62 thoughts on “Coping With Depression When Your Pet Dies

  • April 28, 2010 at 9:07 am

    All your suggestions are really good ones and are helpful in greiving for a person, too. One thing I did to honor our good dog and keep her near is put a picture of her in a locket that I wear everyday.

  • April 30, 2010 at 2:09 pm

    I lost by beloved “Buddy” in November 1996- he was a perfect feline companion to me for 16 years. Born in my bed, I was the first person he smelled- and never let me forget it! I was actually in a psych ward when my husband told me it was time- he never stopped crying, regardless of the attention my husband gave him, he always seemed to be in pain and was losing weight. I told him to go ahead and bring him to the vet, my mother went with him. As I shared my pain with the staff they said that they would allow him to come and let me say goodbye, but by the time I phoned my husband he was already gone.

    It took 3 years until I finally put a scrapbook together about him. I still have his picture in many places in my home and only just recently started to entertain the idea of having another cat. I grieve when I think of him- 16 years brought me from a single career woman to a married mother; The memories will never go away and the comfort I get from reminicing with my husband about him will never be diminished.

  • May 1, 2010 at 3:31 pm

    Visit dollie.critters.com. She was the love of my life.. ;(

  • January 28, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I am heartbroken, my 14 and 10 month old beautiful teeny, tiny siamese had to be euthanized last night. I feel so bad that I made the decision but she was down to 4lb and 5 ozs, slept all the time, ate barely a teastpoon of babyfood, and just was so not herself EXCEPT for still being so lovable. Until the very end, she looked at me with those big blue eyes imploringly. I know I made the right decision but I am miserable and can’t stop crying. I just needed to do something that is why I am writing this post. I miss her so badly it physically hurts.

    • January 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

      Mary Lou, thank you for sharing this. I can imagine the pain you are going through. When I had Malcolm euthanized in July it was so difficult for me, yet my vet assured me it was the right thing to do. You also made the right decision. I still feel Malcolm’s paw in my hand and his trusting gaze, thanking me for helping him, as he faded away. The pain of losing him, and also losing Luna, is still with us, though less sharp. We can talk about both of them now, just a little bit, but then we get choked up. It takes an amazingly long time to recover from the loss. We do feel the good memories underneath the pain, and they are very slowly rising to the surface.

    • May 7, 2012 at 9:19 pm

      Dear Basa, you have been my beloved soul mate for 15 years. Ever since Seth left you with me, you and I have been joined at the hip living in Boston for 7 years with me and all our fun in my 20s, then San Francisco where you were cold due to the weak heating in the apartment, made it through Business school with me living in that cramped studio. And now back here in San Francisco.You were diagnosed with kidney failure 6 months ago and I cherished every moment since then as I knew everyday was precious. Thank you for sticking it out for me.Thank you for getting me thru life and your undying love. I miss you dearly, I still feel you with me. I will miss cuddling with you at night Please watch over me. I love you.

  • October 12, 2011 at 5:19 am

    Hello thank you for your comments which help me to go on, though it is very hard. I was looking for advice on internet and I just googled “depression for pet which dies”. Last September I lost my beloved cat LUNA, sick with an aggressive cancer. Two weeks erlier I had lost another beloved of mine, SIAMI with kindey failure. As you can imagine I am overwhelmed. I also look after stray cats’ colonies, but I do not feel joy anymore, I feel numb. I loved Luna so much that I cannot describe it. When I opened this site by chance (it was not the first one displayed…) I just could not believe my eyes…another LUNA. I understand that she is trying to make me understand that she is still with me. Thank you again for the advices. I will try and write a story about my Luna. About all Lunas in the world. I would like to attach a photo but I don’t know how to do it. Love, Manuela

  • October 20, 2011 at 11:09 am

    My cat, my baby died today. I’m 18 and I’ve had him since I was about 14. He got sick, and I didn’t even notice. He acted fine, until last night he started acting strange. And I knew. I knew my baby wasn’t going to make it. I’m so depressed, and I hate myself. I just can’t stop crying. No one understands. He wasn’t just some cat. He was my baby. My whole world. I got up just to take care of him.

    • October 20, 2011 at 11:46 am

      Hope, it is so hard to lose a pet! I felt so sad when Luna died, and then when Malcolm died. But it slowly got better. You did an important and beautiful thing by giving your cat so much love. Animals need and appreciate our love.

  • August 6, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Tomorrow we have to say good bye to our kitty of 18 years, Hepcat, the most lovely chocolate siamese mutt there has ever been. He has been with us for so long, through two cross country moves, our 30s and 40s, and he has always made our home feel like a home. We will miss his snuggles, hair licking when hungry, sleeping on my head or in my arms, and scolding when we return from being out of the house. He has been our child, friend, and solace. Who will comfort us now. Bracing myself for a rough week.

    • August 11, 2012 at 3:57 pm

      I remember how hard, and yet how right, it was to put my Malcolm to sleep two years ago. You loved Hepcat enough to give him the ultimate good care.

