How To Deal With The Death Of Your Dog

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Dog grave (caption: How To Deal With Dog Death)Your pet is a part of your family and losing them can be emotionally devastating. If you or someone you know recently lost a canine companion, we offer you our most sincere condolences. We’ve been there and understand the pain you are feeling right now.

Here are some additional strategies and insights to help you work through this difficult time.

The Grief Process

Everyone deals with grief in different ways. Strong initial emotions my preclude the inevitable sadness that comes when the shock is gone. These reactions are often taken out on those closest to the one experiencing the loss, and act almost as a means of protection for that person until they are able to face the truth.

The process, as a whole, may look like the following:

  1. Denial and/or anger
  2. Guilt
  3. Sadness and/or grief
  4. Depression
  5. Acceptance

Dealing With Your Grief

While grieving is a very individual and personal thing, there comes a time for us all when it’s best to stop feeling the loss and to actively choose to move past it. The right time for you, will not necessarily be the same as someone else. Depending on how long it takes you to move through denial and get to acceptance, it could take weeks or it could take years for you to become ready to deal with your grief. When you are ready, however, you don’t have to face it alone.

Facing Death Together

Aside from willing family and/or friends, there are entire communities of people who feel just like you and want to connect. Types of support include:

  • Pet-bereavement counseling
  • Pet-loss support hotlines
  • Online and/or local pet-loss support groups and forums

If sitting down for a one-on-one with an actual counselor, or even getting up the nerve to attend a local support group proves too much at this point in your process, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary medicine offers a toll-free, Pet Loss Support Hotline for grieving parties. You can also add your thoughts below to receive Pet Loss Support from our community here.

Personally Facing Death

While outside support is an important tool for coping with your grief, there are some things that a support group can’t do for you… you have to do them for yourself.

Here are a few things that you can do on your own to help on your path to recovery:

  • Acknowledge your sadness, embrace it, and give yourself permission to feel and express this pain! It’s a vital part of the healing process.
  • Write out your feelings. Whether it’s in a personal journal or an essay on Fido that you submit for publication, writing is extremely cathartic.
  • Volunteer with a local animal shelter. While this may be best left for the later stages of grief, just like helping other people helps you forget your own problems, helping other animals will help you move past your loss.
  • Prepare a memorial for your pet. The act of having a service, saying a few words, and laying your pup to rest will definitely help give you the closure you need.

Dealing With Reality

Beyond your grief lies reality: Whether you’re having to make the tough decision to euthanize your sick or aging pet, or if your pet is already gone and you’re having to deal with the memorial, and burial or cremation arrangements, the reality of these situations can come crashing down on you like a ton of bricks.

This can leave you feeling overwhelmed and unsure of where to turn. We’ll walk you through these separate scenarios so you can confidently cope with whatever comes your way throughout the process.

Dog Euthanasia

As your pet ages, or in the event that your otherwise healthy pup should become unexplainably ill or injured beyond recovery, it may be necessary to become emotionally prepared to euthanize your pet. From knowing when it’s time, how to say goodbye and what to expect next, our article on Dog Euthanasia will walk you through this difficult process so you don’t have to do it alone.

Dog Cremation

Whether your dog’s death was of natural causes, or you were forced to make that tough decision yourself to end his or her pain and suffering, once your dog has passed comes the matter of cremation or burial. Our article on dog cremation and burial offers information on the process of dealing with the remains, and options for memorializing your pet after death.

Remembering Your Pet

Don’t forget: The best way to honor your pet, your four-legged family member, is to remember the good times you had together and to be grateful that you were given the valuable time you had. Gratefulness goes a long way in the healing process, and helps us remember that, despite the heartache when our sweet ones pass on, that it was worth it… and that one day, it will be worth it again.

Rainbow Bridge Can Comfort One Dealing With The Loss Of A Pet

Whether you are dealing with the loss of a pet yourself or helping a loved one manage their pain, the Rainbow Bridge is always a nice story to share your sympathy in a very empathetic and caring way.

