How long will I grieve my dog

hoakie2601May 23, 2014

I lost my Great Dane 16 days ago and 5 days prior to that I lost my cat. I'm doing ok about my cat. But my dog I can't get over. He got sick on a Tuesday and died at the vet Wednesday morning before we could get there. He was my best friend and the pain is getting worse not easier to deal with. My cat had been sick for awhile so that was easier. I got to say goodbye to him. But I cry all the time about my Dane. This past Wednesday I cried for a couple hours and today I've cried 3 different times this pain suck. Help me understand

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I am so sorry. My VDH and I know the grief that you're going thru, as I'm sure most others here do.

We lost our big girl about a month and a half ago. She was a big German Shepherd, and although she was advancing in age, she was healthy and happy. She was bitten by a baby rattler, which is worse than being bit by an adult rattler because the babies can't control their venom. Our vet did everything that she could, and then some, to save her but it wasn't to be. We finally had to make the hard decision to let her go as everything was failing and she was suffering. We were with her.

We still grieve and still miss her. We still hear her and, at times, see her. We sincerely think that one of our cats sees her more than we do and always seems to be 'talking' to her like he used to. The first several weeks were bad, but as we got back into our daily routine, and as the days went by, it got easier. But we still do things that we used to do when she was still with us. When going to get pet food one of us will head to the dog food and the other heads to the cat food. We still find ourselves saving bites from sandwiches and still cut up bits of left over meats to give her after dinner. These are things we used to do and are slowly remembering we don't need to anymore. Every Monday afternoon my husband would go out and poopy pick because garbage pick up is on Tuesday mornings. A few Monday's ago I saw him standing out back and when asked him what he was doing he said he had gone out to clean up for the garbage. Even after all these weeks he had done it without thinking because it was a routine. He would go out and our big furry girl would go 'help' him.

But for the most part we're smiling now. We remember her silly antics and her screwy silly smile and the way she and one of our cats were best buddies and always 'talked' to each other. And although we still miss her terribly, we're not grieving like we used to.

Give it time, get back into your normal routines if you haven't already and keep busy. What you're going through is normal and natural as you've lost a beloved family member. If you feel that it's more than you can handle and if no family member or friend seems to understand, talk to your vet. Maybe he/she can recommend someone who is a pet loss counselor. Our vet was ours in many ways as she called every couple days for over a week to check to see how we were doing plus my husband and I were there for the other when one of us lost it all of a sudden.

Hang in there, hoakie, and like I said, give it time. It will happen. My best wishes to you.


    Bookmark   May 23, 2014 at 11:54PM
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Grieving is different for everyone. Some peeps never get over a dog loss, some take weeks, some years. Sorry for your loss

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 3:50PM
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My thoughts & prayers are with you, it takes a long time to get over loosing a friend, cry all you need to and never let anyone tell you "To get over it" I lost my rottie to cancer 5 1/2 years ago and I still cry for her. It's just like loosing a family member, you never get over it, we just learn to go on with out them. Hang in there, in time you'll learn to laugh again, you have alot of memories in your heart you will never forget. Christine

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 3:55PM
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My "heart dog" has been gone for 9 years, there isn't a day that goes by that I don't miss him terribly.

    Bookmark   May 24, 2014 at 10:22PM
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The pain will ease slowly as time goes by but there will always be a hole in your heart from your Great Dane and you will always miss him. It's been 18 months since we lost our fur baby, suddenly and unexpectedly. I was overwhelmed by the grief I felt. Even now I still get teary eyed whenever I think about him. What helped me the most with my grief was, a year ago we got another dog to love and this little guy helped to heal our broken hearts. He is such a joy and I will be forever thankful we found him!

    Bookmark   May 25, 2014 at 8:39PM
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as one who has lost a dane and has 2 seniors danes at the moment, i feel your pain. i'm so sorry for your loss and for the loss of your kitty.

if you go to the grieving section of garden web and look for a thread entitled "guilty because i miss my dog", you will get all kinds of wonderful help there, as well as here.

again, so sorry for your loss. these giants sure have a way of wrapping themselves around our hearts!

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 11:11AM
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Have you done anything to commemorate your dear dog's life? Make a photo album, plant a tree, put a special marker in your yard, donate to a shelter or GD rescue organization? It can help to do something to memorialize his life. I'm sorry you lost him, and being so sudden makes it harder. You'll be ok, but it will take time. Cry, cry, cry, it's ok.

Actually, could you post a picture here? We would love to see him.

    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 11:59AM
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I feel for you. Tonight I was crying over a dog I lost 35 years ago. We've had dogs since she died but something reminded me of her and I began crying.

I loved all our animals and each were part of our life during different times and stages. The dog I remembered was a rescue and came to me at the worse time for both of us. I had a newborn and a toddler. She was very sick and pregnant. Everyone thought I was crazy to take her, but I did.

I was overwhelmed with life in general, babies and a husband who was rarely around. A new home, no friends, etc.

She lived until 16, she helped me raise my children and was my partner. She gave me the support and company I was lacking.

She was my best friend.

I believe dogs come into our life because we need them. They offer the love and friendship we can't get from humans.

When they leave us, they leave a large hole in our heart and life. But we have to move on.

I had three dogs since she left me and each gave me the love and companionship she did. They all died (including my 16 yr old cat) within two years. We moved and bought a new home. We haven't had a dog since then. My husband and I decided we could not have another dog. The grieving, sadness was more than we wanted to go through again.

