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?

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.

Disclaimer: This website contains reviews, opinions and information regarding products and services manufactured or provided by third parties. We are not responsible in any way for such products and services, and nothing contained here should be construed as a guarantee of the functionality, utility, safety or reliability of any product or services reviewed or discussed. Please follow the directions provided by the manufacturer or service provider when using any product or service reviewed or discussed on this website.

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.

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Mark and Edna
We just lost our beloved Chihuahua due to sudden kidney failure which was unexpected. I’m a 64 year old man but I can’t cope I just keep taking pills and numb the pain I don’t handle death well I never did. I feel everybody’s paying on here.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts. Take care of yourself during this difficult time and reach out for help from others if you need.
Pola Daniel
My baby boy Rascal was cruelly taken from me on 12th june 2019. By a women driving to fast. Rascal took his last breath in my arms. All I do is cry and beg for him back. I have another dog but i can no longer bond with him. Rascal was with me 24/7 he never left my side. Now im due to be moving from the home we lived together in and its breaking even more, as the house im moving to was only got as rascal loved to be outside and the house has a big garden for him. I just need my rascal back, he was only 3yrs old
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Margi
My husband and I just had to put down our sweet mini schnauzer/llasa apso mix Bella. She was 13 years old and diagnosed with lymphoma the end of January. We were told she had 4-6 weeks and we were blessed with 4-1/2 more months. She was the best dog ever and we miss her so much. We had the vet come to our home. She passed with my husband holding her surrounded by myself, our daughter and son-in-law. She knew how much she was loved, wasn’t frightened and it was very peaceful. Right now the grief is unbearable. We are taking it one day at a time. Rest in peace Bella. We miss and love you so much ❤️❤️❤️
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Neil
On June 8 2019 my pal Mac had to be put to sleep . I should consider myself lucky. He was a rescue when I got him at 5 years old and he lived to the age of 16. My wife and I have been crying our eyes out along with most people who knew him. A week or so before our loss he came to me in a dream and told me he had to go and not to worry about him that he would be okay . When I woke up that morning I thought that was weird because even though he was old he was in very good shape with no major ailments. He had been at my in laws for the weekend so I could get work done at the house Mac hated when I worked on the house but loved going to my in laws it was like a vacation for him . On Sunday we went for dinner like we always do, everything was fine my in laws said Mac was so happy and silly that weekend after dinner he started falling over I had ran him over to the emergency vet and I had been told he had a stroke but they said he was a strong dog and with medication he should recover . Everyone prayed for him and he was recovering well enough that I was able to bring him home on Thursday. He was shaky and needed a lot of help but he was so happy to be home. On Saturday June 8 he had another stroke and I had to put him to sleep it was the hardest decision I ever had to make.My dad and I were in the room with him so he would be with the people who loved him, my wife couldn’t do it she waited in the other room. I will never fault her for this because she loved Mac as much as I did. It has been a emotional roller coaster this last week. This is when I knew that dream was his way of saying goodbye and the wonderful weekend he had at my in laws was his way of saying goodbye to them. I believe him getting well enough to come home was so we could spend the last few days together. I had 11 wonderful years with him and I would never trade any of them. Mac was a 70 pound German Shepherd boxer mix who thought he was a lap dog and a personality bigger then him. The pain is still raw but my wife and I were telling our favorite stories about him and his antics like the summer I fenced in the yard for him and he could care less, he found it amusing to watch me chase the stick. there are a million other stories. Rest in peace Mac love always your pal Neil
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.
Neil
Thank you . Talking about Mac does make me feel a little better and I know he wouldn’t want us to be sad .
Joey
just got back from the vet after saying goodbye to my dog of 13 years Rosie, the most laziest and loving pug there was. a week ago the vets told us she was doing great and her collapsed trachea didn’t seem to effect her. and tonight she took a turn for the worst and had a really hard time breathing, words can’t describe how hurt I am to lose her, she was the best friend a guy could ask for.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m sorry for your loss.
Laura Burnett
My sweet little Chihuahua, ChiChi, died suddenly in February 2019. He died of heart failure. He was 14 yrs old & I adopted him when he was 2 yrs old. He had been on meds for a heart condition for 5 yrs. One Sat. afternoon he was panting & his heart was fluttering,so I rushed him to the Veterinarian. I was told to prepare myself..he wouldn’t live through the weekend…he wasn’t in pain, but having trouble breathing because of his enlarged heart..i couldn’t bear to put him down..so i took him to the ER. They put him in an oxygen chamber until he died naturally of cardiac arrest. Just today I was gardening & began to cry..I just realized that I may not have made the right decision. I hope I didn’t cause him more fear & trauma. He died on Sun. @ 745pm..On Mon. morning, the Veterinarian called to check on ChiChi…
I adopted another 2 yr old white Chihuahua soon after be left me.in honor of ChiChi..I loved him so..I’m grateful for our time. I have 5 adopted rescue dogs & a foster, all from Kill Shelters. I’m doing the best I can..thank you for allowing me to honor ChiChi’s memory.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Thank you for sharing with us. I’m sorry for your loss and please know you are in my thoughts.
Amy
Firstly, thank you all for your stories. They are so personal and your friendship with your fur-family members are unique; it has helped me understand and express my emotions more freely.

