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patches0330

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Posts: 13
 #1 
Hello, my name is Danielle. I'm new to this forum. 

This will be a long post. I just wanted to give everyone a heads up. In order to ask for advice and get proper responses, I need to explain the backstory which will take some time to read through. If you don't want to read the backstory, scroll down to the middle until you see the stars and capital letters. That's where my current issue begins. 

I am in pain. We had to put our dog to sleep on his 11th birthday (March 30, 2019). Today is April 28, 2019 and nothing has gotten better. 

I'm 23 years old and I live with my parents. I am an only child. Ever since I was a little girl, I begged my parents for a dog. I'd come home from school or the library and I'd have a new dog book in my hand. I was always reading up on them and wanted one so badly. I was so lonely without having any brothers or sisters. My parents finally agreed and we got a shih szu puppy when I was in the 4th grade. We named him Muffin. Muffin was cute, but we never really connected. My mom's aunt got very sick and we were always driving an hour to go see her which wasn't fair for the dog so we gave him to one of my dad's coworkers. I don't remember feeling sad. I might have been upset for about a week, but it wasn't devastating for me. I was fine overall. 

Fastforward to 2008. I was in 6th grade and I finally convinced my parents to get another dog. My mom saw a cute dog when she was picking me up from school one day. She asked the owners what kind and where they got her from. They told her that she was a cockapoo. When I got home from school, we went online and looked at all of the puppies. After a while, we eventually picked one out. For some reason, maybe because we were so excited, we kept looking on the website to see all of the available dogs. Then one caught our attention. A little white fluff ball with black markings. We emailed the breeder and asked if we were able to switch and she said that it wasn't a problem. We named him Patches. He was born on March 30, 2008. He went to the puppy preschool at the breeder's house and we got him delivered to us in June 2008. When the man drove up to our house and handed me Patches, the first thing Patches did was pee on me. From the moment I saw his picture online I knew that he was going to be my best friend. Then when I met him in person, those feelings were made 120% clear. He was the best dog in the whole entire world. He smiled when he was excited, when he wagged his tail his entire body would wiggle, he would bark and make different noises which we pretended were little stories that he was telilng us, and he was so, so trusting. He was the absolute most perfect dog that was put on this earth just for us. 

We moved in 2010 so that we could be closer to my sick grandma. She and Patches were best buddies. We took him to visit her all the time and he loved going to the nursing home. He'd always cheer up all of the patients. When my grandma passed away, he knew that something was wrong. Eventually, our lives got back on track. Once I was able to drive, I took him everywhere with me. We took a lot of walks, went to the park, trips to the store, my boyfriend Corey's house, the beach, you name it we did it. Patches loved every second of it. 

A few years ago, we noticed that he was limping so we took him to our vet, Dr. K. Dr. K did x-rays and told us that he'd need 2-3 surgeries to fix his neck, back, hip, and knees (they'd pop out when he walked). We didn't like that answer, so we found a new vet, Dr. S. Dr. S is the absolute best vet. He looked at Patches' health history, x-rays, and other tests, and decided that medications will keep him comfortable. He wasn't sure if he'd make it through all of those surgeries. The medications worked on and off but eventually they were regulated and helped Patches stay comfortable and be able to enjoy his life.

Everything was okay up until March 2018. One night, Patches couldn't walk. He was panting, crying when we'd try picking him up, and he refused to eat or drink anything. We took him to the ER which was basically our 3rd home besides our actual house and the vet's office. They gave him some pain meds and we followed up with Dr. S the next day. Dr. S told us that it was most likely disks in his neck and back that were pushing up on his spine. We needed to limit his activity as much as possible. We needed to keep his back straight and carry him everywhere. No stairs, no walks, nothing. He stayed on a round of steroids which we were told would help until it happened again. If it happened again, we'd be able to do another round and he should be okay. I invested in a doggy stroller which changed our lives. Patches and I were able to enjoy walks and being outside again. Things seemed to be settling down. 

