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Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Posted by kms4me (My Page) on
Tue, Aug 19, 08 at 2:07

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


Follow-Up Postings:

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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

When I'm having a bad day, there's nothing that I look forward to more than coming home to the unconditional love waiting at my door.

Homer was totally dependent on you - you were all that encompassed his world - you were his companionship, his best friend, his pack leader, and he loved you dearly.

He looked to you to take care of him as if you were his parent, and in a sense you were, and now you've lost that role as his leader.

It's an emotional void in the absence of this wonderful creature that loved you unquestionably and unconditionally...you shared a very special bond.

I lost my cat of 17 years back in 2005, and I still miss her dearly. I always call her my "soulmate"...she would give me a "hey what's up" nod whenever I walked into a room, she knew whenever I was sad, and she was always there for me...the sweetest cat I ever had.

Not long after she passed, a little chihuahua walked into my life, and he's so much like her. There are so many similarities between their personalities. He doesn't replace her, of course, but I like to think of him as a message from my kitty above...


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I think that part of it has to do with the role you played in his life as Kimcoco said. It would be more like losing a child (and like you I wouldn't want to demean anyone who has lost a child, we recently lost a grandchild at 7 months gestation).

Those who don't have pets, can't understand it and there is no use trying to explain it to them. We have lost two doggies at the ages of 18 and 14 years old. When the last one passed in Feb. 06, it hit my DH very hard. I have never seen him so lost and upset, even when he lost his dad. We are older now, death takes on another dimension to us. When we were finally ready to get another pup - we ended up with two - a brother and a sister. It was like Chelsea, up in heaven saying, "Hey, its gonna take two to fill my paw prints!"

Allow yourself to grieve as long as you need too. It was your relationship with Homer and it STILL IS.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I'm so sorry.

Pets do have a special place in our lives & in our hearts;
I often think it's at least partly *because* they aren't "human", that they give us something our humans, no matter how much they love us & we love them...just can't.

Several years ago, on another forum, someone posted a message that still brings tears to my eyes.

She said (much as you said) that she loves her hubs & her kids & her sibs & parents & everybody, but...

She had just lost her elderly Lab mix, & she said (I'm very bad at exact quotes, but I think this is a pretty close paraphrase):

"That dog spent 13 years at my side.

She was always right there beside me, in the garden & in the house & in the car & sometimes in the bathroom.

No matter what happened or where I went, she was right there, devoted to me.

I just know, if I had opened a door one day & walked straight into hell, that dog would have been right there at my knee."

I wish you peace & warm memories & the knowledge that you have been loved.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I work at home and Homer was always by my side or at my feet. He would scratch at the door until I let him in when I took a bath. I got him as a birthday present for myself--I went to look at a double litter of puppies, and he simply grabbed me with his front paws, climbed into my arms, and that was that. He chose ME.

He was with me as my daughter grew up. When they were both little, we had a "puppy party" every Friday night. My daughter's friends would come over, we would clear the living room of furniture, and play/dance/do gymnastics/whatever/ until I went to bed. I'd wake in the morning and find a dozen little girls asleep on the floor, Homer in the glorious middle of them all. His death signals the end of an era as well as the end of a great love.

He was with me in everything. Never took a vacation without him. We'd go canoeing, camping, hiking. Talk about the fires of hell, he'd swim in the giant inland sea of Lake Superior, no matter how cold, just to be with me.

There is nothing I do just about that he was not a part of. Everything reminds me that he is gone. It's hard to keep busy. I work at home; if I am on the computer, I miss the feel of him lying on my feet.

There is so much I miss. If I went for a walk, he was on his leash, either pulling ahead, or lagging behind to sniff or pee on something. If I work in the garden, he is not there to chase rabbits and squirrels and come back wiggling for my approval. He does not leap into my arms when I come in the door, he does not curl up behind me when I nap on the couch, he is not there pressed against me when I go to sleep. He is just not there... My first thought in the morning is that he is gone, my last thought at night is that he is gone.

I got mad at him when he ate a hole in the couch when he was a puppy. Other than that there were hardly any cross words between us.

Thanks to all three of you for your kindness and understanding. You are right, I was his Mom, though I mean no disrespect to those who have lost humans close to them, I feel so much pain that my little dog is gone.

He was such a good boy.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I know just how you feel. I have lost many animals in my 69 years and each one was a tragedy for me. I had a Siamese who died a number of years ago at the same time a loved aunt passed away, and I grieved over Pizza Pie much more than I did Aunt Alice. My second oldest daughter lost a twenty year old dog in May, then in June the 18 year old had to put down. She was a total basket case and had to go the doctor for sleeping pills. Those dogs went on vacation with her to Seattle and all stops in between for years, they slept together and ate together and were hardly ever apart. They were her "boys".
She finally was talked into getting a little 10 mo. old Norwich Terrier, a beauty and so sweet. Western MI was having an epidemic of Parvo and even though he had his shots, he got the disease and wasn't able to fight it off. After his death, well, you can imagine, grieving, guilt, crying, depression.
The breeder gave them the puppy's little brother, and she loves him very much. He is helping her to get better, but she is still grieving for the others.
Don't ever feel guilty or embarassed for loving and missing your little Homer, he was a very special and precious part of your life. It's the people who don't grieve for their pets that I worry about.
God bless, you will feel better in time, but you will never really lose Homer.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Mary Helen,

Thank you for your comforting words and your private message to me. I will take it under advisement.

I'm about to go on vacation for the first time in 10 years without my Homer. Instead of looking forward to it, I am dreading it. Another sad 'first'.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Five years ago, I had to take my dear cairn terrier of 15 years for her final trip to the vets. It was more difficult than making my mom's funeral arrangements. I now have 3 pugs that I adore more than words can tell. When they cross, I think it will truly kill me.

No you are not crazy, Kate. Your lab was personal and loved you unconditionally. You can't say that about many family members and friends. True dog people understand how you feel. It's as if a piece of your heart has been cut out.

Homer wouldn't mind if you brought dog into his home. You would feel better and save a life at the same time if you rescued from the pound.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

The morning after I first posted this, I thought, Oh No, I am going to take a lot of flack for this, for comparing the losses of humans and pets, I was sure I was going to get some angry emails and responses.

Instead I found kindness and understanding and though I still feel sad beyond belief, I am so relieved that you have all been so nice. In my grief, I forgot to say, though I certainly felt it, how I am sorry for all of you who have posted about your losses of your loved animal family. Though I wish none of us had to experience this pain, I feel much less crazy and alone.

Thank you all,

Kate

PS: Mulchmamma--Homer was a little rat terrier, not a lab, but you got everything else right. I'm not ready now for another dog (actually, Homer was the jealous type!) but I know I will be someday.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

never trust the opinion of anyone who hasn't licked tears from your face..and never ever feel guilty for missing someone who has.

I think the loss of fur-kin hits us so much harder because so little of the dialog is in english, or even in words...we are physically, tactilely involved with our pets on a level many humans never seem comfortable with. we walk about sprinkled with their shed fur, we sometimes fail to wash their slobber off our hands after being greeted, we are surrounded by the sound, the feel, the smell of them in a way we normally reserve for spouses and infants...

to lose that hits deeper than the loss of a lifetime of idle mouth-noises ever could.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Kate-now why did I think Homer was a lab? Suppose it's because I read Marley and Me and cried my eyes out.

Love rat terriers and most terriers in general.

chinacat-you hit the nail on the head. Years of telepathy
between human and animal does make an endearing connection.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Chinacat, you expressed that so well.

It took six weeks before I washed the afghan because it was covered with Homer's hair, and I hate to remove the few traces of him that are left.

They never say a word but they know and love us so well.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Oh I sure relate. I lost My Dog, my Birth Mom and my Step Father all last month. Mom and her Husband had cancer and I knew they were going, yes hard, Mom died in my arms. My Kita was fine one day and deathly ill the next, she was getting old....but I expected her to be around a few more years.I did not expect her death. I work from home too, I have 2 cats that I love dearly but my DOG was my baby (I do not have children)to not have her here by me day in and day out is so painful. I HAVE to believe Mom and her Hubby are spoiling her now. It was a very bad month but the dog is by far the worst hurt.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Well, I am new here and just posted how it feels to loose a child. It will be 5 years next month.But 7years ago I lost my beloved pet too. The best dog that ever was. Lossing child is the worst thing in the world but the pain feels same to me. I know some people will criticize me for saying it, but our dog was just like our child too. It is hard to explain. I miss my son teribly and life will never be the same and if there is a haven, I hope my son is there playing w/ his dog.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

czechchick2,

I am so sorry for both your losses. I don't think anyone here would ever judge you. I appreciate so much your responding to this thread, and though I never knew them, I find the picture in my mind of your son and your dog together a very beautiful thing.

Lisa, I sent you a private email, appreciate your response as well. I think I touched a nerve here, this time a good one.

Thanks again to you all, bless our loved pets, I sure hope there is a place where we will all be together again--I look forward to meeting you all as well.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I had two cats..one persian and one himalyan..one year apart in age. They were supposed to be my daughters cats..but she left home as kids do. Caesar, the himi..loved me and only me. The worse thing to every happen to him was I got married. He got cancer and I got to spoil him..before he had to go. Max, the blue persian was so simple and happy. He died less than a year later. If I see their pictures tears spring into my eyes. The thing is, animals are innocent..the love so pure. That's what makes it special.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I'm a 34 year old male professional with advanced degrees, lived on a cattle ranch for much of my life, been married twice, divorced once, and through what I consider the biggest and loneliest and toughest time in my life, my little buddy, my rat terrier named kramer was there by my side.

I raised him from a pup.
I raised him as if he were my child.
He loved me as only a unwaveringly loyal intelligent dog could.
He sensed my pain and helped me through abysses and nadirs of life, divorce, pain, etc.
He went with me everywhere.

Yesterday I found his cold dead body.
He was just 7 and a half years old.
I never imagined how much pain I would feel for his death.

I'm a tough ol' guy that rarely exhibits emotions, but losing MY dog, hurts me something fierce, like I never could have expected.

I thank you all for your understanding and comments. Those creatures we call pets can touch our lives in such a way that is so profound and special that only those fortunate souls that have been so touched can ever know.

I'm blessed for being in Kramer's life.
I'll miss him dearly.

Thanks again.

Thanks to all that wrote, it positively impacted me.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

You are in our prayers Kramer_fan.

I lost my boxer, Clyde, in 2005 the day after my birthday. I remember when he was sick, he was laying on the living room floor, and I got down on my stomach so I was face to face with him and I told him I was SO honored that in this life our spirits crossed. I had never been so attached to an animal in my life but I cried for him until I thought I would be sick.

I then lost my dear Momma in August of this year and the pain, I can only describe, resembles the pain of loosing my beloved Clyde.

I suppose it is the unconditional love I received from both. They both had the uncanny ability to read my moods and feelings so well. You know you are TRULY loved when the other cares about your feelings more than their own and I felt this with both my Momma and my Clyde.

Do not feel guilty for grieving your pet, I cried for months after loosing my Clyde and seeing pics of him can still bring me to tears. As for my Momma, I cry just about every day still.

I like to think they are both waiting for me at the Rainbow Bridge and having a grand time!

I was told by a breeder when my Clyde passed that Clyde would direct my new animal to me if I was meant to have one. Well.....I received my dear Momma's two little chihuahuas when she passed so I suppose, in a way, this is true!

Blessings and peace to you....

Lisa


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

kramer_fan and Lisa,

I am so sorry for you both. Your stories touched me deeply

This thread had been silent for a while; interestingly enough, you both posted on what would have been my little Homer's 11th birthday.

I found a poem, author unknown, on a pet memorial site, and I hope to use it on Homer's grave stone. I think it is almost perfect, and I hope others who have lost their beloved pets can take comfort in it.

I Only Wanted You

They say memories are golden; I don't know if that's true
I never wanted memories, I only wanted you.
A million times I've needed you, a million times I've cried
If love alone could have saved you, you never would have died.
In life I loved you dearly, in death I love you still
Your passing leaves an emptiness no one will ever fill.

Take care,

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

For me, it is nice to know that there are others out there that feel the same way and understand.

I send my love out to you for understanding and for sharing.

Sincere thanks.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

As pet lovers we can all relate to your painful loss. I have two beautiful babies, one is by my side all the time, if I go outside she's right there if I come in she's right there, if I go potty she's right there. When her time comes it will be very hard on me and I know I'll never find another like her.

Here is a beautiful site maybe you'd like to give Homer a place in a virtual memorial home.

Here is a link that might be useful: welcome to rainbows bridge


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear Kate,

It is now April 16, 2009 and I just found your post from quite some time ago. I was searching under "miss my dog."

You expressed so much of what I am feeling now, except that I have terrible guilt. Long story, but my beloved Sugar, a German Shepherd mix, 89 lb., turned 14 on April 5 and she was euthanized here in my home the day after, on April 6. She had degenerative myelopathy and was progressing to the point that I felt I needed to spare her further struggling, though now I feel as though maybe it was too soon. Please understand I had the vet come for a consult weeks before, etc. She was eating, though I had to hand-feed her, she still seemed content to be with us, though she could not stand and her front paws were weakening. I had a handicapped ramp built for her two years previous and I was using a rear-end sling to assist her outside, put a boot on her rear paw that dragged on the ground, her other rear paw was starting to buckle over.

I tried to make the best decision for her, not me, and I just question everything now but yet know I cannot change it.

I am 49 and I, too, work from home as a medical transcriptionist. I was with Sugar 24/7 because she was confined to the family room the past year due to her disability, I wouldn't leave her, going to the store or wherever and rushing to get back to her, then sleeping on the couch in the same room because she might need help in the night - first thing I laid eyes on in the morning, last thing before drifting off to sleep.

