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Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 109
 #201 
Joe: Our town has a nonprofit agency that has a day care of sorts for elderly people who cannot be left alone for any reason. The purpose is so caregivers can get a day away to take care of errands and have some time for themselves. My friend's mother was on the board of directors -- she spoke so highly of the atmosphere, kindness, and patience the caregivers provided. Maybe your area has something similar?

I think the cruelest part of dementia-related ailments is it starts to rob loved ones of their memories o the person they loved prior to onset, especially when the patient has moments of cruelty. Keep the good memories of your mama close.

Riley's Mom: Absolutely I hope you keep us updated on your pup! I totally understand your mixed emotions. I have them also about getting another dog [I am just haunting rescue sites]. I predict that pup will worm his way into your heart in a >snap< and be a great healer for you.

It's a beautiful day here -- we are going to go for a short hike to see some waterfalls. This will be our first hike since losing our dog -- for some reason, I have avoided them because it always felt like a "dog outing" even though we enjoyed ourselves, too. I am looking forward to it and dreading it at the same time.

Have a good day!
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #202 
Hi again, Joe,

I've been thinking of you quite a lot.  You have a lot on your plate.  I've seen people as you describe your Mom, up and down, in and out of it.  It's sad.  I've heard really good things about Aricept.  I'm hoping your Mom is one who really will benefit from it.  

Thinking about Baby Bunny, I was looking at bunnies online.  I had no idea there were so many kinds.  They are all so adorable.  There sure is a lot of reading material about them.  I'm sure that Baby Bunny wandered into your life for a reason, and you were both there for each other.  

Hoping that when you do get out you are able to enjoy some of the little things in life.  Fall is so lovely with the trees turning color.  I still have days where I want to do NOTHING, but I'm trying to force myself to take baby steps back into the "real" world.  It's not easy.  Going to the pain management doc next week, maybe time for more injections.  Pain doesn't help when you are sad.  I need to get more active.

Try to have a good day, Joe and know that others are with you in thought.

Dianne
Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #203 
Hi Dianne,

It was anything but a Happy Wednesday.

I wanted to write when I read this on Wednesday, but I was having a really bad day, between dealing with my mother BUT mainly the grieving. But on top of that it was my birthday and my own mother couldn't remember it because she doesn't know I'm her son.

They're all older than me, but another brother comes off to people as this great guy, but has always been self-centered and for the most part, mean to me. And when I wrote him for help with my mother to come and visit or take her for two days a week to help me, he's since ignored my email, which is typical.

Last night I broke down and cried for a while, but this time with my brother and my perplexed mother witnessing it. What they said to console me was irrelevant, but them just being THERE was a gift. All of the time, I cry alone, but someone just seeing my pain was important to me. That's why I'm looking to find a therapist that deals with grief especially a pet.

Dianne, I have no problem with your questions. You can ask anytime.

I'm still a graphic designer. I'm good, but not great. I have a link to my online portfolio if you're interested in seeing what I did/do.

I lost my job almost ten years ago from a company that I was with for ten years right at the beginning of the recession. Ex-colleagues assured me that I would get hired soon and even helped but nothing materialized. I'd get my hopes up and eventually disappointed. It took just over two years before I found my first work again at the WWE (World Wrestling Entertainment). From 2010, on I was finding fairly consistent work, through placement agencies, some where I would find myself back to commuting into NYC.

Prior to my mother's dementia, I had already sold my house and moved back home with my mother and brother, in the house that originally housed three adults (including my grandmother), four children, a cat and a dog. So, it's a good size expanded cape in a working-class town. No big wealth here.


I had written much more, but I didn't want to put you through the torture. So I'll condense:

• To make myself more marketable, I went back to school for the 2014–'15 school year

• Only one school connection created some seasonal work from the school's music department

• Went back to the placement agency who had found me work before, but couldn't find any in CT so I could be near home for Baby Bunny and my mother

• I could ask for some home assignments from the NYC agency that created work for L'Oreal, one of the hundreds of companies that use animal testing including rabbits. But, no money could make me want to do that work again knowing the disgusting way animals are treated for someone's own vanity. It would be like a PETA member working for a beef company. There are some smaller, start-ups that are already going "torture-free". One day it will be against the law for this type of testing.


ENOUGH ABOUT ME!

Dianne, working from home is ideal! And since you're retired keeping an income and a link to the outside working world is totally beneficial for your wallet and mind! I'm certainly not in that line of work, but the consistent work is what I've always looked for. Hang-on to that job for as-long-as you can!

Is human resources your same pre-retiring profession? Is it entering patient information? For the medical office to farm-out the work to a freelancer, must mean that they are really busy, which is good for you. For the graphics, I work on an mac-based system. I'm guessing yours is a P.C.?

And having that work, keeps you busy, which is great.

Regarding who's lucky, Cassie was lucky to have you, too! You are a very compassionate person. It's people like you and other's who've written me are the one's that I would like to have in an in-person bereavement group.


COMMENTING ON YOUR COMMENT COMMENTING ON MY COMMENT:

People not being able to see the emotional pain seems to be like a child who's amazed over the "I Got Your Nose" trick! My brother kept asking, "So when did you not feel well again?… I thought you were better!"

I didn't openly cry. I told him I was never feeling completely good. Sure there were moments or days where the grief wasn't debilitating. But possibly with the weather changes and the on-going health of my mother in the fore-front, the cabin-fever and mostly the un-healed heart break of my loss just all met and exploded into another near breakdown.

Well, that's cluelessness of my family.


Sorry… I don't know when to stop typing.


And as always, thank you for reading.


