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Dogsarepeopletoo

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Posts: 110
 #81 
Riley: It is good to hear your hair stylist feels such love for the dog after her "heart dog." I've had three dogs in my adult life -- I loved them each but Annie was different; definitely my "heart dog."

My first dog as an adult was a big, gallumping black lab --he was a free puppy out of a box, spur of the moment decision. We named him Riley. We had him a few weeks and my brother- and very pregnant sister-in-law came over one evening and met the pup. When I told them his name, her face just fell into sadness. She paused a bit and said "oh, noooo, that is the name we picked out for our baby!" :-o They ended up not using the name but it has always been a favorite. He was such a happy-go-lucky dog.

Dreams are funny. Annie has been in two dreams but when I woke up, I didn't remember specifics -- just an awareness she had been in my dream.

She was a rescue from our shelter but we knew her birth history because she was born in the shelter and returned a year later. Her brother lives a block away from our good friends and even though we have only seen the brother two times in 13 years, I look for him when we drive by. For the first time, last week I did not look that way when I drove by -- I think it would be too hard to see her brother.

I wonder if those of us who are here and taking our pet loss hard are sensitive in other areas? Or maybe we don't try to tamp down our feelings like some people do? I dunno.

Laurie
PS: Off to eat some "feel good" ice cream!
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #82 
Hi Joe,

Please don't compare yourself to anyone else, ever.  We are all unique individuals and can handle things a little differently.  You have a tremendous responsibility for taking care of your Mom.  I know that is something that I could not have done.  My Mom passed away in February, and while I do miss her and think of her, I never shed a tear when she died and I am still crying for Cassie.  

The nice thing about this forum is that everyone who is communicating on it is hurting and we are all hurting together and try to help each other through the harder times, if we can.

If you want to, don't be afraid to write about Baby Bunny.  Some of the fun times you may remember, or just the daily things you did with her.  

Yes, I'm up and around today.  The injections didn't totally give me the result I was hoping for though.  Maybe it will take a few more days for them to kick in.  I'm hoping.

Hi Laurie,

You mention that your Dad said you are so sensitive that you cry at stop signs.....that's cute!!!  By nature, I am not a crying type person, so for me to be crying so much is very unusual.  I haven't cried a lot in front of anyone besides my husband, but I get teary eyed a lot when I talk about her.  I believe that our furry babies are happy that we at least have each other to help us through this.  I'm actually thinking I need to go to Dairy Queen and have some comfort ice cream now.  

Everyone, take care and hang on to the memories, they are ours forever.

xxooDianne

Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #83 
You know, someone said it here I think on this thread about how it's the end of an era when these animals die.  That's what I think I am feeling a lot of right now, that my life has just changed so drastically and it will never ever be the same and I will never ever be the same.  I knew a part of me died with Riley, but this feeling of the end of an era is hard for me to escape.  My ex-fiance and I got Riley when we moved down to NC.  Then we moved back up to PA and in that time, my ex and I broke up and I had to buy another house and move again.  Of course the dogs came with me.  Then I met my husband and we moved again, into his house.  There were times when Riley was sick for a couple of years, that we eventually found out was due to something he was eating, so I feel bad that I lost some of his best years--from 2 to 4--that we could have been doing lots of dog sports.  We did eventually start doing them and then when I got married and set up house with my hubby, again, we didn't do too much.  Then I started again in 2015, but in October 2017, we found out he had cancer--on our anniversary.

So, I guess that's part of why I feel lost and even my husband doesn't get that because he only knew Riley for about 6 years.  I do feel like I'm feeling better for the most part, but still there are those times and one of them is right now.  And you know, I made this tribute movie and it's about 19 minutes long and it spans Riley's life and for the most part, I smile when I watch it, but then there are parts where I sob all over again--especially towards the end.  I added the song "Love Remains the Same" by Gavin Rossdale to that section.  I knew it would make me cry.  I think I'll need another session with the therapist this week.....
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #84 
Good evening Riley's Mom

That is lovely that you made a tribute movie of Riley's life.  It may be hard now to watch, but as time goes by I think it will bring you more comfort.

Funny you mention a session with the therapist, as I have to see a nutritionist for diabetes and when I went to see her all I did was cry and talk about Cassie.  The poor woman, I don't think she knew what to do with me.  Especially when I told her I just didn't care, I was going to eat whatever it took to comfort me.  She probably needed to see a therapist herself when she finished with ME!!!

Don't feel bad about not knowing that Riley had food issues.  I'm sure you always did your best and sometimes we just can't think of everything all of the time.  I do hate that CANCER word so much.  When the vet told us that Cassie had that aggressive cancer, I think I went into denial.  Really, my baby had cancer?  How could that be?  We were always so careful about everything with her.  How did that happen?  Why did that happen?  Yes, I ask those questions and no I don't get any answers

I think that we truly are lost in many ways, but I believe we can find our way......with help.  Things pop up when I least expect them........my nephew put a Bible verse on his facebook page......it said  "He healeth the broken in heart and bindeth up their wounds".........oh yeah, that started me crying again.

