, you would not have been comfortable having him around other people, and all the things that made him your Scooter, the dog you could depend on to give you his love and devotion, would probably never have fully come back. The wonderful relationship you had with him would have been diminished. Scooter, despite what had happened to him, would have sensed it, would have known it as well. To have lost the trust he had earned from you would have hurt him a lot, I truly believe, and I think he may even have remembered that he had hurt you and the memory may have tortured him as it tortures you.

    You know that his attack on you was not, in any way, shape, or form, any part of the wonderful dog who loved you, comforted you, saw you through hard times, and gave you every good part of himself a million times over. Scooter, in his right mind, would have given his life for you, just as he gave you his heart. That one awful day has absolutely no bearing on the six years of joy and happiness you shared with him.

    For everyone who has lost a dog, it is hard to think of the grief that another is going through, the tears, the hurt, the agony, and too often, the guilt. But we also know it is something that is impossible to escape. The greater the love, the more immense the loss. And right now, thinking of the good times hurts the most as it reminds you of all the great things Scooter's presence added to your life. I know that so well.

    Six years is a short time to have a dog, but your Scooter packed a lifetime of love for you into those few years.

    My heart goes out to you.

    Kate

  • priek_aol_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    It's already been a month since Scooter died. Still hard to process. Still having trouble sleeping. I can be okay one minute and crying hysterically the next.

    Today I was trying to get some much needed work done around the house and for some reason started thinking about the scene at the vet's office that horrible day and how she rushed us through the whole thing. I remember her wheeling him into the room we were in and saying, "He had a hard time. Didn't want to relax." OMG! I don't know how much he understood by that time, but I feel cheated. That's not the way it was supposed to happen. I should have been there when they gave him the tranquilizer. He must have been frightened and confused. I didn't get a chance to cradle him in my arms and whisper lovingly to him, easing him over The Bridge. Once the vet gave him the second injection, he jerked slightly, then was gone. She just stood there, waiting for us to get done so she could wheel him out. My God. It's not like he was going to hurt anyone. She couldn't even give us some time alone with him once he was gone. Everything just happened so fast. Why didn't she have us come in after they closed. What was the rush?! I know the other vet--his vet--would have been more compassionate and would have cried right along with us. Just so wrong.

    I keep telling him how sorry I am about the way things happened. How much I wanted to hold him and love him in his final minutes. He/we deserved better.

    Thought we'd try adopting a puppy this week from a rescue. Found out the place we chose was not a reputable rescue. Tried to get us to take a puppy they knew had Parvo. What were the chances?!

    I'm sick with grief and can't seem to come to terms with this. Still. Never?

  • mum4
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Pam, I am so sorry you lost you precious scooter, especially in that heart wrenching way. Although he wasn't himself he knows that you loved him with all your heart and more and that whatever happened at the end was out of your control. Whilst your grief is still raw you will constantly revert back to that day as it went the total opposite of what you wanted for him. Please don't beat yourself up, you did the best you could but unfortunately had to deal with a professional who seemed very uncompassionate. Every tme you find yourself thinking about that day try to push it to the back of your mind and replace it with pleasant thoughts of scooter. I hope another fur baby will bring somebody new to love and fuss over , as scooter would have wanted that for you. My thoughts are with you at this sad time and hope each day will be a bit brighter. Hang in there, you'll never fully recover from such a traumatic experience but you will learn to cope with time. Best wishes....Cathy

  • piper21770
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hello, my name is Rich/ This forum is amazing. I am struggling with the recent passing of my dog, Piper. It has been really tough on me and there seem to be so few who can relate to what I am going through. I got Piper from a shelter when she was about a year old, she was a beautiful boxer with perfect markings, a personality beyond belief, and smarter than most people I know. She was so shy at first, think because she was afraid. She was with me through a bad divorce, she was the only thing that i cared about keeping. I remember one night, crying on the floor and Piper put her paw over my shoulder as if to say we're going to be fine just you an me. She was my shadow, when I started to date, she would get between me and anyone as if to say he is mine. She was so kind and gentle with kids and everyone as a matter of fact. I have so many stories about her I could go on and on. Piper hasn't walk in over a year because of hip dysplasia but she was still happy and loving. I carried her from room to room with me and to the car for rides. I would help her out to go to the bathroom. She was my baby, my responsibility. I loved her and she loved me. Used to be she would run to the do to meet me after work but when she lost mobility, I came in and ran to her. We were always so excited to see each other. Her health had seemed to be fine until about 2 weeks ago. She hadn't eaten in a couple days. So I gave her a can of her favorite canned food and she did managed to eat it. About an hour later she started to whine, she wasn't moble so I just thought she needed to go out, I took her out but she didn't go. When we can back in I noticed a bit of white foam in her mouth, it was 11pm. I tried to give her water thinking she just needed a drink. She continued to whine. I searched the net for symptoms and then called a 24 hour vet. By the time we got there she was unconscious. She had bloat and it was too late. I have such guilt, I feel like I let her down when she needed me the most. She was always there for me. I brought her home and buried her in the back yard. Every day I visit her when I get home from work. I hurts so bad that I didn't know what bloat was until it was too late. I have so many wonderful memories of my time with Piper but the ones that are haunting me are the ones of her in pain at the end and I was helpless. I find myself breaking down in tears several times a day. I know that it will get easier in time but I feel like part of me is gone. She was a part of my everyday. It was just her and I. I miss Piper soo much.

  • kms4me
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Rich,.

    I am sorry you lost your wonderful girl, Piper. She was a very loved, and loving, dog, and I know how much you miss her. She was your Family.

    I and the others who have posted here have lost dogs to cancer, to arthritis, to liver failure, to tumors, to unknown causes, and like you, some have lost our pets to bloat. Though we would like to be perfect when it comes to our dogs, we are not, we are just human. When they die, we feel guilt thinking we should have known what was wrong, we should have done something before it became too late. Part of it is the wish that we could somehow go back in the past and make things right and have a better outcome. I don't think there's a one of us who hasn't wished for that. But, no matter what the cause, there is just no way for an animal we love to die that is not going to rip our hearts to shreds.

