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Posts: 6

This is very painful to write, so I'm not going to proofread it. I apologize if it's random and not coherent.

I lost my dog of 15 years last week. I had him since I was 19. I'm 34 now, and he lived with me through many transitions and difficult times in my life. He was such a huge part of my development, and I don't really remember a time without him. His death happened over a period of 2 weeks, and it was very unexpected. I spent $8000 trying to save him and seeing various specialists, and the vets still do not know what was wrong with him. I feel like it could have been prevented because he was so healthy, and the problem made no sense. So now I am in all this debt, and it didn't even help. I don't regret it, though.

I just don't know what to do. I don't care about anything anymore. For the past 5 years, I knew he was getting older, and I would sometimes hold him and cry thinking about how horrible it would be when he might pass. It's like my worst nightmare has come true. He was so healthy and active in every other way, and I had no idea this was coming. I wish I could just go back in time and spend one more moment with him. I have finally stopped crying all day and now just feel numb and detached. I still cry, just less. It's also very hard to work, and I don't understand how people can concentrate and just continue on with their lives. He's all I think about. I can't even type his name here.

He was truly my soul mate. I got him at a time when I really shouldn't have got a dog, but when our eyes met, I knew he was my baby instantly. He was so emotional, sensitive, and intuitive, and part of my grief is that I know I'll never find that sort of connection again. Our birthdays were 3 days apart.

I feel like I've lost a part of my identity. I'm no longer his dad. Everyone I have told has cried, even random people. It shows me that he truly touched so many people, and he was such a beautiful and sensitive soul. I haven't told many people yet because everyone gets so upset.

I don't know if I believe he went to heaven and that I'll be reunited with him one day. I worry those thoughts are just what I am telling myself to feel better.

One of the worst parts is waking up in the morning and not remembering he's dead. I hear him and immediately think he wants to be let out of the crate, and then I remember that he's gone. This re-remembering happens over and over, and it's like a shock goes through my body every time. It sometimes happens in the day because it seems so unreal.

My mom and I drove his body 11 hours so that I could bury him at my parents' house, his favorite place and my childhood home. I am building a memorial garden around his grave. I am angry that he doesn't get a funeral, flowers, and his name in the paper like humans do. Only what I got him. 

His memories are everywhere. I can't even think about packing up his stuff. I once changed out his water to make sure it was clean even though he's not here anymore. His food is still in the bowl. I want to move.

I struggle with social anxiety and depression, and I think that made my bond to him stronger. He saved my life. He was my hero. He was so strongly bonded to me that we were almost constantly touching. I feel like a body part has been cut off.

I'm scared that I am going to forget he smells and how he felt in my arms. As time goes on, I don't want to continue to be in pain forever, but I also don't want him to just be a memory. 

I know grief doesn't go away...that it only transforms. But this is the hardest and most painful things I've been through in my life. I've lost family members, and it didn't even come close to this. He was the love of my life. I don't feel like anyone truly understands what I am going through. I love animals and have lost other pets in my life. It always hurts a lot but never came close to this.

Thank you for reading. Again, I'm sorry if this is a mess, but it's the only way I'm going to get it out. 


Posts: 6

Our stories are so similar... I have just posted my own experience (pending mods’ approval) about losing my almost-14-year-old angel yesterday. Like you, I had him since I was 19 (except I’m 32 now but I got him as a two year old).

I have no answers, solutions or help to offer you. I know platitudes won’t help. You know you done everything out of pure love for your baby - you don’t need me to tell you this either. I’m a believer but I don’t know if our babies have gone to heaven.

I don’t know why we posted here - what are we looking for? We both know nothing will help. The only thing I can do for you is pray.

God help us.

Posts: 1,010
Dear Ryan:

I am so sorry about the loss of your precious boy.  It sounds like he had a wonderful life with you and was truly loved...and he knew that.  That is what makes all this so hard.  The closeness we have with these wonderful creatures is something that can't even be described.  And those that have never had that with a pet can never understand.

Six years ago today we had to say goodbye to our little Brandy.  We had her for 17 wonderful years but it wasn't long enough.  To say we were devastated at her loss was an understatement.  I didn't think I would ever be able to get through it....but I did with the help of this website.  Everyone here understands and will never judge you. 

Please come back and tell us more about your baby.  It truly will help you to heal.

Sending prayers of comfort and peace to you,

Barb (Angel Brandy's and Angel Miriam's mom and now mom to Bree)

Posts: 59
Ryan, I am so sorry for your loss of your long time companion. I do not have answers about getting through the heartache and pain. I recently lost my joy and I still can not talk about it. I do not know if there is an after life for our furbabies, but I can not believe such beautiful creatures who bring us such joy and love will not pass on to an afterlife as they so deserve. I pray that God has a paradise for his loving creatures he has created. I would so love to see a picture of your love. Prayers.

