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Posts: 35
My baby came home from the crematorium yesterday and although it feels better to have her home, it also hit me and made it feel even more real.

It's been 2 weeks this coming Sunday and I just can't seem to stop crying.
My husband has told me that I need to stop sulking, but I don't think he really understands how I am feeling. His dog (the dog he chose 7 years ago) is still with us, so he has her for comfort. I feel a little resentment at times towards her as my baby died a month after she turned 4. I had a connection with her and she was mine.

My husband has done FIFO work for the past 6 years, so he is only home 6 months of the year. Whereas I have been with both dogs every day and every night (bar our wedding night and when I had an overnight stay in hospital).
I chose my baby and picked her up when my husband was at work so had more of a connection to her and more time to bond. I have always loved her, whereas I feel as if my husband was frustrated by her at times and wasn't as attached (shes a purebred sharpei and was very stubborn).

My baby slept at my feet every night and followed me everywhere in the house! While i had a shower, she came in for a pat. While I was working in my office, she slept in the doorway. While I was cooking, she was under my feet and stood between the cupboard and my legs. There was no where in the house that I would go where she wouldn't follow me and stay with me. In a way, I feel like I have lost part of myself.

My husband has said we should get another puppy in a few months when I'm ready, but I feel that even just thinking about it is way too soon. He's even started researching certain breeds. I understand he just wants me to be happy again, but I don't think he understands my grief.

Sorry for the long vent. It just feels like this is the only place I can come where people will understand how I am feeling.
Hoping this pain eventually goes away.
I've found myself talking to my baby (her ashes) before I go to bed and saying goodbye before I leave the house (like I always did).
I don't know what else to do to stop the pain.

Posts: 3
Dear Missing Coco,

I am here seeking support after letting my 13 year old Sophie go Monday.  I am distraught.  I work from home and she was my constant companion, like your Coco.  Getting out of the shower, she was laying in front of the bathroom door, leave the house, she was sleeping in front of the door waiting for me, cooking ("Hey, anything for me?"), watching TV, at my feet, working, she was snoring in her bed behind me.  My house is so quiet.  It's deafening.  I left her bed in my room and when I wake I tell her good morning.

My heart aches.  I understand your pain.  I am feeling your same pain right now.

But what I'm realizing, slowly, is Sophie is at rest and she would want the same peace for me.  She loved me just like you were your Coco's world.  Sophie was 13, aging, mostly deaf, and was entering congestive heart failure (enlarged heart, liver, labored breathing, fluid in her lungs) and yet here I am, sad, wishing she were here, wondering what else I could have done, should have done, "What if..." and I'm absolutely making myself crazy with the spiraling thoughts.  I took her in for a vet visit because she was coughing and gagging and came home two hours later alone having let her go.  I'm in complete shock - all week - shock that a vet visit turned into losing Sophie. 

Slowly, slowly, I am understanding she is not struggling anymore and I'm a good mama, not a bad one, for being kind and humane and letting her go.  I cry as I write - my lips quiver and my eyes well up so I can't see. 

I'm realizing it's easy to remember Sophie as a happy, healthy, cheerful little dog.  But when I let her go that part of her life was long ago over.  While my dog was quite old and yours not, I think coming to terms with knowing your baby isn't suffering anymore and that you were good to let her go is key.  That's where your peace is.

My worst enemy right now is why didn't I take her on more walks, why did I scold her for peeing on the floor when she's so old, why did I tell her to go lie down while I was sitting and eating in front of the TV, why didn't I let her take more time sniffing while going on walkies instead of my being in such a hurry to get back to work.  That's my enemy.  Why wasn't I a better mom?  Why wasn't I kinder?  And I have to STOP STOP STOP and remind myself I was a GREAT mom her loved her DEARLY and all that was just life.  Day-to-day life has ups downs, anger, frustration, playtime, happiness - it's just life and it's a rollercoaster - and I can't let my grief tell me falsely that I wasn't a great mom.  I did my best and I know I showed her a lot of love. 

Grief distorts.  It is not a reflection of reality.

I will cry as much as I need to cry to mourn Sophie's loss.  You do the same for Coco.  But keep reminding yourself that it WILL get easier and the good memories, soon, will outweigh your sad thoughts and grief. 

