Wanting to get a dog.

I am wanting to give a dog a home.it may help my grief has anyone any ideas? Annette.

Hi Annette i have a dog and its gets me out of the house .So for me its a definite plus .But i would research on youtube (ie english bulldog 101) it will give you the info you need a dog that fits in with your lifestyle not the other way round Colin

Thanks for your reply Colin.I guess I have become a bit of a bedroom recluse.I find safety and bit of sanctuary in my bedroom.thanks for your advice .I have had adog in the past a sheepdog .I have been looking on the internet at a few dog shelters and suchlike but it seems rather a vetting ordeal to me.so I am considering a private sale.I would like a daschund dog.I could take it with me when I go visit my darling girls grave.can’t comprehend me even writing the former.sometimes I wonder if this is a nightmare and it isn’t real .oh I wish that that was so.tears are always imminent.I feel its sometimes surreal is that normal ?all my best to you Colin.Annette.xx

Hi Annette,

A lot of people on here have said positive things about pets helping them to cope. Here is a conversation from this site where some people have posted about their experiences with having a pet after bereavement: https://support.sueryder.org/community/general-chat/do-your-pets-help-you-cope

It’s an older conversation, but it might help to read some other people’s experiences.

The RSPCA has some good advice on choosing and buying a puppy, which may help you with your decision: https://www.rspca.org.uk/adviceandwelfare/pets/dogs/puppy

Hi Annette, I lost my wife almost 2 weeks ago and without my dogs it is quite possible that I would not be here to type this. Perhaps different to you situation because my 2 German Shepherds have been my shadows for many years and have helped me through many dark times over the years. It is hard to stay sad when you get flattened then cuddled walking in the front door.

I don’t like to state the obvious, but you need to carefully select a breed to match your lifestyle though. A new dog will take a lot of effort which may very well be good. Perhaps a rescue dog would be a good idea, puppies are great fun but they can be hard work and house training may just be too much at this time.

Once you form a bond with a dog they will be you best friend for life. They have such empathy. It breaks my heart seeing them also grieving for my wife at the moment

Strongly recommend… I have been suffering from grief depression anxiety and panic attacks… I bought 2 husky pups in august… They have helped me immensely… They calm me, give me loving , they are tying, so think a lot if you don’t want to be tied…

Hello Annette
Having read everyone’s replies I would agree that it is a very good idea and as you know what to expect having had a dog before, go for it, but again as others have said, a breed to suit you. A fan of the larger dogs, I have also thought of having a dog again at some point and actually may choose a smaller dog. We’ll see. They are great company and give a purpose to getting up in the morning. Good idea. I lost my husband and unfortunately (fortunately???) we had a business to run. I had to get up in the morning to run it on my own (the last thing I wanted to do to be honest, I could have quite easily just locked myself in my bedroom full stop) So in hindsight (it’s been six years) it was a good thing. It made me get out of bed in the morning. People were depending on me. Although it was detrimental to my health and I have now closed down the business, the grief has set in. I didn’t have time to grieve. Sounds ridiculous. But that’s life I suppose. Good luck with the dog choosing and it is an absolutely great idea. xxx

Hi Annette! My dog has been a Godsend after the loss of my Mother, who I lived with and cared for. I’ve had 7 dogs from rehoming centres, and they have done as much for me, as I have for them. I walk at the same times every day, and have so many friends I’ve met on my walks. Do you know what breed you might like? There are rehoming centres for every breed, and a breed specific rescue centre should be able to match you with a suitable dog. In regards to getting a puppy, do be very careful. If you do go to a breeder, find one that’s on the kennel club register. There are lots of unscrupulous backyard breeders, who would quite happily sell you a sick, poorly bred puppy. You have already had a terrible loss, so that’s the last thing you’d need. You’re welcome to message me if you need doggy advice. Sarah…

I lost my wife and best friend Susan to cancer in June this year . Sam our little Sprocker spaniel is really my saviour. Gives you a purpose to carry on and get out and about. Also company when the house falls quiet from our 2 teenage sons. I would strongly recommend . Take care and very best wishes

Hi mokii.many thanks for your reply .I am or we myself and granddaughter would like a daschund.willing to buy .but as you say the are unscrupulous people out there.I live in Hampshire.don’t know how to go about it really would like to get one before Xmas prefably a house trained puppy.hugs to you Annette.