    Piper did a lot for you, and you did a lot for her too. You carried her like a baby and helped her do things that some owners would not have done. She had an extra year to love and be loved by you, and that is a very wonderful thing. Even if you had known the signs of bloat, she may not, in her physical condition, been a good candidate for surgery, or survived the operation. Though I know you would have liked to have had the chance to save her, there is no guarantee that the outcome would have been different.

    I understand it is hard to get those last moments out of your head--that seems to be a particularly painful part of the grieving process that can't be denied. But I hope, and I know, that those thoughts will eventually come farther and farther apart, and in between them will be space for more of the happy memories and wonderful feelings of your time with Piper. Despite your pain, you know that her life was too special and rich and full to be defined by those sad moments at the end. Instead you will remember Piper for the amazing dog that she was, the way she would want you to think of her.

    Please take care,

    Kate

  • Ninapearl
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    rich, i'm so very sorry for your loss. when you say "i feel like a part of me is gone", that is exactly what happened. a part of you DID go when you lost piper and while you can never get that part back, you will learn to live with this loss. piper sounds like a wonderful dog and i agree with kate, you did so much more for her than many would have. i'm sure she appreciated everything and loved you not only for your companionship but also for your compassion.

    kate and i have "talked" about this...you know, when we lose a human family member, we have all kinds of support, phone calls, people checking up on us, making sure we are ok. but when we lose a pet, we don't get those calls days or weeks later when we are still grieving and only want to be comforted. many times, myself included, we are left with only our memories and so many times, those memories include those last moments with our furry friend. most people don't understand this sort of loss. those are the people i feel sorry for, the people who have never felt the intense love of an animal. we who have, know how you feel. we are all in different stages when it comes to this sort of grief but we are all in the same boat. we love and miss our pets more than words can say.

    you gave piper your all. you should be proud of yourself for giving her such a great life. time will help mend your heart. it's so hard to push those last memories aside and sometimes, we just have to hit them head on and realize we did the very best we could.

    pam, your loss is still fresh. in the scheme of things, a month is nothing when it comes to grief. coming to terms with your loss, especially the circumstances, will take you a good while. but, you will some day be able to smile at your good memories and while the bad memories will be with you forever, their intensity will fade with time. this is the voice of experience. ;) you can do this, even though right now you don't think so. it will just take time. while i don't like to see other people in this sort of pain, it does help to know i am not alone with the emotions many people can't comprehend. i hope it helps you, too.

    blessings to you both. as has been the case all throughout this thread, kate has put into words all of the things i feel but have a hard time expressing.

    thank you again, kate! God bless you, my friend.

  • mum4
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hello Rich, By posting on this forum you are taking the first step to dealing with the loss of you beautiful piper. There are many compassionate, dog loving people on here always ready with a kind word. Don't rush yourself through this process it is very important to grieve for as long as you feel necessary.I myself have tears everyday even though it's been 5 weeks since my meggy pug went to the rainbow bridge, but everyday gets a little easier. I commend you on carrying piper around when she lost her mobility and i know she appreciated your thoughtfulness. We are all beteer people for loving a fur baby. My thoughts are with you. Feel free to post as often as you like if you feel it will help you through this heart wrenching time. .........Cathy

  • piper21770
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Thank you for your support and responses. It really helped me to write on here. It was even more helpful to feel that someone else cared. Thank you for your responses. It's a pain unlike I have ever felt before and I've lost a lot in my life. I only cried a few times today which is a start. Piper was a wonderful dog and I was so very fortunate to have had her in my life, think that's why its so hard because she did so much for me. I knew this would be hard but like I said before its the way it ended that is tough on me. I am trying to forget that and accept that it was her time to go. I try to think about her running in the yard, she was so fast and so smooth with her stride. I can't believe that it had been so long since she had run. That was ok, I still loved her and she loved me. I can't thank you enough for listening and responding.

  • spincali2_yahoo_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am so glad I found this site. My heart is truly breaking after losing my sweet furchild Shiner yesterday. She was a JRT/beagle mix, super smart, extra-soft, and incredibly empathic. Her name was inspired by her one black eye on an otherwise white face. I had her for 14 years. My nickname for her was "puppy toes" (even as an adult) because her paws were just so dam cute. She helped me recover from a terrible car accident, eased the pain of a divorce, comforted my mom during a year of terminal cancer, and then helped console me when my mom passed.

    Just a few months after my mom died, Shiner was also diagnosed with cancer - tumors on her aorta and spleen. She was a brave little girl for 2.5 years and for the most part had very good quality of life. I showered her with love and spent pretty much every minute of every day with her (I quit my job and started working at home so she wouldn't be alone).

    Yesterday, we were on the couch for evening snuggles just like always (she was under the blanket in her "cave" pressed right up next to me) and all of a sudden she sat up and started trembling. I knew immediately that something was wrong, but wasn't concerned that it was "the end" or anything. Regardless, I could tell she was scared and uncomfortable, so I got on the phone and was fortunate that our vet could take us for an emergency visit just 30 minutes later. By the time we got there, Shiner was already showing signs of increasing weakness, becoming more of a dead weight in my arms. Her abdomen had become distended and firm, and her gums were completely pale. The vet said her splenic tumor had probably ruptured and that she had bad internal bleeding, and that unless I wanted to try surgical intervention, it was time for the rainbow bridge. I just couldn't possibly ask Shiner to go through any more medical treatment or procedures, and I didn't want her to suffer, so I made the tough decision. I was able to hold her the entire time, and she crossed quickly and peacefully. The vet was kind and had tears in her eyes as she told me to take all the time I needed to say goodbye. I was there for an hour after she passed, and even then it was hard to leave. I like to think that Shiner found my mom and ran to be with her.

    Shiner was the one friend and companion who stuck by my side unconditionally over the past several difficult years. She gave me a reason to get out of bed in the morning, and she gave me endless amounts of comfort and consolation during some dark and painful times. I hope I was able to do the same for her.