That summer, I took Patches to the vet regarding his eyes. Corey and our friends told me that they seemed to be cloudy, so I took him in to get checked out. Dr. S was out that day, so we saw Dr. L. He did a full exam and told me that he had the beginning stages of cataracts, but that they were nothing to worry about and didn't seem like they'd be getting worse. I felt better hearing that. On November 1, 2018, I was grooming Patches. (I went to school for my certificate and I groom dogs on the side). I noticed that he had an ear infection, so I took him to the vet the next day which was also my 23rd birthday. Patches was down to 14 pounds from his usual 22 pounds. Dr. S asked a bunch of routine questions and decided to do blood work. On Monday, November 5th, we found out that Patches had diabetes. We went to the vet that night to learn how to take care of him. A week later he went for his follow up appointment and by that time his right eye was completely covered by the cataract. We were told that it was unlikely for him to go completely blind. By the end of the next week, besides being able to see some light through his left eye, he lost almost complete vision in both eyes. He became very depressed and anxious and stayed up crying that entire night. Nothing could calm him down, so I bought a calming music box to keep in my room next to his bed and he enjoyed that very much. It took some patience trying to teach him the layout of the house, but he got it fairly quickly. Sometimes he'd get lost and end up crying for help, but that wasn't too often. 

He ate at 7:30 and 7:30 then got his insulin at 8 and 8. He was also on 2 meds for his arthritis as well as 3 different eye drops 3 times a day for dry eye, he developed glaucoma, and he needed prednisone eye drops as well. The pred raised his blood sugar. We were always in and out of the ER. We took him to the ER the night before my boyfriend and I went on vacation to VT in the beginning of March 2019. Luckily he was okay, he just needed to go back on the pred since they tried to take him off of it. 

March 28, 2019 was the day our lives started changing for the worst. I didn't have work that day, so I was home getting some school work done for my class later that night. I noticed Patches pacing around the house and panting. He seemed very confused and uncomfortable. I told my parents all of that when they got back from dinner. We decided to wait until the next day to take him to the vet. When my dad went to pick Patches up, Patches cried out in pain. My dad called the vet back to make an appointment for that night. I skipped class and took him straight there. Dr. S wasn't in so we saw Dr. SD instead. She told me that it was the disks in his neck and back acting up again just like this same time last year. Except this time, we couldn't give him any steroids. They'd rasie his blood sugar to the point of no return. He'd go into shock, go into a coma, and then die a very painful death. She gave him an injection and sent me home with pain meds. Patches refused to eat that night. He didn't eat the next morning either. He had an appointment for 11am so I went with my mom. Dr. S was in that day so we got to speak with him about everything that was going on. Patches refused to get up. Normally he was very excited to go to the vet and Dr. S was one of his favourite people in the whole entire world. Dr. S loved him and always told us that he's his favourite patient because of how friendly and easy going he was. Dr. S was visibly upset when Patches didn't greet him at the door that day. Dr. S lifted him up onto the table to take a look. He explained to us that we didn't have many options. We could keep him there for the day to see if they'd be able to get his sugar down and get him to eat or drink, but that was just a temporary fix. He mentioned humane euthanasia which killed us to hear him say but we had to think about Patches' quality of life. He ended up sending us home with urgent care food that we could liquify and use a syringe to feed him and give him water. He gave Patches some IV and pain meds. We took him home and spent the entire day with him. 

Saturday, March 30, 2019 was Patches' 11th birthday. It was also the day we put him to sleep. When we got up in the morning, Patches refused to go eat or drink, and he struggled to go outside. Dr. S called us when he got in and asked how everything was going. My dad got on the phone and told him that we talked about it, and we were going to keep our appointment for 3:30 that afternoon, but we would be putting him to sleep. Corey came over in the morning and we spent the entire day with Patches. We took him for one final walk around the block in his stroller, got his pawprints, shared a bagel, and Corey played guitar for him which really calmed him down. That was the last thing we got to do with him before we had to leave at 2:45pm. They put us into the consultation room which had a couch, chairs, and a big dog bed in the middle of the floor. I carried Patches in wrapped up in his favourite blanket which is now lying on my bed. I also brought his favourite toy which was a tied up sock. I don't want to go into details on the euthanasia, but I'll just say that it really messed me up. I still get flashbacks of that dreaded day and it sends me into a panic. Going back to our empty house was devastating. I keep his collar on my end table next to my matching friendship bracelet. 