My husband has been very kind and understanding and even admits he doesn't feel the same as I do, that he misses her a lot, but he accepts that it's part of life more than I do.  

I want to find all of Cassie's pictures and do something with them, but I'm not ready.  I need some more time before I try that.  I just miss her so much, every time I come home I wait for her to come to me...........I go outside alone now, without her, I hate it.  I want to hold her one more time............I miss her more than I can say, but I know that you know how that is.   We all have to hang on to the fact that we are not alone and we are all trying and will have good days and bad days.   

Peace and hugs to all
Dianne


Riley2018

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Posts: 55
 #85 
Dianne, I think I got this link here on Pet Loss https://aplb.org/ but this is where I found a therapist. Here is the direct link to counselors https://aplb.org/support/counselors/ 

The one I found is Deborah Massey and she's in PA, but she does phone counseling.  When I first talked to her a couple weeks ago, I could barely talk through my crying.  I think it's really helpful and I'm going to talk with her again this week.  I think talking with a counselor who specifically knows about pet loss is probably better.

I just feel so bad for all of us and I hope it starts to get better for you Dianne.  I think the best thing is to just keep talking about your feelings with people who get it--it doesn't help to talk to people who don't, in my experience it makes me feel worse.  I've had the most comfort here really, but that counselor really helped too.

I just want to give everyone a hug!!
Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #86 
Hi Dianne,

How has your back been since last week… and how are you doing about Cassie?

I hope better.


Joe
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #87 
Hi Joe,

I just got back from a trip of a lifetime to Alaska.  I did see your message but was unable to reply.  

I thought of you a lot and was wondering how you were doing.  How are you?

My back held up ok on the trip, we used wheelchairs and I was able to walk short distances with a cane, so it was ok.  It was a wonderful trip, BUT, on the third day I saw a puppy Golden, he was about 4 months old, then saw a puppy Golden about 8 weeks old, and another Golden puppy about 6 months old, then two adults Goldens.  I cried every time I saw one.  It was so hard.  I thought about you and all of us who lost our fur babies.  I prayed for comfort and peace for us.  Then we came home to our empty house and I cried again.  I miss her so much.  It's almost two months and I still feel her around me, even on the trip at least once a day.  I'm still crying and I really miss her so much.  BUT, I am ok.  There are a LOT of dogs in Alaska.  Everyone seems to have at least one.  Some areas, I'm told, have more dogs than people!!  Yep, more crying.

How are you?  How's your Mom?  I often thought of you and how much you have been through and still are going through with your Mom.

So, I'm back to reality now and I don't much like it.  Not to mention that United Airlines lost of one our bags and dealing with them has been awful.  First, they told us it was in at 7pm last night and they would deliver to us between 9pm and midnight.  This morning they couldn't find it, then they said they did and it would be right out, now they say about 3:00am they will deliver it?  It's been no fun trying to communicate with them.  I'm exhausted and going to bed soon, but wanted you to know that I really did think of you a lot and hope you are doing ok.

Dianne




diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #88 
Thinking of all of us and our losses.  Tomorrow will be two months ago we lost our Cassie.  Every room in the house reminds me of her.  It's painful.  I still tear up and cry often.  Wondering how everyone is doing?

Joe?
Laurie?
Riley's Mom?

Thinking of everyone and praying for us all
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #89 
Hi Dianne,

Yeah I'm still taking things one day at a time still.  Last Monday the 13th was 3 months for me.  For the most part, I'm okay, but I still have times where I break down sobbing--still.

Just tonight, the horrible thought came into my head at the moment when the vet gave Riley the shot to relax him.  He was sitting I think and I just grabbed him and buried my head in his chest and I remember just sobbing and saying "Oh God, please someone help me get through this."  I don't know why I keep having those thoughts, but every other day or so, I have images of certain moments from that hour or so when the vet was at the house.  And people say, well, you have all those good memories, but it doesn't matter.  When I think of that time on that day, I have these images in my mind and they are crystal clear and I just can't believe it.  I am surrounded by pictures of Riley in my home office and I sometimes still look at them and it's still hard to believe he is gone.

I thought of you when you said you came back from your vacation and Cassie wasn't there.  I know how horrible that was for you and I wish I could say something to make it better, but I can't.

For me, I just live with the pain--it's just there all the time.  I've done some things that have helped and I am getting prepared for the puppy that is coming and I'm watching a lot of dog training videos, but about every minute, my eyes go to one of the pictures I have on my desk or hanging on the wall above my desk.  I miss my boy so much still and I can't believe he is not here with me anymore.
Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #90 

Hi Dianne,

I apologize for the delay in responding. I read your message when it came through Sunday evening, but finally able to set aside the appropriate amount of time it takes me to write. It always takes me awhile to write whether it's a text or email. I pour over every word making sure I don't write the wrong thing.

Alaska?! Wow! That's wild! I would definitely say that would be a trip of anyone's lifetime. Since Sunday, I hope your luggage has finally arrived. It's not the end of the world, but when you're down, I know that something like lost luggage can make one feel even worse. When we're emotional, good things and moments make a huge difference. Beyond that, I hope you had a good time in Alaska.