  • August 19, 2012 at 10:36 pm

    I am feeling incredibly lost since my precious baby girl, Sasha, left us last Saturday. The news was so unexpected and I continue to reel from it. She was (I hate using the past tense ‘was’ because I can’t believe this has happened) a beautiful Himalayan girl with the most stunning blue eyes. At times she would get depressed and her appetite diminished. We had been away for a few weekends in a row and when she lacked an appetite, I attributed it to my absence. Then I thought perhaps she just had a hairball. I spent three weeks trying to get her to eat hairball remedy, and a multitude of new cat foods to tempt her. At times she would eat, but it was always an effort. After coming home one night, my husband and I began to get concerned, so we decided to take her the next day for treatment. First thing in the morning, we noticed her breathing seemed ‘off’ so we flew to the emerg. Turns out my sweet baby girl had HCM and wasn’t going to make it. We made the horrendously difficult decision to let her go and my heart feels forever broken. I am consumed by guilt. I am constantly barraged by images of her last moments, and I don’t know how to move forward. She was our everything. It’s almost offensive when I hear her referred to as a pet, because to me, she was my baby. She was 11, but it is no consolation, because regardless it was too soon. I hate being at home, as memories of our massive loss seem suffocating. Grieving doesn’t begin to cover what I’m feeling right now. Broken seems to be a better description. Sleep well, baby girl. Mama loves you. Always and forever.

    • August 20, 2012 at 8:32 am

      Of course Sasha was your baby and you were a loving mommy to her. Your love gave her a wonderful life, and somewhere on Saturday a new baby kitten was born.

  • January 17, 2013 at 10:42 pm

    I put my beloved dog Riley down this past Monday , so 3 days ago. He was the sweetest 17.5yr old bichon and i didn;t realize how he was declining, He had lost weight, not eating much and having accidents in the house and in his sleep,. I started cooking soft foods for him and put pee pads everywhere. He was almost deaf and started walking in to things. He was till happy to go for a walk, wait for me at the door and was happy to be with me.He also had a large growth on his head that itched and he picked at constantly and no meds would help. He was too old to undergo the surgery to remove it. I took a long hard look at my best friend and decided it was time, before things got any worse and he suffered. I had the vet come out to our home and he went peacefully in his bed while I petted him telling him what a good boy he was and how very much I loved him. I still cry several times a day all out sobs for him, i miss him so very much. I never realized the extent he touched my life and daily routine and now I am finding out. I know in my heart I did the right thing for Riley yet I still have moments when I second guess the decision. He is buried out in my backyard and I go visit him once a day and tell him I love him and I hope he is running full tilt up there and eating lots of yummy food and someday I will see him again. Thanks for listening

  • January 17, 2013 at 10:47 pm

    Debbie here again. The problem I am having is the rest of my family seems to be ok with riley being gone, The first night they cried but now they seem to be back to normal, and I am a mess. I realize I am the one who was there with him at the end and who made the final decision, I was also the one me with him everyday for the last 7.5 years as I was a stay at home mom, He was my dog before I met my husband and had kids. He was my first child in a way that other dog owners understand.
    it is hard to be so devastated when everyone else seems to be doing ok, thats why I am turning to the internet as I need to talk things out, not bury them. Thanks

    • January 18, 2013 at 9:43 am

      Debbie, everyone grieves at their own pace and people show their grief in different ways. I was a mess for weeks after Luna died; when Malcolm passed I recovered more quickly even though I loved him just as much. Somehow, every loss is different. Please have patience with yourself and with your family, too…and continue to reach out and spread love in Riley’s honor.

  • January 20, 2013 at 2:25 pm

    I lost cat, my baby Trixie on Wednesady night after having her for 17.5 years… she’s been there for me through the loss of my other cat and dog… through my divorce and was my companion for many years while I was alone… I feel so empty, and feel tremendous guilt over her loss… after I noticed she was urinating on the floor I assumed she had a UTI, so I took her to the vet right away, only to find out she had a growth by her bladder… the attending vet told me it was most likely cancer.. this was not her usual vet so I went in denial… so I waited for her regular vet to come back from vacation for a second opinion… in that week she got worse… she refused to eat, seemed more withdrawn, couldnt seem to be comfortable on the bed or couch, started urinating on her bed and blankets… once her vet came back I took her in only for him to confirm there was a mass and that that her kidneys were also failing, so I made the toughest decision and put her down. I cannot get the image of leaving her there out of my mind… she was my baby and my family and I don’t know how to work through this loss… I love her so much and living withouth her these last few days has been torture! 🙁 I know she’s gone to rainbow bridge, and I know she’s not in pain anymore, but that doesn’t seem to ease my pain. RIP baby girl… momma will always love you Trixie!

