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Coping With the Death of a Pet

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coping with losing a pet
The loss of a pet can be devastating for those left behind. This guide is about coping with the death of a pet.
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By 4 found this helpful
February 28, 2012

I am not an expert in animal emotions. All I know is what I have observed with my pets. Hopefully, the suggestions I have will be helpful to anyone who finds themselves dealing with a pet that is saddened by the death of another pet.
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It's important to watch for signs of depression in your pet. They may stop eating, become reclusive and have no interest in playing or interacting with you or other pets.
It's important that you spend extra time with the pet that is mourning. If you have multiple pets, be sure you spend one on one time with the one who is depressed.

Keep the household routine such as feeding schedules, grooming schedule, and play time as normal as possible.

Give your dog some new activities to look forward to such as a ride in the car, a walk around the block or a trip to a dog park. If it's your cat that has lost its playmate, introduce some new interactive toys into her world. Make things around the house fun and exciting. Cats often like hide and seek adventures. Provide some new entertainment for the cat in the form of a window seat where she can watch outdoor activity.

You might want to temporarily give the dog or cat a blanket or toy that belonged to the deceased pet. They might feel comforted by having that nearby. I have seen this idea be successful and I have seen the objects be totally ignored by the mourning pet. I suppose it's a “try it and see what happens” idea.

Don't expect your pet to eagerly accept another pet that you might bring in to fill the void. Introduce a new pet slowly and don't expect the bonding process to be quick. Your cat or dog may never have the same relationship with a new pet as it did the previous pet. They may share your home in a friendly manner without a deep bond or they may form a deep bond as time goes by. Just be sure that you give each pet an equal share of your undivided attention.

By VeronicaHB

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December 29, 2009

The presents are all unwrapped and it was a successful Christmas. the most loved present this year was to my daughter. This year we have lost three beloved pets to accidents, so I got to thinking about how to make their memories special.

I purchased a photo album where each page only holds one picture (they look like the pages are thick with a space cut out for the picture, kind of like they have been matted), each page had two or three lines at the top of the page to add the pets name and birth date.

I signed the card from those of us who are waiting at the "Rainbow Bridge" and my daughter loved it (although it made both of us become teary-eyed).

Source: my own idea (it was a "Kim Anderson" photo album that I found in a thrift store)

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By cinnamon from Williams Lake, BC

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Questions

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By 1 found this helpful
July 10, 2013

I am trying really hard to understand how it happens that we can miss signs that would tell us something is wrong with our pet. I know that everything that lives will die and that it is the process of life, but my heart hurts so bad and there is no close support group for pet parents that have lost their family member unexpectedly.

How does a dog become paralyzed and lose the use of its limb in 10 days? How is it possible that a pet can be healthy and well and full of life and 10 days later going to the Rainbow Bridge? How does one heal a heart that feels cheated?
My little dog was only nine, always bringing us her toys, loved treats, and was so full of life, what happened?

By Lois B

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July 12, 20130 found this helpful

I can sympathise with you! We have had 2 pets to do this now. Animals, if they were in the wild, have to hide it when sick, or they become another animal's meal! They have a way of making themselves look OK to us until the get to the point of no return. It is just the way of nature.

In the photo below, Barli had injured something, but did ok till we got home from camping last year. Then he just laid down and did not get up. The vet did all sorts of meds, and tests, and he finally could limp along again. We started glucosamine and condroitin, and it helped him regain stamina. He still limps a little, but is walking again. We thought for sure we were losing Barli! I am sorry you lost your pet!

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July 12, 20130 found this helpful

I cannot answer your question, as I myself would like to know. I am sorry for your loss. I too recently lost my beloved cocker Patches - she was 14. Within 5 days she was gone. The vet still does not know what happened. My heart is still broken and I miss her every day. May you find comfort knowing your pet is at the bridge waiting for the day you will meet again.

