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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jul. 11, 2009

    Default When will it stop hurting?

    I lost my Labrador in Oct. of this year. It was a sudden freak brain anomaly (aneurysm like). She almost made it to three years old. She was not my only dog or even my favorite, to be honest. I did love her and I miss her so very much, I think about her daily and cry, I am talking sobbing out loud. My eyes are always red and my nose is always stuffed up.
    I am wondering if this has hurt me so much because I lost my little sister suddenly in an accidental shooting about 20 years ago, she was 13. I don't think about my sister when I cry, I am definitely thinking about my dog. I don't think of myself as an emotional girl, but I can't even look at another Chocolate Lab, not even a photo. I can't walk into a pat store w/o crying, people must think I am crazy. The vision in my head is of her at the vet strapped down on a table, she was heavily sedated and as the sedation started to wear of the seizures would get worse. She had no recognition of my voice and was totally blind. I couldn't give her any comfort, I couldn't relieve her fear. We had no other options.
    Am I crazy has anyone on this board lost a dear doggy friend way to soon and how long did it take you to get over it?

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 8, 2006
    Franklin, TN


    I am sorry for your losses.
    If you need understanding and sympathy, there are folks who read these posts who have professional experience with people who have gone through similar experiences.
    Please take this in the spirit it is meant: This is a new year, and if you need to have some counseling to help you deal with this horrible patch on the road, please, please do it. I hope you will embrace this sad loss of your beloved dog as a way of dealing with all of this...and it well could be some unresolved grief over the tragic loss of your sister that is resurfacing.
    Bless you.
    What would you try if you knew you would not fail?

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 11, 2003
    Nuevo Mexico


    I lost a wonderful dog suddenly to a brain tumor last year. It was very traumatic and upsetting and I did a lot of crying. But at this point, while I get sad when I think about how his life ended (disoriented, scared, in pain), it's not something that has a big impact on my daily life. I hope you don't take this the wrong way, but I think that maybe you should talk with a grief counselor/therapist. Although you said you're not thinking about your sister, the fact that you brought her up in your post may mean that you are still dealing with some unresolved feelings about her. My mom lost her brother young, and it affects her to this day, almost 30 years later. Therapy can help. Best wishes to you.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Jan. 4, 2000


    People often respond to the loss of a pet just as if they are going through a previous loss again. I think a loss of a loved one just tends to kindle the same feelings as past losses.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Mar. 6, 2009


    So sorry for your loss - time will help ~ but there are not set rules of how long ? each and every person grieves in a different way with a different time line ~ just be kind to yourself ~ you did everything you could for your dog. I am still wounded from losing my cat O.J. in April (suddenly reason unknown awaiting an ultrsound) and her sister Hillary in August to Hepatitis Lipidosis. They were with me for 15 years from birth to death. I still cry and really don't care if people think I am crazy ~ because I miss my girls and it simply hurts! Jingles for you during this difficult grieving period & HUGS !
    Zu Zu Bailey " IT"S A WONDERFUL LIFE !"

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 23, 2006


    I'm sorry for your loss.

    It takes different time for different people, and for many there's always an element of rawness.

    If your grief persists and doesn't seem to be evolving or seems to be getting worse and interfering with your daily life, then you might want to talk to a grief counselor, especially since you seem to think it might go beyond the loss of your dog (not that that isn't awful enough!).

    A number of vet schools now offer pet loss support hotlines.

    Good luck to you.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 10, 2006


    I am so sorry for your loss. The passing of a beloved pet-- who is more like a family member than an animal-- is always difficult. Even moreso when they go tragically, or when they are young and should have years ahead of them.

    We had a golden retriever that had a brain tumor. We pursued every option available for 2 years, even beyond my better judgment, because he was my husband's heart. We tried all kinds of treatments and sought out specialists and spent ginormous amounts of money and finally one Friday I realized there was nothing left to do, and the poor dog was suffering, and it was more than time. Hubby was torn up about it for months, longer even, and only in the last year has he warmed up to our new dog (who has now been with us 4 years.) I know nothing will ever replace his Beau.

    Likewise, last year I lost my "heart horse" to what we assumed was an aneurysm. I was a zombie for weeks after and the really intense grief still sneaks up on me at times. Seems I miss him most when life is uncertain, or I'm facing a big change or challenge. I'm not sure I will ever get over his loss completely.