Thanks, I really appreciate the thoughts, but don't waste your time, especially a vacation thinking about me. That should've been a relaxing time. 

I don't want to jinx myself, but with regards to Baby Bunny, I haven't cried in about ten days and I'm feeling guilty for that. I'm hoping it's the anti-anxiety meds and not me accepting the idea of not seeing her again. I have purposely tried not to talk about her or look at photos of her. But, I'm feeling guilty for not being emotional lately. It's been a month and five days and I still miss her and wish I could have her back. As I may have mentioned before, after it happened, I couldn't think about anything but getting another bunny to love and help me heal. But, now as the weeks have passed, I've been thinking that I won't have the same magic that we had together if I got another. It was like magic when she arrived and like magic the way she changed my life. But, then it shouldn't be about me. It's about giving a loving home to another bunny and creating new memories. But, I'm still torn by my loyalty to Baby Bunny. I'll have to see.

Possibly, taking care of my mother has been enough of a distraction, too. She's been talking to me as-if I'm not her son. Her doctor put her on Aricept three weeks ago which is supposed to slow down the dementia. One moment she talks rationally. And the next, she's thinking someone broke into the house and stole her jewelry, when it's been there the entire time. One of the constants of late, is her wanting to go home and not believing that this has been her home for the last sixty-four years. She wasn't like this two months ago. Then, I was able to hold a lucid conversation with her. Now, her attention span is down to a minute or two. I don't understand how it could deteriorate so fast. Fortunately, she hasn't needed "bathroom" care, yet. But, we'll eventually have to get help for that.

I really hate talking about myself and my situation, but I didn't want to disregard your question. And then when I start, I can't seem to stop.

I am certainly glad that you got away, especially on a lengthy trip. Of course, it wasn't going to be forever and that you would return home and to Cassie's memories. But at least you know there are ways for you to move forward, to feel better and put a smile on your face. It's alright for you to cry when you see another Golden Retriever. It's the rush of emotions that cause the tears which is the worse part. It's a horrible way to feel always having to be on-guard wondering when the tears are gonna hit again. That was the part that I dreaded the most.

For me, since my bunny lived safely under the house, I don't have memories of her up in the house, except for photos and her bowls and blankets. But, if living amongst Cassie's things, can upset you, perhaps for a little while, move them into another room. Move some furniture around. Try to make some minor changes. I'm not sure if it's going to help, but I know that when I tried to keep busy and focused on other than the bunny, the days went by faster. Also, if meds can alleviate any of the tears and keeping you from sinking any lower, then take them. It takes a lot to get through life and if properly prescribed, medication can help. It may not be today, tomorrow or next week, but you and the rest of us will eventually be able to fill that emptiness with good memories.


Joe

diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #91 
Hello Riley's Mom,

Today, Cassie has been gone for two months.  It isn't any easier for me either.

I know what you mean about those last moments.  Cassie was sitting (as laying down made her breathe harder) on the couch next to my husband and our son (who left work to come be with us).  I was pacing in the living room trying to be strong and keep talking to her and not let her see me cry.  When she got the first shot to relax her she just laid down and her eyes were wide open staring at me.  I would not let myself cry, as I knew she still knew what was happening.  After the second shot, she was looking the same, but she was gone.  I tried to close her eyes, I then ran out of the room crying and cried the rest of the night.  It was so hard.  I feel the pain you feel and I don't like it either.  I said the exact thing "God, please help me get through this" so many times, I'm sure he was getting sick of me!!!  The next day I started thanking him for allowing us to be so blessed to have had her in our lives.  I still feel that way, but the pain is still there too, and those final moments are etched in my mind, will never forget them.

When are you getting your puppy and what kind is it?  I'm so happy for you and I know that Riley would want you to have one and to love it.  It's because of Riley and how much you loved him that you are able to open your heart again to another.

I think I've lost my mind.  We are "considering" getting another dog.  I've been looking at the White Goldens (supposedly they get less cancer and are very mellow), due to our health and age, we would like one trained.  Found a place that you can pick out your pup and have them keep it for 8 months and train it.  While it's expensive, I think that's the only way we can do it and we do really miss Cassie so much, that life without her isn't very much fun.  After having dogs all of our lives, can't bear not to have one.  The good thing is that our son would take her if and when we could no longer care for her.

Take care
Dianne


diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #92 
Hello Joe,

I certainly don't want to upset you or make you talk about Baby Bunny when you are not ready to do so.  For me, I've found that talking about Cassie helps me.  I know everyone is different.

My husband's bag was delivered the next day, after going back and forth with United Airlines, first they had it, then not, then yes, then no.  Said they couldn't deliver after 10pm, then said it was coming between 9pm and 3am.  Very frustrating communication, but all ended well, thanks for asking.

Yes, it's awful never knowing when the crying will start or what will trigger it.

DO NOT feel guilty for not crying all of the time or allowing yourself to have a life!!  Baby Bunny was given a second chance in life because of YOU!!  She had wonderful years with you, I'm positive better than she would/could have had anywhere else.