Sending you a warm hug, friend in grief.  Time heals.  I promise you it does.  It always does. 


Posts: 37
Coco's mom,
Some people don't understand how anyone can get so attached to a pet. I have a friend for 20 some years that is like that. He couldn't understand how I could get so attached to my Cooper that I would be so distraught. He said some hurtful things that I don't think I can ever forgive him for.
I am near crippled with grief everyday, only the wife seems to understand. He was like Coco in that he was with me 24/7 no matter where I was.
So sorry for your loss,

Posts: 17
Missing coco- I understand how you feel. I collected Phoebe's ashes a few days ago and I cant stop looking at them and feeling so sad at how small and tiny her remains are. This is all thats left of my baby :(
I feel so conflicted- on one hand I feel better now she's back home with us but on the other hand, the reality of her ashes just reminds me of her loss all over again. How can something so small cause such a huge loss? I know its not helpful but I keep dwelling on the fact of how unfair it is that so many evil humans (e.g. convicted rapists and murderers) are still living yet my little girl who did nothing but love is gone. Its SO unfair and I want to scream this out at the universe.
I guess I'm at the anger stage of grief right now. Anyway, just wanted to let you know I get how you feel 100% (((hugs)))

Posts: 16
Hi all, first, let me say how sorry I am that you are both missing your babies Coco and Sophie.  How are you both doing today?

I too lost my boy Sunny almost two weeks ago now on Monday.  At the beginning of Feb, I had ZERO clue I'd be on the other side of this (him gone).  Feb was a whirlwind and now I don't think I'll ever like Feb again.  Early Feb is when I took Sunny back to the vet and it was such a strange visit.  He was seen last in Sept.  This visit in Feb, first, they didn't weight him when I first arrived.  I had to remind them once we were called into the room. After they weighed him, I was astonished, and apparently the vet was too.  He was down to 35lbs.  He used to weight 60 about two years ago - but admittedly he was overweight then.  His idea weight would have been 50-55lbs.

Still, I couldn't believe he had dropped even more weight since Sept.  The vet didn't recommend blood work and at the time I didn't insist on it.  Usually I got in with a list of tests I think they should do minimally.  I knew Sunny had neuropathy but still, maybe something else was going on internally.  I asked for fluids and she looked at a small cyst on his eye and gave him some gel for it.  That was it.  I mean, come on!  What was I thinking? I should have demanded blood work and a plan to help him regain some weight.  

When we drove him (with me in the back of the SUV with him) it was apparently that taking him anywhere far was not going to be in his best interest.  My vet is 25 mins away.  I use them because they are open 7 days a week until 10 and then even have a vet tech on duty after hours so they can keep animals overnight. 

But, in Sunny's case I thought maybe I should call a hospice doc and have them come to the house.  I didn't really know what was involved with it - but apparently no more testing etc.  This doctor though Sunny was ready - she likely would have been ok with helping him cross weeks before even.  I reached out to his neurology doctor and sent her some videos - she didn't insist I bring him down to see her.  I should have insisted.  Again, it was such a strange time.  He seemed to age years in a single month.  Sunny had a host of issues, but I guess I somehow had magical thinking that he would be around forever.  Sure, his back legs were getting weaker, but he still was happy to see us and loved to eat.  But, then in Feb, I could see how thin he was.  I immediately started feeding him scrambled eggs, and all the good stuff.  Well, then his stools went soft, and this is not a good thing for a dog who doesn't have full mobility.  I was in touch with regular vet during this time too - and of course the neuro, and the hospice doc.  They were all asking me about his quality of life.  It had been ok up until first week of Feb.  Short walks, cognitively still there.  But then it was like, WHAM!  Instead of just a foot slipping out on tile, or having a stool and his back legs going stiff making him unable to get up, he started getting stuck in places.  He couldn't navigate a turn.  I had to keep moving his water bowls because he would knock them over all the time.  Soon, once able to sleep all night, he was no longer doing that.  He was now up off and on until around 5-6AM.  I'm sure his vision in one eye at least wasn't great, but I think he still could see.  

