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How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

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  • How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

    As many of you know, I lost my dog on May 9th, VERY suddenly. He became ill the evening of the 8th...at round 6 PM. He died that night at 1:00 a.m. with me lying next to him on the den floor. The vet said that he had a fatal stomach disorder which causes a gas build up and then the stomach literally twists itself. This stops the blood flow to the body. We'd have had about 10 minutes to get him in surgery to save him and even then, it would have been a 50% chance for survival. As you can imagine, I am beynod devastated.

    For those of you whose pets are like family, you can imagine the horror I am facing, having lost my boy. He was with us nearly 9 years and in that time provided protection, unstoppable loyalty and the unconditional love that I don't think you can get anywhere except with a pet. Loved ones do love you unconditionally, but, let's face it...people in our lives sometimes bug the crap out of us! ha! And, they inadvertantly sadden us at times. He provided almost perfect love. My hubby and I are in such mourning, but, I am having a harder time with it.

    For those who have lost a pet who is so dear.......how do you get through it? I am sitting here, almost 2 weeks later, and I am a mess. My heart literally aches. I feel sad so much of the time and I cry daily. I think maybe yesterday was the only day when I did not cry. Today, I've cried off and on ALL day. Everything reminds me of him.

    I'd love your tips and thoughts about this. I hate bringing this so public, but, I know there are a lot of pet lovers here, from the notes of support I've received.

    Thanks so much everybody!!!

    From Daizo's VERY sad mommy

  • #2
    Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

    I hope this doesn't come off sounding cold.

    We can expect to outlive our pets. I honestly couldn't name all the cats and dogs we have had over the years that have grown old and passed away, or died under unfortunate circumstances. We enjoy their company while we have them, and they have rewarded us for our care. I really don't grieve for them, because they lived well while they were in our care, and it's time for them to be at rest.

    We have three cats right now. Two of them are very old, and I don't expect either to live many more years. When it's their time to die, I'll bury them and be thankful for all the years they've given us.

    You've had nine years with your dog. That's a pretty long time, and you should consider yourself fortunate that he gifted you with so much for as long as he was able.
    Have bicycle, will ride. Finished 2012 with 10,089 miles, 683 hours, and 482,000 feet of elevation gain.
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    • #3
      Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

      Janine....I don't have any real answers for you here, except to say that on many levels you move on, but you never truly get over the loss of a pet.

      I guess I shouldn't totally equate a dog or cat to a human being...but as you well know, a treasured pet is a member of the family just the same.

      If there are those that say you shouldn't be grieving the loss of Daizo so much (I doubt there would be anybody here)...let me offer an old saying...

      "To those that understand, no explanation is necessary. To those that don't, no explanation will suffice."

      All I know is that with my Shuggie, we knew she was sick...but I was hoping to have her for one more summer before she was taken from me, lying next to me on the floor, a year ago June 2nd.

      Both Kathleen and I called in to work that day, and we basically held each other and cried and finally fell asleep late that night.

      We cried for several days, maybe a little less each day. Every day I just kept waiting for her to come around the corner into the living room - or back into the house through the door...and tell us that it was just a bad dream. Or a cruel joke.

      When Kathleen came home from her night shift work that morning, I was holding my dead "little girl" in my arms. I didn't let go as I insisted I take her for one more "walk" on our favorite route through the neighborhood. The dogs that usually barked at us, didn't that morning.

      I held her as Kathleen drove to our vet's office to make the final arrangements. In the exam room, I asked Kathleen for a final few moments because Shuggie had been with me ever since she found me as a "rescue dog" at the radio station that day. I said "thank you" and it seemed like she wagged her tail at me one last time.

      In any case, the weeks and months that followed...I had a hollow feeling, similar to when I have lost loved ones of the two-legged variety.

      It looks like you are ready to let a new dog into your life. It took more time for me. It took about two months before Kathleen could get me to look at another dog. That's when we got Angel.

      Give yourself some time to grieve. I can't say that the hurt will go away any time soon. If you feel comfortable getting another dog now, that's wonderful. Only you will know if and when you are ready.

      I hope this helps, my friend.

      Prayers and peace.

      --Barry and Angel (and Shuggie)
      God, grant me the serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can, and the wisdom to know the difference.

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      • #4
        Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

        Thank you Barry. You truly understand. :squeeze: Your story sounds so much like mine. Daizo died on the floor with me too. And, I didn't want to say goodbye to him either. I thanked him too for being such a good buddy all those years and told him how much I loved him and would miss him.

        Trekkie Dad --- I am VERY grateful for the 9 years. It's just really hard for me right now. Obviously, we view losing pets in a very different way. I appreciate your thoughts and because I know you are a kind man, I do not take what you say as being cold. It's how you feel.

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        • #5
          Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

          Barry.. you made me cry!

          I can't imagine life without my two little boy.. Widgey and Fonzie. *tears*

          Widgey is the love of my life (besides hubby...). He was my first step to a "normal" life after chemo last year. We just got Fonzie and I love him dearly...

          I'm so sorry for your loss, both IHD and Barry. All dogs go to heaven, but that doesn't make it any easier for us here on Earth.

          *teary hugs*

          To live would be an awfully big adventure.

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          • #6
            Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

            I've lost so many pets, the worst was losing my 1 year old kitten to anemia suddenly last February. I didn't even know he had it til I rushed him to the ER vet.

            Allow yourself to grieve. It's okay. Some people may say "Oh it's just an animal" but they become part of our families and to many of us just like our children.

            Whenever you're ready look into getting another animal. Remember you're not looking for a replacement, as many people will say. You're looking for a new member for your family.

