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Posts: 21
It was 1 week ago today that I found out Nora had passed on. I am still very much struggling with her absence. I am not even at the point yet where I can say "this day was better than that". It's more like "this hour was better than that one". I went to work last night for the first time since she passed. I was hoping that being busy would be a good distraction, but I kept breaking down. I haven't been sleeping well at all. I work overnight, so sleeping has always been a struggle in any case, but now I am at a point where I feel like I am going nuts. This morning when I got home, I was so exhausted and had already been up for 24 hours. I thought I would stay asleep at least until 2 or 3 pm. I woke up at 11:30am - 3 hours of sleep. I have been crying and crying all day. I feel as though I am dying inside. I have felt better than this the past week and it is hard to feel like I am moving backwards not forwards... I called in sick to work for tonight. I am so scared of getting in trouble, but I cannot be there right now. They know that my dog passed away, but I'm worried that they just do not understand that to me, Nora was my best friend, baby, my whole world.

Pet loss friends; How have you coped with work obligations? I'm at a loss :(



Posts: 16
Hi, Heather,

Although I posted here after losing a kitty, I know the pain you are feeling from the loss of your beloved dog. On September 15, 2004, I lost my best friend, a shepherd husky mutt named Panda.  It was a Wednesday afternoon, late in the day, when I came home and found her in very rough shape (she was 13 and had K9Addison's disease.) She passed at the vet's a few hours later.

I could not go to work until the following Monday. I worked in a hospital as a social worker and it was just awful. I've lost both my parents and the loss of Panda hit me harder than either one of my parents' deaths.

When I did go to work Monday, throughout the day, I hung in my office as much as possible. Several nurses I worked with came to see me throughout the day. Each shared with me a story of their own loss of a pet and the catastrophic grief that followed. We all cried together throughout the day, off and on. 

For almost a month after her death, I took a mild tranquilizer each night to help me sleep, for if I didn't, I became consumed with grief, sometimes almost hysterical. I could not even look at a picture of her for over two years without bursting into tears.

This past September was the first year in the past six that I did not cry on her anniversary of passing. I was, I guess, too consumed with Marmalade (the cat I lost October 1st).

I would advise you to ask your physician for something to help you sleep and perhaps something to help you deal with your depression at losing your dog.

I promise you that if your dog could talk to you right now, he/she would thank you for all that you have given and ask you to go on with your life as best as you can.

As for your co-workers, if they understand, that's awesome, if not, the heck with them.  I am a clinical social worker and we are now just beginning to understand how devastating the loss of a pet is.

One of my co-workers mentioned to me that losing a dog was like losing a child. "The heck it is", I responded. "Panda never back talked and never asked to borrow money or the car".

Hang in there. It will get better. It really will.
Marm's Mom (and Panda's)

Posts: 282
1 week is so very, very new.  Not even someone who does not understand about the love we have for our little ones should question your grief at such an early stage.   I did not cope well at work for 2-3 weeks.  I was on vacation when my little one passed so I had 5 days at home to recouperate.  But when I got back to work I was useless. I did just enough work to run out the clock.  I did not have any concentration at all.  I could not complete my projects.  I would work for 10 mins and then just start thinking about my dog and using the internet to search online for things related to his death.  I'm the boss so I didn't have anyone to watch out for, but still I had to set an example for my employees so I was worried someone would notice.   I gave myself a few days off later on and I would do the same for any employee who looked as hopeless as I did.  I can't say whether or not it's a good idea to tell your boss how you're feeling.  It depends on their attitudes about dogs. But like my husband said,  it's not only about your dog, it's about the circumstances of his death,  the trauma we dealt with and how it's affecting our mental state.  Don't be afraid of moving backwards. Grief doesn't move in a sequence.    You are going to be alright one day but it is too soon for anyone to expect you to function normally.  Hopefully you will reach a stage where work is a distraction.  That happened for me about a month afterward.  I could work for 2-3 hours before stopping to grieve.  If it weren't for this board I would have thought I was completely nuts.  I never knew that pet loss was like this.  I never, ever, dreamed I could be so wiped out by this.   And neither did you.  But here we are.  Each of us with our own struggle,  but each of us sharing it. 

Take care of yourself physically and your emotional state will improve. 

Posts: 541
I'm so sorry. It has only been a week so of course you are still in the early stages of grief and it is horrific. I didn't do very well at work for quite a while. I only took the one day off, the day my boy was put to sleep. I was hurt because when I went in the next day my assistant didn't even mention it or ask how I was doing. She was well aware of the heartache I had been going through for months with his illness and how devastating this was for me. I have never had the same relationship with her, needless to say. But I really should have taken a few days off. I was useless and couldn't concentrate or get any work done for a very long time. It has been 4 months and I am still somewhat behind in my work. Like Darian, I am the boss, so needed to set an example, but I also found myself on the internet most of the time. On here alot of that time. I would recommend taking some time off, but since alot of supervisors do not understand, it's best to just take vacation or personal days and not have to explain any reasons.

It will get better with time. But if you can take some time off, do it. I wish I had.

God bless. Sending love and hugs your way....

Posts: 11,059
Returning to work after the death of my precious bunny was extremely difficult.  I was incredibly sad and could barely concentrate.  My boy passed on a Saturday so I had the weekend to gather my thoughts, as best I could.  It isn't easy being at work, but we have to work.  I hope you have understanding coworkers and they will understand when you're not your usual self.

Losing a beloved pet is a tragedy. I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet Nora. 

precious Christoph ~ gone two years now ~


Posts: 628
After one week, it is understandable that your emotions would still be so raw.  After loosing Bonnie, mine were a mess for a month or more.
Thank goodness I am retired and did not have face the task of going to work. 
I agree with one of the previous post to ask your physician for a mild tranquilizer to help you sleep.  And perhaps you might consider talking to your doctor about a antidepressant too.  I had to take both after loosing Bonnie.  In fact I have been on antidepressants for several years.  It can't hurt to ask.
I truly understand what you are going through.  My sympathy goes out to you in your loss.  This message board helped me so much in the loss of Bonnie.  I encourage you to come back and talk, cry, rant; anything and we will be there for you.

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