I suffer from depression, anxiety, and OCD. The loss of my best friend has really impacted my life. I went into a deeper depression where I refused to leave my room or eat or do anything unless I absolutely had to. I didn't go to work for a week. I tried to that same Tuesday, but I ran out crying after 20 minutes. I forced myself to go to class, but I was miserable. The week before Patches' passing, I left my therapist of 5 years to find a new one. The week after he passed away, I spent my time calling up new ones to make an appointment. I found one in the same town the vet's office is and it was terrible having to go back there. On my first day to therapy, I had to pick up Patches' ashes and pawprint. Having therapy right after that definitely helped me get through the day.

******* IF ALL OF THAT WAS TOO MUCH TO READ, HERE'S WHERE MY CURRENT PROBLEM BEGINS ********* 

My therapist reccommended getting another dog. Dr. S told my parents to wait at least a year to fully grieve and then we can start thinking about it. Just the thought of going an entire year without a buddy by my side put a knot in my stomach. I asked my friends and family for advice on how long to wait before getting another puppy. I got a bunch of mixed answers. Day in and day out I tried to convince my parents to get another puppy. I felt ready and willing to help out another little creature. I wanted a buddy to spend my time with. I lost my purpose once Patches left us and I needed a reason to get out of bed in the morning. My parents reluctantly agreed, and I started applying for dogs through some adoption websites. We kept being a day or two too late because the dogs we applied for were already taken but they were never removed off of the website. I should have taken that as a sign. 

I found a really cute 2 month old terrier mix. I picked him because they said he'd be small, doesn't shed, is a puppy, and is still available. We got approved the next day. I called my mom while I was at work and we talked about it but she didn't seem too excited. She told me that we should still wait because maybe a better dog would come along and that we're rushing into this and she wished that I'd wait and be more patient. Eventually we decided to go ahead with the adoption. We picked him up this past Saturday, April 27, 2019 at 2:00am. I thought he was the cutest little thing when I first saw him. I went with my dad and Corey. Corey took a video of the moment I saw him and I was in tears at the sight of him. He was so tiny in the guy's arms. He said that "he's our littlest traveller!" I want to like him, I really do. The days prior were filled with running around to get supplies and ordering the rest online. Corey and I went to the store on Wednesday and I started crying when we were buying puppy toys. It's supposed to be a happy and exciting time, but I felt none of that. I saw a "best friends" dog sweatshirt which made me sad because that's something I would have bought for Patches. He was my best friend and in that moment I felt as though no other dog would be able to take his place like that. It was in that moment I realised that I might not be ready like I thought I was. Picking out the toys only made things worse because they reminded me of the time we did that for Patches. Once we got our new dog home, it really hit me. The reality slapped me in the face and I broke down. Patches was gone and never coming back. I think that during the period in between losing Patches and finalising the adoption for our new dog, I was half-hoping that Patches would be coming back to us. Then when we took our new dog home, it made me realise that he's really gone and that I'll only see him in pictures. I'm trying to like him. We changed his name to Jackson. He's been staying in his playpen but I'll take him out to run around the house. He's learning things very quickly, but I don't feel anything towards him. I find him adorable and cute, but that's about it. I don't feel any connection towards him whatsoever. I keep being told that it'll grow over time, but I'm skeptical. 

I was crying all day yesterday (his first day at home with us) because I realised just how mentally unavailable I really am. I thought that the new puppy would give me something to look forward to, but whenever I look at him, I think of Patches. They look absolutely nothing alike, but I keep thinking about our memories and time spent together and how I'll never get to experience that with him again. I read that you'll know you're ready to get another dog when your memories bring happiness and laughter instead of sadness and tears. Once you stop crying at every thought of your old dog, you're ready to start moving on. That is absolutely not me at all, but I wanted it to be. I wanted to be ready and I think I forced myself into it too soon. 