    • January 20, 2013 at 7:04 pm

      I am sorry for your loss Luisa, i know how intense it is to lose your beloved kitty, I am struggling ith those feelings myself after having my Riley put down 6 days ago, he was 17.5 yrs old too and had been my constant companion thru my life.
      The first few days you feel raw and inconsolable…now I feel sad and numb. You did the best you could for your cat, your grief shows the love you had for eachother and i hope in time we both find some comfort

      • January 21, 2013 at 2:12 pm

        Hi Debbie, I am sorry for your loss as well. I truly feel your pain.
        I feel so lost without her… I am constantly reminded of her, looking for her when I get home from work.. had a hard time removing her bowls, bed/blankets and litter box… First few days I was still changing her water… I just keep thinking, what did I do wrong? why did this happen? why did I not see something was wrong sooner… I assumed her appetite was her being finiky in her old age… I’m just riddled with guilt.. and I don’t know how to move on, I’m still reeling. This is just too painful. I like you don’t understand how my fiance seems to be handling this better than I am… I know she was only in his life for 5 years, but she was still a loving, warm kitty. I guess your bond with Riley and my bond to Trixie was much stronger which is why we are still in a great deal of pain. I too hope we find comfort in time.

  • January 22, 2013 at 11:56 pm

    I wanted to share something – Sunday afteroon I was sitting watching a movie , the blinds closed against the sun and when I looked up a pretty rainbow was shinging in the exact spot Rileys pillow used to be. It lasted maybe 5 minutes and when I got up I also found a small white curl of fur on the carpet not far from my feet. I would like to think he sent me a sign he made it to Rainbow bridge and will be waiting for me. Though it made me cry , it touched my heart. Thanks for listening

    • January 27, 2013 at 12:25 pm

      That’s beautiful Debbie… our furbabies are safe now at rainbow Bridge… waiting for us. hugs <3

      • January 27, 2013 at 9:31 pm

        How are you doing Luisa? Having my good days and my bad (sad) days, it’s tough right now…

        I found this online Friday, it makes me cry but also hope. Just copy and paste into your browser



    • January 28, 2013 at 5:42 pm

      Hi Debbie, I’m having a hard time coping. Some days I cry more than others. Today was a particularly difficult day, went to pick up her ashes from the vet. She’s home… she will be in my heart forever.

      I found that video last week as well, I cried but it gave me hope as well… hope that we will be reunited someday. hugs <3

      • January 28, 2013 at 6:21 pm

        Hi Luisa and Debbie,
        I am so glad to see the two of you sharing stories and supporting one another as you miss your beloved pets.
        I’ve been trying to think of a way to make sharing easier between pet-lovers. I’m in the process of collecting all the comments into a GoogleDoc and I’m thinking of giving open editing access to anyone who wants to read it or leave messages. What do you think of this idea? -Leigh

      • January 28, 2013 at 7:51 pm

        Luisa, sorry to hear about your bad day, but very understandable given the circumstances. I glad you have Trixie’s ashes home with you now. I had a terrible day Friday, I couldn’t stop crying eitheer. I think the grief will ebb and flow for a while. I made a nice collage print at Walgreens.com of Riley looking healthy and happy and it gives me comfort when I look at it. I found a curl of his hair this morning when I was cleaning, kept it in my pocket all day. SOunds silly but it was comforting to me. Hope you have a better day tomorrow ,.


  • January 28, 2013 at 7:47 pm

    Sounds like a great idea

    • January 28, 2013 at 7:57 pm

      Thanks, Debbie. I’ve shared you on the GoogleDoc; you can view and edit if you would like. I haven’t yet updated it with the most recent comments, including those from you and Luisa (I’ve been very busy these past weeks). Feel free to write, decorate, reorganize (it needs work!), even add photos! Also, I’ll share Luisa on the Doc as well if she would like that.

      • January 28, 2013 at 8:18 pm

        Hi Leigh,

        I think that’s a great idea, please share the doc with me.

        I’m glad she’s home too.. I put together some pictures on a digital picture frame, but I’m thinking of ordering a picture of her with the Rainbow Bridge poem from this site. Take a peek.


  • January 29, 2013 at 2:27 pm

    Great idea about the picture frame, I have one somewhere I am going to put Rileys pictures in too! I made a photobook of him last year when h made it to 17 and it brings me comfort to look at it. I do like th rainbow bridge poem too, I am up in Canada so not sure I can find anything like that here . Or may find a link to the poem and make my own dociment with Rileys photo just above it. When Leigh gets the current msgs up on the google doc I would love to post a photo of Riley. Hope you are having an easier day today

    • January 30, 2013 at 5:08 pm

      I’m in Canada as well… I thought about trying to make my own at Michaels or online. I just saw something on Canada AM and think it’s a great idea too. It’s a shadow box… I’m thinking of trying to put one together. Take a look http://www.ctvnews.ca/video?clipId=853534&playlistId=1.1134005&binId=1.811496&playlistPageNum=1

      I would love to see pictures of Riley 🙂 and I would love to post pictures of Trixie. Monday was a hard day for me. That site I sent to you for the picture have a candle ceremony every Monday night and I attended it… I added her to the “Bridge List” here is the link if you want to check it out and attend this Monday. http://petloss.com/ scroll over the 2nd tab (Monday Candle Ceremony). It was a beautiful ceremony, made me cry. I talked to her that night and I thanked her for taking care of me, listening to me and for sharing 17.5 years with me. Today seems to be a bit better… I still miss her terribly. How are you doing Debbie? hugs

  • January 31, 2013 at 2:33 am

    I would love to join this conversation if I could. I lost my beloved cat Eddie of 13 years only 9 days ago and I am beside myself with grief. Some days are better, and some moments are absolutely excruciating. I find talking about it helps. I don’t have a lot of experience with death…this is the hardest thing I’ve ever been through, and the pain is intense.