    I know it's only been one day, but my heart is breaking and I cannot stop crying. Shiner and I were almost attached at the hip for the past few years, and I can't go 5 minutes without encountering some aspect of my day that used to involve or revolve around her. I can't even figure out who I am without her. I have taken some comfort from all of the stories and responses you all have shared on here. It is reassuring to find a place where people truly understand this devastating loss. My condolences to everyone who is dealing with a recent or past loss. I will collect myself in the coming days and reply to offer more specific support in return.

    Thanks for reading this. Sweet dreams my little puppy toes.

  • kms4me
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Spincali,

    You describe Shiner so beautifully. A Beagle/JRT--I bet she was adorable. What a wonderful dog, a sweetheart who comforted you through tough times. Your touchstone. I am so sorry you lost her. I know the suddenness is such a shock, but I hope you feel some comfort that when it came, the end was fast and peaceful. I have no doubt that Shiner was aware and appreciative of all that you did, the big changes you made in your life those last years to take care of her. How wonderful for you both that you were able to do so.

    It is hard to learn how to live without your best friend, especially when you have spent almost every waking moment together. I remember how empty and hollow the house felt, how unreal it was to go out in the garden without Homer poking around, how there were so damn many places he should be. And he wasn't. Nothing felt right, or that it ever would again.

    Your statement, "I can't even figure out who I am without her" is so poignent. Our dogs become part of how we define ourselves. We think of ourselves as their Moms and Dads, and they are always our babies, our kids, even if they are old and gray. When we lose them, we have lost that aspect of ourselves as well.

    I am glad you found this forum and hope that it has helped. Though no one can lessen your pain, we know how you feel.

    All my best,

    Kate

  • ethellu1016_aol_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I lost my beloved beagle Ethel a few days ago. I really don't know what happened for sure. She got dizzy one day, kept falling down, walked into walls. I took her immediately to the vet who diagosed her with geriatric vestibular disease. She seemed to get better but was never herself. Then, she started to whine and her joints seemed to hurt. I called the vet again, who prescribed her Rimidyl assuming it was her arthritis acting up, although I told him I didn't think that was it. She wasn't walking normally, she was almost marching. Her head remained in a tilt as it did when she was first dx. On Friday, she seemed restless, wouldn't lay down on her normal chair, starting going under my dining room table. I knew something was very wrong. I called the vet again and asked the receptionist if I could talk to the vet, but he never called back. She ate some of her dinner. When I went to let her out later, she couldn't move her hind legs. I was hysterical, she was having labored breathing, her tongue even looked blue. We rushed her to the emergency vet, who told us based on symptoms, she either had a brain tumor or stroke. She advised us to put her to sleep. We were a mess, my husband and I are lost. We lost my soul dog Lucy to bladder cancer two years ago, she was 13. It took me soooo very long to heal from that loss, now my Ethel. She was only 11 years old, healthy until a month ago, now gone. Even though I have 2 more beagles and I rescued 3 adult cats, my house feels empty. I will say, and I really mean no dissrespect to any of you, I lost my daughter in a car accident, and losing her was a million times harder than losing either dog, but I am still heartbroken over my dogs. I guess because it was unexpected, the treatment from the vet I had gone to for years and the not knowing exactly what happened to her. Little Rikki is 9, Holly is 2, so they keep me sane right now. I will never get through my daughter's death, but I know the pain will get easier with my beloved dogs. I just can't stop crying right now and can't even think of getting another dog. Thanks to all who have posted their stories about their beloved pets. Cindy

  • barryjmorse_gmail_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear all,

    Its so comforting to read these messages. I heart is in so much pain at the moment because I we lost our beloved golden retriever on 3rd March to what we suspect is cancer. He was the most loyal, intelligent and gentle creature I have ever known and he will always live in my heart.

    Over the past couple of years he has slowed down and been unable to walk the distances he was used to, but the past few months he deteriorated so quickly. His last few weeks were very touch, he could hardly walk or eat and was anaemic, hence the vet suspected a tumour or cancer of sorts. He was too old to be messed around to be honest. His final day was the hardest day of my life, it even hurt more than losing my father after his stroke in 2001.

    He went willingly to the vets, lay down on the floor and looked so peaceful with a look in his eyes that said "enough, please. I cant go on like this". The last thing he saw was me nuzzling his nose and looking into his gorgeous eyes.

    I am 39 years old, happily married man and I shed a tear for him every single day. We all miss him so very much and planted a tree in our garden for him.

    Some pictures of our dear old Bear are here on my site:

    http://www.barryjmorse.net/gallery_411609.html

    He was born a dog, but died a gentleman.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Bear - 1999 to 2011

  • kms4me
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Cindy,

    Dogs stay like children all their lives; though they get older, they never grow up. We dictate almost everything in their lives, where and what they eat, where they sleep, who and what they come in contact with, their entire world. I've always thought of it kind of like having a toddler that can run 30 mph. We play the role of parent to them their entire lives. When they die, we say it feels like we've lost a child, but we know that in reality there is no comparison to what it is like to actually lose a son or a daughter. From the bottom of my heart, I never meant any disrespect or to minimize in any way what it was like to lose a child by comparing it to losing my dog.

    I know how hard it is when a seemingly healthy dog starts having sudden terrible symptoms, the fear and frantic attempts to fix whatever inexplicable thing might be wrong. It hurts to have a strange vet be the one tending to your dog in those last sad moments when you want your dog to at least have the small comfort of feeling they are in the hands of someone who knew them and cared. I also share having to live with not knowing why my dog died. I'm not sure why knowing or not should have such an effect on grief, but is seems to add another painful element to the whole thing. I think it's because we want to know that there was nothing we could have done to change the outcome of things. When we don't know, we second guess and add guilt to the grief.

    As I've said before, there is just no way for a beloved animal to die that is not going to hurt immensely. Your dogs had really good lives with you, and neither losing your soul dog Lucy to cancer or your sweet Ethel to unknown causes will ever take that away.

    I am so sorry for all that you have lost.

    Kate

  • kms4me
    Original Author
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Barry,

    I've long thought that Golden Retrievers are one of the most beautiful animals on the face of the earth, and your pictures of your loved dog certainly bear that out. Your words, "loyal, intelligent, gentle" describe him perfectly.