Don't give up on another bunny.  Of course, it wouldn't be the same.  Nothing/no one ever is. But, it would need a home and love and it sounds like you sure have that to give.   I don't believe for a moment that you would not be loyal to Baby Bunny if you got another one, or even a cat or any furry friend.  I'm a big dog person (allergic to cats), but my one sister (I call her the cat woman) loves cats, she has three.  She volunteers a Second Chance (place for cats)  She helps them find homes.  She seems to know what cats are good for what people.  If you were to consider a cat, you may want to check with places like that near you.  You can tell them exactly what you are looking for, age, color, personality.  Or maybe you have places there that have bunnies?  You could check them out?  

I'm happy that your meds help.  They don't help everyone, I've heard.  But, please, PLEASE do not feel guilty or unfaithful, or anything if you ever consider another.  I'm sure you saw how I was never going to have another dog.  Now two months later, I hate life without a dog and am looking to get a trained one for next June.  It won't be Cassie, could NEVER be Cassie, but would be different and help fill the hole in my heart.  I talked to my doc about some meds and he said NO.  I take meds for too many things as it is, and I'm on Medical Marijuana for spine pain (takes some of the edge off, but no high with the medical stuff and never tried the regular stuff)  

As far as your Mom, I'm so sorry, Joe.  I think that you and your brother are so special to take care of her.  I know that I could not have done that.  It does sound like she's getting worse faster.  Dementia is so cruel and hard for those who love to watch.  I have a friend who has a Mom similar to your Mom, except she needs total care.  They do their best, but have someone come in daily for about 4 hours and they are thinking they need more.  It's so sad.  My Mom was in a nursing home for a year before she died.  It was hard, but she's now at peace.

Yes, I do believe we will all fill the emptiness with good memories, but I don't think any of us will ever "forget" or give up our special feelings for our furry friends.  

I don't want to stress you, Joe or make you feel uncomfortable, so if you don't reply, that's fine.  I'll check in on you from time to time.  I do think of you, I think of every one of us who lost our furry soul mates!!!  I pray for us all, for comfort and strength.  Kind of funny, when my Mom was in the nursing home, I only prayed for strength for our family to deal with whatever God sent our way.  ...............and we did get that strength when we needed it.  I didn't ask to make her better, as I knew that would never happen.



Well, almost time for the Yankees second game of the day, so I'll say goodbye for now

Take care, Joe and DO NOT ever think you are doing anything wrong, no matter what you do!!!

Dianne




Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 110
 #93 
Hello all ---

I am plugging along, also about at the two-month mark. It's odd how in some ways it feels like it has been longer; other times it feels like it was mere days ago we said goodbye to Annie.

Interesting reading some of your recollections about those last moments -- I'm not sure how healthy my attitude is, but, I just won't let myself go there. It's just too hard to think about those last moments or the last two days. It's like I slam my hands over my ears and shout LALALALA.

The other night my husband and I did all the before bed preps -- turned off the tv, turned off the lights, made sure the doors were locked and I caught myself JUST starting to say "come on, Annie!" which was our routine to get her to walk down the hall with us to the bedroom. It was one of those moments that just made me want to WAIL. Gosh, I miss her so.

I have found myself roaming rescue sites -- looking at adult blue heelers who need a home. It makes me feel better and worse at the same time. We aren't quite ready to get another dog but will this fall or winter (hopefully).

Joe, my heart aches for your mama, you, and your loved ones. I have no words to help but something you *might* try. I read somewhere that music taps into a different part of our memories than words, stories, etc. I found music from an era I thought my great-aunt would enjoy and played it for her (she had dementia). It seemed to make her happy; relaxed; and she could sing along to some degree. It was nice to bring her some joy.

I am glad to hear your stories -- of course, it pains me that you are grieving but nice to share our feelings.

Annie's mom
(visiting smoky Seattle)
Dippy

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #94 
So sorry to read everyones sad stories. This is all still very raw for me right now.I have spent the last 3 days crying non stop for our beautiful Lab who left us this week. She was a gentle,sensitive soul and such a character, so many things I am missing like mad already. Her silky ears, big brown eyes and an always wagging tail. The whole family is devastated and she is certainly the one that has taken a piece of me with her. I am massivly struggling at the moment, even looking at pictures of her just breaks me. I have lost pets before but nothing has felt like this before, I am a total mess right now. We had over 11 amazing years with her and I know in time I can look back on those happy times, but right now that seems  very very long way off.
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #95 
Dear Dippy,

So sorry to hear about your loss.  Labs are such sweet dogs.

Understand what you mean about losing pets before but nothing like this.  As I've said, it's two months for me and I'm still a mess.  I  believe that once we are so close to our furry babies, it's really devastating when they leave us.  I don't know why it's so hard.  It's always hard, but then there is that one, or maybe two that are beyond difficult.  I miss my girl so much, many times I feel like she is right next to me......I turn and she's not there.   I'm happy that you were blessed to have had her with you for 11 years.  

Please know that you are not alone, there are many of us who feel the same way and those who don't can't understand.  My husband tries and he misses her, too........but, he admits he can see it's harder on me.

