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Posts: 23
I found this site and have gotten so much comfort from reading others stories.

I lost my beagle Barney the Thursday before last.  I found him on the road almost 13 years ago so I can only guess his age around 14 to 15.  He was so special to me his whole life and became such a comfort since my Sheltie died in July of 2006.  I never thought I would get over that and in some ways I haven't.  I can't believe I am going through this all over again when I thought I had prepared myself as all of my dogs are getting old.

I have had this 3 dog "family" since 1995.  A German Shepherd that first adopted me, then I got the Sheltie as a companion for her.  Later that year I found Barney in the middle of the road while driving.  No one claimed him, so that made three. 

We were so happy for so long, then my Sheltie started to slow down in 06.  By July he got to the point where he could not get up at all.  He was 12 1/2 and the vet told me the life span of a Sheltie was approx 13.  I still tried everything, steroid shots etc, but he could still not walk or even get up due to his degenerative arthritis so he had to be put down.   

I was inconsolable for so long, but pulled myself together for the other 2 dogs and my cats.  I spent more time and did more things with them than I ever have as I knew they were on borrowed time. 

Almost two years have passed and I am now getting another headstone for Barney, my beagle.  I don't feel prepared for this at all.  I am actually worse this weekend than last,  right after it happened.  All of these memories coming back, the emptiness; it's amazing how one little dog can fill the whole house and be everyone (including the cats) center of attention, and the guilt.  (I may have to get into his heart failure later and the signs I didn't see as I almost can't bear to talk about it).  Another poster said I could email her as she is going through similar feelings and I may do that.

Now it's just me and my Shepherd Kato to walk with and my cats to come home to.  My house is far from empty but compared to a few years ago it sure feels like it.  I took her for her first walk in public yesterday and today (afraid I would cry the whole way before) and it felt so strange just me and her.   She is VERY old for a Shepherd; 15, but just has bad arthritis which she is on medication for.  She appears happy but has changed too.  For the first time in her life she doesn't finish her food and has turned down treats. 

I don't know what I will do if I lose them all.  My vet says he has seen this sort of thing before...I haven't met anyone, but maybe someone here? He said he has clients who have pets of similar ages and they start losing them at the same time.  This sure isn't what you bargain for when you adopt them.  It's the furthest thing from your mind when they are so young and full of life.

Thanks for letting me share this and get some of this out.


Posts: 1,328

Sorry about Barney. Beagles are special to me--When I grew up, there was one down the street that was always around us when we were outside playing.
I had 4 animals up to January. Puffy was 18 1/2 yrs. old when she passed away in Jan. (Kidney failure).
I have a 15 -15 1/2 yr. old diabetic cat, a 13 1/2 yr. old ill cat and a 15 1/2 yr. old husky. I doubt any of them will be here by next year this time. We got them all within the years of 90-95. Bootsie, the diabetic, came to us as a neighbor's cat around 98. The neighbor didn't care much about him and when my husband said how much we love him--he said, "I just give him a home, but he's not my cat." So, we took him fast. He wasn't diabetic yet.
It's hard to watch them all age at the same time. You can just try to not look ahead so much--it creates anxiety and worry. Life has all sort of stages and transitions to it. You can't fight it. It's hard, though, and I cry alot about losing them. I know they know I love each one so much that I'll always be there for them--even in spirit. It's just a different relationship after they pass.
I used to tell Puffy every day "Mommy will love you just the same, even more, when you're not here." "Mommy will love you into eternity."

I know how you feel and it's hard.


Posts: 5,100
Dear Deb,

Please accept my deepest sympathy for the loss of your beloved Barney.  No amount of years we spend with them is ever enough, is it?   To me, the loss of a furbaby is one of the most profound losses I ever experienced.  I lost my little 16 year terrier, Betsy, four months ago and I was inconsolable.  So, my friend, I know your pain.

I know what you mean about losing all your pets almost at the same time.  I got Ralph, my 16.8 year old minpin, in Dec. of 1991 and Betsy, my terrier, in May of 1992.  They were very close in age.  When she passed in January, he became deathly ill with diarrhea and the vet thought he might pass as well.  I said, "No way!  He is NOT going to die on me right now!"  Well, he rallied, but he is getting frail and has lost his hearing and most of his sight.  This morning he was in a great mood, giving me kisses and jumping up and down like he used to.  He still eats like a horse, but has arthritis like your Kato.

We also have a four year old black lab mix named Gracie. She is a clown and such a joy to have in the house.  I will not adopt any more dogs that are close in age, as I cannot stand to lose them so close together--but this is just my opinion.

Again, I am so very sorry for your loss of Barney.


Posts: 2,245
Dear Deb:
I am so sorry for the loss of your Precious Barney.  I lost my Little Angel Christopher over 14 months ago and the pain is still so overwhelming.  I can tell you the first month was the worst.  I know that I will miss him Forever just as you will miss Barney. Unfortunately there is nothing anyone can say to make this pain any better; I have looked for something for over a year and found nothing that helps. 