Most people say to me, Amy…you need to relax, they are not children, they are JUST dogs. I take objection to this, as I do consider myself a doggy Mammy of three beautiful floofs, one of which passed away tragically this week.

Unfortunately I have been very unwell for the past year (at 29) and have been at home 95% of the time. I was very isolated but so happy that I had two dogs to keep me company but I really felt that I could offer more to other dogs in Ireland. Ireland does not have a great reputation for dog pounds/dog fighting/puppy farms/racing etc. I volunteered with a local charity who’s aim was to protect pound dogs of Ireland to foster a dog/s while I was still in recovery.

Honey, the tiny and lean pup of 10 weeks exploded into my life along with her little sister who we named, Sugar. I named her Honey as from the moment I met her, she stuck to me. She just wanted me to hold her and love her. As a dog lover, I tried to detach myself from the puppers to a certain extent, as it is particularly hard to let go, especially when they get so attached at that age. A few weeks went by a Sugar final got a home. Honey, best friends with sugar, also adored to play with my goofball, Nellie, but she howled when Sugar left. I brought her to my room, my husband scolding me jokingly, and from that night on she began to run on the routine of my 2 other girls. My love for her was never ending and she, the blundering awkward pup, with a bizarre high pitched growl and bark, constant concerned eyebrows, and brown eyes that would melt the coldest of hearts, began to become one of our pack. As the weeks went by, much to my delight yet complete shock, no one offered Honey a home. My husband said to me on my birthday…Happy Birthday, Amy…My gift to you is Honey Bunny….she was wearing a yellow ribbon against her ginger coat. Having completed her injections, that day we went for a walk together for the first time, a pack of 5.

Honey would have been six months old his week. Everyday we would go for walks in the parks, or the open fields. She would prance, almost like a miniature greyhound around parks, introducing herself unsolicitedly to ‘friends’ both human and canine. Nellie had a bestie, someone she would run with, play with and snuggle with. My Mo, was happy that Nellie gave her a break! It was a fantastic dynamic.

She loved to play catch, but above all things, be with her Mammy at all times. I would talk to her and she would look back at me as if she knew what I was saying.Honey gave me a purpose when I was ill. She minded me more that I could ever mind her. This month marked the end of a rollercoaster year and I was so happy I was entering a new era with my happy family. A lovely chaos. It was a short term hope.

On Sunday 2 June, 2019, my Honey Bunny died, leaving behind pure and utter devastation, sadness and bewilderment. We went to a park, her favourite park to mix’ n’ mingle in. In the past, we would park adjacent, and cross the road while carrying them and brought them well enough inside the park before letting them run free for 40 mins. On this day, I carried Mo and Nellie across to the park, while my husband carried our Honey and the dog leads. There was no logic as to who took which dog.

Honey somehow, looking at her mother and sisters walk ahead, managed to escape the grip of my husband and darted towards me, standing the far-side of a busy road. The rest of this story is a blur. I heard my husband shout her name in a panic. I turned around to see her happily run towards me while also seeing a car come around a corner at the same time. The next thing I remember is my husband telling me not to look, and I had to remain in place as I was protecting my other 2 dogs. I just screamed. My husband crying and I could see a tremor of her little body and tail, which I subsequently I learned was her nerve cells dying. It was instant. A blink of an eye. She was dead within the seconds my husband got to her. I learned this when he picked her up and her lifeless body and head flopped side to side. A single bang to the head of the middle of the car. She didn’t suffer, wish is a small mercy.

Two young girls offered to look after my two dogs while I could attend to Honey. It is an image I will never forget. Her soul was gone. People came by on the streets crying and offering condolences. I can’t remember really. I can just remember her. Gone.

Her time on this earth was fleeting but she mad an indescribable impact on my family. My health improved as she needed so much minding, she had an energy about her that was so pure and good. She sat glued to me when my other two babies were more independent and reclusive due to their hard backgrounds. I loved her the same as them but she needed me more. She slept in the bed with me. She was my baby.

4 days later and I am still raw as if it just happened. I suppose the best way to describe it is that it comes in waves. One minute you think you are dealing with it, the next you feel like your heart has been ripped out. I feel like I am the cause of this little woman’s death…she was only 6 months old and our negligence killed her. I pictured her with me for at least 20 years, in my mind. I constantly think about the what ifs…what if I had carried her instead of the others or what if we didn’t go to that park, why did my husband lose grip…the fact is, she is gone, and there is absolutely nothing I can do to change it.

