death of dog

hobbitmomSeptember 12, 2013

My beloved beagle has died after 14 years of total devotion from both sides. I have never loved any person place or thing more. What do others do?

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i'm so sorry for your loss. fourteen years is a good run! i'm sure your house will feel empty for quite some time. (((hugs)))

both of my corgis and my first great dane were cremated. i could not bring myself to put them in the ground. i also have a digital picture frame i filled with their images. it is on a timer, comes on in the evening and stays on till i go to bed. oftentimes, i just sit and watch the slide show and remember all of the happy times. i do still get weepy on occasion but, as with any loss, it does get better as time passes.

you must have tons of wonderful memories of your furry friend and i hope you will find comfort in them.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 7:31AM
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The grief can be very profound, and you'll work your way through it until you heal and can smile when you think of your companion instead of crying. Sometimes it helps to do something in their memory. Plant a tree or shrub on their grave site you can watch grow and perhaps bloom each spring, make a donation in their memory to an animal shelter so that another puppy might be fortunate enough to experience the same kind of life yours did. Accept the fact that your companion was unique and individual and allow yourself the possibility that when you are ready you can extend to another animal companion the same opportunity. You may not be ready for another companion just yet, but if you find the emptiness too great it might help to take in a foster or volunteer at a shelter in the interim until your heart is ready to make another commitment.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 9:21AM
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I usually bury the ashes and plant a tree - as in, the Chili tree and the Mavis tree... for another dog who was crazy for running on the beach, I spread her ashes there. It's comforting to be around the memorial sites as the years go by.

The pain is raw and ghastly at first. For the first few weeks, I'll often see a beloved pet out of the corner of my eye - snoozing on the bed, strolling past me. Weird, but also comforting. Eventually, you'll start focusing on the good memories, and the pain will fade.

Do you have any good dog-walking buddies that can offer support? Maybe a memorial walk at a favorite place with special treats for the dogs? Many dogs respond to strong emotions and would likely be more than happy to cuddle and lick your tears away.

It's tough. No matter how many times you go through it. But eventually all the beloved animals settle into a good place in your mind and heart, and you can connect with them whenever you need to.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:03PM
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I noticed most people I know with a pet that passed, wait a while before getting another one. I did not feel any need to do this, there are so many dogs that need a home. A couple of people did not seem interested in another dog.

I ended up waiting about five months before getting for another dog, but for other reasons. A neighbor found a dog for me. It is quite change from my previous mixed breed. The last one was very calm, this one is very high energy and quite destructive.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:11PM
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I made a small photo album of our kitty for each family member. Mine has a piece of her soft fur tucked in the back.

Hobbitmom, I'm so sorry for your loss. Everyone here knows how it hurts. Keep the good memories close at heart.

    Bookmark   September 13, 2013 at 12:29PM
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Thank you so much for your kind thoughts. As the days go by, Im keeping busy and away from home, and have not had the pressure of having to be back home as soon as possible to let him out. (We did not have a doggy door, and he remained indoors while we were gone.) I find that that little bit of freedom is helping. Im making a picture album too. What a beautiful dog he was. Thank you again.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 1:50AM
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What do you do? You miss them terribly and then remind yourself they had a good life, a long life (hopefully), what wonderful companions you were to each other. This is what I have to tell myself when I start to think too much of my girl.
Sorry for you loss.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 8:42AM
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Sorry for your loss.

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:53AM
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What does 1 do?? cry a whole lot and cry some more!! But it gets better and if it is possible, allow another 4 legged furry human into the house and love again!!

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 7:27PM
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Can you post a picture?

    Bookmark   September 14, 2013 at 10:08PM
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Here is a picture of Max

    Bookmark   September 15, 2013 at 11:50PM
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King of his castle! What a sweet guy. I love those long soft beagle ears. He looks like he was a "leaner" too - one of those dogs who lean up against you closer and closer until you star to keel over in the opposite direction. I'm so sorry you lost Max, and hope that you find another true doggie love when you are ready. Don't ever feel that would take away from the bond you and Max shared.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 10:26AM
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My heart goes out to you, I know tha pain you are going through and it will get better in time, you have so many memories in your mind and heart and you'll never lose them, I agree that someday down the road you'll find another furbaby that needs a loving home, Max will help you find a new companion and will find the right one for you. My thoughts & prayers are with you.