    I know the pain you feel at losing your Bear, but it's wonderful that he let you know that it was time. So many of us are left racked with doubt, and he gave you such a gift by letting you know it was a good thing to let him go. His life was full and complete, though I know you would have liked to have had him forever.

    Planting a tree in his honor is a wonderful thing for your family to have done. I have a golden-leaved catalpa that I planted by the grave of my Golden Retriever Bridget. I spend a lot of time beneath its shade.

    "He was born a dog but died a gentleman." I love that.

    My best to you,

    Kate

  • mpoteetmac_gmail_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    My beloved Samantha died 2 weeks ago and I feel an emptiness inside. I thought I would feel better by now, but I don't. She was my best friend. My husband, daughter, and I all feel the same. I feel like the only way to heal is to get another dog, but I don't want to have the responsibility of having to get home, vacuum every day, etc. Is there a way to heal without getting another dog? Will getting another dog help with the healing process? I don't think I could ever love anyone as much as I loved Samantha. She was my first love of a dog. This is as bad or maybe worse than when we lost twins during a premature delivery.

  • kms1959_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Margaret,
    I am so sorry you and your family lost Samantha. I don't know how long she was with you or any other details about her, but I know how much her loss hurts you and that it is going to take a while to get over the worst of it and to start to feel better.
    If and when to get another pet is a very personal thing. Some people can do so right away, others need more time, and some may decide that they are not going to risk such great hurt ever again and never do get another dog. Whatever you decide, please think long and hard. You loved Samantha dearly for who she was, and it isn't fair to expect another dog with his or her own personality to replace her or to heal you. Only you, by feeling and working through the grief, however hard (and we all know it is!), and the passage of time is going to get you through this. It stinks, frankly, but that's how it's supposed to be--you can't lose your best friend and not feel horrible about it for quite some time.
    When I added Monty into my life, I was sure it was time to put my grief about Homer behind me. Initially it was so good to have another little buddy to hug and kiss, to play with, but I found myself comparing him more and more to Homer, and of course Monty came out the loser. He wasn't as smart, he wasn't as cute, he wasn't as charming, he was more destructive, he was too high strung... Though it was months since Homer had died, I really hadn't been ready to add another dog in my life and love and accept him for who he was, and it was completely unfair. I will skip ahead and tell you that Monty is my darling, I love him completely, sometimes in spite of himself, but it took a lot of soul-searching and understanding of my own feelings to realize that Homer was gone, forever, and that no dog was ever going to be who he was or replace how he fit into my life. Instead I had to let Monty carve his own niche into my heart, and he has, right next to the place where Homer is kept safe and loved and with me always.
    I think your reluctance to want to go home and vacuum, etc., is your head's way of telling you that your heart isn't ready for another dog. Only you will know if and when you will be, but if you do, I know that dog is going to be very lucky.
    Please take care,
    Kate

  • priek_aol_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Kate,
    On Saturday, April 2 we adopted a one year old (best guess)stray BC/Aussie mix named Bo from a local rescue organization. He was still very much puppy, but in a dog size body (44# worth!)

    Even though he looked nothing like Scooter, we found ourselves comparing him to Scooter much of the time. As you said, he wasn't as smart, Scooter never did that, etc. But, he was eager to learn and had potential. I really thought I could do it, but bottom line--he scared me. The memories of the attack were too fresh. When he barked, I jumped out of my skin. He growled and barked at my nephew's girlfriend and his body language said he meant business. I didn't trust him to be behind me, not knowing what he was doing. When I sat down, I was always looking for some sort of escape route if needed. It wasn't fair to either one of us. After much soul searching, we decided to return him to his foster home.

    The following Wednesday the fosters came and got him. I didn't want him to get too comfortable, for his sake, and even though he made me uneasy, I was already becoming attached. It broke my heart to send him away and I wondered if I had given him enough of a chance. According to their web site, he still hasn't been adopted. :(

    For Margaret, I would say to take it slow and give yourself plenty of time to grieve the loss of Samantha. It isn't pleasant, but it's something you need to do before inviting another dog into your life. My recent experience showed me that. I still cry every day for my Scooter, and sometimes I cry for Pepper too. I don't think the foster home was the best environment for him and at times feel guilty for sending him back.

    Someone sent this to me and I put it on the fridge as a reminder. "Courage doesn't always roar. Sometimes it's the quiet voice at the end of the day saying, 'I will try again tomorrow.'" Peace and comfort to all who are mourning the loss of your pet.

  • ijd604_hotmail_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I’m lost
    I feel alone
    I feel dumb for writing this
    He was my best friend for more than half of my existence
    Today I watched him close his eyes for the last time and go to sleep
    All distractions feel meaningless and selfish
    I can’t stop crying
    Even that feels selfish
    There is not a thing I can do
    The burden is gone but its too soon I loved him so much
    We were reflections of each other
    I want to feel his hair and feel the warmth underneath it
    All I can see are people who either won't care or can’t help me regardless
    No one can help me now, not even ones who seem to genuinely love me
    I can’t remember a time when me and him weren’t rolling around on the floor
    its two thirty in the morning
    I have a final exam tomorrow at eight in the morning
    I was six when we met
    I'm eighteen now
    Time flies too fast

  • kms1959_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Ian,

    I am so sorry. I understand that you feel lost and alone, but I hope you know it wasn't dumb of you to write this. There is nothing dumb or wrong about missing your dog and hurting because he is gone.

    I know what it is like to be up late at night into the early morning hours, unable to sleep, unable to think of anything but your dog's death. That was when I started this thread; like you, I felt that no one could help me. My family and friends didn't seem to understand that his death felt like more than I could bear and that made me feel even more alone and desperate. I sat down and wrote about losing Homer and how stupid and weak I felt because I couldn't seem to get over my grief. As other people began to respond to this thread, they let me know that there was nothing wrong with me, there was nothing dumb about missing and mourning one of the best relationships I'd ever had in my life. These strangers could do what my family and friends could not--they understood.

