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Posts: 1

To the person who lead me here (I don't know if it's OK to write down your name here): Thank you so much!

My name is Kati, and I hope this is the right place to introduce myself. I have been what my doctor calls traumatized by experiencing several losses in a row, and she suggested finding a group online to talk about this with. People in RL often get tired of listening to stories about dead pets...

Let me just tell you my story. It all started in 1996. I was 20 back then and had just gotten back from spending one year as au pair in the USA (I'm in Germany). Our family's dog that had moved in with us when I was 8, was something between 15 and 17 in 1996. I don't know for sure because he was a shelter dog and no one knew where he came from or how old he was. Anyway, when I had left for America in 1995, the dog, whose name was Lumpi, had been very, very old, but perfectly healthy. When I got back, he had changed so much, his heart was very weak and he could hardly walk a quarter mile anymore. Other than that, he was fine. We were planning a vacation on an island in the North Sea (a nice and cool place) so that he could come with us. Before getting on the boat that was supposed to bring us and our car to the island, I took Lumpi to go pee-pees. It took him a while to get ready, and I saw that the boat was about to leave. The cars were going on it already. So without thinking I did what I shouldn't have done and what I'll never forgive myself doing: I ran. With the dog. We did reach the car in time. But for Lumpi the short run had been too much. I'm not going to bother you with any details. He suffocated and died in my arms. We crossed the North Sea and when we reached the island, Lumpi wasn't with us anymore. My dad took us to the bungalow we had rented, then went back home by himself to bury the dog in our garden. That was in August. I was devastated and hated myself. I still do.

In October, we decided that we wanted to get a new dog, so we went to the shelter in my university town and adopted a five-month-old Münsterländer puppy named Nando. He was the liveliest creature you can imagine, such a funny, active little guy and very dear to all of us. He turned out to be a big hunter. One day in January 1997, he escaped from his leash while my parents were taking him for a hike, ran away and crossed a street where cars are allowed to go really fast. My dad saw this and screamed at him to come back. He did come back, but crossing the street for the second time he was hit by a car. He was dead right away. When my parents got home, I was studying. It was such a shock. I still remember the little lifeless body lying in the snow in our garden, blood staining the snow. The second loss within one year after having to leave my au pair kids which I also loved dearly.

Only a week later we heard about a breeder of collies who had puppies, and since I was so devastated my dad thought it would be good to get another dog right away. So we adopted a collie girl called Dina. She was seven weeks old when we got her and kind of a problem child from the beginning. I loved her so much, though. When she was half a year old, we found out that she was almost blind and had to use eye drops to lower the pressure in her eyes that had caused her pain. For a long time, things worked out great with the drops, but Dina was very sensitive and easily scared and had developed some minor biting issues, too. We loved her anyway, and most of the time she was happy, too, though things could be stressful with and for her.

In 2000, my beloved grandmother passed away. She was probably the person I loved most of all in the world. I am only a daisy, but for her I was a perfect rose. You may call me hypersensitive, but when she died, I got physically ill with a high temperature for a week or so. In 2001, her sister died. I was very close with her, too.

Then, early in 2003, Dina started vomiting. We went to see a zillion vets, we got a zillion diagnoses, but nothing helped. By the time summer came around, she had as much as stopped eating and had to go to a clinic and stay overnight for a couple of days. I was on vacation with my boyfriend when my mom called and told me that. I went right back home. They did a zillion things with Dina at the clinic and we were not allowed to visit. Finally, they said it "wasn't cancer". Yet they had no idea what it was. We decided to take Dina home, since she was so sensitive and disliked strangers. She got infusions for food, and I managed to get some beef serum into her now and then. Each time she swallowed some, it was a success. But the vomiting didn't stop. One day, she was so weak and in pain, she cried all night. The next morning my dad said that we should put her down. This was a Saturday, so we needed to go to a new vet we had never been to before, because all the others were closed. This new vet listened to our story and decided to open her stomach that evening and see what was going on. We agreed that if he thought there was a chance to help her, we would help her, if not, he wouldn't let her wake up from anesthesia and put her down while she was asleep. My dad and I took her to the vet that evening and waited while she had surgery. We held her when she got anesthesia and didn't leave the room until she was fast asleep. Later the vet came out and told us that she had a tumor on the outside of her stomach that didn't allow any food to leave the stomach. She would starve to death in pain, and there was only one thing we could do to her: let her go. So we had her put down without letting her wake up again.
My parents insisted on burying Dina that night. I would have loved to put her in her basket in the living room and let her stay there overnight, and then bury her in the morning. That way, I would have had time to say good-bye.
I had the closest bond with this dog. She was my darling. While I had cried oceans of tears for the two other dogs, I couldn't cry when Dina died. I was ill, physically and psychologically. There was - there is - just bitterness about her painful last days and all she had to go through during her short life. She wasn't even seven years old. I couldn't understand why god would let all of those terrible things happen to her, she was so innocent and sweet. I was mad at God, finally lost my faith, stopped praying, and in the following three years gained nearly 40 pounds, because I wouldn't eat well, use chocolate as a drug and not walk anymore because walking without Dina just felt terrible. From gaining weight I felt even more terrible.