Suddenly, I have met a dog which is pulling on my heart. We are old now and I didn't feel a dog would be appropriate due to our health. But I feel this dog is sad and needs a loving life. She brought back the old memories of my sweet dog from 35 years ago. I find myself remembering those gentle eyes and sweet love.

You'll move on but you will never forget. They come to us for a reason. Just grieve.


    Bookmark   May 26, 2014 at 11:28PM
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That's a meaningful post, Jane. Dogs save lives, and I don't mean the rescue and police dogs. I hope you will get the dog you mentioned. It's very painful to say goodbye, but the joy of the relationship is so worth it.

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 9:27AM
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This post was edited by socks12345 on Tue, May 27, 14 at 21:27

    Bookmark   May 27, 2014 at 9:33AM
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I'm so sorry about your doggie. It's hard, isn't it?

I lost my dear kitty girl just over a year ago. I have to say that it's only been very recently that I've begun to smile while reminiscing...before that, the tears were always right there, just under the surface.

I agree with the poster who suggested making some sort of memorial for your dog. I have done that with my cat, and it's comforting.

Hang in there...

    Bookmark   May 28, 2014 at 9:42AM
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I haven't had a dog for 40 years. She was a HUGE female German shepherd. I felt safe with her. She was always happy. She was kind, watchful. Playful. She had beautiful eyes, soft fur. She was a pleasure to be around.

If your in a position to adopt another I'd do so immediately. There are too many that need a home and a loving owner. A new dog won't be a replacement, but an addition to your life, a forward.

You can't have too many friends and you've got a hole to fill.

    Bookmark   June 6, 2014 at 10:53PM
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hoakie2601 please accept my deepest sympathy. I just put down my 12 year old cat Jake on Friday and the grief is worse than anything I've ever imagined. I've attached a link to my post.

Believe me I know exactly what you're going through and I wish there was some kind of magic potion to take the pain away

Here is a link that might be useful: Losing a Pet

    Bookmark   June 15, 2014 at 2:44PM
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My parents lost their dog of 11 years a few weeks ago. A few days later the other dog, 9, died from a broken heart, missing it's companion. My parents were devastated. The very morning the second dog died, I heard about a whippet that was available for adoption through WRAP. I knew it was too soon- but I also prayerfully knew this dog was meant for them. I took the dog, and kept it for a couple for a couple of days and on the 3rd day they asked to have her overnight. She's not a replacement for the other dogs. She is a totally different breed, temperament and habits- she doesn't do all the things they miss most about the other dogs. But this dog has healed broken hearts like you could not imagine. I know that some people say wait before getting another dog, but in my parents case it was just what the Dr ordered. They had a new fur baby to focus on and it took some of the attention away from their sadness. I've lost pets, too, and it is heartbreaking. Some you never get over. I feel for you.

    Bookmark   July 2, 2014 at 12:22PM
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I am so sorry for your loss. It takes a long time to get over such a loss. Sometimes I feel you never really do. I had a dog, Pal, a Collie Shepard mix, that had to be put to sleep when we were both 10 years old. We grew up together. When my older siblings picked on me I could go to her, hug her and cry and she would comfort me like I was her pup. I still think of her with a mix of good memories and sadness at her passing. That was 52 years ago.

I have had lots of dogs since then and miss them all. It took 2 years of grieving for the last one before I got my current dog. I swore I would never go through that pain again and then I saw a picture of Elvira and couldn't resist. I call her my "Soul Mutt" because she has been the closest to me since my first dog. She is 13 and not in good health, we take it one day at a time. I don't know what I am going to do when I lose her. I know that is a part of having a bond with a dog but it is hard. I hope you start to feel better day by day.

    Bookmark   July 4, 2014 at 8:08PM
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I just lost my pet dog more than a week ago after suffering from severe stomach problems. I've been grieving until now and I wonder how long this will last. Spending more time with my other pets certainly helped and how I wish I wouldn't be losing any of them soon. Reading this thread made me realize that I'm not the only one who has felt this way too. I'm thankful that there are a lot of pet owners whom I can relate to as to what I've been feeling these past few days.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2014 at 2:52AM
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Hugs to you, roxan! I'm glad you have other pets to help you through this transition.

When we lost our last dog to cancer, my teenaged sons agreed that the love and joy we got from him over the years far outweighed the suffering after his loss.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2014 at 11:03AM
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hoovb zone 9 sunset 23

When you lose a dog, they take a piece of your heart with them.

But they leave a piece of their heart with you.

Over the years and through the dogs, your heart becomes more and more dog, more loyal and more loving, and thus you become a better person.

    Bookmark   October 31, 2014 at 11:10AM
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Linda's Garden z6 Utah

I lost my dog Charlee in August. I had her for almost 16 years and it was very hard for me to let her go. She had been such a good dog. One day I was just looking the animal roster for the local animal shelter and I saw a picture of a sweet little boy that had been dumped at the shelter. I knew right then that I had to go and get him. I am so glad that I did...He is not a replacement for Charlee but he is such a sweet lovebug and I am so happy that I could save his life. I feel like Charlee would have wanted me to do that. It makes me feel good that I could save him and at the same time he helped me through the grief of losing her. It's a win-win situation in my opinion. There are so many dogs put down everyday because nobody wants them...maybe you can open your heart to one of them. You won't be sorry.

    Bookmark   November 4, 2014 at 8:10PM
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