    You grew up with your dog. As you said, you can't remember a time when he wasn't a part of your life. You have had 12 birthdays, 12 sets of holidays, 12 years of school, 12 years of your life with him playing a very important part of it--your buddy, your friend, someone you could always count on. You loved each other and made each other happy. How could you not be devastated by his death?

    No one can change things or give you your dog back. But I and the others who have posted here do understand your pain and loss and know there is nothing wrong with feeling the way you do. The words you wrote are beautiful and heartfelt, honest and true. And though there is probably nothing that can make you feel better right now, I know that sometime when the grief and loss are not so fresh, you will be able to think about what a good life you had with him and how wonderful the things he gave you were. He watched you grow from a little boy to a young man, and he loved you every inch of the way. Nothing, not even his death, will ever change that.

    Please come back and let us know how you are doing, or just come back and tell us more about your dog. Though we are strangers, we understand.

    Kate

  • kjgf1976_aol_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I too lost my dog, just this afternoon. He died suddenly in my husbands arms from what we believe was a heart attack. Our dear Quincy was only 8 years old and had been on the mend from ACL surgery. He was two weeks away from being able to go up the stairs and have free roam of the house. My husband and I are lost beyond words. I recently lost my grandmother and while, I miss her dearly, the loss of our dog is the worst I have ever experienced. The worst part is that today was my husbands birthday. Forever changed by our loss. How does this ever get better? There is a whole in our hearts. Any words of encourangement would be greatly appreciated.

  • kms1959_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Karen,

    I am so sorry you lost Quincy. I know what a shock that must have been, especially when you thought he was on his way to recovery. He may have had some complication like a blood clot that took his life, or possibly a heart attack as you thought, but the 'why' of his death doesn't matter. He's gone and you are left to deal with his loss, made even more heartbreaking by its occurrence on your husband's birthday.

    There's nothing I can say that is going to stop the horrible pain you feel right now, or even to lessen it. I could point out that he didn't suffer for long and you were spared knowing his death was coming, that he died in the arms of someone who loved him, but even as I write them, I know that you will find no comfort in those words. Whether we know a dog is old or sick and the end is coming, or if the death strikes a young dog like Quincy like a bolt from the blue, it always hurts to a degree we could never have imagined until it happens. We know how much we love our dogs, yet the extent of the pain catches us completely unprepared when they die.

    What I can tell you is that you and your husband should hold tight to the knowledge of what a good life you gave your Quincy. He could have had people who were cruel or neglectful or didn't appreciate him, but instead he had you who adored him. You took such good care of him, got him surgery, watched over him--you did as much as anyone could for a dog. His life may have been short and ended abruptly, but it was spent being cherished and loved. You gave him the things a dog needs most.

    It will be a while, maybe a long time, before you can get those last terrible images of his death out of your mind, but it will happen. You won't ever forget it completely, but you will find that more and more of your thoughts will be of the great and happy times you had with Quincy. In the meantime, allow yourself to grieve, don't be embarrassed or ashamed of the depth of your feelings, and even if you cry like a baby while you do it, TALK about him, feel free to come back to this thread and tell us all about him.

    Your life was changed forever by having known such a wonderful dog, so it only makes sense, hard though it is, that you will be forever changed by his loss. Though his death hurts, the wonder and joy of having Quincy is something you will have forever.

    All my best,

    Kate

  • juan30260_verizon_net
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I lost my dog Simba today. He was a German Shepherd nearing 12 years. My wife and I made the decision to put him down. He was suffering from severe spinal disease and suffered a major set back this morning. I'm a male 45 years old and loved Simba so much. I just feel empty and alone right now. My wife is telling my two teen daughters enroute home from school.

    As a police officer I've learned to hide my emotions, but I've been sitting at the top of the stairs in my home crying and hoping to see Simba at the base of the stairs waiting to run up. A close friend of mine told me to read the Rainbow Bridge poem. I felt better but dang this hurts.

    I know things will be better over time. This is the first time I've written anything like this.

    Simba my friend, I will see you again. I promise........

  • kms1959_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Juan,

    I know how hard this is for you, and I am sorry you lost Simba--what a great name he had. "Empty and Alone." That's a really apt description of how it feels to lose a loved dog. We think we know all the ways their deaths will hurt, but the extent of the pain still is blind-siding. It doesn't matter if you are a tough cop or someone who wears their heart on their sleeve, a man or a woman, an adult or a child--I don't think any of us are beyond bawling like a baby when we realize that one of the greatest joys of our lives is gone. And though it may feel like the grief is out of proportion or that it is humbling or somehow makes us weak, that is not the case. Dogs know how to live, joyously and happily and wonderously, and it wouldn't make sense if losing all they gave and all they taught us didn't bring us to our knees emotionally.

    I am glad you read the Rainbow Bridge poem and felt that it helped. I am also glad you wrote about losing Simba here. You are in good company. Though we all came here to write about the deaths of our loved pets, we also came to celebrate their lives and loves. What would be the point of an afterlife if we didn't see EVERYONE, including our dogs, when we got there?

    My best to you,

    Kate

  • michele_poe_verizon_net
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Kate, I had to have my 16 year old Maltese put down on June 15, 2011 and it was the saddest and hardest thing I have ever had to do. That little guy was my best friend, buddy, companion and he gave me years of pleasure and company (I live alone now). I had him cremated because I simply do not have a place for a grave and I wanted him with me. It hurts so much in my heart to not have him with me...I have cried gallons of tears and my home is so empty, quiet and lonely. My daughters & friends are encouraging me to get another dog but I am just not ready. I just have a huge hole in my heart now. I found your website by accident and have felt such emphathy for all the folks who lost their dogs too. I know their pain. I hope SOMEDAY this pain will go away but I know my memories will always be with me. I received a copy of the Rainbow Bridge from a dear friend who also had to have her dog put down and yes, it helped but it also made me cry.

