Post # 1
My little Jilly Belly was 14 years old when she finally had to be put down a few weeks ago. I adopted her when she was about 6 and she was sick, underweight & afraid of men. We got her healthy & happy and she was just so sweet & lovely. (She is the pciture in my avitar) We had many wonderful, healthy years with her. Eventually as she aged she became deaf, then blind & had arthritis, but I adored her & enjoyed taking care of her. There were days when I had to feed her by hand. I carried her to bed each night & carried her out to breakfast each morning & she’d give me a little kiss on my nose on the way.
She gave us a few health scares over the last year and pulled through, but it gave us a chance to prepare for what we inevitably knew would happen. We had to put her down a few days before Thanksgiving when she just couldn’t breathe well & was very weak. I was a mess but I knew I would be. I know I will miss her every day, but I had no idea it would still be so hard on me. I keep finding myself crying randomly throughout the day, having to run to the bathroom sometimes at work to hide it. Today I picked up her ashes and I am a mess.
My husband has been supportive. He keeps saying it’s OK that I still feel this way and that she & I had a special relationship & it will just take time. I just happen to be the biggest animal lover of all of my friends & it’s hard to find other people to relate to about this, so I’m turning to the other animal lovers here to see what it was like for you.
I’m adding a poll just to get an idea, but I would love to hear your stories too as each one of our relationships with our pets are individual & special.
Thanks for sharing & for your support 🙂
Post # 3
I can’t really answer with your poll options, since I didn’t live at home when my mom had to make the decision to put down my cat, Tiger. I’d had her since she was a kitten, which was when I was in second grade, and she was put down in 2003 (beginning of senior year of college). So that was like…15 years. Every time I would go home, it was like the pain of her not being there was new…for maybe a year or two. In 2005, I adopted Anouk (my cat), and that was around the time I stopped thinking about Tiger all the time.
I was so mad at my mom that I told her she murdered my cat, and we both cried on the phone, and then I cried off and on for a while. It was really hard. It was harder to not be there. I wish my mom and I could have shared that grief together without my getting mad at her.
Post # 4
@peachacid: Oh, boy that is tough!! I wrote on the bee about 7 months ago about my parents taking my Grandma’s dog to the pound and signing the papers to have him put down. Long story short, they lied about it, I figured it out and was able to save him from euthanization. He now lives with my mother in law and is very happy and so loved. But I completely understand the feeling of dissapointment in the family. I feel so lucky that Harry lived. I can’t imagine how I’d feel if it had been the other way around. I’m so sorry!! Thank you so much for sharing that story. I’m glad your other cat helped you to heal!
Post # 5
@Amayansong: Also, I am sorry to hear about your pet. There is no getting over the fact that it sucks, and that people who aren’t pet owners don’t understand. =(
Post # 7
I’m getting ready to go through it right now with my German Shepherd, Fenja. She is in end stage kidney failure.
The first dog I lost was by far the hardest. We had an incredible bond. He was also a shepherd & died of hemangiosarcoma at only 4 yrs old. I thought I would never stop crying.
We’re German Shepherd people & always have multiple dogs–that’s a source of comfort because they still need our love & attention.
We just lost our male a few mos ago at age 11 to cancer. I lost an incredible working line male a few years back to a brain tumor just before his 5th birthday.
I’ve been through this so many times & it always hurts, but for me, the first was definitely the hardest. I had to learn it was survivable.
Your grief will take as long as it takes, I’m glad you are getting support. It comes in waves, just let it happen. It will never be more than you can handle.
Gentle cyber hugs to you.
Post # 8
It’s hard to answer your poll with a set amount of time. We had to out our dog down in July and I am just beginning to feel okay. I still miss him every day, but cry less often and can recall fond memories without having sadness take over. I’m sorry for your loss. I think it’s normal to take time to heal. Hugs to you.
Post # 9
@Amayansong: i am so very sorry that you are facing this. I just posted something similar about our situation – we put down our sweet baby a week ago today after a brief, but aggressive illness. I still cry everyday, although now it’s just once a day (ok, now twice bc I’m thinking about it). Don’t feel like you need to limit your grief – you will take as much time as you need.