Due to the nature of the accident. We dropped our other two in my mother-in-laws while we figured out what to do with our baby girl. We rang the vet and the vet said he could clean her up to say goodbye and speak to us about our options. I really want to reach a place were I don’t think of what she looked like when it happened but just think of her as her. We kissed her good bye and hugged her, still in complete denial and shock, and covered her little head with a blanket. We are cremating her and it is something which I am finding very hard to comprehend.

Along with the guilt, the trauma and the loss, the impact it is having on the other girls is beyond upsetting. Nellie, a little woman to busy playing with Honey or Mo and explore to cuddle, is now glued to me, not eating as much, sniffing for her friend and playmate and constantly looking for my attention. Mo nearly seems happier but is lashing out uncharacteristically.

I am at a complete loss and I don’t think I will ever be able to cope with all the emotions here. Call me weird, I know it was a short relationship, but I have never grieved about a human, never-mind an animal like I have this week.

I am sure people phased out after the first paragraph but I actually feel better writing this down.

Thanks for the platform.

Appreciate any advice, particularly in relation to my remaining baby girls.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I am so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts. Focus on taking care of yourself and your family and reach out to others for help if you need it while you are grieving.
Donna
Dear Amy, I read your entire story. My heart goes out to you and your family. We too had a tragic accident with our 8 year old Aussie one month ago today. We thought he’d be with us for another 8 for sure. Yes, it has gone in waves for us as well. We too have felt guilt and a 1,000 “what ifs.” I have to keep reminding myself that it was an ACCIDENT. And trust me, that is very hard to do. It’s easier to blame myself, which is not good for either of us to do. As for the dog that we currently have, we keep the same schedule with him. I think consistency is important. And of course lots of love and kisses. Dogs live in the moment, we can learn something from that. But again, we’re human and it’s hard for us not to relive the tragic incident and to not have visions in our head. Somehow you try to redirect when those visions arise, again it’s hard. But also take the time to grieve. It is a process. Keep taking your pups to the park, they love that. Deepest sympathy to you and your family.
Kevin
I lost my beautifull spaniel archie. Tues 5.6.19. He was only 4 yrs old so much energy and playfull we had him as a pup and was so spoilt .he fell and broke his leg which vet said was unrepairable he did mention amputation but he had fracture his other front leg so we had to decide to put him to rest its so heart braking .i miss him so much but i know one day we will be reunited .just got to think of all the good times we had together .stay strong people .
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Kevin
Thank you so much .
Kat
Just lost my sweet pitty mix boy Leo last night. He was a rescue, he’d been abused and abandoned was on the verge on being put down when we got him. He was already an older boy but he was so good and healthy and snuggly I thought we’d have more time together. It was so sudden- the other day he was his sweet self and then the next he’s had a seizure and he has internal bleeding and I had to hold and say goodbye. Everytime I think I’ve cried myself out I think about how I’m never gonna kiss his big squishy face and he’s never gonna snuggle to sleep with me again and I start sobbing all over again. I had a job interview today and when we got to the “why are you applying here” portion I always joke about just trying to give my dog a better life and I just started full on sobbing during the interview. Leo was with me through my darkest times and kept me from killing myself more than once. I don’t know what I’m going to do without him. I love you and I miss you my sweet good boy
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I am so sorry for your loss. Leo sounded like the best dog you could dream of. Please take care of yourself during this time of grief and seek out help if you need it. You made a huge difference in Leo’s life as he did in yours. Your life matters and you can make a difference in another dog’s life when/if you are ready. Please know my thoughts are with you and remember to take care of yourself. Thank you for sharing with us.
Jeanne M
My sweet Gaston’ died Weds at our vets office in my arms. It was so peaceful. But I have been sobbing. I just let it out. Now I am getting myself together,but I feel so empty. Gaston’s brother Arty is down too. Looking for him. They look identical but not related. Slept with paws touching, ate side by side. Walked side by side. I know it will take time. I was working at our church annual flea market and after Gaston died I could not go back.I didn’t want to be with anyone. I just know that so many people do not know the bond and love of our dogs. Our family member. So a new week starts. I need to be good to myself. I needed to grieve. And each day will get easier.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts.
Vicki Stiles
I think the hardest dog I had to say good-by to was Prince. Prince was a Dalmatian/German Short Hair mix We adopted/rescued him when he was about 18 months old. He was so malnutritioned. You could see his ribs. We got him up to weight in no time. He was my protector the years my husband worked graveyard. He would get up in the middle of the night check on the three children and then climb back on the bed and cuddle with me. He was always by my side. On April 2nd 2017 he was acting strange. He wouldn’t sleep or eat. When night fell he spent a lot of time outside. Which was not normal for him, he hated the dark. He paced outside for hours on end. Finally at 4:00 am he can in and laid on the couch by me. I knew the instant this now 90% blind and death dog needed to sleep and not just for a few hours. He looked at me with eyes I hadn’t seen in a long time due to loosing his sight. He looked at me and at that moment I knew what we needed to do. I cried as everyone else was finally asleep. When my husband and my daughter woke up I told them it was time. Time we let him go and be with his brothers and sister at the Rainbow Bridge. The kids especially my youngest who was 10 said good-by and went to school. She said she couldn’t bear to be there. We called our adult children, they also said they could not be there. So we took our Prince to the vet’s office one last time. Did a lot of crying and then we said ok. He was being held by both my husband and myself. Prince was 17½ years old. He was a very old dog for his breed. He will always just like his brothers and sister be in my heart and by my side.I miss you buddy. You take care of everyone else for me.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