    I have no idea if/when I will hear from you but it feels good to be able to share my sorrow with you. I know you can understand what I am going thru. I did find some peace in writing a 'letter' from Sebastian to me and I will write a letter to him too. I am going to make a scrap book with all the sweet emails and cards I have received from family and friends....sort of a memorial to him. His vet delivered him by c-section and she was the one who gave him the final injection; her office made a plaster imprint of his front paws and gave it to me when I went to pick up his ashes, which are in a precious white urn. I cried when I saw it, but now he is home with me and I can talk to him whenever I want to. I miss him dearly. Thank you for listening to me and for your website...it has helped.

    Regards,
    Michele

    Please tell me that this pain will ease......

  • jingram20_cfl_rr_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Mike, I am so sorry about your 16 year old Maltese. You must have been a great owner.

    I too lost a 12 year old Maltese on May 9, 2011 I can harley stand the pain of losing him. I think of him everyday every morning and night I have a hole in my hart as big as a truck, he was everything to me. I have this guilty feeling of putting him to sleep. I would like to tell everyone about his life but I'm not sure anyone would want to hear that. Take care mike and god bless you.

    Charlie.

  • darrenjohnson_uwclub_net
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hello, I have been reading all ur stories. My dog Sam a golden Labrador who was six was suddenly taken from me last Tuesday. I got up as usual and let him in the garden while making coffee. When what I can only call a freak accident, somehow he managed to slip and break his back.
    I am absolutely heart broken putting him to sleep is the hardest decision I ever had to make. I feel so angry that I potentially have been robbed by more years with him. Sam really was my world why did it have to be his time now.

  • jingram20_cfl_rr_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Hi everyone.I have been reading al the post on this site for weeks,I was reluctant to join untill I realized that most of you feel the same as I do especially Kate. I agree with everything she has said even more.

    No one and I mean no one fully understands the depth of my loss and misery I feel. I get angery when I hear people say "You'll get over it." Time will heal. But you don't say those things to someone who just lost their best friend. I know they mean well but they just don't understand the depth of my love and caring for my TJ. He was like a son to me he gave me all the love and afection that he had in his little body. His every wakeing moments wanted to be with me and to know where I was.

    We bought a motor home in 2006, for four years we went all over the country, he loved every moment, he was so happy he had a little soccer ball that he would chase up and down the isle of the motor home while we traveled, we would stop at rest areas and camp sites he couldn't wait to check out the grass and smell everything. Those were the best years of my life with TJ and my wife.

    I am sorry for everyone that has lost their best friend, now I truly understand. I too have lost a special friend: My 12 1/2-year-old Maltese named TJ. We put him to sleep on May 9,2011. It has been pure hell for me with this guilt of putting him to sleep, i thinki did the right thing; My vet said it was the right thing. I know his suffering is overnow, just not mine.

    However, that day still haunts me every morning, all day and every night, I knew he was sick but he always bounced back. But this time was diffrent he was throughing up, not eating anything but grass and not drinking for 5 days, he had black diarrhea. He lost 2 lbs in 5 days. The last day he could barely move.

    In 2007 he was diagnosae with diabetes at the age of eight. I could see the catarcts forming in his eyes. I gave himtwo shots a day 5 units at a time, then as the years went on his glucose level gotworse, 2 years latter it was 9 units a day 2 times a day, even that was not enough to keep his levels in range. By now he was just about blind, he only could see sun light. At night I had to guild him around.

    The vet said he had Cushing's disease, he had White dog shakers syndrome he would shake every time he rose up from the floor, it was pitiful to watch, his teeth were falling out. The they found a mass on his liver, nothing was conclusive the vet said, but it was just a matter of time and yet with all this going on with him he never made a sound, never cried out, just followed me evry where, at one point I thought he was getting better next to the last day when he came looking for me, he laid at my feet and licked my ankel. Howevery that didn't last long he starting hiding in special places to be alone.

    I hope my story has not been too lenghty, but I still have somethine more I want to say...Maybe I'll waite for a diffrent time.

    Charlie

  • kms1959_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Michelle,
    I am sorry you lost such a big part of your heart and your life. To lose your best friend, your buddy, and your companion leaves such a huge hole and I know and understand why you feel so devastated. Dogs have a way of finding their ways into our lives that we can't imagine that they have, until they are no longer with us. It doesn't mean that we don't truly appreciate all they are to us when they are alive, but when they are gone, the pain is far worse than we could have imagined.
    The emptiness is terrible, isn't it? That's what drove me to despair, all the places that Homer wasn't... There was no place in my own home, my yard, my gardens, that I could go that his absence didn't feel like the huge terrible weight in my mind and a vice around my heart, there was no where I could go that I wasn't reminded of his being gone. He went everywhere with me, did practically everthing I did, and to suddenly be without him felt like the world would never be the same. Like you, I tried to focus on the memories of all the wonderful years I had with him, but that made me saddest of all because it was the very definition of all I had lost. I felt like I sleepwalked through many of the days that followed his death--I functioned but had no real idea of how or what I did, and I actually felt like there was no purpose in any of it.
    You are still so close, in time, to the day you actual lost Sebastian, and the grief is still very fresh. As I've mentioned before, I wish there was some magic I could perform that would take the pain away, but there isn't, and the hard truth is that you hurt so badly right now only because you were lucky enough to have known the love of a dog and the joy and wonder of sharing your life so closely with him.
    As many of us who have posted here have shared, the grief does lessen with time. There is no way to predict or estimate how long you will feel so horribly, how many days you will be haunted by Sebastian's loss; in truth, you may always have days here and there where his death feels like it happened yesterday, when you remember something particularly sweet or funny, or even mundane! and it will hurt you to the core. But you will have longer periods where you don't cry, where you don't dwell so much on his death, and where thinking about him brings back far more sweetness and joy than it does grief. Next month will be three years since Homer died--I can talk about him now without so much sadness, I can look at pictures of him and smile... and there are still times I cry like a baby.
    I know friends and family want what's best for you in encouraging you to get another dog, but I think you are wise to listen to your own heart and to know it is too soon.
    In the meantime, do whatever feels right to you--put together your scrapbook, talk to your boy--it truly is ok to not be sad all the time. I think sometimes we think that to let the grief go, even for a little while, is somehow like we are forgetting or being disloyal--but in truth, no one ever wanted us to be happy as much as our dogs.
    Know my thoughts are with you,
    Kate