Rainbow Bridge Poem

Source: CanineJournal.com

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Video: Rainbow Bridge Song

Discussing and sharing stories of your pet after losing them one way to begin the healing process. We welcome you to leave memories of your dog in our comments below.

Another sweet idea is to create a dog gift or photo book with your loved one’s photo to remember them. Looking back through old photos allows you to relive the memories you cherished together.

How will you remember your pet?

About The Author:

Sara is a writer for Canine Journal. She adores dogs and recently adopted a rescue pup named Beamer. Whole she may be adjusting to life with another being to care for, she needed no time to adjust to all the extra love.

Disclaimer: The information provided through this website should not be used for diagnosing or treating a health problem or a disease. It is not a substitute for professional care. If you have or suspect you may have a health problem, you should consult your health care provider.

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Dawn
I lost my chihuahua of 17 years 48 hours ago while on a short business trip. We were so close and I am heart broken and can’t stop crying. I feel horrible that I had to leave her as she was struggling and really needed me, but I had no choice. I love her so much and it is still not clear what happened. I plan to speak to the petsitter and vet for more details as it is killing me inside not knowing if she suffered and the fact that I was not there. I miss her so much.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Babsey
My beautiful dog Stella died this morning and my heart is truly breaking I just don’t know what to do and I can’t stop crying. I love her so much and have had her for 13 years. I’m going to miss her so much. I hope she knew just how much I loved and adored her. R.I.P my beautiful fur baby girl xxx
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m sorry for your loss
George Hepburn
We just had to put our 17 yo Aussie to sleep today, 911/19, my wife is crushed and I’m very sad, guilt. He was family. I hope I can get through this. This article helps, thank you.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry, you are in my thoughts.
DEBORAH
My 2 and a half year old bernese mountain dog suffered a massive stoke yesterday. At 11:31 she was playing and loving on her humans. At 11:35 She was in a full seizure that she wouldn’t come out of. The vets tried for three hours to get her seizures under control to no avail. We euthanized her at 3:30. My heart is completely shattered. She showed no signs of illness at all in her short life. My house no longer feels like home and I am at a loss of how to cope without her in it.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.
Julie Layman
I just kissed my rescue emotional support dog Sept 7 th we were on our nightly walk to the store and a husky chow followed us 2 nights in a row
I pulled my Pepsi straight up choking him to get him away from dog but 2 ND night dog got him before I could get mine up he’s a small dog a mini pin I finally got him up but he jumped up n grabbed him again thrashing him about had to put him down lost to much blood.
3000.00 to save him couldn’t afford it so 500 for pain meds n putting him to sleep awful I’m crushed had to get another small dog right away.
They may not find dog
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.
albert
I just lost my dog of 12 years.I loved that dog. He was my best friend. I find myself looking and listening for him but its quiet. i don’t exactly know what to do as I spent pretty much every second of the day with him.I’m so sad and cry continually.I wish I had just one more day with him to love him up and tell him how much he meant to me. I’ll never be the same.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
VICKIE
It’s been 48 hours since losing our Jac in a terrible accident. The pain is unbearable, a part of me died with him. I don’t know how to go on without him. He brought the greatest joy to my life.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Denise Luna
My dog Stella had to be put down on Labor Day, I got her from the pound on April 27th, 2011. She was my everything, the house seems empty without her even though her sister Rosabelle is still here. What absolutely kills me is the fact that I feel like it was quite sudden, She got sick Saturday night and by Monday we were told the humane thing would be to put her out of her suffering. She was suffering, she couldn’t walk, didn’t want to eat or drink water, wouldn’t even bark at the sound of the door opening. We knew it was time but I am so upset I feel like maybe if took her to the animal hospital on Saturday night, she might still be here. I didn’t even get to give her a beautiful last day. It’s been a few days and I’m an emotional wreck. Goodbye, my beautiful Stella. Mommy misses you every day but I know you are looking down on us and anxiously waiting to meet see us once again.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Jemelah Al-muqhawi
Our beloved dog Mashie for 8 years pass away this morning. I am so devastated and sad. I love her so much she is a big part of me. I was so happy every time I see her before. Now that she’s gone I think part of me left. And feels like I am not like myself anymore.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. Talk with someone close to you about how you’re feeling. It’s ok for you to feel this way. You are in our thoughts.
Lulu
I lost my dog nearly 2 months ago. I grew up with him and I had him since I was born. I’m usually quite strong and dont let my feelings get in the way of things, but still 2 months later I am breaking down crying. I dont understand how to stop. I dont even feel much sadness anymore and I know that theres nothing to do to get him back, yet I find my self suddenly start crying out of nowhere and I know its because of him. I have moved on but it’s like something inside of me wont let me.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m sorry for your loss. What you’re experiencing is perfectly normal. Grief has a way of revealing itself in unexpected ways. If this is the first time losing someone you care about, it can be a big learning process. Your dog was with you your entire life and now he’s not there anymore. That can be difficult to experience and find a new normal. Just know that it’s ok for you to be sad and miss him. Two months isn’t a lot of time, so feeling overwhelmed by your loss is ok. Just be sure to take care of yourself and reach out to others for help. Sometimes talking about him and sharing stories with others can help. You are in our thoughts.
Manny
We had to put our dog Benji down on Sunday. I bought Benji 10 years ago for my wife but very quickly became attached to him. I miss him very much and do not know how to move on. Everything in our house reminds me of him and the house is very different without him.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Beth
I lost my beautiful 13 year old girl Kikki 3 weeks ago. I am so lost without her. This is my 2nd furbaby to die in my arms and i am feeling traumatised over the death, which was quick and I suspect a heart attack. It shocks me awake at night. Does anyone have ideas how to move on from this?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. Have you spoken to someone close to you about your loss? Sometimes when we open up to others, it can help.
Bruce
I just want to say to all of you beautiful dog lovers that you are special to have loved and been loved, especially the unconditional love which is the best kind of love.

