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Pet Loss Grief Support Message Board
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Posts: 2
My dog, a 12 year old Cavoodle named Benji, was sick. He was really sick, he had kidney disease and arthritis in his back legs that just stopped him from moving all too well. One day I came home from my volunteer job at an animal shelter and I was preparing to go out and do my assignment work, when my mum walked into my room with Benji trailing behind her. He was having an anxiety attack - as he did often towards the end - and I immediately picked him up and took him to sit on a chair in the family room.

He was hyperventilating but got a little less anxious in my arms so I gently kept patting him and hugging him all I could. I cancelled what I was going to do for my assignment and I told my parents that we needed to take him to the vet. I could just feel something was wrong. And so we did that night, my sister bawling her eyes out and having an anxiety attack of her own - we knew what was coming we just needed confirmation. The vet told us that it was time, and I went home with my dad just clutching Benji as tight as I could.

That was on a Friday. The next day my dad and I took him to our local lake where he always used to love to run around, chase water lizards and birds, and just sniff around. It was honestly amazing that I got to see him so happy that day, and I will forever treasure that. The next day, the Sunday, my sister and my dad did the same thing but he just wasn't the same as he was on the Saturday even. He'd gone downhill more. On the Monday morning, my dad and I took him to the vet to get him put to sleep.

Now Benji was my best friend for 12 years. I never had many friends, I was bullied for years at school which damaged my mental health, but I always had Benji. I was 5, nearly 6 when we got him so I barely remember life without him. It was so hard to take him to the vet. I was crying immensely, and I never cry but what can you expect I guess. I wanted to be there for Benji's last moments and so I took him into the room with my dad and I hugged him as tight as I could. He had his head on my arm, and his paw next to his head and it honestly felt like he was telling me that it was okay, and that he was ready. I hugged him, crying, until he went to sleep but I left before they added the last injection. I couldn't stay, and so my dad and I left.

For days I was practically bedridden. Benji and I had such a special connection, a bond that none of my other family members had with him. He wouldn't eat unless I was around him, he'd always come to greet me when I came home and gave me the cold shoulder whenever he knew I was going to leave for uni, or school, or my job at the shelter. He slept a lot - especially towards the end - but he always let me cuddle him. Whenever my family was watching something in the living room, Benji would be on the floor and I'd be there with him. He'd put his head on my neck and go to sleep. He'd done that since he was a puppy.

It's been a month, and I still feel like I'm drowning in grief. Not all the time, during the days I'm mostly okay until something reminds me of Benji. At night though, I'm not sleeping, I'm crying and I'm just not okay. Even as I type this it's 1am in the morning and I've got tear stains down my cheeks and a migraine because I've been crying over Benji. I know I eventually want to get another dog - I can't live without them and they make me so happy - but I know that no matter how much I might want one right now, I can't give another dog the attention they need because I'm still grieving Benji. I just miss my bud so much and it hurts to think about him. I've made a little memorial to him - a little box with his photo that I keep his collar in - and I wear a necklace with his picture in it practically all the time whenever I'm out of the house - which isn't much at the moment but what can you do - but nothing is ever enough to help me move on. Working at the shelter is helping somewhat. I'm getting to spread my love for dogs around to the animals that really need it and it just makes my day to see a dog that I've grown quite fond of. I know whatever dog I get next, I'll probably want to be from that shelter but I think I'd know my next dog when I see them. There've been heaps of dogs I've grown a connection with, but I know they're not right for me or my family.

Anyway...advice would be appreciated but this forum has been mostly used for me to just talk about it, because at home practically everyone is fine now, but I'm not and I'm still getting sad.

Posts: 39
I'm so sorry. I can't write much because it's too hard. It's been a week today since I lost my big cat boy, Coco. Same age as Benji. He was more like a dog. Always with me, talking to me, slept with me. A clown. So many things about him that I absolutely adored. A love that made me melt, and he felt the same. The first 2 days after he was gone I felt completely numb. Now I'm past that, but a constant ache for him. The apartment feels so empty. I have a few friends who feel grief as deeply as I do and that has been the most help. Also reading the stories here helps somehow. It's hard not to focus on only the final days when they've been gone such a short time. Remembering how much love you gave each other and how lucky you both were to have each other is important. Now the tears are coming again. We'll get through this, not over this. Not the first time for me but hurts like it is. I hope you can find someone who understands. There might be someone. I'm kind of a loner, too. My cat felt like my best friend. All the best to you through this difficult time.

Posts: 2
Oh I'm so sorry...thank you, and I wish you the best too. It's really hard to get through the first few weeks.

Posts: 5
I am so sorry for your loss.   I lost my Yoli last Monday and my Presto 2 years ago.  I am still reeling form Yoli leaving this place, and Presto's loss still hurts, but not like it did at first.  I am so glad they were in my life and although I miss them terribly, I'm glad I was able to give them the love & life they had with my family.

Benji was lucky to have you.  When you are ready, if you are ready, to give your love to another perfect being you will know it. Until then, my heart goes out to you. Sorry you are still feeling pain.  I hope you heal completely.

Posts: 28
I'm so sorry, and can't imagine feeling like that for a month. It's been a week for me and it's getting better though I still think about him and cry white a bit.

I think if you are still feeling these feelings intensely it might be time to reach out for professional help. For me talking about it a lot and letting myself cry has helped.

As I sit here I want to look up and see him coming down the hallway to jump up on the couch with me.
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