The problems with all of this is that for the last 9 months with his neuropathy, laryngeal paralysis, I don't feel that we were well supported by the vet community.  Sunny also had Cushings and Hypo-T, but for the neurological stuff (including two vestibular events) it was almost as if I was just going to have to deal with it and it would gradually decline.  I didn't know what to look for - I didn't know what to expect.  If he had cognitive decline added on top of it - no one warned me what to look for or who to handle it.  

I am so ashamed at myself for not being more patient with him - for not immediately just putting down more floor interlocking tiles to help him get around safely.  I ended up doing that but not until two weeks before he passed.  I should have done it months ago.  I am so ashamed that I was impatient when he knocked his water bowls over, or kept getting up and down to get a drink of water.  I had spread myself too thin trying to also help community cats during this time - and I had 4 of them in my house too (on top of my 5 cats).  I was losing it and couldn't manage but had little help.  It was my bed and I made it so I was going to have to lay in it. 

I know prior to this Sunny had a pretty good life - I just want those 9 months back where I could focus on just him - take him to rehab - to see if would have helped maintain his muscle mass and help him live longer. But, I never pursued Ortho treatment for him - when I should have.  

I really wish specialists would combine their facilities - so that its super easy to refer people over to other areas of care. I felt like with Neuro, once they saw him it was up to me or my primary care doctor to pursue Ortho treatment.  Pet owners don't always know who to go see or what to do in the throws of a progressive illenss/condition.  I guess if anything, if I can bring awareness to that aspect of all of this - maybe I can do that in honor and memory of my boy Sunny.


Posts: 3
Oh Sunny's Mom I understand so much how you feel about wishing you could have a do-over the last few months.  I think my guilt and shame is more overwhelming than my grief.  We do our best in day to day life and as the old saying goes you don't "appreciate" until it's gone.  I have a million do-overs - more patience in walks (eat all the grass you want - I'll just stand here!), more patient of a senior dog peeing on my rugs (when sometimes I was gone from the house a little longer than I should have been), her cough started last fall - only a little one but a sign of heart trouble (I had no idea) - and I should have taken her to the vet then.  I should have been kinder at times.  I was afraid of expensive vet bills and since she had a good appetite and her stools were good I kept putting it off. 

Sophie, at 13, had lost weight this last year.  Her hindquarters noticeably bonier, her eyes starting to cloud a little, and I think she was stone deaf the last 6 months (I would clap my hands to zero reaction).  But she ate!  She wagged her tail!  She showed excitement and hopped circles still.  She walked albeit more slowly and she did sleep a lot. In retrospect, however, the last couple of months she declined considerable.  The extreme guilt comes in wondering had I taken her to the vet in October would it not have been so fast and we could have addressed the ensuing health issues.

I know now I should have been taking her in for wellness checks - actually at 11 I should have been taking her in every 6 months.  I would have asked what I should be looking for or expecting (as a breed and as a senior dog) in what I would know would be her last 1-3 years.  Had I done that I think I would feel less responsible for her death somehow.  Less shocked and blindsided. 

Perhaps that's the lesson in this. 

Be kinder, be gentler, appreciate.  And that extends to pets, friends, family, the people you cross paths with each day.
Plan ahead, be informed, use preventative care.

It's amazing how these furry friends make us feel so much, add so much to our lives, and ask for so little.

I hope you continue to feel better each day.  Don't be so hard on yourself. 

The Universe knows you loved your baby and he's at peace now.  He'll be in your heart and a part of you always.


Posts: 27
I understand. I completely understand. 
It has been 1 week and 1 days since I had to send my dog Braveheart to Heaven. Let me tell you, for the first 3 days, I WEPT. 
I wept so hard that I had to gasp for air like I was drowning in the ocean. I laid down on his grave where I buried him, laid my head down next to the sunflowers I put on his grave, and just cried. I wanted to be buried down there with him. So take comfort my friend...I certainly know how you feel, and I know the profound sadness you feel. 