  • kms1959_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Charlie,
    Though you didn't write a lot about your loss of your dog, your love and devotion to him comes through loud and clear. You loved and cared for him well and completely for 12 years. Like so many of us who posted here about the gut-wrenching decision to end our beloved dog's life, you are haunted by it. But the truth is, you loved your dog, he meant the world to you, and hard as it was, there is no doubt you made the decision out of love.
    All of us who have come to this thread have gone through the loss of a dog or another animal we adored, and there are so many things we have in common, namely, that we wish so much that our time with them was not over. But common though our experiences might be, the dogs we loved were unique, with their own special characteristics, and I would love to hear about your dog. Please, come back and tell us about him.
    All my best,
    Kate

  • kms1959_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Darren,
    My life-long love of dogs started with a labrador named Belle, so I know how smart and fun and loyal they are, and in part why you miss your Sam so much.
    I also know how hard it is to lose a dog when they are still young and the anger because you should have had more time. You are right, it is unfair and you were robbed, and the fact that it was through a freak accident I am sure adds to those feelings. But even if Sam had lived to a ripe old age, the truth is you would still be hurting like crazy right now, because in truth, we are never, ever, totally ready to say goodbye to someone we loved as much as you loved Sam. That said, yes, I know how hard it is to have a young dog taken. You not only feel like you were cheated, you think he was too. He should have had a longer life, you both should have had more time together.
    But, even though I've said it often, it still is so true--your Sam knew love and happiness and joy, he had a good life in his brief six years here on earth, and you opened your heart to him, made yourself vulnerable, shared your life with him. In the end, you did what had to be done, and though it hurts like hell now, you made a loving, kind decision to end his pain. You gave the best you had to him in life right on to the end. He was loved and cherished and appreciated. You could not have done better by your beloved Sam.
    I am sure the shock of the suddenness of his death is so fresh to you and you are still in a state of disbelief--how could Sam be running around a week ago and be gone now. I send you my best wishes and hopes that you find a way to come to terms with what has happened and to know, deep in your heart, that your love for Sam and him for you, is the thing that will eventually give you peace and comfort and that not even his death will take away.
    I am so sorry for your loss,
    Kate

  • kms1959_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Darren,
    My life-long love of dogs started with a labrador named Belle, so I know how smart and fun and loyal they are, and in part why you miss your Sam so much.
    I also know how hard it is to lose a dog when they are still young and the anger because you should have had more time. You are right, it is unfair and you were robbed, and the fact that it was through a freak accident I am sure adds to those feelings. But even if Sam had lived to a ripe old age, the truth is you would still be hurting like crazy right now, because in truth, we are never, ever, totally ready to say goodbye to someone we loved as much as you loved Sam. That said, yes, I know how hard it is to have a young dog taken. You not only feel like you were cheated, you think he was too. He should have had a longer life, you both should have had more time together.
    But, even though I've said it often, it still is so true--your Sam knew love and happiness and joy, he had a good life in his brief six years here on earth, and you opened your heart to him, made yourself vulnerable, shared your life with him. In the end, you did what had to be done, and though it hurts like hell now, you made a loving, kind decision to end his pain. You gave the best you had to him in life right on to the end. He was loved and cherished and appreciated. You could not have done better by your beloved Sam.
    I am sure the shock of the suddenness of his death is so fresh to you and you are still in a state of disbelief--how could Sam be running around a week ago and be gone now. I send you my best wishes and hopes that you find a way to come to terms with what has happened and to know, deep in your heart, that your love for Sam and him for you, is the thing that will eventually give you peace and comfort and that not even his death will take away.
    I am so sorry for your loss,
    Kate

  • jingram20_cfl_rr_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Dear Kate. Thanks for your encouraging words. When I first made this post I said no one understood my grief, I didn't mean the people on this thread of course everyone here dose understand that's why we came here. I cannot talk about TJ without tearing up and hardly can talk. It has helped me in so many ways to talk about him. I have never felt this way about any person or animal. I just can't explain why? This little dog has meant so much to my life and now he's gone, I feel so empty.

    The person on this site said if you do not have a connection with a animal there is something missing in your soul. Truer words were never spoken I might have been one of thoses people because it has taken me 71 years to feel this way. I have had other animals,Cats, Dogs: None of them has affected me this way. TJ consumed me in a way I have never known with love and devotion. When I would have to go out shopping, my wife would look after him. TJ would not stay in the house he would go to the garage and waite for me to come back, looking through the screen. When I came back he was jumping up and down at the screen he would run out to greet me and lick and kiss me for two minutes at least, that is just one of the memories I have of his love for me.

    Kate, I read your responce to Mike about losing his Maltese, everything you said to him was just how I feel. I know you loved Homer very much, it shows in evry word you speak.

    LIFE HAS A WAY OF TEACHING YOU A LESSON...And I learned one.

    I am 71 years old and retired. I have a wonerdful wife married 52 years and three grown kids who are all doing well. My middle son lives in Alaska (A State trooper.) with his wife and two Boys. My Daughter lives in Chicage. My other so lives in Atlanta, His wife will be having their first child in August.

    I have more to say but have to get off for now.

    Charlie.

  • jingram20_cfl_rr_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    I am sorry I had to leave this forum suddenly. I wanted to resume what I was saying.

    I retired 12 years ago and moved from Maryland to FL. My wife and I were very happy and life was good. My daughter had this litle Maltese, a 8 month old named TJ. She lived alone in Atlanta and worked long hour every day and felt it was not fair to leave TJ alone for many hours a day. She paid us a vist one day she decided it would be best for TJ to give him to us. I did not want the dog and besides we already has a dog. He had a little soccer ball that he carried around with and if touched it you would have to throw it or he would bark at you. I didn't pay much attention to him, as a matter of fact I had to go back to Maryland to finish up some business, I told my wife while I was away to give TJ to someone that could give him a good home. When I came back home after a week TJ was still there.The next day I went into the pool and he jumped in right behind me and swam to me, after that I got him a surfboard and then I fell in love with him...He became such a big part of my life it was as though he was my son. If I went anywhere he was there, he swam in the pool with me for hours, I built a special basket for my bike and strapped him in and road for hours. We played all the time. When he wasn't feeling well I nursed him back to health. I fed him everyday and gave him his meds, he depended on me and I him...The rest is history.

