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Posts: 1
warning: long and sad 

On October 17, 2017, I said goodbye to my beautiful and precious yellow lab, Riley. I sped 70 down a 35 to the animal clinic after my classes. I remember the text my mom sent me earlier that day. "Taking Riley to the vet at 5. Probably just sore from the long walk, but just making sure."

Just remembering that moment feels like I've been punched in the stomach. Just remembering the vet tell us that my Riley was internally bleeding from a burst tumor in his spleen and his back legs were paralyzed, I feel absolutely numb. I watched the eyes from my Riley closing the last time, expecting them to open again.

Very graphic description, but I can't stop remembering it. It's a lot for a teenage girl to go through, especially after growing up with Riley. It's been almost five months, yet I can't get over it. My parents say it's just stupid now- that I have his blanket and his collar and some toys in my room. That I have his picture in a frame next to my bed and I wear a locket with his picture around my neck every single day, never taking it off.

I realize it's a lot. But as someone who has been through as much as I have for my age, I only made it through with my boy. I've been called names by so many people for caring about my dog as much as I did. Riley was my best friend, no question. But it's been 5 months. I can't get over it. I can't stop dreaming about him, I can't stop thinking about him everyday. I can't help feeling nothing but sad whenever I think about him. 

I don't know how to get over this. I try to push my attention to something else- but I have such a hard time. I don't know how I'll get over Riley and I don't know how I'll ever be able to lose another dog ever again. Losing my Riley was the hardest thing I've ever had to do. And I just need to know some way to get over him. I know that it might not be the best idea to have so many reminders, but when he left, he left a huge void in me. A huge void that suck in every single good thing and somehow makes it bad. These things kind of give me closure. It makes me feel a little more complete. 

I know no one wants to read this much, but I have no where else to go. Every single person I know thinks that, at this point, I'm just faking it. They think that I just want more sympathy, and I'm depressing whenever I listen to a song that reminds me of him, or when I score a goal on the lacrosse field, dedicate it to my Riley- saying he helped me with it when he watched over me.

I just need to find some way to find closure. I don't know if that's another dog, or to never get another dog again. If it's to throw away everything I have of his and act like he never existed, like my family does, or to keep them to encourage me to push through all my troubles.

I don't know if anyone has ever felt this way after losing a dog. I just don't want to feel alone anymore. Thank you for reading.

Posts: 3
Hi Olivia, my name is Stan. You should keep whatever you want . My family has always had cats, except for one time when we had a dog named Joe. Unfortunately, we had to give him up for adoption because my dad was in the Air Force, and we could not take him with us when we moved from New Mexico to Washington state. Even though I do not have anything of his or even pictures, I still think of him from time to time, such as now. Only two days ago, we lost our 19 year old girl cat named Biscuit. I could not say goodbye because it happened while I was at work. I will be lighting a candle Monday in remembrance of her and our other lost fur babies. I live in Georgia, and will be on the chat room at 10:00 pm when it starts. If you would like to talk, I will be on there. Goodbye for now.🙂

Posts: 27
Hey there, I had to send my dog to Heaven over a week ago, on March 3rd. His name is Braveheart, and I was feeling the exact same way you felt. I even layed down on his grave, wishing that i was buried with him. Let me tell you what helped me... It might sound silly, but it helped.
I wrote my dog a letter on the computer. "Dear Braveheart," I started it. I wrote it as if he would hear it, because honestly, I know that God is a kind God, and I know that He let my boy hear it. I unloaded all of my thoughts and feelings onto that letter, it ended up being like 4 pages long. It really helped. I told him how sorry I was that we had to part, but that I was so happy for him that he was now up in Heaven with God. I told him how much I loved him. It ended up being a very personal letter. I think that this would perhaps be a good thing for you to do. Give it a try. It's okay to cry your eyes out while you write it.
I haven't gotten rid of Bravehearts things, because it feels too empty without his toys, bed, etc. Do what feels right to you, and take care of yourself my friend.
Take comfort in the fact that Jesus will lead you to your doggy again when it is your time to pass. God loves us, and He also loves His creatures . Take comfort in that.
Much love,

Posts: 19
I know exactly how you feel. Lloyd passed on Thursday and I don't want to change the bed as he's slept in it. I keep hoping I'll see him and smelling his blanket. I'm keeping everything and going to get his ashes in a locket. I just hope I can ever feel happiness again as at the moment I think the old me does with Lloyd Hunter

Posts: 5
Dear Olivia,

Thank you for sharing your feelings. I lost my cat Odie 6 days ago, so I'm right now I'm still really depressed and angry. The reason I'm replying is because 6 years ago I had to put down my first kitty Petey. I still feel sad from time to time when thinking of him, but for the most part I have more positive memories of Petey than I do sadness/anger over the loss.

Here's what I do know; it is COMPLETELY NORMAL for you to feel so strongly, and there is no correct amount of time in which you should grieve... The friends and family who think that you should "get over it", or make you feel like you are looking for sympathy are WRONG. There is no way to know how long you will feel these emotions so strongly, but I believe at some point your feelings will lean more towards gratitude and happy memories. Don't get rid of any of Riley's belongings that you don't want to. I have Odie's beds all around right now and I can't bring myself to get rid of them yet, and I'm not sure when I'll be ready to let go of certain things. I think you should play it by ear. There may be certain things you want to hold on to forever, and at some point there may be things you feel okay to let go of, but you need do that in your own time. Again there is no timeline for that.

The good thing is there are people here who completely understand. If Riley could tell you anything, it would be "thank you, I love you, and be happy because you made me happy too- you deserve it".

Your baby Riley was one of the most important loves of your life and always will be, but that doesn't mean there won't be room in your heart for another animal companion. If you ever feel the time is right, do not hesitate to adopt another dog. They will never replace Riley, because Riley will always have your heart but you may have more heart to give. That said, you shouldn't feel pressure. If you never want to adopt again that is okay too.

This REALLY sucks and I am SO SORRY for your loss.


Posts: 5
Dear Lloydsmum,

I am so sorry for you loss. Odie passed Tuesday and I have his beds everywhere and understand the raw feeling. I lost Petey 6 years ago, and adopted Odie shortly thereafter. Odie moved to the other side Tuesday. Odie was a blessed gift right after losing Petey. I am glad I adopted him. I will adopt again, but I need to grieve. Each love takes your heart, but we have enough heart for everyone.

I dunno, this is really hard and I'm glad I found you guys. I think we all feel lost right now.

I really want to adopt again, but I'm not ready yet. Again, Odie came into my just after losing Petey, and he brought new love to my world. No companion can replace another, but they may bring a new love to our world.

I hope this doesn't come across as me, me, me.. I'm just trying to share some strength, experience, and love.

And Odie was the nicest guy. He would purr if you even looked at him. He had so much love in his eyes and purr. I hate he's gone.

Posts: 5
Dear Jessej1s89,

I am so sorry to hear you've lost your sweet Braveheart. I too am struggling right now, and I think that is a great idea to write a letter. I think I'm going to do that and put down all my feelings. Happiness, sadness, anger, hopes, and wishes... The stages of grief are not linear and it would help me to just get it out there.

Thank you.
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