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July 12, 20130 found this helpful

We went through this with two dogs, 14 & 15, dying within 6 months of each other. Three months later we went to a rescue and adopted two older dogs, 7 & 9. They had been together all their lives but the owner was very ill and couldn't care for them. Most people do not want to adopt older dogs. It was the best thing we ever did. Actually, they rescued us. Our compassion and love for them carried us through the mourning period. One has since passed away but the younger who is now 10 is still with us. People tell us how wonderful we were to adopt them. We believe how wonderful it was for us to have them. Please think about saving an older animal who has no one to care for them.

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October 7, 20140 found this helpful

I understand your grief. We lost our dog, Libby, in 2009. She was an active, fun loving dog - my best fur friend. She was only 9 years old. My wife let the dogs out one morning. They were barking in the front yard. When she went to check on them, Libby was lying on the grass and would not get up. My wife went out to see what was wrong. Libby looked up at her, moaned, and passed away - just like that. It was so shocking and it took me a long, long time to get over it. I still think of her and miss her.

The Vet said it was unusual what happened to Libby, but these things can happen, just as they happen to humans. One day we are fine, the next we have passed on. I am sorry for your loss. It is never easy to lose a beloved pet.

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By 0 found this helpful
February 5, 2010

My dog, Simba, just passed away last Thursday. It was also my daughter's 10th birthday. We have had Simba for 13 years, since he was a puppy. We never boarded him and he went on every vacation we ever took (yes, even on airplanes).

I have 2 questions. Any advice for helping my daughter through the years as the dog passed away on her birthday? I do not want her to dwell on that fact. Also, any advice to help me get over losing the dog? I have owned him since before I had children and he was like my first child. Thanks so much.

By Jenny from MD

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Answers

February 5, 20100 found this helpful

I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been there. We had to put my 15 year old dog to sleep one year on Christmas night (cancer took a turn for the worse). It's not exactly the same as a birthday, but still a significant day each year that is normally a happy occasion. We got him when I was in second grade, so he was really like a sibling to me. It was the hardest thing I ever had to do.

Try to remember the good times, and it's okay to cry when feeling sad. Shortly after I had to put my dog to sleep, the dog in the comic strip For Better or For Worse saved their little girl from drowning, and then he died. I cried reading it. They made it into a book, and I shared that book with my sister-in-law when she had to have her dog put to sleep. Here is a link, if you or your daughter would like to look:

http://www.fbor … arley/passes.php

Time will help. It's been 14 years, but if I see a dog that looks like mine, I'll still tear up. My mom got me a Hallmark picture frame ornament that first year that said "Good Dog" (with a picture of my Freckles already in it). Every year when I put it on my tree and take it down, my eyes water up (they are right now, too). It's sad, but we have to know that we did the best we could, and be thankful for the time we had with them. And always try to remember the happy times. Maybe after a little while you can make a little mini scrapbook, showing Simba and your daughter together through the years.

Now I have a 13 year old cat, and I know he's getting older. I dread when the day will come. Again, I'm so sorry. I hope that you find comfort in good memories.

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

I've experienced doggie grief several times. The first time I waited until the grieving ended. The pain seemed like eternity to get over. The second time I couldn't stand it and got another pup to fill the void my dog's leaving made. The hurt was still there, but not as much as I gave another pup my attention and time. I also felt like this is the kind of pup my deceased dog would have liked me to have gotten. From both sides of the fence, I'd get another pup/dog sooner than later.

When we were children and lost our pet, we didn't want a dog right away. It felt like we were a traitor, but as an adult, one realizes the void a beloved dog leaves and it is not good getting up each day without a dog in the household.

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February 6, 20100 found this helpful

Anyone losing a pet has to deal with it in their own way but some things can help. When you start to feel the overwhelming grief settle down on you concentrate on pushing it away and remembering the good times. Try to realize that your life was brighter for having that animal in it. When you feel guilt (most of us do) list the things you did for that beloved pet over the years that showed your love and devotion. If you had to put your friend down try to realize that this is the greatest act of love.

Anybody can love and care when it's easy. It's harder to be the one who has to make the hard decisions and end the life of a suffering pet. I thought I could never love another dog like I did my little Lucy and I honestly cried every day for a year. When my mother gave me her little doxie I took her because she could have a better life with me, not because I loved her. Now she's the center of our little universe and we have group hugs with Papa, Penny, and Mother. You do recover but you never forget.