Prince sounded like a wonderful life companion. I’m so sorry for your loss but so glad he had your family and vice versa. Dogs can fill a place in our hearts we never knew needed filled. My thoughts are with you.
tracey gray
I had to say goodbye to our faithfull dog a westie called from it. We had him from a pup of 8wks until Fri at 6.49 he was 12yrs and 8mths. He was a funny little fella with ears he never quite grew into, Gromit took over our lives like a third child had a cuppa in a morning loved his porridge and absolutely loved us , following us constantly and never resting until we did. Lookinf at us when we ate like we hadn’t fed him before us. Going for walks if my hubby wasn’t quite ready to go but we had already left he would go no further until we were all together to enjoy the walk , he rounded us up like sheep. Loved just sitting if I was in the garden and not moving far he 2as always guarding me, God I do miss the little fella, i have not been well these past two yrs and can’t sit properly but he adapted so he could still snuggle into the back of my legs loved feeling the weight of him behind me Gromit was also a fab hot water bottle. He started with athritis in his left front paw then his left back one right front then finally his hips and left leg , full of meds and refusing to go for walks, Not sitting in between my husband and I instead going into his basket in the hallway , Gromit started to struggling getting up the stairs to bed , but we carried the little old fella, . Then 2week ago I accidentally stood on his back paw he had to have a nail removed , he wasn’t very happy about that I can tell you, Gromit then started to drink a awful amount of water having the odd dribble her and there, Walking about all night not even sleeping on his fav spot on the bed ,my husband’s pillow until he came to bed, Waking me up early hrs to go for a wee and also to drink more. A trip to the vet blood test urine test general health check revealed his hips were totally seizing up and he a a urine infection and was diabetic count should of been 6 gromits was 24. So solution more meds for pain , antibiotics and a insulin injection twice a day. We came home and hubby and I talked and cried about the situation, spoke to our grown up children we all came to the decision to let our best friend , old colonel he got a bit grumpy in is old age, to send him over the rainbow bridge the following day. Never thought we would have to do that thought he might pass in old age. So that night gave him salmon for his tea. They next day scrambled eggs for brekky. I then took him to the first place we had walked him the beach, my sister met me there with her partner he took pics , we tried not to cry but u could see him trying to get into a gallop to meet other dogs but his back legs couldn’t take it. We had also visited my parents gromit used to get very excited when we mentioned going to grandads when the children were smaller , so my parents said goodbye my dad spent some time alone in the garden with his old mate. I then took him for ice cream he loved his icecream . He also ate mine lol , we then had some fish and chips at our boating lake he just sat and took it all in. We then went home he was very tired and we sat on the sofa together my son hubby and daughter who lives away faced timed him, we gave him steak for his tea and then the dreaded time came . It was the calmness I had seen him at the vets he hated the place , but he just sat between my son and I. A sedation was given this he didn’t like, vet informed us that the needle his only a small one like what we would have had to use too inject insulin, I think gromit was telling us that we had made the right decision our gromit was a baby were vets , injury where concerned. He would not of stood the injections. The finally injection came and it was very calm , obviously we were very distressed by it . We then had some hair and foot prints taken , wrapped him up and my son carried and sat him on his knee, for his final journey home. We buried him in his fav spot. NOW it how to live without him going to bed without my companion coming down the stairs and letting him out is a killer , but I know we did the right thing by him and he over the rainbow bridge, is running with his old pal doughie, before he returns to give someone all his love again . We always love and remember our little gromit with the very big ears who loved cheese and porridge and stealing up to my son’s room to see if he could find any food up there , or growling at my daughter when she put her cold feet on him.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m sorry for your loss.
Sofía parson
I’m 15 and I lost my dog today. This helped a lot thank you I’ll share this with my family
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. You and your family are in my thoughts.
Vicki Stiles
I’m so sorry for your loss. Loosing a fur family member is hard. Prayers for you and your family.
Jeanne
I am so sorry. You must have had your dog most of your life. And to lose him or her is so sad. Just know there are others just like me that totally understand your grief. Dogs are our best friends. Always there for us. With a lick and a wagging tail.
Nic Erickson
My main dude, Dexter the basset hound, went forever night night 2 weeks ago. I have not been doing well since that night. My feelings are more stable now, but was still very hard to type “how to grieve a dog” just now in my search engine.