She had a sedative before the actual shot that would "put her to sleep." She glanced back at her hind leg after the first shot was given, as she likely felt the sting, and then looked right into my eyes with a look I don't believe I ever saw before, and though I'd like to think it was just simply she was looking at me and I am reading more into it, it was as if she was asking "why?" but maybe that's silly. Or maybe it was a look of goodbye, there just seemed to be a sadness to go in her eyes. It was but a second and she fell into a deep sleep. It was peaceful and she looked more comfortable and at peace than I had seen her look in a long time.

I am sorry to ramble on. I would like to ask how you are feeling now, if it is less painful, and if anything has helped you along the way with the pain. I know I will never forget but I am assuming time will help, yet I seem to get worse as the days pass, rather than better. I want to be strong for my Sugar, who was so determined and compensated for her disability with such strength, yet I feel as though part of me has died. I am one of those people that others comment about how can I always be so happy and good-natured, but I now just simply try to make it through the day and I don't want to talk to anyone or do anything. Everything is a reminder.

I hope I am not making you feel bad. I also recognize that most loving pet owners go through this, it is all part of having a pet, and I knew it would be difficult. My 23-year-old son lives here, too, and he is not a believer in euthanasia, and feels even though she was 14 and had advanced DM, she wasn't ready to go. I struggle with whether I made the right decision, but I tell myself that if I had to choose, I would rather have let her go early than too late.

Your post has helped me realize I am not alone. I lost my dad to suicide when I was 18 and my mom to cancer at 61, and despite the terrible pain of both, this has been by far much harder in so many ways.

Thank you for listening.

Deb


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

"if I had to choose, I would rather have let her go early than too late."

me, too.

Over 20 years ago, I waited too late, & I still remember & still regret.

& a person who "is not a believer in euthanasia" is either a cruel person by nature or has not lived long enough & had to face the decision.

You did the right thing.

I think Sugar looked into your eyes to say good-bye.

Take good care of yourself.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear Deb,

I am so sorry for your loss. I would love to send you a detailed response, but you don't have any email address listed... If you'd like to, please send me an address so I can speak to you privately. Your pain comes through so intensely, but I will tell you that, if I were a dog, I would want someone like you loving me and making the brave decision to love me enough to let me go.

For every one person who has posted to this thread, there have been 3 or 4 who have emailed me privately to share their love and grief at losing one of the most profound relationships of their lives, their beloved animal. I have received emails from people in England, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, as well as from those in the U.S. The love of animals is indeed a universal thing, and the grief is universal too.

So much is said of dogs' unconditional love of us, but not enough is mentioned of how good it is that we can love them that way too. Their goodness makes us better people.

Sylvia, as always, your comments and sensitivity are wonderful.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

To Kate and Sylvia,

I hope my private emails to each of you made their way. Just in case, I want to express my deepest appreciation for your responses to my email. I have read them over multiple times. They help more than you can know.

Many thoughts of "could have, would have, should have" enter my mind but no matter what thought enters, I keep telling myself the bottom line is what Kate stated - that I did love Sugar enough to be able to let her go, even though I knew it would be life-changing and so very difficult.

To Sylvia, "still remember, still regret" pulls at my heartstrings; I am sorry that you have this lasting memory but we can all learn from it and you express it so clearly.

I wish you all the best in life - please know that your kindness and compassion will be appreciated and remembered always.

Hugs,
Deb (debez48@yahoo.com)


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Well, I have to add to this site yet again. Just last night I lost my precious persian boy. Before I went to work I gave him his treats b/c he begged like a dog. I got home from work late at night and my other kitty was waiting for me-she always does. I thought I saw Benji in the bedroom going by.... After taking a bath etc. I went to bed and after awhile and my other cat acting like she is looking for something around the bedroom I got up and looked in places where Benja sleeps. I called and nothing.I found him in my office on the floor curled up next to my chair -dead. Already stiff and w/ eyes almost open. He probably died in his sleep when I was at work but what black shadow did I see in the bedroom when I got home? And why were his eyes almost open? He looked comfortable and at peace and I'm glad-I hope he went without pain. For past year and half he was on heart medication w/ heart murmur and early renal failure. It is just so sad he is gone. He was very special. I adopted him wen he was about year old.All his life he was very spooked and shy and I'm glad I could provide him w/ quiet loving home. He was my precious fluffy baby. I always wished he would live long but he died at only 11 years old.It is painfull to go through this again.
7 years ago I lost my Aussie and 5 years ago I lost my son.I posted about it her on the forum too.I know many people will ask how can I compare loss of son to loss of a pet. The initial pain is same.Pets are part of my life and it really hurts to loose them. I have one more critter and after she is gone I will not get any pets. At least not for long. Iam sorry for everybody that goes through any kind off loss. I know how they feel.
Benji is now burried next to my dog in the back yard, wrapped in white cotton sheet and w/few of his toys.And I cry and cry and cry...............


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

My family lost our beloved Yorkshire Terrier yesterday, we had to make the hardest decision in our lives to end his suffering and it makes me ill just to think about it now.

He was 18 had lost all control of his hind legs, was deaf and blind and was skin and bones yet still his brave little heart continued to beat. He has been ill before and always pulled through but he quickly deteriorated over the past couple of weeks and if I could turn back time I would have done anything within my power to to prevent this.

He first joined our family when I was 7 and I cant remember a time without him. At times it doesn't feel like it is real and I will walk into the kitchen and find him lying next to his bowl and at times the pain is unbearable - when I feel I am pulling myself together another wave of grief washes over me. I feel I will never feel the same again. I just want him back, I'm selfish and I need him.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I found this web site today after searching "I miss my dog" and found all these wonderful messages. I lost my 15 yr 9 mo. old Dalmatian, Iris, on March 28. She had terrible arthritis and then developed degenerative disks in her neck. Finally, she lost the ability to walk, stand, and even sit up. We tried everything and took her to several vets besides her regular one. Anyway, she got ot the point where she was crying and miserable and we had her put to sleep. It has broken my heart in so many ways. I dreaded the euthanasia and also felt horrible about her condition. I can't get past the feeling that she was my baby even though she was almost 16. I miss her every day and have even gone to pet loss group. I know she lived an exceptionally long time but it doesn't feel that way.

I want to say to those who are mourning your pets, first, I am so sorry. I have also lost both of my parents and this is at least as difficult if not more so. Secondly, My Iris was my third Dalmatian. When my first one died, I thought I would NEVER love another dog like Samamtha. Then I got two puppies, Lily and Iris. Lily was wonderful but Iris was the love of my life. So, even though I felt that Samantha was my once in a lifetime dog, along came Iris who stole my heart.

I hope it will happen again.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear Kate,

I happened to come across this website searching I MISS YOU.

I lost my 14 year old loving maltese dog Snookie on April 18, 2009. I am in agony since her passing. Just like you and Homer, I was never apart from her for more than few hours. Snookie was always by my side, showing and giving me never ending love and devotion, and making me smile and laugh everyday, she was my little clown, until she got sick 1 month before I put her to sleep. I had to make that horrible decision to end her pain and suffering. I desperately tried to save her but she was on the end stage of kidney failure.

She filled my life with pure love and joy. Now that she is gone, my life has no meaning. I do not know how to go on. I am forcing my self to do simple chores like cooking. I think I forgot how to cook since Snookie died. My cooking just doesn't taste good. I used to be a good cook, that is what everybody says. I am going through a traumatic change in my life. I constantly look for her everywhere but she is not there anymore. I am crying like a lost child.

I am so lost without my baby Snookie. I feel like I could die of a broken heart.

Snookie is my 4th maltese dog. I have lost 3 other maltese dogs in the past 30 years. I have mourned for each lost so intensely. I feel that my baby Snookie will be my last one because I cannot imagine going through this unexplainable sorrow again. I might just die next time.

I am a mother and a housewife for 25 years. I had my dogs before my daughter was born, and when she's grown up and moved-out, Snookie was there for me.

Kate, please tell me how you are doing now. It would really mean so much to me.

Somehow, we are helping each other go through this undescribable painful mourning over the loss of our heavenly beloved pets. It felt like I was in heaven when I had Snookie in my presence, and Charlie, Meena and Curlie. They were all the joy and the love of my life.

Thank you to all of you ! ! !


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

i never knew there was a grief forum at garden web and lo and behold, what do i find! first, let me say how sorry i am for all of the losses everyone here has experienced.

to you, kate, especially...thank you for posting this. i have lost loved ones over the years both human, furry and hooved. like so many here, i know what feelings you are going through.

i lost my husband/my soul mate/my best friend just over 18 months ago. i felt and still feel grief that i would not wish on my worst enemy. even after all these many months, i still have nights when i go to bed and hope i don't wake the next day. the loneliness is crushing, it always will be.

just when i thought i was coming to grips with my loss, my little male corgi, my heart dog, my other best friend has now been diagnosed with a terminal illness. this is the dog who, throughout my husband's illness, spent countless hours on my lap, many times with his head buried in my neck. he was and is my comfort. i do not know how much longer i will have him with me. i do not know how i will ever survive the loss of him. it weighs heavily on my mind and in my heart that i will have to make the call that nobody ever wants to make.

unlike it was for my husband who died of cancer and was stripped of every ounce of dignity he ever had, i will not let that happen to simon. only those who have loved a pet and lost can truly understand the agony.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Kate,

I too found this after searching for "miss my dog". I am sorry this will not be a brief post, but I have to tell her story as best I can. I first found Misty (we call her Mistletoe) when I went to the humane society 12 years ago. My wife and I were looking for a companion to her puppy, a border collie. I didn't see any puppies that touched my heart, so I went into the adult dog section and saw Misty for the first time. She was between 6-8 months old, a beautiful golden retriever someone had dumped. She was scheduled to be euthanized in three days. When I approached her cage she lowered her head and held her paw out to me as if to say "Please pick me!".

We took her home, she was in pretty bad shape, covered in ticks and malnourished. We took her to the vet and got our first bad news. He told us she was a carrier for a tickborne virus that was fatal in dogs. He told us it was dormant for the moment but could go active and kill her at anytime. It would take 12 years before this happened.

I was in the military so Misty was accustomed to picking up and moving every 2-3 years. She got to ride in an airplane, and drove across country 3 times. Finally last year I retired and we built our dream house complete with a big yard for Misty and my wife's border collie to run and play. Ironically, we built the house in the same town where we had found her.

Two weeks ago, on a friday we were walking the dogs in the neighborhood and Misty was lagging behind a little bit. I didn't think much of it, she seemed fine the rest of the weekend, but I decided to take her to the vet first thing Monday for a checkup. He told me what I had hoped to never hear - the disease was no longer dormant, and was attacking her immune system. For the last two weeks we have done every treatment option available, even pushing the limits on what vet was willing to do to save her. I came home from work Thursday and I was surprised and delighted to see Misty waiting at the door for me, tail wagging. She had been unable to get up for the past couple of days, simply too weak to move. I immediately called the vet and said "The treatment is working!"

Thursday evening she was restless, and didn't want to eat or drink. Friday morning I woke up and she was so weak she could not stand, and was having trouble breathing. The vet came out and looked at her and told me she was dying and there was nothing more he could do.

He put her to sleep in her favorite spot, laying by the window on my side of the bed. It has only been 24 hours and I am dying inside. I honestly don't think I will be able to take the pain. I am a disabled war veteran and I have never felt anything that compares to this pain. It grows worse every hour...I look at her pictures and cry like a baby...I just want her back by my side, even if for 5 minutes. I just don't feel like I was able to adequately say goodbye, even tho I was with her when she died.

I feel guilty for every time over the past 12 years where I was busy and would tell her "Go play Misty" instead of stopping what I was doing and loving on her. I feel like I let her down, and I cannot forgive myself.

I love her and I miss her badly,,,I cannot stop crying.

Keith


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

keith, i'm so very sorry. there is no easy way to cope with such things, i know only too well.

it's normal to have guilt feelings, i have had the same thoughts every time i have had to say goodbye to a pet, be it dog, horse or even a silly goat. could i have done this or that? i will never know and most especially now facing this very possibility with my little simon.

i know you can never ever replace misty but i would encourage you to visit a shelter and see if maybe there is a dog there that you can connect with. nothing will fill the emptiness left by misty's death but then again, there is nothing more rewarding than saving a shelter dog from doom.

weeks before gary died, he told me one day that when he was gone, he wanted me to get the great dane that i have wanted my whole life. last summer, i applied to rescue and ashley, a senior dane, came to live with me. i cannot begin to tell you how much she has helped me heal. the day i went to meet her, i stopped by the cemetery and as i often do, i asked gary for a sign that she would be a good dog for me. as is also the case, i was not disappointed with my sign from gary. ashley is a black and white dog. the minute i laid eyes on her, i was in love. the first thing i saw in her coat pattern was a perfectly shaped broken heart right on her butt. it would be just like gary to have 150# of beautiful canvas to work on and choose her butt to leave his mark for me.

God bless you, keith, and i hope some day you can make room in your heart for a dog who will give you more unconditional love, just as your misty did.

i don't know if this will work, but i will try to post a picture here so you can see my girl. can you see the broken heart? there's a little piece of it floating above, as if it is working its way down to make it whole again, even though it will never happen.

Photobucket


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Nina,

Thanks for your kind words, they truly do help. It is so interesting that you chose to post today of all days and even more so that you posted with your story about Ashley, and her picture. I have been looking for any sign from above that Misty is doing well and in good hands.

While I faithfully believe she is, part of me is desperately seeking a sign of reassurance that God has taken her into his arms. Your picture of Ashley with her broken heart symbol in her fur is so incredible...she truly is a blessing to you.

Hopefully I will continue to pray and receive peace. Thank you again so much for your words; I hope someday I have your strength and courage and can do the same for someone else.