    Bookmark   September 16, 2013 at 1:59PM
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My beautiful Tara was a black lab beagle mix. She played hard like a puppy her whole life. she has eyes that shined like diamonds. and she was a happy go lucky dog who trotted every where she went. And what a sense og humor.... OMG! ( sigh) She had lots of love to give and smile like no other dog i have seen. she wasnt just my pet, she was my sister, we grew up together. she was my childhood pet who saw me into a teen. she was 13 years old. we had to put her down because she had cancer. It was one of the hardest things i had to go through. Still to this day at age 35 i miss her like it was yesterday. I have adopted rescued gray hounds from the track. and took in dogs that were misplaced. But there is no dog that will ever take her place. I have been on a search for "Tara" all these years and have yet to find her. I honestly believe she was more than just a dog, you know, something special. One of my most fondest memories was when my mother and i got in the car and drove from MA. all the way up to some friends of the family's property just outside ludlow VT. there was over grown apple orchards and Over grown pasture. we let her out of the car to have a good run and we bought this big red blown up ball to give to her to play with. It was almost as big as she was! She nozed it into the tall grass of the fiels and at one point all we could see of her was her nose every now and then. And then suddenly she was popping up like pepe la pew. bouncing away in the tall grass as she flipped up the ball into the air. she played for ober an hour and a half, and we had so much fun watching her! the reason why i write this is because you need to let your heart heal. remember all the good times you had with your dog. Those were wonderful gifts. Moments in time you will have with you always. I have always planted trees in memory of my beloved pets. i have also scattered ashes at home and the places my tara loved to be. Put the askes in a flower bed. let something beautiful grow there. You will see how giving you dog still is by helping you create this. take his/her best picture that you have and make a frame with things it liked.
There truly are pets out there that need homes. Dont go for one until you ar ready. but stopping into a shelter to spend time with animals that need love and attention may do your heart good. maybe donate time to an animal shelter and do some good in spirit of your dog. Healing comes in many differest ways. always confide in friends and family, and talk about it as much as you need to. thats what friends and family are for, support. best wishes and sorry for your loss. melissa

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 1:29AM
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thank you Melissa for sharing about Tara. Dogs are such amazing creatures. I have read a bit about the huge evolutionary success of the canine species over millions of years having to do with being such as to allow humans to fall in complete and total love with them...and we do, don't we.

    Bookmark   September 17, 2013 at 9:00AM
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Oh Max, what a sweet boy!

We lost our beloved black lab, Jack, at age 13. He had lost a lot of weight; he had arthritis and wasn't very comfortable. He had been a very active, energetic dog in his younger days, but as an old guy he didn't get around a lot (didn't even like to swim any more).

After he was gone, I found myself remembering young, active Jack - catching frisbees, jumping off the dock to retrieve tennis balls, romping through the woods - things he hadn't done for years. It was very comforting to remember what a wonderful life he had. It's been 12 years now, and I still have a picture of Jack in my office.

    Bookmark   September 23, 2013 at 12:02PM
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Thank you for sharing about your black lab. Labs sure seem to be great dogs. The weirdest thing happened to me. I had a dream that Max came back. He came back from the dead and was wagging his tail, and saying all is well. In my dream, I guess we had buried him..prematurely, he was no worse for the wear. In reality, we had him cremated, and did not keep the ashes. I guess I must be still grieving. Coming home from work is the hardest. It's so quiet now. He was so amazing. Our bond was indescribable. Can you relate?

    Bookmark   September 24, 2013 at 12:05AM
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Hi Hobbitmom, I am sorry for your loss. I have had two dogs who were special in that way. The first was Megan. She was a sleek, prick-earred Lab mix with medium long hair. She was perfect in a lot of ways and we were very close. She was our alpha to two silly boy dogs, so we all missed her. One day I was eating lunch in the car between two work sites and I just unconsciously lowered my hand with my sandwich in it onto the arm rest.It was in a position I would have held it if I were offering it to Megan. Suddenly, she was there with me in spirit, asking if I meant for her to eat it! She was such a good girl that she would be mortified if she mistakenly took something that she thought you were offering, when you weren't. I really felt her there, asking that question. I laughed, picked my hand back up quickly, and apologised to her for being lazy and confusing her! I could almost see her sitting on the floor in front of the passenger seat.