I don't want to be unfair to this new puppy. He deserves all of the love and affection in the world, I'm just not sure that we're the right match for him. I don't know if we can give him all that he needs and deserves. I don't doubt that we're great pet parents. We did everything imaginable for Patches, but I'm completely drained and worn out. I thought that getting another dog would fill the void and give me purpose and a routine again, but I'm just flat out exhausted. I feel like I don't have anymore love to give. I gave EVERYTHING to Patches. All of my love, care, affection... I gave all of that to him. Our lives revolved around Patches and now that he's gone, he took a lot of me with him. I don't have a lot of love, if I have any at all, to give to this new little guy. I feel like he'd be a great dog for us if we were ready, but I don't think that we are. I don't want to base everything off of just the 2 days that we've had him, especially since I've only gotten 7 hours of sleep between the 2, but I'm scared. I'm in pain and I'm scared. I can't shake the feeling that we rushed it and made a mistake. The application states that if the dog is not a good fit, we need to let them know so that they can rehome him. The thought of that kills me because he seems to really like us and I think he's a very good and nice dog... but again, I don't know if we're there yet. 

I talked to my parents and Corey about it. My parents told me that I have 2 weeks to make a decision. My mom doesn't like the idea of having to train a dog again, especially since they're both retired and want to go out and do things. I'm taking Jackson to the vet tomorrow with my mom and Corey and we're going to talk to the vet about everything. Then on Thursday, I have therapy. I will be speaking to her about my feelings as well. I need to get some professional opinions as well as opinions from friends, family, and strangers. 

How do I know which decision is the right one? I don't want to give up on caring for Jackson too soon, but I also don't want to waste time when another family can have him instead. I want to work with him and try to connect with him. I spent over half an hour today just talking to him all about Patches. He fell alseep on my lap. I'm nervous to try connecting with him because if we do decide to rehome him, I'll have to grieve another animal too. I'm also worried about deciding to give him up but then changing my mind after it's too late. I don't want to have any regrets and right now I feel like I'm going to be in a tough situation no matter what. Keeping Jackson won't bring Patches back. Giving Jackson away won't bring Patches back. 

I've been trying to memorialise Patches the best that I can. I've been writing and creating things in his memory. I feel like I need more time to do that and deal with my thoughts and emotions. Whenever I get into a depressive episode I close myself off from the world and stay inside. Now that we have Jackson, he's forcing me to get out of bed and go outside... which, ironically, is what I wanted. But now that I have it, I just want some alone time. The thought of giving Jackson back has me feeling sad but at the same time I'm also okay with it. I keep going back and forth between being excited having him in my life, and sad that I feel like I've made a mistake. 

Patches taught me about love, kindness, and patience. I feel like this was a test and I failed him. I wasn't patient enough to wait for him to send us a new friend or for our pain to subside enough before looking. I feel guilty and like I've betrayed him and like I'm being disloyal. I never wanted to hurt him, but I feel like I am now. 

If you have read all of this, thank you for your time. If you reply, thank you for your response. 

I think talking about this and giving people the opportunity to listen has helped me a little bit.
Mondo

Moderator
Registered:
Posts: 981
 #2 
Hello,

 So sorry for your pain.  I'm well out of the deep grief phase, but grief is a journey.  So Tuffy left 5 years ago and Toby 4.  Losing Tuffy was the hardest loss of my life, including my parents.  Toby was hard, but not as soul crushing as Tuffy.  

  Toby passed 11 months to the day after Tuffy.  It was like losing Tuffy again too, "The Boys" who had been my posse for 13 years was no longer.  A month after losing Toby, we adopted Ellie and Missy, from a rescue group.  

  It was mainly my wife's idea.  I went along with it willingly, but had planned on waiting longer.  It was very strange the first few months.  I was crying daily and yet happy to have The Girls.  For me, taking care of The Girls was honoring Tuffy and Toby.

  I couldn't care for them anymore, but could take care of Ellie and Missy.  4 years later I still my boys, still have their dog tag on my key chain, still take it out once in a while on our walks and hold it to my heart. Still tear up (like now) when thinking about them.  But I love the girls with all my heart and am so happy they are in my life, and I in theirs.  I was really concerned the first month or two that the connection would not, could not happen.  It took much longer than with the boys. Where with them it was days, with the girls it was many weeks, a few months.  But each relationship is different, every love is different.

 Again, so sorry.  Things are tough.  The choice is yours.  I have no regrets with the path we took.