Keith


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

keith,

you may have already had a sign from misty and just didn't know it. i often get signs from gary and it isn't unusual for it to happen and i don't realize it for a day or two or three. sometimes, if you don't try as hard to see them, signs will come to you easier. by chance, have you found any pennies lying around? pennies from heaven...those are the most obvious signs. i could write a book about all of the pennies i have found in unusual places since gary's death. :)

yes, ashley is truly a blessing. i know it was meant to be that she and i would find each other. she bonded to me instantly and is such a velcro dog, when i am home, she is never away from my side.

give some thought to rescuing another dog, keith. i guarantee you, it will make you feel better and there's just something about a rescue dog that makes your heart simply soar! i cannot think of a better way to honor misty's memory than to save another dog and open your heart to some serious lovin'!

as it is with any loss, it will take time for you to heal.

God bless,
nina


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Nina,

We are working on getting some of Misty's pictures uploaded digitally. Once we do I will post some of her so you can see how beautiful she was. I know she will give me a sign in her own silly way, I just have to be patient for it and it will come I am sure when I least expect it.

Take care and God bless,
Keith


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

keith,
i will look forward to pictures of your misty. and yes, be patient...signs will come and you're right, they come when you least expect them. i keep a journal of all the signs i have gotten from gary. they made me cry at first but when i realized it was his way of letting me know he was watching over me, i looked forward to them and i still do!

gary's favorite flowers were purple petunias. i had not planted any last summer, it was just too painful of a reminder. lo and behold, what do you think i found coming up all over my 7 acres? yup, purple petunias. they came up in the oddest places and several times, i would stumble upon one when i was feeling particularly low.

same thing this summer, i have found purple petunias all over the farm and in fact, i just came in a little while ago from transplanting some of them into a container. i figured if gary was sweet enough to send them to me, the least i could do is plop a few in the barrel on the deck. :)

years ago, i was forced to put my senior siberian husky to sleep. the ravages of old age were beginning to take their toll on him and i wanted him to leave this world with his dignity intact. i was so sad for a very long time and when i was ready for another dog, i called my little corgi girl's previous owner to see what she had available. pam told me she had been expecting my call and it just so happened that she had recently retired her show corgi and would be happy to place him with me. that's when simon came. the similarities between simon and my old husky boy are just uncanny!! he sleeps upside down, he loves to lay in certain spots outside, he has some of the same little quirks. gary used to say he swore simon was a reincarnation of 'flag'. i believe it, nothing else could explain how alike these two dogs are! i think flag brought us together, just his way of showing how much he loved me for 15 years. i still miss that dog, every single day.

nina :)


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear Posters,

I have been without the internet for a couple of months and so didn't realize how many postings have been added in my absence.

My heart goes out to all of you, and I hope to respond to all of you privately within a couple of days.

Take care, remember the love you and your wonderful pets shared.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

hi kate, hope you are doing well. :)

keith, i keep checking here every day, waiting anxiously for pictures of misty. hope you are feeling better.

nina


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear Posters,

Right after I posted my last message with a promise to get back to you all, my computer went down for the count. I am writing this on a borrowed laptop. I want to say right away how much your thoughts and stories touched me, how much I wish I could be with each of you and wrap my arms around you and tell you how sorry I am for your losses.

Hazela2009, I know so well what you mean. I am so sorry you lost your beloved Snookie. Being that close, constantly, with a dog is something I know so well, and my heart hurts for your loss. I too felt that I could not go through the heartbreak of losing another dog. As much as I loved Homer, his loss left me feeling like the most joyous, happiest aspect of my life was gone forever, like the sun had disappeared, and there was nothing left but a routine existence full of pain.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog 2

Because this is a strange computer and a laptop which I am using on my desk instead of my lap, I tend to hit wrong combinations and lose my messages before they are posted, which is why I am doing this reply in bits and pieces.

Keith... Oh, honey, I know how special Goldens are. They are smart and funny and fabulous beyond belief. Misty had a wonderful life with you, you saved her from an early death and gave her 12 years of love despite the illness that could have taken her at any time.

Dogs live in the moment. Guilt is not part of their emotions or understanding. Misty loved you and you loved her. It really is that simple.

Ninapearl... you really are a pearl, a gem. Your kindness and contributions are wonderful.

Kate


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RE: How I am doing

The first anniversary of Homer's death will be the 23rd of this month.

A year ago, I knew my little Homie was not going to make it. The memories of those last weeks and days are something I cannot fully express. As the day that marks the anniversary of his death arrives, I find myself short of breath and without words.

I feel like I should be upbeat and tell you that I treasure his memory (of course I do), that I remember the good times (I have a mind-full of Homer that will be with m till the end of my life), and that I am over the worst of his death.

The truth is that I miss him terribly, that I still cry every day.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

kate, your emotions are probably even more raw now that you are coming up on the one year mark. that's understandable. it's hard, so so hard, not to think of the bad things, homer's death and what led up to it.

i struggle as i watch simon's condition worsen. i don't know how much longer i will have him. thankfully, his disease is painless. small consolation though, knowing i will lose him much sooner than i ever thought.

and now, just last week, i have found out that my other little corgi may be facing a battle. maggie has been having nose bleeds over the past couple of months. all routine tests have been exhausted with no conclusions. she is scheduled for a CT scan on tuesday. i have consulted 2 vets and they have both prepared me for the possibility of nasal cancer.

i find this so painful and so ironic. the first symptom my husband had that something was terribly wrong were unexplained nose bleeds. *sigh*

cry when you need to. i'm right there with ya!


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear Ninapearl,

I hope that the thoughts and best wishes of all those who have loved a pet are with you and keeping you strong.

Though we had stopped doing tests when Homer was obviously not going to survive, nasal cancer was a distinct possibility.

I don't know what to say.. Please let us know how you and your dogs are doing.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

hi kate,

you have already said what i need to hear. :)

although maggie's diagnosis is not certain yet, i recently joined a yahoo group that consists of people who are dealing with dogs and cancer. the members have been wonderful, very caring people with so many stories, sad and uplifting at the same time.

this is so hard...maggie was so devoted to gary. during his illness, she was totally devoted to him, rarely left his side. losing her is unthinkable, she is one of my dearest connections to him.

i will let you know what we find out this week.

nina


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I've read through these posts and I realize that so many of us have lost companions that were more than pets to us. These companions have integrated themselves into the very core of our families' lives. When they die, they take a part of our hearts with them. I've been there; and I've shed many tears over my losses.

Someone (Mari) on one of the other boards recommended a book to me that I found both sad and comforting.

The premise is that animals choose us, not the other way around. These furbabies come to us because we need them and when their "assignments" are done they move on to the next human who is in need of the love they offer.

I'd like to believe that PeeWee, Homer, Misty, Sugar and the countless others who have passed on are still here with other humans who had need of their services.

Take a look. I think you'll find comfort in reading it. I know I did.

Here is a link that might be useful: A wonderful book


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

monablair, thanks for the recommendation. i'll look into the book.

sadly, i had to end maggie's suffering yesterday. the CT scan/biopsy came back as nasal cancer, advanced. the vets told me i had only a week or two before the end, that was only last week. yesterday morning, maggie refused food, as she had the previous day. she was struggling to breathe, i rushed her to the vet at 8 a.m. and he said although the decision was mine alone, that she was ready to go.

it was so quick and so peaceful, she was gone in only 2 or 3 seconds of the needle entering her vein. i am having her cremated and she will be home with us in just a couple of weeks. *sigh*

my vet brought maggie back out to the farm last night so the other dogs could say good-bye to her. it was so sad and so touching and so wonderful. we laid her on her bed, they sniffed all around her, looked at me sadly and then laid down next to her. we let them rest with her for about an hour and the dr. B took her back with him. i hope it brought simon and ashley some closure.

my heart will never heal from this loss but i find some comfort knowing she is in her daddy's lap again and they are watching over us. after they've had time to get reacquainted, i will look for a sign that they are enjoying each other's company once again.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I didn't read through all the responses so sorry if this was said already....but just because you're married and have kids doesn't mean you're a "fully functional female".

Pet grief is very real and people experience it all the time, but to have a harder time losing a pet than a family member doesn't seem psychologically stable to me.

I hope you find some comfort soon though because I am experiencing grief right now after losing my Mom and it's very tough. So I understand how you feel.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear Friend,

You are not crazy and there is no reason to feel guilty.
Homer was your friend on a level that others can not understand. Recently I received a forward from a friend that said " those who have not loved and bonded with an animal have something yet to be developed in their souls".
Homer will always be Homer, and someday you will see him again. in the mean time, love youself and allow yourself to grieve as you need to.... Think about giving that empty spot in your home to another dog. Not as replacement, because Homer is not replaceable, but as a way to save an animal and as a way to fill an 'opening'.
I had to have my Barney put down in August of 07, just a few months past my Dad dying. She was 22 years old. A golden retriever/irish setter mix. She could climb a fence paw over paw like an army man, and was afraid of cats. She fell in love with Bubba at first sight, and for 10 years they were inseperable companions. When Bubba died, she mourned as a person would. She would smell Bubba's leash and blanket, she watched out the back window like she was looking for Bubba. She would turn and look at me as if asking for an explanation... it broke my heart. Years later after I had moved from that house I would go back to visit the neighbor and Barney would go over to the back yard where Bubba was burried, it gave me chills to know that she could remember that. At the point I became aware that she was no longer my protector, but I had to be hers, I I knew I had never loved a pet as tenderly as I loved her. I loved her as tenderly as I loved my parents.
Her photo sits on the shelf along with the rest of my famiily photos. I will never forget her, nor will the place in my heart where she lived ever be taken by anyone else. God bless you as you grieve, may your heart soon be filled with comfort.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you all for sharing.

I lost my dog to bloat July 16, 2009. Fidus Achates ( meaning faithful companion) or Fidus for short , was my shadow, my friend, my rock and my child. He was a wonderful, 8 and a half year old German Shepherd who was euthanized on the operating table due to a very poor diagnosis for recovery. I feel so guilty I didn't know the signs of bloat - they are so subtle - a little foamy vomit and a little restless. This has been the hardest death in my life and now I know why. He WAS my child and he helped me through the worst time in my life (which included a very bad divorce) and yet I failed to help him in his time of need. His love was unconditional, he was always there - he was happy just to be with me. I miss you so much Fidy xoxo

Attached is a Tribute to him on youtube.

Here is a link that might be useful: Fidus Achates, my faithful companion


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

socal,

I am so sorry you lost your mother.

I can understand why you call into question my statement that I am a fully functioning female and yet the grief I feel at the loss of my dog is worse than what I felt when losing a human family member. I am really surprised that yours is the first response that I have received that has questioned my psychological stability.

I questioned it too, which is why I started this thread. I can tell you stories, happy and sad, about the people I have lost. My grief over losing them is not diluted or betrayed by my intense sadness over the death of my dog--in part, the reason his absence looms so large in my life is that he was there to see me through their passings, he was the one I could hold and pet and talk to when my husband and my children did not know how to comfort me or how to react to my tears when my dad, my brothers, my sister-in-law, my best friend, died. Homer was the one I could show all of my feelings too, who would lay by my side, warm my feet, be there no matter what. And of course there was his need to be fed, his need to go outside, his sharp, cold little nose poking my side and letting me know that life had a practical and immediate side that needed taking care of, and no matter how much I might feel the need to wallow in my grief, picking up dog poop off the carpet was to be avoided no matter what. In other words, the need to take care of him got me going, got me back into the world that was routine, mundane, and that needed my immediate attention.

Homer was in my life every day, almost every single minute of it. My brothers, my dad, my sister-in-law, my best friend, dear and cherished though they were, I did not interact with in the same way. We grow up and live with our parents, our siblings, and we move out and on; important though they were and still are, once we move out of their homes, out of their towns and neighborhoods, the relationship changes.

Homer was my baby from the day I got him until the day he died. He asked little and gave a lot. I could be Confident Kate or What-the-Heck-am-I-Going-to-do-Next-Kate, and he didn't care. Either way, my lap was warm and my love was there, and he was one happy pup.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog-2

youngestdaughter,

The affirmation and heart-felt words I have received, over and over again, have shown me that there is no need for guilt when I feel the pain that I do over the loss of my beloved Homer.

None of those words, however, lessen my feelings for him, or how much I wish he was still with me. I feel honored and loved and the same time I feel cheated--I think all of us who have ever loved a dog feel cheated or somehow to blame when their life expectancy falls short of what we think it should be.

Barney, bless her, outlived every life-expectancy I can think or have even ever HEARD OF (22 years old!! amazing), and she dealt with Bubba's passing. I am touched by Barney's knowledge of the death, much as I love my dogs, I have not seen that behavior exibited.

Oh, that is wonderful that you have pics of your dogs along with your human family. I still break down and cry and have a hard time looking at Homer's pictures...

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

To kms4me and to all the others who have lost their precious little animal, I feel so much for you.

I have taken the decision to take my dog Beauregard to the vet this coming friday in order to put him to sleep. Beauregard is 12 years old and suffers from a degenerative disc disease. I noticed he was dragging his back leg about a year ago and ever since then he's gotten worse to the put where he has all the trouble in the world now walking, going down step or even going to his bowl for water.

Ever since I took my decision to bring him to the vet this week, my heart is broken and I just can't stop crying knowing Beau will not be in my life and my husband's life anymore as of this saturday. I have decided to take the day off from work this friday so I can spend all day with him alone. I need to tell him so much how much I love him and every minute that goes by, I keep telling myself this in one last minute I am living with my dog who has been by my side for the last 12 years except for me going away for two weeks once and then another one week. We are always together. I am with him from the moment I get up in the morning and then back together at night when I come home from work. I do not have any children either and I've always felt like I was him mommy and he was my son. I took almost regret making the decision that I have made to bring him to the vet this friday, but I keep telling myself it is the best thing for Beau. It is so sad to see him trying to get up or to walk. Despite this, my heart is broken in a million pieces and my husband's heart too. I am so grateful I have found this site. Your stories are helping me go through this painful and awful situation. The worst is that mentally Beau seems to be doing super alright. It is physically that he is not doing well and I feel so guilty for taking the decision I have taken but in my heart of hearts I know it is the best thing for him. The vet said we will be able to stay with Beau till the very last minute when he will go to doggie land. I am preparing myself for this. I will bring the blanket he's had since we first got him when he was three months old. Please help me and tell me I will be alright.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear fleurs_gardener,
I am so sorry for the pain you are going through.