  • January 31, 2013 at 7:07 pm

    Hi Rebecca, I’m so sorry for your loss… these furbabies really put a lasting impression on our hearts don’t they? I know exactly how you feel. For me it’s been 15 days, I still cry every day. Some days are ok and some days are worse… Everyone says think about the good memories, but when you are in this much pain, it’s hard to see the good memories, there is just too much hurt.
    I acutally had a conversation with my Trixie.. to thank her for listening to me all those years and being the best companion I could have asked for. She was with me for over 17 years, I cried while talking to her, but I pictured her at Rainbow Bridge with my other furbabies I had lost about 12 years ago. I had felt a sense of calm and I felt her presence, my bed creaked as did it when she would jump on it. I think that was a sign of her letting me know she was ok. Maybe you could try talking to Eddie, see how that makes you feel…?? just know you are not alone in your grieving.. hugs xo

    • February 1, 2013 at 5:29 pm

      My precious, 20-year old Siamese cat Simone passed away this past Tuesday night. She was constantly sleeping only getting up to eat and drink water up until the last day of her life. I knew when I got home from work that evening that she would not survive the night as her breathing had become very shallow and she was to weak to get up. I chose to hold her next to me through the rest of the night to try and be some kind of a comfort to her. I awoke aroung 2:30 in the morning and she had died. I feel my heart has literally been ripped from chest and left gaping hole. I crying constantly and my husband now seems to be back to normal. The loss I feel is almost overwhelmingly. I was single for a number of years before remarrying and for a long time it was just me and Simone. It is going to be a very long road back to being anywhere close to coming to grips with my loss. Seeing other people in my place helps.

      • February 1, 2013 at 6:06 pm

        I’m so sorry for your loss, Donna. I wish there were magical words to make you feel less devastated, but I know from experience, there are none. The only thing you can do is remember how much you loved each other and know that there is no greater gift you could have given her. You were a great comfort to her in her last days, and I know that didn’t go unnoticed. In time you will learn to remember with fewer tears and be comforted by your memories. It may seem a long ways away, but it will happen. In the meantime, be kind to yourself. There is no ‘right’ way to grieve, so don’t force yourself to act normal if you don’t feel it. Grief also doesn’t have a timeline, so don’t question why you can’t move on, when someone else has. You will process your emotions in your own way and in your own time. So cry when you need do, talk when you can, scream if you have to and above all, surround yourself with loved ones. You are not alone. Don’t forget that. Your precious Simone will live on in your heart forever.

      • February 1, 2013 at 7:05 pm

        Further to my post below, I will encourage you again to post here often. When someone close to us dies, a connection is lost, and as humans, we crave and need a connection to replace it. That’s what this group can do…provide a connection as we are all able to relate to the pain. Try not to think too far into the future. If you can make it through the next 5 minutes, you’re doing great. Soon enough, another day has passed and healing can begin.

      • February 1, 2013 at 8:07 pm

        Hi Donna, I’m so sorry for your loss… Shasha’s mommy, very well said… Let your emotions flow as they may, don’t hold anything back… It just goes to show how strong your bond was.. you are not alone, there are many of us that feel your pain. hugs xo

  • February 1, 2013 at 6:57 pm

    Thank you Luisa for your kind words. I have since put an altar together for Eddie, with his ashes, his photo, a favorite toy, a candle, some of his fur and some of my special things. I light the candle every day and talk to him. Part of my intense pain is my introduction to death and what the means…the permanence of it, the fear of it. How something can be there, and then suddenly not there. It is immensely painful. Thank you again.

  • February 1, 2013 at 7:02 pm

    HI Donna,
    I completely feel for you and absolutely understand your pain. It is excrutiating and as Sasha’s mommy said, there are few words that can ease that intense pain.
    In order to help myself through my Eddie’s death, only 10 days ago, I fully let it wash over me. It was the most intense pain I’ve ever felt in my life, and I yelled, I bawled, I hit the pillow. I sought out grief counseling, and I talked to anyone I could about it. I’ve been honest and raw and let all the feelings surface, and it’s been helpful.

    I am now considering getting another cat. I know some people will say it’s too soon, but is it? The human heart has the ability to feel two emotions at once – sorrow and happiness, and what’s to say that a new fur baby can’t help me through the sorrow. No one will ever be Eddie, but I know I have a lot of love to give, and there are a lot of kitties out there that need it.