Posts: 6
Thank you for not judging me. I was scared to check these replies because I was afraid I'd written too much or that I seemed incoherent or strange. It's also just hard to face it.

Steph, thank you for your reply. I'm so sorry to hear you lost your baby too. It is comforting to know that our stories are similar, though. I've gone through so many changes from 19 to now that I don't even feel like the same person. It's insane to think that my dog was there the entire time. He was there through so many homes, multiple cities, multiple partners, college, grad name it. He was the one constant. You're right that I did everything for him out of pure love. I think there are still just so many what-ifs, and while I know that's a normal part of grieving, maybe there was legitimately something that could've saved him. I'll never know. I wish I could go back in time and make different choices. He was late for his vet check-up, and maybe they would've seen the problem if I had taken him on time. I can't believe that I would worry so much about him dying and then not take him for a simple check-up on time.

I also about, if maybe I had waited for another hour until the specialist came in to euthanize him, he could've lived. He was just in so much pain...he was crying as he exhaled, and I just did what I thought was best. He couldn't breathe. Also, maybe I should've taken him to the vet earlier when this all started because it took him a couple of weeks to get worse. I knew he was having trouble breathing at first, and it took me about a week or so to take him in. He was acting fine, and it was barely I thought he'd be okay. It was so stupid of me to think that trouble breathing of any kind was not a very serious issue.

Barb, thanks for your reply. It really helped. When you say you got through it, it gives me hope. I feel like I'm never going to feel better, and it seems to only be feeling worse. I did love him, and he did know that. My best friend said yesterday that he was truly "me." We were just alike, and we were extensions of one another. It's so strange that he died of a breathing problem because I have pretty bad asthma. I know what it's like to not be able to breathe, and it's horrible.

I don't really know what to say about him. I literally see him in everything, and it's so strange because I never would've thought that I could make some sort of a connection between him to everything that I encounter. I knew what he was thinking and how he felt pretty much at all times, so now in everything I see, I think about how he would feel about it. He was a long-haired chihuahua. Everyone said he looked like a fox. Over the course of his lifetime, I probably heard that at least a thousand times. "Is that a fox?" or "Wow, he looks like a fox." When he was a baby, he was so small that someone thought he was a kitten. He loved frozen green beans. He loved the theme song to the "Golden Girls." He would tilt his head, listen, and watch every time. After he died, I sang it to him when I was alone with him. "Thank you for being a friend."

He loved blankets. He had to fluff them to his liking, which sometimes took quite a while, and then he'd lay down. I had about 6 blankets in his crate because he could never have enough. He played with his food. He'd throw each kernel of food into the air, chase it down, and eat it individually. There were always pieces of kibble in random places where he had thrown it somewhere and lost it. I am probably going to be finding those for years to come. His eyes were incredibly expressive. He'd always shoot me a look if he needed something or felt uncomfortable. As he got older, he also got really demanding. He would grunt at me if he wanted food, to be picked up, to go out, or to play. He would not take no for an answer. It was funny to see that change in his personality to a grumpy old man.

I just watched a video of him from May, and he was running around so fast like he was a young puppy. When I told strangers how old he was, they were always completely shocked. His health was not declining. He had cataracts and some arthritis, but other than that, he was fine. Except apparently for an unknown breathing issue. I don't understand how this could've happened.


Posts: 5
Nothing about what you said was strange. I lost my baby on saturday night suddenly and unexpectedly due to an undetectable heart murmur that caused a blood clot.. I didn't even get the chance to save her.. it took her within 20 minutes of her symptoms starting. I felt everything you said, and can relate wholeheartedly. I hope our pain eases in time and we can celebrate their lives rather than dwell on their deaths. 

As I am sitting here typing, hugging my beloved Hermione's urn... I will be thinking of you all who are feeling the same pain. You are not alone.

Posts: 6
Thank you, Hermionesmom, for your kind words. I appreciate it, and it helps. I'm so sorry to hear that you lost your baby so suddenly. That must have been such a horrible shock. I hope that you are able to find some peace in the coming days. It's been almost 3 weeks for me, and although I'm still crying every single day, it does feel different than when it first happened. I don't want to say easier...just not as acute and sharp.

We buried him last Tuesday, and that was incredibly painful. I can't really describe how it felt to see his casket in the ground. However, family came, and we had a small service. I also felt this odd closeness to him that I didn't expect. It helps to be able to sit and talk to him. I am happy I was able to drive his body such a distance to be buried in such a peaceful spot that he loved so much. It was the last thing I could do for him. I also created a nice grave spot, and m  y next step is working up the courage to order him a headstone.