It’s been 1 week since I let my Stetson, (our handsome loving sweet14 yr old Akita Shepherd mix) go in our family room with my wife and I holding him from both sides kissing hugging him and whispering in his ear as the wonderful vet euthanized him. We spent the day before just hanging out on a blanket outside feeding him steak, saying good bye to friends and neighbors.

I’ve been through this before more than once and it never gets any easier, ever. But we are all so blessed and loved not only by our beloved pets, but by God. He loves all of you and His heart breaks for us for He knows the sorrow all too well for His sacrifice for us. (I am NOT getting religious just Truth.) As much as we hurt, our joy will be everlasting when we cross that rainbow bridge one day! I believe this not because it makes me feel better, but because I know and have amazing proof in my life. God loves us and He loves all of His creatures. How much more will He love us for sharing unconditional love and joy, and yes, pain and sorrow, with His creatures.

Once an animal has loved and been loved, they then have a soul, because God is love and they, like us, become through love, made in his image, eternal. My pain and sorrow is shared with each of you. When it’s time, and you’ll each know when that is, make sure to love another pet that needs your love as much as you / we need theirs. Peace to all of you. ♥ ☀

Kim
I lost my best friend Cammie yesterday. I can’t believe it. I’m so devastated. She helped me through breast cancer. She was always there for me. She was a German Shepherd plot hound mix. I fostered her after she dumped in a high kill. She went through heart worm treatment and then we decided to adopt her. She was super smart and could open doors. She liked to hold my hand , she’d kind of curve her paw around my hand. She helped me with my chickens, ducks, goats, all pets. She was so excited to see me every morning and I felt the same about her. I can’t imagine how I will get through the day let alone the week. She died in a terrible accident. I’m devastated.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Jessica
I had to put my 15 year old down on August 10th. I feel so overwhelmed by everything lately and I just burst out in tears every morning. The thought of going to work is incredibly taxing. Life must go on but I just can’t seem to pull myself out of this sadness. I’m really not sure what to do. I was very heartbroken when I made the decision to let her go. I took a few days off work after to pull myself together but lately it’s been very hard to make it through anything without bursting into tears. Any suggestions on what I can do to ease this overwhelming sadness that has crept upon me.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. Unfortunately, grief comes and goes in waves. Some days you may feel a little more like yourself, while other days you feel down and sad. Everyone grieves differently, but this is what I have learned from my own grief, I hope it helps you in some way.

Allow yourself time to be sad, upset, angry, etc. If that means having a good cry before you start your day, do it. If that means yelling at the top of your lungs to release tension, do it. After losing my mom, I’d give myself 10 minutes in the morning to just feel what I was feeling before I needed to get to work and do other things.

Continue to care for yourself. Eat healthy, well-rounded meals and get fresh air daily. You may be scared to go for walks if you used to do those with your dog. I encourage you to still try, even if it’s just around the block. Consider downloading a podcast or listening to some upbeat music to help boost you.

Exercise regularly. Go for bike rides, lift some weights, take an exercise class, do yoga, etc. Do whatever you enjoy for activity and make it part of your routine.

Altogether, try to create a routine and stick to it. That’s not to say you can’t feel upset in the middle of your day and allow yourself to feel those emotions. Just try to stay preoccupied with other activities so the grief doesn’t consume you.

Be sure to talk to someone you trust about your feelings and check in with them regularly. Talk to others (that includes us) about what you loved about your dog and what you miss. Share your favorite memories, etc. We love to hear stories about dogs.

Losing someone doesn’t mean you have to stop thinking about them, caring for them or talking about them. One day, you will see something that reminds you of your dog and you’ll notice a smile come over your face. You’ll be sad she isn’t with you, but you’ll be happy you have memories and daily reminders of her. Other days, your eyes may water because your heart aches for her. Both reactions are perfectly acceptable and are a part of grief.

Bert
I had to put to sleep my almost 11 year old Yorkie this past week. This makes 3 Yorkies I have had to make that dreaded decision to end their suffering for.
I certainly have empathy for any animal lover who has had to or will have to sometime in the future made that dreaded decision. Once a pet becomes part of your family they
become part of you and you of them.

The consolation I continue to give myself is once the pet passes the go to a better place. A place where there is eternal peace.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
gabriel
i just buried my sweet girl SUMMER yesterday and i’m devastated…she was such a sweet sweet girl,it’s just not right
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m sorry for your loss.
Kelly
We had to put our much loved 11 yr old Saint Bernard down yesterday. I am truly heartbroken. Now getting through out first full day without her has been hard. She was the perfect dog termperment and I am struggling to figure out how we will find a new normal. I have this level of loss I hadn’t realized I would feel. It is hard to beleive she is gone. Where can I get another 11 years?
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.
Peaceful Coyote
You will get through this, although it hardly seems like it right now. You have just certainly lost your most loyal friend, maybe even your best friend in all the world–of course you are going to grieve. Don’t listen to anyone who wants to trivialize your sorrow. You can feel sorry for them, they have never known a love that you have known.

There’s a saying that goes something like, every time a dog of mine dies, it tears out a little bit of my heart; but, this hole is then filled with a little piece of my dog’s heart. So, in time, my heart will grow to be more and more loving, more patient, more forgiving, just like the hearts of all of my dogs. And someday my heart will be all dog!

I take comfort in something I thought of one day. I call it The Way of Dog. None of them live long enough, but they share everything they have, and then they return to the Earth. It is The Way of Dog.