    All the best to you as you navigate through this, and please…continue to talk and shout and cry. Post here often and let it spill out. It is the only way.

  • February 1, 2013 at 11:17 pm

    Hello Luisa, Donna, Rebecca and Sasha’s mommy. I am glad we’ve all found this board and can help
    one another through this trying time.

    For me its been 18 days since I put my beloved bichon Rily to rest and I’ve had some good days this week and some really bad ones. Donna so sorry for your recent loss of Simone . I am glad you had that last night with her comforting her and letting her know you were there for her. I am I am sure Simone knew just how much you loved her and you gave her a great long life. Rebecca, I did the same thing right after I lost my pup, I went with all the feelings I had, took time off work and just cried, yelled and let the pain wash over me.
    When i lost Rily, my husband was sad the first day and then has never shown any sadness nor mentioned him to me and I felt so alone in my grief I found this board and also talked everyday about Riley to a good friend who understood the kind of grief I am going through and encouraged me to let it all out and just feel it.

    It IS very overwhelming to lose a beloved pet friend. I lived alone with Riley before my husband and child came along so he was my first baby, and I had a special bond with him the rest of the family did not, even though I know they loved him too. I was Mommy to him and he was my special buddy, following me aroudn the house.

    Just be gentle with yourself right now, love is love and grief is grief whether you’ve lost a person or a beloved pet, and you will mourn for as long as it takes to feel better.

    I am going to *try* and write a letter to my Riley this upcoming week and write down all the things I can remember over the years about him. At first I wanted him back, wish I had not made the decision I had even though he was starting to fail in many ways – then came the guilt which was the absolute worst, second guessing myself

    . These days I am trying to focus on the love Riley & I had for eachother, the fact he lived a very long (17.5yrs) happy life with a family that loved him. I tell myself everyday that I did the best I could for him, and I will always love him and hold his memory in my heart. I still cry at times but its less overwhelming, at least part of the time. I also am going to start a feelings journal and write 15 min day about my feelings of loss. Riley was the love of my life -the only thing he asked was to be loved and be near me. There is nothing like the bond with our furbabies

    Hugs to you all
    I know myself I am far from ready to consider getting another dog at this point , but if it feels right and you understand a new cat will not be replacing Eddie Rebecca, then who’s to say if that is wrong for you?

    Hang in there Donna, we all have your back. Luisa, I am gong to do the candle ceremony MOnday, thanks for sharing that.

  • February 3, 2013 at 3:44 pm

    Hello all,

    Rebecca, only you will know in your heart when it’s time to adopt a new furbaby into your life… There is no right or wrong. I, like you Debbie am not quite ready to take in a new kitty. It’s been 18 days and I still can’t even bring myself to remove all of Trixie’s things.

    Debbie I will see you at the Candle ceremony tomorrow night… Hugs to all xo

  • February 4, 2013 at 10:24 pm

    Luisa, I was at the ceremony but not sure what name you were under, I was there under debcom..thank you for sharing that site, I cried alot but it was a beautiful ceremony, will have to return when I can
    I have been holding the grief in this week, at work and out with friends but tonight I let it rip reading Eds words…I feel cleansed now.

    Hope everyone is holding on and doing ok.Hugs


    • February 5, 2013 at 11:50 pm

      Hi everyone,
      Hope you are all hanging in there. My week has been a blue one, and my most prominent feeling is depression and weepiness. Par for the course, I’m sure. It helps that it feels as though the intense, overwhelming, excrutiating pain has passed. (fingers crossed).
      Debbie and Luisa, can you tell me more about the candle lighting ceremony? It sounds healing and helpful. Hugs to all…

  • February 6, 2013 at 5:58 pm

    Hi Debbie, I was about to sign in just before the ceremony began, but it was a really bad day for me emotionally. Ed’s words hit me pretty hard last week and I knew I couldn’t handle the ceremony Monday night. The last few days have been really rough. I removed some of Trixie’s things over the weekend and I think that really got to me. Anyhow, glad you liked the ceremony. I will try again next week, I’ll be under lupa73.

    Rebecca, the site is http://petloss.com/ – go to the second tab Monday candle ceremony, they hold it every Monday night at 10pm EST. You can register Eddie on the Bridge list as well. On the same site I found this link where you can light a virtual candle as well. http://www.gratefulness.org/candles/candles.cfm?l=eng
    Here’s to hoping things get better for all of us… hugs everyone xo

  • February 7, 2013 at 12:57 am

    Oh thank you for the information Luisa. I am going to try to get in on that next Monday.
    I’m sorry to hear you’ve been having some rough days. I have been as well, and have found that listening to audio meditations on how to cope with grief have been helpful. Anything to get me through.
    Where do you live Luisa? How about you, Debbie? I’m in Victoria, BC.
    Here’s to some better days ahead…

    • February 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      Rebecca, I am in North Bay , ON

      I am doing ok, Work is a good distraction so I am not home alone, noticing the emptiness of the house. Luisa, that must have been hard last weekend. I was the opposite and had to put away Rileys beds/bowls right after he was gone because looking at them empty hurt too much. My daughter put one in her room (her way of dealing I guess) its taken over 3 weeks for me to be able to sit in
      the loveseat where Riley always lay beside me when I was reading.