My parents got another collie a while later, his name is Timber and he is wonderful. He is happy and healthy still today, and we are all very happy with him.

In 2004, my father was diagnosed with a serious heart disease. He had to get a pacemaker and couldn't work anymore (until today). Nobody knew how his disease would develop and how long he would live. I love my father dearly, and that was a time of great worry for all of us. Timber felt this and developed some aggression problems due to this. Not with us, mind you, but with strangers and especially other dogs. My father is stable for now health wise, though he has to be careful, and he was able to do some serious dog training with Timber, and Timber is now back to normal.

I got married in June 2006 and moved to another town.  In May, my aunt and godmother who I was very close with, died unexpectedly. She was disabled, but no one had expected her to die. Again, I was shocked, and I hardly had time to grieve, with the wedding preparations and moving going on.

Between 1996 and 2002, I also went to university and got my master's degree. This was stressful and didn't turn out as well as I would have hoped, but I passed the exams. I then couldn't find a suitable job and ended up working for a newspaper for a couple of years. A wonderful job, actually but badly payed and no regular hours. Working twelve hours one day, only three the next. Sometimes work the whole weekend, sometimes not at all for three week days in a row. And you never know much in advance, so making plans is hard.

By now, things have settled down. At the moment I'm a homemaker and trying to "heal" myself. I still have all kinds of "issues", but I got my first very own dog, a little girl from the shelter called Frieda. Nobody knows which breeds have united in her, she used to be a stray in Hungary. She is now about three years old and healthy and she has the sweetest personality. She helps me a lot. So it's now time for me to start getting over all that happened and start being myself again. Talking about all of this is the first step. I have lost some of the weight and am going to lose more. I need to stop eating chocolate. And I have to stop being overprotective about Frieda, my husband and family. I have to stop worrying so much. I'm also trying to re-find my faith in God.

I know many people have a lot more and worse problems, so I'm trying to be strong and not such a sissy. But talking about this with people who understand is a big help. Thanks for listening. I'm looking forward to getting to know you all.


PS: I'm sorry this got so long.


Posts: 774
Hi Kati;
Wow. You have been through allot. It is really amazing when we actually add up all the bad things that have happened over a ten year stretch or so. There are people who have had it "worse"? Who is to say. What affects one person may not affect an other. So there is no worse and there is no "being a sissy". Okay. Please, you have absolutely ever right in the world to feel what you feel and don't let anyone tell you different. Own your feelings and be proud of who you are. A beautiful sensitive loving giving person who is overwhelmed with all the losses that occurred in such a brief amount of time. I am sure you never fully came to terms with or accepted your Lumpi's death before you had another and another and another. Of course you are confused and distraught and everything else you are. There is nothing wrong with you. You have every right to feel what you feel.
About Lumpi. It was not your fault he died. I know you don't believe me but it was not. Lumpi most likely had a disease called Dilated Cardiomyopathy. I don't know for sure, but he only had a certain amoun f beats left in his heart before it would stop. The run didn't matter. Let us say you never did run him to the ship. He would have died on the boat. It didn't make a difference. If it did it was only by minutes. Maybe an hour at the most, but I doubt it. The good thing is it is quick and relatively painless death I have been told. Not by anyone that experienced it, but from what I have read. Dilated cardiomyopathy is the disease where it is an okay dog running and all of a sudden they die. There was nothing you could have done to prevent it or cure it. It is fatal. I am sorry.
I think you have to slowly come to terms with everything that has Happened from start to end and work it through in your head.
You mentioned that you are a homemaker. What are you doing outside the home? You also said your weight is bothering you. Is there a program (with Doctors endorsement ) you could go into. If you are home all the time Maybe you need to do something to help yourself out of this depression. How about some volunteer work. Maybe you can think of something you have wanted to do that would help people or animals and see some good in the world.
I am sorry I cannot help you with the faith issues you are having or had. But I know there are some wonderful people on this site that can and will.
If you have animal questions I can try to help.
Please post here again. You are a good person and being sensitive is a gift not a curse.