The roses have stayed fresh outside for almost a week...even through hot temps and rain. For some reason that feels nice.

Thanks everyone for reading.


Posts: 5
Oh, Ryan. The roses are beautiful. I am happy that you have found some peace. I still cry every day as well.. some days are easier than others. I have hermione’s Urn and hug it and talk to her every day. I also got a tattoo for her. She will always be with me. 💔❤️ I hope for both of us that our babies are playing on rainbow bridge, best of friends.

Still, nothing seems to matter much anymore. I miss her more than anything and would still take her place if I could.

Wishing you nothing but peace.

Posts: 4

I can totally relate to everything you stated. I lost my little Pug suddenly on Thursday at age 13. He was old, but was not ill or in distress at all. I found him dead when I got up to get ready for work. Like your pup, he was with me through very dark times in my life and was really the only bright part of my life for many years. I have cried everyday since and being home is torture. The silence without him is unbrearable. His snoring, nails tapping on the laminate floor, his funny yawns, his squawks when we was ready to come in from outside. I feel like a part of me has been ripped out. I know time will make it better, but I just look back on all that we had been through. All the trips I took him on, the places we lived. His passing comes with other losses and changes in my life and that has made it especially hard. One quote that has helped me through, and it might help you also. It's from Queen Elizabeth and she said "grief is the price we pay for love". Indeed, if we did not love, we would not grieve. 

"Have a you a little dog in heaven, Lord? Have you room for just one more? Because my little dog passed away, and will be waiting at your door" :( 

Posts: 1
I can relate to all that has been said and my heart grieves for all of you.

My dog "LeLonnie", recently passed on July 17, 2019 and I am devastated.  She would've turned 8 years old yesterday, July 31st and the only way I could cope with it was by making myself laugh by remembering how she would fly around the house, happy and excited about her birthday cookie. She was little but had a huge heart.  She was my baby girl.  I could never have kids, which I struggle with from time to time and she made up for it.  I've been in my house for 23 1/2 years.  I've had two cats, DJay and Diamond, DJay passed in 2009 and Diamond passed February 2018 and yes, I cried my eyes out over their passing. But losing LeLonnie a year later after Diamond passing?  I'm sure you can imagine how I feel.   I have never been in my home without a pet and I'm struggling, the silence from the of the pitter patter of their paws and the absence of LeLonnie' s bark is gut wrenching.

LeLonnie struggled with Chronic Bronchitis and this past month we were back and forth to the Vets and Emergency Room.  Her last episode turned fatal and my heart was broken.  In my mind, I thought she would bounce back after getting Oxygen but it wasn't so.  I couldn't believe she was leaving me, it just didn't register in my mind like that!  So when the Vet informed me that I was going to have to make a decision, I could hardly speak, I was numb. When I watched LeLonnie take her last breath, I lost it, my world was and is turned upside down.  I don't sleep well, Morning and Nights are so different for me. We get into a routine with our pets and when they leave us, it's like you absolutely don't know what to do.  I've been avoiding going straight home and I begin to have anxiety when it's time to get off work.  I clearly can relate to Ryan when he said, "I feel like I've lost a part of my identity. I'm no longer his dad. Everyone I have told has cried, even random people. It shows me that he truly touched so many people, and he was such a beautiful and sensitive soul". I too feel like I've lost my identity.  Everyone that was close to me  equated me with LeLonnie and Vice Versa.  They talked about her all the time.  My Mother is taking her passing very hard as well. One of my sister/friend's turned into a dog lover because of her. She was a beautiful, loving and kind soul.  Seeing her lifeless body lying there, made me feel empty and alone.  I didn't want to walk out of that room, knowing it would be the last time I would see my baby girl.  It was so hard and I've been struggling since then.  Weekends are even harder, I really don't know what to do with myself. When I get up, though grateful that the Lord allowed me to see another day, I still feel lost and alone. My house is too quiet and it feels empty.  The first weekend after her passing was horrible.  I tried to put away her dog food and broke down.  So I decided to leave everything where it is until I can get up the nerve to donate or put her things away.  I picked up her ashes two day ago and for some reason, it gave me a sense of her being with me again but it still didn't feel the void.   My nephew moved in with me, he's in his twenties and well you know, they really don't have time for you, so he's gone most of the time and even when he's there, I still feel alone and empty.  I'm for the most part a very optimistic and outgoing person but I don't feel much like myself.  I'm grieving and I don't how long I will but I do know that I'll never forget my LeLonnie and I will always love her and if I should ever decided to get another dog, it will never replace the memories and the love I have for her.

