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Posts: 35
My 5 yr old dog died of an unexpected illness four months ago. Thinking back now, i realize i didn't walk him every day. Sometimes I was just too tired after working all day. I gave him lots of toys to play with and treats for being good all day, but sometimes he didn't get a walk. I wonder if I would have walked him more maybe he wouldn't have gotten cancer and died. Maybe his lack of exercise contributed to his illness. Now I'm wondering if he thinks I'm a terrible mommy for not walking him every day. I hope he is not mad at me for that. I feel awful about it now. He stayed in the house all day while I worked and my poor baby didn't get walked half the time when i came home. Maybe he'd still be here if I would have been kept him active.  Now I have something new to feel guilty about. I wish my mind would stop taking me to these terrible realizations. I just want to remember the good times.



Posts: 2,285

I, too feel guilty about so many things. I worked all day too and I think of all the time I could have spent with her if I could have been home all day. The nights I came home so tired and didn't go out for a walk, or went half-heartedly for one. There are so many things to feel guilty about. But we can't let those things overshadow all the good times with our pets. Our pets loved us, good day, bad day, tired, energetic, happy, sad, no matter. They loved being with us. If being with us meant laying next to us while we dozed in front of the TV, so be it, they were with us and they were happy.


Posts: 5,100
I have these same regrets.  When my furbabies were younger, I worked very long hours.  By the time I got home, all I had the energy to do was let them run my huge backyard for exercise.  I feel so guilty, as they both loved walks.  Sometimes, by the time I got home it was dark, so it probably would not have been that safe.  But, I feel so bad about this.  Now, my little 17 year old minpin is too frail to walk very far, but I try to give him little short walks.  It is my beloved Bridge baby, Betsy, that I feel bad about.  She was a feisty little terrier and would have loved a daily walk.

As far as walks preventing your boy's cancer, I seriously doubt that.  We are just in the doubt/second-guess phase of grief.  It is a dreadful phase.

I am so sorry for your loss.

Betsy's forever mom

Posts: 10

Its really easy to fall into the trap of blaming yourself. I feel guilty everytime I dont' give my dog enough attention or walks after work. but you know what, I can't get her to stay at my mom's house even though she can be outside all day if she wants and walked 2 or 3 miles each day! She woudl rather be home with me even if it means resting with me after a long day. They know we are working hard all day. They sense when we are tired and not able to take them for walks. And they aren't mad at us.  They are perfectly happy being home with us. 
Your baby isn't mad at you and walking him wouldn't have prevented his illness.  Athletes die of heart attacks.  Sometimes illnesses just come up and its never fair but we also can't blame ourselves.  If a healthy athlete can die of a heart attack, then believe me walking your dog every day woudl not have prevented cancer. 
You are still grieving and its very easy to blame yourself.  I'm struggling trying to help my sister and even myself understand that there wasn't anything more we coudl have done for Hayden.  Life isn't fair but those we lose know how much we love them and they harbor no resentment towards us. How could you be angry with someone if you were in paradise frolicking in fields and playing all day just waiting for your human to come home to see you?
I'm so sorry for your loss.  Losing someone you love is something I know too well and its never easy.  I think its even easier to blame yourself when this situation arises.  But don't.  You are a good mama to your baby. 
Take care

Posts: 846
Sleepingb-  I'm so sorry for your loss.  I know your pain.  I've been down that dark path you're on right now, and I truly understand.  It's so horrible.  I lost my yellow lab Luna at the age of 4 to cancer.  I too had many questions and "what-if's" - I think it's a normal part of grieving.  We will always wonder if there was something, anything we could have done to prevent their death or extend their life.  Luna died 18 months ago, and it has taken me almost that long to forgive myself.  I've done a lot of research and I've talked to God alot too.  I truly believe that all those "what if's" - they don't matter.  What if I walked her more?  What if I caught the cancer sooner?  What if I fed her a different food, or gave her some other kind of treat?  Would she still have died so young?  Maybe.  Hind sight is 20-20 they say, and it's true.  Those questions will never be answered.  God knows the answers and some day I'm sure he'll give them to me.  But in the meantime, I have to find peace in knowing that I gave her a very loving home and I took the best care of her that I possibly could.  She was a very happy dog while she was on Earth.  I have to know in my heart that it was just her time.  God knows the reasons why he took her back so soon, and instead of harbouring guilt and shame and anger, I thank God for every day that she blessed my life.  It takes time to get to that point, believe me.  Please allow yourself as much time as you need.  Just please know that you did nothing wrong.  Walking him more would not have made a difference.  It was just his time.  Your baby loves you for every day you gave him. He is yours forever, and his beautiful spirit will be with you always.  And remember - you WILL see him again.  One day you will cross the bridge and you will never be parted from him again.  God Bless you both.  You're in my prayers during this difficult time.  Just remember - you're not alone.  Many hugs to you.

Gerlie (Gypsy and Luna's forever mom) 
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