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twinkiesmom

Registered:
Posts: 839
 #41 
Daddog, I have something to share with you. Years ago I rescued a tiny kitten who was very sick. The vet told me she was not going to survive but told me what to do to try to save her. She was half starved, had a severe upper respiratory infection and many other problems as well. I would set my alarm at night so I could get up every four hours to care for Twinkie. My daughter was at her dad's for two weeks and she returned 5 days after the rescue. I picked her up from the airport with Twinkie in a crate beside me. My daughter lived about 90 minutes from me and I couldn't leave the kitten. After a few hours I told Rachel I needed to go home and she told me that I cared more about Twinkie than I did her. I don't think she had ever hurt me worse than right then. I got in the car and drove back home and when I pulled into the driveway Rachel was already there to apologize. Twinkie lived exactly one month and I was absolutely devastated when she died. I don't think I have loved any of my fur kids in the same way as I did her. Rachel wasn't as "invested" in her as I was and could not understand how hard I grieved. She is an animal lover just like me but she just did not "get it".

We all grieve in our own way. Some of us can compartmentalize our grief. Obviously you and I, as well as many others here, can't. I am sure your wife is hurting and missing Herky horribly. Perhaps she is trying to be brave to spare you from worrying about her. I am sure she understands that you did not mean to say something that would hurt her. Perhaps like many of us, she doesn't know what to say or do to help you. I am the world's worst at that. I can be standing there with tears streaming down my face but have no words to express my deep sympathy.

I know how hard everything is at a time like this. Herky is such a huge part of your life, everything you do is something the two of you did together. Waking, sleeping, eating, just hanging out and so many other things that hurt so much without him. Nothing can fill that empty space in your life but remember Herky is still a part of you, you can't see or touch him but he is there. There is no timeline when it comes to grieving, no right or wrong way but I believe in time you will be able to smile when you think of him. Let your tears fall, Herky is deserving of every one of them. If there is anything that brings even a few minutes of a sense of peace embrace it. And always remember all of us here have traveled the path you are struggling with and are here always, to listen and offer comfort and support.

Hugs,
Marsha

goofygirlinva

Registered:
Posts: 1,191
 #42 
Hi Daddog,
After Blackie passed away, one of the things that was particularly hard for me was not feeding him again. He had kidney disease so I created a special mix of food for him so he would eat - it was a combination of senior canned food and prescription pouch food. I would take those two foods and mix them together with a bit of extra water in a mini food processor. It was the only thing he would eat, so that's what I made for him. After Blackie died, I still had a few pouches and cans of his food left over. I did not toss them out. Instead, I kept them and his thyroid medication in their usual spots in my kitchen cabinets. I left them there until I moved out of the place. Then I took the extra cans and pouches and medicine and put them in the memory chest I created for Blackie. They are still there in his memory chest, over 10 years later. I know the food is totally bad and the medicine has since evaporated. But they are still there because they are a reminder of the care I gave Blackie in his last few months. I don't know if I will ever get rid of those things, but if I do, it is my choice and I will do so on my terms.

I had a fleece blanket that I made for Blackie that he loved to sleep on. I also bought him a soft, comfy kitty bed that he loved to sleep in. And Blackie had his own food and water bowls - I bought them just for him and he was the only one that ate or drank out of them. After he passed away, I kept his bowls, blanket and bed in the same place they were in when he was alive. I only moved them once I had to pack up my things and move out of the townhouse. I still have those things - I leave the bed out in my living room because Rufus just loves sleeping in it. I put the bowls and blanket in Blackie's memory chest because he was the only one that used the bowls and I made the blanket just for him and want Blackie to be the only cat that used that blanket.

I guess what I'm trying to say is that you should not feel the need to do anything with Herky's things - his bowls, toys, food, etc. I would encourage you to keep them where you want to keep them for as long as you need to. Don't move them until you are ready, and even then, maybe consider moving his things to a special place where you will have gathered the things that bring back memories of the life the two of you shared. 

Hugs and peace to you...

- Kelly
Angel Blackie's mom
Angel Squeeker's mom


Pawprince

Registered:
Posts: 92
 #43 
I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved Herky. I feel for you and understand your pain. Your grief. I lost my very well loved dog Arby 7/31 this year. Many times I called him "love of my life". I miss him so very much.

I also understand people saying 'this is the way the world is; we lose people and animals we love in this world.' That's true. We do. All experience losses and still the pain of our deep losses is so severe.

I know it feels strange (to say the least) to not have your Herky near by. I know the feeling and the loss of my dog is approaching two months ago. I still cry. I still talk to my Arby as if he's listening to me. I believe he is around, but just not in his usual form. And I still miss him so much.

Take care and God Bless. Hugs to you and your wife
Daddog

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #44 

Twinkiesmom and Goofygirlinva,

 

Thank you for your replies.  One of the things I miss the most is feeding him.  It was what he looked forward to all day.  He was so happy, you could feel it in the room.

 

Pawprince,

 

I read some of your posts and I’m so very sorry you lost Arby.  He sounded very special to you.  I’ve never had the kind of connection with ANYONE that I had with Herk.  I really understand what you lost, and I’m truly sorry for you.  

 

 

Day 13.

I didn’t get to post yesterday.  I wanted to, however the way the day played out I didn’t get the chance.  I just can’t type on my phone.  The last two days have been pretty awful.  I continue to wake up, pause, and cry.  I really tried not to this morning, I really did.  It’s imposible to move in this house without something reminding me of Herk.  I look at the table, I think of Herk.  I look at the bathroom, I think of him following me in there.  I look at the stairs, I think of him running up them or me carrying him up.  I look at the front door, and I think of how many times we went in and out that door together.  I could continue this list with everything in my house.  I lived in this house with Herk our entire life together.  I’ve also had the same car our entire life together.  I wonder how many times he was in that car.  And whenever I look at something and I think of him, I think to myself how that will never happen again.  No more car rides.  No more carrying him up the stairs.  No more anything.  And it’s tearing me apart.  Little by little, one memory at a time.  I don’t know how this can stop.  What, getting rid of everything I own and moving?  That might be the only option.  I feel like this house is like a constant reminder of what I no longer have, happiness.  

 

I still feel alone.  I feel depressed.  I cry a lot, I mean A LOT.  I feel like I’m the only one who misses my little boy.  I’m worried that in a year from now unless I bring him up, no one will talk about him again.  That thought makes me sick to my stomach.  A client and I got to talking today.  I know her pretty well and I told her what happened with Herk.  She offered her condolences and told me that her last dog was her special dog.  I was blown away.  I have known this woman for 2 years and talk to her on a pretty consistent basis.  I had no idea she even had a previous dog, let alone one special to her heart.  It made me realize that one day that will be me, the person who brings up their lost love and people won’t ever know who he was.  That hurts.  It really, deeply, hurts.  

 

I get on social media and it also bring me pain.  It’s a selfish, self-induced pain, but it hurts nonetheless.  I read what people are posting, sharing.  There’s so much nonsense and bickering.  I see them posting pictures of vacations and joyous occasions.  I’m not jealous of them, it just hurts me.  It feels like the world lost such a precious gift when Herk was taken away, and people are more worried about politics and sports.  I know I’m being selfish and wishing everyone else was mourning my loss, but I can’t stop feeling that way.  And it ends up making me feel even more alone.

 

The world inside and outside my house is different.  It feels different.  It looks different.  It sounds different.  I don’t look at things the same anymore.  It feels like everything changed, not just my family.  Even the air seems different.  I’ve lost a tremendous amount of weight.  I was already a thin guy so losing 15 pounds is quite a bit.  I’ve been trying to eat.  But I just can’t sometimes.  I just can’t.  The pain and the anguish just won’t let me.  I feel constant despair.  Constant.  I feel like there is no light at the end of this long tunnel.  Everyday is just more pain and discomfort and agony.  I don’t see how that ends.  Everyday from here forward is really just one more day without Herky until I die.  That’s how I feel.  I feel like nothing really matters anymore.  No matter what good news could come along, it would still be trumped by fact that Herk isn’t here.  I’ll never be the same again.  I’m already not.  But, like I’ve said before, I’m not sure I’m even supposed to.  Isn’t that what happens when true love comes into your life?  It makes an impact on you and changes you?  Then when that love is snatched away from you, aren’t you supposed to be different?  I don’t know.  I’m just hopeless.  The sadness of losing him is overwhelming me.  I don’t have much fight left in me.

 

Tonight and tomorrow night my wife is out of town.  My first nights alone in the house with him.  I’m scared and sad.  I’m nervous and sad.  I’m alone and sad.  I’ve stayed home alone without him several times.  My wife would take him on weekend trips to see friends and family.  But, I’ve never been alone like this.  Feeling alone, while alone.  I haven’t slept in the bed in quite a while now and I don’t intend to start tonight, alone.  I find myself doing so many things alone that I didn’t even realize I always had company for.  Life is hard and love can hurt.  But loneliness, loneliness can destroy you.  I feel like I’m there now.  Sad and destroyed.  

 

Daddog

skmk

Registered:
Posts: 93
 #45 
Hi Daddog,

I've been following your painful journey and again I am so sorry for the loss of your precious Herky.
I can relate to you as I was with my Dickens all the time.  When I'm home everything reminds me of him.   I'm sitting at my desktop computer right now and Dickens should be on the chair in back of me.
His blanket remains there but there's no little dachshund to help get down off the chair.  He couldn't go up stairs so he's not there to carry up the stairs.  When I feed my other dog it's so quiet.   Dickens used to bark his head off at feeding time.  He used to love to chase chipmunks so every time I see one it reminds me of him.  There are so many things and like you this house is a big reminder.  We had planned on downsizing and I so wish we could do it sooner and get out of here.  I still have my other dog and though I love him it's not the same relationship.  I too wake up to that awful feeling that he's not here anymore.  I don't see that many people and my husbands family doesn't want to talk about it.
Not even my husband.  They have all moved on and I am stuck at the beginning when it happened.
Time stops for no one.  So I have this site for support and have started seeing a counselor.  I too am the only one that misses Dickens.  I know what you mean about seeing other people and their happy lives.  I'm not jealous of them either but I don't want to be around them because it hurts.  I can't feel good about any good news either because that won't bring Dickens back.  I've lost weight too because my stomach is in knots and I just have no appetite for anything. 
You say you are hopeless but you're not.  There's always hope.  I've been through this before and recovered and you will too.  It takes time.  Perhaps a grief counselor would be of some help.
I try to keep busy at something and that sometimes takes my mind off.  But my nerves are shot, any little problem that comes up I turn into a big deal.  I've been calling a group therapy organization but I can't get the dang people to call me back.  It's so hard dealing with life anyway but it's 100 times worse when you're grieving. 
Take care of yourself Daddog.
You're not alone on this site.
I'll hold you in the light which means I'll keep you in my thoughts and wish the best for you.
Susan
Pawprince

Registered:
Posts: 92
 #46 
Everyone is different, but I wonder if u would regret moving and getting rid of what reminds you of Herky.