Hi Annette, the Kennel Club will have a breeders list, it would be well worth contacting them for that. Have a look at www.dachshundrescue.org.uk. They have great info and contacts on their site. Puppies don’t come house trained. You’d have to do that. It’s not difficult, but there will be a few accidents when they’re little. Do be aware that miniature dachshunds do often have problems with their spine when they get older, so a good pet insurance is a must! I think it’ll do you the world of good to have a furry pal. Sarah.

We lost our dog in 2014 the same year my husband Keith was diagnosed with MND. Keith’s mum died too and then our lives changed forever. Ruud died rather like your Barney, he was being operated on and they found a huge tumour on his liver. We allowed them to put him to sleep, I thought I would never get over the loss and I haven’t reading your post I cried big hot tears for you, Barney, Ruud, me and of course your loss.
I now feel that I am able to have a dog but because of his illness Keith isn’t keen. He has 24hour care and I am lonely. I cook for Keith and assist him with the hiring and firing of staff. The turnover of staff is breath-taking. I have very bad arthritis. Which affects me badly. I can barely walk and cannot stand. However, there is such life inside me. I want to help Keith so I try and make amazing food for him.
I make phone calls and keep an eye on his medication needs.
However, when the chips are down he thinks more of his carers than me. I am not being dramatic really they do everything for him and he could not live without them, however I am not the person who keeps him alive. He has ventilators and rigs and hoists and so much equipment, I can’t seem to find my place.
Now wouldn’t you just say that I am one selfish woman. I have made this all about me and some how it has been soothing, but strangely it has done me good for I have felt your breaking heart too and cried for someone else.

Good morning Sheila,

So much of your reply made me gasp and say, that’s me. From losing a husband to an illness, to find that illness move into your home like a third person, changing your Peter from the loving spouse to a demanding patient.

Your words again triggered so much emotion and all I can say is that you have made a few hours bearable as you have put into perspective what I considered were problems. My dear girl the only reason we both feel so bad is because we both come from the generation of love and loyalty.

This generation will be the last of wives feeling these intense emotions. I find that people are empty of strong feelings unless it is about someone on a tv show. I will be 70 this year and Keith is 55. I divorced my first husband who drank and was abusive.

I know I could go out and about however, I don’t drive which is so awful, I feel that I have lost my independence because of not driving.

Your experience is just the opposite of mine. You had to do everything for your husband and I am not allowed to do anything mainly because of my arthritis and Keith feels I am not strong enough but he flies into anger very quickly with me, I tell him I am his punch bag, no matter who has made him cross somehow he will turn it into my fault.

I have been searching for a new member of staff, finding good people who are in your home sometimes 12 hours is daunting. We are now looking for someone to live in. That would be better as they would have their own room to spend time in. We would still have to have all of the other carers as Keith needs them 24/7

I tell him that I am his cook and bottle washer. I am just being sorry for myself. Keith is still around even though I make him cross and no one else does.

I hope we can talk more. I will try and stop moaning as I said your story has put my life into prospective. You are one of the unsung heroes who are carers saving the government money. My son looked after his father who refused all help, in the end Daniel started taking heroin, says it helped for a while then he realised that he was addicted, my poor boy suffered mentally and he is now in his 40s and can’t really cope with problems anymore I am glad to say he is on the mend although he says he has had no closure,has never cried and yet the pain is always there.

Hello Sheila,
Today is the kind of day I would have liked to get in the car, wrap up warmly and walk my dog on a nearby beach. They are simple things but because (a) I can’t drive, (b) don’t have a car and even if I did I couldn’t drive the bloomin thing) © although the dressing up warmly bit is alright, I cannot walk on a flippin beach with its sand and pebbles and finally (d) is for dog that I don’t have.

