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Posts: 21
I had the sweetest dog in the world that we had to put down one year ago, on July 10th. I have been very teary eyed the past couple of weeks, I think about him constantly and deep down, I have this feeling of 'why did he have to die?' -- having a hard time accepting that. I know it's irrational, it's a feeling.. I wish I could shake it. I just wish I could get him back. 

6 months before that, his older brother died unexpectedly at the vet's ICU, due to a procedure the vet on staff did that he should never have done. That makes me cry every time I think about it.. which I try not to, but it's there. 

Also a dog we had rescued when our neighbor died, he had to be put down as well. Three dogs gone within the space of 6 months. Last year was a very hard year. 

What makes me even sadder is that my husband doesn't understand or sympathize at all. Like Termy's Mom said, my husband was over it the next day. We have 2 new dogs now.. but if I ever bring up  our dogs who passed, which by the way, we had for over 13 years.. if I bring them up, not crying bur just a memory -- the look on my husbands face is like somebody stuck hot pokers under his fingernails. It makes me so much more sad, that I can't talk to him at all about them, he is the only person besides me who lived w them all their lives, and how can he just forget about them like this?

It breaks my heart even that much more. They were so devoted to him, how can he just forget abut them like this? I don't understand it. I'll get through this week, I'll cry my way through this one year anniversary...  I am alone with this. I will always love them and miss them and wish they were still here.

Posts: 580
Dear Sunspark,
It seems that most men can move on when a beloved pet passes but we have a emotional connection that holds us to the life we shared with them. It's hard when you go through all the firsts with out them. I still cry when i'm alone because I know the people around me think I should be over it. I will never be over my loss. Termy was my life, my joy and my sole reason for living. I'm hoping you can remember the good memories that you shared even if the tears fall. I am crying now remembering Termy and how I felt at the one year mark and I feel for you. It just plans hurts. They were all devoted to your hubby because our pets never judge and love so unconditionally that they only see the good in everyone. Sometimes I wish humans would love that way. I'm sending you my support and understanding and I want you to know that we are here for you. Anytime you need a shoulder, I am here for you. My heart is with you. Do something special on the 10th to honor you baby. I released a balloon with a note attached on Termy's one year mark. I did find some peace as I let go of the balloon and cried.
To bad we all can't love with a passion.
Love and doggie hugs
Termy's mom

Posts: 21
Thank you for your response, Termy's mom --- thanks for taking the time. I know how hard it is to read this board when you are in pain yourself - but also it's hard not to get a response as well. It's strange how reading what everyone else is going through is uncomfortable but also a comfort. 

I have two questions for you: 

1) why is your name 'cosesmom' instead of Termy's mom?!! just curious!

2) I was reading some of your earlier posts, and you mentioned making  a 'memory jar' for Termy -- what is that exactly? It sounds nice.

thanks, sunspark

Posts: 167

Reading your post gives me a different perspective. It seems like your husband may actually have suffered greatly from the passing of your dogs, so much so that he can't bear to think of them and relive that trauma all over again. Maybe his way of coping is to try leave it all behind and also leave all the pain and grief behind. So perhaps you might have miscontrued his reaction as being unfeeling or uncaring when the reverse may be true.

With such a deep trauma, people cope in different ways. Men have been taught to be strong and keep a stiff upper lip and march on as though nothing happened. Conventionally, it is much more acceptable for women to cry and weep in public, but not so much for men. The fact that your husband shows great distress and avoidance when you raise the matter of the dogs you lost, suggests that he is far from unfeeling about their deaths. So anyway, this was my idea about the situation you described.

Grief and sorrow is really just an individual ordeal that each has to go through. One more, or ten more people weeping along with us probably doesn't really make things any better. Each of us just has to work our way through the process and come to terms with it eventually.

Posts: 21
Hi Karmacat, thank you so much for your perspective - that actually made me cry. 

Yes maybe I have been too harsh on him, I just could not fathom his attitude and it hurt. But what you say is probably true, in fact, when I have forced him to talk to me about this, he does say he has had too much pain in his life (his father really treated him badly and just died recently) and that he 'does not want to relive' our dogs suffering and passing on. So I think maybe you have hit the nail on the head. I just could not understand it and that is all he will say, you have spelled it out for me. & just to add, I am not trying to 'relive' any of it, it just overwhelms me.  

This perspective does give me a great deal of peace of mind towards him, THANK YOU! 
It gives me more peace of mind in general in this grieving process, because his attitude was adding to my pain.
Really lightens my load. so to speak..


Posts: 21
ps. I meant to add as well, I love this message board! It is immeasurable help to be able to talk to other people who totally understand. 

<3 to all of you! 

Posts: 1,191
Hi Sunspark,

I was going to echo what Karmacat said - it sounds as though your husband is suffering and grieving over your dogs' passing but has chosen to not talk or even think about it as his way of coping with the loss. I can completely understand - sometimes it is easier to just not talk about it because otherwise you might break down and cry in front of others. And the last thing you want to do is show that vulnerability or even go through the pain again, even if a loved one that understands is nearby. It hurts, it shows vulnerability and the last thing you really want to do is face the reality that ones you loved are no longer here with you. Of course, the more you keep the pain inside, the longer it seems to be to work through your loss. But for some, that is how they cope, and it can make for difficult times if it is opposite how we personally react to and work through our grief.

Hugs to you as you cope with the one-year anniversary of your beloved dog's passing...

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


Posts: 167
Hi Sunspark, nice to hear back from you! I am glad you found my perspective helpful.

Most of my life, I too subscribed to the strong man, stiff upper lip ideal. To that end, I cultivated a cool (some would say cold), calm and aloof attitude. I tried very hard to not get attached to things, people or whatever too. When my Karma cat was dying, I knew it was going to be bad, but I figured I would deal with it and get through it, and leave it behind, like everything else I had encountered in my life. So I was really mortified to find myself sobbing and wailing uncontrollably in public, when I had to put her to sleep. Over the next many months, I experienced a pain worse than any I had felt before in six decades of life. Furthermore, for 13 or months after, I cried like a baby, multiple times a day, every day! Even now, at the 19 month mark, I still break down very frequently. It has been a journey of grief beyond belief indeed. Karma cat is no more, and her suffering has ended. But I just can't seem to accept and process that...

So men can and do suffer profound pain and grief over the pet's passing for sure. If I were not just living alone with my remaining cat, things could have gotten awkward. Men especially, find it difficult to cry in front of other people, and I am no exception. Your husband is probably the same too.

When I suffered through the grieving process, it was so bad that I really thought to myself - no one should have to endure this level of pain (realising after finding this forum, that many many people actually had it just as bad as me). How I wished there was some way I, and the other animal lovers, could be give a magic bullet to cure our sorrow! If I had a wife, or partner who shared the pet with me, and was able not to suffer and cry every day for 400 plus days (as I did) , I would actually be happy for them I think. We have fought the battle, we have given the fur babies a good life, and tried to alleviate their end stage suffering as best we could. There is no actual purpose or benefit in us continuing to suffer so greatly after they have gone... But it's just that many of us are just stuck, and need a long time to heal. So if someone else seems like they managed to heal up faster, we should really be happy for them, shouldn't we?
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