Hugs,
Tuffy, Toby, Ellie and Missy's Dad
xo
patches0330

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #3 
Mondo, I'm sorry for your loss. Patches was the first dog that I've ever lost and so I've never had to deal with this kind of pain before. I'm glad that things worked themselves out for you. Unfortunately, my parents are only giving me 2 weeks to make a decision on whether or not we're going to keep Jackson. I feel like I need more time and 2 weeks isn't enough to try and build a connection. My connection with Patches was immediate and when I didn't feel that towards Jackson it upset me because I don't know if we're meant to be his forever family. I feel like I'll never be able to love another dog again. I gave all of my love to Patches & I don't have any to give to Jackson.
Karmacat

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Posts: 111
 #4 
Since Jackson is with, I would think you should keep him for some time more. You probably took him on too soon after losing Patches but it's likely this new dog will gain a place in your heart soon enough if you give it a bit more time. Though you may feel unable to open up emotionally at the moment, just be sure to take good care of Jackson in the meantime. If after 3 or 6 months, you still feel like you would rather not have Jackson in your life, then you could arrange for a new family for him. Jackson is not Patches replacement or substitute but a new dog buddy that hopefully you may be surprised to fall in love with a little down the road.
patches0330

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Posts: 13
 #5 
Karmacat, my parents are only giving me 2 weeks to decide :(
Karmacat

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Posts: 111
 #6 
Oops missed the part about the 2 week deadline, sorry! If you are able to take good care of Jackson physically, I would think you should keep him. I just feel confident that you will open up to him in time, though it may take longer than two weeks..
patches0330

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Posts: 13
 #7 
Karmacat, That's okay!! 

We took Jackson to the vet last night for a checkup and so that everyone could meet him. We expressed our concerns and had a heart to heart with our vet. He understands where we're coming from and told us that it's completely okay to rehome the dog. It wouldn't be fair to him or to us if we kept him knowing that we're still grieving the loss of our best friend. We can't give him everything that he needs which may end up causing training/behavoural problems down the road. We want him to be happy and we feel like there's a better match out there for him. One of the vet techs offered to adopt him, so I contacted the rescue last night explaining everything that has been going on. They're going to give her a call tomorrow to see if she wants to go ahead with the adoption process. 

It hurts having to say goodbye to Jackson, but we just aren't ready. We keep accidentally calling him Patches or we'll have to stop ourselves before we do. If this were different circumstances and we were ready for another dog, Jackson would be our perfect match. Unfortunately, we're just not at that point yet. The vet suggested waiting at least a year to fully grieve, but I told him that my therapist suggested getting another dog to help with that process. Clearly that didn't work. It actually seemed to make things a thousand times worse. 

Jackson needs a lot of care and attention, which is something we thought we could handle at this time. I realised that if I can't properly take care of myself, I can't take care of him. I haven't slept well since last Friday. I've been messing stuff up at work and not working as quickly as I usually do. I'm physically and emotionally drained. I gave all of my love to Patches and I don't have anymore left for Jackson which is completely unfair to him. He deserves so much more. 

I'm hoping that the vet tech is willing and able to adopt him because I feel very comfortable thinking about him living with her. They had an immediate connection and when she first saw him, it looked like she was about to cry. I set him down on the exam table and she walked around to the other side. Once she got our file out, he ran up to her and put his two front paws onto her shoulders and leaned his head against her chest while she asked us questions and wrote everything down. When she left, the doctor came into the room. After speaking with him about everything, he told us that the tech that checked us in said that if we didn't want to keep him she'd love to take him. 

I feel better knowing that I'm not a bad person for this. The doctor continued to tell us that we shouldn't feel guilty because we want to help the dog. We want to do what's best for him, and if that means giving him to another family then that's totally okay. Then a year from now or whenever we're actually ready, we can let him know and he'll help us through every step of the adoption process. It's a great feeling knowing that our veterinarian is on our side and is willing to work with us through everything. He's a wonderful guy and we're so grateful for him. 