      I am having better days, I think after doing lots of thinking about it, Rileys last few months he slept most of the time- he was mostly always in one of his beds while our family was doing things.. I would often wake him up to carry him to the other room with me so he could be dlose to me. Or wake him up to go pee outside. I think him sleeping in the house brought us comfort but looking back I can see that he wasn’t participating in life much, after he lost his appetite it got even worse.
      He was still present, loving and a family member but I have come closer to making peace with my decision and letting go of the guilt.

      I have found that changing my daily routines a bit help in that some of the triggers are gone that make me miss him till i get depressed. I’m still grieving, but it seems easier as the days pass to get back into daily living but sometimes I feel guilty for carrying on without my sweet pup here 🙁

      I am glad the pain in no longer as intense and overwhelming for you Rebecca, I know the first week I thought I might not survive it. I still cry when I think of him, usually alone late at night when he used to keep me company after everyone else had gone to bed.

      Still having a problem in that neither my husband or daughter will speak of him-which is why I turned online for support in the first place. I still sleep with Rileys collar under my pillow and a small stuffed bichon nicknamed little Riley my daughter gave me. I also have his blanket tucked beside my bed. I have been finding a curl of his white fur here and there, usually when I am sad and missing him and it cheers me up. Last night before bed I wrote out a list of the things I miss the most about Riley, had a good cry and went to bed. Seemed to get things out I was holding in.

      Well I hope everyone has a better weekend and better days ahead. Sending you all hugs.


  • February 7, 2013 at 7:50 pm

    Hi Debbie and Rebecca,

    I’m in Toronto, Ontario.

    I know I should have removed her things right away, but I couldn’t bring myself to do it. I still haven’t removed the stairs I got her for Christmas. She had trouble getting up on the couch and bed so she had one set of stairs by the bed and the new on at the couch. I’ve been just so distraught over her loss and don’t have it in me to remove everything.

    It’s just been a rough year for me and I’m not dealing with things very well. My fiance had cancer and is now in remission. He had JUST finished chemo before Christmas so I thought things could only get better and then boom, Trixie is gone.
    She was my rock. She was with me during a bad and lonley marriage, divorce, and my years alone before I met my fiance. She was there for me while my fiance was undergoing chemo. He was sleeping a lot so I’d watch tv alone with her, she was a huge cuddler and I just really miss that. I would cry on her and she’d just purr and we’d keep eachother company.
    I feel guilt as well. Over the Christmas holidays I noticed she wasn’t eating as much, but I figured it was because I was home and she felt secure sleeping by my side. Then I noticed the blood in her urine and took her to the vet right away, her vet was on vacation so I took her to a different vet (I regret my choice) his bedside manners were horrible… he had to get a urine sample and I have NEVER heard her scream the way she did that night. She bit the vet assistant and they had to muzzle her, she had never bitten anyone EVER, thats now bad she was, and I didn’t know she was that sick. I assumed it was a UTI, but the vet said there was a mass by her bladder (cancer). Well I didn’t believe him so I waited for her regular vet to come back. In that time she got much worse, she refused to eat, starting urinating on her blankets and on the floor. So I brought her to her regular vet and he confirmed the mass and that her kidneys were failing. Vet said I could have hospitalized her to rehydrate her and do an ultrasound to confirm cancer, but the fact was, the kidneys were shutting down. He said she was in a lot of pain so I made the tough decision and put her to sleep and that is where I have the problem, I keep reliving her last few minutes. I don’t know how to get that vision out of my head.
    I question if I made the right decision, which I’ve been told time and time again that there was nothing they could do for her.
    My fiance seems to be over the loss and I’m far from over it. Which is why I also turned to online support, plus he’s been through enough he doesn’t need to see my crying all the time.
    I find I’m ok when I’m at work, but when I get home I feel depressed. Some days are better than others, but every day I come come home and go straight to her urn and light a candle for her.
    I guess I need to somehow change my routine like you did Debbie. I just seem to get up, go to work, come home and go to sleep. I think I need to pick up a hobby or something. Perhaps I should start reading books again, get lost in some fiction. Or maybe pick up a meditation cd as you did Rebecca.

    Anyhow, thanks for listening, sorry for the obscenely long post, acknowledging my feelings somehow helped.

    hugs to all xoxo

    • February 7, 2013 at 9:32 pm

      Luisa, You and Trixie sure have been through alot together . Its very understandable how much you must miss her. I am glad to hear your fiance is in remission. I found movies and magazines/books were good distractions for me while I was home, getting lost in someone else story allowed me to get out of my head for a short time.