I myself am not getting rid of things I had when Arby was alive, the best I can. The last blanket Arby slept on remains in my home, unwashed. I've washed other blankets of his, but can't bring myself to wash that last blanket. I smell the blanket, wanting to remember and connect to him.

I would say please take your time, allow yourself to remember and cry. Practice 'good self care'. Herky loved you and would want you to take good care of yourself.

Keep busy without overwhelming yourself. Little by little. Work, hobbies, or volunteer just a little more, little by little. Herky would be happy. Herky would be proud, I believe

Still thinking of you and sending calming positive thoughts to you and your wife
Daddog

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #47 

Skmk,

 

I don’t see very many people during the day either.  And the ones I do see are clients.  I can’t really pour my heart out to them.  That leaves me with my best friend, my mom, and my wife.  I’ve been trying to keep busy.  I’ve been doing all my daily work duties.  I’ve been running errands.  It just doesn’t help.  Where ever I am, whatever I’m doing, whenever I’m doing it, I’m thinking about Herky.

 

Pawprince,

 

I don’t want to get rid of his things.  I’ve been collecting all his stuff from around the house and putting them in “his” chest for safe keeping.  I tend to has bad luck with important stuff getting destroyed.  I keep going through that chest.  Most of the rest of my furniture needs replaced.  We were planning on moving anyway as my business has outgrown this property.  I don’t know how I’ll feel when we move.  I also have a few blankets he used that I’ll never wash.  Ever.

 

Anyone else who has replied or will reply,

 

Please don’t be offended if sometimes I have a short reply.  Please don’t think that I don’t appreciate you replying to my posts.  It’s just that sometimes after crying all day, it’s hard for me to type for very long.  My eyes tend to start hurting.  But I do always read and value your replies.

 

 

Day 14.

Two weeks.  Two weeks have passed since we lost Herk.  Two weeks.  I sit here typing that and I still can’t believe it.  These past two weeks have been hell.  I feel like I’ve died and my eternal torture has begun.  The sadness and despair and guilt is unrelenting.  I cried a lot today.  I wouldn’t say more than I have been.  But I would say a lot.  I didn’t sleep much, if any, last night.  I was home here alone and I couldn’t get over it.  I just cried.  I felt lonely.  I felt udder sorrow.  Then today was two weeks.  So that brings with it a different hurt.  

 

When I talk to my mom or my wife, I feel like and sound like a broken record.  I keep saying the same things over and over again.  How much I miss him.  How much he meant to me.  How I love him so much.  How I can’t believe this happened.  And they’ve run out responses.  My mom even said “I don’t really know what else to say.”  I get that.  Like I said, I’m a broken record.  I just don’t really think they understand how monumental of a loss this is for me.  I’m not mourning my dog, I’m mourning my soulmate. He was the love of my life.  ….love of my life.

 

I never dream.  More accurately, I never remember my dreams.  I can’t remember the last dream I had.  It was never a problem, until now.  I wish I could dream.  I wish I could see him every night in my dreams.  Laying with me on the couch.  Walking around the back yard.  Eating his supper.  But I don’t.  I don’t get to see or be with him in my dreams.

 

It’s been a pathetic day.  I’m exhausted.  I’m feeling sick.  I’m crying.  I’m alone.  There’s nothing left of the man I once was.  Now I’m just the shell of that man.  I had to tell someone today that “we had a schnauzer”.  Had.  Just one word, that hurt so much.  I hurt so much, always.  I’m ready for today to be over.  I’m just running out the clock on my life now.

 

Daddog

 

Daddog

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #48 

Day 17.  

The last few days have been absolutely awful.  I’m not sure how else to put it.  I’ve still been crying, a lot.  I usually break down at least once an hour.  But, I have noticed that I no longer cry ALL day and my meltdowns don’t last as long.  I don’t think my body could keep crying 20 hours a day.  What has replaced the crying and outbursts is equally as painful.  Constant sadness, constantly.  I have just been going through everyday in a fog.  I will sometimes just sit there and stare, not at anything in particular, while in pain.  I’m really having a hard time with the finality of it all.  I’m struggling with the concept of him being gone forever.  I’m trying to take it one day at a time, but I’m just having such rough days I can’t help but think to the future.  And the future looks bleak.  I don’t know how the hell I’m going to make it through thanksgiving.  That’s Turkey day for the Turkey dog.  The anniversary of the day I got him is coming up in less than a week.  It’s always been a special day to me.  Now this year it’s just another day.  That’s what they all feel like now, just another horrible day without my Herk.  I’m just constantly sad.  Powerful, overwhelming sadness.  It follows me everywhere.  I just sit there, or stand there, or lay there, and think about him and how my life is never going to be the same.  Never.  Nothing will ever be the same again.  Me, my relationships with friends and family, relationships with work clients, my routines, my interests, my body language, my voice inflections, everything.  

 

I really, really miss talking to him.  I miss using my special Herky voice.  I’ve tried to use it a few times while I’m talking to him, but it just feels off.  I miss talking to him about nonsense stuff, I miss having conversations with my wife by us both talking to him instead of each other.  I miss saying all his nicknames, and he had quite a few nicknames.  I miss saying those nicknames to him while petting him.  It seemed like he got a new nickname every month.  I miss all the little inside jokes that we had.  Whether it was my wife, Herk, and I all in on the joke, or just Herk and I.  I miss those.  I miss telling him he’s silly, and slicy, and my little big boy.  I miss telling him how much I love him and how much he was the best thing that ever happened to me.  I miss telling him about my day, good or bad.  I miss telling him all the things that were going wrong in my life.  I miss sitting down with him and pouring out my soul to him.  I miss telling him where I’m going when I leave.  I miss telling him about where I’d been when I get back.  I miss talking to him before bed.  I miss telling him how I love him and about all the things that tomorrow would bring.  But, now there is no tomorrow for Herk and me.  There is no today for Herk and me.  All that’s left is what was.  

 

Herk was the center of my life.  I know that many people also put their pet at the same level of importance as I did.  It was great.  Him being what my whole life revolved around felt like heaven.  But, the downfall of putting a loved one who has a short lifespan at the center of your world means that inevitably, your entire world will come crashing down upon you.  My whole life has crashed down.  I don’t even know where to start over.  That’s what it feels like, starting over.  The last nine years of my life, gone.  Now I somehow have to start over, a whole new life, a whole new person.  I don’t want a new life, I want my life with Herky.  I feel each day that passes I get further from him.  Like each day that passes somehow puts more distance between us.  What it feels like is I’m in the back seat of a car that is pulling away from Herk, and all I can do is press up against the window and watch him as the car continues down the road.  I close my eyes and picture him standing there as that car, and my life, drives down the road without him.  And I sob and sob.

 

Herky was the one thing I held closest to my heart.  He wasn’t just the most important thing to me while I had him, he was the most important thing I’ve ever had.  There was just something about that dog.  I love him so much.  I tried to give him the best life I could.  Just having him in my life made any hardship tolerable.  He made my life easier when times were hard, and even better when times were good.  It made me feel special to be “Daddog”.  I’ve been going by that nickname for quite a few years now.  I’m not sure I still want to call myself that.  With Herk gone, I don’t know if I like that nickname.  With Herk gone, there’s not much I do like.  The one thing I cared for the most, is just gone.  How is anyone supposed to deal with that?  Thursday he was having such a good day, and Friday he almost died and Saturday we had to say goodbye.  How is someone supposed to just go on with their life?  He was my whole world.

 

I used to tell my friends and family that I didn’t know what I’d do without him.  Here I am now, and I still don’t know what I’m going to do.  I’m depressed all the time.  Even when I’m not crying I’m just sad, always.  I don’t know how that gets better.  I feel alone.  So alone.  Even though I have my wife and plenty of work dogs, I feel alone.  I could be in a huge crowd of people, and still feel like the only one in the room.  It kind of feels like I’ve been plucked out of my old life and dropped into some foreign land where I have to start over.  I always knew what he was thinking, and he always knew what I was thinking.  We trusted each other.  But now I’m alone here without him.

 

Today is almost over.  I continue to watch the clock waiting for each day to end.  It feels so wasteful.  I don’t know what else to do.  I stay busy, but it doesn’t help.  I don’t understand the point of a life like that.  I don’t really understand the point of life anyway.  It seems like life is just a long journey where you collect as many of your broken hearts as you can carry, then eventually you break the heart of someone else.  It seems so tragic.  

 

We “slept” in the bed last night.  It was more like crying and flipping and flopping in the bed.  Didn’t get much sleep.  But we have to keep trying to sleep in there.  We can’t go on sleeping on the couches forever.  I did consider getting a new bed, but I’m not sure that would do it.  It might help, but not much.  I just want my old life back.

 

Daddog.

doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #49 
I totally get it. I know the pain, it stabs like a knife in your chest. About a month after Jada passed , I started having trouble swallowing. It felt like someone was strangling me. It was the grief . I read in another book about the road to recovery of grieving that you can get strange physical symptoms, like the one throat thing. A few nights after she passed, I woke up in a cold sweat, I felt like I was freezing from the inside out. The entire inside of my body felt like ice, it was a terrifying experience. I think it was an anxiety attack from having a dream that I was calling her name & couldn’t find her, but I could hear her faint bark in the distance. I was panicking in my dream, & woke up still panicking. When I was awake I laid there & thought that maybe I had accidentally killed my girl with the hose. Maybe she was too soaking wet & cold. All kinds of bizzare thoughts running through my head. I knew that wasn’t really possible because the water hose was one of her most favorite games & she’d put herself in the stream, no matter where it was. She’d played that game a thousand times before. But at that moment of waking up, that was my reality.

Everything you’re feeling is normal. You loved with Herky with your whole heart & he loved you with his.
Even with how much you’re hurting right now, I’m sure you’d never want to trade that pain for the life you had with Herky. He’s still with you, by your side. Try giving some of your pain over to God , He understands sadness & pain.

