Grieving advice

just_imagineOctober 28, 2012

I visit this forum often but have never posted before. But could use your advice as many of you have been in a similar situation. The past 10 days have been a nightmare for us with the end result being we had to put our adorable 7 year old mini schnauzer to sleep yesterday. I can't stop crying. Memories of our beloved Max are everywhere in our house and and in our neighborhood. I know the grief will ease in time (8 years ago we lost another loved schnauzer), but in the meantime if you have any words or suggestions to help with the pain, I'd be so grateful...

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just_imagine, I don't know that I can help with the pain, but wanted to reach out to you and let you know that you are not alone. Most of us here on the pet forum have lived through the loss of a cat or dog, as you yourself did eight years ago. Damn it sucks. We lost 2 cats and a kitten (within a 4 month span of time) 9 years ago, and as you said, grief, while it never quite goes away, it does ease up in time.

I wish I could offer more consolation, but the impending storm, and recent news that one of our cats has Lymphosarcoma (nasal) is making it difficult for me to form coherent thoughts, let alone words of comfort. Please know though, that I wish you some measure of peace in the hours, days, weeks...ahead, and that my heart goes out to you.


    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 4:06PM
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I am so sorry to hear this, I've been in your shoes. Please take a little comfort in the fact that most, if not all, of us here know exactly what you're going through. In my experience, only the passage of time helped. You'll always remember Max and wish it could have been different for him. But it will bring you a measure of peace in the coming weeks and months to know you gave him a loving home, cared for his needs, and did everything you could possibly have done for him.

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 5:13PM
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The hardest part of pet ownership is certainly saying goodbye to them, esp. before we're ready. It's a bit easier when the pet is aged & it feels more natural. But to lose a younger pet suddenly is tough. I extend my sympathies to you.

Max isn't suffering now. He's able to run & play & do all his favorite things at the Rainbow Bridge. Your pain will ease, but you'll never forget Max. ((just imagine))

    Bookmark   October 28, 2012 at 11:28PM
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I'm very sorry for your loss. I can't help you, because I still grieve for my first cat who died 20 years ago. Your little guy will always be a part of you. It just breaks my heart when one of my pets dies. I worry every day about two older kitties I have. I hope you find peace and in time there might be a another little Schnauzer out there for you.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:43AM
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i'm so very sorry for your loss. most, if not all, of us here have gone through the loss of a beloved pet. we can relate to your feelings. there is an entire thread over at the grieving forum. i'll post the link for you so that you can see and perhaps you would like to post there. it's an older thread but a very active one...

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:41AM
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I feel for you and send you my sincerest condolences. In August, we lost one of our kitties to probable cancer. Last week, we lost our 14.5 year old dog Lulu to CHF. She had Cushing's for several years and the panting was attributed to that. When it got worse (Wednesday), I took her in again and x-rays revealed fluid on the lungs. She was put on meds, but passed away in her sleep that night. She was a family member since she was 10 weeks old, we all miss her a lot. It is very, very, very hard to lose them.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 1:45PM
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I have no advice,but please accept my condolenses.I was in your your shoes about 7 weeks ago when we had to put our 8 yr old choc lab to sleep due to a possible brain tumor.

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:12PM
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I have no words of wisdom...But one only grieves when they have been touched by something that truly matters to them. All those years of love and affection, has to have an affect on a person! I still have tears from animals that have passed on years ago...that is normal! I know as much pain as I feel when I loose a four legged human--they bring me sooo much love and laughter, that pain is worth going thru over and over!! And along with those tears--brings me smiles and laughter as I think of all the crazy things they did!!!
So yes it is painful, but think of all the good time you brought each other....and how much love and attention you can give another furry 4 legged human when the times come again to bring one into your family. My condolences!

    Bookmark   October 29, 2012 at 7:48PM
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Hello, sorry for your loss - it takes a while to get over. One thing that's helped me with losing a loved pet was to write down their biography - every little detail about what I remember about them while the memories are fresh. Their story, how they came into your life, their quirks, personality traits, how they communicated things to you, things they enjoyed doing, funny incidents. Oh - don't forget all the funny nicknames you called them! Sharing the stories with people who understand is good (heck, post it here!) or just tuck it away somewhere with some pictures. I dont know what it is, but something about putting it on paper helps me let go because its a way of making sure I wont forget. Otherwise, I think I would forget a lot of the little details.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 11:23AM
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kashka kat, thank you for your post - and good suggestion. A bio of Max is a great idea. We think we're always going to remember all the little details about our pets, but sadly some of our memories do fade in time or blend in with memories of other past pets! I'm not much of a writer, prefer taking notes, but I'm going to start jotting down details about Max. Starting with all the funny little nicknames - and there certainly were a lot of them! It's like the more we love our animals, the more nicknames they collect!

On the topic of memories, DH was changing batteries in our smoke detectors today and testing each one, which involves an ear-splitting screech that used to send Max running for cover. We learned to put him in the car where he felt safe from the noise, but today it wasn't necessary. It's the ONLY time we've said that it's a good thing Max isn't here....

Gosh, but I miss my little buddy.