            One more thing... it's okay to still cry about them a long time from now. Thinking back on the cats and dogs I've lost, I still cry as I remember them. I just try to remind myself of the good times and they way they made me smile and laugh, and push aside the thoughts of my last moment with them.

            Take care. You're in my prayers.

            Sarah

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            • #7
              Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

              tons of hugs coming to you! I don't think you ever truly get over it, but you learn to cope.I feel it's the same as if you lose a family member... the pain is the same, the grief is the same, the LOSS is the same. Just take it one day at a time.
              I truly hope that you consider adopting another dog. It breaks my heart when people say that they will never have another pet because losing them is so hard, and yet hundreds of animals lose their LIFE every DAY because no-one adopts them from shelters... fit, healthy animals with tons of love to give.

              Hugs and kisses


              Originally Posted by Disney Wrassler
              Tassie, I found a quote for ya :lol:!

              "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."

              Charles M. Schulz
              Originally Posted by MWalton
              :lol: Did the pages take that long to reach around to your part of the world?!? :lol:

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              • #8
                Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

                How I and my wife got through the same thing; crying. Seriously. I'd like to say that we did this or that and it made us feel better, but in reality we just both cried for days, until we had just plain cried the shock and grief away.

                When we first got together we rented a little house in the ghetto. One day my wife noticed a tiny little gray kitten sleeping, all curled up, under a bush by our front door. She showed me and I discouraged her feeding it, but in all honesty I fell in love at first sight. It wasn't long before we'd taken her in and she adopted us, and then just as quickly on her first vet check-up we found she had already contracted feline leukemia, common for strays. We kept her with us, gave her daily meds, fell more in love with her with each passing day and then one day less than a year later she got up, walked into the kitchen, looked up at me and gasped, then fell over and never got up again. (Damnit, I'm tearing up typing this...) We haven't had kids yet, so Kitty was our first little one together and losing her was traumatic to say the least. We buried her under a flower bush in our yard and visited her every day until we moved away. We still miss her after almost three years.

                I wish I had advice to offer, but I don't. I can
                Last edited by Jazzman; 05-21-2007, 01:18 AM.

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                • #9
                  Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

                  This is one of those crying threads! We need to have a pet-loving group hug.


                  *hug*

                  To live would be an awfully big adventure.

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                  • #10
                    Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

                    We lost two cats in one week this last year, at separate households. That was the toughest week ever. We love animals, and despise this when it happens. Sorry for your loss IHD.
                    We had them cremated and their ashes spread at a cemetary in Santa Rosa.
                    Last edited by Alchimedes; 05-21-2007, 02:40 PM.
                    1st Amendment-Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.

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                    • #11
                      Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

                      When my cat died, after we buried him, I went to my room with a bottle of Thomas Kemper Root Beer and watched Monty Python. It helped. I just did the cliche of one day at a time.

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                      • #12
                        Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

                        Originally posted by Missviolet View Post
                        This is one of those crying threads! We need to have a pet-loving group hug.


                        *hug*

                        HUGS


                        I'm having a tough time myself these days. This is the FIRST time in my LIFE that I haven't had a pet and I miss having a cat rub up agaist my leg and purr in my ear, I miss having a dog want me to pick her up and have her sit up against me and sleep. The reason I don't have a pet is that where I live now, we aren't allowed to have pets. We went for a month trying to find somewhere to live, and in the end took the first one offered. I can't WAIT til my lease is up ans I can move and get a cat and a dog!


                        Originally Posted by Disney Wrassler
                        Tassie, I found a quote for ya :lol:!

                        "Don't worry about the world coming to an end today. It's already tomorrow in Australia."

                        Charles M. Schulz
                        Originally Posted by MWalton
                        :lol: Did the pages take that long to reach around to your part of the world?!? :lol:

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

                          Hi I am so sorry for your loss. I myself lost my dog Jerry-Lee just about a year ago (June 12 will be a year). He got cancer so I at least had some warning that I had to say goodbye and put him to sleep. But I stayed with him. I had 11 and a half years with him. I know that is a long time for dogs but it seems that it went by so fast. The way I got through it was I made a photo album of all the pictures I had of him. I used stickers, ink stamps, I drew flowers on the pages (he loved to dig up flowers) and making it helped me because when I looked at the pictures I remembered how funny he was and how special he made me feel. They do give unconditional love. I luckily had another dog already(she is almost 5 now) so having her made me feel less alone. I hope that makes sense. Feel free to PM me if you want. I don't post much on here but I check my email everyday. I am again so sorry for your loss and when you are ready there is a dog out there that is waiting for you and was born just to be your new family member. I hope this helps.

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                          • #14
                            Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

                            You are all amazing!!! I think a huge part is knowing I am not insane. That others suffer just as much as me (except Trekkie Dad! ) over the loss of a pet.

                            The breeder that we got Daizo from has a 1 1/2 year old male that was returned to her because the family is getting divorced. She said he's a really sweet boy...and related to Daizo (which makes me cry!). My hubby is going to look at him tomorrow and take him for a walk and see how he behaves. We may have another Akita in the house soon, and if so, I feel sort of guilty....it's only been 2 weeks tomorrow. But, Daizo was the love of our lives and I know we'd grow to love the new dog, but, at first it's baby steps. He'd still get loads of snuggles from me because I miss that so much!

                            Thank you so much for your thoughts and your strength. It's making me cry to think that so many of you wrote such thoughtful responses. I am truly grateful. :squeeze:

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                            • #15
                              Re: How Do You Move Through Pet Loss And The Grieving?

                              Seriously, go out and get another pet asap. It worked for me when i was a kid.
                              "As usual he's taken over the coolest spot in the house"- Father re: Orville 1963

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