You know how you talked to Herky about your day, & pretty much about everything, can you try talking to your wife like that? Or maybe you do, I don’t know. It helps to be able to have that kind of communication with someone on a daily basis. I know I wish my husband would open up & talk about things with me, but I know its hard for some guys to open up & talk @ their feelings. Its healthy & healing. Not to sound religious or cliché ,but God is available to listen all the time, & I know that He put Herky into your life for a reason. He taught you things. He also taught you that life is brief, & that we need to make the most of every day even when it hurts . Try to think more about the love that Herky gave you and how he would like you to share that with others . I know that that Jada taught me things & I think she has actually been telling the butterflies to come to the garden that I made for her because she loved the butterflies and so do I . It reminds me that if I stop being sad for a bit, that sometimes I can feel her presence, & that makes me happy. I haven’t stopped missing her , but the constant crying has stopped . It will eventually for you to, And don’t take that to mean that you don’t still miss Herky, but just that your grief is changing.

I’ll never understand Why Jada was taken so young, & I had thought I had so much more time with her. She was ripped out of our lives., it seemed so unfair. But life isn’t fair, & this is not our eternal home. I have chosen to still worship & praise God even when it hurts. You are right, there is so much pain & suffering in this life. Start trying to find at least one positive thing every day to be grateful for. It really helps.
I am now going through what you went through with Herky when you were anticipating the day you dreaded. Im going through it with Leo. He is still with us for now, but I know the day that I always said I don’t know how I would be able to go on without him is almost here. His good days aren’t so good, & his bad days are getting worse. When I think about him not being here anymore, I start to get really freaked out. We took him to a local ice cream shop in town where they make homemade gelato , on the way there I started crying to myself but tears were pouring down my face because I was remembering how much Jada loved that place , and how excited she would be to get her own ice cream cup , that she would lick up so fast that I don’t know how she didn’t get brain freeze . She would be the first one done and then she would try to eat Leo’s . I tried not to let my husband see that I was crying because I didn’t want to spoil the moment for Leo . We never got to take Jada there for her birthday because she passed 2 weeks beforehand.
Then when Leo smelled the gelato which he also loved, he turned his head away & wasn’t interested. That is very worrisome. My husband got him to eat a little after he started eating it. My husband is Leo’s human. He thinks he is the greatest thing on the planet. Leo loves everybody, but you know how they pick out their human. My husband is going to be devastated when he’s gone. But so am I. He’s my first dog, & he’s had a rough life from the get go, but he still loves living.
But the last week, Ive been looking at him laying there on his bed so still & running up to him & checking if he’s still breathing. I don’t want to have to make that awful decision for him, but I also don’t want him to suffer. I don’t know why Im rambling on , but I thought you’d understand what Im going through right now with Leo . Thanks for listening .
I am praying that you find moments of peace throughout your day, & that God reveals to you that Herky is safe & happy & that you’ll see him again.
I hope your pain starts to lessen each day.

Jada’s mom
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #50 
Daddog and Jada's Mom,

How are you guys doing?  I've been thinking of you both.

Riley's mom
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #51 
Rileys mom ,
Thank you for asking. I was actually going to ask Herky’s dad how he’s doing. I haven’t seen him on here in a while. I hope my last post didn’t offend him . I was trying to be helpful. Its so difficult losing our loved ones. I am trying to be grateful for something each day, & look for positive things around me. It is in those times that I see a butterfly that reminds me of Jada, or something beautiful like she was. She was always happy so I think thats what she was here to teach me. I tend to be more of a pessimist & a realist , so she made me laugh every day. She knew I needed to lighten up & laugh more. She was so good at that. Im starting to think that each pet we bring into our lives is an angel meant to teach us something.

Jada opened my life to the world of dog sports. That was a great world. We met other great dog people, some of which we are still our friends. The dog clubs became like family. We all had the common bond of enjoying the outdoors & spending all of our free time with our dogs. I miss that. When Jada couldn’t jump up one day & cried out in pain, that world ended. She was one of the most loved dogs on the Shutzhund field. She made us so proud. After we found out she had the beginning of spondylosis, her sports days were over. But because I found an excellent chiropractor that adjusted her , she was still able to run, swim , & hop, just no big jumps. She loved sports, that was her, she was super competitive in everything she did. Every day was a “ working “ day for her because she loved learning new things and then loved showing off.
I am sad that I posted something on the person who talked about someone being rude about them STILL grieving the loss of their pet & I looked for my post & it wasn’t there. I totally understand that person because I feel the same way. People expect you to move on , not realizing that in grief you have a bunch of firsts. Like The first birthday without them , The first memorial day, first Fourth of July, the first labor day , the first thanksgiving the first Christmas, & the first Easter . Each of these holidays hold special memories and each time they come up it brings back the sadness, the missing, the emptiness , the space that they filled.
I am glad that you are getting a puppy, because that is what Riley would want you to do . She’ll be so happy that you are using but you learned with her on another companion. Thats all our dogs / pets ever wanted is us to be happy. They don’t want to see us miserable for the rest of our lives. I actually have a friend who just had a litter of working line German Shepherd‘s and I got to spend a couple of days over there taking pictures and playing with them and I cannot tell you how healing that was for me . Problem is I get attached so quickly and I know that I cannot get a puppy right now because of Leo’s condition . He is not doing well and he is having a hard time getting up and getting around so bringing a puppy in right now would not be fair to him at all . My friend actually really wanted me to take one because he wanted me to do the training with her that I did with JADA , & they are drivey, little things, and although I would love to do that I told him I would have to pass right now and that was very difficult because they are all females . Just being around them was so much fun, but Im not ready yet.
Wishing you well
Jada’s mom

Daddog,
How are you? Haven’t heard from you in a while. Everything you wrote in your daily journaling is how I felt those first couple of months. I like reading your logs because you are so in depth & so real. I hope each day is getting a little bit better for you. We are here to listen & we understand the depth of your pain. I hope you are finding some peace. Herky would want that for you. He wants you to be happy. You will NEVER stop missing him, but he wants you to smile again, laugh again, & love again. It takes time to come out of the fog but you will.
I have to run for now. Leo has a vet appointment today & Im worried about him. Seeing him like this is so difficult. I hope the vet can do something to help him.
Wishing you well
Jada’s mom
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #52 
Jada's mom,

I posted this in another thread, but I think you will like this.  It pretty much speaks to exactly what you are saying.  This is from Susan Garret and agility trainer from Canada.  She had posted it years ago to her blog, but people requested it again for good reason.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TfXGD4hP1Ro&t=188s
Daddog

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #53 

Riley2018 and Doglife,

 

Thank you both for your concern.  How is Leo doing?  I was absolutely not offended by your reply.  I’ve been stopping back to read posts of others loss, but I haven’t posted.  I was afraid other members would become bothered by my daily posts.  I guess I was afraid I would end up going to the well to many times and “wear out my welcome”.  So, thank you again for caring.  I wanted to post many days.  I didn’t.  I should have.  The truth is, I’m not doing good.  At all.  Today is day 26.  Twenty-six days.  It seems to unreal when I type that.  The 26 worst days of my life.  As the fall days get shorter, they feel longer.  I still cry all day.  I still wake up and lay there.  Crying.  I can barely get out of bed.  Today I almost didn’t.  I haven’t got any better, if I’m being honest, I’ve gotten worse.  I think as time continues it’s march forward, reality sets in more and more and more.  The reality of what my life has become.  What my future is capable of becoming.  Each day I feel like I had to have hit rock bottom, then the next day comes and takes the title from the previous.

 

I’ve tried to do some things to work on my grief.  I have gathered all his stuff together and have it in his chest for safe keeping.  I wrote all the thank you cards for the gifts and cards we received.  I’ve started to organized some pictures.  But, I just keep getting worse.  10/01 was our anniversary.  That hurt.  Real bad.  They’re all bad days.  I don’t know how to heal from this.  Herky used to be the one who healed me.  This wound feels like it may never heal.  IF it does, the scar that remains might just be all that’s left of me.  

 

I still feel alone.  Very alone.  Life is coming and going all around me all the time, but I feel alone.  I feel alone because I am alone.  One of toughest parts of loss is the unpredictably of it’s arrival.  You never know when something you love will be taken.  There is no way to prepare for loss.  I tried.  Each day seems to bring with it a new reason for my despair.

 

I just can’t let him go.  I’m trying.  I know I have to.  I just, can’t.  I can’t let my little boy go.  My heart just keeps holding on.  I can’t get past his absence.  People tell me he’s in a better place or he’s free of pain, but….I’m not.  I’m still here, in pain.  

 

Daddog

scott

Registered:
Posts: 10
 #54 
Daddog hang in there man. If you have to post 10 times a day then go ahead. We all want everyone to feel better. what works for one person might not for another. 
iheartdierks

Registered:
Posts: 20
 #55 
Daddog,

I'm so sorry for your loss. I've been reading your posts and can relate to everything you said. I lost my sweet little cat Dierks 30 days ago. It was sudden and unexpected. He was only 8, 2 months away from being 9 years old. I took him to the vet on Tuesday and lost him Thursday morning.  It's been the worst experience of my life losing him.  I have other cats that I love dearly but there was something special about my little Dierks. I don't want to get over him. I look at his pics and videos everyday and cry everyday. It has gotten better but I'm sad. I have moments where I'll feel a little better and then it hits me like a ton of bricks that he is actually gone.  I'm starting to think less about his last couple of days and more about my memories of him, the feeding times and the cute things he did and it's just so hard. For the first 4 weeks all I could think about were those last days and the day I said goodbye. It is so heart wrenching and even though it's been 30 days I'm still in shock and can hardly believe it. I know I won't find a love like that again.  Like others have said, I feel it was unfair he was taken like this. What is keeping me going is I have hope that I'll see him again and his spirit is out there. 

Coming to this website has helped me tremendously and I don't know what I would have done without it. I realized I'm not alone. Like others have said, others have shocked me with their responses. My mom has said, "you'll have to move on" and "accept it" and it's heart wrenching to hear those words and I don't want to move on or accept it. I know I won't move on and am just living with his loss. I'm scared of how many years ahead I have without him.  

Best wishes to you daddog.

Dierks mom
Daddog

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #56 

Scott,

 

Thank you for the encouragement.  A lot of the time this place feels like the only place I can talk.  I’m sorry for your loss of Guy.

 

Iheartdierks,

 

I’m very sorry to hear about your kitty.  The number of years ahead scare the hell out of me.  Just thinking about it makes me cry.  I’ve been trying to let go.  God knows I’ve been trying, but I can’t…..I just can’t.

 

Riley2018,

 

I wanted to let you know I ordered “The grief recovery handbook for pet loss”.  It will be here next week.  Thanks for the suggestion.  I looked into the Grief Recovery Institute, they seem to know what they’re doing.