    Big hugs to you, you are not alone. Wishing you peace in 2010.
    We couldn't all be cowboys, so some of us are clowns.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 25, 2006
    Overland, MO


    Hugs and more hugs. I've lost dogs and horses, and it always leaves me that same way. It takes time --- sometimes a long time, sometimes not. The entire grieving process is an individual thing. Take what comfort you can in knowing you did what was best for your dog.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 24, 1999
    In the land of make believe


    I am so sorry for your loss. I don't know if it's something you ever really 'get over'. We lost our beloved Lab, Tyler, in April '09, just a month short of his 11th birthday (which in dog years was probably a very good, long life, but was much too short for us). He had always been healthy, had been fine all that day, playing and being his usual goofy self. He wanted to go out around 11:30 at night. He wandered into a corner of the garden, lied down, and wouldn't get up. We immediately rushed him to the emergency vet and they suspected heart failure, probably due to some sort of cancer. His lungs and abdomen were full of fluid, which they drained. We treated him as aggressively as we could for two days, but when he lost the spark in his eyes, we knew the kindest thing we could do was to let him go. I couldn't bear to have him cut up for an autopsy, so we never found out the real cause of death. His ashes currently reside on our fireplace mantle.

    We still have his full sister, from the same litter, who is pushing 12, and a second rescued female who is now 8. They are both wonderful dogs in their own right, but they aren't him. I still feel the tears start when I look at certain pictures of him, or see one of his toys laying around the house. In an attempt at healing, I had a beautiful head portrait of him tattooed on my forearm, so that I would feel that he was always with me, and it has helped. I don't think I will ever stop missing him, and I know that he will never be replaced, but the good memories are more frequent now than the emotional 'loss' outbursts.

    When the time is right, we will get another dog, but he will never replace Tyler. I wish I could give you a more exact answer. I think everyone deals with loss in their own way and in their own time. I hope your grief passes quickly and that the good memories outweigh the bad sooner rather than later. I'm sure she had a goofy, silly yellow Lab waiting for her as she crossed the Bridge.
    ~*Friend of bar.ka*~

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Apr. 4, 2004


    I'm so sorry for your loss.

    I lost my dog this summer. He was almost 12 and had been diabetic for the last 2 years. He had been sick for a long time, and we knew the end was coming. I thought I was prepared but it didn't make it any easier to let him go. In fact, it was one of the hardest things I've ever done. I'm tearing up now typing this.

    He was our only dog, and with his illness so much of our lives was wrapped up in taking care of him. Even though I know we did everything we could for him, including letting him go when it was time, I miss him terribly and I've also found myself crying at least 2-3 times a week since he's been gone and I've never been a weepy person either.

  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 29, 2006
    Colorado- Yee Haw!


    I am also sorry for your loss! It hurts so bad when you lose someone you are used to seeing everyday.

    We lost our chow mix at 18 two years ago. It was really hard. It took 6 months before DH would even consider another dog (she had gone to college with him and been part of his life forever.) When we finally got a new dog we got that was extremely different from her- a big doppey lab mix. I find it helps that there are really no comparisons to be made between our old dog and new dog.

    I remember how much I hated it every morning when the alarm clock went off and it was not followed immediately by the Thump, Thump Thump of a tail. Even 6 months later that is what I told DH when I broke down in tears and told him I hated not having a dog around the house. I actually think I posted on COTH asking about stress reduction and somehow the thread turned around to how much less I had been bothered by things when we had a dog and I decided I needed to talk to DH about another dog.

    I hope you can start to feel better! I know how hard it can be!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Dec. 11, 2004


    Very sorry for your loss!! We lost our 11.5 year old Samoyed in June, and it has been very very hard. She had been with us since right after my husband and I got married, so she was an extension of our relationship. We got her right after Christmas, so this first one without her was hard for both of us.

    For at least a month or so my DH and I were very depressed. It has gotten better but some days are still hard. We had another dog at the time, which I think without her here things would have been unbearable. We did get another a few months later, and while we love him it's still not the same.

    Everyone grieves differently, on different schedules. Hopefully each day is getting a little better for you. Some kind of help or support might benefit you if it still seems too hard.

