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cymro

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Posts: 25
 #1 
It's 9 weeks since Tinker left. My grief over losing him has been absolute hell. As well as dealing with the grief over Tinker I find I'm also now worrying constantly about losing Gwen. She's 13.5 now but still in pretty good health, though she's slowing down. Getting Bob, a 5 year old JR Terrier rescue, 4 weeks ago has given Gwen a real boost and she plays like a much younger dog. But I see the creeping grey hair around Gwen's face and the milky colour of her eyes and I'm reminded that she's an old dog. I am so anxious about the future and I dread the day I'll lose her. Tinker went suddenly and unexpectedly which has made me so afraid I'll lose Gwen in a similar way.

Is this worry about Gwen part of the grief process over Tinker? I don't want to be worrying like this for the rest of Gwen's life. How do I deal with this? I'd be grateful for any thoughts and ideas.

Many thanks

cymro
miggymok

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Posts: 41
 #2 
Hi Cymro,

I am sorry for the loss of your Tinker. I think that losing him has made you more aware of Gwen's age and of course dreading the day you have to part. My wonderful Harry left me five days ago but he had been in declining health for a while. I tried, whenever I started obsessively worrying about him, to just do something with him - take him for a walk, play with him, sit quietly with him and scratch him and talk to him. It kind of distracted me from worrying about the future that I couldn't really know or change and made me concentrate on the time that he was still here. I won't say I stopped worrying, but the special times that we had have comforted me a little now that he isn't here. You can drive yourself crazy with what ifs but that just wastes time that you can spend loving Gwen and enjoying her right now.

I hope you have a long time yet to love her.

Best wishes,

Joy (miggymok)
EliseT

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Posts: 2,172
 #3 
Dear Cymro,

I am sorry that you are feeling this way, consumed with worry over Gwen and the time you may have left with her. I don't know, but in my opinion I think what you are experiencing is part of the grief process. It hasn't been that long since you lost Tinker, so it's pretty natural to be afraid of losing Gwen in the same way, especially given the fact that Tinker declined so suddenly.

It is difficult to let go of fear and worry, but if we live our lives that way, then we completely miss out on the present moment, which is where life is. Most of us either live in the past or in the future, very few of us know how to experience our "right now". I would encourage you, as Joy did, to enjoy Gwen every moment of every day that you have with her. When your mind goes into worry mode, just hold her, pet her and be thankful that you are with her right now. All of our lives, including Gwen's, must end sometime...life is so precious...to lose even a moment of our present...it's not like we get that time back, once it's gone it's gone. I know, easier said than done to shut off the worry thoughts, but there are teachings available, such as mindfulness practice and training, that can help greatly when it comes to gaining control over unwanted thoughts, and living life where it is meant to be lived, in the here and now.

Wishing you all the best,

Elise, Buddy's mom

cymro

Registered:
Posts: 25
 #4 
Dear Miggymok & EliseT

thank-you for your kind words & insight. I think you're so right, I will try to focus on being present in the here and now with Gwen and Bob.

I've started a mindfulness meditation course (an audio course by Jack Kornfield). I'm hoping this will help me to live in the present moment more.

I'm so sorry for your losses of Harry and Buddy - thank-you for taking the time to help me with my grief.

Best Wishes

Leyton

electric_monk

Registered:
Posts: 82
 #5 
Hi Cymro,
I am sorry for your loss of Tinker.
In 2011, my dog Bubba underwent surgery to remove a tumor from his rear leg. The surgeon was only able to remove about 30% of the tumor, but at least it wasn't cancer. It appeared and grew so quickly, I thought it would only be a few months before he would be unable to walk at all. After consulting with my vet, I decided the best thing was just to spoil him rotten until he couldn't walk. I was pretty upset at the prospect of losing my best friend so I decided to treat every day as if it was his last. As the weeks turned into months and he was still able to get around without problems the dread decreased. The thought of losing him was still in the back of my mind, but I was able to enjoy having him with me without the constant fear of having to make the decision to put him out of his misery. He made it almost 3 years before his legs finally gave out on him 20 weeks ago today. I am very thankful that I got almost 3 more years with my buddy that I never expected.
Try not to worry about losing Gwen, just enjoy the time you have with her. She may surprise you and live several more years. We know when we get them that we will probably outlive our beloved pets, we can't let that knowledge overshadow all the good that they bring to our lives.

Dan
EliseT

Registered:
Posts: 2,172
 #6 
Hi Leyton,

You're welcome - I am glad you looked into a mindfulness course...the one I am taking mentions Jack Kornfield. I am taking one that I ordered through "The Great Courses" website, with Dr. Mark W. Meusse. It is excellent, and it has helped me and will continue to as time goes on.

I really appreciate Dan's reply to you - his personal story about how Bubba stayed with him an extra three years. Just think, if he hadn't treated each day with Bubba as their last day together, he would have missed out on sharing the present with Bubba. It may have been a blessing in disguise for them both. As he says, we know we'll more than likely outlive our pets but would we not take that risk of grief for the joy they bring us while they are here? These babies need our love so much, they look to us for everything and they ask so little in return.

Sending hugs your way,

Elise, Buddy's mom



cymro

Registered:
Posts: 25
 #7 
Hi Dan & Elise

Thank-you for your replies, which have helped me. I think I'm improving with this now but I'm still finding it hard though. I am making the most of every moment with Gwen now and trying not to worry about the future.

I've also got the "The Great Courses" mindfulness course which I purchased through Audible. I've bought various books and audiobooks to try to cope with the grief since Tinker left 11 weeks ago. I have definitely found the mindfulness ones helpful.

Here's a picture of Gwen in 2004, and 10 years on a picture taken a few weeks ago with Bob.

Best Wishes

cymro

[image]  [image] 
cymro

Registered:
Posts: 25
 #8 
It's nearly 4 years later and Gwen joined Tinker at the rainbow bridge last friday. She was nearly 17. I had hoped she would reach 17 but she was tired and in pain from arthritis and had other medical issues which were getting worse amd reducing her quality of life. I decided that I didn't want any more interventions or treatments or for her to have to be away from me in hospital.She woul have hated that. I had been to the vet with her so much over the last year but her body was failing from old age and the vets could do little to help. I agonized for days but then decided that I had to give her the release she needed no matter how much pain losing her caused me. I took her to the vet to be PTS. It was so peaceful and gentle and she slipped away in my arms.
I am overwhelmed with grief and guilt - I knew I would be but I had to do this for her.
She was such a beautiful loving girl. I would have done anything to keep her with me if she could have stayed healthy and happy. Part of my mind is beating me up that I let her go too soon, but I had to make sure she didn't suffer. She had a wonderful life and I will always cherish the many happy memories of Gwen and Tinker.

My little rescue JRT Bob who I adopted after Tinker died is confused and missing Gwen. As soon as my grief will allow I will look for a new playmate and companion for him - this will be tough for me emotionally but if I can rescue another little dog and give her a good life then this will be my tribute to Gwen and Tinker my beautiful loyal and loving companions.

Cymro
Tanker_1

Registered:
Posts: 67
 #9 
((hugs))
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