As far as a grieving child, would never mention again the fact that the dog died on her birthday. She'll probably remember but it will be less important to her than it is to you by next year.

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February 8, 20100 found this helpful

i am so very very sorry for your loss. there is no way to get over the greif of losing a family member. jsut try to think of the great times and remember there is another baby out there needing a home because of abuse or homelesness, you will never replace your baby but give much needed love to another, and remember she is only gone in body and her soul will be with you forever so on your daughter birthday also celebrate the life you had with your baby, lots of furhugs and kisses..deby

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February 8, 20100 found this helpful

I'm so sorry about the loss of your pet. This site is a wonderful resource, it has a chat room as well as a Monday night ceremony that is a wonderful way to say goodbye. http://www.petloss.com/

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Anonymous
February 8, 20100 found this helpful

I am so sorry for you and your daughter's loss!

One never really gets over losing any fur baby but one thing I did to help me through the grief of my first baby as an adult (a Persian who was just short of 15 years old) was sleep with her collar on my arm for almost a month and had my favorite picture of her framed in a really cute bronze color cat decorated frame that I kept on my nightstand for the longest time. Even though it's been nineteen years her picture is still displayed on the table near the door in the entryway.

One thing that helped me the most was a family who didn't want the responsibility of their kitty cat (who was six years old and being almost completely ignored) so I adopted her and it took away so much of the pain and especially when the day came that she knew she was loved and would be given special attention including hugs, sleeping with me, being brushed and fun playtime and gave love back to me :-) When she passed away I made a special stepping stone for her out of concrete with her name stamped in it and decorated it with colorful half marbles and placed it over her in the garden where she was buried.

It looks like your baby's picture might have been taken at the vets office and the very last picture of him? Maybe framing it and making a stepping stone will help with the grief process for you and your family?

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February 9, 20100 found this helpful

I had recently lost my beautifull 10 month old pitbull to parvo and to be honest I didn't know how I was going to get over it. I don't have any children so she was my baby and it killed me. I did get over it but I miss here terribly. I had to put her to sleep and I felt the same way you felt but sometimes we are doing whats best for them. So sorry for your loss.

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February 9, 20100 found this helpful

Maybe you can get her another dog and it might take her mind off the one you just loss.

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April 1, 20100 found this helpful

Jenny, I too lost my dog Mikey in February and he bears a striking resemblance to your Simba. My heart is broken and I feel his loss everyday. I feel like I will never feel better. I hope it is getting a little easier for you. Libby

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April 13, 20100 found this helpful

My little boy, Sam, passed away from squamous cell carcinoma (cancer) in 2006. My little girl, Tessa, is now dying of vaccine associated sarcoma (cancer). I am still not over the loss of my little boy, and now my little girl has cancer, too. I find it very, very unfair that two of my cats in a row had/have cancer. The worst part for my little girl is that her cancer was caused by vaccines. I wanted her to live a long, healthy life, and now I feel like I gave her cancer, because her cancer was caused by the vaccines I gave her. I have guilt. I have bitterness. My heart is breaking. I feel like it's all my fault. Had I not given her all those vaccines, she would not have cancer. Now, it's a matter of time. Not fair. Not fair at all. Please don't tell me that life isn't fair. I lost 3 human relatives in my life to cancer, as well. My cats, however, are my children. My heart is breaking, and I don't think I will ever forgive myself for giving Tessa all her shots. :o..(

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January 11, 20110 found this helpful

I just put down my 12 1/2 year old lab, she was my baby (i now have three kids of my own). The part that is making me crazy is I was encouraged to put her down, it was time. My wife, my mother and some other family members. I wasn't ready, and not sure if Savy was either. Dog began pooping in the house 6 months ago, accidentally, now it was up to 3-4 times a week. Lots of times it was diarhea.

Also, for the last year she has been battling arthritis, it takes her several seconds to get up. Also her back legs tend to drag a bit, with her nails scrapping the road as we walk. She had lost 5 lbs, mostly in her back leg muscles over the last 10 months. Third, neuro problems were starting to creep in. She would stand with one back leg facing in and not correcting it until it was time to walk.