Making the decision you have is gut-wrenching, but it seems that with Beau's age and his condition you have made the best choice. Somehow we think the best choice should be a happy one, but of course it is one of the hardest, most painful things most of us will ever do. In many ways, knowing what is coming is almost as hard as the actual loss.

This week I know will be so hard on you, but try to just love and enjoy Beau and not think too much about what is ahead. You will have a long time to grieve, so try as much as you can to live in the moment. Beau knows you love him, he has known that his whole life with you, and he trusts you to do what is best for him. It is an awesome and weighty responsibility.

There is a closeness we get with our dogs that is not equaled by any other relationship, human or otherwise. I know, it DOES feel like losing a child, and though that may seem ridiculous or even blasphemous to some, that is the truth. Keeping our feelings silent doesn't change that, whether we say it or not, the death of our dogs leaves a chasm in our lives and in our hearts; we have lost a member of our family.

You will survive this, though it may not feel like it. Truth be told, I still cry every day, and Homer has been gone over a year. I still can't look at his pictures without tearing up, but I am able to look back at my time with him and realize how incredible it was that I was so blessed to have had him for as long as I did, and to know that our life together was joyous and amazing and one of the most wonderful experiences anyone could have had. He gave me so much, and for that I will be forever grateful.

Nothing in life is free. The love we get from our wonderful dogs is not either. We get to love them for such a limited time, and when we lose them, we realize the price we pay for all that they have given us is profound grief. And terrible though that grief is, it is only right and natural that we acknowledge it. Don't let anyone tell you "It's only a dog."

Take care,

Kate/kms4me


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you Kate for your kind and beautiful words. They help me alot in my decision towards Beau. I truly understand how you feel about Homer and the pain it must be for you not to be with him even though he has been gone for a year now.

I stayed home yesterday from work and every once in a while i talked with my Beau. I've been giving him treats all week and whenever he cries, I stay beside him. I think he's in alot of pain and whenever he's alone in a room where i am not, he cries. I only have three more days with him. It kills me to know that at the end of these three days, Beau and I will never ever be together again. On friday, I intend to go for a little walk with him where we always, always go together and I will sit with him in a spot and I will put a little flower in the ground. When I will miss him terribly, I will go back and sit there and know Beau and I were there together.

I've been reading alot of forums on pet losses and it helps me to accept the decision I have taken in regards to Beau. I know i am not the only person in the world who is going through this or who has had to go through this with their beloved pet. One thing I do know for sure however is that I don't think I will ever again be able to have another dog. I just feel it wouldn't be fair to Beau cuz he's the one and only dog I've ever, ever loved so much in my life.

Thank you so much once again Kate for your kind words. Please think of me Friday evening.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

fleurs_gardener,

I have been thinking of you often since you posted here. I know how lonely it feels to let go of the pet you love. Though everyone who has posted here has gone through that experience, it is still a very individual, personal thing. We've all lost pets, but only I lost Homer, only ninapearl lost Maggie, and only you and your husband will lose Beau. Each dog (or cat--I don't mean to slight those of you who posted their sadness at the loss of their kitties)is a unique spirit and personality, and though the loss of a pet is universal, the loss of each beloved animal is something that no one else goes through.

Planting a flower with Beau by your side sounds like a lovely idea.

Thinking of you and Beau,

Kate

Please feel free to email directly if you would like.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you Kate for your kind words and for thinking of me.
Today, is my last day at work for this week. I cannot wait to be home tonight to be with Beau. I've done everything with him this week that he loves doing, most importantly going out for car rides and chewing on grass leaves. I tooked his face in my hands last night and I told him : I love you Beau. AndI asked him : Do you love me? He kissed me.

My heart is broken. I cannot write anymore.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Fleurs,
You're in my thoughts today. I've walked in your shoes and have felt the pain of loss you're experiencing.

But, it's the right thing to do for Beau. He leaves our world knowing that he was loved in a very special way by his human companion.

I know you'll meet again.

Mona


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you Mona for having me in your thoughts. That is nice of you.

I only have a few hours left with Beau. Everytime I lye down beside him, my heart breaks. But I keep telling him he will be better in doggie-land and he will not feel anymore pain. For one reason or another, he always wants to be by my side today. He cries if he doesn't see me. I've taken pictures of him today and I've shared with him everything I ate.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

After our furbabies passed on, I needed to have them close to me. So we placed their ashes in wood photo urns and I keep them in our bedroom so I see them first thing when I wake up in the morning and the last thing I see as I get into bed.

I have no interest in the company but we were pleased with the quality of these products.

Just a thought. I hope I didn't offend you with with this suggestion.

Here is a link that might be useful: wood photo urns


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

fleur,

I found this poem while thinking of you.

FROM FRIEND TO FRIEND
You're giving me a special gift,
So sorrowfully endowed,
And through these last few cherished days,
Your courage makes me proud.

But really, love is knowing
When your best friend is in pain,
And understanding earthly acts
Will only be in vain.

So looking deep into your eyes,
Beyond, into your soul,
I see in you the magic, that will
Once more make me whole.

The strength that you possess,
Is why I look to you today,
To do this thing that must be done,
For it's the only way.

That strength is why I've followed you,
And chose you as my friend,
And why I've loved you all these years...
My partner 'til the end.

Please, understand just what this gift,
You're giving, means to me,
It gives me back the strength I've lost,
And all my dignity.

You take a stand on my behalf,
For that is what friends do.
And know that what you do is right,
For I believe it too.

So one last time, I breathe your scent,
And through your hand I feel,
The courage that's within you,
To now grant me this appeal.

Cut the leash that holds me here,
Dear friend, and let me run,
Once more a strong and steady dog,
My pain and struggle done.

And don't despair my passing,
For I won't be far away,
Forever here, within your heart,
And memory I'll stay.

I'll be there watching over you,
Your ever faithful friend,
And in your memories I'll run,
...a young dog once again.

In Memory of Asta, Feb. 1997
(c) Karen Clouston


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Hi Mona, Kate,

Mona, no you haven't offended be with the suggestion for the ashes. I had thought about keeping Beau's ashes but then I thought it would really,really be too hard for me to have them around. I kept his collar and yesteday, i cut a little bit of his hair that I always used to pet so much.

Kate,

Thank you so much for that beautiful poem. It truly is beautiful and I will print it out and always keep it with me for strenght.

Being with Beau till the last last minute, was extremely hard. I kept kissing him all the time and telling him how much i loved him. After the vet gave him the last injection, I wished Beau good night and then I left the room. I told my husband to get me away from that place as fast as he could cuz I just couldn't bare knowing Beau was in that place lying there...in his own little world, all alone.

I slept all night with his collar either in my hand or right next to me on the pillow. I also lit a candle for Beau right beside a picture of him. I also have two cats. One of them, Jazz, was Beau's favorite buddy. Last night for one reason or another Jazz came and slept beside me. He never does that. I had Beau's collar close to my heart. Jazz couldn't really see it, but he kept coming closer to me as if he could smell it. I put it close to Jazz and he put his little paw on it and we both went to sleep.

This morning was really hard getting up and knowing Beau wasn't beside my bed. I felt so alone and I was really sad. I feel like something is missing in my life, like I'm all alone. I also started questioning my decision as to whether it was right to have him put to sleep but then I remembered in pain he was and I keep telling myself I did do the right thing. I swear to God I thought i heard him cry last night.

Once again, i thank you Mona and Kate for your kind words and support towards me in this very difficult time.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

fleur,

My heart goes out to you.I have thought of your pain all week. You are not alone. My dog died a month ago (July 16) and I am still in shock and numb.
Since you and I both kept our dog's collar (I keep his in my underwear drawer). I am currently transferring his dog tags to my key chain, so I can kiss them and remind me of how he touched my life.
Just a thought.

Dave


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

fleurs, i am just now seeing this and i am so very sorry for the loss of your sweet beau.

OLD DOGS NEVER DIE

We have a secret, you and I
That no one else shall know,

For who, but I, can see you lie
Each night in fire's glow.

And who, but I can reach my hand before i go to bed
And feel the living warmth of you and touch your silken head.

And only I walk woodland paths and see ahead of me
Your small form racing in the wind, so young again and free.

And who, but I can see you swim in every brook i pass.
And when I call, no one but I can see the bending grass.

Author unknown.

fleurs, don't ever believe you will not see your boy again. he awaits your arrival on the other side of the rainbow bridge, along with kate's homer, my maggie, dave's sweet boy and all of the other angels who have gone before them.

my late husband is a dog lover...i say "is" because i am sure maggie is sharing his lap with her new friends in heaven.

God bless and i hope that some day the happy memories of your beau will be a comfort to you. (((hugs)))


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you so much Dave an ninapearl for posting. That is so sweet of you to think of me.

Dave, i really like the idea about the tags. I've been alone at home all day and I've been thinking... maybe I will get a little tatou of Beau.

ninapearl, thank you for the poem. It's beautiful. It made me imagine Beau running in the field and chewing grass. I hope to God someday him and I will be together again. I also had to put my beautiful red cat Olivier to sleep a year ago at Easter and I was thinking today that perhaps him and Beau were playing together now like they used to. I hope Beau doesn't miss me too much. I want him to be happy.

Keep posting. I always look forward to reading all of you.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

fleurs, i sent you an e-mail. did you get it? ;)

i have 3 other dogs...another corgi, simon and 2 great dane rescue girls, one i got last summer, the second i got a week after i lost my maggie girl. i needed something to focus on, to help me with my loss and to honor maggie's memory. she's a lovely senior dane, very sweet, just like maggie was.

simon began showing symptoms last december of degenerative myelopathy, a spinal cord disease, that has very much the same symptoms as your beau had. at this point, he is still mobile. i have a little cart i am getting him used to using but i know that his time with me is limited. it will be a matter of only months before i will have to send him to be with maggie and my husband. i am trying to make every single day special...he goes to work with me often, we go for ice cream, just the two of us. the thought of losing him is unbearable but i have to think about his quality of life and his dignity. i have very strong feelings about such things.

a dear friend of mine sent me the most beautiful pet stone marker, here is a picture of it...

Photobucket

it's one of my favorite pictures of her. she was waiting for me to tell her to go out to the field and bring the goats in. she lived to eat and herd. the quote is something i said to my friend...maggie and simon were my rocks when i was going through gary's illness. i honestly don't think i could have survived his death without them here with me. now, i have only one of them left but i know where maggie is and i know whose lap she it sleeping in and that gives me some measure of comfort.

(((hugs))) to you. :)


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

fleurs,

Another option for the dog tag(s) is to add them to a bracelet or neckless.

Dave


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear fleurs,

You did the right thing for Beau. Though it may not lessen the grief right now, in time it will help a lot. With winter coming on, it would have been so much harder on him, and it took a lot of love, caring, and compassion from you to let him pass on and be free of pain.

I am glad you liked the poem. I read dozens of them before I found one that I hoped might help you.

There is no way I know to lessen the intensity of pain that you feel right now. The sense of disbelief, the numbness, at the same time there is the acute agony that your beloved pet is gone. Going to sleep and awakening, knowing that the world goes on as it was, but for you, it is like time has stopped, the world should somehow be changed, and yet it isn't. Except for you.

The grief WILL lessen,though I know it is hard to believe that right now. You will have ups and downs, and it is alright/ok to feel a sense of relief that the decision has been made.

There is a community here, all of us who have posted, that understand and support you, who know your decision is the hardest and most unselfish one you could make. That is the definition of love.

KATE


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Niniapearl,
Yes, i did get your email and I thank you very much for your thoughts.

I am very sorry your puppy simon is not feeling so well. I know exactly how you feel at the simple thought that he might have to go. I knew Beau's day was coming but I couldn't see myself being without Beau. We too were always together. I never left Beau alone at home and when I would go somewhere and Beau wasn't with me, people asked where was he.
This was my first weekend without Beau and I must admit I hated practically every single minute of my weekend. Going up to the lake without Beau was horrible and being up there at the lake without him was even worse. I cried all weekend cuz I miss him so much but like Kate says, eventually it will not be so difficult being without Beau. I keep reminding myself that my decision to send Beau away was the best one for him. Although he was still mentally a happy dog, physically Beau could not go on the way he was. It killed me to see how he couldn't walk, run or do anything anymore and plus he was crying alot whenever he was alone or at night while I was sleeping. Beau was suffering from a digenerative disc disease. He was on medication and had gone for laser therapy, but all of this didn't help him much. It was getting worse everyday. Now, at least, he's not in pain and like you say "free to romp and play unencumbered by pain and sickness". I sometimes think it would be good if I got another puppy. I don't know yet. My husband doesn't want to right now.

Dave, i like the idea of Beau's tag on a bracelet. I'm going to look into it.

Kate - thank you so much for all the help you have brought me in dealing with Beau's passing. In fact, one of the reason I had decided to put Beau to sleep now is because I could not imagine him going through winter like this. In the last month, I would only take him out once or twice a day. When i would show him his leasch, he would look away. That's because he knew he would have to go down some stairs in order to go out and he knew it hurt him ever time he did go done the stairs even though I had to hold him part of the way. The last day we spent together, Beau could not even go up two little steps anymore. I will always keep in memory that last day we spent together last Friday. Always.

Once again, Kate, thank you for all your kind words and the support you have brought me in the last week. I truly appreciate it.

I would also like to thank all the other people who have posted here or have sent me emails in regards to my situation.