I believe that we are all better people for having had our fur babies to love and to love us.

Take care.

Dianne
Cassie's Mom
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #96 
Hello Annie,

I did a lot of the same things that you are doing..............it made me feel better (and worse) to look at rescues online but I did it.  I'm not sure why.

I had routines with Cassie, too.  When she wanted to go to bed, she would sit in the living room and stare at me.  Then she would turn her head toward the bedroom.  If I wasn't paying attention, she would come and poke my arm.  It was our evening routine.  I don't like going to bed anymore.  In the mornings, we got up first and if nice out, I would sit with her and she would just watch birds, etc.  Those were our two close times alone every day.  I miss that.  

I really don't think about that dreadful day too often, but every now and then I do, and I still cry when I think of it.  I do find some comfort in that she was peaceful and her heavy (waterlogged) breathing had stopped and she had passed to the Bridge

Interesting you said visiting smoky Seattle, as until I was in Alaska I really had no idea there were that many fires outside of California!!!  It was funny to look at the weather report and see it say cloudy and smoky!!!  LOL

It pains me, too, that we are all suffering so much, but it is comforting to know that we can share our stories and help each other through this awful time.

Most of the time I'm sad and cry a little, sometimes I start to get mad and say I WANT HER BACK, then reality hits, I can't have her back..........more crying.  I guess that's ok.  They sure grab a huge chunk of our hearts, and are always so giving and forgiving, wish I was more like that...........working on it.

take care
Dianne


Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 110
 #97 
Dippy, I am so sorry -- she sounds like an awesome friend. Labs are such loving dogs.

The few first days are so awful -- the shock, the pain, the loss -- are so fresh and acute. I wish I could give you a big hug.
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #98 
Hi Dippy,

I'm so sorry for your loss of your lab.  We all do know how you feel and how heart wrenching this is.  There are times when it gets a little better, then there are times when you will still cry and your heart will ache so bad.  It's been 3 1/2 months for me and it's a little better, but it still hurts so bad and I still cry.  Honestly when I get on this forum, many of the stories I read make me cry.  I don't know the answer.  I guess it will get better with time and I guess if you allow another dog into your life, that may relieve some of the pain although you will never ever forget the love you had with your beloved lab.

It is true that we sign up for this.  Most of us know that if we bring these beautiful beings into our lives, we will one day face this.  Still doesn't make it easier at all.  I am sure many of us on here are feeling the loss of heart dogs--canine soul mates and the pain is excruciating.

Please know that we all know what you are going through even though there may be people close to you that may not.  Like some have said, even spouses might not be feeling the same way.  It does help to talk about how you're feeling and we all try and help each other through this very difficult, very sad and devastating time.  Just let yourself cry as much as you need to.  One day at a time is all you can do.

Riley's mom
Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 110
 #99 
It is so true that we signed up knowing how the love story ends. I read one of those memes that said something like "a dog shares the best days of our life; and one of the worst days of our iife." So true.

My crying seems to have settled down to a manageable level -- except when someone expresses sorrow about Annie's death; then I well up.

Our petsitter recently dropped off a beautiful plant and a hand-painted water color sympathy card that is stunning. It shows a seated woman, with her arm wrapped around her dog shown from the back. Her mother is an artist and she painted it for me. Whooeeee, that one made me bawl.

Serendipity has brought each of my three dogs into my life -- none were planned; all were spontaneous "gets" (though I do not advocate getting a dog without a lot of thought, it has worked for me). Scrolling through rescue sites likely isn't how I will get another dog, but I never say never. I'm a bit leery about getting another dog after my "heart dog" -- I have flashes of fear: what if the next dog doesn't measure up? What if the next dog isn't as perfect? What if I do not love it as much? None of those worries are particulary logical but emotions often aren't.
Dippy

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Posts: 7
 #100 
Thank you all for your kind words, I am so sorry for everyone else who is struggling with this situation too, it's nice to come here where people fully understand. That is such a true thought "a dog shares the best days of our life; and one of the worst days of our life.". The pain right now is excrutiating, the little things like no more little nudges of the knee at mealtimes, no more shake a paw or high fives, no more head rests on the knee, it's hard to imagine things without her right now. I know in time, the good memeories will come back and be strong but right now everything just hurts so much.
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #101 
Dogsarepeopletoo,

Wow, this quote you shared "a dog shares the best days of our life; and one of the worst days of our life."

I had taken Riley to Dr. Marty Goldstein's clinic up in New York for a more holistic, natural treatment when we found out he had cancer.  We had only gone there twice for treatments, but several weeks after Riley died, they sent me the nicest card, all hand written with thoughts and signatures--I bawled so hard reading it and am crying now thinking back on it.  It was the nicest thing and I put it in Riley's photo urn.  It just meant so much even though we hadn't been long-time clients.

For a while now, since we knew that we were getting a puppy, I have been going back and forth between being excited about the puppy and still grieving.  I watch my Riley tribute movie all the time and especially the parts where I put video clips in of him and my other dog playing and running so fast, just having a blast, it's just heartbreaking to watch.