    Bookmark   November 12, 2012 at 2:49PM
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I lost a beloved dog, the first one I had to myself when I was an adult and moved on my own and when she died my pain was immense, I just couldn't control myself my grief was so intense. I couldn't imagine living without her. One day I found a book entitled: "When your pet dies, how to cope with your feeling" and it really helped me. I searched for it just now and it is available through Amazon.
Take care, The way youfeel is completely normal and understandable.


    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 8:28AM
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You have my deepest sympathy. Ending the suffering of a beloved pet is the most loving gift possible. Remember that it was the disease process or illness that was taking the life of your pet; euthanasia made that inevitable end humane and pain-free.

    Bookmark   November 13, 2012 at 11:55AM
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anicee, thank you for sharing your painful experience. When you mentioned a book that helped you, I remembered that 8 years ago, when I went through the grieving process with our first schnauzer, I had bought a book looking for a way to ease the pain. I dug that book out last night and re-read the pages I had marked as meaningful. It was a good book then but not the one you mentioned. I checked out Amazon and the book I saw was written by Jamie Quackenbush. Is that the book you found so helpful?

cyalexa, yes, you're so right - euthanasia is the ultimate gift of love. I've lost 2 dogs that way - Pepper was 12, had been sick for several months with cancer and we knew the end was coming, but with Max, who was 7, it seemed so much more difficult as one minute he was fine and healthy and the next, his back legs were paralyzed and he could no longer sit or stand up. There's just no easy way to lose a pet you love. If you choose to love, you choose to grieve. You can't get around it...

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 1:22PM
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So sorry about the loss of your beloved pet. Everyone grieves differently so nothing posted here might help you but hopefully something does at the very least you will know you are not alone. When our first dog (as an adult) had to be pts at the age of 16.7 I didn't think I would want another dog for a long time. However either I was hearing things or my little girl sent me rainbow kisses cause I would literally hear her nails clicking on the floor, would hear her at the back door to be let out or in, would hear her in her kennel that we just left where it was and I would see her out of the corner of my eye but of course she wasn't there. I was so incredibly sad I would just stand in the shower in the mornings and bawl, would sit on the deck and cry and look out at her grave (we buried her out back in a wooden casket that my dh made). It only took me a few days to realize I had to have another dog now...not later. A week to the day that we had her pts we brought home a little puppy. For me, getting another dog this soon worked, for others it might not. That little puppy is now 6 years old and is definately my heart dog....she helped me greave over the loss of the first one and we bonded so close even though their personalities couldn't have been more differnt. She is my little velcro girl. I know at some point I will have to go through the same thing again...just hope there is another little doggie out there that can help ease the pain....

    Bookmark   November 14, 2012 at 2:01PM
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dzyg, so glad to hear that getting another dog soon after yours died was the right answer for you. The thought of 'eventually I'll get another puppy' is the only thing that's helping me work through the feelings of emptiness and a broken heart. Our house is NOT a home without a dog in it. But, as much as I'd like to get another dog soon, I know it's not the practical thing to do as far as housebreaking a puppy in our cold NE Ohio winters. It's so much easier to take a puppy out every couple of hours in the spring or summer vs. 12"-18" of blowing snow and cold. So I guess we'll listen to our heads, and not our hearts, and look for a new little member of our family in the spring....Thanks so much for posting your thoughts. They really are helpful.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:14PM
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just are welcome. I forgot to mention...a year after we got our little puppy, my daughters Brownie troop went to a shelter. First time ever and it was oh so hard, we both were crying seeing all the dogs there. Our first dog and our puppy were both cocker spaniels and wouldn't you know there was one there when we did the visit. She came home with us about a week later. =)
Two years later my duaghter and I were volunteering at that shelter, helping them with a bunch of puppy mill dogs they got in (mostly Carin Terriers) and I think it was the 3rd or 4th weekend we were there they had two little cocker spaniel puppies. They were so cute. We were playing with them and the other dogs when one of the shelter workers told me she had to get another puppy for me to see. It was another cocker...sister two the two we were playing with. OH my gosh it was love at first site! She came home with us about 2 weeks later. So we now have three dogs and I wouldn't change a thing. Don't think I will ever go back to just one...;)

Oh and I know about the cold winters...I am from central WI....however my dogs and I LOVE to get out and play in the snow.....

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 1:40PM
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The funny thing with pets----They tend to find you. You may say wait until Spring...and may be going down that path...then Whammo, that new 4 legged furry friend magically appears,lol

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:15PM
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A survey done on Petfinder said most people who rescue want an older dog, many a senior dog. If you'd rescue an adult dog, you wouldn't have that hard winter time to train it. Although both my rescues came in the summer, they were completely potty trained. I could NOT do the puppy training thing again. Good luck in finding a new best friend.

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 2:37PM
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airforceguy, in a way I'm hoping you're right - it's only mid November and spring seems a long way away.

lily, I would consider a rescue, but my husband is pretty firm about starting with a puppy. Time will tell how it goes. I think I'm going to subscribe to airforceguy's theory that a 4 legged furry friend might just magically appear...

    Bookmark   November 16, 2012 at 7:39PM
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