 

Day 28.  Four weeks ago today at 2:50pm my life changed forever.  A moment in time that I can never, yet don’t want to forget.  Four weeks ago today my little boy Herky took his last breath.  I held him for the last time.  I gave him my last hug.  I gave him my final kiss.  I had to say goodbye to the love of my life.  I lost my hero.  I lost my best friend.  I lost my soulmate.  Today is Saturday.  Saturday’s will never be the same for me.  Ironically, Saturday used to be our “special” day.  We would always get up early and go get gas and breakfast.  Then come home and watch football if possible.  We would always spend the whole day together.  Now, Saturday’s will always remind me of losing him, not car rides and couch snuggles.  Now they will remind me of the drive to the vet office to say goodbye.  I have to drive by that vet office almost everyday.  Sometimes I’m angry at that building, sometimes the mere sight of it makes me break down.  And sometimes, it makes me sad in a way I can’t describe.

 

I stood in the kitchen today and just looked out the window into the backyard for quite awhile today.  I stood in that spot and looked out that window, just as I had so many times over the years while he went potty.  While he checked his fence, while he smelt his way around and left his scent.  It registered in my head that after 4 weeks and quite a bit of rain, his scent is probably no longer present in that yard.  I daydreamed for some time.  I pictured him walking around the yard.  The way he used to trot.  I used to say he looked like a miniature, miniature horse.  The way he used to poop.  He couldn’t just stay still, he had to be waddling forward.  I pictured opening the backdoor and hollering for him to come in.  These are the mental images that used to make me smile, now they make me weep.

 

I’ve been staying up later and later each night.  I didn’t sleep well to begin with, but now things are different.  I think my brain doesn’t want to go to sleep hoping that staying up will somehow delay tomorrow.  Like, if I hold on to today long enough then tomorrow can’t come yet.  And if tomorrow doesn’t come, then I don’t have to face another day without my little Herk.  And if I don’t have to face tomorrow, then I certainly don’t have to face next week or next month or next year.  I know this is all silly and ridiculous, but I think that’s what my mind is doing.  

 

We were supposed to be together forever.  We were just going to keep on going until the world ended or we passed away together.  I lost so much more than a dog.  I told my best friend the other day that it kind of feels like I’ve lost multiple individuals in my life.  I lost my business partner, my therapist, my best friend, my soulmate and my little boy.  I asked him to imagine waking up tomorrow and 5 people he knows and cares about are gone, and how devastated he would be.  That’s how I feel.  Not only did I lose my little boy, but I lost all the other important things he was to me.  Herk meant so much more to me than a dog.  He was my whole world.  I can’t stress that enough.

 

Today has been terrible.  I woke up this morning and laid in bed for 90minutes.  Just laying there.  I would cry, then lay there in silence, then would cry some more.  I’ve been crying for most of the day today.  Seems like all I do is cry anymore.  I’m exhausted everyday by noon just from the sobbing.  Today being four weeks is making me hurt a little extra.  I’m still having problems with my brain.  It still doesn’t seem to be working correctly.  It’s like I’m kinda dizzy and dazed.  I still haven’t smiled.  Not a single smile in 4 weeks.  I’m either crying or on the verge of crying every second of every day.  I know everyone says this, but, I just wish we had more time, ya know.  Like, even just one more day.  I would have given up everything to keep him with me.  I would have given every dollar, every cent, every possession, just to keep him with me.  I would have given up everything I would EVER have just to keep him with me.  I would have given up as many years of my own life as it took, just to prolong his.  As I sit here typing this post the tears are streaking down my face.  Every post I write, I write while I cry.  But, I’m really having a tough day.  I just want him to come home.  I know he can’t.  But today, I just really want him to come home.  …I miss you so much Turkeydog.

 

I was just so happy with so little.  I’ve made just about every mistake a man can make along the path of life.  I’ve pissed away my education.  I chased off everyone who ever cared about me.  I’ve never had any real money.  I’ve had such bad luck that I tell people I’m convinced that I’m the star of some secret reality show where they set me up for failure.  But, with my little Herky, I was happy.  It was like, all the rest of it was background noise, ya know.  The whole world could have been burning down around us, but as long as we had each other, life was perfect.  And now I look back at the stuff I did worry about, and it seems so insignificant.  Money, seems so insignificant.  You could gather up every dollar on earth and then triple it, and I still wouldn’t have traded it for my Herk.  

 

It’s been hard to come home.  I pull into the driveway and ponder how long I’m going to sit there before I go inside.  Sometimes it a short stay in the car, sometimes it’s a little longer.  Sometimes I just sit there and cry before I come inside.  Sometimes I just daydream about our time together, thinking about how there is no more memories to add.  No more pictures.  No more videos.  No more evidence of the best years of my life.  The problem with the best years of your life is there’s no one there telling to pay attention and memorialize every moment.  I knew they were the best years, I just didn’t want to believe they would end.  I just squandered so much time. …Herky, I’m so sorry I wasted so much time, I love you.

 

 

Daddog

skmk

Registered:
Posts: 93
 #57 
Dear Daddog,

My heart breaks for you.  I've read all of your posts.  I'm still dealing with my own loss and so many of the things you're going through I can relate to.  It is so hard to come home and not have Dickens there.  It's so hard to wake up in the morning and again Dickens is not there.  Everything reminds me of him because we were always together like you were with your boy.  I too figure Dickens' scent is no longer around.  It's hard to go back to the vet office where he died but I have to in order to take care of my cat who doesn't have much time left.  But 3 years ago I lost another dog at another vet and I wasn't able to drive past that place for 2 years and haven't been back since.  I too don't want to go to bed because I know I'll have to wake up and be in pain.  I know that crying leaves me totally depleted and feeling worse.  When Dickens was here I too avoided the people who cared about me mostly because I didn't think they really did.  But now little by little I'm welcoming those people back into my life even if it's just a quick phone call.  Not to talk about Dickens but just to connect.  They know about my situation and seem at least to understand.  And since I couldn't find a pet loss support group or a grief and loss support group I'm joining a group that deals with depression and anxiety because I think I have those 2 things going on in addition to the grief.
I want to thank you and Riley for mentioning the book The Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss.  I think I will be ordering that.  Daddog I want you to know I will be thinking about you.  When you didn't post for a few days I wondered how you were doing.  Please take care of yourself.  Hugs to you.
skmk
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #58 
Daddog,
I am so sorry for your pain & I know , I was there , where you are. I too had a hard time sleeping & my brain just wouldn’t shut off, it kept going over & over that last day, those last moments with Jada. How could it be real when it was so surreal? Why couldn’t I save her? Was she aware that I was there screaming her name & sobbing & trying to make her come back to me? Those moments of her dropping by my side & laying there lifeless haunted me for many days & nights. I couldn’t get that out of my head. Every night I’d lay in bed & my brain would just replay that awful moment over & over.
What signs did I miss? I would finally drift off to sleep, but when I woke up, I’d look for her & when I’d realized she was no longer here, I wouldn’t want to get out of bed. I would lay there & wish her back. I had no energy to get out of bed. The only reason I did is that I had other responsibilities, but I’d go through the day in a haze. Literally, I think from crying so much, I couldn’t see out of my contacts. Every thing that I did felt off. My whole world felt off. Nothing was the same. She made even crappy days fun, now they were just crappy rainy days. She was so intune with me. Like she was a part of me. She’d be silly at times, & then so intense & serious at other times. She was ALWAYS watching over my daughter & any friends she brought in the house, Jada would keep her eyes on them at all times. She’d follow them everywhere & just watch them like a mama. It was really good when my daughter started bringing her boyfriends to the house, because Jada wouldn’t take her eyes off of them. So we called her Mama girl.
Sometimes I would think I’d see her out of the corner of my eye. Sometimes I would call her name, hoping that the whole thing was just a bad dream. The cloud that hung over my head throughout the day made it difficult for me to get my work done . Sometimes it made it difficult to even breathe . I guess what I’m trying to say, is that, that first month was the hardest. Between the shock of it all & the crying , it was the worst.
Stay strong, it does get better. I remember people telling me that in the beginning & I didn’t believe them. Maybe I didn’t want to believe them, because the pain was too raw, too fresh. I thought there’s no way, that I would ever feel back to normal again.
The pain that you feel is normal, When you love somebody that much there is always a risk of pain and heartbreak when they are no longer here. It just goes to show that you are a better person than you think you are with a big heart. Herky was lucky to have you for a dad. His love for you remains, & you will begin to feel it more as time goes on. After you come out of the darkest part of grief, you will start to see signs that he is still with you in spirit.
I started reading books @ losing pets, but until I found the book, “ Biblical Proof Animals Do Go To Heaven” by Steven Woodward, did I start to feel some relief. I think because of his story & how Real he was in sharing his pain & his questions about his own dog, did I realize what an important & huge part of our lives our furry companions truly are. I actually wasn’t crazy for my feelings of deep sadness & despair like some people made me feel.
I’m glad that you’re coming on here & sharing your story. I hope you don’t mind that I share mine. It helps me in some way. Maybe because I can relate to what you’re going through. Take one day at a time.
Here’s to Hope & Comfort,

Jada’s mom
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #59 
Daddog,
How are you doing?   I haven't seen you post in a few days.   I just had to come on and vent a little.   Is it just me, or are dogs truly better than most people?   I am really starting to dislike MOST everbody.  Even people I've helped out in the past , turn out to be rude and people I wish I never knew.   I had a friend , who I had met from the dog world, who was struggling and going through hard times so I helped her out the best I could.  She had 4 dogs and had to end up rehoming 2 of them because her husband left her high and dry, and she couldn't even pay her mortgage.    I texted her a question today about a Landscaper that we were considering doing work in our yard and he lived close by her and he also owned a German Shepherd and it is his service dog.  I texted her asking if she knew of him and she did, and I aksed her about the German blood lines of his dog and that's when she got all snippy with me.   She started asking how I knew him, if I was looking into working line German Shepherds because that's what he has, and the conversation went way off track.  She started asking about my male , unfixed German Shepherd that I would love to stud out because I would love to be able to get one of his prodigy.  I don't know why she started this line of questioning , but it then led to training quesstions and I just lost my personal trainer who I had for 5 years because he started up his own business doing something else.  With German Shepherds you have to get them titled in Shutzhund which is Tracking, Obedience with some agility , and Protection, and then need to make it to 3 levels to prove they are worthy to be bred.  Then there's testing of hips, elbows and for DM.       Anyway, I haven't found any good training clubs near me, so I haven't finished titeling him.  NO big deal, he's still a super obedient, and Protection dog.   This person who I thought was my friend starts laying into me about me not being commited to a training club and that's why my dogs not titled.  I told her that I tried out a few and didn't like the trainers who were too heavy handed.  