But it does get better. I didn't think it would. It's only been 1 week, and the sadness has lifted and is less intense and less raw. The thing that has comforted my soul the most is knowing that my Braveheart is most certainly in Heaven. I know that God is taking good care of him. I know that your beloved animal is in Heaven too, my friend. Waiting for you. Jesus will lead you back to your beloved animal, believe that. It is the truth. Your baby is not "gone"...just relocated, above the stars. <3

Take comfort here. We all know how you feel, and we understand.
I understand.
God bless you, I will be saying prayers for you my sweet friend

Posts: 3
I found this message board after browsing endlessly online to find support, comfort, meaning to my depressed state. :(
Our sweet good boy Teddy has crossed the rainbow bridge last Sunday (March 4th) and I have been a mess since. I am unable to focus at all at work or find any joy in anything. 

Teddy was the sweetest little Westie. He has never done anything bad in his life, has never chewed, destroyed or had accidents in the house. He was friendly with anyone he met and even people who were averse to dogs warmed to him. He was our companion on all our outings, our emotional support and simply his presence made any bad day better. 

He has worked really hard to stay with us this long and we are soooo grateful for that. We are selfish though and would have wanted even more.

He had a spinal stroke that paralyzed his hind legs in 2013. With medicine, therapy and lots of love he recovered one leg fully and the second partially. 
That went downhill about 2 years ago when the bad leg started loosing all the strength left and no amount of specialists, MRIs, therapy and medicine would help anymore. We bought him a wheelchair that gave him a bit of renewed life for a few months last year.
The past few months we could see he was not himself all the time, lost interest in toys and would sleep a lot. He developed skin cancer diagnosed early February. 
We knew that end will have to come soon, but nothing could have prepared us for it. 
He had a seizure Sunday morning and by noon the emergency vet told us it would be best for him if we can let him go.
We know any more time would have been selfish on our part, that he is now no longer in pain and will not be suffering ... yet why does it hurt so much. :(

All the blogs and articles I found were trying to tell me how I can 'get over' my grief in '10 steps', and I have actually tried a few.
I started a small little memorial corner in the spot that Teddy's food and water were for the past almost 13 years. I bought a shadow box, frames and pots to plant something for him. It only helped while I was busy with it.
I wrote down my guilt and regrets (@sophies_mom ' s post sounded like my thoughts exactly). That helped only minutes as well. 
I feel empty, the house is quiet and EVERYTHING reminds me of him. 
Just the thought of bringing home his little urn in a week is making me cry. 

Reading all your posts gives me a bit of comfort that I am not alone or weird feeling like this. No mater how well intentioned friends or family are, most have never felt this way and might say hurtful things.

Thank you all for sharing your thoughts and for reading my ramblings. :( 

I hope time will help us all find comfort and we will once again be able to look at our sweet pictures and smile at the memories! <3


Posts: 16
I'm so sorry for your loss and that Teddy has passed on.  I am just over two weeks now with my chow/retriever Sunny passing.  It's surreal.  Sometimes I can convince myself he is at the vet.  Sunny had a host of issues that for the most part, were well managed.  I had no idea how certain disease would progress and that's where I'm having the hard time.  I am spending a lot of my time on FB groups for the diseases he had - trying to learn what it might have been that caused his decline to rapidly (within a month).  Prior to that, his decline was gradual.  I knew when he showed zero interest in being the car - one of his favorite things to do - that he was no happy.  I wish I had known about CBD oil though (as I think he could have benefited from i).  Would it have completely changed the course of events for him to stay around another year?  Happily?  Who knows. I didn't know about it at the time and like at least one or two cats before - that animal doesn't get the benefit of my knowledge.  I can only apply it to future fur babes.  I had a hard time too with some family members, so I sought out support groups locally, on FB and here.  Maybe your grief brings up something in them - others just didn't have the same relationship so they aren't going to have the pain of having had such a wonderful relationship end.  

Posts: 3
I wrote this long-winded post on facebook last week.  Friends said it was helpful and informative.  I will share here again.