Two questions before I share his story:
1–Later today I am going to a local animal rescue and picking up a lonely buddy for a “shelter dog sleepover”. I will bring him/her home and care for them over the weekend. In theory, it seems like everyone can benefit. The dog and I can keep each other company and distract from anxieties. And the shelter volunteers will have less of a workload. Has anyone heard of this or tried it?.
2–Should I get another dog soon? I am definitely a dog lover and will get another, but when? Any bad experiences with this? I feel like it would help my lonely and obviously help a rescue out there.

Thanks everyone that shared your sad stories. I’m not embarrassed anymore to share mine. Dexter was recently diagnosed as diabetic. I was only a month into giving him insulin shots and catching his pee in cups to test glucose, etc. Dex got very lethargic one night and couldn’t stand up. I took him into emergency. He passed away at the emergency vet that night. His heart stopped while getting an IV of fluids. It happened right when I left to walk out to my car and grab my phone charger. They yelled after me in the parking lot. Like he knew I left him and got scared. But I was coming right back. We had been in there about an hour prior to that. He didn’t have any other (known)health issues before this. Very happy snuggly basset. Why didn’t I take him in that morning when I knew he wasn’t feeling well? I knew he was diabetic. Why the hell did I need to charge my phone? I just want my baby boy to come home. Can’t stop crying. It all happened way too fast. The vet said he was diabetic, and a month later He’s gone forever.
The day after it happened I escaped to my parents house. I couldn’t be at my place around Dexter’s stuff. I spent days, depressed in bed at my parents. No work, nothing. I started to calm down last weekend so I came home. A ton of bricks fell on me when I did. His smell, the random shed hairs, everything. I relived it all over. Yesterday was the first day I got out and was around people. I really hope I’m on the upswing. My skin has gotten pale and my psoriasis broke out from no sunlight. I feel weak from not moving around for days. Just been laying here crying and being really hard on myself, leaving only to get fast food. I never eat fast food! Usually I sort of enjoy making food. I just straight up miss that goofy big-eared little booger butt. Shhh don’t tell my friends I loved talking baby talk to him. This emotional rollercoaster is getting really annoying.

Phew! This was a big step. Helps even if no one reads. We are loving people and are going through our own versions of this torture. Maybe that will help the loneliness a little, ugh who knows.