@sassy411: We just lost our Andy to suspected hemangiosarcoma as well. It is a brutal diagnosis 🙁
Post # 10
@Amayansong: I’m so sorry to hear about your Jilly! It’s so different for each person…this isn’t something you should be comparing yourself to others over.
The hardest one for me was my FI’s and my first dog we had together, Jesse. We adopted him at 7 months and he passed at one year and 2 months old. He had a genetic kidney issue that pushed him into kidney failure extremely suddenly, we had no idea he had this issue so we couldn’t prepare for it at all. We had a day with him between admitting him to the vet and having to let him go. Well, I was the person who “didn’t understand how people get so attached to animals” prior to Jesse and I thought that there was something wrong with me for feeling so sad over it. I stopped talking to my friends and my FI (we lived together but I totally shut him out emotionally). I clammed up and just went about my business as usual – no emotion. None. FI cried all the time, but I just shut down entirely. I don’t even remember a lot of that month after Jesse passed I was so messed up. I finally started to feel it and I was a wreck for another month after that.
No one can tell you what is or isn’t normal. I seriously considered looking into a therapist or counselor who specialized in pet grief, but decided not to in the end.
It’s better to feel it and let it out though…trust me.
Post # 11
I’m sorry about Andy. I hate hemangio.
Post # 12
It took a month or so for me to stop crying after my mom had to put down our dog, Sassy, but I was at graduate school so it wasn’t like I’d cry every day – I would have very bad moments several times a week where I would run to the bathroom to cry if I could or just repeatedly take my pen apart and put it back together if I was in lecture (not allowed to leave during lectures).
All I can really offer is a big hug and assurance that it WILL get better, even if it takes time. And however long it takes others to get over a loss like this is immaterial, because everyone is different.
Post # 13
Thank you so much everyone for sharing. I am so sorry for all of you who lost your sweet pets too! It helps to hear other stories about how much you all loved your little guys too! I feel so lucky to have had Jilly as long as I did & I look forward to just having the good memories of her.
You are all right, it’s not about the time. I was just beginning to worry that there was something else going on with me. I knew it would be hard to let her go, it was one of those really special bonds. I guess maybe I thought that knowing how old she was & that she had been struggling for a while, I would find some peace in letting her go & knowing she is no longer in any pain. I do feel that for her, but darn it I miss her!!
Thanks for all of your kind words & support!
@sassy411: I am so sorry about Fenja! It is so hard to watch them go through something like that. I really appreciate you sharing & remindng me that we do get better & it’s OK to take my time. Hugs to you too!
@yougotme: Thank you for sharing, I am so sorry it was hard on you too. I really appreciate the reminder that the tears may slowly stop & the good memories will remain.
@Miss Grey: Oh no, I’m sorry 🙁 These little ones become such a big part of our lives. I pray for comfort & healing for you too!
@ebarnes0: I thought about joining a pet loss support group too! There is one neerby at a rescue but it’s only once a month and I missed the last one. But you’re right, it does help to just let it out. That seems to be the way I heal in difficult situations. Letting it out now is helping too :). And you’re right about everyone healing differently. My husband is fine. He cried the day she passed & gets a little emotional when he sees me go there, but that’s about it. Maybe that’s why I thought something was wrong with me!
@zumbaista: Thanks so much for sharing and I’m so sorry you lost your dog while you were in grad school. That would be so rough. At least losing Jilly near Thanksgiving gave me a little time before having to go back to work.
Post # 14
@Amayansong: I am so sorry about your dog! My family recently lost our doggie as well, and I totally understand what you’re going through. It’s okay to miss her. Time will make you feel better, also. Just keep telling yourself that she had a wonderful life (with you) and that she isn’t hurting anymore. You sound like you were the best thing to happen to her 🙂
Post # 15
@wideeyes: Aw thanks! You just made me cry again, but in the good way!! 😉 Taking care of her was really special to me. I’m so sorry you lost your family dog too! Thank you for sharing & understanding!
Post # 16
@Amayansong: this sucks so much.
My first dog–it took 15 months before I could think of her with anything but sadness. I distinctly remember the day that I thought of her when the lump of sadness had disappeared. I could remember her with happiness! yep, 15 months.
So time will help. But dang it, the pain is hard!