In the week following the loss of Sophie I've tried to come to terms with her passing, trying to get a better understanding of what happened, in addition to old age, that I could have addressed or been better aware of. Even though she was a senior animal at 13 and would have likely passed in the next couple of years anyway, I just simply wasn't prepared for how suddenly it seemed, and seemed is the operative word, to happen. As I'm prone to doing, for good or for bad, I'm rethinking and reevaluating the last year, the last six months, the last month, and trying to understand. I think there's a certain amount of guilt in a pet passing because you think you could have done better and that somehow it was your fault. They can't tell you directly what they're feeling physically so as a mama or papa you just do your best to read the signals and understand, balancing what you see with potential vet costs and whether or not you should really be concerned.

In writing this, I want to share some things I could have done better that I'm trying to come to terms with. If this helps anyone address a concern with a pet, or identify signs your pet might be exhibiting, it will make me feel like I've shared my experience and the insight/hindsight I've gained, potentially helping you help your own pet.

Sophie's ultimate demise was heart failure. X-rays showed her heart and liver were enlarged, fluid backing into her lungs. Signs and symptoms are coughing which sometimes ends with a gag (from fluid in lungs), low energy, a firm distended belly (fluid collecting there), excessively water drinking, restlessness at night, excessive paw or bed licking (animals will lick when in pain or anxious), decreased appetite, and pale gums (also gums that when pressed the color doesn't return in 1-2 seconds/fairly quickly - shows blood flow being impeded). I'm not a vet, of course, but this is what I learned in my research.

NOTE: Do not read this and immediately think your pet is dying or has any of the health problems Sophie had. If your pet has any of these symptoms, all I'm attempting to do is help you be aware of the possible health implications and perhaps see your vet if you're concerned - especially if your dog is senior.

Sophie had most of the before-mentioned symptoms, especially in the last 2 months, but what finally prompted me to take her to the vet Monday afternoon was that the coughing-ending-with-a-gag had become noticeably worse Monday morning and she didn't ask for her lunch around noon nor was she as excited when I presented it to her (she has never NOT wanted a meal). Until Monday she generally had a great appetite, good stools, was happy and friendly (although I think she's been pretty deaf the last year), and still enjoyed walks although we did go more slowly and took breaks mid-walk sometimes.

  1. I should have addressed the cough when it first started in November. It's one of the first signs of heart failure but I thought she just had a little cold and with rest would get better, like humans (dogs do get flu and colds). The cough doesn't sound like a cough from drinking too much water. It's distinct. I found videos on YouTube and the dogs on there with heart failure sound just like Sophie did in her final weeks.
  2. The second sign I shouldn't have overlooked was the paw licking/excessive water drinking which she started doing a lot in the last month. I had been giving her an evening rawhide stick chew and thought it might be connected to the excessive thirst so I researched ingredients and when I noted they were soaked in salt brine thought that was the underlying cause of the water drinking so I stopped giving them to her and was doing a wait-and-see to see if the water drinking decreased. My regret is that the salty chews likely exacerbated the thirst and increased her water retention, potentially exacerbating the heart problem.
  3. I also wish, after she'd reached about 10 or 11, I had taken her in for twice-yearly wellness checks (bloodwork, xrays, etc) and shared with my vet any changes in behavior (like the coughing, licking, water drinking). She was seemingly healthy, just aging, so I didn't think it was necessary.

What I realize now, that I'm coming to terms with and feel so guilty about, is that by the time I took her to the vet Monday she was far sicker than I'd ever imagined. I'd spend that money a couple of times a year in a heartbeat if I had it to do all over again just so I could have been better informed of developing issues I couldn't physically see on the outside.

Balancing how much further to extend treatment considering your pet's age, their potential future quality of life, and medical costs, is a gut wrenching decision. I've gone round and round the last week with the shoulda woulda couldas and some days almost drove myself mad with guilt and regret. There's been a lot of tears but I'm slowly realizing that in letting her go when I did I was able to be there with her and that it was peaceful and she passed without being so extraordinarily sick that it would have been more painful for the both of us to experience.

I'm still so sad and I still miss her so much but each day is little by little a little better. I'm slowly finding peace in knowing she's at rest and not sick and suffering. We had a GREAT time, we did. She was loved and I know she knew it. Hug and kiss your babies extra hard today, friends.

PS I read online "Better a day too soon than a day too late."  When Sophie passed I was the last thing she saw, smelled, felt.  I'm SO glad she wasn't alone entering her next journey.