The best road to recovery for me has been my petloss family.  They have all been here for me day and night and they all feel my pain.  I have another Shih Tzu who was Christopher's best friend.  She is also getting old and has a liver shunt as well.  I look into her sweet face every day and it breaks my heart as I know that she will be leaving me too.  These losses simply change our lives forever.  WE are all here when you need us.  You and Barney are in my Prayers.

Big Hugs
Georgeann and Christopher

Posts: 23
Thank you for your kind words, Nancee, Melissa & Georgann.  All three of you know the feeling of still having these older pets in your life and trying to mourn your current loss...knowing it will just repeat.

It is so hard to bear this and now I have to put on a brave face for work tomorrow.  I am so glad I found this board to get me through the weekend. 

I am going through that very difficult stage of grief where all the memories hit at once and the pain is so deep.

I can't help but reflect on my dog "family" and realize that the one that started it all (I had never planned on getting a dog) is the one that is still here with me.  She has the shortest "predicted" life span of the three too and they were all about the same age when I got them. 

She was the "alpha" dog and always protected and watched over them.  Barney was a handful for sure and kept her very busy.  Beagles are into everything.  Even when he was slowing down with the heart failure I didn't see (or want to see) he was always begging for treats and everytime he would go somewhere she would follow. 

She seems alert and happy but not like before. She has a herding instinct and she now seems like she is the alpha of the cats and paying more attention to them.  I hope that is enough to keep her company during the day when I am at work.  I wish I knew what was going on in her head.

Sometimes I even feel like she knows about the Rainbow Bridge.  She has kept plugging along, arthritis and all, to make sure she oversees all of the dogs she helped bring into my life when she finally gets there.    

Posts: 23

If anyone who has read my above story and has time,  please say a quick prayer for my Shepherd, Kato.

I came here after losing my beagle Barney on May 15th and now she (my last dog) is in surgery today.

It is minor, but a lump under her tail has to be removed or it will grow to be inoperable.  She has no disease, just arthritis but is at risk from anesthesia due to her age, 15.

Thank You. I am at work, and nervous every time the phone rings as I am scared it will be the vet. 


Posts: 846
I'm saying many many prayers for your precious Kato.  He's in Gods hands - there's no better place to be.  Please keep us posted.


Gerlie (Gypsy and Luna's forever mom)

Posts: 1,415
Deb1-- I will be saying prayers for your dear Kato.  I'm sure that she'll be fine.  My little Teddy girl had a cyst removed from her leg that she had bitten open, and this was just last year when she was turning 15 also.  The vet would not have put her under if he thought that she would not do well.  I have a lot of trust in him, as I'm sure you do in yours.  He called me immediately after the surgery and told me she was coming out of the anesthesia.  It was just a light dose and she was doing great.

         Please don't worry.  You are in my thoughts--

                                    Teddy's Mom

Posts: 1,328

I'll say a prayer, too. I know about the anxiety and angst of having older and sick pets. Take care and be good to yourself, too.


Posts: 196
Prayers for Kato.

I, too, know what it is like to lose your pet family one after the other in a short time period.  I had a feral colony of cats (trap and spay/neutered) and two adopted me as full-on pets (sleep with me, snuggle on the couch), the others became semi-pets.  They would sometimes come in the house, but mostly on my back screened porch.  I lost the first feral 10 years ago, then it was 4 years before another feral had to be PTS.  After that, I had 6 happy years with the 5 I had left, including my precious Belle and Herbie.  In the back of my mind, I knew I would probably lose them all close together, but I could not imagine then how hard it would be.

Two years ago this past April 27, I lost my sweet girl Belle and I thought I would die of hearbreak.  Herbie missed her and was looking for her, even though I took him with me when I had Belle PTS so he would "know".  Herbie and I became so close then.  A few months later, Cookie, one of the ferals dissappeared.  A neighbor said she thinks someone adopted her -- I hope so.  She was not sick, but when the weather turned nice, she wasn't here every day.

I almost lost Ladybug that July, but she waited to go just after Thanksgving.  Herbie and Shirley (the last of the ferals) were confused and I think shellshocked. I know now that cats grieve. 

This past February 20th, I lost Herbie.  Words cannot describe the pain.  I am still doing hard grief and wish I could find a way to move forward, but I can't.  I cry every morning when sitting having my coffee out on the screened porch.  And I am re-grieving Belle -- I miss all of them, even though when I had so many, it was often an unwelcome situation.  I wanted to find homes for the ferals and keep Belle and Herbie, but then God took them all from me.  

Shirley is very feral and I can pet her a little but she won't come in the house and I worry about her in the winter living under the house in the crawls space. Kitty doors have allowed all of them to come and go as they please.  Shirley is different now -- lonely.  She has not gone up on the fence since Herbie died.  They all loved sitting up on the fence behind the porch watching the world go by.  I want to help Shirley, but she is 14 (very old for a feral) and set in her ways. 

I live alone and work from home, so my loneliness is severe and my grief is pretty much 24/7.  For many years, my cats were my reason to be a bit of a social hermit, and now I have nothing and no one. 

I don't want any more pets -- Nothing can take the place of Herbie and Belle.  And I know I need to find a life outside of my house.  But I'd give anything to see one of their little faces pushing thru the screen kitty door on the back porch to come in and see their mama.  I didn't know it was possible to hurt this much.  They had wonderful lives -- better than any kitty could ask for.  But I feel like my heart has been ripped out.