So instead I will make some lemon curd, which because I have started my diet I can’t eat anyway, but it does taste good and we have two carers here today and a few neighbours who also enjoy the yellow lemony goodness.

We are looking at our finances and decided we needed to get rid of a few monthly outgoings which added up to a hell of a lot of interest. We started off paying off by paying off quite a lot of money to one company and when we tried to pay off another bill were told that the transaction had failed. I rang the bank and had to talk to the FRAUD TEAM who told me that it was a large transaction and they needed to check with me that my card had not been stolen and that it was ok.

So yesterday we spent time paying off bills. We also found that we were still paying for two mobile phones, we were paying £68 a month. I cancelled Keith’s phone, and found that if I went to Sky mobile I could save another £15 each month. Yay

I have also been looking at dog breeds. From Rhodesian Ridgeback ( size of a horse but very sweet natured and loyal) Dachshunds I like what I read about these little dogs they live between 12 - 16 years. Playful, lively, devoted and clever. Beagles are adorable but are excitable and energetic. I didn’t like the sound of the pug as they are charming, quiet, docile. However, they are attentive and clever, I’m not keen on their looks and they snuffle a bit.

Basset Hounds are amazing to look at, and sound like me, affectionate, tenacious, devoted, sweet tempered (?), gentle(NO) and friendly they also tend to become overweight when they get older. lol They like a daily walk but they like to be in the garden a lot. methinks I am a basset hound.

Yesterday I spoke to a young woman from the Czech Republic, she lives in London with a lady as her house/keeper and carer. The lady is downsizing and will not need Nina anymore. We spoke on skype and Nina looked and sounded very nice so she is coming to Blackpool to see us on the 17th.

I have started the low carbohydrate diet and I must admit I feel much better, I have more energy and that with a bit of sunshine makes me feel much more positive.

Writing to you and reading your story has also helped, ‘what the hell are you doing?’ I said to my self. Nothing is going to change unless you change it. You are not the most important person in this house and you certainly are not helpless.

Does the new spring time make you sad? Will you miss Peter more? I know I missed my mum when she died when the flowers came out, because she loved her garden and flowers. However spring is rebirth.

I think it is a bit late to take driving lessons although I am told you are never too old to do anything. I have blue hair, love bright colours and music but I am too old to do some things. I know for instance that there will never be another man in my life. It would just be strange. May dinner with a friend but please no romance.

Being alone at this time appeals to me. I have my books, I am writing a novel (about my life) I love watching films and drama on television. I have my food delivered and most of all I have my garden.

I was put in touch recently with a group on Facebook called the Blackpool Belles they are a nice group of ladies but have not the courage and personality of people like you.
Sorry to go on about me. I do hope you are well and looking after yourself.

Love and best wishes Kate

Hello Sheila,
This is not a throw away gesture, but I really mean it. Next time you are in Blackpool or even near it let me know and I will get a driver to pick you up and bring you back… It would be lovely to meet you and it would be good for me to just talk to someone who can see my life that I whinge about as ‘not so bad’

I’m afraid Keith and I can’t snuggle he is very sensitive and too much touching or hugging is just too painful. I think the reason that I feel so neglected is that I don’t have that physical closeness, although Keith has never been demonstrative, physical closeness is what we all need, (hence the dog)

I can get sort of adult conversation however, Keith and I would talk for hours even when we had been together for years if he were out driving which was his job, we would talk he did have a hands free phone. He would phone and ask me just to talk to him so he could stay awake if he had had a long day.

Because of our jobs I was a psychiatric nurse and he owned and ran our own courier company we didn’t spend much time together, however, he would pick me up from work if I had done a night shift and take me to wherever he was going so I have seen most of the UK, Scotland, Ireland and Wales there were also quite a few European cities we delivered to as well.