Louis CK the comedian has quipped, “A puppy is just a countdown to heartache.” Of course he’s right, except for the “just” part, which makes the quip cynical. Because a puppy is also the hope of joy, laughter, and deep companionship, and these are not anything to be cynical about. Or, as you put it so simply and beautifully, “another 11 years.”

Is it better to have loved and lost, then never have loved at all? Of course it is. Your Saint Bernard made you a better person. You and your dog brought joy to so many people, of all ages, who stopped for a little petting, to give a treat, or just to admire the beauty of the two of you from afar. (And by the way—you were lucky to have one of the giant breeds for an entire 11 years!)

Eventually it will be time for you to get another dog. Not to replace the dog you have lost, for that is impossible, but to find a different kind of dog friend. Every dog is unique and each dog has something special to share.

Choose carefully. Don’t feel you have to adopt a shelter dog if you cannot find the right dog at your shelter. Don’t let anyone push you around on this. You know what you need and want better than anyone.

In our house we have Jasper, a Golden Retriever who is almost 11 and has incurable cancer in his leg. We’re seeing a veterinary oncologist tomorrow to learn more about his prognosis, but we know it is not good. I cry on and off during the day, and sleep has been difficult some nights. Jasper is my best friend. We will do right by him, and he trusts us completely. We will never have another dog like Jasper but we will have another dog, because it is the only way.