It has helped though to be getting prepared for the puppy--I'm spending a lot of time watching on-line training videos.  I did make some mistakes with Riley and he taught me so much, so I am taking what I learned from him and I'm going to try to do things a little bit differently. 


Dianne,

We're getting an English Shepherd, which is not a common breed and it's what we think Riley was.  They are similar to Border Collies and Australian Shepherds actually and look very much like them.  The puppies were born on August 4th.  

I also tinker around with African Violets and Streptocarpus plants (I have about 25 of them)--that is another thing that tends to keep me occupied and I think it's good to have things other than our grief to occupy our minds--at least for me it helps.
Dippy

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #102 
I hope everyone is doing OK? I am struggling badly right now, the thought of her not being here anymore is killing me. I just keep going back to a couple of days before we lost her, i had helped her walk to her basket as she was very wobbly on her feet, she gave me a little wag of the tail as if to say thank you, then i sat with her for a while and she gave me this look and in that moment I just knew she was telling me "it's time to go". 2 days later she had gone downhill so fast and so badly that we had to do the right thing and let her go. It IS literally breaking my heart right now. How on earth do we get past feeling like this?
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #103 
Hi Dippy,

Honestly, I'm not sure what "OK" is anymore.  "struggling" is a good term to describe how most of us probably feel.  Those little furry friends are so smart, they know when it's time, they don't complain, they go on until they can't.  The count on us to do the right thing and help them.  It's a very difficult thing, but they need us to help them.  It's been over two months for me and I don't cry all day anymore, but it's still so hard.  I wish I had words to comfort you (and all of us), but I try just to have faith that I will one day see her again.  It's terribly lonely without her.  At first, I didn't know how I would get thru it.   I still don't know.  I'm taking things one day at a time.  There are no right or wrong feelings for any of us.  Only we know the bond we had with our babies and it's something that didn't die with death.  I feel her with me.  I don't think I will ever get past these feelings, but I'm hoping to be able to learn to live with them.   Stay positive, know how much she loved you and how she did her best to stay with you as long as she could.  Cry whenever you need to, allow yourself to have feelings and let them out.  It does help.  Hugs and more hugs, tears and more tears

Cassie's Mom, Dianne
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #104 
Hi Dippy,

Yeah, all you really can do is just move through it.  I bought a couple of really good books that were really helpful.  These were the three most helpful:

Heart Dog, Surviving the Loss of your Canine Soul Mate by Roxanne Hawn - on Amazon
 
Goodbye, Friend by Gary Kowalski - on Amazon
 
The Pet Loss Companion by Ken Dolan-Del Vecchio & Nancy Saxton-Lopez - on Amazon

And from the Heart Dog book, I worked on some memorial projects including a tribute video that I watch almost every day. I also ended up talking to a grief counselor who specializes in pets.  I think I got her name from this site, but her name is Deborah Massey.  Here is her site link. http://www.seekingwhatmatters.com/about-my-practice.html  She was very helpful as well and she does phone consults (although I'm not sure if you are in the states or not).

Getting the books was the first thing I did and they really helped.  I also wrote a letter to Riley and Deborah Massey had me also write a letter me from Riley and that was helpful as well.  I read the letters to my husband and we both bawled our eyes out, but in one other book I read, they said you had to read the letters to someone in person.  I also read them to Deborah.

Other than that, it is just a matter of the raw pain softening a little as time goes on, but you also do need to just feel it and let the emotions come when the come and don't try to hold them back.  Cry when you need to cry--as most of us still do.  And yes, we still struggle.  I try to find other things to kind occupy my mind, but I am also surrounded by pictures of my Riley in my home office and I like it that way.  I just watched my tribute movie last night and was bawling again--and this is 3 1/2 months since he passed.  I'm hoping the puppy that is coming in October will cheer me up.  If he doesn't, I am in really big trouble!

I also attended the candle ceremony from this site.  Again, I don't know if you are in the states or not, but it's held on Monday nights at 10:00pm eastern time and I think there are Sunday ones as well.  There are things that we read during the ceremony that are also very helpful along with knowing all the other people in the chat room are grieving just like we are.  Look around here on this site or on the internet for a story called The Journey.  It is really helpful.

Just be gentle with yourself and grieve on your own terms, but don't hold back at all and don't let anyone make you feel like you should be over it at any time.

Riley's mom



pb313

Registered:
Posts: 105
 #105 
Hi Dippy,
It has been over a month for us since Raider passed and just tonight I have been crying over him. It is a strange feeling. Miss my sweet boy so much. I will be fine for a while now and then something comes up and my heart skips and my eyes leak again. Honestly, when it hits it is usually more than a leak.
I am glad you are getting another baby. I will have to look up and English Shepherd. Share pics please.
Hugs,
Paula - Raider’s mom
pb313

Registered:
Posts: 105
 #106 
Oh I am confused. Who is getting the pup, Riley?
Riley2018

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Posts: 55
 #107 
pb313, yep, I am getting a puppy (Riley's mom).  Riley was my boy who passed in May.  In June, the breeder who we had been speaking too bred her dogs and we decided that we did want another puppy/dog in our life, so we will be getting one of the pups when they're ready in October.
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #108 
Hi Riley's Mom,

So excited for you to be getting a pup in October, and everyone else who is getting one.  Please post pics if you can.  We all know a new one can't replace our loss, but they can help fill that emptiness we all feel and they will have their own unique personalities.  We are still in the "thinking" mode.  I do believe that Cassie would want us to have another one to love us and to love her.  I'm sure Riley would want the same, as all of our pets who have gone before us.