The second dog I really miss is Casey. He showed up on our doorstep at 11 months of age. I have stories galore about his antics. He actually belonged to a neighbor, but he took him back to the dog shelter and I went and got him. Even though he had only been at our house for one day, a week earlier, and I had only used the name 'Casey' with him for a couple of hours, this is what happened at the shelter when they brought him into the room where I waited. He ran to me, put both arms around my neck and moaned! He was a hound/setter mix who looked like a long-earred Dalmatian with 'bad' spots. As a matter of fact, the young man down the block who owned him for two months had named him Spots. Once he calmed down, he went to look at the attendants in the hall who were peeking in at us. I told the staff member in the room with me, 'Watch this!' I then called out, 'Spots, come!' with enthusiasm. No reaction at all. Then I called out,'Casey, come!' and he immediately left the girls from the hall, ran to me, sat at my feet, and held his body in a perfect 'attention!' pose. There was no question that this was my dog. I had no idea how I knew he would react this way, but I just knew he would.

Casey was always an opportunist. Pretty much every dog is. Megan was almost perfect. Her first human had taught her to stay off the furniture, and we could not get her up on the couch with all the pleading in the world. Still, every once in a while, we would enter the room unexpectedly and find her on the couch. Casey had no such compunction. If you left some food in reach, it meant that you wanted him to have it. The older he got, the more you had to remember just how high his reach was. Then he started getting out of control. He would suddenly attack Bina, our third and timid dog, when they crossed paths in tight spaces. We did more training with him, took him for consultations with a trainer. He got really wiley, too. We had a bed-bound parent at home, with caregivers with him during the day. At lunch time, Casey would go bark at the front door, making the caregiver think that somebody was there. The caregiver would go look, shutting Dad's door behind her. Then Casey would race for Dad's room and slap at the lever door knob until it opened. Then he would get inside and get Dad's lunch and wolf it down. Dad was blind, so Casey could totally take advantage of him.

Despite all this, Casey was my lover boy. He would jump up on my lap and press his face against mine. He would lie on me and his weight felt so comforting. His fur was like velvet. He loved to nuzzle my neck and he smelled so good. He was a very clean boy, clicking and even sucking his feet clean each day. Until his personality changed, he played with Toby, our other male dog, with joyful abandon. Then one Christmas Eve, Casey had gran mal seizures. He was diagnosed with a brain tumor and spent the rest of his life on seizure meds, prednisone to help control the effects of the tumor, pain meds, and thyroid medication. It did help control his violence toward Bina, but his impulse control toward anything on counters, the garbage can, Kleenex that he loved to eat, cardboard and any paper he could get was gone. We had to be perfect parents or he would get our things.

Casey died a year ago next month, two years and ten months after being diagnosed with the brain tumor. He succumbed to the effects of long-term prednisone use, I believe. The tumor was affecting him more each day. It was wearing us out to be constantly on alert for him and to cope with his anxiety. Bina died a year before he did, after minor surgery put her into kidney failure. Casey's passing left us with so much relief that I did not get to mourn him the same way I mourned Megan. Months later, looking at photos, I was able to remember him as he was before he was ill, and feel the loss. He really was my own special heart dog. Megan was special to me and we bonded so that we communicated without words. She was independent, though. Case was only mine. He heeled next to me all around the house. I was his mommy. As a woman never able to have a human baby, that was special bond for me.

Hobbitmom, I started this simply to agree with you that our dogs are the souls of our homes. When we open the door to their greeting, our hearts fill with joy and we know that we are home. For the dog, our return confirms that they do, indeed, have a pack. We fulfill each other's needs so well. Some people believe that we evolved together, humans from hunter-gatherers to agriculturalists with the help of dogs who evolved as flock guardians and as an early warning system for settlements. It is so hard to lose our companions. No other dog will ever be the same, just as each love affair is different. But you have the memories and the photos and you know that you shared that special devotion with each other. Your special pet lives in your memory of that devoted relationship.

Here is a link that might be useful: Megan, hit next for Casey

    Bookmark   September 25, 2013 at 12:53PM
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