Knowing that Jackson will be going to a forever home makes me happy. I realised that I need some peace and time to think. I was trying to rush through the grieving process so that I'd feel better sooner, but that didn't go as planned. I don't regret adopting Jackson. He helped us realise our true feelings and now we have a better understanding of our thoughts and emotions which will help us to work through this pain in a much better way than before. I have many more ideas in mind to help me along the way such as art, therapy, writing, and music. Once we got Jackson, everything felt rushed and I was stressing out about how I didn't have any time to work on myself. Since we got him, all of my time and energy has been focusing on him which yes, is a distraction, but I don't want that. I don't want to ignore my pain. I want to work through it and understand all of the different stages and levels of this grieving process. I don't want to push my sadness and hurt and anger aside because I will never truly be at peace. 
Karmacat

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Posts: 111
 #8 
Hi Patches0330

Thanks for that detailed update. It's true that the grieving process over Patches is likely to be long drawn, so the decision to rehome Jackson is fine. You're just want the best for the dog and it seems like you might have found a perfect forever home for him. I hope everything works out fine for both Jackson and yourself.

If your grieving gets too difficult, please visit here and talk to the people here. There are some wonderful angels here who will do their best to lend emotional support and an understanding ear, which can be frankly hard to find in the outside world.
patches0330

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Posts: 13
 #9 
Karmacat, 

Thank you for the kind words. I'm struggling really badly with the loss of Patches. I don't know what to do with myself and I feel so lost. I don't see any light at the end of this; I only see darkness. It's too difficult going through life without my best friend by my side. He always knew how to make me feel better when I was upset and I feel so lonely. I'm just not ready to open my heart for another dog just yet. 

A lot of people in the outside world don't fully understand the depth of pain one goes through when they lose a pet. It's hard to explain which makes it difficult for them to understand. I'm glad that I found this forum. 
Karmacat

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Posts: 111
 #10 
Hi Patches0330

There are no words that can really make the loss and pain better, or go by faster. To this day, I am shocked and amazed how long and deeply I grieved over my Karma cat who departed on 8 Dec 2017. I still tear up regularly about it even today.

One thing I learned is that you can't rush grieve. I too, thought I could power through it and finish with it in a week, a month or a year. Now it feels like I will always feel sad when I think of her. When I encountered people who expressed grieve over their pets that passed on years ago, I was bewildered and thought it was strange. But of course now I completely get it, having had the pleasure of experiencing it for myself.

Sorry, I wish I could frame the whole thing more positively. But with great love comes the deep pain when our darling pets are no longer with us. I find it so strange that a cat could touch my heart in a way no human ever did, how very odd is that?
DanC

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Posts: 25
 #11 
Hi Karmacat,

I believe a reason an animal can touch our heart greater than a human is due to the truly unconditional love shared with the beloved pet. Your cat never had any ill will toward you (maybe some questionable glares during the vet visits). Your cat never judged you for mistakes you made or perceived mistakes you thought you might of made. The perceived mistakes is that judgment we humans have for ourselves and at time others. Your cat was always there for you and probably greeted you when you got home. I, like you, never thought an animal could express so much love with us flawed humans. Maybe, they never seen us as flawed or more likely never cared as they only had love in their hearts. Our hearts can become hardened through the years, but a loved cat heart will always remain open.
Karmacat

Registered:
Posts: 111
 #12 
Hi DanC

Thanks for that perceptive post. I'm once again thinking of K cat, so I will venture a response..

It's true that relationships with other people is often complicated by the many things you mentioned. Also, feelings seem to change over time, in ourselves and in others. Love can change to hate or indifference over time.

For me, I never felt that my cat necessarily loved me very deeply. They are not wired like us. I feel like with the cat, we are free to love them just for nothing. We do not expect anything back from them. K cat was not extremely affectionate, being originally a feral cat. That was fine by me, though it would have nice if she was more cuddly or more lap friendly. But these things were unnecessary for me to love her deeply.

Perhaps it was because I was able to feel something approaching unconditional or altruistic affection for the cat, wanting her to be well and happy without wanting something back in return. I can't say I've ever been able to achieve that with any person. I always wanted, expected something back with people, at least an approval or respect or something. But this just wasn't the case with K cat. If she could have lived on in a healthy state with somebody else, that would probably have been fine with me. All that really matters is her welfare.