Have a great day!

Cassie's Mom, Dianne
Dippy

Registered:
Posts: 7
 #109 
Hi Riley's mom - I am in the UK , but I will certainly have a look around more on this site for some other ways to try and help, thank you. I have heard of the heart dog book and ordered it this week, I have a feeling the whole family will find that useful. It's so lovely you made a video of your boy,and I am sure you will give a loving home to your new pup too.  I tried going through 100's of photos  last night but just found it too painful right now.

Raider’s mom -  I am so sorry you are missing your boy so much too. I am finding the same thing,I am just about getting through the day, then i think of her and just can't stop crying, not a few tears either, proper out loud sobbing.

Diwolff - what you said "know how much she loved you and how she did her best to stay with you as long as she could" , is so true, she was such a loving girl and her eyes told that story every day. Those eyes also told me when it was time to go too.

I hope this gets a little easier in time because I can't see how that's possible right now, I am truly heartbroken :-(
Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 110
 #110 
Dippy: I never quite know what word to use to describe how time helps with grief -- "easier" doesn't really capture it; maybe we come to grips with it? Or learn how to work through it? I'm not sure, but time does indeed help. I remember people kept telling me that when my father passed away; intellectually I knew that was true but emotionally it's hard to imagine the day when the pain isn't so all-consuming and acute. I'm at the 2+ months mark since my "heart dog" died. It is still painful; I still cry; I miss her more than I can express but I feel like I am coping better.

Riley's mom: A puppy! That is very exciting! Our kitty-corner back neighbor has a new yellow lab pup -- I love hearing his little yips and squeaks when they are out playing in her yard. I peeked back there the other day - he was sleeping in the sun and his feet were paddling a bit like he was having a dream. It made me so happy to see him.


diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #111 
Hi Dippy,

I agree with Dogsarepeopletoo.  It doesn't get "easier", it gets "different".   I find myself still talking to her as if she's here quite often.  It does make me smile when I think of some of the silly things we would do together.  She definitely trained me well.  I find that keeping busy helps me somewhat.  For me, it's still really hard coming home even from the store.  She always met me at the door.   I'm learning that there are no rights or wrongs as to how I'm feeling.  Some days are better than others, but I don't fight my feelings.   I'm going with them now and that helps, too.  

Your girl is no longer suffering and that is a good thing!!

One day at a time...............

Cassie's Mom, Dianne
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #112 
Hello Everyone,

How is everyone doing?   Joe, are you still with us?

It will be three months this Tuesday that we lost our Cassie.  In some ways things are a little better, the crying is less.  But I still really hate coming home from anywhere to this empty house.  We miss her so much.   Every time I go into a room I'm expecting to see her or have her come running when we come home.  I miss hugging her every night before bed, I miss her happy tail and her always being by us and so happy.  I still do cry about once a day, usually at night.  There is a towel in the garage on a stool where she would put her paws for us to wipe down after being wet.  Her paw marks are still on it and I can't seem to bring myself to wash it yet.  I have something of hers in each room.  I'm so happy that our sick furry babies are no longer suffering.  I'm just wondering when WE will feel better.  Some days are worse than others.  I can't figure out a reason why that is.

Hope everyone is enjoying our Fall weather and knowing we are starting another season without our furry babies!!!

hugs to all
Dianne
Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 110
 #113 
Dianne, three months? Yikes, that means it has been the same amount of time for us, too. Wow. Some days it seems like it was yesterday.

I so relate to the towel with your dogs foot prints and being unable to wash it. We gave away quite a few things; and stored other things for our "some day" next dog. But, I cannot bring myself to take her leashes off the hook in the garage by the kitchen door. I started to take them down one day and I felt a bit of panic, like it was too soon? Or too final? I just couldn't do it. So, there they hang.

We visited some friends today that we have't seen in awhile. Their standard poodle was all over me -- leaning, sticking her head in my lap, begging for attention. They kept apologizing and I kept saying "noooo, I love it! I need a dog fix!" I could have stayed there all afternoon, loving on their dog. It felt so good.

Sigh.

It's so hard.

Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #114 
Hi Dianne,

I'm here. Thanks for asking.

For me it's been two months and four days. I'm not sure if it's the change of weather and less amount of daylight, but I'm not doing well. I miss Baby Bunny so much and other than this site, no one understands. I cry at night like now at almost 3:30am.

She gave me a reason to get up.

I know I'm not the only one here that feels horrible, but I actually thought I was feeling better.