Here were the issues that bothers me:

She still ate (like a horse).

She still played and liked to go out (albeit not as long and as much as she was younger).

She still loved attention and still could run a little.

I'm going through grief, that seeing her last breath will haunt me forever if knowing that I put her down too early. Also, I don't want to then blame members of my family for this. Please be honest, was it her time?

Heartbroken

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February 7, 20110 found this helpful

My dog Macy passed away 1/08/11 due to complications from injuries she suffered after being attacked along with another small dog I was walking on New Years Eve morning by two large, Pitbull mixed breed dogs who broke away from their handler here at our condo complex. Macy survived surgery for her initial injuries and was doing well, then very unexpectedly passed away on January 8, 2011 while going under anesthesia for a hematoma on a broken ear she had suffered in the dog attack.

She was a loving, sweet and joyful spirit, 8 yrs old and 14 lbs full of personality. My heart is forever broken and I miss her terribly. She was my fur child and I sometimes think I am going crazy with grief. I posted a video montage of her on YouTube on channel VJA142 and being able to view it has helped not only myself but neighbors, friends & family too. Macy was the neighborhood greeter and knew no strangers. I am suffering from panic attacks associated with the violent attack along with guilt over not asking more questions of the vet (wasn't her regular vet that day) before I handed her over.

Sometimes I can hear myself screaming in my mind and the tears just overwhelm me. I am very lucky to have wonderful friends and neighbors to lean on when I feel one of these episodes coming, so I try to reach out to discuss my feelings before I lose my mind completely. Never experienced such sadness and overwhelming loss. I truly am suffering from a broken heart and find staying busy/travel/distraction is the best medicine. Not ready for another dog cause they broke the mold with my Macy girl. Animals give the best, unwavering and unconditional love, must be why it hurts us all so terribly when we lose them!

Best to you all. You were all good pet parents to care so much!

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September 14, 20160 found this helpful

I feel the same. My husband got so angry that My 15 year old miniature poodle was weeing everywhere and I feel angry with him for making me make the decision although in my head I know it was time. I just wasn't ready.

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April 23, 20150 found this helpful

Our older dog passed away last Sunday and now our younger dog is peeing and pooping in his kennel when we leave him. We have only left him for a few hours each time and we put him outside prior. He still pees in the kennel. He is a nervous dog that we rescued at the same time as rescuing my older dog so they have been together for five years. He is eating and drinking, but not as he did prior. He is quieter than usual. We know he is mourning, but want to stem the peeing in kennel thing as he was difficult to crate train in the first place. Any ideas?

By Bonnie M from London Ontario

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April 25, 20150 found this helpful

Please, please keep on having patience with him. He's not only mourning his friend but when you leave him he doesn't know you're coming back. So sad.

Marg.

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By 0 found this helpful
March 31, 2011

I have recently had to have my 20 year old Lab put to sleep. Now my 8 year old Boxer wees in house almost every time I go out. She never did if before when my other dog was here. Please help.

By Janet from Lancashire, England

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March 31, 20110 found this helpful

Hello Janet. I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Lab. How blessed you are to have had that fur friend in your life for 20 years.

Your Boxer is grieving the loss of her lifetime buddy, too. She is probably picking up on your grief as well which can cause extra stress for the fur kid. She needs extra love and reassurance from you, and maybe a new adopted fur sibling to help her recover from the loss.

Just to be sure your Boxer is otherwise healthy, schedule a routine physical with her vet. Otherwise . . . love, time and patience are the best cures for grief. Wising you both well!

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March 31, 20110 found this helpful

I had two dogs a chocolate Lab 13 years old and a Pomeranian 4 years old. My lab passed away a week ago, since then my Pom is peeing in the house. I will take her outside to the garden and walk around with her, but she will not go. She waits to come in the the house and pees indoors. I have scolded her and punished her, now I find her licking her pee or drinking it from herself. Please help I don't know what to do?