      I am a military wife, used of moving every 3 years so Riley was a constant in my ever changing life, the loneliness of a new town/home and reinventing myself each place we went. He also was a huge comfort to me during my husbands overseas deployment and travel and at times was my only friend so I get it. It is so hard to let them go. But we must. After hearing your story I think you made the right decision, and did the best you could. You loved Trixie so much, and you didn’t want her to suffer.

      Here is something I read on guilt that helped me alot.


      After I had put Riley down I made myself sick questioning if I had made a mistake in doing so.
      I just wanted him here with me so bad. But, then I listed on paper all the things that added up to my decision Seeing it in black and white, plus talking to people (family/friends) who told me that it was the right thing to do for Riley as he would have gotten worse and suffered. He’d lost so much weight and was barely eating anything. I kept thinking if only I’d offered him this or that and he might have eaten it up and got his strength back….and other thoughts like that- that there must have been SOMETHING I could have done differently so that he would be here today with me. I found that until I let go of the guilt I was stuck in intense emotional pain.

      Luisa, I had to stop myself when my mind went back to that last morning with Riley , and those last moments when the vet was there. Whenever they would pop into my head i would have to FORCE myslef to think of something else . I haev bought a book that was recommended by someone online called

      “Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of Your Pet by Moira Anderson Allen, M ED . I will let you know if its any good.

      I also turned to a friend who has a dog and loves dogs and had euthanized a pet before and I basically told her everything I was feeling everyday and she encouraged me to do so .,I shared photos of my dog with her and talked about him to her and she just listened to me cry and acknowledged my pain. Do you have anyone you could talk to besides your fiance about Trixie?

      Not trying to tell you what to do at all, just sharing what helped me. Everyone is differnt ,just do what feels ok to you and I am here if you need to talk


  • February 7, 2013 at 8:31 pm

    Hi ladies,
    So nice to see you here and read the stories of how you’re doing.
    It seems that as soon as I say I’m feeling better, I have a bad day. It has been a very painful day, and as I get used to the change in routine, and not caring for Eddie anymore, it is simply the physical presence of him that I so desperately miss. I live alone, so while I have tons of friends and a very close family living just around the corner, Ed was the only other beating heart in my house and I long for him. He was a very cuddly guy and really was a light at the end of my busy days.
    Debbie, I was the same and had to put everything away the moment he was gone. I had 5 of my friends here when I put him down at home and made them all take something with them. 🙂 I am only now starting to be able to look at his photos.
    I understand completely the feeling of guilt for ‘going on’ when your loved one is gone. I feel like I’m not ready to be happy yet, because it wouldn’t be right. I know it’s not necessarily rational, but there it is.
    Work definitely does help. I run a busy restaurant downtown, and am also a professional photographer, so at least there are good distractions. I have been spending a lot of time out of the house and while that helps, I am still on the verge it seems, no matter where I am. Good long cries still ensue.

    Luisa, I just want to share a bit of my story in the hopes that it might ease your mind a bit. I too think to myself: Did I take him to the vet soon enough? Had I managed his diabetes well enough? It is so painful to think that I could have done things different, and I completely understand where you’re coming from there. The thing is, we are different today than we were then, due to hindsight. And at the time you did the BEST you could, with what you knew at the time.
    Eddie DID get fluids. He was in the hospital for 2 days, they did an ultrasound, and even did a needle biopsy. He wasn’t eating, was barely lifting his head. And still…he died. I know those last thoughts are nightmarish. I have them, too. And what helps is that I know that Eddie fought. He survived a year with diabetes as his little body continued to break down (unbeknownst to me). But he was tired, as was Trixie. And they just couldn’t fight any more. So, really. No matter what you could have tried, they were just. So. Tired.

    I hope that you can eventually come to see that to let Trixie go was your last gift. One of the things the vet said to me when she came to my house to euthanize Ed was that so often, people hang on too long. Even when suffering is evident. And while it was sudden, and shitty and excruciatingly painful, you really did, put him out of his pain and let him move into peace. (I am talking to myself here, too).
    I hope I’m explaining myself well enough.

    My little experience with death was watching my grandmother die in the hospital. It was ugly, scary, smelly, noisy and horrible. And I had nightmares about it for a few months. But I can say for sure that I no longer do, and those images no longer haunt me. I hope the same goes for your last few minutes with Trixie. I know. That is so, so hard.
    Also, I have another friend who lost her dog to cancer about a week before I lost Ed, and she too cannot put his food dish away. It’s OK. Everyone is so different.

    I’m so glad once again that we can do this. Writing it out, offering support and relating to others truly helps. I hope the same goes for you two.

    Hugs to you both. Xo Rebecca

  • February 8, 2013 at 7:17 pm

    Thank you ladies. You both have made me feel better sharing your stories. I guess I’m not alone in the guilt department.