Huggs and kisses to all of you.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I have been following this post for the last couple of months, ever since our boy Jake died. He had lymphoma and was diagnosed back in February, so we had time to prepare as best we could, though there really is no preparation for this sort of thing.

He was our baby and my best friend and the grief we felt afterward was devastating. But I can attest that time does help...the pain hasn't gone away but I can now think about him without bursting into tears and smile often when remembering our good times. I do still cry, but it has definitely gotten better.

My condolences to all of you who have gone through this...


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I've read all the posts on this thread. I found it googling "I miss my dog." It's been 3 months since Ranger's been gone and I no longer cry every day, except the last few days I've been reading these posts! Spring is arriving in Maryland. When the trees bloom, I'm going to spread Ranger's ashes along the wooded walk we took every day, sun, rain, sleet, or snow when he was able. I still walk it daily with my three other dogs. I see him in my mind at the head of the pack, where he always trotted before he lost his sight and relied on me to be his guide. He was so magnificent in his prime... big, glossy red golden retriever, always noble, alert and confident. I will never forget the open joy in his face every time he greeted me. I don't quite believe in an afterlife, but still... I talk to him frequently in my head, often as I'm falling asleep at night. I'm so honored that he chose to give his heart to me so completely. A big chunk of my own heart will forever belong to him.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Ah, Sharon, I'm so sorry.

Someone once told me, after she lost her beloved old dog, that, although we love all our pets, maybe in this life there's *one* that's "my dog", one that was sent by...whomever, or whatever, or chance, or life itself.

She said,
"That dog was by my side all the time.
I just know that, if I'd walked straight into h*!!, that dog wouldn't have blinked;
he'd have been there by my left knee."

I'm glad you got to have *your dog* Ranger, & I'm glad he had you.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

i'm so sorry for your loss, sharon. i lost my little simon about the same time as you laid ranger to rest. the house is so empty without him but with the help of my dane girls, i am coming to terms with it all.

hugs to you!


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Sharon,

I am so sorry you lost your beloved Ranger. He sounds like a wonderful boy. I was once blessed to love and be loved by a (mostly) Golden Retriever, and I know how much there is to miss about them. Magnificent, smart, fun, loyal.

Nina and Sylvia, it is good to see you both again. Sorry Nina for yet another loss to you.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

so good to see you, too, kate! how are you doing?

thank you for your sentiments. simon will always be my little heart dog. even though i loved maggie with all my heart and i do so love my big dane girls, i don't believe i will ever have the connection with any other dog that i had with simon.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

ninapearl,

I have never had a dog I didn't love. But as you pointed out, there are some that are so unique, that we connect with so completely that they go from being a part of our life to actually being part of us.

I've talked to a lot of dog owners and it seems almost universal that most of us get that pet that is so special, the dog that for whatever reason seems to transcend the normal boundaries and occupy a space in our hearts that we didn't even know was there until they became a part of our world. I knew almost immediately that Homer was THE ONE. He always will be. Though like your Simon, he was a little guy, the space in my life his death left behind has been huge; I mourn him still.

I have had dogs almost my entire life, and loving and caring for them is a big part of who I am, of what makes me Kate. Though it was unbearable to think of moving on after Homer and getting another dog, it became more unbearable to think of living the rest of my life without one.

So I now have a new chapter in my life, the Book of Monty. Though he is a rat terrier as was Homer, he is a very different dog, not only in looks (he has Decker Giant in him and is more than 2 1/2 times Homer's size), but in personality and temperment as well (his nickname is 'Monster' if that tells you anything). Things were rocky at first; in fact, at one point I questioned whether I really was the right person for him, something I had never doubted with any dog I've ever had. I was still so lost without Homer and it took me a while to accept that I needed to let Monty be Monty, to get to know and love the traits, good and bad, which make him so uniquely himself. Monty will never take Homer's place but he is carving out his own spot in my life and my heart.

One of the hardest things was taking him to places Homer and I went hiking, swimming, camping, canoeing, so I broadened my horizons and found new places, new adventures, that are unique to Monty and me. Wherever we go, I bring back interesting rocks, pieces of driftwood, fossils, little souvenirs of our adventures, and I place them on Homer's grave.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

oh kate, i can SO relate! when i got my second rescue dane, shortly before simon crossed the bridge, i would look at her and think to myself "you're sweet but you are not simon". i realized one day that she is who she is, with her own little quirks and her own big personality and i have grown to love her with a passion. she is 136# of goofball and every day, she does something to make me laugh. i think she was sent to me BECAUSE of who she is.

big congrats on your new little monster. i wish you many, many years of happiness with him. enjoy his uniqueness. it's wonderful that you have opened your heart to a new companion.

someone once said, each dog they had in their lives took a piece of their heart when they left this world. and they left a piece of their own heart. this person said he hopes he lives long enough so that some day, his heart will be 100% dog. :)

can you post a picture of jack?

nina


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

First of all, I am so grateful that this post has kept going for so long - so grateful to find that I'm not alone in my pain. (Tomorrow I will go back to the vet to pick up her ashes.) Not many people around me understand my grief. No one really wants to talk about Scooby Doo (a Golden) or talk about the emptiness that she has left in our lives. But it's there. I feel like I've lost my mind because I can't seem to get over her not being here. My life happily revolved around her for 10 years. She taught me about unconditional love, servant hood, obedience and loyalty. My story is not unique. Similar yet different to each of you. She had cancer and the day came where we had to make that horrifying decision to put her down. She hadn't eaten in a few days and we were worried that she was silently suffering. I jiggled her leash to signal a car ride and she acted like her old self! The apparent adrenaline rush to ride in the car ripped at our hearts. We stopped and stared at each other in doubt and pain, questioning if this was the right time or not. I don't know how we made it through that day. She loved us so well and we were blessed beyond measure to have her in our lives for 10 years.

Before my feet hit the floor I think of her (careful not to step on her), when I shower I wish her tongue would slip under the curtain and scare me again. I've heard her toe nails on the hardwood floor, the jingle her collar made and felt her nose nudge me in my sleep - I catch myself heading home from work with a purpose (to walk in the door and be greeted like I'm the most important person in the whole world!) - Then I remember she's not here. She's gone. My chest feels like it will explode and I wonder how I will ever get over missing her. Thank you all for posting your experiences. I do feel less alone. Less crazy. As a grown woman with teenagers and a professional career, I'm floored by which the death of my dog can bring me to an emotional sobbing freak show. From one who "never cries" to someone who now can cry in a heartbeat. Scooby changed my life for the better. She did her job well. "Good girl Scooby Doo, Good girl."


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Good girl, indeed.

I'm glad you had her, & glad that she had you.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

(((hugs))) i am so very sorry for your loss and i feel your pain. scooby doo sounds like she was a wonderful dog and she will forever be in your heart. the grief never ends, it just gets "different". it becomes tolerable rather than a way of life. some day, you will be able to smile at your memories instead of cry.

because of her, you are a better person.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear forthelove7,

I am glad you found this post and that you feel it brought you some comfort. As hard as it is, as much pain as it can bring back, to read others' stories of the loss of their beloved animals also illustrates how lucky we all were to have known such great joy and love and attachment, the beauty of sharing our lives with our dogs.

It's gut-wrenching when you need to talk about your pet and what happened, to let the grief spill out, but no one wants to hear it. Some people have never been blessed enough to connect so closely with an animal and don't understand the crushing sadness and pain, others think it best to somehow distract you from what has happened, still others know how hard it is and don't want to be reminded of their own losses. Whatever their reasons for not wanting to listen, it doesn't change the fact that you are hurting and grieving, possibly second-guessing your decision to end your dog's pain, and above all else is the horrible sense of loss, the MISSING HER SO MUCH. For me, I felt not being able to talk about Homer was almost as bad as losing him, that it was a betrayal of all he had given and all that he meant to me.

I have no doubt that Scooby was a wonderful girl. I too lost a beloved Golden to cancer, about 5 years before I lost Homer. She was only 8 years old. Bridget was beautiful and funny, the smartest dog I've ever known, and I went through a very similar experience to yours the day I took her to the vet for that final, horrible conclusion. Though her hind legs were paralyzed, she pushed herself up and looked out the window, like she was going for a ride, going to the park or one of the many places I took her hiking. I almost turned the car around then and there, but I listened to my head instead. It was the right decision, but one of the hardest things I've ever done.

I was touched by what you wrote: "I'm floored by which the death of my dog can bring me to an emotional sobbing freak show. From one who 'never cries' to someone who now can cry in a heartbeat. Scooby changed my life for the better. She did her job well."

Mourning her death is not crazy--not mourning it would be.

I am so sorry for your pain but happy you knew such joy. Scooby was a lucky girl to be so cherished and now so missed.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Kate, ninapearl & silviatexas,

Wow - I'm pretty much speechless. Thank you for responding. I really didn't expect a response when I wrote. It just felt so good to write about her.

I'm extremely moved by your kindness... <3


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

i think it's pretty much always therapeutic to put your thoughts into words on paper (or monitor, in this case). we who consider our pets to be family members completely understand your grief and just because you lost a 4-legged family member rather than a human does not make your grief any less intense.

i hope that some day soon you will be able to remember happy times with scooby. it takes time but it does happen. :)


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Just want to say that this has comforted me so much. My dog, Madigan left in April of 2008. He is my soul mate forever. I will never be the same...not a day has gone by when I have not thought of him, cried, laughed or grieved for him in some way. Madigan is my heart forever. I truly believe that he led me to where I am today.

In my search on the internet for ways to cope with missing my dog(s), I stumbled on this site. You see, I am about to embark on a move out of state in which I must leave my 2 dogs, Cash and Jax behind for a few months. I will be able to visit them (though not enough) and will soon be reunited with them (not soon enough)...but have been lying awake crying because they snuggle with me EVERY NIGHT as I sleep....or don't sleep. They keep me going in the daytime when life gets to be too much. They are my perspective and my focus. They are my energy outlet...my dogs give me a purpose.

Much like the rest of you....my dogs are my life. I do not have kids...I have dogs! And I cannot fathom how I will make it through the nights, and days so far away from them. Though it's temporary - I am profoundly sad thinking of being apart from them...profoundly. I am crying! And I have not even left yet - we are not separated yet.

In reading your posts, I have come to a comforting thought...I realized that Madigan, my Golden Retriever who left me in 2008, (who will never be replaced, who kept me "together" when I previously moved out of state, leaving home and family and familiarity...who lived to PLAY, PLAY, PLAY)has led me to this point.

Maddie brought me Cash, then Jax. He united our family, and brought us together- I know he did. It gives me comfort to know that Maddie is smiling on me, ready to let me cry into his big, Golden, fluffy chest when I'm lonely and missing my doggies at night. Maddie knows how to comfort me...and he's ready to lick my tears and snuggle with my heart!

Maddie led me on this path...he always led me on our walks together. I feel comfort knowing that he'll be there when I'm needing doggie love...to keep me calm and comforted until I'm with "my boys" again!

Thanks for this blog. THANKS! Do you realize it's been a connection among doglovers for over 2 years.

Amazing how pets connect with us...and connect us with others. Madigan - Cash - Jax - Me.

Thanks!


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

it never ceases to amaze me how much our pets impact our lives both daily and at very special times. tomorrow, it will be 3 years since i lost my husband, the love of my life. my dogs have been my best therapy. their unconditional love has seen me through so many tough times and they continue to be my rocks.

just tonight, i have been laying on the floor with one of my dane girls, the one who seems to sense my emotions the most. maybe it's because she was so neglected as a young dog and she has found everlasting love with me. i don't know if that's why we have such a wonderful connection but who am i to question it? all i know is that i find so much comfort in loving her and when she presses her head into me for a big hug, my trouble seem to melt away.

maddie will forever be in your heart and i'm glad that you feel his presence with you!

(((hugs))) to you!

nina :)


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear tuj1,

It's been almost 2 1/2 years since Homer died and I started this thread. Just a few short months after you lost your beloved Madigan--what a great name.

I love what you said about how Maddie led you to Cash and then Jax. The emptiness and grief of losing Homer led me to all of you who have posted here, and a sense of knowing your beloved pets, particularly your dogs, as well. The day after I started this post, I cringed, feeling I had been too raw expressing my thoughts over losing Homer, that I had revealed too much, that I would be thought ridiculous because losing an animal had brought me to my emotional knees. I was trying to figure out how to get my posting taken off this site, when the wonderful, touching, heart-wrenching, understanding, beautiful messages started coming in.

One of the things that has struck me is that, despite being among fellow animal lovers, we still are almost apologetic about our connections with our pets. Several posters say, as you did, that they don't have children, but many of us do, and our bonds with our animals are still one of the most profound things in our lives. Having or not having kids, or husbands, or parents, or friends, is irrelevant, I think. Loving and being loved by our cats, dogs, horses, etc., is a unique, single, wonderful, blessing in and of itself. defying all apologies and explanations. Just like we have chemistry with certain people, we also have it with animals.

Madigan, oh another Golden! and your love for him is a celebration. That said, I know how hard it is to leave your dogs behind, and I know that Cash and Jax will be anxious and missing you too. I don't know what the circumstances will be when you get to see them, or even how often, but I know they will never think a bad thought about you, will never turn from you, and when you finally are together permanently, well, that's a reunion I wish I could be a part of.

Please let us know how your move is going, or if you want a personal ear to talk to, send me an email.

All my best,

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

hi kate, so nice to see you checking in. i often come to this thread and re-read it. we all have a common bond that i do not think can ever be broken.

hope you are doing well!

nina :)


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Kate,
Thank you so much for posting this thread so long ago. You have obviously touched so many lives in a positive way by going through the grief you went through.

On Monday night we had to make the decision to put our pure bread boxer to sleep. It was by far the hardest thing I have ever had to do, and my husband and I are just beside ourselves in grief at the loss of Duke. We do not regret the decision to put him down as is was necessary, we just miss him soo very much.