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. You are in my thoughts. Take care of yourself during this difficult time and don’t be afraid to ask others for help.
Vicki Stiles
Sorry for your loss. I’m gonna answer about another dog. That depends on you if you’re ready. When my Prince died two years ago I went to the shelter later that day. But I had another dog at home I needed to think about. Tyrone had always been with another dog actually two. They lost their sister Bubbles almost 6 months to the date of Prince’s death. She died of cancer. I didn’t think Tyrone should be left alone without another dog to help him with his grieving process. So the same day Prince died we adopted/rescued Petunia. I know quit a lot of people think I was wrong, that I replaced Prince. I never can replace my Prince. But I could make life easier for Tyrone with someone he could feel close to. So he wouldn’t be left alone by himself when we had to go out. Just remember humans are known to have big hearts and to love someone knew. Knowing well it never did/never will replace the one we lost. Also the shelters have lots of dogs that need a good home. My Petunia was rescued in Mexico then brought to Northern California. I will never regret my choice
Jeanne
I am sorry. Gaston died Wednesday. I keep going over it in my head. Did I do this right or that right. It was peaceful and he was in my arms. Just went to sleep. I feel for you. Be good to yourself. You were with him for an hour and they shouldn’t have yelled for you. Please don’t feel any guilt. You were taking care of Dexter. How did you know he would pass at that moment. I feel so sorry.
Melissa
Yesterday I had to make the difficult decision to put my St. Bernard down. She went for a grooming at 7am and by 10am I was at the vet. Her back legs gave out and she couldn’t walk. She was almost 11years old. I got her when she was 8 weeks old. I’m lost and my heart is broken. I can’t stop crying and I feel so alone even though I have family. She was my dog, my friend and I loved her.i remember i kept telling her I’m sorry and i was going to.moss her so much. I know she was in pain and that I did the right thing, but I feel so alone and lost.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Nic Erickson
Sounds like she had a pretty cool Mom, taking her to get her hair done :). I’m sorry for your loss and that decision was courageous.
tracey gray
It’s horrible I know Melissa but I keep thinking of good times we had,removed his things can’t bare to see them we put his tag on our back door keys as this was gromit door .
Al Apodaca
Having lost 2 pet dogs in the past dealing with the passimg was devasting, but I dealt with it by going to my local shelter and adopting another dog each time.It helped me so much in dealing with the passing of my beloved pet, I put my time and luv into my new pet which help me deal and at times forget my sadness. And now my new dog is the best theopary for me, I really hope this helps people who have lost a beloved pet
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your losses.
Vicki Stiles
Sorry for your losses. I did the same after my Prince died so my Tyrone would have a companion as he’d always been with other dogs. My oldest son is still mad and still won’t give Petunia the time of day. It’s been two years. His loss not mine.
Linda Pace
Shawn you were blessed beyond words to have that girl in your life. 15 years wow, that is what movies and stories are made of. A wise man told me that some angel dogs do just as your girl did. She did not want you to suffer the pain of watching her die. That the angel dogs wander away. I hope you can find the strength to find comfort in your memories and perhaps start a journal or draft a book about your girl. Oh if people could only Love us as our beloved animals do. My little guy only lived 10 years trusted and Loved me to his last breath right by my side. 7 months later I still have to push myself to exist. I am not going to tell you it is easy. Grief is different for us all . Life is short but for some reason they are gone and we are here. I do hope that your girl comes back. God Bless
Shawn Kinney
I lost my best friend 6 days ago she wondered off Into the woods and I’ve been searching since she’s 15 years old and I have been with her her whole life I never felt so much love than that of hers we traveled together we were inseparable I didn’t get to say goodbye to her and tell her how much I loved her I’ve never loved anything as much as I loved her I cooked her fresh chicken and veggies every night because I felt like she deserved to be given a good healty meal she always got the last bite of my meal as well I’m a single 50 year old man who is disabled and she was very good at making me feel like I could do anything still even if I couldn’t she showed me how to love not just her but others she changed a broken man into one who could live life to the fullest I am so heartbroken and In so much pain I fear that I will never have closeure and I will be battleing life alone again and I don’t want to stay in our home because of the memories of us will always hurt I can’t go outside without thinking about her or just going somewhere because she was always with me Drs grocery store it didn’t matter where I went she was with me is there any advice for me.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
annabella walker
i feel u, i lost my beloved pet her name is kocha she is 9 month old,, she is gone 2days ago coz of parvo virus,, i feel guilty coz i dont that she is sick,, my husband tell me that she committing but i ignore it nd not bringing in vet coz of expencive ,but i do some home remidy, but the last min i bring her at emerngency but is too late, doc said that no chance she can survive and is better to put down,, i choose to bring her back home to comport her and feel my love till the end of her breath,, only i can do is to pray remembering all the good times that she is wt me.. im d same what u feel i hv fear to go even in my garrage coz she hv a house there,, i still hv 6 dogs but everytime i see them im crying coz i mizz her so much she the one who really closed to me… im soo sorry for ur loss but remember god hv a purpose for everything.. and is natural to feel sad coz we love our pet,, read some article about how to cop ur grief for loosing pet is realy help to heal r pain,,god bless u
Chris