We were and still to some degree best friends. He is the person I tell things to but more and more his illness is more important to him and I just end up talking to myself. You lost Peter physically, emotionally mentally you lost a husband, a lover, and a friend.

I am already losing Keith a you lost Peter the husband and gained Peter the patient. Keith’s carers get to talk to him and often I find things out from them, even small things. Also, young women soon realise that they can stir things up a bit.

For instance he will hear me telling one of them that they have not done something, they always seem to answer that they don’t remember me telling them. Keith will take their side in front of them saying that I probably thought I’d said it but I obviously hadn’t said it, I just thought I had.

I wrote the first part of this email a couple of day ago. I have started a new diet and I got the worst diarrhoea ever. So I was as they say unavailable for a while

I am going to make lemon curd today. You must give me your address sometime and I will send you some of our produce. We are going to try and get a television advert going so that we can make people aware of how ugly and devastating Motor Neurone Disease is.

I hope you are well, it will soon be spring.

Best wishes Kate

Hi Annette, I felt just the same after I lost my beautiful wife just before Christmas, The house just felt so empty & I felt & still feel so lost. I had to let my beloved chocolate lab go to sleep in Aug & said I’d never get another dog but if ever I did I would never get another chocolate lab, Last week I picked up Hugo a 10 week old yes a chocolate lab. I’ll be honest with you it’s a lot of work but it has helped me a little having him,

I am so glad that Hugo give you a little comfort PK. You must keep us up to date on how you and the little man get on. I am so afraid that another dog like my Ruud would just make me emotional. I shall be interested in how you are.

Hello again Sheila,
I know now why the first three letters of diet are die. Since I started my diet I have had the worst diarrhoea ever with cramps and all. I am not ill, I get hungry but am too scared to eat anything. I am living on black coffee, water and the odd hard boiled egg. We have a new carer she is from Rumania her English is good but we have a few comic mix ups.
She is an excellent caring carer and I love her already. She can drive and I am thinking that when the weather is warmer I can go water aerobics with her. I used to go it is a brilliant way to get exercise without putting weight on joints
How odd our dreams are. I am now talking in my sleep and often cry out, the night carers take great joy in telling me all about it in the morning.
I hope you have a very happy week-end with your family. The weeks of 2018 are already speeding along.
Well I am going to bed and see if I can get some sleep. I hope my cramps go away for the night they usually do.

Best wishes Kate.

Hi I’ve been buried alive with grief and I got given an Alsatian puppybits really helping because I don’t have to explain anything to the dog and he just showers me with love and I give him loads of cuddles makes me feel more human it is a really healing thing to do get one they make you go for walks which is he last thing I feel like doing walking is good inactivity isn’t

Hello at last Sheila,
I wonder what you thought had happened to me.
Actually everything conspired against me. We have had problems with our broadband, which kept dropping out and making time on the computer an absolute nightmare so we have changed to Virgin. Things are definitely better.
I hate to whinge but sit back for a session of Granny Smith having a whinge. My incontinence became really bad and so the good doctor gave me gave me strong medicine cure it the good doctor warned me that I would need to keep an eye on my blood pressure as this tablet could cause it to raise. The tablet could also make other pain relief medication not work so well, so I was not surprised when my pain meds started not to work. I was in pain and felt very unwell, so I stopped taking the pills and started to feel better. My GP however, thought that my swollen legs and palpitations required looking into, so I have to wear a heart monitor and see what is what.
Al Keith’s carers have become ill with problems that mean they cannot work with Keith in case he catches their coughs, colds and other nasty’s or worse the tummy bug which appears to be making its way around.
I do hope that you are looking after yourself. I also hope your dreams are not so bad. I think I live out my days again while I am asleep as night staff hear me moaning and groaning, and even calling out in my sleep.
We have just said good night to a lady who wanted a job with us. She said that there was no job security with us, and that if Keith should die we would all be out of a job.
Keith didn’t like that and told her that he didn’t think she would fit in with his team who are dedicated in keeping him alive.