Duke was the most wonderful, loving dog one could ever come across. I do however envy a lot of you because I only got to have my Duke for 2 1/2 yrs, and he was sick a lot.

I also work at home. I do daycare, and have 3 step children (13, 9, &7) and one infant of my own. Some of my daycare kids call my house "Duke's house." Today I was around the corner playing and talking with the baby. One of my younger daycare kids assumed it was Duke I was playing with and came running around the corner while happily yelling "Dute!" When he got there he realized it was just me and the baby and walked away looking dejected... It absolutely broke my heart even more.

Duke suffered from ulceritive colitis for most of his life. However, it never seemed to affect him. He was always so excited just to be in our presence and would follow me room to room.

In his last days we could not put a finger on what was exactly killing him without paying for a biopsy, but something was lowering his red blood cell count and causing him to go into syncopy. We did everything we could to save Duke's life and beat whatever was killing him. I gave him pepcid ac in the morning to protect his stomach and his ulcers, steroids and antibiotics to fight the auto immune disease they thought it probably was and 3 iron pills throughout the day to fight the anemia it was causing. Duke never seemed to mind all the meds and at first he responded really well looking like he was going to make a full recovery. Suddenly he started slipping again. The vets were confused and did everything they could. When it came to Monday Duke started vomiting blood and completely lost all energy. Although I take a lot of flack for fighting for his life so hard, and oh boy do we have the vet bills to prove it, I take some comfort in the fact we did absolutely everything we could to save his life.

All that aside, we miss Duke so much. As you said in your original post "he's just not there." I am not constantly shewing him out of the kitchen because he's trying to eat whatever I dropped on the floor. He's not on the back of the couch looking out the window. He doesn't hop up and down and wiggle his whole body in excitement when I tell him "Daddy's home." When my doorbell rings, or one on t.v. rings he doesn't go running and barking at the door. He's not here to lick all the kids, or curl up on my lap during nap time. I MISS HIM SO MUCH!

Also, Kate thank you for posting that poem. It truly spoke to me.

I am so glad I stumbled upon this thread while googling I miss my dog. To read through all your stories really helped me. I am thankful I have my husband and kids to grieve with because it is so quiet and lonely without our beloved Duke.

Thanks,

Jessica

Here is a link that might be useful: picture of Duke


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

jessica, i am so very sorry for the loss of your beloved duke. he sounds like he was a wonderful member of your family and i know how much you miss him. to end his suffering was an act of love and while it hurts terribly right now, in time you will come to realize that you did the best you could for your boy and now he is running free over the bridge and will be there to greet you when your time comes.

(((hugs))) to you in your grief.

nina


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Jessica,

Though there may be a sense of relief when a beloved pet’s suffering is over, the missing part goes on for such a long time. Our pets become such a part of our everyday lives that until they are gone we don’t realize how something simple like scratching at the door, sitting expectantly by a food bowl, the incredible cuteness of a cocked head, are among the hundreds of little things we will miss about their presence, among a hundred little things that will tear us up and make us feel empty and sad. Not only is he just not there, he never will be again.

I understand the sense of unfairness at losing Duke so young, especially when other owners and their dogs had so much more time. I was lucky enough to have 10 years with Homer, but I still felt cheated because his life expectancy should have been up to 17. Though I wish you had had so many more years with Duke, I can tell you honestly that no matter what age a pet dies, it still hurts unbelievably. When it comes to relationships as wonderful and profound as those we have with our dogs, none of us ever feels like we've had enough time.

But I do understand a different grief at losing a dog so young. At two and a half years he was still a baby, and I know you were not thinking when you brought him home that your chance to love and experience him would be so short. My heart breaks for that.

I know how you feel about the child who was looking for Duke and saddened that he was not there. During Homer’s life we often visited my mother-in-law who was dealing with Alzheimers, and she thought Homer was the cutest thing she’d ever seen, even though she was not really a dog person. Many times when we visited she wouldn’t recognize me or her son (my husband), but she would pat the couch and call Homer to her. The first time we visited after he died, she asked me where he was, and I couldn’t even speak, the lump in my throat was so big.

What moved me the most about you and Duke’s story was how lucky he was that you became his Mom. Though I know many people have limited funds when it comes to their pets and I am not judging them at all, I do know there are people who would have given up on Duke long ago due to all his health issues, the expense and inconvenience, might have put him down, returned him to the breeder, etc. But he was blessed enough to have you, who fought, who tried so many things to make him whole, who made him happy despite his challenges and pain, who gave him a chance. You never gave up on Duke and were wise and loving enough to know when it was time to let go. Despite his illness and the shortness of his life, he really was a loved and lucky dog.

It’s all about the love. It is amazing that with all of the millions of dogs out there, we all know we got the best one, and we are all right.

Thanks for sharing yours and Duke’s story. It touched me deeply.

Kate

I haven't been able to get the link to his picture to work but will keep trying.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Nina & Kate
Thank you so much for your responses! This whole thing is helping me so much. Its so nice to be able to talk with others that have gone through this too! I feel as if I have joined an exclusive club. One that you can only join after feeling such pain, and we are able to be here for one another.
Kate, its funny that you bring up how lucky Duke was as I convinced my family to take a trip to our local animal shelter tonight for some healing. As we left I thought to myself how good of a life we were able to provide for Duke. He was truly pampered, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Nina, your responses to earlier posts about looking for signs were heart warming as well, as I too have been praying for signs from God that Duke has been welcomed into Heaven. Duke had such separation anxiety he managed to chew through a plastic kennel, and bent 2 bars off of his metal kennel after that. He was only in there maybe 8 hrs per WEEK! LOL So, yes, knowing how hard it was for him when I was away, I worry about him being away now.

Here is a link that should work:

Here is a link that might be useful: Pictures of Duke


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

awww, duke was a very handsome boy and obviously, very much loved!

don't look too hard for signs, they will come to you when God and duke know you are ready. rest assured, duke is romping with maggie, simon, homer and all of the other dogs who have crossed the bridge before him. i know a big tall man up there who is happily throwing tennis balls and playing fetch with our dogs when he isn't busy working on that stairway to heaven he is building for me. ;)


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Nina,
I just had to tell you... I found a penny today!
It was incredibly strange as it was in the middle of the living room. The baby was crawling around and playing earlier in that spot, so I know the penny was not there then. We left to go to the store and when we came back and I put the baby down to play with his toys again he picked up the penny! I would not have thought anything about it had you not posted that earlier!
Thanks so much! I miss Duke so much, but that truly helped me and had it not been for this thread and specifically that post I would have overlooked it.

Jessica


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Oh, and thank you so much for the compliments about Duke! Yes, he was very loved!

Also, I did just want to put on here that having gone through this I know how you both felt loosing your animals, and family members and I am very sorry for that. The feeling is horrible. I can especially relate with you Nina as we knew for a few months that this disease may beat Duke. We tried to stay positive and were diligent about giving him his meds, but in the end it just wasn't enough. I have a friend that says, "When God calls you you have to go"


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

jessica, thank you for your sentiments. i have loved and lost my share of dogs over the years but losing my 2 corgis was especially hard because they were my last living connection to my husband. i know they are all together now and that does give me some comfort. :)

yayyyyy, that penny was surely a sign from duke and a pretty obvious one at that!! i'm so glad he is letting you know he's happy where he is. i have to tell you, i also found another penny last week. on monday, i had an appointment to take bentley, my most recent rescue dane, to the vet to have a bump on his leg looked at. i had been frantic with worry because bone cancer is pretty common in danes. i left the office at noon to go home, load bentley up and head to the vet. when i opened the door to get into my car, right there on the driver's seat, smack dab in the middle so i couldn't possibly miss it, was a shiny penny. i knew it was gary letting me know everything would be ok and he was right. the bump on bentley's leg is just an irritation.

i hope you saved that penny from duke. i have a whole pile of pennies i have found over the last 3 years. if they keep coming, maybe i can retire early! :D


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Jessica, I lost my beloved lab in October....his name was Duke too! Here is my story (warning: long)

My yellow Lab Duke left this earth monday night 10/11/10. He was one month shy of 14 years of age. I picked him out of all the other dogs in his litter. He was the runt. I put down the deposit for him on Christmas Eve 1996 and picked him up on New Years Eve at exactly 7 weeks of age. He was a great dog...the dog of my dreams actually. He was the first dog that was 'mine'...not a family dog...'mine'.

He was incorrigible. Not quite as bad as Marley from the book/movie...but he was pretty wild. He never chewed up a couch or anything but he did eat some wood trim. I tortured him over that...not physically...mentally...I would look at the chewed trim and look at him and back and forth. That was enough. Knowing that displeased me was all it took.

And...he LOVED tomatoes! He would drool over a tomato like it was a steak. The way I found out was at my old house I grew tomatoes along a fence line. You know how you anxiously await the first few ripe ones...well....Mr.Duke would eat every tomato as soon as it would ripen. The next season a border fence was constructed.

He slept on the bed and at 115 pounds we needed to upgrade to a king. When he got to be about 11 he couldn't jump up there anymore but still slept next to me by the bed.

I always joked about his boo-boo's. He always had something wrong. Boo-boo ear, boo-boo paw, boo-boo nose, boo-boo head, etc. etc. The big boo-boo was a knee replacement in 2005. $3,000 and I didn't blink twice about it. He was my baby and I loved him to no end. He was there for me when my mom had 5 heart attacks in 2005-2006 and passed away.

On friday his legs started failing. Saturday he could only take a few steps before falling over. Even in bad health he was a happy dog. He fell over in the yard and I looked out and he was just laying there with a big goofy lab grin on his face. By sunday he couldn't walk at all. I helped him out to do his business and layed him on a comforter with a pillow in the garage and spent all day with him....petting him...talking to him and just enjoying what I knew was our last day together. I hand fed him. He only would eat baloney...okay...baloney it is. I was in denial yesterday and hoped for a miracle that I knew in my heart wouldn't happen. When I got home he had tears streaming down his face. He was obviously in severe distress. The vet came out last night and sent him to heaven to be with my mom. I'll never have another dog like him. He was my dukerdawg and I loved him more than anything and always will.

It really is funny how the brain and heart are sometimes at war with each other. In my brain I knew he was old and it was an eventuality that some day he would die. But in my heart I thought maybe he would live forever. And in a way the heart wins because he will live forever in my heart.
As I think back on our time together I remember some special times we shared.

As a puppy I enrolled him in obedience class. He was made the 'example' of every behavior that was inappropriate. We had an exercise where we were teaching our dogs how to heel. Duke wasn't cooperating. The instructor looked over at us and Duke just fell/leaned against my leg as if to say 'my daddy' and the instructor couldn't help but laugh.

We decided to go to up north when Duke was about a year old and the hotel didn't accept pets and really he would have been a bother anyway. So we got a recommendation to board him at a farm enroute. Well, the farmhouse had hardwood floors and Duke was terrified of hardwood or tile floors. The lady had put throw rugs all over the farmhouse so Duke could have a 'path'! That was really awesome. I think I drove the lady 1/2 nuts because I must have called a half dozen times in the three days we were gone. The Grand Hotel had a series of dog paintings on exhibit and I cried missing Duke. Jeez, I can really be a baby sometimes LOL. When we got to the farm to pick Duke up he heard my truck and came barreling full bore opening the swing screen door (good thing too, because he would have broken right through if it was latched) and litterally jumped into my arms! It was like something in the movies.....I guess he missed me as much as I missed him!

One time I had a couple of buddies over watching a hockey game in the garage. Duker was pestering my buddy Mike. Mike wrote something on a piece of paper..I couldn't see what it said..and put in right in front of Duke's face. Duke immediately dropped to the ground in a laying position. Mike had an amazed expression on his face...he showed us what he wrote and showed to Duke....it said: LAY DOWN. Apparently Duke could read. Had to be a co-ink-ee-dink of course but it was funny.

I don't know if Duke saved our lives exactly but something was very strange. I rented a rustic cabin in the Upper Penisula of Michigan sight unseen. By the way...never do that. Anyway, it did have a very strange vibe about it. I can't remember if it was the first or second night we were there...must have been the second because it was a long drive up there and it was hard to find. About 3am in the morning I heard voice on the lake. Men were talking from what must have been a rowboat...I'm not sure because there was fog and mist and it was very dark of course. Well, Duke was in a fit of some type. He was only about a year old or so...but he was whimpering...turning in circles...whimpering...turning in circles....for the longest time....and I knew there was something very wrong. It was so serious (or we thought) that we packed up in the middle of the night...jumped in the truck and drove straight home...about 7 hours on the road. As soon as the vet opened I got him in. The vet examined him and his words were: "There is nothing wrong with this dog". I think that if Duker didn't put on that 'act' that something terrible would have happened to us. Robbed, raped...murdered...I don't know...but he had an intuition and it forced us to leave that remote cabin in the middle of the night.

He was a special dog and I will always have great memories of him. One time we drove to Mississipi to visit my wifes' folks who were living on a houseboat. We took Duke with us and we were walking along an area where there was a clubhouse with a man-made cement pond....it was about a 12 foot drop into the pond from the walkway. We were just walking along and you know how labs love water...well he couldn't help himself he just jumped right in ...a 12 foot drop! I about had a heart attack...but he was okay other than drinking some water from the scummy pond and throwing up. Another time we took him to a lake to swim. Well, he loved water and started swimming...I swear he was almost halfway across the lake with me shouting "Duke...cooooooooombaccccccck....come baaaaaaaaackkk". Thank God he did...crazy dog.

He loved opening Christmas presents..because there was a toy or treat inside. Well of course he started to think every present was his...and would try to open them all! He had his head stuck in one box my MIL was opening and knocked her over in the rocking chair...now I thought it was funny...but he got banished to the other room after that.