Piki
i lost my perfect and beautiful boy a month ago… i feel shattered and, despite i thought that time would make it better, the truth is sometimes the pain is more unbearable then it was the day after…
he was diagnosed with thyroid adenocarcinoma July 2018 and i had to let him go July 2019, he was a few months to his 10th birthday…
despite all the efforts (he has done chemo and was treated with integrative/holistic medicine, special diet and supplements) the cancer was to aggressive and he was losing his happiness and joy of life…
i had made the toughest decision ever and, despite i know it was time and i had made the right call, the emptiness of not having him with me is excruciating…
all that i want is to have him in my arms again and feel his paw in my hand…
he was my World…
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m sorry for your loss.
Lydia
I’m so devastated to have lost my baby girl sushi she was my life and i miss her worth all my heart its been 1 week since i had to have her euthinized. I can’t seem to shake it off I’m depressed. I just want to see her one more time and hug her with all my force.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Dagmar
We lost our beautiful and amazing Pitheeler Cinnamon this morning. She just turned 14 in July. I had to make the heart wrenching decision to have her euthanized. She died on her bed surrounded and cuddled by my daughter and myself, falling asleep very peacefully and carried out on a stretcher covered by a pink heart blanket.
She suffered degenerative myopathy and was diagnosed last week with bladder cancer. We had no clue until she started bleeding a lot of blood and all the vet could do is send her home with pain killers.
I started preparing the family and invited her human friends over to say their good bye. Last night my husband and daughter and myself spend the night sleeping in the family room with our baby. Our poor baby couldn’t sleep, to sick, she had suffered a lot the past few month and had lost a lot of weight and could no longer stand on her own.
Afterwards we all had to go to work and coming back to an empty house was so sad and depressing. We all pretty much cried all day and miss her so much. At first I felt relieved that she’s no longer suffering but right now it’s just killing me.Her diapers, beds, toys, treats, meds etc is all still there. I will leave it for now, it’s still a big piece of her and I’m not ready to part.
The thing is I dont know where she is? Is she happy? Does she misses us and her home? Is she confused? Is she taken care of and loved? So many questions!
The sadness and emptiness is overwhelming. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through and am 50 years old.
I hope my baby is safe and the feelings will start to lessen.
I will pick up her urn in two weeks and create a memorial for her.Rest in peace beloved beautiful Cinnamon!
Thank you for reading, maybe sharing my grief will help someone else.
Sue
I have just had my shitz/Tu euthanasid, yesterday I am in bits I can’t stop crying and ate very depressed, I can’t do anything, the pain is unbearable, I miss him so much , I had the worst euthanasia because I held him in my arms while they did it and he let out the biggest Yelp I have ever heard, I am now in bits because when I looked it up it said that they could have put the needle in the wrong vein and I can’t bring myself to think of him not passing peacefully
Janine
Thank you. I heard my heart in your story. I just lost my baby boy to bladder cancer too. I am empty and destroyed. Reading your post helped
Dorothy
My brother and I just lost our dog last night on Thursday and I didnt realize I would be overcome by sadness. Her name was Tomasa she was a miniature poodle and has been with us since 2014. Now after just 5 years shes gone.. she was such an impact on our lives I’m going to miss her so much
.
Denise
I lost my precious MIA this morning. A bumble bee stung her and she died within minutes of anaphylactic shock. I feel so horrible. I feel regret that I could not get her to the hospital in time. She counted on me to take care of her. I let her down. I didn’t know what was happening. I did CPR the best I could while driving. She is dead.
Paris Boehm
Denise, hold your heart with gentle hands.
m louis
I lost my little girl Lacey Monday. A Jack Russell cross Chihuahua. She stayed with me for 17 years 6 months and 12 days. She fought until the end. I found out she had a tumor back in March. I hoped it wouldn’t grow but unfortunately it did. She started having trouble eating. When she went in for an exam Monday. Her x rays showed it showed it was taking over her stomach.The vet said it would start getting worse for her because her white blood count was getting higher. I didn’t want her to suffer so i had to make the hard decision to let her go. Everywhere and anything at home reminds me of her. It has been a tough couple of days. I’m glad i have lots of pictures of her but it’s not the same. My whole daily routine revolved around her for 17 years. Feeding her and spending time outdoors walking were always on a schedule. Now when that time comes around i’m lost. I know things will get better but that seems a long ways away. I know i did the right thing letting her go but i miss her. I still find myself looking where her basket used to be. Thanks for listening.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. Our dogs play such major roles in our lives that it’s extremely difficult when they pass. You are in my thoughts.