— Joe


Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #204 

Hi Dogsarepeopletoo,

Thanks for the suggestion. I’ll look into, but my mother is in that strange “in between” area of dementia. She doesn’t know she has it, she realizes something’s wrong and her memory is such that she can tell you something that happened in 1952, but not last week. Yet, she’s very aware when someone is talking about her and has become very paranoid. So, if I attempted to bring her to a place like that she’d question me and to why. So, it’s a touchy topic.

Our town, does have a nearby senior center where she took a painting class about five years ago. But it was discontinued when the instructor moved to FL.

Just after my grieving started and I didn’t have any patience, I brought up my easel from the basement for my mother to use. But immediately she questioned it and complained. So, I just brought it right back down. Maybe I’ll try again, but she does need to get out of the house and see others.

I am going to go online right now and check the senior center’s classes, if they have any.

Thank you for initiating the idea.

 
— Joe

Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #205 

Hi Dianne,

I'm responding to your "Hi again, Joe" message. We may need a map soon to keep it organized.  😉

We're definitely hoping the Aricept helps and continues to keep the Dementia from worsening. That will definitely allow me to get some of my life back.

There are many kinds of bunnies! Being partial and her big brother, Baby Bunny was the most beautiful… of all time! As Ali used to say “I AM THE GREATEST!” SHE was THEEE GREATEST! I always told her that and unknowingly right until the end.

After recently reading one of the many messages here, I learned that we’re able to post photos. So, one day when I can handle it without crying, I’ll post some Baby Bunny photos.

I am not a lucky person. But I always felt that I hit the jackpot when Baby Bunny moved in! And that all of the misfortunes I experienced in life was paying-off with my reward of the gift of the most beautiful little bunny! But, when she left, I knew my luck ran-out and that life was playing a cruel joke on me, saying, “You’ve had enough!” I don’t mean to be a downer, but it feels that the one GREAT creature in my life was gone. How do I move on from that feeling? How could another bunny live up to that expectation? 

I have always liked the fall, but it this year I’m not a fan.

I’m the same way. I have to push myself, too. If I had a mandatory schedule, I’d keep to it. But, since my emotions are ever-changing, the day is unpredictable. My moods dictate the day’s events.

Dianne, when you get out of the house, are you able to drive or do you have friends and family? I saw that you wrote “maybe”. So you’re not sure if you’ll receive injections when you go next week? Is it based on the 0-10 pain scale? You’re right, that does sound like a lot to deal with especially when you’re down. It would be great if they could extract the pain of grief.

I believe you mentioned your husband in an earlier message. Did he have the same close connection with Cassie as you? It seems that you’ve been alone in the grieving process.

I hope everyone here is………… I was actually trying to write something pleasant to everyone in this thread, but I hit a wall of no thoughts. It would’ve sounded overused and insincere. All I can say is that if you cry, then cry. Let it out. Just try to have someone nearby. They don’t have to hug or extend their arm, but just be there.


— Joe

diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #206 
Hi Joe,

I'm responding to your message "it was anything but a happy Wednesday"

I'm sorry that your Mom didn't remember you on your birthday.  So, you are the "baby"?   Then you know for sure that your Mom has a special place for you in her heart.  She may just forget for now, but it's there!!!  Sad about your brother who won't help you out.  I was so lucky that all of my siblings (4 of them) and I worked together to see that all was good for our parents.  

It was good for you to cry in front of your Mom and brother.  They probably didn't know what to do!!  When I cry in front of my husband and he tries to console me, I get worse.  Not sure why, I seem to like to be alone when I cry.

They say that all things happen for a reason.  It would be nice to know those reasons now and then.

A graphic designer?  That's pretty cool.  Yes, I would love to see a link to some of your work.

Totally get it about L'Oreal.  I don't know why animals have to suffer for testing things.  I guess it's all about the money.

I do enjoy my little part-time work.   It started about 5 years ago while I was still working full time, so I was not allowed to be paid.  I did it as a favor to these two doctors I know very well.  It is taking care of their payroll, health insurance, flex spending, 401k, benefit programs and all human resources aspects.  They have bought me some computer equipment and from time to time send me a small check on a 1099 form.  This is not what I did at work.  I was a Senior Administrator of Clinical Operations at a Cancer Institue.  Mostly I worked with the outpatient Departments, but some of the surgical ones, too.  There I did whatever I was told, LOL.  I was also connected to the University and was the administrator of one of their residency programs.  It was a rather strange job, in that I was paid by one place, but had to work there AND travel to 4 other hospitals about three times a month.  I was totally burned out when I retired.  I'm not sure why I keep doing this work, it sure can't be for the money.  

Joe, my family is pretty clueless, too (except for one sister).  I think it's more common that we may realize.

You are right about weather changes.  I'm not liking this either.  I go to the Y three mornings a week at 5am.  Cassie used to love to get up with me and wait for me to come home.  It was hard enough when it was light out, but I get home about 6:30 and it's dark and the house feels more empty.  So, take the weather changes (more darkness and dreary weather coming), taking care of your Mom, missing your best friend and feeling like no one will help you with your  Mom...............that must feel overwhelming.

I'm hoping the first year of "firsts" will be the worst.  Hoping that things will get better one day?   I'm dreading the upcoming holidays.  

I always love hearing from you and I am positive things will get better for us all (I just don't know WHEN)

Will reply to your other message later

Try to have a relaxing evening and maybe do some reading?

take care
Dianne
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #207 
Hi Joe,

I replied to one of your messages yesterday, but I don't see it here now.  I'll have to see if I recall what I said!

This one is in reply to your 10/12 one were you say you are hoping the Aricept helps.