Posts: 3
Thank you for your notes Sunnys_Mom and Sophies_Mom! 

I am reading and re-reading your notes and other posts here.
I realize that even if we all are at maybe different stages in our grieving we are all going through the guilt, regret and the 'what if' scenarios in our head the same way.
That is clouding all the nice memories and happy times for now. 

I had a hard time with that the first few days and have only slowly convinced myself that even though I was not 100% the best caregiver (nobody is!), I did do my best. 
I wrote a long note for myself (and my husband) detailing everything I can think of that we DID do, try, observe. It did help.
My regrets are still there, just like Sophies_Mom listed... that I could have spent more time on walks, I could have been less rushed or impatient sometimes. 
Those thoughts will always be there and hopefully will make me a better person for our next fur baby  (I am not even close to making such a decision yet though).

Yesterday on my drive home from work there was a small piece of a rainbow in front of me for some times as I drove.
As silly as it sounds, I could only think of it as a sign from Teddy. 😉  

I hope your day was a bit better today and hopefully tomorrow will be even better.
Take care!


Posts: 35
Thank you everyone for your replies.

It's been 3 weeks and 1 day since she's been gone.
I still cry daily for her. I can't walk my other dog anywhere we used to all walk, nor can I eat certain foods.

It's slowly getting better, but the pain is still there.
I've found that I'm being a lot more patient with my dog that is still here. Walks are more casual and relaxed, there's no rushing now. Hugs a plenty. I still feel guilty though.

The fortnightly bath was today and I bawled my eyes out as I washed her. Coco usually stood next to me and watched, waiting her turn.
My daughter comes home from school and instead of Coco running and chasing her to her room to say hello, it's just quiet.

Does it ever get to a point where it feels okay to think of them and not be sad?!?

Posts: 3
Hello and thank you for being here!

Missing_Coco was asking if it "ever gets to the point where it feels okay to think of them and not be sad?!?"...  

It will be 4 weeks this Sunday since Teddy crossed the Rainbow Bridge and I still can't look at pictures and videos without feeling guilt and a giant emptiness in my chest. :( 

Yesterday we finally were able to pick up his little urn and paw print from the vet clinic. On the way there I tried to convince myself that his soul is everywhere ... not in that tiny box. I was convinced that I will be able to keep it together at the clinic. When the lady at the counter told me that I have to sign that I took Teddy home ... all that mental work went down the drain. 
We cried all the way home in the car, while reading the thoughtful card that came with the urn, while deciding if the place I chose for the urn is right, ... 

I wanted to make sure I bring his urn home as soon as possible, as I did not want to leave it with strangers any extra minute. I know he is not there, he is everywhere and in our hearts forever ... but somehow my silly mind thinks he is home now, safe ...

We miss him terribly every day. :(

I hope your days are getting better and wish you all to find joy in the memories soon!
Take care! <3

Posts: 27
Hello to everyone on this thread and I just want to say as I'm sure you've heard a million times I am so sorry for your losses and time really does help. But what else can we say right? It is truly one foot in front of the day at a time. It's been 6/7 months since both of my fur babies passed one in Aug 2017 my other a month later. It has been hard. I too talk to their ashes still I even pick them up and hug them. I've been having a hard time lately and decided to pop back on here as it has always helped me since they've gone. I think I've been holding my sadness in at times feeling like..... it's ok to be sad still, but not to the point of crying. My logical mind knows that's not true but I think it's something I try to tell myself to try and stop the pain. They were both in my family's life for so long and lately I keep finding myself still in so much disbelief that they're not here any more. I miss them. I want them here. We were supposed to move this summer but things fell through and I'm kind of glad because as I would be looking online and picturing our new home as you do...I'd find myself crying because part of me feels like I'm leaving them behind since this is the last place they lived with me. I know I have their ashes but..maybe it fell through for a reason. Maybe I'm not ready and it's just not time. I had them both for 15 and 12 years and my heart is still so broken. I always know I can come here and find a bit of comfort. I am grateful for this site and every one of you on it. Thanks for listening. And again, I wish everyone here healing, comfort and peace. Lots of hugs xxxxx
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