Joe
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #115 
Dianne and Dogsarepeopletoo,

On September 13th, it was 4 months for me.  I've been trying to help another member here on another thread who is suffering terribly too.  The loss is so overwhelming for us all.

I, like you both, still cry too.  I think it was just last week that I was sobbing again watching my tribute video.  I had some wine on board, so that often spurs it.  But I still have Riley's ribbons hanging on the fridge and I still have his harness, regular leash and show leash hanging on hooks we have on the wall in the kitchen.  Oddly, they are hanging there along with two new leashes that I got for the puppy.  They may always hang there--I just don't know when I will take them down or why.  I may keep his ribbons on the fridge--maybe until the puppy and I start competing in something.  And I will always keep the large wall of ribbons I have from Riley.  I have several of his toys that are in pristine condition that I will always keep.  I have either pictures or something of his in every room too.

I am still going back and forth from grieving to excitement.  The puppy will be coming probably around the end of October.  I've been collecting things for him too and getting ready (nesting behavior ha ha).

I have two photos on my desk and in almost all my pictures of him, he is staring right into the lens, so he is always looking right at me whether I am on my personal computer or my work computer.  I miss him horribly and I still sometimes can't believe he is not here.  I'm sure the puppy will help, but I still have those haunting images of when he was laying there on our living room floor, gone.  It seems that image will never leave my mind.  I have, however had three nights in a row where I dreamed of him and that was really nice.

And yes, the weather is changing and it's another season without the love of my life.......
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #116 
Joe, I'm so so sorry to hear that you are feeling so bad.  It doesn't help that the days get shorter I know. I know for many of us, our beloved pets gave us a reason to get up and we had so many routines that are now just gone.  It just shatters our lives.

I know at one point you thought about getting another bunny and I'm sure another bunny would brighten your spirits. 

I hope you can find some peace, I know how hard it is, believe me.  We just trudge along doing the best we can, day by day, one step at a time.
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #117 
Hi Joe,

I'm feeling the shorter days, too.....more darkness.  I suspect we are all feeling it one way or another.

As Riley's Mom said, at one point you were thinking of another bunny, you may find some comfort in at looking to start.   That baby bunny of yours was sure the luckiest bunny to have had you.  I'm sure that she would want you to be happy, to share some of that love with another and she knows you will never, never forget her.

Sometimes I think I'm fine, then it hits...........I guess there are those of us who were tied so tightly to our furry friends that it really does take a large part of us with them when they leave us.  I feel empty.

How's your Mom doing?  Do you think she would enjoy a bunny?

Dianne
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #118 
Good morning Dogsarepeopletoo

I love that "dogsarepeopletoo", because I do believe they are, but many just can't see that.  That makes it even harder when they leave us, as for me she was closer to me than any human being was/is.  That probably sounds bad, but I guess I'm trying to say there is a connection there than just can't be duplicated by two-legged people.

It's funny you mention that about your friend's dog wanting to be all over you.  That happened to me yesterday with my neighbor's dog.  I started to cry and had to come home.  Cassie's leash is hanging in the hall.  We gave her collar to our son, he has it hanging in his work area.  He would take her when we went away.  He loved her and she loved him.  I still have my previous dog's collar hanging next to Cassie's leash.  I've had two dogs I've been close to like this.  They were both born on October 29th.  I find that kind of odd.  I guess it was meant to be.

Sometimes as I walk by her leash, I want to take it and put it on her.....she loved it.  Her ball is still on our kitchen counter....I just can't move it yet.

One day at a time.....still.....

Cassie's Mom
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 95
 #119 
Hi Riley's Mom,

I'm so happy that you are getting a puppy soon.  He will keep you busy.  Of course, he can't be Riley, but he'll be himself and he will love you unconditionally.    It's so nice that you have that video and so many pictures of Riley.   When you think of him, you can always "look" at him.  

I have Cassie's picture on my computer screen saver.  I've had it there for years.  I had a funny feeling about 6 months ago when she was laying by me while I was on the computer.  I thought "one day you won't be here next to me".    I have no idea why I thought that, but about 3 months later she was gone.  It just plain hurts beyond words for all of us here, I'm sure.

I have the image of Cassie dying on our couch, I know what you mean.  It can be so haunting.

It's good that we have each other, at least we understand.............can't change things, but understand and care

Take care
Cassie's Mom
Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 110
 #120 
A friend sent me a link to an article about how the loss of a dog can be as hard as losing a human loved one.

There were the obvious reasons - we love them; duration of relationship; blah blah blah but the one thing I had not thought of in a concrete way is how much having a dog impacts our daily lives, habits, schedules, vacations, etc. And the loss of a dog really upsets our apple carts in a way that really impacts our day-to-day lives.

If I think of our daily life, Annie impacted it a lot - in small ways (eg, sleeping at night against my feet; gosh I miss that) and normal ways (walks, feeding times) and big ways (planning vacations where we can take or or having a housesitter stay).

In so many ways, a dog impacts our daily routine in a way that so many human relationships do not. Other animals do, too. I do not want to diminish the loss of a human loved one; but it helped me understand in a small way why the loss of Annie had been so difficult.
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