Every time I would buy him a new toy it got a name. He immediately knew the name of every one of his toys. There could be 20 in his toybox and I would say...get your football...get your ringy-dingy...get your fuzzy ball...etc. etc. and he would bring that exact toy to me.
He also loved pizza. I would order and as soon as I hung up the phone he was at the front window looking towards the road where the driver would be coming from. I always said "Duke, it takes them a few minutes to make it...and drive here so it isn't that fast! LOL".

Thanks for listening. Dukerdawg: 11/13/96 - 10/11/10
__________________
May I aspire to live my life so that I may be the man my dog thinks I am.

Duane


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

dukerdog,

What a wonderful story and what wonderful memories you have of your Duke. For the runt of the litter, he sure ended up being a big boy! Thanks for sharing.

I can relate to what you said about Duke being "your dog." Though it's wonderful to have a family dog, there is something special about choosing one who chooses you back, above everyone else.

I'm sorry for your loss, but happy for you that you had him for 14 wonderful years. His memory will be with you always.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Kate, thanks so much for your kind comments. I know I was so lucky to have Mr.Duke for almost 14 years, but it doesn't matter how long we have them really.....it hurts like heck whenever the time comes to lose them. Two weeks after losing Duke my dad's seven year old Shih-zhu collapsed and died on the steps....no indication of illness prior to that at all....so you never know...I was lucky I guess to have my doggie for so many years.....although it is never easy to say goodbye.

Duane


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Duane,

You are right. No matter how much time we have with our dogs, it is never enough. Though we know in our heads, as our pets get older, that the sad day is getting closer, the hurt in our hearts at their loss is something that cannot be prepared for.

I have a friend who is a life-long dog lover and owner; she has lost several dogs and has mourned them all. She lost three of them in quick succession last year, and I asked her how she could deal with so much pain. She told me she focuses on what a good life they had with her, and knowing that they were all loved and cherished gives her great comfort.

I have tried to keep that thought close to me.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

I have been reading the postings here for a few months and they have been so helpful to me as I try to get over the loss of my dog. Simon, my Boykin Spaniel, died in June. He would have been eight in September. I, along with every other dog owner, think that my dog was the best dog.
He went everywhere with us. We planned our vacations around him and rented a cabin by a Lake Huron and the Ausable River every summer for the past 7 years. He loved to swim, ride in a canoe, run in the woods, catch a frisbee, fetch endlessly, ride in the car...he just wanted to be with us and please us. He was my best friend.

At five years old Simon starting having seizures. Not total body seizures, just his mouth and head. His jaw would appear to lock and his tongue would stick out, the whole thing would last about 30 seconds and then he would appear dazed for a few minutes. Some days it would happen once, others 10 -12 times. After many trips to the vet and even the neurologist for an MRI, he was diagnosed with epilepsy. He was started on phenobarbitol and potassium bromide(usual dog meds for this) and eventually, we got the seizures under control. Thy typical side effects are weight gain(he went from 28-38 pounds)and liver damage.
What I didn't know was that another less common side effect is pancreatitis(inflamation/infection of the pancreas). I am a teacher and on the first weekend of summer break, Simon got ill. Now, with all the medications he was taking, it was not uncommon for him to have days where he seemed 'punky' and not his usual self. On Friday evening, he would not eat dinner and again on Saturday. By Saturday, he felt warm to the touch and was pretty much just laying around. The vet was closed by then, so we thought if he isnt better by Monday, we will take him in. On Sunday, he was napping and when he woke up, it seemed as though he could not lift his head. We raced him to the emergency vet and learned that he had sepsis(blood infection) and it was very serious. By Monday morning, he had slipped into a coma and nothing could be done. Prognosis from the vet was pancreatitis. Putting Simon to sleep was the hardest thing I have ever had to do. I have had to make this decision with old dogs, dogs that have had cancer. Simon wasn't even eight. The thought that I can't let go of is that he was sick for almost 2 days before I brought him in to the vet. Simon was in the vet all the time for tests and any other time I thought something might be wrong with him. We kid our vet that we put his son through college with all of our visits. Did I neglect him the one time when he needed me the most?

I know this was a long post, I think it has helped me just to write it...

Here is a link that might be useful: garden web


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dukerdawg,

Your story was amazing and very heart warming. That was everything I ever wanted for our Duke! I only wish he could have had as wonderful of a life as you were able to give your Duke.

I am so sorry for your loss. The loss of a pet is so hard! It is the worst pain I have felt as Duke was such a part of my daily life its like a piece of me is missing.
This forum is what has helped me the most.

Dear Kdix59,

I can soooo relate to your story!!! Our Duke had pancreatitis as well, along with inflammitory bowel disease, & ulceritive colitis. The last few months of his life he was getting 10 pills a day, or 8 pills and I had to give him 2 shots! I actually question if we should have let him go earlier. Epilepsy was one of the diseases on our possible check list because Duke was having "sycopy" episodes and at first they thought maybe they were seizures. It turned out that he had an ulcer in his stomach and was bleeding into it so much he was just loosing that much blood to make his collase frequently. (we didn't know that until the autopsy)
Anyway, I can totally understand where you are coming from. Duke had his days, actually weeks, when he was just lathargic. Would get up to move from one spot to another and that was about it. I had to make hamburger and rice for him a lot to get him to eat as he was always so nauseous. If he would have been acting the way your Simon was I would not have batted an eyelash about waiting until Monday morning just as you did. (Until of course Sunday night when he couldn't get up) I don't think you did your dog a diservice at all. I know that we did the very best for Duke that we could, and that we could afford to do. Our vet said this case could have been solved, but it probably would have costed approx $10,000 - $20,000!
Duke knew that we loved him very much and that we did everything we could, as I'm sure your Simon knew as well.
We also joke w/ our vet that we put his kids through college.

Kate, I hope all is well w/ you. Thanks again for responding to everyone's posts, I think you are amazing for that!


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear kdix59,

I am sorry you lost your Simon. He sounds like my kind of dog, fun-loving, active, and adventurous. My Homer loved the area around the Great Lake of Superior, being up north was something he lived for.

Common themes in this thread include great love,the pain of loss and grief, and so often, second-guessing our actions around the time of our dog's death. Making that decision to end pain and suffering and then seeing it through haunts the best of us, even those who knew beyond a doubt that it was time. When the death comes after an illness, some of us are racked with guilt thinking what if we made a mistake, what if we let our dog down, what if he or she would still be alive... The "If Only." I went through that for a very long time after Homer died, wondering why I wasn't more aggressive, why I didn't get a second and third opinion, why I didn't see the signs earlier that something was wrong with him. But it didn't help, couldn't bring him back, and only served to prolong the reality of letting him go.

You took SUCH good care of Simon. Pancreatitis is a wicked illness, and there is no guarantee that earlier treatment would have saved your boy. You did what you thought was right and it was the same decision that many people would have made in your shoes.

Simon couldn't tell you that something really serious was wrong with him. But if he could tell you anything right now, he would tell you to remember the good times like the trips to Lake Huron, to not beat yourself up, and to be happy.

Take care and please be kind to yourself.

Kate

---------------
Dukerdawg,

I do not read any post without shedding a few tears. But as the entries here have continued, I have found myself focusing more on the stories and the memories of such good pets, animals I would have adored myself if I had had the pleasure of knowing them, and the connection I feel with all of you who have experienced the goodness of having a special dog in their lives.

My best to all of you--heal and remember the good times.

Happy 100th post, my darling Homer.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

kdix59, rest assured there are so many pups that welcomed your simon at the bridge, not the least of which was my own beloved little simon the corgi, my heart dog in every way. i'm so sorry for your loss and for your grief which i know seems never ending. please take comfort in the fact that all of us here are right there with you. no matter if we lost a dog a day, a week, a month or years ago, we mourn with you. this thread is proof positive of that!

kate, wow...100 posts!! i come back here often, most especially when i am having an emotional day. it so warms my heart to read stores like duane's and jessica's and of course, your tributes to homer. after reading, i always hug my danes just a little tighter. :)

jessica, if you are reading here, you MUST go to the regular grief forum and read the "more pennies from heaven" thread! amazing stories!!

God bless us all and during this holiday season, may we remember out loved ones both human and furry, feathered, hoofed, whatever the case may be, with love. and, let's all be good to ourselves, we deserve it!

nina :)


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oops, jessica

we ARE in the regular grieving forum! duh! read the pennies thread HERE! :D


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you all for you kind responses and know that my heart goes out to all of for the loss of your beloved dogs.
Kate,
Fun-loving and active, perfect words to describe Simon. Michigan is a beautiful place to visit-we like the Oscoda area on Lake Huron-quiet, beautiful calm lake and the AuSable River. When Simon died in June, we had already made our cabin reservations for July. We debated whether to go or not but decided to go anyway-shed alot of tears but had some great memories. Simon loved riding in the canoe but loved it better when we would stop along the river so he could get out and swim and fetch. We did try our best to take care of Simon. So many pills and tests and knowing that everything we gave him to help control his seizures had a side effect. It was so important to give him the phenobarbitol every 12 hours and it was dangerous to stop without weaning him off them. One time when we went to Michigan we forgot the pills, realized it when we go there and had them fed exed to us!
My regret is that I did not know of the pancreatitis side effect until after his death. With all the research I had done over the years, how did I miss it? You're right, I am full of guilt. I keep going back to that Saturday when he felt warm to the touch-could they have helped him if I had taken him sooner? My vet said probably not, but I've known him so many years, I wonder if he is just trying to make me feel better. but yes, it won't change anything now.
Missingduke 2010,
Thank you for telling me about Duke. A dog needing meds is so hard, such a responsibility, and we try our best don't we? I understand the hope that the pills work, the waiting for improvement, the disapointment if they don't...Over the years that we gave Simon the epilepsy pills, we and the vet kept trying the get the dosage right. It seems as though each dog is different. He had been seizure free for a year, we thought we had it beat. Always had tests done for his liver, but wasn't aware of the pancreatitis side effect. I can't read your post as I write this, but I wonder, how did they diagnose pancreatitis?
Ninapearl,
Thank you for your kind words. I do take great comfort in the fact that I am not the only one who feels such grief over the loss of my dog. I also have had other dogs that I loved but my simon was the special one, my �heart� dog... Also, how did you get a picture of your dog in the post??

Thanks to all,
kim


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Yesterday I had to put my beautiful, beloved black and white cat down. She was 18.9 years.

My mother passed away from cancer in April. Most of the decisions around hospitalization and funeral arrangements landed on my shoulders but there was something keeping me going back then.

This time I am feeling raw.

RIP my beloved Miranda.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear Clax66,

I am sorry you lost your Mom and Miranda in such a short time. Your cat lived a long life, but I know right now that is no consolation for you. Though you had the gift of time, you also suffered the loss of such a long-time, devoted friend. Almost 20 years of your life was spent with her-many human relationships don't even come close to spanning that.

I know when I was in the process of losing people I was close to, being able to hold and pet and love my dogs gave me something that no human could provide. I am guessing that having your cat was a great comfort during the time your mom was ill and you had to make all those hard decisions.

All of the words written here to describe the loss, the gut-wrenching responsibility of making the decision to end a pet's life, and the emotions that follow still don't quite express how sad, how hollow, how empty and how raw the death leaves us, or how MUCH we miss them, how much we wish we could turn back time. But we all understand.

Your cat had a wonderful life, to be so loved and treasured. You gave each other a great gift.

All my best wishes,

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you, Kate, for your kind message. You are very empathetic, you understand what I am feeling. I read your post about Homer and I thought, ah, here is someone who knows about that pure unconditional love.
My best wishes to you,
Mira


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

mira, i'm so sorry for your losses. i know just how you are feeling. i lost both of my corgi kids just 5 months apart and not long after i lost my husband to cancer. they were my best therapy during gary's illness and had it not been for them, i am not at all sure i could have survived his death. losing them was like losing a part of him all over again.

our pets are such a comfort to us in bad times and losing them is so hard.

my best wishes for your heart to heal in time.

nina


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

First off, thank you to everyone who has posted here. I read the entire thread tonight, and although I cried and cried, it was therapeutic and I was truly touched by every comment.

I also come across the website by searching "I miss my dog". And that is because I do. On April 23rd, 2010 I lost my very best friend, Kasie. I cannot express in words how much he meant to me, but I know I don't have to, as you all know exactly what I mean. I got Kasie (a beautiful lab x border collie) when I was 11 right after I was in a car accident that caused one of my vertebrae to fracture. I had begged my parents for a dog for years, but the answer had always been no. Fate had different plans though. My cousin is an police officer, and worked in BC. One day she came across a young dog tied to a pole on the beach. When no one came to get him after a week of her coming back to feed him, she thought of me and how desperately I wanted a dog. Her brother, a truck driver, drove my Kasie to me here in Alberta, and the rest was history. I was in love the minute I laid eyes on him.

From the day I got him, my life had changed. Kasie was my top priority, and for the next 10 years that never changed. We were inseparable. Many of my friends could not understand my relationship with Kasie, and were confused as to why I would want to stay at home with him instead of going out. But that's just how it was.

Last year though, I was very busy. I was taking 6 classes during my Winter semester, and I could not give Kasie all of the attention I wanted to. He was still always by my side (whether it be to go for a walk, or to keep me company during an all-nighter writing a paper), but I constantly felt that I was too busy to really give him all my attention. I rationalized it all by thinking I would be done by the end of April, and then I could give him my all.