Sounds like you do know a lot about bunnies.   Baby Bunny made it easy for you, didn't she?  She liked her outdoor home.  I have no doubt what a special bunny she was, just from what you say about her.  You say you are not a lucky person, but you were so lucky to have had Baby Bunny in your life.  She carved a special place in your heart and she will always be there.  Of course, no other bunny could take her place, EVER.....but one just may give you some joy and happiness.  

Yes, my husband did love Cassie and I know that he still misses her, but she definitely was closer to me.  If you know anything about Golden Retrievers, they seem to love just about everyone.  It was some kind of connection though, when she would look at me I could almost feel her trying to talk to me.  

Yes, I can drive.  It's funny in that the only time I don't hurt is when I'm walking in the pool at the Y or driving a car.  (not being a passenger).  The pain doc will let me know when I can have my  next injections.  I had no idea there were so many kinds.  I've been getting two facet injections every 3-4 months.  It's not big deal, but you can't drive yourself there and you have to rest for that day.  Other than that, just a few moments of OUCH.  They do seem to help, although I know it's getting worse.  Thanks for asking.

I still have to push myself to do things.  I am forcing myself to go out.....today, I'm going to a little pumpkin stand to get a pumpkin.  That's it for me today.

How are you doing with your Mom?  How are YOU?

Dianne
Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #208 

Hi Dianne,

I laughed at how you wrote, “Will reply to your other message later”. Considering after how much I write, it’s understandable that you’ll need a few days to recover.  😉

And don’t worry about trying to catch-up or if you didn’t comment on a certain topic. I’m just grateful that you’ve stuck around this long. 😉

I’m combining my comments here to your last two messages (#206 & #207).

Yes, I’m the baby of the family. I’ve always read about the advantages of being the baby, but it seemed to have skipped me. I’d rather have been an only child. I wouldn’t have to have seen and heard the treatment that my parents poured on my brothers that allowed them to grow, but not me. I was held back which I continue to feel the effects today. I just came-off a huge shouting match with the brother that lives here. We have never gotten along, yet I’ve been ironically blessed with having to be stuck here with him and my mother. He’s a bully, loud and loves to put me down because I’m out of work. I hate being around him and when he’s home, I have to avoid him because my anxiety level spikes. These are two people with absolutely no sense of humor and I wonder why this house is less as fun as a funeral home.

About the crying… it is horrible. As cathartic as it may seem at the moment, I hate the volcanic eruption that builds up to the tears. But, Dianne it seems that when you do cry you have someone to console you. These two here are clueless: one has dementia and the other is just an idiot.

I agree… I don’t like the phrase, “things happen for a reason”, either. Did my thirty-six year old cousin being killed by a DUI driver almost 32 years ago serve a purpose? All it did was cause pain. And no one can convince me that there’s a reason to someone dying or being killed before they have a full, long life. I understand things happen, but it certainly doesn’t mean there’s a reason.

There’s no good segue from going grieving to work, but I’ll take it. You were doing extra work at home without any extra pay? That’s over time. I know you like keeping busy and it’s good to keep connected to the office world, but that small check should be bigger. I don’t like when two doctors who can afford to pay you more don’t. I hate injustice.

I hope your pre-retirement profession paid you appropriately. The Senior Administrator description sounded like a really important position. And you traveled, too?! No wonder that you burned-out! Nowadays, medical institutions are more like BIG businesses taking over smaller ones and creating these huge conglomerates just like what Yale-New Haven has been doing around here. And not compensating the non-surgical employees correctly is absolutely wrong. It’s all about greed.

You get up at 5am three times a week to go to the “Y”?! That’s great! That is some discipline! I have to go back to the gym, too! It’s been since June ’17, but it felt good getting out and using the treadmill for 30-45 minutes. I need something because it’s seriously depressing around here.

Reading your mention of “firsts” made me cry. I’d rather skip over the holidays, too.

I’m not sure what’s going to get everyone that’s grieving out of “the” hole. Is it gonna be the passage of time? Another bunny, dog or cat? Is it a change of address to avoid the memories? As you wrote, perhaps another bunny will give me joy and happiness. I’m aware they are two different kinds of love, but I can understand when a widow or widower doesn’t want to marry again. How can anyone else fill that emptiness? I think that’s my block. I won’t be able to move forward until I figure out how to fill that huge void. And it scares me to know where I’ll be if I don’t.

I only knew about rabbits based on what's online. It was an on-going course. Baby Bunny was just easy to take care of. She made my EVERYTHING about my life that much better.

Even though there’s a tighter connection between you and Cassie, it must be somewhat comforting to know that you and your husband share the loss. Grieving alone makes it all worse. The connection between you and Cassie sounded like mine, too when she would look at you.

I totally understand having to push yourself to do things. Just grabbing the car keys is a big step for me. But even with your pain it’s great that you’re able to drive and get out of the house when you want.

I’m not afraid of shots or blood withdrawal, but you seem to be pretty low-key about getting the two injections every three months since I have to believe that they are given in your back.

Alright… I think covered everything.

As always, thanks for reading.

I hope we can all be happy again one day.

Take care of yourself.

— Joe

diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #209 
Hi Joe,

I still don't know where my reply went from a few days ago............sorry about that!

I'm sorry about how your parents treated you.  I was the oldest of five and I was treated pretty much that way, too.  Wonder why!!  

Sorry that your brother is being so difficult.  He should NOT put you down, YOU are the one with your Mom all day!!  What does he think he would do if you were not there with her?

My husband is pretty good with my crying most of the time.  But, he doesn't have the patience to deal with me too long at a time!  LOL

Yes, my pre-retirement job was a pretty good job.  I didn't really enjoy the last two years or so, as I saw too much of the "greed" factor that you mentioned.  I have a real dislike for big pharma and I think they are killing us off and make a bundle of money doing so.  But, that's just my opinion.

