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Posts: 1
So, just to give a little bit of history and maybe help others understand more, I've not had many good experiences with pets. My first pet, a kitten, died at 8 months after having a run in with a dog and getting her head stuck in a fence. My second cat stuck around a while longer, maybe two years, before she just disappeared. Just recently, last Saturday, my closest companion and dearest friend, a dog named Scout, was hit by a car and killed at 17 months.

I'm really distressed over this and feeling very guilty- I'm sixteen, but somehow I feel like all of this is my fault. I love having pets, and I love each one as individuals and do my best to give them all the love and care possible. However, as someone who is emotionally very damaged from past life experiences and relies on pets to cope, how do I cope without having them around? I don't feel ready for another pet, and I don't know if I ever will. Any thoughts? ANything would be helpful.

Posts: 6
My heart goes out to you. It’s so hard to lose a pet because to most of us they’re furry family members. I have a story that might help you. I had a dog named Chewy back when I was in high school. She went everywhere with me until I started working at a new job. I left her home at my parents and only saw her every few days. She passed very unexpectedly and was only 5 years old. Needless to say, I was shocked and so lost/sad without her. I also felt incredibly guilty for not being there with her daily. When she passed, I didn’t want another dog to take her place. It took me about 2 1/2 years before I was ready to accept another dog into my life. When I did, it was a wonderful experience and I got to spend 13 years with Belle. Belle just passed last week and I’m once again sad and feeling guilty, but I know in time that my thoughts will change more to remembering all of the fun we had together and joy she brought to my life. It’s okay to be sad and not be ready for another pet. Some people want a new pet to help fill the void and others need more time to deal with their loss - to each their own - there is no right or wrong. You loved your dog and it will take time to work through all of the emotions you’re feeling. I hope that this helps you and I wish you peace in your heart

Posts: 1
Your not alone. The hearts of everyone in this place, are going through it with you, and yet all alone. For some reason, we love them so much that we feel we could have done something differently and that leads to guilt. Even if there was something specific you could have done differently, whatever happened wasn't out of lack of love for Scout. Scout knew that and he still does. It will only break Scout's heart if you blame yourself. A part of Scout will always be with you.

Posts: 46
I echo what the others said, but would like to add some tips.   Usually the best thing for cats is not letting them outside, which many cats are fine with if they have windows to look out of, and if the house isn't too cramped.  Or, if you have yard space, you can get or build a totally fenced in run (fenced on top also), that would allow them to be outside on the grass but would protect them from dogs, cars, and other threats.  

For dogs, a similar thing would be good, i.e. a fenced-in yard he can run around in, especially if you can't take him for a walk every day.  And if you do go for walks with him, always on a leash is best if you don't have a dog park or some other safe place he can run in but not run off on his own.  You could also get a tracker for your dog in case it did get lost or escape.  It fits on his collar and sends out a signal that you can pick up on a cell phone and see exactly where he is (within a certain distance anyway).  I'm planning to get one for my young dog, because he's likely to want to take off on his own if he could.

When I was a kid in the city, we had two dogs that we would let out and never knew where they went and what they had done while outside.  Amazingly they both lived to be old dogs, but one of them did come home one day with a bullet in his leg that resulted in permanent damage.  That was before bylaws regarding dogs roaming freely were in place in our city.  We were naive, and lucky that they both survived, but it so easily could have gone the other way.

Good luck with your future pets, and may they have long healthy happy lives with you.

Posts: 46
Forgot to mention, getting your pets microchipped is also  a good idea.  If they get lost and someone finds them, a vet or a shelter can read the information and contact you.

Posts: 3
I've had 7 cats all of which were either run over, disappeared, had major cat fights or became ill with no hope of recovery.  They were all indoor/outdoor cats.  I think keeping them in probably would have kept them alive.  They were all sweet kitties and I was sad to lose them.  But the old saying "Curiosity killed the cat" is so true.  They are curious animals and tend to ignore danger in order to satisfy their curiosity.  So losing a  kitty or more than one kitty is not an oddity.  They get themselves into trouble as a regular occurance.  You aren't at fault.  It is their natural character.  However you can sort of keep them out of the more serious kinds of trouble by keeping them in at least at night.  So don't take all the fault on yourself.

This last weekend we had to put our sweet little Yorkie to sleep.  She was dying of liver cancer and kidney failure.  I felt so guilty.  I cried nonstop because I didn't want to let her go.  But we can't always save our pets from themselves.  If we could, we'd be God.  One caution with dogs was given to us in her first doggie training class was "the leash is your best friend."  If they wear a leash, you can keep them from getting into danger and if the get loose, you can at least step on their leash to stop them from running off.  You probably didn't have time yet to learn this.  We love to give our pets their freedom, but we also have to reign them in to stop them from getting into trouble.

Now you've learned something new.  Your little friends are on the other side of the rainbow bridge having a wonderful time chasing each other and squirrels and mice and napping anytime they want.  And you can use what you've learned in the future with new pets which I'm sure you will have one day.  Sending you big hugs.

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