Anyway, there is an unreasoning quality about this whole thing. All of the people sharing here is evidence that I am certainly not unique at all in my feelings. The depth of the grief and emotional pain is evidence of the deep bond that has arisen and I don't really need to ask why or how it came to pass. It's just there, that I know for sure. I really don't know if I will ever get past the trauma of her illness and euthanasia - only time will tell. It will take lots of time, I suspect...
patches0330

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Posts: 13
 #13 
Karmacat, 

There are some people who can get another pet within a week or two, others a few months, and others years or even never. I'm not sure where I fall, but I know that a month wasn't long enough. I tried to rush it but it made me feel worse. I guess in a way it helped me to realise that I'm nowhere near ready to get another pet. I always knew that I'd be devastated when Patches passed away. I was preparing myself for it for years because he had a lot of ups and downs. Preparing for it didn't help when the time came, though. It hurt just as bad as I thought it would. 

Pets touch our hearts in ways we cannot explain. I'm so happy that I found this group because I feel like I don't have to explain myself. You guys have gone through the same type of pain and you understand the hurt that comes with losing a best friend. 
patches0330

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Posts: 13
 #14 
DanC, 

I saw a post on facebook that said, "You may have many best friends, but your dog has only one." That goes for cats and other animals as well. Their lives revolve around us and ours revolve around them. Yes we have other friends and family, but at the end of the day, our pets are our lives. They don't judge, hate, hurt, make fun of others, or any of that. A while ago, my boyfriend asked me why I like dogs so much. I said, "because they don't make fun of me." When I said that through my tears, he started crying as well. I've been struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD for most of my life. I'm 23 now. People can be so mean and cruel, but I always knew that I had Patches to keep me company and love me when I felt like nobody else did. We grew up together. I'm an only child and my parents got him to keep me company. I was 11 when he came home to us. He was 11 when he passed away. 

Pets live in the moment. I saw a comic of a picture of a man and his dog sitting on a bench. The man had 3 thought bubbles all thinking about different things. The dog only had one thought bubble... All he was thinking about was being there in that moment and sitting with his favourite person. The man didn't even have that thought in his head; his thoughts were everywhere but there. Pets teach us so many great life lessons. I'm trying to focus my grief on the good times and lessons that my boy taught us. 

My goal is to be the person Patches thought I was. I need to live up to his expectations. 
DanC

Registered:
Posts: 25
 #15 
Hi Patches0330,

You are already the person Patches thought you were, as he loved you unconditionally.  Patches did not have any future concept or construct of the person you should be, but rather loved you for the person who you are.  You have already stated that Patches never judged you, and since it is written on the internet it must be true. 😉 😉 😉  Therefore, I'm concerned you are trying to live up to an image you constructed of how you should be and attributing this belief onto Patches.  By all means do some self-examination, but be realistic that this is the type of person you can honestly grow into, including the flaws?

You have already demonstrated intellect, courage, compassion and a kind heart.  You mentioned the mistake or perceived mistake you made with adopting Jackson, during your time of immense grief.  Your heart was in the right place, but your mind was impaired by overwhelming emotions.  We should not measure a person by the mistakes they made, but rather how they respond to the situation.  Otherwise, we will never love, or for that matter experience affection towards others and ourselves.  You took ownership of the problem and found him a loving home where he might one day experience the unconditional love and bond similar to Patches.  As you grown from an adolescent to a young adult, Patches never stopped loving you along the way. 

The one thing I'm sure of is as you continue to grow, throughout your life, you will make many mistakes along the way, especially if you have children.  😉  I don't need to recount the mistakes, missteps and mishaps I have committed, however, each one had a role in shaping the person I'm today.  My flaws are only one aspect of my overall personality.  I'm am only human, after all!
patches0330

Registered:
Posts: 13
 #16 
DanC, 

I was the most patient and caring person towards Patches. In my everyday life, though, I was not. I'm the most impatient person when it comes to everything else, but with him that's all I was. I want to try being more patient with every aspect of my life. I believe that he is trying to teach me patience, especially now since we tried to rush the grieving process. Once again, I let my impatience get the best of me. 

I just want Jax to live in a home that can give him everything he deserves. I'm sad that it won't be with us, but we needed to do what's best for him. 

I don't have any children yet, but hopefully someday!! It's important to learn from the mistakes, but for me, I never learned from my impatient tendencies. They've gotten me into trouble in the past, but I continue to do it. I'm trying to be better.
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