I do go to the Y at 5am three mornings a week.  I "walk and stretch" in the water for an hour each time.  A physical therapist told me to do that, since I can't really walk for exercise or do much to exercise, but I can do that in the water and it feels really good.  It's probably what is keeping me mobile.  There are days I don't want to, but I force myself and always feel better after.  Sometimes I go and think I will go right back to bed when I get home, but I never do, as I feel better after going.  Is there an exercise place you could go to near where you live?  It may be a good thing to get in that habit.  At least you would be out of the house!! LOL

Cassie will be gone 4 months on 10/25.  It seems like forever, as I miss her so much.  She would have been 10 years old on 10/29.    I know that nothing will ever replace her, but we are considering another dog.  Life without one sucks.  At least for me.  I get it about losing a spouse.  I would not want to have another relationship, but I think that's because this one has been so good and I wouldn't want to start over.  But a dog, that unconditional love that you get nowhere else.....I want that back.  It would be different, not Cassie, I still want her back so bad.   Nights and early mornings are still the hardest for me.  

Today I took one of those six-hour online driving courses to reduce insurance.  I was sitting her sobbing as I took it, as Cassie would have been right by my side during that and I missed that so much.

You were spoiled with such a good bunny, as I was with Cassie.  I guess it's taking a leap of faith to consider another, as we know won't ever be the same, but I feel there would be "something" there.  I actually found a breeder and pups were born today.  We wanted a girl and there is only one girl, six boys.  We may go to NC to look at them in six weeks.  I would keep it there til trained at 8 months, as we can't do that part again.  I'm excited and afraid at the same time.  October has been a good month for me.  My birthday, my Mom's, my mother in law, my sister in law, my two brother in laws, my two favorite dogs, my grandson, my niece and I don't know how many others, but quite a few, so when this one came up being born in October, I feel it's an omen and I also think that since only one girl, we may choose a boy.  Something different.  Also, this is a "white" golden retriever and Cassie was a very dark Golden.  I need something a little different so I can not think of it as living up to Cassie.  Nothing ever could.

Yes, pain doc wants me to try to wait til February for two more facet injections.  Trying not to have them too often.  It gets harder in the winter though.  He's a funny guy, now he wants me to have a "tens"? unit?  He said someone will contact me about that.  I'm thankful for each day I get up and move.  

Think about getting another bunny, or dog, or cat or something?  Never hurts to "think".....sounds like you need something there besides your Mom and your brother (sorry)

I'm struggling, but I'm trying...........and crying!  LOL  I know that Cassie would want me to share my love with another in her absence and I know I will be with her again one day.

Joe, do not be hard on yourself, do what you can, I will tell you that when I first started going to the Y about 1 1/2 years ago, I went one morning a week for 20 mins.  I increased to three times/week one hour each time and now it's a habit and I actually like it.  Maybe you can find something to distract you that you will like.  

Did you send me a link to see some of your work?  Did I miss that?   I'm very tired today after that six hours at the computer......what a pain!!!

take care, Joe
Dianne





Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #210 

Hi Dianne,

I think you’re all caught up responding to my messages. There are numbers to the right side of the top of each message. Numbers 206 and 207 are your back-to-back comments which you may be referring to.

My portfolio link! I knew I forgot something! It's like when I go in the store to get "A" and instead I buy "B" and "C". In hindsight, short of my social security number, I realized my portfolio link has my direct contact info and address. So, is it alright if I send my portfolio link it to you through my email address? Just email me at "jwl2and@gmail.com" and write "Hi… it's Dianne" and I'll send the link. If not, that's alright, too. After getting my credit card hacked in April of 2010, I'm leery about revealing too much information. Not that I haven't told the readers here more than enough of my personal life!  😉

You’re the oldest of five and you’re treated like the youngest? When parents say they don’t give preferential treatment to their children, they are lying. I believe people prey on others who are compassionate and sensitive and take that as a sign of weakness rather than appreciate those traits that are lacking today.

My brother is a PUTZ and I’m being kind to avoid the profanity-laced adjectives. He’s verbally abusive. I remember years ago, my mother told me that when I was a baby in the crib, he would bother me. I’m sure that he's always been jealous, because he NEVER treats the two oldest the way he treats me.

Today was actually comfortable in the sense that he was at work in NYC and I had a nice day with my mother. I was surprised I got up at 8:45am after falling asleep at around 4:15am and stayed-up. I made pancakes for my mother and myself. Later, I looked for work online. Then went outside and did some yard work cutting the grass and leaf clean-up.


[STRANGE SEGUE]

I called my cousin, who lives here in town, to ask how is mother (my mother’s older sister) is doing. But I spoke with his wife for twenty minutes. My aunt also has dementia, but it could possibly be Alzheimer’s. Since last week, she has required twenty-four hour care and monitoring. Fortunately my aunt and my cousin are literally next-door neighbors and have connecting backyards in-case of an emergency. I didn’t know until today, but my aunt could’ve died twice this past summer including a stroke last month.

Aren't I a barrel-full of laughs?!


[ANOTHER STRANGE SEGUE 1]

I agree about the big pharmaceutical companies, too! I’m sure they have a cure for most of the diseases, but sit on them. Otherwise it would stop the funds coming in and other co.’s would start making the generic versions. At least what you disliked about your job was just before your retirement rather than early on.

I have heard about the therapeutic benefits of water exercise. I guess there’s less stress on the muscles in the water currents.

I was going to the local gym for six years until June of ’17, But I would like to start going again. And you’re right… it would get me outta the house!

Six hours?! I never knew there was an online-driving course to reduce insurance! Since having to care for my mother, my car gets very little use. When I was working in NYC, I would drive it to the town’s train station and back at night, which is about  4 miles round trip, if that. I have Geico and pay $109/month. I’ve been wanting to drive to the nearest office about 14 miles away and show them the low mileage and see if I can get that reduced.