  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 22, 2008
    Outside Ocala FL - Horse Capital of the World


    My deepest sympathies on your loss. I also think it varies from person to person, and also think that if you find that it is interfering with your ability to function then it might be time to talk with a therapist. No shame in asking for help.
    There are friends and faces that may be forgotten, but there are horses that never will be. - Andy Adams

  14. #14
    Join Date
    Mar. 8, 2004
    Baltimore, MD


    We lost our lab in July. She was very fearful of thunder and fireworks. Last night before I went to bed I said good night to my daughter and asked her why her face was so red. She said she had been crying because she thought about Sasha being afraid while all the fireworks were going off. I told her that Sasha will never be scared of anything ever again so that was one less thing to worry about. The point being even when time goes by, the pain still comes back when something triggers a memory. was my savior when I lost my heartdog. Give it a try. Godspeed.

  15. #15
    Join Date
    Apr. 28, 2008


    I am so sorry for your loss.

    Some of your difficulties may be linked to the suddenness of the loss. I lost one of my childhood ponies to colic -- one day she was fine, the next she died a horrible, painful death. She was put down on the operating table, as they discovered her stomach had ruptured during surgery. I was a complete mess for months. I still get upset about it and it has been 5 years.

    I lost my other pony, whom I loved just as much, in 2008 at the grand old age of 34. I miss him, but the loss was so much easier because I was ready for it.

    It does get better with time. Hang in there. You will never forget, but it gets better.

    I have a special necklace that my mom bought me of a pegasus horse with a halo in remembrance of her. I have worn it almost nonstop ever since, and am wearing it now. It did really help. Perhaps you could find something similar to represent how your dog is always still with you, even though she is no longer on this earth. I hope you find comfort soon.

  16. #16
    Join Date
    Jun. 28, 2003


    Grief is real and it takes different people in different paths BUT I truely believe part of our (Americans and possibly others) problem is so many of us have lost the rituals associated with death in the past. Not necessarily talking about pet death because is only recently that the death of a pet causing grief has been considered even a little bit normal.

    For many cultures there are rituals that take you through various levels of mourning over time. For instance in some cultures/faiths the first week or so after a death is a time to completely let go and allow yourself truely deep mourning.

    After that there are things you should do... services to attend to as you work your way back to more balanced again. In most of these cultures at the end of a year it is time to move on while still remembering the loved one.

    I've often wondered if it isn't because for the past 40-50 years children have been so disassociated and protected from having to deal with the details around a death that they just don't know what to do, how to work their way through.

    One of the things I've always been taught and always believed since a child is that no one and no animal is going to live forever. We are going to have to deal with loosing those who are important to us or go through life crippled by standing off from others to avoid possible pain from loss.

    One way you could try to help yourself manage your grief so you can go on is to give your loved ones the only immortality there really is - your rememberance. I found this poem when we lost our Dad. I've found it very comforting and hope it might comfort you as well.

    When sorrow comes, let us accept it simply,
    As a part of life.
    Let the heart be open to pain;
    let it be stretched by it.

    In the desolate hour, there is an outcry;
    A clenching of the hands upon emptiness;
    A burning pain of bereavement;
    A weary ache of loss.
    But anguish, like ecstasy, is not forever.

    There comes a gentleness, a returning quietness,
    A restoring stillness.
    This, too, is a door to life.
    Here, also, is a deepening of meaning,
    an opportunity to reflect and meditate
    on the importance of loving relationships

    And it can lead to dedication;
    A going forward to the triumph of the soul,
    The conquering of the wilderness.
    And in the process will come
    A deepening inward knowledge
    That in the final reckoning, all is well.

    And this as well

    You can shed tears that he is gone,
    Or you can smile because he lived,

    You can close your eyes and pray that he will come back,
    Or you can open your eyes and see all that he has left.

    Your heart can be empty because you can't see him
    Or you can be full of the love that you shared,

    You can turn your back on tomorrow and live yesterday,
    Or you can be happy for tomorrow because of yesterday.

    You can remember him and only that he is gone
    Or you can cherish his memory and let it live on,

    You can cry and close your mind be empty and turn your back,
    Or you can do what he would want: smile, open your eyes, love and go on

  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 19, 2007


    I lost my three year old Jack Russell two and half weeks ago, he died in my arms. We had just come from the vets office where they had given him a good prognosis (he had a pneumothorax) when he started gasping and died as we were rushing back to the vet. (Obviously I will be finding a new vet but that's a whole other issue).

    I cry every day and I miss him so much, we did everything together. He got me through college and surgery. I miss him so much.

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