By Dee from Honolulu, HI

Answers:

Dog Peeing in the House Since the Death of Other Pet

Do not punish or scold her! She is in mourning! How would you like it if your best friend that you lived with passed away, and you were scolded or punished for wetting your pants or your bed, because you were upset and confused? Is it possible you can take her to choose her own new best friend at your local animal shelter? (10/26/2010)

By Deeli

Dog Peeing in the House Since the Death of Other Pet

Take her to the Vet to make sure nothing else could be wrong. It does sound like she is so heartbroken. Maybe get her a companion closer to her age. This way they could old together. Please give her some time. Best Wishes to both of you. (10/26/2010)

By xintexas

Dog Peeing in the House Since the Death of Other Pet

That poor baby! Please don't punish her, she is grieving. You should probably have her checked by a vet, stress can cause physical problems that might need to be treated, or maybe she needs a sedative. Or like Deeli said, take her to the animal shelter and see if she's interested in a new friend to fill her empty space. That is so heart breaking, that poor little girl!

My parent's had a 1/2 wolf,1/2 dog they had to give up when I was little because he wasn't good with kids, he lived in the country with his new family and their other dog was his best friend. When that dog died, this dog laid on his friend's grave and literally mourned himself to death! They buried him next to his buddy. (10/26/2010)

By lyonpridej

Dog Peeing in the House Since the Death of Other Pet

Aww, please do not scold/punish her, she is grieving. She is upset and doesn't know what to do. She is probably looking for her friend around the house and is confused. Please be kind to her, and take her for an exam. (10/27/2010)

By K9cats

Dog Peeing in the House Since the Death of Other Pet

I am a rescue mom and I highly recommend a few things for your dilemma. First, get to a pet store and buy her a little diaper to wear to protect your rugs and furniture. Simply put a poise pad in there to contain the urine if she pees. This might curtail it. Just as a baby who doesn't like the "wet feeling" from peeing her diaper.

Next, visit a shelter, let her see other dogs and /or just walk her around a pet store where she might encounter other dogs. She is grieving, and just like humans is going through an angry stage. She is mad that her companion left her. I'm sure you're not hurting her by "punishing" her and that you didn't mean it to sound as harsh as others took it, but she must be corrected.

As soon as you take her in and she goes to pee, pick her up and put her outside immediately, to let her know this won't be tolerated. She needs to relearn. Was she a puppy mill dog or something who used the other dog as her socialized partner to learn and watch from? Please be patient with her. She is just sad. Hold her and tell her it will be ok. She needs to feel safe again and obviously the lab made her feel safe, visit a friend who has a larger dog. That might help too. Good luck. Lynne (10/27/2010)

By vitaloo

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February 5, 20100 found this helpful

I had to euthanize my dog, Lewis, who was 15 1/2 years old. I am suffering from profound grief, and guilt. I miss him so much. This tragedy occurred on June 5th. He was a wonderful dog, and there will never be another one like him. If anyone has any advice about how I can help with the grief, I would welcome the advice. I wanted to get another dog, but my husband is adamant about not getting one. We spent a lot on vet bills, and slept in the same room with him the last months of his life. I still can't bear the pain of losing him.

Thanks to all.

Alleen from Rome City, IN

Answers:

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

I lost my dog whom I had for 15 1/2 years last August. I did not want to let him go either, I had 2 other dogs when I lost him. I was not going to get another dog after I lost him then I came across a female runt dog who only weighed 4.3 lbs. she is mixed with Rotty and Chow. My boy who I lost was mixed with Chow and Shepherd. He was the best, I had him cremated and put into an urn and I have him on my mantle. His picture is above his urn and in front. My dog's name was Bear. He got really sick; he had a large tumor at his back legs and he could no longer walk. Having him cremated and put in the urn and brought home helped a lot. I am sorry for your loss, dogs are the best. (07/10/2006)

By Cindy

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

I lost my dog of over 15 years, Bucky, not too long ago. I, too know that there will never be another. And I have had trouble making an attachment to any other pets.

Perhaps you could make a remembrance book of your pet. Also, I find that just talking about Bucky and remembering the good times helps.

My condolences on your loss. I hope that time will help heal your sadness. (07/11/2006)

By AnnMel

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

If your heart is ready for another dog, it is the best thing to have new life to help you cope with your loss. You might have to be a little more convincing to your hubby. A new puppy won't have expensive vet bills other than his shots to start out with.