[ANOTHER STRANGE SEGUE 2]

WOW! You’re considering adopting another dog and a male, too?! I’m totally surprised and happy for you! Four months since she left? I feel the same way. It’s approaching three months, but it does seem like years.

From past messages, I was sure your thoughts of any adoption plans were way-off in the future. What initiated the search? Was it as you mentioned… just the timing? That’s GREAT!

Then I read that you are still crying over Cassie, like not being next to you as you were taking your online driving test. I understand the mixture of emotions: missing Cassie while also wanting that happiness again with another adoption!

Just as Riley’s mom, you give me hope that I can possibly move forward one day.

But I don’t know, though. I’ll have to be emotionally better first.

Thanks for reading.


— Joe

Dogsarepeopletoo

Registered:
Posts: 109
 #211 
Interesting talk about siblings and birth order. I am an only child; I truly think that has impacted my life. In some ways, I think it is good -- I am perfectly fine being alone; when I was younger, I traveled all over the west alone. I am fine eating alone in a restaurant; I am very independent. On the flip side, I am not good at making friends. Because I tend to be a loner, I do not have many friends when I need friends.

I wonder if that is why the loss of our dog has hit me so hard -- I took her almost everywhere so I never felt lonely. She also was so unusual looking that people approached me to talk about her; it prompted me to converse with people I never would have otherwise.

Joe, the whole sibling dynamic is fascinating to me. I am continually surprised how sibling's personalities and values can be SO different. My husband is in your shoes (being the attentive adult child to an elderly parent). His brother is indifferent and inattentive to their father; he lives a 4-ish hour drive away and has been to visit their father 3 times in the last 7 years (two of those visits were when their dad moved into assisted living so the brother came to go through his power tools and belongings).
Joe_L2

Registered:
Posts: 52
 #212 
Hi Dogsarepeopletoo,

Although we differ on having brothers and sisters, we are the same otherwise.

It may sound too simple, but I believe it's the way we were raised and not the amount of people that surrounded us. As a kid, there were plenty of family members in our small house: mother, father, grandmother, three older bothers, a cat and a dog. You would think there would be plenty of love and encouragement towards each other. At least for me, there wasn't.

As I got older, I struggled trying to find my way without an ounce of self-confidence, low-self-esteem and self loathing. I had and still believe I have potential at fifty-three. But I'm finding that ageism is not only in the outside world, but sadly amongst my own family, it's aging in-reverse. My opinions and ideas still mean absolutely nothing. Being the youngest will always mean being the youngest. Other than vacations and going to baseball games and unless they're blocked-out, I don't have many happy memories of my childhood.

And after all that, you may be surprised that I'm actually very outgoing. But making friends and keeping girlfriends had always been difficult. Initially, I felt I needed to please them without caring if the friendship or love was reciprocated. After a while, I just gave up on both. But when Baby Bunny literally entered my life in October 2011 and under my house to make her home, I needed no one else. I considered her my little sister. She was my sidekick. Some people say that a parent was their inspiration in life. For me, it's Baby Bunny.

But, at least you found two loves in your life: the love of a spouse and the unconditional love of your dog. 

You're right, the sibling dynamic is fascinating and I still haven't understood it and never will. As in your example between your husband and his brother, it goes to show that family is not all that it's cracked-up to be. Every time I hear the phrase, "family is all one has", I sarcastically laugh knowing my own experience. Unless there's love and mutual respect, having siblings (and parents) and a blood link, means absolutely nothing.

Sorry… for writing so much. I'm very passionate about this topic.


— Joe


diwolff

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 #213 
Hello Riley2018
Wondering how you are doing and if you got your new puppy?

Cassie's Mom
Riley2018

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 #214 
Hi Cassie's mom,

Yep, we picked him up at the airport on Monday!  He's a wonderful little puppy--likes to look right in your eyes.  He's ridiculously cute.  He's black and white, like a Border Collie.  And he's currently occupying most of my day!  Glad I took off all week!  I had several very emotional moments though.  On Monday I just had a bit of an emotional melt down, just thinking of when I was getting ready for Riley to come home and now here I am almost 13 years later doing the same for a new pup--that and just being nervous about him being shipped and dealing with the airport and all.  Then yesterday I took the pup to Tractor Supply for a little socializing and I put Riley's soft crate in the car--that brought me to tears too.  Riley's crate still has his name tag on it.  I still have such a hair trigger for crying even with this new puppy in my life.  There are many ways in which he--and his name is Torin--reminds me of Riley.  It's just a whole new chapter of my life.  I can't say I am totally in love yet--not like I was with Riley instantly, but I'm sure I will be soon.  And he may not be another heart dog, but maybe he will.

Riley's mom
Dogsarepeopletoo

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 #215 
Riley's Mom: Ohhhh, he sounds darling! Congratulations. I can only imagine the stress of having a pup flown in. If you have time, I hope you will post a photo of him. Last week a woman was sitting in the sun with her puppy golden retriever. Oh. My. Goodness. He was at that lanky, goofball age -- so dang cute.

I bet it was emotional pulling out Riley's crate - I'm sure that wil be one of many of those moments unless you get all new things for the pup. We put some of Annie's things in a box; I stumbled on a brush the other day so opened the box for the first time in a month to add the brush. Whooo boy. That was hard. Grief comes in such waves -- we were gone with friends for about 5 days to another part of the state recently. I have been struggling a bit since we got home.

Have fun cuddling with your pup -- give her a pat from all of us!



