I have searched so many chats and can’t seem to find one about coping with the loss of a dog. I lost my little baby on 23rd August. I am really struggling to come to terms with it as he was my happiness and my home. I sometimes worry I’m people think I’m being silly for being so upset about the loss of my dog but I genuinely looked at him as my child. I had him since he was born on 29/06/19and a couple months into his life I found out he had a liver shunt. My waking moments were all for him, he occupied me all day as I had to care for him. I spent almost £10k to get him the surgery he needed to survive and have a healthy life. His surgery was on 18/08/20 and I got him home on 21/08 but had to rush him back into the vets that same night. I then found out he had a neurological issue from the surgery but that wasn’t even what killed him; he had a reaction to the treatment he was being given. I feel so lost and lonely without him. I moved into my new home at the beginning of the year and I am struggling so much to be in the house as I’ve never been there without him. My heart hurts so much. When I was sad he was my happiness. And now I’m much sadder than I ever have been and I don’t have him. I don’t feel like I’m strong enough to get through feeling like this.
Dearest Steph. This happened to us on the 25th August as well. So I just had to reach out to you. Our dog went to the vets and we too feel it was the treatment that caused the loss and not the condition and now we don’t have her. it lived with us all but mum is 87 with Alzheimers and the dog was her best friend. Never apart. it was watched like a baby rather than a dog. This morning she said it was her “child” mum keeps waking up asking for her so she has to keep hearing it again. The rest of us are beside ourselves. it wasn’t the outcome we expected. Like you we had spent the same to keep it alive after it developed an inability to wee four years ago due to neurological conditions. I can’t forget how happy it looked ouside the vets before it went in and 6 hours later just nothing. I can truly understand about you not being able to come to terms with things. I don’t think you’d be human otherwise. Love from a pet is a unique kind of gift because it’s unconditional Until we lost our first dog I couldn’t understand the gravity of pet loss. You have to have had a pet to know. I know I’m not being very helpful but I just wanted you to know that there’s at least one other person feeling the way you are feeling right at this very time. Well get through it in time, somehow. Like other loss , we won’t get “over” it. I don’t think we are meant to. You sound a very loving and caring person, how lucky your pet was to have you. It feels like the lights have gone out in our lives doesnt it and everything is colourless. One day there’ll be a little bit of light. We don’t have to let it in until we feel ready, no matter how long it takes. Don’t let anyone minimise your pain, pets are our family. Yesterday my sister (non pet owner) said “at least it was a good age”. Sorry, but not helpful even if well-intended. Please look after yourself. No doubt you’ll pop in my mind again today. I hope I haven’t upset you with anything I’ve written x.
Steph, that was a lovely, understanding post from Tina. Know there are those here who understand your loss. We have many pet owners on here who acknowledge the comfort a pet can give to us in our hour of need. Pets are amazing comforters. I am so sorry you have lost your dog and I am glad you felt able to post on this site. Take care and be kind to yourself. Sending love and hugs. xx
Hi. Stephk. Welcome. I know how you feel because my late wife and I had two boxer dogs, and when they died we were filled with grief. You are not being silly at all. Grief is grief and it can be painful no matter what the circumstances. As with any loss you will cope, we all do. It takes time and patience. Take care and best wishes. John.
Steph, I know only too well the depth of your despair after losing your pet. We lost our black labrador, Neko, on Christmas Day 2016. He was the only one of the four dogs we had during our years together who was not a rescue dog. We had him from 8 weeks old, small enough to be held in one hand, and he grew up to be a fabulous animal, so good natured, loving, inelligent and well behaved. I screamed his name the moment after the vet put him to sleep - he was exactly 8 years and 1 month old - and bawled my eyes out. My wife was just as distressed as I. Because we’d raised him from a pup I felt so much more attached to and in tune with him than our previous dogs - all of whom I loved too. My wife and I had only just discussed at the start of this year the possibility of getting another pup, then possibly a second one a year later, but now I don’t know if I will ever have another dog. I don’t know if I could bear the heartache of another loss at some point in the future. I struggle to find words to offer as comfort for you, but I know your pain. Please take one day at a time, and take good care of yourself.
Hello Steph. just to say I hope you have had a few periods of respite since your post, if only for a short while. x
I can so relate to your having to cope with the loss of your dog. When my last dog died I was heartbroken and decided that I would never own another dog and put myself through such pain yet again. Well my plan didn’t work out, now I have two rescue dogs (one about to be put down because of behaviour problems, now the most loving dog imaginable) and so pleased I have them as they have helped me so much through my grief after losing my husband. He encouraged me to have a dog again as he knew I would never be happy without a dog by my side and now the thought of losing either of my ‘babies’ fill me with terror but I wouldn’t be without them for the world. They take me for walks, make me smile, and their love and comfort is unconditional. The welcome I get from them when I come home all means so much to me…
This week there has been a programme on TV about losing your dog and there was a vet who had just lost his little dog and he was in tears.
Dog owners will always understand what losing their pets mean to them and my heart goes out to you.
Please dig deep and find that strength to get through your pain and remember when you feel ready there are so many little dogs who would just love to belong to a kind person like you.