I got a puppy pretty soon after my old dog passed and it helped me heal so much. I encourage you to talk to hubby and let him know it is important to you and that it will help in your healing.

Good luck. (07/11/2006)

By Paula in GA

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

Thank you all for sharing your stories, and helping me cope with my grief. Now, I offer all of you my deepest sympathy. I cried when I read the stories, and please read the one about Whisper. It reminded me of what I did with my Lewis.

We made sure in his last weeks that someone was always with him. I bought him doggie mother's milk substitute, and gave him special things that he would eat. He loved nutritional supplements like Ensure, thank God. His tumors were becoming enlarged. The vet had said they were fatty tumors, but I know they were starting to hurt him. He would wake up all through the night, and we treated him like a baby. Oh, my heart will never stop aching for this precious dog.

Someone, my husband, my son, or myself always slept by his side. He is buried in our back yard; we live in the country with 2 acres. I think there is a need for a pet cemetery. There is one about 30 miles from here, but I wanted him close to us. When you lose a loved one, human, there are rituals to help you cope, and there is not much help with losing our animal children. Only other animal lovers can understand. It was so kind of the vet to say I could keep her dog overnight. I will do that when I get some chores done that have been put off too long, because I spent my time with my baby dog, caring for him.

I said I couldn't go with him on that dreadful day he was euthanized, but did, and the last words he heard were from me saying, "I love you so much Lewis", and when the vet said "He's Gone" I lost control and ran to the car sobbing. My husband went with me, and when I saw the vet and her assistant carrying him out in his favorite blanket, I thought I would grieve myself to death instantly.

He was so intelligent, and loved people. His mind was so alert, and his hearing was excellent to the last day. He even ate right before we took him for that procedure. When I look at my SUV I think it looks like a hearse now, and I start crying again. I would like to sell it, but can't now.

Another good site for all who are grieving is, in-memory-of-pets.com. There you can write your precious pets a letter, and it does help with the grief.

I appreciate every one of you, and will remember you all in my thoughts and prayers, and please do the same for me. Thanks, and God Bless you all. (07/12/2006)

By Kentucky-lass

RE: Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

Pet lovers are special people. I loved this and hope you will too.

The Rescuers Final Reward

Unlike most days at the Rainbow Bridge, this day dawned cold and
gray. All the recent arrivals at the Bridge did not know what to think, as they had never seen such a day. But the animals who had been waiting longer for their beloved people to accompany them across the Bridge knew what was happening, and they began to gather at the pathway leading to the Bridge.

Soon an elderly dog came into view, head hung low and tail dragging.
He approached slowly, and though he showed no sign of injury or illness, he was in great emotional pain. Unlike the animals gathered along the pathway, he had not been restored to youth and vigor upon arriving at the Bridge. He felt out of place, and wanted only to cross over and find happiness.

But as he approached the Bridge, his way was barred by an angel, who
apologized and explained that the tired and broken-spirited old dog could not cross over. Only those animals accompanied by their people were allowed to cross the Bridge. Having nobody, and with nowhere else to turn, the dog trudged into the field in front of the Bridge. There he found others like himself, elderly or infirm, sad and discouraged. Unlike the other animals waiting to cross the Bridge, these animals were not running or playing. They simply were lying in the grass, staring forlornly at the pathway across the Rainbow Bridge. The old dog took his place among them, watching the pathway and waiting, yet not knowing for what he was waiting.

One of the newer dogs at the Bridge asked a cat who had been there
longer to explain what was happening. The cat replied, "Those poor animals were abandoned, turned away, or left at rescue places, but never found a home on earth. They all passed on with only the love of a rescuer to comfort them. Because they had no people to love them, they have nobody to escort them across the Rainbow Bridge."

The dog asked the cat, "So what will happen to those animals?"
Before the cat could answer, the clouds began to part and the cold turned to bright sunshine. The cat replied, "Watch, and you will see." In the distance was a single person, and as he approached the Bridge the old, infirm and sad animals in the field were bathed in a golden light. They were at once made young and healthy, and stood to see what their fate would be. The animals who had previously gathered at the pathway bowed their heads as the person approached. At each bowed head, the person offered a scratch or hug.