Gracie
We said goodbye to our beloved 16-year old Golden Retriever Shelby this past Sunday. We booked off a month-long vacation so that she can be at her favourite happy place by the ocean. She had been coming down to the Cape since she was two years old and loved swimming. We would call her the life guard as anyone that went into the ocean, she would dive in as well. This year she didn’t go into the water as much but she still enjoyed lying on the beach where the waves would wash in and touch her paws. On Friday, she took her last swim, then rolled in the sand, as she always loved to do. On Saturday, when we took her out, she didn’t pee. Then she didn’t want to eat. She just wanted to lay outside in the shade on her side. We thought she over exerted from the day before so we let her rest. At the end of the day, we decided to drive her to the beach one more time, one of her favourite things were her truck rides, but even in the truck, she just laid on her side with her head down. I carried her to the beach and she did the same, occasionally lifting her head to see whoever would go into the water, but she would be too tired and put her head back down leaning against me. I knew something was not right and I was dreading what was to come. She didn’t sleep with us, she went to another room and stayed there the entire night. I was drained and slept in bed for a couple of hours and to this day, I regret that I did this, instead of laying with her on the floor that whole evening. I got up after a restless sleep and found my husband lying with her very early that morning. We brought her out because she had not relieved herself for over 24 hours, still nothing, and we laid out some more for a few hours, and she was panting. We got a hold of our vet back home and he said that her organs might have been shutting down. We also noticed a swelling on her abdomen which was not there before. I wanted to bring her to the hospital immediately, as we were getting ready to do so, the panting stopped, and then seconds later, her heart stopped beating. It was almost a release when the panting stopped but then reality hit and I sobbed uncontrollably as we knew that she was gone. I want to kick myself for not getting her there sooner and for not giving her the comfort while she took her last breaths instead of my husband & I trying to figure out what was happening, how dumb of us! I will forever be angry at myself. I know that everyone says she lived a long beautiful happy life and that we were truly blessed to have our Golden live to that honourable age but that does not make it easier. After everything she went through, she was still the fierce & brave soul that she always was since the day I picked her up at 8 weeks old. I feel I have nothing to live for now as she was my life. It hurts like a knife going through my heart. I can’t bear the thought of being on vacation in our beach house as we still have 2 weeks left, but I can’t bear the thought of going back home to our empty house in the city either. I am torn and I am crying all the time. I go out of the house but don’t want to come back as she is not there waiting for me any longer. Every place that I have been with her here brings tears to my eyes, I can’t even get in our truck without having an anxiety attack. I don’t sleep, I can’t eat, I can’t breathe. She was my baby as my husband only came into her life when she was two years old. It hurts him too but it is KILLING me. No one will ever replace my Shelby, but I can’t go on without another furry family member in my life again. I feel that is the only therapy that will alleviate this devastating pain instead of taking pills. Please help….
Ana
I completly understand your feelings. I lost my precious 13 and a half yeah old Maltese on June 4th 2019. Among other things he had a heart condition. Some days I am still in denial . Sparky was the light of my life and just can’t imagine how I can go on without him. I just hope than in time this horrible pain will get better. As I see it, this is the price we have to pay for having these wonderful beings in our lives. Unfortunately Gracie, nothing that anybody can say or do can mitigate the pain. We have to live through it and hope that in time it will get better. Everybody grieves differently, nevertheless this time is extremely difficult. My Sparky took a big piece of my heart with him and that void will always be there. You are in my thoughts. Love Ana
Lydia
I’m so sorry for your loss i understand what you’re going through because i lost my 14 year old shitzu just 1 week ago and it’s killing me I’m so depressed she’s not here anymore. In going crazy crying every days hr min second i loved her so much she was my life. I’m so sorry
Sue
Lydia I’m the same, I had to my shitzu go sleep on Friday , my feeling and sadness is killing me, I try to remember happy times , but that makes it worse because I just want him back so much it’s killing me, my eyes are nearly shut the amount of crying I have done
Sue
Omg I’m the same I had to put my Costa shitztu down on Friday I literally can’t cope
Peaceful Coyote
Your post breaks my heart, please don’t be angry at yourself. You were wonderful and perfect for Shelby because you were *there*, and as you know that’s all a Golden really needs to be happy–their favorite people! They were bred to be the perfect dog, and so often that’s exactly what they are.