Hi Tina, thank you so much for your response. I am so very sorry to hear about the passing of your dog and it breaks my heart to imagine the pain it brings to have to tell your mum over again, not only does it bring back the horrible memory of the loss but how it makes your mum feel also. I’ve lost people in my life but due to myself only being 23 it’s been grandparents, which don’t get me wrong was awful and hard but I’ve never felt pain like I’m feeling now. As yours, my dog was watched like a baby and I spent every waking moment with him. As our loss has been so recent I suppose it’s still very fresh but judging by what I’ve been told it never gets less painful, you just learn to live with the pain and it doesn’t occupy your mind as much. I cherish I got to spend every minute of every day with him the last 6 months being able to work from home but at this moment it’s making working unbelievably difficult as he was on my lap most of the day and unfortunately bereavement leave is not possible for animals. Your kind words have really helped me. It’s comforting as well as upsetting that I’m not the only one feeling like this for my dog. It’s very hard to explain how you feel to someone who doesn’t have a love for animals or never had the connection. Thank you, Tina. I really do appreciate it x
Thank you Kate, your kind words truly do help xx
Hi Jonathan, thank you for your response. I think I wonder if I’m being silly when I’ve spoken with people who don’t understand the connection people can get with their pets but I know this loss is true to me and I shouldn’t worry on others judgement of my pain. Thank you again Jonathan
Hi Tina, sorry I did not see this message before your latest response. I’m so glad you’ve been able to have a temporary break from the grief, hopefully the breaks will get longer. I’m hoping I’ll be able to feel that soon x
Hi Alston, thank you for your response. Sorry to hear about the loss of your dear Neko. My situation is sort of the same as you, I had Klaus from birth. My mum rescued his mother whilst pregnant and then rejected her puppies. So I took control and was up every 2 hours feeding them until they were old enough to drink and eat on their own. I decided to keep 2 of the puppies from that litter so it is comforting to know I still have his brother with me but my mind feels so empty without little Klaus as he occupied most of it due to his feeding/medication schedule. I too feel as if I don’t want to get another dog due to the pain I am feeling, it’s a pain I never want to feel again but I also cannot imagine my house without the love of a dog. I can’t imagine how it feels to lose your dog on Christmas Day, as it is a day for celebration but now there will always be the sadness of Neko. You just have to remember the love he gave and you gave him, all the happiness and adventures he had and know he lived a truly wonderful life. And if/when it comes to the point when I’d like another dog, I will always remember my pain but I believe in time the love and life of Klaus will override the pain and you and I will be able to give an amazing loving life to another pup. Thank you Alston, your words have comforted me. Take good care of yourself too. X
Hi Pattidot, thank you for your response. It is very comforting that you’ve been able to rescue two lovely dogs and managed to get past the fear of pain. I’m so very sorry for the loss of your husband. It’s amazing how dogs help us more than they know. The love they give is unconditional. Luckily I have Klaus’ brother so he is helping me a lot and hasn’t left my side since Klaus’ death. As you said, it’s terrifying to imagine the loss again but I suppose we always know the lifespan and the inevitable but it never makes it easier to say goodbye. Thank you so much for your kind words and I hope some day I will be able to rescue just as you have. Take care xxxx
My late Nan wrote this poem when she lost her dog, I found it recently and I hope it brings you comfort. Losing a pet is just as tragic. It’s still a family member.
I lost my lovely lady
The dog that I adore
Her warm & fond affection
Wagging tail & trusting paw
No longer her warm welcome
Or all the lopping walks
I loved my little lady
She is seldom from my thoughts
Beautiful. So simple but so poignant. My late wife and I used to breed boxer dogs. When one had a litter it was always sad to see a puppy go. We had to ship a dog to a new owner one day, and as the train pulled away from Paddington station my wife and I shed a few tears. To us it was a loss. When our two boxers died we were in grief for a long time. The house seemed so empty. I think anyone who has owned an animal of any sort will feel the painful loss when they go. Take care and thank you. John.
I think any dog that you decide to re-home will be a lucky dog and I know mine have repaid me ten time over. I fostered my terrier Bugsy and thought I was safe from becoming attached to him as I had never wanted a terrier. New owners came for him and as they drove away and I could see his little face at the window I stood on the side of the road crying. Two weeks later the Rescue Centre asked me to fetch him back as it wasn’t working out. Needless to say he never left us again much to the annoyance of our other dog who was not impressed with having him around. We are suckers for our animals but we love them so much.
Our dog had to be put down yesterday. 17. with cancer, and in the end, in pain.
I could not sleep. awoke at 530am. the house is so quiet, without him.
take all the time you need, to adjust. true : it IS losing a family member.
hello bwrit. I hope it’s OK to reply to you on stephs post I just wanted to send you some kind thoughts and say how very sorry i am. we lost our GSD a week ago today.
thank you so much.
you must miss them, dearly!
they leave the place so quiet. and, so empty. and then we see, how much that our lives revolved around them!
Sorry to hear that! Breaks my heart to think of dogs in pain at the end of their life. I hate the thought that my little man was in pain just before and I’m sure you’re the same. I’m still finding it unbelievably hard to adjust to life without him and he was only in mine for just over a year let alone 17.