Posts: 54
ryan, thanks for your courage to share you grief. and that goes for everyone in the replies.   I am coming here to say I am right there with you all in the grief journey.

My little man, Mossimo, was 1 month and 1 week away from 13yrs old, which is pretty old for a french bulldog.  he was my service dog and constant companion for 12.5 yrs.  Much like all of you experienced, he was my soul mate, best friend, and the longest relationship I have ever had.  He gave me the courage to face each day with my disability and gave me back my life and will to live.   

I keep going over the last day, week, month, year, 12.5 years and the memories spin by in my head and when I close my eyes.  His passing was sudden, that morning we had the longest walk we have had in months, and played in the grass to cool down. We napped together and shared the quiet of another day. I had no idea it was be our last day together, you didnt show any major signs even after you were at the vets that week for a recheck of your blood work.  By the evening, he went into respiratory duress and well they did all they could to help you, but after all that was done, I still tried to hold you as you fought to leave because the lack of oxygen to your brain was causing you to not know what was happening.  So i held you while I could and made sure you werent alone. 

But now its almost 3 weeks past, and Im beside myself in sadness and loss.  All the stages of grief hits me all at once and I just...well I just fall apart.  I picked up Mo's ashes yesterday and the overwhelm hit me again.  The 1st week was the hardest as we all know. Hearing him snoring, or crying to get up on the bed with me. I still have his bed ready as a memorial to him and a way for me to be close and smell him as if he were just sleeping.  I havent been able to clean my apartment yet, because i want to keep all his hair preserved.  The guilt of what I could/should/would have done is debilitating. I wish I would have taken those "old age" signs are something more serious.  Maybe I could have helped you be with me a little longer.  IDK,  its hard to make sense of the hows/whys life plays out. 

My heart is with us all, its never easy regardless of the connection we have. But i do believe that these special connections, like you all have shared, are one that touch us the deepest and only time will heal our hearts.

all my goodness. And my love to all our best friends.


Posts: 6
Thank you everyone so much for sharing. I want to write more when I can. It’s currently 1:00am, and I’m alone in my bathroom just whaling and crying my eyes out. It’s so hard to lie down for bed and “remember” that he’s gone. It sends shockwaves through my body each time because it seems unreal, and I try so hard not to relive the last couple of months and all the regret I feel. I tell myself he was almost 15 and would’ve died soon anyway. But that’s not true. So many chihuahuas live much longer. He was fine.

I’m just so alone. I have people in my life that love and support me and have been so good to me. But I feel so alone.

It’s been over a month. I just got my first haircut since he died. I’d been putting it off because I hate all the “firsts since he died” that mark the passage of time. It probably sounds strange because it doesn’t even relate to him. But I hate knowing he’s been gone this long.

I found myself wandering around the pet isles at target today crying because I no longer need spray to clean the urine out of my carpets.

I’m a mess. Functioning with good moments sometimes, but I don’t think this pain will ever end. And no amount of anything I do is going to bring him back.

Sending all my love to the folks who have replied to this thread. It means a lot to me, and I know you see how much it hurts.

I wish he could know how much I miss him because he would understand because he would miss me this much too.

I never never want another dog. I am fine to live in a household with a dog to enjoy, but I never want this gut-wrenching love and closeness ever again.

Posts: 5
Hi again, Ryan. I am so sorry you are still hurting so immensely. Please know that it’s normal. I have been seeking grief counseling and it does help a bit. I am also part of a Facebook group that promotes the idea that your beloved pet is always beside you and teaches you how to look for signs they are still here. It has brought me some comfort. Send me a private message if you’d like to connect on Facebook and i can invite you to the group.
I know how you feel. I still sob uncontrollably and hate doing things for the “first time” my baby has been gone. The same thoughts go through my mind. Just take it day by day and try to remember the good that was in your babies life. I know that’s so hard. We will all get through this together. ❤️ I’m here if you want to vent or talk.

Posts: 54
ryan,  my heart is with you. I too know how hard this journey is now. I am struggling same as you. Life is just so....different now.  I wish I could find a way to ease all of our pain.  To turn back the hands of time and allow life to give us another chance.  I know life doesnt make any sense looking forward, its only in hindsight that we see the "meaning" behind these tragic experiences.  But I like to believe that the depth of our suffering is a testament to how much love we have for our little ones. 

I come here often to be surrounded by support and understanding. In time, I will return to counseling for support and direction. If you need anything, please do reach out. I am always here no matter time or day. Much lightness and love, Mossimo's Mom - Anastacia

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