KayG

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 #216 
My cat passed two days ago and I am lost broken and can’t even get out of bed.
My baby Leone was my everything. I moved to Italy from Australia so have left all my family and friends behind. A couple of months after I arrived a beautiful sweet orange cat arrived at my door skinny and hungry. Someone had dumped a litter in the bushes behind my apartment. Someone took 2 boys and this little orange turned up on my doorstep. I felt so sorry for him and took him in. He would become my Leone. His sister was adopted by a friend. He was my everything my constant companion and helped me through such bad times. I kept him in but he wasn’t happy and cried and scratched to go out so I relented and started letting him out. He became a indoor outside cat. We live in a quiet one way street and he was very car savvy. Then about 4 months ago I went home to Australia for a visit. I took him to stay with friends so he would be safe and cared for. After a week he ran away we presume looking for me. A lady found him and feed him and cared for him but I never stopped looking for him and we finally found each other and he came home. I will never forget that joy when I found him. I was complete and I felt like the luckiest person alive. I vowed never to let him out again. So I tried to keep him in but he was unhappy and cried and scratched at the doors and windows. So after a month I relented. He had been going out for 3 years previously with no problem. Then the fateful day. On Tuesday I left to go to the shops. I don’t have a car so I walk. When I left he was in the front garden. Then two hours later while I was at the shops I get a call from a man saying he found my cat dead. I couldn’t believe it and rushed to where he said he found it. Only about 10 metres from my house. He was lying on the sidewalk covered in a cloth. I asked the man if he had moved him off the road and he said no he found him on the sidewalk. He was perfect not a scratch on him. Just a tiny bit of blood on his mouth and his tongue was hanging out. The man said he and the guy across the road think he was poisoned by a mouse because there was a guy with a box of poisoned mice just near there. He did like to catch mice.
So now I am totally broken my baby my best friend my everything is gone and I am left all alone with family and friends on the other side of the world. When I was sad or hurt he was the one I turned to his snuggles and purrs were what brightened my day. Now I have nothing.
I feel so lost and broken I can’t get out of bed or stop crying. I don’t know how I will go on. The pain is just too much.
Kay
Rosiemay29

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Posts: 10
 #217 
The pain is indescribable, feeling lost, can't be bothered doing anything, appetite gone.
Having a feeling of guilt if I don't think of her for a minute. She used to share my dinner, always waiting patiently for a few morsels.
Me and my husband are in our 70s and Rosie was boxer 5. She came with us everywhere, was never left alone and she slept on our bed. Our home has lost it's heart.
diwolff

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Posts: 94
 #218 
Hi Riley2018

I'm so happy for you with your new boy.  Torin, what a cool name!  So happy he was able to be shipped to you and all was good.  I know the feeling of the new pup, you look into their eyes and know that the day will come when it will end, but until that day you must enjoy every single moment.

Nothing can replace Riley, but perhaps Torin can help the bleeding in your heart to stop (always keeping Riley's place in there)

Today is four months that Cassie has been gone.  I hate it.  We are actually hoping to go to NC around Thanksgiving to pick out a white golden retriever pup.  We had put down a deposit for a female, but there is only one, so they said we could look at the boys, too.  I guess around six weeks they get their personalities and we are looking for laid back and calm.  Really hoping the weather is ok or we will have to do via computer.  I thought we would never have another one, I'm not sure why/how this is happening.

Cassie was so much a part of us, I guess we don't like not having her.  Nothing can replace her either, but I'm really hoping my bleeding slows down and stops.  

Torin is very lucky to have you!  Please keep us posted as to how he is doing and how YOU are doing.

Cassie's Mom
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #219 
Hello KayG

I'm so sorry for your loss.  I think that all of us on this site know the pain you are feeling and wish we could help take it away.  It's awful, it's worse than awful.  

Sounds like you did have some great times with your Leone.   Your story is heartwarming how you took him in and tried to keep him in but he wanted to go out, too.

It's been four months (today) for me, and I still cry.  At first, that's all I did was cry, I was dysfunctional, sad, in pain, wanted to have her back so bad, it was so painful.  Now, I tell myself that she is happy, at peace, no sickness, no pain and that she would want me to be happy.  I try, but it's hard, very hard.  Sometimes I have to literally force myself to get out of bed, to do things, to talk to people, I'm afraid that if I don't, I will get further lost.

So sad to hear how Leone died, too.  But, know that you made him happy, so happy.  He had you, he had his freedom outside, he had it all.  Give yourself time to grieve in any way that works for you.  There is no right or wrong.  I sure wish there was some magic potion to help take away the pain.  I haven't found it.

Thinking of you, feeling your sadness and pain

Cassie's Mom
diwolff

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Posts: 94
 #220 
Hello Rosiemay29,

So sorry for the loss of your boxer, Rosie.  She was young, too young.

We are about the same age and your story of having her with you all of the time is close to my heart.  Our Cassie would always wait patiently, too, she never tried to take our food, just waited and if she got something, she was happy and if not, she was still happy.  

You are sure right about the pain is indescribable.  There are no words to describe it, it's really, really difficult and so many people just can't understand.  But, there are those of us who do, so feel free to write anything, anytime..........we are here.

hugs to you
Cassie's Mom
Riley2018

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Posts: 55
 #221 
Cassie's Mom and Dogsarepeopletoo,

I did post some pictures of Torin on my profile.  I don't really want to gush here about him--I feel bad about doing that here, but you can at least see the little guy.  I will tell you it is definitely an emotional roller coaster, but in some way, I don't know how much better it would be with more time. This little guy is an awesome little puppy, so sweet and in many ways already he reminds me of Riley--like when he's laying there squeaking his toys and all.  I don't know how I can be crying yet and happy at the same time.  It is really weird.  It is just weird to be posting pictures of a doggie other than Riley.  I still love him and miss him so much.  I guess I just need to keep moving through these feelings.  Torin is a wonderful little puppy, but I think it may take me a while to feel a stronger love for him.  I had a friend who told me to just beware that it will probably take a couple of weeks.  When she got her new puppy, she almost regretted it for a bit and it took her a little while to really bond with her new dog. 