    Rebecca, your so right, they fought, Trixie was having issues with her thyroid before she passed too. I know deep in my heart that I did the best I could at the time to make her happy and comfortable, in fact I did the best I could for her for her entire life. Some animals aren’t so lucky. Our furbabies were loved very much, which is why we miss them so.

    Debbie, I read the link, thank you for sharing. I do have a few friends I talk to that understand the bond we have with our furbabies and they have told me the same thing. One said that my decision was my final act of love, by letting her suffering end. I just can’t wrap my head around that, but I need to stop beating myself up. Please let me know how the book is, I may just download it on my kindle.

    I am going to set up a shadow box for her and get a pawprint tattoo with her name to memorialize her, she shared almost 1/2 of my life with me and I think doing this will make me feel better and move on. I will let you know how that goes.

    Hopefully Leigh will have the google doc up soon and we can share pictures of our beloved furbabies.

    Again, thank you both for your help and support, it means so much to me.

    Hope you both are having a good day. hugs xoxo

      • February 9, 2013 at 7:33 pm

        Thanks Leigh, Would love to see pictures of each others beloved pets. Are you going to move our recent posts over too??

      • February 9, 2013 at 8:33 pm

        Wow, Debbie, I just looked at the wonderful collage of Riley! What a cutie pie! Thank you for sharing the joy of him with us. I will move the other posts over, yes…I am extremely busy lately, though (teaching an SAT class plus all my tutoring); you can also copy and paste yourself if you get tired of waiting for me to do it. If the other folks also like the GoogleDoc, I’ll write a post about it. I sure do love your photos, Debbie; I feel like we can all now feel Riley’s specialness.

      • February 9, 2013 at 8:35 pm

        Also, Debbie, I moved your essay and collage right up front so people see it first on the doc. I think this is a better arrangement, newer entries up front; do you agree?

  • February 9, 2013 at 8:50 pm

    Leigh Yes I think newest entries first, so people do not have to scroll through, Thanks re my collage, It brings me comfort to see my Riley in all his glory 🙂 My 7 yr old daughter loved to dress him up lol

    I just posted a poem I read today somewhere and thought would be great on the board.

    I Loved You Best

    So this is where we part, My Friend,
    and you’ll run on, around the bend,
    gone from sight, but not from mind,
    new pleasures there you’ll surely find.

    I will go on, I’ll find the strength,
    life measures quality, not its length.
    One long embrace before you leave,
    share one last look, before I grieve.

    There are others, that much is true,
    but they be they, and they aren’t you.
    And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,
    will remember well all you’ve taught.

    Your place I’ll hold, you will be missed,
    the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.
    And as you journey to your final rest,
    take with you this…I loved you best.

    • February 10, 2013 at 12:29 pm

      Thank you for putting this together Leigh. I added a collage of my Trixie to the google doc. <3

      Debbie, Riley was absolutely adorable. hugs xoxo

      • February 10, 2013 at 11:37 pm


        Thanks. Trixie was a beautiful kitty, I love her colouring. Thank you for sharing your pictures of her

        Hugs xoxo

  • February 11, 2013 at 6:18 pm

    Thank you Debbie.

    How are you holding up? Will you be at the candle ceremony tonight? hope your having a good day. hugs xoxo

  • June 9, 2013 at 10:26 am

    My dog die from diabetes. I realize medical care for animals is far backward than that of for human. I am trying to put together a foundation that will contribute to the medical care of animals, especially for complicate diseases like diabetes. The foundation will be named after my dog. At the same time, I am hosting other dogs as temporary home. I am doing this to honor Sox.

    • June 9, 2013 at 12:20 pm

      What an amazing and wonderful way to honor Sox’s life and the precious lives of all pets! Thank you for sharing your projects!

  • May 30, 2015 at 3:42 pm

    Here is it 2015 and I just lost my little mini-Dachshund, Bruno. He was 10 yrs old and had suffered with heart and lung issues his whole life. I know he’s not suffering anymore, but those of us he left behind are grieving. I needed to vent a little bit about him, so please bear with me. He was my little guy; always happy even when his lungs were full of fluid and he could hardly breathe. He was a master tail-wagg-er of epic proportions and he loved everybody. He would get so excited he would roll over on his back and just wiggle! He loved belly rubs and long walks and snuggling. I miss him terribly. His canine companion, a Chihuahua named Pablo, is miserably depressed. I hope he can recover, but he’s 13 yrs old and I’m worried about him. I don’t want to get another dog right away – Bruno was so special, I can’t just replace him. I’m going to take Pablo to doggy daycare so he won’t be alone all day when I’m at work and I bought him some of his favorite treats and toys. Is there anything else I can do for him?

    • May 30, 2015 at 6:27 pm

      I am sorry to hear about Bruno. It sounds like you took very good care of him and he had a happy, love-filled life. We had a cat (named Fish!) who sounds much like Pablo; when Fish’s two companions, Luna and Malcolm, passed away, he was terribly lonely until we got Rudy. I think some animals are just like that; they need other animals as well as their human friends. I hope the doggy daycare does the trick for Pablo!


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