One by one, the now youthful and healthy animals from the field fell
into line behind the person. Together, they walked across the Rainbow Bridge to a future of happiness and unquestioned love. The dog asked the cat, "What just happened?"

The cat responded, "That was a rescuer. The animals gathered along the pathway bowing in respect were those who had found their forever homes because of rescuers. They will cross over when their people arrive at the Bridge. The arrival here of a rescuer is a great and solemn event, and as a tribute they are permitted to perform one final act of rescue. They are allowed to escort all those poor animals they couldn't place on earth across the Rainbow Bridge."

The dog thought for a moment, then said, "I like rescuers." The cat
smiled and replied, "So does heaven, my friend. So does heaven. (07/13/2006)

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

Sent in by Email:
I'd like to advise Alleen to visit rainbowbridge.org.

She can register free on the site and create a memorial for Lewis there.
That is the only thing that helped me, and I am hoping it will ease a
small part of her pain.

Thank you for anything you can do to send this info along to Alleen.
(07/14/2006)

By ThriftyFun

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

When we had to have our beloved dog Nikki put to sleep (she was 12 and had a cancerous growth that kept returning, which would choke her), I thought my tough-guy husband would die of a broken heart. The one thing that seemed to help was when I pointed out that he had rescued Nikki from the pound at age 1-1/2 and that if he hadn't rescued her, she could very well have been euthanized due to shelter overcrowding the very next day. I pointed out "YOU" gave her over 10 years of a loving home, plenty to eat, fun games of catch and Frisbee, and more loving than some humans get in a lifetime, focus on that.

That has now been more than 10 years ago and he has told me several times that my comment was the only thing that helped. You had Lewis for a very long time and he was a happy member of your family. He was a very lucky dog to have been able to share your love.

I found a picture frame for my husband in which I put a photo of him with Nikki. The saying on the frame is "Old friends never leave us, they just run ahead to wait in a happier place."

You and your husband are in my thoughts and prayers. (07/18/2006)

By Becki in Indiana

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

My sincere condolences for the passing of your beloved pet, Snoop. As an animal lover, and avid pet owner, the loss of a pet is a heart break. Remember, you were blessed with many happy years of pet ownership, wonderful memories, and a relationship that was priceless. If and when you are ready to build a new relationship with a pet, you will know the time is right, and you will be ready to move on. Take Care. (07/31/2006)

By hedera

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

I had to put down my cat on 8/11/06 so I feel your pain. I try to focus on the beautiful memories that I have in my heart, that is what gets me through each day. (08/19/2006)

By Bernie

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

Our local Hospice has pet grief support groups. Perhaps you might check to see if your Hospice people do that. (10/26/2006)

By MamaJude

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

Two weeks ago I lost my beloved Dachshund, Fred. He never left my side and I am heartbroken. He was only 7 years old and the vets said he was diabetic. I feel so guilty, because I left him overnight at a vet that has no one there during the night. The next day my daughter went and took him to an emergency clinic about 30 miles away. They got there about six and he passed away at 11:30 that night, truly breaking my heart.

I lost a son 8 years ago in a car accident, and this loss is one short step from that grief. I had gotten Fred and his sister Ethel (who I still have) from a humane society. My daughter is friends with the people who run that place and two days after Fred left, they called and said they had a miniature Dachshund, and a long haired girl Dachshund. The miniature is a male and I now have him, he will never replace Fred, but will become his own "man" in my life. The female was adopted by a very good friend of my daughter, and has a wonderful home. I think the greatest compliment you can give a beloved friend is to give a home to another dog who needs love and care and will provide you will all the love in his heart. I am so sorry for your loss.

Deidre

Editor's Note: So sorry to hear about your loss of Fred, Deidre. I'm glad you were able to find a new friend and give him a home. (11/24/2007)

By DeidreLee

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

The loss of a loved pet is never easy. They are every bit a part of our daily lives and families. Grief although difficult to deal with is our way and very natural. Time however will ease the pain. The hole left in one's heart for the most part will heal. I lost Angel, my very dear cat of six years ( from birth) in 2005 and Baby my 14 year old cat in 2006. Both these animals gave more than many humans I know. They are both at rest in a quiet spot in my back yard. The pain did somewhat subside. I don't mind if it never completely heals lest I forget. I have since adopted another and currently have 3. We must go on. (01/06/2008)

By Fred S.