Posts: 991
All I can say is that you've come to a good place. The people here are caring and compassionate and we've all dealt with loss. Here you can talk as long as you want about your losses and we listen and try and help.
I am so sorry about your overwhelming burden of losses in the past decade. You need to take the time to grieve. We'll help you by listening and responding.
Have you read the story of Rainbow Bridge. It is very comforting for me to know that my sweet Molly and Cricket are waiting for me, happy and restored to health. The faith thing; there are people here who are angry with God. Who wouldn't be? But most of us here are believing in the Rainbow Bridge and being reunited someday with our furbabies.
When you can, post a picture of Dina and tell us the good memories of her. It helps all of us.
Peace to everyone mourning today.
Molly's Mom

Posts: 440

First, welcome to the petloss family.  You will find the most compassionate and caring people here.  As far as your multiple loss issues through the years, I am so sorry.  It seems you hardly had time to recover and were hit over and over again with new losses.

We all talk here, cry here and lean on each other for support.  Feel free to post anytime and you'll always get the most loving responses.

I lost my shepherd of 10 years and three weeks later our kitty a little over a year ago.  I too suffered multiple family losses during that time also.  Death can be so hard.  It does push some to lose faith and others to have more.  It just depends I guess on the person.  I can relate to alot of what you wrote too.  Some of my losses have made me sick too and as far as the weight gain, I'm battling that now also.  All side effects of the grieving process I think.

So hang in there and remember you are not alone anymore and you are now opening yourself up to having more friends than you'll know what to do with.

Take good care.

                               Hugs to you, JasminesMom (Kathy)

Posts: 1,205
My Dear Kati

What an awful time you have had, no wonder you feel so bad.  Please take on board what Heidi has said about your Lumpi, she really does know what she is talking about.  If she has said nothing could have been done, please know that is right, and FORGIVE yourself.  You are a kind and loving person, and that is why you feel so deeply about all of your losses.

I am so glad that you have another baby, animals are such great healers, also they can spot a loving person from a mile away.  You have had a very rough time, but you have come to the right place now, we are all here for you and lots of us have been where you have been.  The weight thing is often a self hate thing, subconsciously you dont feel you deserve to look nice.  Please dont misunderstand me when I say that, larger people look great, but you say you dont want to be like you are.  Start forgiving yourself and know that you are a decent human being.  Come and unload here whenever you need, not one person will judge you.  Much Love, Di xxx

Posts: 22

Oh Kati, what a wonderful, caring human being you are.  Your doggies and human family are so lucky to have you.  I can't believe how much one person can endure, and you have endured a ton, and in such a short time period.  I have been feeling sorry for myself, and then I read your story and I see that there are people enduring so much more.  I can't say it better than the first post(Heidi)said.  She said it perfectly.  I believe with all my heart and soul that when our time or our doggy's time to pass on, it is just time.  There is nothing humanly possible to stop that.  You did not cause Lumpi's death, please don't blame yourself.  When it is our time to move on to where ever it is that our spirits go, it is just time.  All your fur babies were so blessed to be loved and cared for by someone as compassionate as you.  So many animals go their entire life not feeling much love, if any.  They obviously loved you very much, and wouldn't want you being in pain and blaming yourself.  I truly believe that.   I just lost my beloved dog Kato Monday morning.  He was 14, diabetic, deaf and blind.  He had so many medications he needed every day, and I had to carry him in and out to potty.  I didn't mind and would never have minded.  It was alot for a 10 pound dog to endure, yet I still felt his death "unexpected", even those around me did not.  I'm in a denial stage right now, and feel like I'm a bit crazy, i.e., think he's going to run out of the woods any day now, or that the vet is going to call and say he came back to life.  Just crazy thinking.  Then my other dog, Toby, is dying from osteosarcoma cancer, and the vet said he most likely has only a few months to live.  Then my house will be empty.  I too have been angry, very angry at God.  I too don't understand why he lets these little innocent animals suffer the way they do.  Yet I know I am only human, we are all only human, and these are things that are unexplainable by us.  I have to believe there is a greater good, a better life, a Heaven.  Our pets our truly angels on earth, and if there is that place, they are surely there.