    I will never be able to repay TJ for the 12 years of love and devotion we shared together, we had a great life. I would not trade one second for my time with him for anything, nor all the things he has taught me. I will honer and cherish his memory as long as I live.

    Charlie.

  • ea1981_live_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    A part of me died yesterday with my dog Asher. I hear his collar jingle as I'm curling my hair just to run out and see nothing except the empty spot on the kitchen floor where I found him dead yesterday morning. Asher was THE BEST dog! I adopted him from the pound when he was 7 weeks old. Different vets say different things, but most say he's a mix of English Sheepdog and German Wolfhound. Beautiful grey and white fur with a brown undercoat. He was my polar bear. I feel so guilty that he died alone, in the dark on a cold kitchen floor. I should of been there. I should of slept by him that night. I knew he was dying. His breathing was different the past two days before he left. I'm so sorry Asher! No one should have to die alone! I know you probably waited until I feel asleep. I want you to know that I love you as much as I love my son. I'm sorry we only had 10 1/2 great years together and I can't wait to see you in Heaven one day. I'm sorry I fed you table scraps and made you get fat, which made your joints even weaker. You saved me so many times when I was heartbroken. I miss you so much! I hate coming home. I hate waking up and you're not there snoring at the foot of our bed. I miss your soft fur and your big almond eyes! I'll never forget you or stop loving you Asher. Please wait for me and watch over me. I love you my sweet boy. You made me who I am today. Unconditional love.

  • please-see-next-thread_whatever_com
    11 years ago
    last modified: 7 years ago

    Please see the next thread continuing "Feeling guilty because I miss my dog" linked below. Thank you.

    Here is a link that might be useful: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog-Part 2

  • j_hanley76
    7 years ago

    We just had our 13 year old Sheltie euthanized last Thursday. We still have two other dogs, but she was the loudest, and always let us know how glad she was we were home. We feel absolutely guilty, but there was no other choice. While she was spry and mobile some of the time, she stopped eating about a week before. My wife and I were waking up to blood on the carpet for days in a row, and on the final day she spilled up blood all over the carpet. She was diagnosed with CHF in March, and was breathing heavy ever since. The blood and not eating was the last straw. But we've been crying for days. We set her bowl in our bathroom with her collar, leash, and brush, along with a ziplock bag of fur we collected from the house. It hurts so bad guys, but I do feel we made the right choice.

  • bleusblue2
    7 years ago

    I'm so sorry to hear about your little sheltie. God bless her, don't try to stop your tears, your sorrow comes from your great love. One day you won't weep so much and you'll just remember what a wonderful friend she was.

  • sylviatexas1
    7 years ago

    j_hanley, you did absolutely the right thing.

    It's a responsibility we assume when we bring home that wriggly puppy.

    Had she been a wolf in the wild, predators would have taken her out when she first became unable to provide for herself & to fend for herself.

    We don't live in that world, & neither do our pets, & we have to do this one last kindness for them.

    Although it's heart-wrenching, it's the least we can give them in return for the absolute devotion & unconditional love they give us.

  • grandmamary_ga
    7 years ago

    I see its been awhile since you posted. I hope you are over your grief or it has lessened for you. As I am a senior I have lost a number of pets in my lifetime. One when I was a child was a parakeet that one my siblings didn't make sure was back in the cage. I remember going to my bedroom and opening the center drawer to my dressing table and screaming. I had found the bird. Stiff on its side. 64 years later I still see it. Also lost a 2 dogs one was a stray and one my sons. Now why on earth did we let our 17 year old get a free dog. Nothing was free to care for him. Maybe it was the love he gave to me. Also a stray that just hung around our house. 2 dogs now. My older son, the smart one, mom lets just keep him. Matted and dirty and smelly he was the best dog we ever had. I still miss them even today its been about 23 years. That smart son wasn't as smart as I thought or was he. We still have his children's dog, the family broke up and guess who got the dog. US. She is a love but I know her time is coming. Not today or tomorrow but she is about 15 years old. I will miss her and my husband will too. Even though he says no he won't. Who will go with him to get the mail even on a Sunday. No mail delivery 7 days a week in the evening rain or shine out they go. Pictures and memories hold us together. I hope you have gotten another pet since yours has crossed over.

  • gailbert4
    6 years ago

    I am so thankful I saw this site because it really comforts me to read other people's stories. My sweet Standard Poodle, Luke, was put to sleep two months ago. He was over 12 years old. I had him since he was 4 months old. I was single when I got him, and he went through several boyfriends, my son leaving for college, changing jobs, and marrying my husband 6 years ago. He was my rock and best friend. He got cancer 16 months ago. He had some close calls but wanted to live. I did do some treatments for him which I am glad I did. On Feb 2, he suddenly went downhill and the vet said he was checking out.

    I have cried every day for two months. I miss him terribly. He was such an amazing and smart and loving boy.

    I keep obsessing over his last week and I wish several things I would have done more, like lifting him onto the bed that last night. etc etc.

    When he was put down, the vet and my husband and daughter were there. I got really numb and didn't really cry, I just held his head and rubbed my hand over his sweet face. I wish I could have cried then, I think it was too painful but I feel kinda bad that I wasn't crying. I didn't want Luke to worry about me.

    Thank you for reading this. I went to a pet grief class once and it helped. I think I will go back. I got cards and love from a lot of people which helps. I also made a big poster of a lot of his photos and I look at it daily, Luke at the beach, and with family. He was so loved.

  • HU-520986185
    4 years ago

    When my partner's cat passed, she had the ashes in the box they came in for quite a while. It was so hard for her to figure out what to do with them. I found an artist who makes some really unique handblown glass cremation jewelry and had a memorial pendant made. The ashes are melted right into the glass so you can see them clearly in the pendant. It's beautiful and so much nicer than a lot of the manufactured jewelry we saw while looking.

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