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

To Zoey who lost her cat from complications of spaying:
My heart aches for you, Zoey, as it does with everyone who has had to suffer from the loss of a pet. I know you will keep going over in your mind, "what if" and thinking you should have done things differently. You were a loving pet parent, and it is NOT your fault. I know it's so difficult, and it's hard to believe now, but time will help the grief, but you will always hold a special place in your heart for your dear pet. The pet is at peace now, and maybe if you can focus on that. We all think of things we should have done differently, but you did nothing wrong.
I do think, though, I would change vets; that's just my opinion.

I will be thinking of you, and please accept my deepest sympathy. If I have missed extending my sympathy to anyone else here, you know that I feel for each one of you. (04/17/2008)

By Kentucky-lass

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

I can't believe it. My dog Peppy of 16 years is gone. I don't know what I'll do without him. He's been my best friend for as long as I can remember. We knew everything about each other. I would come home and the one thing that would get me going no matter what day I had was seeing him.

I think I want to get another dog, but its hard. I won't ever love a dog like this again. He's been with me since junior high. I knew it was the right thing to do, he was suffering so much. He couldn't see or hear and had no idea where he was. I knew I wouldn't want to live like that.

I gave him his favorite food the last few days. Also gave him food he hadn't had for a long time. He loved chewing on corndog sticks. Those were his favorite.

I know I was lucky to have him for this long. Yorkies don't usually go this far. But it doesn't make it really any easier. I keep looking around the house looking for him, hoping it was all a dream.

I feel for all of you who have lost a dog. Or even a sibling. This must be what its like to lose a brother or son. I was thinking about making a scrapbook of all his pictures and putting it together. Also, thought of making a collage of his pictures and hang it on the wall. I'm also going to write a letter to him to tell him how I felt about him.

The world doesn't make much sense when your dog is gone. Nothing else seems to matter much anymore. I don't care about Baseball right now or anything I liked before. How can I get past this? Is it possible? Does the pain ever go away?

Daniel

Editor's Note: Daniel, it does get better over time, but it does take time. Making your scrapbook is a good thing to do and allow yourself to grieve. I'm so sorry for your loss. Take good care of yourself and do get another dog, but give it a little time. (09/08/2008)

By Qrusher14242

RE: Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

I too have lost my beloved black Lab Rebel, he was our best friend, he was the one who has been with us through thick and thin. He has been our only constant through our 11 and half years of marriage. He has been my protector, I could tell him anything. Our whole family is devastated. I never dreamed losing him would come now, despite the fact that he was 11, he was fine Thursday and running around like a puppy.

On Halloween he woke up, but couldn't move. He was diagnosed with cancer, a tumor opened up and blood was in his abdomen. Our Vet was amazing, he helped us through a difficult time. We knew that we could not continue to let our boy suffer, only for a few more weeks with him. For us to keep him alive was selfish, only to watch him suffer.

We brought him home, took our kids out of school, and we spent the last few hours of his life with him, the way he was always with us. I know that he will continue to watch over us from heaven. I know, but it doesn't make it any easier we have such a void in our hearts. (11/01/2008)

By Rebelyouaremissed

Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

It will be one month this coming Friday, I lost my little angel, Lady. She was my joy, my friend, my constant companion, my nurse and caregiver, and never asked for anything. I keep her booster sit in the car with two of her stuffed animals. She is always with me in spirit,
but my life feels empty and my heart is sad.

I was blessed with 17 wonderful years. Yesterday, I planted a Christmas tree in the backyard in her and my dad's memory. So when the blinds are open and I am at my computer, I can look at it and think of her. For me, she was my daughter in every way possible. My own children didn't love me the way Lady did. Lady accepted me for who I was unconditionally. (12/02/2008)

By Poodle17

RE: Dealing With The Grief After Losing a Pet

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