Take care of yourself and keep posting as much as you feel like.  This place is wonderful-a life saver.  So many wonderful, supportive, good people here.  And everyone understand your grief.    Julie



Posts: 1,328
Kati--I read through your post. You've had alot of losses and the stress that comes from these has affected you greatly. I understand about losses;I've had some very traumatic one's too. Also, recent years have been very difficult--in many ways.

I think it is helpful to talk about things, like you did here. Also, listening to other people's stories helps you know that you're not alone. This is a good place filled with really nice people. Animal people are generally more understanding, I think, about alot of things.

I think it's important, too, when you're under stress (in your case, through so much loss), to take care of your health. Just changing your diet/exercising, all of that stuff, with certain supplements, can help you fight stress better. I know when I'm stressed, I go for sweets and carbs, but I see that it's not great for me, so I've tried to work on that. Good quality food is important, too. Last fall, I did a cleansing type diet for about 6-7 weeks. I go to a naturopathic physician, too, which has helped with supplements, etc. Maybe you can find someone you can work with who will help you with this part of it.

Maybe read some books on loss, too, to help you with a certain stratedy for dealing with multiple losses.

As far as faith, that's a big one. I can only say I have struggled with this so much over the last years. I used to have alot of esoterically defined "faith." I studied it seriously for many years--even attending a school based on these principles, but I ended up (years after that) still not feeling I knew anything that really helped me deal with new struggles. 
I stilll struggle with the idea of a "benovelent" God because there is so much suffering in the world. I'm a type of person who has to really figure things out in order to believe anything. I've settled, for now, on having some (some, I say) faith in "God's helpers", like the saints. ( I grew up Catholic, but am not practicing any religion and feel fine with that). I still have a warm spot for the saints and can relate to them because they were real people who had real lives, full of trials and tribulations;their stories suggest very hard lives, yet they found a way to do good, despite it all.

Take care.


Posts: 1,569
Welcome you have found a home I am new here had to have our Chihuahua Peaches released to the Bridge two weeks ago and this site and all the caring and compassionate people have helped me and countless others such as yourself deal with a devastating loss. We have all been there and it helps so much knowing you are not alone with your feelings, Again welcome.
Jerry in Oklahoma.

Posts: 555

Dear Kati,
First of all welcome to the pet loss family.
You have had so many tragic things happen in your life but there is one thing you must remember.
Each of those things served to make you a stronger wiser and most of all more compassionate human being.
Though each of these losses were so very hard for you to deal with and get through each person and pet have taught you many things of love and life simply by being a part of yours.
I am so happy that you found love and are a loving wife now.
The man who married you could not have found a more loving caring devoted wife to share his life with.
Because of all you have been through you are now a wise wonderful loving person and that is something worth more then the price of gold in a partner in marriage.
As you try to regain your faith and get issues under more control in your life never forget all the wonderful traits you posses and what a special person you really are.
Each person and pet in your life were given to you for a time and not only did they impact your life but you impacted theirs with your gift to love so deeply and care so much.
Remember that a loving creator made you that way and is proud each and every day of his creation.
I am so happy that you now have Frieda in your life.
She is not only your reward for all you have been through but one very lucky little girl to have you as her fur mommy.
I chose to place a rainbow colored butterfly on my reply to your post because the rainbow is to me a symbol of hope that we will see all of our loved ones again and the butterfly a symbol of new life.
You will see all who have gone on ahead of you again one day and your life has entered a new chapter.
One filled with hope and promise.
May you find the peace and comfort that your loving heart so deserves.
Love and Peace,
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