I told her that I found out that one of the trainers by me, kicks the dogs when they don't listen.  I told her I think that's abuse.  She told me that , that was not abuse, because she had some really tough dogs who the trainers kicked and it supposedly didn't phast the dogs. She told me how one of her females tried to jump up and kiss the trainer and he threw her down on the ground, and she didn't mind it, because her dog got right back up and tried to kiss him again.   I am sorry, but I woud've immediately got up grabbed my dog and got the hell out of there, said some cuss words and never looked back.   She was basically tellilng me that I can't commit to training because my dog is to soft to handle getting punched and kicked around.    This really made me angry,  seriously angry so much so that I'm up at wee hours of the morning typing this.   I just found out from my friend with the puppies that his trainer kicks the dogs because they are tough dogs and they need that type of discipline.  Am I the ONLY one who thinks this is animal abuse?   I don't care how tough the dog is,  no dog deserves to be kicked.  If this is how the training world of Shutzhund works then sign me OUT.   I can work with my own dog and I have never kicked my dogs.  I have disciplined them with other training methods that work, but Never by abusing them.   No wonder his dogs cower when I go to pet them.   And the  fake friend I was talking to earlier ,  is bragging about trainers kicked and throwing her dogs on the ground?   I don't even want to be her friend anymore!
What in the hell is wrong with people?  These animals give nothing but love and loyalty and want to work for their human, and then they get beat when they do something wrong?  I am drowning right now in anger over this.  Then this fake friend goes on to lecture me about me and needing commitment to a club to title my dogs.   I am not goint to commit to a club where 1. they kick dogs around, 2. I don't agree with the training style, 3. where my dog isn't happy.    The sport was supposed to be made for the dog, and for the dog to be happy doing it.   How can the dog be happy doing it, when they are getting beat?    This lady who chastised me over and over for not being commited to a club hasn't even trained or titled a dog in over a decade.  But she breeds them without titles, and she doesn't even get the hips and elbows checked, but she claims her lines are the best?  She doesn't even know if her lines carry certain flaws in the breed.   She's being used by a mastor manipulator dog breeder.  

I can't imaging kicking the crap out of my dog, and I'm surprised these dogs don't end up attacking their handlers.   I just love being lectured by a person who isn't even in the training world right now, and being told my dog is a piece of crap because he's not toughh enough to take a beating.   My dog would run through a brick wall for me, but I wouldn't make him do it , just for the heck of it.   I am starting to question every single dog trainer, and dog sports trainer and these titles that are becoming nothing more than just a politcal game token to breed your dog.   

Then I'm dealing with my family , my own family who uses me when they need help , and then when they don't they party with my sister and her boyfriend who NeVER help in any family crisis , but they are idolized and I'm the scapegoat for any falling out we have with each other.  I'm sick of caring more about everyone elses feeling then they care about mine.  They don't bat an eye to hurt me, but I  have a hard time even telling them that they hurt me because they get mad at me and punish me for speaking up for myself.  I am tired of being the nice guy.  I am tired of biting my tongue for everyone, but they sure don't for me.  I am going to be brave and stand up for myself in a very important issue, it's important to me regading my daughter.  IF they get mad then that' going to be on them and I cannot feel guilty because they are upet by my boundary.    

Dogs really are better then people.  There's no drama, no deceitfulness, no back stabbing, no lying, and no mistreatment of us.   I miss Jada so much, she was a shining light in my world.  She made me so proud and so happy.  She was such a joy and how I wish she was still here.  She was more intelligent than most people I know.   She was loyal to the end.   People just suck, they always let me down.  I am finding it harder and harder to trust anybody these days.  The more I learn about people the less I like thenm. Maybe this is wrong of me, but I can't help feeling that.  My dogs never hurt me like people do.  It sucks they can't live with us forever.    I think there's a reason DOG is spelled GOD backwards.  

I wanted to hear someone's take on this.  Is it just me, or is this mind blowing?   
Wishing you peace and healing,

Jada's mom
Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #60 
Hey Jada's mom,

First, you are absolutely correct on your feelings of the kicking and all of those dogs!  I had no idea!  It sucks that you have to be titled in Schutzhund to breed your dog, but I understand, since obviously there are so many unscrupulous breeders out there breeding willy nilly.

One of the things that Riley taught me was about reward-based dog training.  I had never done that kind of training before.  I remember though when he was younger, I took him to a place and they put a softer nylon kind of choke collar on all the puppies.  One time the trainer got Riley as an example and just popped him with that collar and Riley yelped a bit and that was the last time I let anyone demo with my dog.  There was another stupid trainer who took a Border Collie that was growling and she grabbed her dog and was just roughly holding it down and growling back at it.  I just watched, not knowing exactly what to think at the time, but I felt bad for that dog.  Another time she grabbed another dog and was jerking his collar and the dog was letting out little yelps and I found it really disturbing. I decided if that trainer ever wanted to grab Riley, I would walk out.  Thankfully she never did and the class was over soon and I never went back to that place. Anyway, I soon learned about clicker training and never went back to any other training. 

Look up Susan Garrett and what she does with her dogs--they are amazing.  I learned from Riley that growling often times means fear, so kicking a dog is not going to help.  I understand that German Shepherds are a much tougher dog than a herding dog, but still, there's no reason to treat them in that despicable way.  Even Leerburg now does reward-based training and Ed Frawly the owner actually talks about how he used to train police dogs and he totally changed his way.  Michael Ellis is another trainer of mondio ring Belgian Malinois and he also uses food and toy reward based training.  So there is no need and these people are idiots.  I probably could write about this for hours.

Secondly, yes, I have said it many places, but I think for the most part, people can really suck.  I truly think that is one of the reasons many people have such horrible un-ending grief over the loss of their pets.  The relationships we have with people is never ever as warm, cuddly, and positive like it is with our pets.  

And families, yeah, even them.  I always had a great relationship with all my family--we are extremely tight.  But all of the sudden, politics has really come into the picture. Most of us think one way and my mom and dad and my one brother and his wife think the opposite.  My mom blames it on the fact that my one brother and I changed when we got married.  Well, yeah, maybe we changed, but we learned things that we were not aware of before.  One time on New Years day, we were all together and somehow we got into a political conversation and my husband, sister-in-law, brother and I really got into it with my mom and my brother and it was really really bad.  My mom left and pretty much blamed me because I am now more into this stuff than I was when my head was in the sand.  Anyway, even though my husband apologized and said he would never do that again, I've had my mom and brother gang up on me one time and it was really bad.  So, we've now had this rift and my mom gets so nasty about it and it sucks.

Anyway, I could go on, but I do see what you're saying.  I really absolutely totally am against training dogs with adversives, when you can get so much from reward-based training.  There has to be someone around who trains Schutzhund that way--you may need to drive farther, but you're right about your so-called friend.  Not to mention your dog is your dog and what you do with him is up to you.  If she thinks it's great to kick her dog, I just feel bad for the dog.  I know there are people around who train differently--there has to be.  There are probably natural rearing breeders of German Shepherds--in fact I know of one in Maryland.  That's what I did when getting my puppy--yeah, the breeder is all the way across the country in Washington state, but he is being raised totally different.  English Shepherds are more sensitive, so you could raise your voice at them and shut them down.

Anyway, I have to go for now--I'll check back later.

Riley's mom
skmk

Registered:
Posts: 93
 #61 
Dear Jada's Mom,     

I just had to chime in and tell you it's not you.  This thing IS mind blowing.  I know nothing about Schutzhund at all but I was appalled at the abuse these dogs have to suffer through.  It makes me so mad and sad for those dogs.  And for what?  Just so you can breed your dog I assume to another dog with the title?  Sounds like a lot of politics going on in the Schutzhund world.  Have they not heard of positive reinforcement?  If someone saw these people kicking their dogs and throwing them on the ground at a dog park I bet someone would call the cops.

I don't have much experience with dog training but many years ago I went to a breeder to buy a sheltie puppy.  She said she would throw in some training techniques.  So one of the techniques was to get your dog to come.  So she set the puppy down and walked away about 30 feet.  She told the pup to come and she said when they don't come you go get them........you walk up to them and grab them by the side of the neck and drag them back to where you wanted them to come to.  So she dragged that pup 30 feet.  I was young and didn't know anything but that didn't sit well with me.  These were 8 week old puppies.  I didn't buy a pup from her.  What's wrong people?  Which leads me to your next subject and to answer your question yes, dogs are better than people. 

I was brought up to believe that all you have is your family because your family will never let you down.  Ha!  Most of my family has let me down.  And my parents families were letting them down but my parents just kept saying your family will never let you down.  After Dickens died I got no acknowledgement from family.  Maybe they were afraid to bring it up or even offer condolences.
But I got one card from a person NOT in the family who knew I was close to my dog.  That was very unexpected and nice.  I think that is why we mourn so for our pets.  We have lost something great and people can't even compare.  You're right Riley's mom...........people suck.   And now with the holidays coming up they will suck even more.  When you're in the stores they'll just push you out of the way and go tearing around.  Then in the check out line they're so anxious to check out they just about push you out of the way with their carriage.  I've been tempted to say to those people why don't you just run me over.  There will also be the crazy drivers.  But I'm getting off the subject.

Jada's mom you are right on and telling it like it is. 
I wish you luck with finding the right trainer.
Hugs,
skmk







doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #62 
Riley, and skmk,
Thank you so much for your reply's.  I was starting to wonder if there was something wrong with ME?   I think if any person abuses an animal , they deserve to get their arm bit off, but that's just me.     They are loyal to the death and they don't deserve being treated that way.   The breeder where I bought my 1st male GSD had puppy training classes, and I knew nothing back then.  My 1st dog Leo was born with severe hip dysplacia so he couldn't sit and down fast enough for them so they had us put a prong collar on him and then the trainer was popping him really hard and made him scream really loud.  I didn't like it,  I didn't like it at all.  A man from the group came up to me afterwards and told me that training didn't have to be so harsh and he showed me how he worked with his dog with treats.  He told me Leo was too sweet of a dog to be treated that way.    I didn't take him to any more classes after that day.  I took him to the orthopedic vet and found out about his severe dysplacia went back and told that breeder and told her NO more training for him.   She gave me another dog to replace him , but got to keep him of course or they'd just put him down,  he's still alive and extremely spoiled.  That other dog I got,  was my Jada girl,  the reason I'm here. 