What a lucky dog was Shelby to have you two in her life. And she lived so long! I so wish my Golden Retriever, ,Jasper would die at home with us instead of at the vet. I was so hoping he would make it to 14 years old, even though I know that’s unrealistic, but it looks like he will barely make it to 11. With his aggressive cancer he probably will have to be euthanized at the vet to prevent suffering. We will of course be there, holding him, but it would be easier at home.

None of our dogs live long enough. The cure to your suffering, the two things that will relieve your heartbreak, are (1) time and (2) another dog, when the time is right.

About a month ago at the dog park (our city’s dog park in Santa Fe, New Mexico, is probably 40 acres), I met a gray haired couple walking on the trail, but I did not see a dog. “Where’s your dog?” I asked, and they said their dog passed away a couple months before. The woman said they, came to the dog park just to be around dogs, because they missed theirs so much. I said, as gently as I could, “Maybe it is time to get another dog.” The woman immediately shook her head no, but the man did not react, he just turned and kept walking.

I think they had a great idea. Why not visit a local dog park and get a little free (pet) therapy? Sit on a bench and the dogs will run past, some may even run up to greet you. Notice all the dogs that are so different from Shelby, and ask their people what they like about their kind of dog.

Our relationship with our dogs is a very personal thing. Don’t let others try to make you feel guilty, and don’t feel rushed about getting another dog. This is all about the two of you and Shelby, no one else.