Our little Pekingese, Angae (Korean for fog, on account of her white fur) passed just two days ago, after a period of poor health. She was 16. Up until a year ago, she was still full of energy, playing with her toys and enjoying twice daily walks. Then one day, she started limping. The doctors thought at first it was a problem with her neck, but then lumps began to appear under her front armpit. We took her for an operation to remove the lumps, but they reappeared son after. That was really the beginning of the end. Her spirit slowly started to crack, and she lost interest in all the things she loved. Her mobility deteriorated until she could barely walk more than a few steps, and in the last few days of her life, she stopped eating. Even though we knew the end was near, it still broke our hearts when she died after a final check-up. The doctor said her kidneys were failing, so he put her on a drip, so we could let her die at home. However, an hour after that drip was administered, the doctor told us to come back urgently. We knew this was it. She died in my wife’s arms, her little heart slowly giving in. The doctor gave us a box to carry her home in. I can still feel the weight of it now.
We had a really nice memorial for her the next morning, and we took her ashes home in an urn. Two days later, we are both in a lot of pain. We decided to clear out most of her belongings, and keep a couple of her favorite toys on the shelf next to her ashes. It hurts so much now, but time will eventually heal us. Thank you for your attention. My condolences to anyone who has been through this.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. Thank you for sharing with us and please know my thoughts are with you.
Jackie
Early this morning, I lost my 14 yr. old Bichon Frise. I adopted him when he was 7 weeks old. He was my greatest love and my worst sorrow. I have been crying all week thinking of his final day. Back in March, he was diagnosed with high blood pressure and kidney issues. He was put on Amlodipine and Benazepryl. He continued to go to the internist that was treating him until May 2nd. That last check up, his blood work was excellent at 130. The kidney issues that was mentioned earlier was not a concern, so I was told. I told the internist that Bailey started throwing up in the morning with his 1st drink of water because he would drink so much and too fast. I told her that I learned to avoid him vomiting by taking away the water bowl at the right moment, then give it back to him after about 2 minutes. During the 5/2 follow-up, Bailey had tremors in his entire body. He’s had this before, here and there and neither this internist or his regular vet knew the cause. He didn’t seem to be in pain whenever it happened. That day, she put Bailey on 3 additional meds; Cerenia, Metronidazole and Gabapentin. I asked her if any of the new meds will have any bad effects with the existing new meds. She said ‘no’. Immediately after I added these 3 new meds, instead of just the morning vomit with his first drink of water, it was all-day and sometimes throughout the night, together with diarrhea. I continued to give him these 3 new meds for 3 1/2 days. When these new symptoms didn’t go away, I concluded that the new additional meds was making him sick. On 5/12, Bailey stopped eating. Even when I tried to hand-feed him, he refused to eat. The day after, he stopped drinking. On 5/15, I took him to ER where they gave him IV fluids to rehydrate him. I was told by the ER vet that he needed to see an internist. I wasn’t happy with his first internist & had already made an appointment with a new internist for 5/22. The new internist works for a facility that has internal medicine and ICU, but you have to be referred by a vet to be accepted into ICU. The ER vet did that and I was able to bring check in my baby early the following morning. The new internist was amazing and the entire staff were great. After an ultrasound, read of his blood pressure and blood work, Bailey wasn’t going to make it. His creatinine level went from 1 to 1100 since his last follow-up on 5/2 with the former internist. They kept Bailey overnight. He was so week and lethargic and it broke my heart. He was a very happy and energetic 14 yr old dog. After crying all night, in the morning I decided that I wanted him to take his last breathe in his own home, in his own bed where he slept in bed with me. His new internist said he wouldn’t make it through Sunday. So, I made arrangements for an in-home euthanasia for the following day. I just wanted to spend one more day/night with him and take care of him. Sometime Friday afternoon (same day I brought him home from ICU), he started panting. So I called the in-home vet and said that I may need to put him to sleep Friday night instead. She said that panting is no cause for alarm, that Bailey would not die overnight, that he would make it until she actually puts him to sleep Saturday. I believed her. She said just keep him cool and he’ll be alright. I was up all night last night, taking care of him because he was restless and he kept panting. I kept giving him water via his mouth through a needleless syringe to try to hydrate him. He was also panting. Around 7:30 pm, I called the vet on her cell phone. It rang & rang & rang until it went to VM. I texted her and asked her if she could still come that night because Bailey is not having a good night. She never returned my call or texted back. In the back of my mind, I trusted her when she said that panting is not a cause of concern. I so wanted him to die peacefully in his bed, in his home, with me holding him. I held him all night. Early this morning, around 6:45 a.m., little specs of what seemed like blood, started coming out of his mouth. And as weak as he was, he wanted me to get him on the floor. He went to the toilet room and our bathroom and tried to hide and crawl behind the toilet bowl. It was heart-breaking. He left a trail of specs of blood. I called the ER and I told them I was coming and needed their help to put him to sleep. I could no longer bear seeing him like that. We arrived in the ER about 10 minutes later. They put us in a room. Another 10 minutes passed and Bailey continued to be in distress while I waited in the room for the ER doc to administer the meds. He passed away on his own while we were waiting. I am beyond broken hearted. My stupid vision to put him to sleep without suffering, in his own bed, in his own home went nothing but. I saw his pain. I felt his pain. I hope he knew how much I loved him. I hope he knew how much he meant to me. I hope he can forgive me for making him suffer through his last breath.