I thought Me and Jada would go on forever.   She was so super smart and so easy to train.  Since we got her from the same breeder, we took her there for puppy classes.  I made sure that I trained her everything that they were working on at home with postive clicker training and she was super smart.   My daughter was 11 and she was a Junior handler, so that's why we stayed in their club.  She was training Jada for the McCormick Place for show ring , and for Rally.  I told my daughter to make sure she never overcorrected Jada like the owner / breeder did who taught the class.    One day, The breeeder who was also the trainer took one of the puppies who " wasn't listening" and hung her up by the neck with pinch collar on and according to my husband the puppy was screaming like she was being murdered and Julie said , this is how they learn that your the boss and that they have to listen when you tell them something.   I guess the owner of that dog, walked up to her crying and asked Julie to give her her dog back.  When she had her dog back , she screamed at Julie and asked her what the hell did she think she was doing to her dog, that she thought she was going to kill her.  She never came back,  I wouldn't have either.    I started watching Leerburg videos and Michael Ellis videos on positive training and started working with  Jada at home, and she excelled in everything quicker than the other dogs.   There was an exercise where the dogs have to hold the dumbells in their mouth and they don't like it cause it feels weird to them.  The way they taught it was barbaric,  I couldn't even explain it on here.   I was shocked and appalled.  I had bought my own dumbell and started playing retrieve games with Jada at home, so she was the only dog in the class that actually held the dumbell in her mouth.  The rest of the dogs dropped it out and wanted nothing to do with it. Hmm, I wonder why?

So Jada had a couple years of the McCormick place and it really wasn't her thing.  She got a whiff of Shutzhund at their club and that's what she truly wanted to do.  She was a sport girl, not a show girl.  My daughter moved on to other things and I started doing the Shutzhund training with Jada.  She loved it, but one day the jerk trainer smacked her in the nose with his stick and didn't even tell us, and later that night, about 10pm her nose started profusly bleeding.  I called the breeder and asked them why this would happen to a dog,  and I told them that I wondererd why the trainer who worked with her earlier that day,  had asked me if she had a bloody nose after her session,  but she didn't and I never remembered to ask him why he asked me that.  Apparently he used the stick for discipline because she snuck in a dirty bite on the sleeve.  She was OK, but my husband and I were so pissed we didn't go back for the rest of the season.  Unfortunately that club was training dogs old style methods and it was cruel methods that were so outdated, that it's ridiculous that they were still being used.   The next summer we found a fun only club and we had fun doing training,  but that winter Jada couldn't jump up any more without crying out in pain.   So she went to the orthopedic vet and we found out she had mild hip dysplacia and the beginning of spondylosis.   She was only 5 years old,  way too young for that kind of stuff to be going on with her.   So instead of moving forward with titling ,  I retired her, and we found a really good positive personal trainer and Jada had a blast with him.   He did personal protection work with her,  but this was after months of healing and recouping and therapy and chiropractic work.   She wanted to do something.  She was not the kind of dog that just like sitting still.   She wanted to work.   I am so happy that she spent the last 2 years of her short life having fun, doing what she loved, swimming , playing fetch, doing bite work with our trainer and guarding her yard.   She was very happy, and she was still going mock 8.   She never slowed down,  not even the day she died.   She literally died in motion, and I didn't know that was even possible.  But, apparently for her,  it was.  She did everything she ever did fast.  Fast was her only speed.

I remeber when Jada used to let you carress her ears and she'd get so   relaxed she would purr,  I will never ever , forget that sound she made.  It was literally like a dog purring and I didn't know dogs purr, but she did.  She loved her ears being carressed and she loved this one spot near her chest being rubbed, and when you scratched it just right, she'd tilt her head and lick the air, and purr.  It was the wierdest, wildest , thing, and then if you were lucky  , she'd let you cuddle her for a little bit.  Then she'd get up and move herself to a place where she'd want to be left alone.  It was as if she was a little aloof.  She was the Alpha of her pack , and maybe being the Alpha is why she  could never show signs of weakness, or  pain, or allow herself too much pleasure.  
I think that's why she hid having something wrong with her so well.  She hid it so well, her death was such a sudden shock,  I don't think I'll ever get over the post traumatic stress of it. 

She was so competitive with her younger brother, and she always had to win at everything.   Thank God , we got him from another breeder when we did because if I didn't have him, I don't know how I'd survive Jada's death. He was 8 weeks old and he looked like a little black teddy bear.   I wasn't looking for another dog, but I was tricked into going and just looking and ended up taking him home.  And he always wanted to be like Jada,  he thought she was the BEST thing ever.  So he was super easy to train, because he watched her and did whatever she did.   I would also never recommend the breeder we got him from.   But we were lucky, knock on wood, he's been the healthiest of the 3.   He's my shadow,  he's a working line so he's  high energy but he's still a boy, and he loves his  females and he like to cuddle.  He's a clown and a serious protector, and I would NEVER let anyone beat him,  they'd be sorry.     Although Zeus is NOT the type of dog that would take crap from anyone.  He is the type of dog that'd be putting that person in a cast.  He does not like to be messed with.  He likes his family and our personal trainer , but that's it.    So I guess that's good.  We got him for a protection dog and that he is.   But if I didn't have him to cry on, and love on, and keep me going,  I don't know how I'd manage.   Losing Jada was tragic, heartbreaking, and devastating, and I think of her every day.  She made me a better person, becasue she enjoyed every minute of every day.  She made everything fun, and if I worked to much,  she'd have none of that, she'd come in the office and nudge me and would make me go play with her.  I think she was the Ultimate leader of our family.  She kept everyone in line.    I could go on and on about how much she taught me , and how I learned so much about dogs and dog training from her, but I'd never stop.  

As for family's and all the dysfunction they bring ,  UGH!!!!    In the middle of major drama right now with mine.  So, so , so sick of it.  I'd love to move far , far away and live on 50 acres of land and have tons of dogs.   My parents think that they can tell me how to run my life, and my daughers life.   She just turned 18, and I"m 50!!!!    What is WRONG with THAT picture.  My dogs give me unconditional love, and that is something my parents never gave me, and still don't.   It's  why I cry harder when an animal dies in a movie, then a person.   They are innocent, loyal, loving, giving, funny , companions who seek to please their human and that's what they live for.  They ARE the BEST!    Each one brings something so beautiful into our lives, like the best gift ever.  I don't care if I don't have titles on Zeus,  and the entire Shutzhund world is coming apart at the seems right now anyway.   It's all become politics, cheating, and who you know.   It's not even REAL anymore, and most trainers just plain SUCK., around here anyway.  I'd like to stud Zeus out because I really want one of his prodigy.   If I he could produce a puppy with his traits and his looks,  I'd love to keep his prodigy living.    I just need to find a level headed owner, that can see him for what he is.  I've had him OFA tested for hips and elbows and he's excellent, so that's good.   His temperament is protection with a capital P,  and in today's world,  it's what I wanted.   But this titling for breeding purposes with German Shepherds is putting too much pressure on these dogs, too fast and it's become a place where more dogs are being ruined and the one's being titled really aren't all they are made out to be.  It's sad , really sad for the lover of this breed and for the dogs.  

Wishing you all the best and hugs and doggy kisses,

Jada's mom
sunspark

Registered:
Posts: 21
 #63 
Daddog, how are you? Please check in!!  

Everything you have written, I could have written as well about my dog Peety, he died unexpectedly because of a bad procedure a vet did... I wasn't there. He died alone and suffering, at a vet ICU, amongst people who did not care about him. It has been one year and I cry every time I think about his last hours. I would give 30 years off my life just to have him back.

We also had two other dogs, Peety's brother who was one year younger, and a rescue dog about the same age, all were about 13 years old. Peety's brother died 6 months after he did, and the rescue dog as well - it has been a hellacious year. But Peety was my soulmate as you were with Herky. 

Anyway, please come back and tell us how you are.
 
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #64 
To Lost our little boy Herky,
How have you been?    I haven't seen you on here in a long time.  But admittedly I haven't been on here in a while either.    How did you make it through Thanksgiving.  I know you said that was one of your special Holidays with Herky.  It was hard for me being without Jada.  But nobody knew that but me.   I didn't cook because I broke my foot earlier this year and I can't stand on it for long periods of time.  So we went out this year.  I always brought home left overs for Jada and she'd get super excited, but my other two enjoyed them.    It's just not the same though. I imagine it was difficult for you without your special boy there with you.   I've been trying so hard to get over this , but I just ending stuffing feelings down that are still super raw.  It's just that most people just don't get it at all.  It's been since May and they think it's ridiculous that a person grieve this long over a dog.    Although this first year has been so hard with everything being the first time without her.  Every Holiday is hitting me hard.  Especially with Christmas coming up.   We wrapped up presents for our dogs and they open them and play with them and it's so much fun watching them enjoy Christmas morning.   It was like watching little kids open their gifts.  Jada went around checking out what everyone else got and she played with every single new toy like they all belonged to her.   She like her new balls the best.  I saw a huge Hawk flying overhead the other day and I could see her in my mind with her Jolly ball in her mouth , looking up and shaking her head vigorously because she hated anything in her  "space- territory."   I miss watching her doing that, she always made me laugh.  

I actually had to remove myself from a Hemangiosarcoma group on FB because some lady was unbelievable rude to me and it really made me angry.   All I said was that my vet told me that these days,   due to everything in our environment and food, ect. that MOST dogs are going to die from Cancer.   She got all in my face about how there IS going to be a cure found.  Interesting to me that this particular cancer only in canines and not humans- would be a top priority for Drs. to find a cure when they can't even find one for humans.   My vet was trying to reassure me that there was nothing that I could've done differently and that took me forever to accept.  He said despite full body Ultra Sounds which they wouldn't recommend on " healthy" dogs, and would still not prevent the growth of cancer so small it  could still be undetected and that the next year it was done the cancer could already be spread to vital organs.   Basically it would be a futile attempt to try to find what is a death sentence to any dog that gets it.  There is NO cure, not even surgery.  Some of these people have spent thousands on surgery, chemo, radiation, medication, herbs, and other things to try to keep their dogs alive for maybe a month to 3 months.  This is having good and bad days,  recovery from surgery, having to monitor their every move.  They can have a great day and then be on deaths door the next.   Not all of us have that kind of money to spend on futile treatments and surgeries only leading to the same outcome.  I'm not saying I wouldn't want to have more time with my Jada.  I would Love that.  I'm also not saying I don't hope for a cure for cancer.  But  I'm a realist .   This lady went off on my about how they are trying to stay positive and that I should have pressed for an Ultrasound on my healthy dog  , because why bother go to a Dr. if you have high blood pressure.   What the hell did that have to do with my dog's death.  I had no idea there was a disease called Hemangiosarcoma, and since my dog showed no symptoms and was deemed healthy at all of her vet visits why in the world would  I or a vet do a a full  body Ultrasound on her?   She said the FB group was for people to become aware of signs,  but unfortunately by the time the people come to that site, their dog has had severe symptoms that caused them to investigate and do surgery , etc.  The outcome is still the same.  Death.  They may get a bit more time, but that time is consumed with how many red pills do I give, how many orange pills, my dog is vomitiing today, should I stop the turkey tails, my dog is having horrible diarrhea should I continue with this other herb?  My dogs gums are pale, should I rush to the ER?  Is it time?   I would have died of worry.  Although my dog dying at my feet without a clue that that day would be her last or that she was even sick is still traumatizing in and of itself.  But she HATED the vets,  hated being left at the vets and I don't think I could have left her there.  That lady didn't know my story.  She just decided that I shouldn't say what is true.  What my vet had a long talk with me about.  Sincerely saying that unfortunately most dogs will succumb to some form of cancer, and that to perform all of these hugely expensive tests , is not practical, not does it change anything.  He said if a dog is really sick and they are treating it with medicine for cancer or whatever , they will perform ultrasounds.  Otherwise to expect that every pet owner do these expensive tests and which most vets don't even have is a not practical and a vet would never recommend for a healthy dog.  