I also can not express any of these feelings to anyone else except for here.  My husband knows I'm still an emotional mess and I'm sure it will get better. Like I said somewhere before, last year at this time was when I found out Riley had cancer, so here we are with those memories and a new puppy in the same week.

Torin does keep me busy though, so that will help.  Our lives keep moving and I have this new little boy now and will need to make new memories even though I have so many memories and experiences with Riley--along with so many pictures of him especially here in my office.  I keep trying to think that Riley helped in choosing this little guy for me--and thinking that is comforting.

Forever Riley's Mom
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #222 
Oh My, Riley's Mom, Torin IS adorable.  I see the resemblance, but yet different from Riley.  I can see the love in his eyes, he's so cute.  I can see where he will keep you really busy.  His paws are so big.  How big will he get?  After such heartache and pain, it's hard to believe there can be any joy, but there is he, your true joy to help you heal from Riley.  Torin will seek his own place in your heart, he would never take over for Riley.  Do not feel bad at all, seeing your little guy gives me hope.  I know those mixed feelings, the ones there are no way to describe.  

I'm so very happy for you, enjoy every moment with your little guy and know that Riley is smiling down on you both!!

Cassie's Mom
KayG

Registered:
Posts: 18
 #223 
Cassie’s Mom
I am so sorry for your loss and I thank you for your kind words.
It is comforting to know that there are people who understand your pain.
I still haven’t gotten out of bed or managed to eat. I just can’t bring myself to. I am totally lost. My friend told me I need to get out of bed and get dressed and start doing things but I just can’t. It’s so hard to explain but I literally don’t have the will or energy or want to.
I hope in time I will start to feel better but at the moment I am crushed. I feel like my life and soul have been sucked out of my and just left this shell.
I saw that you wrote you feel Cassie’s spirit around. I so much want to feel my Leone. I don’t know if I am just to caught up in grief to notice the signs. I hope soon I will get a sign to know he is still here with me.
Thank you for time and kind words it is nice to have someone to chat too
Kay
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #224 
Hi Kay,

Yes, there are those of us who do understand that awful pain.  But we also understand that joy and unconditional love, many never experience that!

You don't have to get up or eat.........you will do what you can when you can.  Having that unconditional love and then losing it is so very hard.  I know what you are referring to about just having a shell left behind.  I felt that way, too.  I was lost, confused, empty and felt like my heart was bleeding out.  I have had to force myself to do things and it is a little easier now, but I still feel the loss and pain and I still have some really difficult times.   I have felt Cassie's spirit around me, and I continue to............now it's more like a feeling that she brushes up against me and quickly leaves.  I know she's watching me and I feel her presence, but don't see her.  I didn't ask for that, it just happens.  At first, it was comforting, then frightening, now it's like a part of me, and it's good.

Leone will come to you somehow, you may not even know when it happens, but maybe after you will know.  Please give yourself the time and space you need and know for sure that everyone is different in how we work through this, but we all share the pain and we have all shared the unconditional love.........somehow we are all connected.

I've tried to analyze all of this with myself, sometimes I feel very close to understanding, then give up and figure that when I die I'll have all the answers, until then.........one day at a time

Peace to you, Kay
Dianne/Cassie's Mom
KayG

Registered:
Posts: 18
 #225 
Dianne
You are such a kind person and Cassie was so lucky to have a Mum like you.
I really want to feel Leone and know that he forgives me for not protecting him. When I got there he was already gone I didn’t even get to hold him as he passed. I want him to know that I am sorry that this had to happen to such a beautiful gentle loved boy. I keep thinking that any minute. I will hear his little paws on the floor or him at his bowl crunching his biscuits.
I am happy for you that Cassie visits you. She loves you and wants to comfort you and for you to know she’s still with you. That is a truly beautiful thing.
I hope when the time comes Leone is there waiting for me so we can once again be together and I can hold him tight.
Thank you for being here and giving me someone to talk to. It helps.
NC1983

Registered:
Posts: 12
 #226 
Hello again everyone, it’s been 5 weeks since Vanilla’s passing, and although I’m no longer crying multiple times a day, sharp and intense grief still strikes me at random times, triggered by the smallest things. This morning on my way to work I saw a golden retriever out walking with his owner, and he gazed up to his ownyevery few steps, just like what my Vanilla used to do when I took her for walks, and I lost it right there. People walking by probably thought I was crazy. I’m also experiencing some kind of delayed physical reaction - hair falling out by the handful, periodic chest pain, strange sleeping patterns (either can’t fall asleep until 3 or 4am, or sleeping until past noon on weekends with no interest to get up and do things), etc. I miss Vanilla so much, beyond words can describe, and I miss having a dog in general, but I also don’t know how I can love another dog. This is so hard
Rosiemay29

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Posts: 10
 #227 
Aw bless you, at the moment you are consumed by grief overwhelmed by it, every where you go the memories come flooding back. The pain is indescribable. I'm so sorry for your loss, we lost our darling Rosie on Saturday so I can sympathize.
Love and hugs xxxx
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #228 
Hi Kay,

You could not have protected Leone from the outside elements.  It was not your fault.  He was one lucky boy to have you, you really did give him everything that he wanted.   It sounds like he loved being outside as much as he loved being inside.  You gave him the gift to let him have both!

It's so hard, we all know how hard it is.  Do whatever you need to do and never feel bad about that!!

