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ItWillTakeTime

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Posts: 43
 #1 
I came to this board when I put my dog down six weeks ago. I adopted him as a twelve week old puppy, and put him down at 14 1/2. He was my constant companion and my joy. Unlike some people who post here, I had a long time to see it coming. He had several progressive untreatable diseases, one of them fatal. I tracked his quality of life with a spreadsheet for six months. In the last week when I was making the decision to put him down, I filmed him with my camera at some of his worst moments, like when arthritis was making him struggle to be able to lie down in his bed. Every time I had doubts -- like when he was sleeping beside me and everything seemed fine -- I watched them again. It was so easy to question myself and my judgment.

Putting him down was like being hit by a train; I couldn't eat, sleep, cried constantly, developed chest pain, was exhausted, and got sick. It is six weeks on and I am still crying most days.

Aside from the huge loss, a big part of the first four weeks was overwhelming guilt. The guilt focused on three things: anything I had ever done in the course of our relationship that was less than ideal; whether I had fought hard enough for him at the end (whether there was some other vet out there with the magic cure); whether I had put him down too soon; or whether I put him down too late and made him suffer. The loss is horrific; the guilt even worse.

Being on this board has helped me a lot. Watching each new person stumble into the chat room traumatized and in shock, I have come to realize that every single person who loves their animal (and those are the only kind of people who come to this board) suffers from guilt. And guilt is inevitable. We have full responsibility for them, but we only have partial knowledge and control. And we love them so much that we want their lives to be perfect.

So . . . to all of you . . . please know that you did your very best for the one you love, and no one could ask for more from you. Please do not blame yourselves. Death comes for all of us, and we don't know when. When you watch this board, you will realize that there is absolutely no way that your beloved could have died where you would not feel guilty. Put the guilt down, and baby yourselves; you have had a huge loss, much like an injury; take it seriously. Easier said then done, I know . . .

jonesbunch

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Posts: 2
 #2 
Wow. This was wonderful and I thank you. I am doing the same thing about my Penny and the funny thing is she was such a stubborn thing that I think she would have tried to live through a great deal of pain just to hang around for awhile. Ironically, my husband had the same illness about 12 years ago (gastrointestinal lymphoma) and when she began to experience the pain and illness we knew would come he was able to say what else we could expect down the road. He has to re-explain that to me every day just for me to have some peace. Amazing how our animals take over our hearts...again thank you! Jonesbunch
Brighton_surf

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Posts: 2
 #3 
We had to put our beautiful 12 year old whippet boy down on Friday night after a very quick painful descent we think into cancer. I put my life on hold and rightly or wrongly he became the baby I never had.

I can’t stop crying the grief is so painful and the joy in my life has been switched off like a light switch. I now have no purpose in my life and want desperately to be with him once again I find myself clawing at my heart.

It’s a nightmare I can’t wake up from.
ItWillTakeTime

Registered:
Posts: 43
 #4 
Brighton surf, I am so sorry for your loss.

I did not realize how intertwined my dog was with everything I did until he was suddenly not there. Now it is Thanksgiving. I usually picked up a turkey breast and we celebrated together  . . . almost cried in the grocery store. Things I thought I enjoyed I realized I enjoyed because I could share them with him. At the end of things, our lives were even more tightly intertwined as I accommodated his illness and cared for him. I gave up the bedroom and slept on the floor in the living room for several months because he couldn't go up the stairs. When I put him down, I felt as if I was catapulted into an alternate universe in which he didn't exist, had never existed.

Hang in there; it is a long, hard journey when you love this much and lose. You will find comfort on this board from others who understand. Take good care of yourself: make sure you eat right, sleep, and exercise, if you can.
Brighton_surf

Registered:
Posts: 2
 #5 
Thank you it’s reassuring to know your not alone and that others understand. I have very quickly realised everything I did as well was with him and the cold space he has left behind is suffocating...I can’t imagine ever enjoying anything ever again without him.
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