With the amount of diseases, viruses , bacteria, cancers, that can kill people, dogs, animals etc.  am I supposed to know every one and be aware of every symptom in case my dog is panting that my gosh I need to rush her into the ER and have emergency exploratory surgery?   I already worry about every little thing and I am am and have been way more vigilant than most dog owners I know.  How much more would worrying have saved my dog?   

In this life, people die unexpectedly , some in accidents, some of heart attacks, strokes, etc.    It is devastating to those left behind.  But it is a part of life, due to the sin curse there is death.  I didn't realize that even though I don't cry every day like I did at first, the pain is still there.  It's always there not as apparent, but certain  things will cause it to erupt.  A song, a bird flying overhead, food falling on the floor without her to clean it up, feeling her presence at times wondering if it's just my imagination, seeing her beautiful face in her picture frame thinking that she's watching over me ......   STILL.......  always.......  She was my muse , my best friend, the one who was ALWAYs there ,  of course this is going to STILL hurt, sting, be painful.  It doesn't just go away like people think it should.  It just doesn't.     

I was just thinking of you and wanted you to know you are not alone in your grief.   I hope you come back on and talk about your Herky.  He sounded like he was so special.   
One day at a time.  
Hanging in there,
Jada's mom 


Riley2018

Registered:
Posts: 55
 #65 
Hey Jada's mom, I too made the mistake of telling my brother and sister-in-law that I was still crying about Riley even though it's been over 6 months and they looked at me and said "really?" like they just couldn't believe it.  I guess at the moment I said it, I just wasn't thinking that they would judge me.  I think the people here are the only ones that get it.  And I've had a new puppy in my life for almost two months now and he has definitely kept me busy, but that doesn't mean I am not still missing my Riley terribly.  Of course we talk about Riley all the time and we call him the new puppy's Godfather.

We've talked about this before, but people can really suck and I do think sometimes the internet makes it worse.  I think people say things that they wouldn't normally say because they're kind of anonymous.  But, you did the right thing and left the group.  In some ways, what is the point now of being on the group anyway?  I know you want to learn more, but it doesn't seem like the right group.  My Riley died of cancer and I was one of those people who tried to do everything possible to avoid that and it still happened.  Sometimes when I think of him I still can't believe that's what happened to him.  And sometimes when I look at his pictures I still can't believe he's gone and I want to just hold his head in my hands and stare into his eyes, but I can't.

It's been really hard to get into the Christmas spirit, although it will be our puppy Torin's first Christmas.  But I have other things going on that are contributing to my stress and blah attitude.  But this new pup is really an awesome little guy and I am giving him my full attention, but I just always have those thoughts of Riley in my head.  Still at night many times I still have thoughts of his last half hour and it haunts me.  I hope you all can find peace somehow.

Riley's mom
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #66 
Rileys mom,
I was so glad to hear from you. I am so glad that you did get your puppy & that he’s an awesome little guy. You are so right about the some of the people on the Internet groups & about that group not being the right group for me. I don’t know why I stayed in it so long.
I did everything too , I thought to keep Jada healthy, & it sounds like you did too for Riley. There are so many factors that can contribute to a dog getting cancer or another disease, That we cannot blame ourselves. Its just mind boggling that they went so quickly. I am like you, I have a picture of Jada that I had blown up & I feel sometimes like its her looking at me & I so badly want to kiss her face & rub her ears that it hurts. I still cannot believe that she’s gone. This Christmas is blah for me too. There’s so many family issues going & sibling crap that its going to be a sad & lonely Christmas this year. I can’t deal with all the drama my family brings & I think that’s another reason that I’m so into my dogs. They are my family. This Christmas is already going to suck without Jada.
I bet the puppy will make it fun for you. I have a friend who had a litter in July & I so wasn’t ready for another dog, plus Leo would never be able to handle a puppy. But my friend still has all 3 puppies, although now they are 5 months old, so big puppies now. Since I know this is going to be Leo’s last Christmas because he’s really struggling to even walk now, I know my friend is going to try to pressure me into taking one of his pups. He grew way too attached & he wants them close by & in “ working” dog homes. They are working line GSD’s & he’s already done the prep work for Shutzhund.
I also wouldn’t want a 5 month old puppy, I’d want an 8 week old , even though its more work, I believe thats how you imprint on them. I just like to start with a clean slate.
I think having a puppy to start over with would help you heal. Have you found that to be true? I know you will ALWAYS miss Riley & nothing can ever take his place, but he would want you to open your heart & love again. I know one day in the future I will want another female GSD , I can’t imagine going through life without one. Plus my youngest Zeus will be all alone for the first time in his life.
It was so good hearing from you & keep me updated on your new puppy!
Merry Christmas 🎄 🎁
Jada’s mom
Daddog

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #67 

Day 104

 

It’s been a while since my last post.  Many times I’ve wanted to post, but didn’t, my eyes just aren’t what they used to be.  The only time I get a chance to post is in the evening, and by that time of day my eyes are just too worn out to stare at my computer screen.  It’s been 104 days.  104 days since my entire world changed.  I was hoping that I could come back here after a period of time and tell everyone that I had started doing better.  I was hoping to come back and post how my heart had started to heal.  I was hoping to say that after all these days, finally, I had found some peace.  But,….none of that would be true.  Not even close to the truth.  I still, after 104 days, struggle like yesterday was the day I lost him.  I cry, a lot.  I’m still sad, always.  Always.  It never stops.  My heart feels so empty. I struggle to go on everyday, all the time.

 

I haven’t had the “new normal” yet.  I haven’t gotten to a place where I can “make peace” with losing him.  I haven’t found a way to “move on” or “deal with it”.  I’m…..just stuck.  My whole life is just stuck.  I’ve been trying to explain what I mean to people when I say I’m stuck.  I try to explain to them that Herk was everything to me, but they don’t get it.  The only way I can think to explain it is to compare my life to a boat.  When Herk was with me it’s like we were sailing on a boat, with nothing but water surrounding us.  Sometimes that water was fast moving and sometimes it was slow.  Sometimes that water was choppy and sometimes it was a smooth.  But, the wind was always pushing us forward together.  That wind was Herk.  Moving my life forward.  And then 104 days ago, I lost that wind.  Now,…now I’m just sitting in that boat, motionless on that water.  I’m not moving forward.  I’m not moving at all.  I’m….stuck.  And the worst part is, that even if I could get that boat moving, I have no idea which way I supposed to go anymore.  So, I just sit in that boat, alone, motionless.

 

A lot has happened since I lost Herk.  Some good, some bad.  We got a new fridge.  I sometimes just stare at it, thinking about how he would have loved it.  He would have been all over it the day we got it.  It has a low shelf in it and he would have been able to get right to it.  My car is on it’s last leg.  I’ll have to get a new one soon.  I think about him everytime I’m in that car.  My business has continued to grow, which for whatever reason, makes me miss him even more. I’ve been trying to “give my pain to God”.  But, to be honest, I don’t really know how to do that.  I’ve been trying to be a better person.  I’ve been trying to live a better life and change.  I’m worried that I may not get to heaven to be with Herky again.  I’ve been a pretty terrible person, for a long time.

 

104 days feels like a lifetime ago.  Time is perplexing.  The last time I held my little boy feels like so long ago.  But, ya know, the day I picked him up from the shelter feels like it was just yesterday.  Time.  It just keeps going.  It doesn’t care.  It just keeps marching.  I look back on the last 9 years I had with Herk and wonder where did all the time go?  Seriously, where?  Like feels like the days go by slow, but those days turn in weeks, and those weeks turn into years without you realizing it.  9 years went by in the blink of an eye.  And now the last 104 days have slowed to a crawl, dragging me behind them.   

 

I wanted to write more, but my eyes are hurting.  I’ve been crying since I opened this laptop and my eyes are feeling pretty rough.  Thank you to everyone for their concern.  Unfortunately, not much has changed. 

Daddog

skmk

Registered:
Posts: 93
 #68 
I too was wondering how you are doing Daddog.   I read all your posts from day 1 and then the posts stopped.  But I know myself that sometimes it's hard to come on here when you're very sad.  I find it hard myself.  You are not alone.  I too haven't found a new normal or made peace with Dickens' passing 5 months ago.  I struggle every day.  I know what you mean about being stuck because I am there too.  I don't talk to people about my grief, they just don't understand.  I agree with you Riley2018....people really do suck sometimes.  And now it's Christmas time and I just have no interest in participating with all the crazy people out there who would just as soon knock you over to get what they want and all the crazy drivers.  But I am trying to think of the real meaning of this holiday.  I just miss Dickens so much I too have to try to stuff my feelings so it doesn't overwhelm me. I do have other sad things going on in my life which doesn't help.  doglife I know what you mean.  I too was vigilant with Dickens health but I just had no inkling that when I brought him to the vet that would be his last day.  Had no idea he had a life threatening illness.  Would not have brought him to an emergency clinic and left him there.  He died so fast even my vet was surprised.  He suspected a blood borne cancer or even possibly hemangeosarcoma.  The vet didn't have enough time with him to get him stable.  I kick myself every day for not getting him in sooner but his few symptoms were so fleeting and I was in touch with the vet during that time.  Anyway it's just still so hard to talk about.
The pain is still intense. 
Wishing you all peace
skmk
Daddog

Registered:
Posts: 28
 #69 

Day 181, 6 Months.