Reading your post a second time, reading between the lines, it does seem to me that another dog is something you would like to have; perhaps fairly soon? I once met a woman who had 4 Golden Retrievers, one at a time, over the span of her life. She missed each dog but loved the one she was with. That’s really all any of us can do.

Maggie Mendes
I’m 12 and my 3 month old Newfound lab mix just died and it really hurts I buried her and it hurts. She was just so young and loving she didn’t deserve to die. Then she died 3 days ago and my dad is already looking for a new puppy for me but I don’t have the heart to tell him that I need time before a new puppy comes into my life for me to love. And when we went to go pick her up from the vet so we could bury her she was in a plastic bag like a giant black garbage bag. I need someone to talk to.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Oh dear Maggie, I’m so sorry you lost your sweet pup. It’s ok to tell your dad that you’re not ready to have another dog join your family yet. I’m sure he’d understand and want to help you through your feelings. Please know that we are here for you and we will listen and try to help you through this. Sometimes it can help to share your feelings or favorite memories about your dog with others. If you’d like to do that, we’d be happy to hear more about your dog or just be a sounding board for you. You are in our thoughts.
Ronald
I hope you found someone to talk to Maggie! I know how you feel! I lost my boy 4 months ago and the pain is still so intense! You should tell your dad how you feel! Good luck!
Paris
Dearest Maggie, hold your heart with gentle hands.
Michele
On 6/25/2019, I made the heartbreaking decision to have my beloved companion Lucie euthanized and I can’t stop crying. She died on a Tuesday and I retired on that Friday. I would count down the days for her every morning before I went to work and tell her how long until we were together 24/7. Now I’m retired, sitting alone in my apt.and missing her so badly. She had just turned 11 and I had no idea she was sick. I had planned a trip to the beach to visit my son and his family and Lucie loved the beach. When I let her off the leash, she became a puppy again. I wish I had known she was sick before it was too late to help her. It was strange because a few weeks before, she wouldn’t lay in the same room I was in and for a second I thought dogs go off by themselves to die. I put that out of my mind because she didn’t seem sick. About that time I noticed that she was becoming forgetful. I would take her for a walk and she would just stop and stare, like she didn’t know where she was, but ok, I would be home with her soon and I could deal with that. Then about 4 days before she died, she completely stopped eating. She was a lab/ mix and loved to eat, so right then and there I knew something was really wrong. I cooked her favorite foods and she would act like she wanted to eat, but couldn’t.Everybody that knew her loved her, she was a kind gentle soul. She never did anything wrong, ever and she loved me. I can’t go walking anymore because everyone will ask where she is and I can’t talk about it without bursting into tears. I only leave the house when I have to. When I took her to the vet, the X-rays were bad and her internal organs were all displaced because the tumor was so large. The vet told me they could do exploratory surgery but I had to face the possibility that it could be cancer. I made the decision to have her euthanized because I knew she wouldn’t understand why I was putting her through so much pain. I was with her at the end and the vet was wonderful. She went peacefully but I can’t seem to move beyond my sadness. I want to remember the good times but all I think about is her dying in my arms and maybe I should have let her have the surgery. I’ll be moving soon to be closer to my family but right now, I still look for her in her favorite sleeping spot by the front door. Thank you for taking the time to read my story.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.
Beth
I’m so sorry for everyone here who has gone through the loss of their furry family members. My dog Heidi was recently diagnosed with a tumor on her spleen and suspected hemangiosarcoma. We waited on the decision to have a splenectomy but finally went through with it yesterday (26th of August). During the surgery they said she was full of tumors that the ultrasound didn’t show because of the fluid in her abdomen. I tried so hard to give her every chance of beating this and now I wish I would’ve just had her put down surrounded by her family. I don’t think it matters what decision you make, grief will make you regret it. Grief will make you question everything. I miss her so much and my entire body aches. I should have spent more time with her. I should have done more. I just hope she knows how much I love her and that she was the best girl ever.