Well, April 23rd rolled around, the last day of my semester. Kasie wasn't feeling well, as he didn't want to go for a walk, and so I ditched my final exam to take him to the vet. It would be 5 hours and 2 vet clinics later that we found out he had advanced liver disease, and that he had virtually no liver left as a cyst on it had burst. I couldn't believe wwhat the vet had told me. My baby was running through the fields by our house only 2 days ago. We told him this, and the vet said that dogs can function with as little as 10% of their liver. Here my baby had been sick for a long time and he was so strong we never knew it at all... We thought he would live at least another 5-7 years as he seemed so healthy and energetic. So when the vet said that he was dying, it was more than I could take. The vet told us his stomach was filling up with blood from the burst liver, and the only thing he could do was let him pass peacefully. This is the most painful memory I have. With him surrounded by his family (my parents, my 2 brothers, my sister, and my boyfriend) he went to sleep. I cradled him the whole time, and I told him how much I loved him and how grateful I was for the life we had together and thanked him for being such a good boy. He was my everything... He was my friend, my child, my brother, and my support. I will never forget how he waited until I was done my semester. I could not have gotten through that time without him. And so I said "see you later" to my baby, because I could not bare to say goodbye. I dream about the day we will be together again.

My boyfriend adopted his dog, Meesha, about a year before Kasie passed. They were best friends. I feel guilty that she never knew what happened or why her Kasie never came home. I hope she knows that she will see him again someday.

It has been just over 9 months, and I still think about him every single day. In November, we adopted Mylo in his honor. He is also a little lab x border collie, and I see so much of Kasie in him, but at the same time he is very different. Meesha is a lot happier now that she has a friend again. I love Mylo very much, but Kasie is, and will always be, my first and great love. I wear a locket with his picture in it almost every day, to keep him close to my heart.

I miss you Kasie, and I always will. I love you forever, and I'll see you soon <3


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Lauren,

You told the story of you and Kasie beautifully. It made me cry.

I know what it's like to have a seemingly healthy dog one day and to find out you only have days or even hours left. It hits like a bolt from the blue, especially when you think you are going to have a lot more time together.

I have read so many stories here about people and their pets, and the overwhelming thing I've discovered is how magical those relationships are. Our pets give us love and therapy, they heal us, they bring us out of the bad places our minds may take us, they comfort us and entertain, and they live for us. We get them in usual ways, like adopting a puppy, or in unusual ways, as happened with you. Your injury combined with your cousin finding an abandoned dog led to one of the greatest relationships you will ever have in your life. How amazingly wonderful is that?

Your story really touched me. I am glad you have Mylo, and that Meesha has a friend and a playmate. Kasie was a one-in-a-million dog and of course you can't replace him and will never forget him. That's how it should be.

Take care, all my best,

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Kate,

Thank you so much for your kind words. It was therapeutic to write about my experience, and your feedback really helps. It was extremely difficulty to come to terms with the fact that I only had hours left with him. Part of my grieving process was really just coming to terms with the fact that he wasn't here.

Yes, I agree with you that our relationships with our pets are magical. It is so nice to hear this from someone else. I, like you, felt like it was "wrong" to grieve Kasie so deeply. After reading all the messages here though, I realize that this could not be further from the truth. Our losses are great, regardless of what others say.

Again, thank you so much for your response. It made my day.

I hope you are doing well,
Lauren


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Don't worry. You will see your dog again. We are all one. Appreciate the time you have with your loved ones. Be thankful for what you have. I know it's tough. I miss my dog to. It consumes me as it does you. We will be alright.. Years can't change our feelings though. Its been 4 1/2 for me and I miss him more than anything. He loved me more than anybody else did on this planet. That is what makes it so tough. I'm so so sorry.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

WeAllMeetAgain,

You didn't provide a lot of details about your dog and your life with him/her, but your love and longing come through loud and clear. Though it may sound self-centered to some, like you, I miss so much that my Homer loved me best of all. I was his.

Thank you for writing. I don't know if we will ever see our wonderful, lost pets again, but I do know that love never dies.

My best to you,

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Bully was diagnosed with a mass cell tumor last month and this morning we took him in to be put to sleep. I have been teary eyed all day and like so many others, I found this page by googling "miss my dog." My girlfriend and I bought a home 7 years ago and as soon as we did, I said I want another American Bulldog. My first Am.Bull, Petey, died at 3 1/2 years old from cancer, I loved him like a brother. 2 years later I got Bully at 8 weeks old. He got big fast, 130 lbs. Not as athletic as Petey was but a fun dog to hang out with and to love and be loved. The first few years he was strong and healthy, then he started having food allergies and skin infections. He was on antibiotics almost every other month. He once ate a 5 lb. bag of bird seed and spent the night at the vet flushing it out. Ate a mango seed that wouldn't pass and had to get it surgically removed. Just the other month he had to get a growth in his eye removed. My sister thinks we're nuts for all the money we've spent on our dogs(Bully, 3 Frenchies and a mutt). 3 days ago he stopped eating and would lie on his bed all day. His breathing was heavy as if he had been running but he was just laying down. We lifted his head and injected water for him to drink every hour, his body was giving out quickly. He never cried once but, I knew he would never complain no matter how much pain he was in. We carried him into the Vets room and he injected my Bully. I knew it would happen fast so I pressed my face against his before the vet fully pushed the plunger. I felt him slip away. We cried for a while then went home to feel worse. I lost dogs before but, I don't remember it being as hard as this. My heart aches for Bully.

Thank you all for letting me read through your posts and thank you for letting me express my sadness.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

to those who have added to this thread recently, i am so very sorry for your losses. there is just nothing like the love of a wonderful pet to see us through the hard times and rejoice with us through the good times.

i come here occasionally and read through these posts and i am always so touched by the love people feel for their animals. while each store is heart wrenching, they are also heart warming.

kate, hope you are doing well. i bet you had no idea that writing about homer would result in such an outpouring. you did a wonderful thing!

nina :)


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Dear missing_bully,

I am sorry that you had to let go of your Bully. You went through a lot with him, sadly but willingly because he was so dear to you. You gave him a happy life despite his health problems, and he was a lucky boy to be so loved.

I know the "missing him" is terrible right now, so soon after his passing. It will get easier, but some days will probably feel even worse. Whether a big boy like your 130 lb Bully or a 10 pounder like my little Homer, a dog has a huge presence in our lives, and when that presence is gone the void is more than we would have ever thought possible. The hundred little things they did that were endearing, sweet or funny, and even those that were annoying and obnoxious are the hundred little things that will break our hearts every time we think of them.

Like you, I've had people question the lengths I've gone to and the money I've spent on my dogs. I look at what they spend their disposable incomes on and know I'd much rather have my dog than expensive shoes or a big screen T.V., or all of the other things that can't greet me at the door, kiss my face, or lay a head on my knee.

It's not funny but I had to shake my head and laugh at your story about Bully eating a bag of bird seed. It is one of the many things about him you will never forget.

All my best to you and your girlfriend,

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you Kate...


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Thank you to the original poster for starting this thread although it was under very sad circumstances. On February 15 i had to make the hearbreaking decision of letting my 13 and a half year old pug Meggy go to the rainbow bridge.She hadn t been herself for a while, she had congestive heart failure, she was blind and deaf and she had some artheitis in her hind legs.She was on a cocktail of medication to ease her pain and discomfort. Throughout all of this she was still excited to see me, loved her food and loved to snuggle on the couch whilst watching tv. I called her the daughter i never had. After having 4 sons i figured although i couldn t choose the sex of my children i certainly could my doggie.

So almost 14 years ago i fell in love with Meggy the pug puppy and my life changed forever. She was the most loyal and best friend that loved unconditionally. In the last 10 years i have lost human family that have been very close to me , but nothing compares with the excrutiating pain i am feeling over losing my little Meggy. I realize it is early days yet. I didn t realise the impact of losing her was going to be so great. My boys are all late teens early twenties so they are busy with their own lives, my husband works nights leaving at 8pm so i find the evenings are unbearable without my best friend for company. I have gained much comfort from reading everybody s love story s about their pets and hope in time that my grief will become less intense. For anybody else going through this right now i send my heart felt condolences and may we all heal together......Cathy


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

cathy, i'm so sorry for the loss of your little meggy. it sounds like she lived a very long life being loved passionately and that is something every dog should have! your grief is fresh and raw but some day, your happy memories of your little girl will come to you more often. there will always be an empty place in your heart, we all know that, but you will feel better over time. (((hugs))) to you.

nina :)


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Nina....Thank you for your kind words.It feels good to be able to express sorrow over the loss of my meggy and have somebody understand what i'm going through. Never ever have i gone through anything so painfull. I've lost both of my parents and loved them dearly and miss them everyday. Meggy was my baby day in day out she was with me all the time so the impact of her absence has been excrutiating. I try to be strong but a thought of her will come into my mind and i can't control my tears. When you share your life side by side for 13 and 1/2 years with a doggie so special, their absence is a huge void. After reading all the posts here it gives me some comfort to know that my pain will ease with time. Thank you for acknowledging what i'm going through....Cathy


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Cathy,

I am so sorry that your Meggy is gone. I understand that dreadful emptiness and ache that occur during the first sad days that feel like they will last forever. They don't last forever, but that's no consolation when you are lonely and hurting and wishing she was still here with you. There's nothing to be done with the pain except to ride it out and know so many of us understand.

I wish I could help you through or give you a cure for your lonely nights and your missing Meggy. All I can do is tell you to treasure her and your days together, which I know of course you do, and know that you were a great Mom to her and that you loved her enough to know when it was time to let her go. She was a lucky daughter.

Like you, I spent a lot of time alone. Son grown, husband at work, daughter at school or with her friends, yet I was rarely lonely because Homer was there. It wasn't that he was filling a void in my life, it was that the void never existed until after he was gone.

Dogs play so many roles in our lives--friend, sibling, child--and they do it so very well. They sense our emotions before we ourselves are aware of them, and they give us company and comfort, love and devotion, the things that the humans in our lives are often too busy to give or don't understand that we need. I think, in a nutshell, that dogs love us perfectly.

My best to you,

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Kate... Thank you for your supportive words. Knowing that others have gone through such heartache and have had their pain lessen over time gives me hope. Yes my grief is still very fresh , but it definitely helps to talk to others who have experienced this same loss. I appreciate you taking the time to reply. My Meggy will be happy that somebody is guiding me through this gut wrenching experience. I hope where she has gone is a peaceful place where she will be free of pain and will make somebody else as happy as she made me. God bless you Meggy, i'll love you forever.xo


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Cathy, please know there are those of us out here than understand the pain of loss you are experiencing. Even though our dogs are getting old and you know the inevitable is forthcoming it doesn't make it easier when the time comes to say goodbye. You have to take comfort in knowing you and Meggy had each other for the time God allowed and you were both lucky to have the companionship of each other. Many dogs don't have a great owner like you and you have to keep that in mind.

My lab Duke is forever in my heart and there is hardly a day that goes by that I don't break down in sobs missing him. Something I don't do with many human family members that have passed. I just loved that dog more than life itself and it hurts so much to have him gone.

Just be happy you had each other for the time allowed. And be glad your Meggy had a great owner to care for her....unlike so many animals out there.

Duane


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Duane, those are very kind words and they mean a lot thank you. I have read some of your previous posts and see that you have lost a furbaby so you know first hand what i'm dealing with right now and i greatly appreciate your empathy.I'm sorry you didn't get to spend more years with your beloved Duke.I hope your loss gets a little easier to deal with everyday as i hope for myself also. Happy memories......Cathy


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

kate, nice to see you. hope all is going well!

these posts are so heartbreaking but so uplifting at the same time. i pity those people who have never known the pure love of a pet, dog or cat or whichever species strikes our individual fancies. it is so very helpful to "talk" to others who have loved and been loved by an animal.

i may be repeating myself but as i was told when my husband passed away just over 3 years ago...death leaves a heartache no one can heal. love leaves a memory no one can steal. while we may not have our beloved pets with us physically, we will always have our memories to carry us through our grief. something else that was said to me...you can't go around grief, you have to go through it.

(((group hug!)))


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Hello again... Just checking back in. I got my Meggy's ashes back today, so of course it opened up the wounds again. She was in a beautiful cedar box and my vet had taken some of her fur and put it in a little bag in a silk drawstring bag. The vet had also made some cute little paw prints in plaster. We had made up a verse which was engraved into the top of the cedat box. It read... Meggy you have been a great friend and loved us all unconditionally.. We'll miss you so much and will love you forever. Having her ashes back has been a great source of comfort for me.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Cathy,

I am glad you have had some comfort and that you had a vet who provided such nice services. You have some lovely things to remember your Meggy by, but nothing will ever mean as much as your wonderful memories of her.

Kate


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

Hello, I have been reading this forum for the past month and although it has been painful to read at times it has been unbelievably helpful. In December of 20009 my dog Sancho, a chihuahua was diagnosed with TCC (bladder cancer). I brought him to a holistic vet who prescribed herbs, acupuncture and other things. He did very well for the first 9 months but then started having trouble with the antibiotics. They ultimately began to damage his kidneys. We tried chemo in October and that seemed to help him do much better during November and December. Being his playful self and doing better overall. Then in January things got much worse, his kidneys began to fail, we had an option to remove one kidney to see if that may help due to the tumor that was blocking the other. they said it was less than a 20Percent chance of working. I just couldn't do that to him. He was a great dog, very sweet and good with all people, kids, other dogs, cats etc. However, he had pretty intense separation anxiety at times so having him hospitalized for extended periods of time and then not making it was just not an option. So, after having him for only 4 and 1/2 years out of his 12 and 1/2 year life I brought him to the vet on 2/5 and had him euthanized. Although I knew it was the right thing at the time it has been one of the most painful losses I have ever experienced. It will be one month tomorrow and I can't tell you how much I miss him every day. I worry if he is ok and I wish things could have been different and I could have found a way to stop the tumors from growing. All that said, this site has been a godsend. Thank you all for sharing your experiences, grief and healing thoughts. As most of you I'm doing better but don't think the pain will ever go away.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog-Alison

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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?


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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........


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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......


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RE: Feeling gulty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog-Charlie

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog-Darren

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog-further message

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


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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.


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RE: Feeling guilty because I miss my dog

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


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