 

Six months have passed since I lost Herk.  Days that seemed to drag by.  More days that felt like they would never end.  Six months.  I’m not going to say I’m “better”.  Or that I’ve “found peace”, or “let go”, because that wouldn’t be true.  But, here’s what I can say.  I’m different.  I’m not the same person I was when Herk was alive.  I’m not the same person I was when Herk died.  Now, …now I’m just different. I’m really more of a shadow than a person now.   I’ve lost loved ones before, but nothing like what I’ve been through with losing Herky.  My whole life I’ve heard cliches like; “Grief changes over time”, “Grief fades over time”, or “Grief gets easier over time”.  After what I’ve felt and been through, I’m here to say I don’t think those cliches are true.  I don’t think the grief changes, fades, or gets easier at all.  I think the grief never changes and stays right where it is.   I think we change around the grief.  I think the grief forces us to become a different person, but the grief remains, haunting us.  You can run, hide, fight, or ignore that grief, but it’s not changing or moving.  You have to change around it. It’s like a big boulder dropped in a path you walk everyday.  You may get used walking around it, but it never goes away.  So, that’s where I am now.  Changed,…different.

 

I seem to lack a focus in my life.  Herky was the focus of every minute of every day.  Now I’m just some guy.  Some guy who just drifts through his life.  My life feels empty.  I’m still here though.  I’m not going to lie, there had been many times I thought about just giving up.  Wondering why I’m still here.  Time just keeps going by.  Time doesn’t care what you’re going through.  It doesn’t care what you’re ready for.  It just going to keeps on going, dragging you with it.  

 

It feels like there is a giant hole in my life, because there is.  What it feels like is everyday I wake up and get out of bed and trip and fall in that hole in my life.  Then I spend the whole rest of the day trying to claw and drag my way up and out of that hole.  And when I finally get out of that hole, I’m just exhausted and fall asleep, only to wake up and fall in that hole again.  Some days I just want to lay down in that hole and stay there.

 

I lay in bed at night and talk to him in my head.  Every night.  It’s mostly just what I did that day, or what I ate.  I know he’d want to know what I ate.  Sometimes it’s a happy conversation with him, telling him what a good boy he is and how much I love him.  Then sometimes it’s a sad conversation, telling him pretty much the same things, what a good boy he is and how much I love him.  I talk to him a lot actually.  I talk to him in my head or out loud.  To be honest again, I still think there’s a part of me that’s waiting for him to come home.  I think that deep down, under it all, my heart is just biding time, waiting.  Waiting for little Herky to come back to me.  I don’t think that will change.

 

I’m not sure if anyone is still on this website from when I started posting.  Or if anyone who was following my story still comes back.  I haven’t posted in some time again.  I’ve pretty much quit bothering my family and friends with my grief.  I can tell the few people who are still listening to me are getting tired of it.  They don’t flat out say it, but I can tell by their responses.  They’re either disengaged or change the subject.  I don’t blame them.  I’ve been a mess and leaning heavily on them, after a while I can’t blame them for finally falling over.

 

I still have a really, really hard time looking at pictures of him.  I truly want to, but I just can’t.  I break down.  I want to be able to talk about him and look at his photos without feeling sad, but that just won’t happen.  I look at his photo and I think of how each little part of his little body felt.  How he felt touching me.  Each day that passes takes me further and further away.  I feel like I’m starting to forget some things.  Maybe not in a traditional way of forgetting, but I feel some of the memories may not be so crisp in my mind anymore.  

 

I got all of Herk’s pictures and videos on our new laptop.  But, I hate the program, or app, or whatever I have to use to open those pics.  I hate the way it works, I’m afraid to use it in case I delete something or ruin it.  I wanted to make a memorial video and maybe some picture slide shows, but I have no idea what I’m doing.  I thought about trying to get someone to do it for me, or show me, but I don’t even know where to start looking for help.  I also wanted to make a shadowbox for his collar, tags, leash, and one of his shirts.  But that has proven to be far more difficult that I anticipated.  We bought the box, but it doesn’t come with any directions or instructions.  So that hasn’t got finished either.

 

I finished the Grief Recovery Handbook for Pet Loss months ago.  I did all the exercises and writing they wanted me to do.  I can’t say it helped me so much dealing with my grief, but it does help you understand grief itself.  I would still recommend it to others though.  

 

 

I’m not real sure where my life goes from here.  I feel like it’s not going anywhere, it’s just kinda at a stand still.

 

 

Daddog

 

 

Herky,

 

I love and miss you big boy.  I hope you’ve settled in up in heaven and got used to the routine.  I hope Merv and Irene have been giving you lots of love and pets.  I hope you’ve been eating your supper and taking your naptime.  You just keep being a good boy and when I see you next you better be ready for all the kisses and loving you can handle.  I love you Turkey, forever.

 

Love,

 

Daddog

sunspark

Registered:
Posts: 21
 #70 
Hi Daddog,

It's so nice to see a post from you! You write so eloquently, everything you say expresses how I feel as well. I am working right now but wanted to send you a couple of links.
The first is a video of a talk by an Irish woman, she is very wise and speaks about how grief becomes a part of us, we grow around it, much like you are saying. Well worth the listen and she has a wonderful Irish accent.
The second post is something I had just read after you had last posted, about being stuck. I've been meaning to get back here to post if for whatever it's worth. 

I think a lot of people come here and read and maybe don't post as much over time, like me, but are still here. I should post more, this is the only place where people understand. My husband lived with and lost the same dogs I did, but he is over it and has been since days after they passed on. I feel like I will never get 'over' it. 

Hope these links help you and any others who care to view them,
~sunspark



Dr. Susan DeLaney, Irish Grief counselor

https://youtu.be/TxSd8f2Utpk



https://thriveglobal.com/stories/7-tips-to-getting-unstuck-in-grief-and-in-life/
doglife

Registered:
Posts: 69
 #71 
Yes Daddog , I agree with Sunspark , you should really think about writing a book, you really do write so eloquently & very deep.
Its like the book I read when I first lost Jada called “ Biblical Proof Animals Do Go To Heaven” by Steven H Woodward. It helped me by how well he articulated his grief to know that I wasn’t alone in my pain & questions. Where did she go? And Why was she taken so suddenly? I don’t dwell on that as much anymore. I can tell you that I have spent lots of time listening to worship music, like Mercy Me’s “ Even if” , & many others that talk about trusting God even when it hurts. I have spent more time in His Word knowing that life is so brief & can take a cliffhanger turn at any minute. You just never know anything about anything even if you think you do. I have to say that God has given me peace over the sudden loss of Jada. Its not that I don’t miss her every day, I do, but the deep grief has subsided to a peace that only God can give to His children who trust Him. I have spent more time finding ways to help the hurting people all around me & there are MANY these days. From spending time to writing cards, to making meals & it has helped me to get my mind off of my own pain. I’ve bumped into people who’ve needed my empathy for their unexpected loss of a loved one. I was able to have much empathy for their loss more since having experienced such sudden loss of such a beloved daughter. I thought of Jada as my child. She was the athletic one, the one everybody admired, the one who made your day better just by being in it.

Much has happened since I’ve been on here.
I thought since I no longer weep daily that my grief had changed. I thought I was “ getting over it”.
Then just the other day I was in my office looking for something when I came across a To Do List & on it was #3 Trim Jada’s nails, this was days before she died. Then minutes later , I come across a business card from the Animal Hospital & on the back was written - Jada - surgery- 9/12/11 - 8 AM. It was for her neuter. Suddenly a faucet turned on & my eyes were leaking uncontrollably. I sat there having a hard time believing she was gone. It was a sad night for me.
I also have been wanting to make a memorial video for her & we have 20,000 photos on some hard drive & sitting there going through them all & transfering them to the computer is taking endless hours. But it has to get done. It also doesn’t help that I don’t really know how to use the Mac computer. Its very frustrating. When I look at the pictures & videos it’s hard to believe she’s not here anymore.
In the meantime our other dog Leo who was the older one who already had so many issues he was living on borrowed time was getting worse. He’d have some REALLY bad days but then he’d snap out of it. He didn’t want to do his walks anymore and he couldn’t go up the stairs anymore. My husband had to sleep downstairs with him because Leo wanted to be close to him all the time. This went on for weeks. Then one night my husband had to come upstairs & sleep on our bed because his back was hurting & he said Leo was sound asleep & 5 minutes later there was Leo in our bedroom huffing & puffing for 5 minutes & then he laid down on his bed & started snoring. At 3 AM I was awoke by his crying. I woke up my husband because I thought he was dying & we both tried comforting him for hours. He finally fell asleep & woke up fine the next morning.
But I have to go for now, I’ll have to finish my story on Leo another time.
It was very good to hear from you & I just wanted you to know that I get it. Others won’t get it anymore, but I do. Grief doesn’t go away you learn to live around it. Don’t give up. And please keep writing- it is helpful to everyone on here.
Jada & Leo’s mom
Forever
skmk

Registered:
Posts: 93
 #72 
Hello Daddog,    I haven't posted in some time either but I did follow your story.  I noticed you haven't been on in awhile so when I saw you posted a couple days ago I had to chime in.  It's been 8 months since I lost my precious Dickens and I'll tell you I'm right there with you.  I too lack a focus in my life because Dickens was involved in every part of my life.  He was my focus.   Everything reminds me of him.  I too don't talk about my grief with my family or friends.  I get the feeling they think there's something wrong with me to be grieving this long.  My whole life has changed too.  I'm not the same person and not sure I ever will be.  I can't look at pictures of him it's just too sad.  There's something about pets......they're just so innocent and it seems like death is so cruel.  Part of me died with Dickens.  I'm just a shell of a person.  I can't picture myself ever having another dog.  I've never felt that way before and that's sad too.  I'm not sure where my life is going either.  Last year besides Dickens I lost 2 goats and a cat.  I now have one little old dog left who has a heart problem and basically could go at any time despite being on meds.  My husband is sick and I don't know what will happen with him either.  It's like death is all around me.  My life has changed so much in such a relatively short period of time.  I'm definitely not the same person.  I have no joy in my life.  Last year at this time I was happy go lucky.  Now that's all gone. So Daddog I just wanted to let you know you're not alone and I understand your feelings completely.  I'll think of you and just pray we somehow get through this and become whole again.  Please take good care of yourself.
skmk
Loz

Registered:
Posts: 37
 #73 
skmk and daddog
I am in the exact same place as you. Since loosing Berry suddenly on New years eve I have no joy in my life and feel I am just existing with no aim or focus. Berry was my world and that has gone now  and I don't know how to move on without her . Last night I sobbed to my partner who can move on even though he misses her too. He thinks of the wonderful life Berry had an that we shared with her but thinking that only makes me sad. I have to keep telling myself for my own sanity that Berry wasn't going to be with me forever and that she had a peaceful death. My only hope is that I will be with her soon, as I said to her just before she passed away 'wait for Mammy on the bridge because I'm coming and coming soon'.
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