Peace to you

Dianne/Cassie's Mom
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #229 
NC1983

So sorry to hear about your delayed physical reaction, that doesn't sound good.  Maybe you should have that checked out to be sure nothing else is going on?

You say that you don't know if you can love another dog.  I felt that way after my "first" heart dog died.........then another dog died (not my heart dog, but I did love her).........then Cassie who was my 2nd "heart" dog.   I still am in awe that Cassie was born on my first heart dog's birthday.  I know that was meant to be.  I know I can love another dog, I just don't know if it would ever be another "heart" dog to me.  I guess you never know.   The unconditional love I got from all of our dogs was so special and treasured.  It makes everything worth doing.

I don't think there is a "time frame" when the waves of pain strike.  My first heart dog, Holly, died about 18 years ago and some things I do or see still cause me to tear up over her.  But they are happy tears now.  

Try to do something fun this weekend and I hope that you feel better.

Cassie's Mom
Rosiemay29

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Posts: 10
 #230 
Thank you for your lovely words, I'm so glad I found this forum and knowing there is someone there who understands xx

Get Outlook for Android<https://aka.ms/ghei36>
KayG

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Posts: 18
 #231 
Dianne
Thank you for your kind words again.
There is one thing I do know. No one could love Leone as much as I did. He was my everything and he had me wrapped around his little paw. I miss him so much. I am hoping to join the candle ceremony this week to honour him but for me being in Italy it will be 4am. I am going to set my alarm and hopefully join the ceremony.
Kay
KayG

Registered:
Posts: 18
 #232 
My pain is still so strong and I feel there will be no end. Everyone keeps telling me to get another cat. That it will help but the thought of getting another cat makes me want to throw up. Being without a cat is hard but I don’t want another cat I just want my Leone. Everyone calls me the crazy cat lady and I wear that badge with pride. Even on recent trip to Greece there were so many stray cats I carried a bag of cat biscuits everywhere and would feed the strays everywhere. If I saw them on the road I would make them stop the car so I could feed them. It was so sad. It seems strange to be without a cat but truly I can’t see myself getting one. Leone was my “heart” cat. He was so special and it has been such a shock. I was expecting to spend many more years with him by my side. I don’t think I could ever give my heart to another. He has taken it with him. I don’t know why life has to be so cruel and take the one thing you need the most. I feel like the pain is getting worse everyday. The loneliness stronger. I went outside yesterday to his grave but was overwhelmed with sadness that I nearly passed out. Normally I just look at it from my bedroom window. I just feel so destroyed.
I feel like people are now thinking just get over it. Get another cat but it’s not like that Leone was my Son. They just don’t seem to understand.
Thank you for listening and giving me somewhere to turn in my darkest hours. Xx
Rosiemay29

Registered:
Posts: 10
 #233 
You sound so overwhelmed, anyone that hasn't loved s pet, will never understand the anguish we go through xxx
Dippy

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Posts: 7
 #234 
So it's been 2 months and 2 days. I had a really bad week again last week, crying every day. Life feels so empty without her, the house is so quiet and I really miss her so so much. I am trying to remember the fun times and little games we played but right now it just makes the tears well up again.
Rosiemay29

Registered:
Posts: 10
 #235 
Oh you poor darling, we lost our Rosie boxer last Saturday and the pain and grief is overwhelming. Our house has lost its heart. I can really understand what you're going through
Memories don't feel important when all you want is your baby back again xxxx
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #236 
Hello Kay,

This time for you is great sadness.  We have all been there, heck, I am still there after four months.  I want Cassie back, too.  I have one of those battery candles by my bed.  It goes on every night when I go to bed.  It's for Cassie.  There are still toys floating around here and I still can't wash some of her blankets/towels.  For me, this is how I need to deal with it.  

If someone told me I would ever consider another dog soon after Cassie died, I told them no way, no how and yet, here I am ordering my puppy.  He/she will never, ever replace Cassie, but I have to stop the bleeding in my heart somehow.  My husband is very patient with me, but I know I'm not being fair to him.

You are right about being your son and your darkest hours, I felt that way, too.  In fact, our two adult children still think I'm a bit over the edge, but they have been supportive.  I am happy that you had Leone in your life to bring you unconditional love, joy and happiness.  

Trust yourself to know that you will know what you need to do and when you need to do it.  Be patient and allow yourself to "feel".

Hugs
Dianne/Cassie's Mom
KayG

Registered:
Posts: 18
 #237 
Dianne
Thank you once again for your kind and comforting words.
I also want to get one of those battery candles but are yet to find one here in Italy.
I am glad that the time has come for to accept another puppy into your life. Hopefully one day I too will be able to open my heart to another cat but now it isn’t possible. It’s is so lonely without a cat but all I want now is Leone. I hope your new puppy helps to heal your broken heart and would love to know how it all goes.
Everyone thinks I am over the edge but I don’t care. They don’t understand the pain I am in but it is comforting to know that here I found people who do.
Kay
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #238 
Hi Kay,

We won't actually pick her/him up until next June, so we will have time to see videos of training progress and growth.  But, Yes, I am ready to accept another pup.  It doesn't take away at all from me wanting Cassie back and knowing that the new one will never be the same as Cassie.   

My Cassie would have been ten years old today.  I'm not having a great day.

People who think you are over the edge do not understand.  There are those of us who DO understand, you are not alone.

thinking of you
Dianne   Cassie's Mom


diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #239 
Hi Rosiemay29,

Thinking of you.  

Cassie's Mom, Dianne
diwolff

Registered:
Posts: 94
 #240 
Hi Dippy,

When you say the house feels "empty", I so identify with that.  It's a terrible feeling.  

I guess we all need time for healing to begin somehow and help us.  

thinking of you

Cassie's Mom
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