From what I read online, Gabapentin is not supposed to be given to dogs with renal issues because the drug is excreted through the kidneys. I can’t help to think that this is what caused the sudden spike in his creatinine level from 1.2 to 11.+

Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss, you are in my thoughts.
Diane
Omg I know how you feel! I just went through the same thing with my 14 year old Maltese! I can’t stop crying! I can’t sleep in my bed because we slept together! My home is not the same! Please stay in touch with me! My name is Diane! I can’t seem to get through this!
Bob
We adopted Wesley when he was 8 years old. He was surrendered to a shelter by an elderly couple that were going into assisted living and were not able to take him. He was going to be euthanized because no one wanted an 8 year old dog. Great Lakes Westie Rescue rescued him and one of our friends was fostering him when we saw his picture. We adopted him into our family of two elderly Westies and one younger, rescued Westie. He was a perfect fit! He quickly became my best little buddy and we shared a very special bond. The way he looked into my eyes it was like he knew that we rescued him from being euthanized and he was so thankful to be in a loving home again. Every night I hugged him and I promised him that no one would ever walk away from him again and that I would be there until the last breath that he took. On January 28th, 2016 my wife and I came home to find our 16 year old Westie, Angel, had had a stroke. We knew that this was the end and we were going to make her comfortable until the next morning when we could take her to the vet to have her put down. A half hour later I got a call from my mother in Phoenix telling me that my father had been in the hospital for a few days and that the doctor wanted to talk with me. My dad (who I had seen a month earlier and was in great shape) was in congestive heart failure, had a heart attack and also had acute leukemia. He was going to be placed in hospice the following day. The vet came in to put Angel down and 9:30 that night so that I could be on the plane to Phoenix. My father passed away 17 days later. I had to help my mother get things straightened around and prepare her for the new normal in her life. My father’s services were held on February 24th. After the service my wife and I took a long walk and I told her that I could not wait to get home and hug Wesley and Zoe and give them lots of rides and walks. I told her that I wanted to take lots of pictures of Wesley because I did not have enough to remember him. My wife flew home the next day while I stayed behind in Phoenix to wrap up a few final details. She found Wesley to be in extreme distress while our dog sitter was totally oblivious to his situation. My wife rushed him to the vet and they said that he was in congestive heart failure. They did their very best, but he passed away that afternoon and I never saw him again. The pain of losing out little Angel, then my father and then Wesley in a span of 29 days has left me completely numb. Here is it three years later and I still cry regularly. I never got a chance to properly grieve over Angel because my dad’s death followed so closely. And I feel that I never properly got to process my father’s death because of Wesley’s completely unexpected passing. I can never forgive myself for not being by Wesley’s side like I had always promised him that I would be. He must have thought that he had been abandoned again. We have since gotten two more Westies and they are both fantastic. We take them everywhere and spoil them to no end, but they will never replace Wesley. We have had a total of nine Westies and six of them have already completed their journey to the Rainbow Bridge, but none has left me with the lasting pain that Wesley has. I miss him so much and I know that I am going to be living with this hole in my heart forever.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
That is correct, you can add a photo, but it is not required.
Greg
I lost my Akita, my pup, my best friend, my boy… Katsu on Sunday night. We ate dinner together, like most nights. After eating, he ran to the door and I could tell something was wrong. A few minutes later he laid himself down on his belly. I hurried to get my keys and ran into the yard..he couldn’t walk. I picked him up and carried him into the back of my truck..the same spot where he loved riding every day. He had bloat, his stomach was twisted and they were prepping him for emergency surgery when he went into cardiac arrest. They did CPR, got him back then he died. I put his leash away for the last time yesterday and hung his collar up. He would wake me in the morning and run to the door for walkies..he would get treats then lay outside my door while I did yoga. We ate together, played together, he would even lay next to me to nap. All dogs are amazing but he was a true Akita..loyal, protective, smart and so beautiful. I still find myself looking for him around the house and the yard..he’s not coming home again. I miss my boy so much. Thank you all for being here. Whatever this life is, we are all in it together.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss.
Jennifer Fuhriman
I have so much guilt from what happened to my baby, Mace, at only 3 years old. My little family went on vacation and left him with my mom and sister. They told me that they would take great care of him and acted like I was crazy for doubting them.
Two days into our 7 day vacation we got a call from the police department letting us know that he had been hit by a car. He was calling to ask what we wanted to do with his little body. My heart hurt, like really hurt. Telling my 4 boys was the hardest thing for me to do at that time.
I have so much guilt for leaving him behind. I have so much anger and hate towards my family.
All I can think about is did he think we didn’t love him, did he think we abandoned him, was he looking for us, was he emotionally hurt because we left him.
The day we left for our trip all I wanted was to hurry home and have him jump on me, showering me with kisses, and seeing how happy he was to see us.
I will never forget him not wanting to go and looking out the car window as my sister drove away.
It has been over a month and I’m still crying myself to sleep and my heart still hurts. I didn’t know that my heart could actually hurt because he’s gone.
Nic Erickson
Jennifer, I am thinking of, and feeling for your loss of Mace. I’m so sorry.
I thought I was all cried out since losing my bassett hound, Dexter, 2 weeks ago. Your story talks about the most painful part for me. It’s the guilt! The guilt! I can’t take it! You are not guilty, we are not guilty. I KNOW that, but I FEEL the opposite. Wherever you are, know that I’m out here hoping you and your family heal soon.
Typing this little paragraph out just helped. I think we all should keep talking about our pain on platforms like this.
Rest In Peace baby Mace.
Rest In Peace my precious wittle 70-pound booboo doodoo stinker basset baby buster butt.
Kevin
Stay strong for your self and dog i lost my 4yr old spaniel which was my life .its so hard to get over it .but just stay positive .think of all the good times you had together.
Charlie
I had twin toy poodles 13 years old. A year ago my fur-daughter was diagnosed with congestive heart failure. She was put on diretic and heart meds. She was fine during the day but at night she had a hard time to breath. The fluid would build up at night. I was so afraid she was going to go into heart failure and suffer. I almost had a nervous breakdown trying to make the decision to have her put down and then that day,I wanted to die with her. The worst day of my life. That was 6 months ago and I’m still a mess. Then my fur-son was diagnosed with a brain tumor and
I had to make the same horrible decision last week. The second
hardest thing I have ever had to do in my life. Even harder than my cancer, chemo, surgery and radiation. They were fantastic fur-children. They were my joy, my light, my everything. We did everything together. Walking, kayak ing and beach combing. I’m am truly heartbroken. My heart goes out to any one who has to go through this.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I am so sorry for your losses. You are in my thoughts.
Jane Ruffle
Had to have my 14 year old lab put to sleep yesterday i feel terrible I just keep crying thinking about the way he looked up at me in the last seconds of his life. I know I have done the right thing he was deaf nearly blind and had arthritis in his legs and SPINE but he was my friend I really miss him my other dog is a 2 year old staffy he is also struggling he is off his food and looks really sad.
Kimberly Alt (Admin)
I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure your dog was glad to have you with him during that time. You are in my thoughts.