I sure didn't bargain for all of this when I started feeding the ferals who were living under the house and in the neighborhood when I first bought this place 17 years ago.  I could not have dreamed it would turn into this.  But I know without me they all would have died.  They gave me so much, too, but now I am paying for it with a broken heart that won't heal.  I will never put myself through this again.

Herbie and Belle's Mom

Posts: 1

I am new to this site and am so glad I found it.  I lost my beloved black lab/chow/collie (Missy) mix a week ago today and I can hardly see to write this through my tears. I feel so sad and I miss her so much.  She was 14 years old and had been with me since she was only 6 weeks old.  I adopted her from the Humane Society and she quickly took over my life. I don't know how to cope with my feelings of loss.  I try to think of all the good times we had but I always end up crying because she is gone. I know that she is now free of pain and suffering and no longer afraid of what is happening to her.  I know I will see her again .  I have another black lab, Buddy, and he is sad too.  He walks around the house and yard looking for Missy.  The loss of my sweet baby girl is overwhelming and I continue to look for ways to cope with it. I know everyone on this site has experienced this pain and I thank you for letting me share some of my pain with you.


Posts: 1,205
Dear Deb
Prayers going out to you and your Kato, I hope that she may have a speedy recovery. 
I am also so sorry for the loss of your dear Barney.  I know the feelings you are going through right now.  Isnt it strange how one moment they are young and healthy and naughty, the next, they are old.  I lost the last of my old family in December last year, I was totally devastated.
I have started a new family now, and I have learned to make every minute count.  We take loads of photos, we play instead of doing the things that we should, and generally enjoy life with the new guy.  That is one of the things that I have learned from my other babies, do things now, cos life is short.
I am so sorry.  Thinking of you, lots of love, Di xxx

Posts: 23
Thank you everyone for your prayers.  Kato is fine and I have been busy with her and didn't have time to reply.

I am glad you found this site Missysmama, it IS so hard.

HerbiesMom;  Thank you so much for your story.  We are alike in more ways than you know as I am alone too and at this crossroads with myself.  I will write more on the weekend.  I too feel like you.  When you described your morning coffee time, that is like me in the evening with meals.  Having many dogs for this long I don't know what it is like to eat a meal alone.  It can be depressing to come home to an empty house.  No husband or boyfriend were the reasons I thought I was lonely.  Now I know what loneliness is.  No matter if it was takeout or I cooked something they were always there to share it with me.  I wasn't as alone as I thought I was with their happy faces around.

Basil, thanks for your post about starting over.  I don't know what to do yet.  There is a part of me that wants to get another dog but another that is too hurt to think of reliving this. 

Posts: 1,205
You have to do what is right for you, and in your own time.  I just couldnt stand the emptiness, I had never lived in house without a baby before. 
Thinking of you, in whatever you decide, I ended up with Ben, but I didnt intend to adopt, I was enquiring about fostering.
I thought about all of the pain I felt when I lost Basil,  and asked myself if I could go through it again, then I remembered all of the fun and love I have had with my babies over the years, and decided that for me, it is worth it. 
Much Love, Di xxx

Posts: 820

I got your message on another post.  I mentioned supermarket pet food.  My vet said for some cats it is like poison to their kidneys.   I am not sure if he was trying to push the expensive food or not but he is a great vet. So I don't know.  Ruperts sister is fine. Any new pet I get I will get good quality food.

About losing pets at the same time.  I lost Frisky 10yrs ago at the age of 13.  Daisy died 4 yrs ago at the age of 14.  Rupert died 20 weeks ago at the age of 15.  Minnie is now 15 and if things go in the order she should go this year.  Horrible thought. Rupert was wonderful to come home to.  Couldn't stand an empty house.    Ruperts Mum


Posts: 49
I know the pain you experience.... losing our Dally girl Jesse has been unbearable. To not see her smarlie face anymore or feel her presence every day is probably the biggest loss of my life -13 years is way too short a time on this earth. The pangs of guilt are normal - only today my Mum and I went over again and again in our head whether we did the right thing... could she? would she have endured more tests as to why she was having seizures... etc etc, just for the hope that she'd come good fora week or two or maybe even a few more months, but like everyone here, one has to think of our beloved companion and what they would go through - more pain? more suffering?

I think our Jesse knew her time was nearing, but she still had that spring in her step, she still had her frisky days despite the last 2 days of her life in constant seizures.. I still keep asking "why".. when only the week before she was perfectly fine - then everything started to speed up in process and that's the part i hate - the feeling of helplessness, of being at the mercy of life and another one life's cycles. As ashamed as I am about this, I even found myself questioning if there is a God, if there is anything after this life... and I really feel deep down there is - and we will all meet again somewhere somehow, as energy spirits.
Gosh I miss her..... she was my spotted Angel.

But I wouldn't be dealing with it half as well if it weren't for everyone on this forum and the shared experiences. ;o)

have faith in this Deb and you will get through with strength and hope.

Jesse's Mum
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