1. Sparkle
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    Sparkle Member

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    Loss of a pet

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Sparkle, Aug 31, 2008.

    I just lost my darling West Highland Terrier. The place seems empty and I miss her so much.

    Does anyone have a similar experience and how did they deal with it - I want another dog, but I get conflicting advice. Either that it's too soon, or that I should get one right away.

    The thing is, she is irreplaceable - she was a unique little dog, as all pets are. I know that I want to fill the gap she's left, but is that wrong? My daughter says it's too soon, that it would be a betrayal. Part of me wants to just hold a dog so that I can maybe fantasise a little bit (without losing touch with reality) and pretend it hasn't happened. Eventually, I think that the new dog would become special in its own right...but it would certainly get a lot of loving right from the off.

    I was on holiday when it happened, and I feel so bad that I wasn't here.
     
  2. ciavyn
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    ciavyn Senior Member

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    I lost two of mine, and I'm someone that believes in getting another one right away. It is not that you can pretend it didn't happen - the new pooch will be vastly different. But having another little being dependent on you reminds you that life does go on, and soon the aching is a bit less.

    I'm sorry to hear about your loss. I have a boxer that I'm completely in love with, and I don't even want to think about her getting older (she's six this year).

    I wrote Miles (my previous boxer) a poem, and that gave me some peace - some closure. You might try something of the same, especially since you weren't there and didn't get to say goodbye.

    My thoughts and prayers are with you.
     
  3. lordofhats
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    lordofhats Contributing Member

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    My first cat was hit by a car. Poor Blue. I loved my little Siamese, but things happen and we can't always help it.

    The thing that upset me was when my other cat, Mattilda was killed by the neighbors dog (Not that they took responsibility for the mutt)! We rescued her as a stray in England and went through a lot of trouble to bring her back to the States with us when we left the UK. Then the neighbors dog kills her while she's outside sleeping. I was sos sad :(.
     
  4. tehuti88
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    tehuti88 Contributing Member

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    I'm very sorry to hear about your dog. :(

    I lost my cat of over 20 years back in October 2001. The place just felt so empty without her there. I kept expecting to find her lying on the floor behind me or something. There was just such a void.

    I meant to hold off longer, but I couldn't do it. It was maybe a week or so later that we got another cat. Never once have I felt that he's "replaced" her, and new pets should not be expected to "replace" old ones. They're new companions, new friends, not replacements. It's not bad to want to hold another pet or try to fill that void. Filling that void does not mean you're replacing the one who once filled it. It just means you're filling the void.

    I had dreams about my cat after she'd died and after I'd gotten the new cat. Strangely, I found that over time, the two cats seemed to kind of combine into one. Sometimes I couldn't be sure if I was dreaming about my old cat or my new one. Even now, years later, this still happens. I think it's a good sign. They aren't taking each other's place, but they're coexisting. They both have value as individuals.

    I find that a good thing to do is not to try to forget about an old pet, or force yourself to not think about them lest you get sad, but to think of the good times with them. I felt awkward, a lot, mentioning my old cat in comparison/contrast to the new one, but there's nothing wrong with it. I like to remember the funny times we had, and to think about how different she was from my current cat. It's interesting, sometimes, to think of how different they are. And every year on the anniversary of her death, I visit her grave (beside our house) and just sit and think over all the memories I have of her. I always cry, but that's natural, considering how long I knew her. She was really the only reliable friend I ever had growing up. Aside from my parents, she was the only one who was always there for me. I still miss her and I always will.

    Strangely, also, my new cat felt like merely a "guest" in the house for the first six months that we had him. Around that time, he finally felt like he fully belonged here and was one of us. He filled the void. Though there will always be a small place he can never fill and is not meant to. There will always be a place where she was meant to be.

    I won't tell you not to feel guilty wanting to get a new dog, because there are all sorts of mixed feelings, but you should do what feels right for you, what brings you the most comfort. But just so you know, a new pet is not ever a replacement. Just a new pet.

    I didn't get to say goodbye to my old cat (she was put to sleep--I thought she was just being taken to the vet, and didn't bother getting up to say goodbye). That's the one thing that still sticks with me, that I can't quite get over. :(
     
  5. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. :( Losing a pet can be just as hard as losing a loved one. I hate when people belittle the bond that can be between pets and their owners.

    If you feel you're ready to get a new pet, I say that there's no reason that you can't. If your daughter feels that its too soon, you could always maybe get a cat instead of a dog. That way, you won't really be "replacing" your old pet.

    I recommend adopting from a shelter. It's the best thing you can do for an animal.

    I used to live on a rural road where no one obeyed the speed limit, so I lost a lot of dogs to speeding cars throughout my childhood. The hardest was Fudge, our chocolate lab.
     
  6. Eoz Eanj
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    Eoz Eanj Contributing Member Contributor

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    yeah,

    my dog mango, whom we adopted when she were a little puppy-e-o, ran away a couple of years ago

    and things sucked for a very long time, especially for me, since I can't bare being alone in any way shape or form

    so when my bro was out with his friends and mum was at work i'd be terribly lonely

    I don't really know how I dealt with it in that regard, I suppose you just take things day by day and see if you can work out ways to, for lack of better word, 'fill', the place of your lost pet

    *shrugs*

    maybe buying a new pet would help?
     
  7. Heather Louise
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    Heather Louise Contributing Member Contributor

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    I haven't lost a pet in the sense that she died, but we once had a dog called Lucy. I got her on my third birthday and I picked her name and we all loved her to bits, my mam especially. Well, when I was 12 we moved to New Zealand and had to get rid of her as she was too old to travel for so long and that hurt enough as it is. What was worse is that we came back after only two month, so it makes the painof loosing a memeber of the family, worthless.

    We got another dog, a similar breed aswell, about half a year later. I think their is no time limit for your greif, or when to get a new one. But just remeber, it is not a replcement, it is a new dog.
     
  8. Torana
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    Torana Contributing Member Contributor

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    Sorry for the loss of your dog. It is never easy to lose such a special friend. (I don't class animals as pets, they are more like your closest friend or family member)

    I haven't lost a pet for some time now. The last one was my brothers, he had passed away, so she was fretting and a very special little cat. He had spent over $1000 Aus dollars on her after she was hit by a car. So she was treated like royalty from that day on. She managed to get outside one day and was looking for him and got on the road. A car swerved and hit her deliberately. I had to pick her up off the road and bury her in the yard. It was devastating. Now I am not much of a pet person. After all I've seen with people neglecting animals, pets being poisoned, run over, etc. I don't want another pet. But we now have a dog... though I think my parents claimed my sons dog back as he is petrified of dogs after being bitten on the face by a dog....
     
  9. Gone Wishing
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    Gone Wishing Contributing Member

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    My deepest sympathies go out to you, and anyone else that has lost a pet. I know only too well how deep the bonds can be between people and animals.

    In my situation, I'd had my cat for well over 15 years and she was hit by a neighbour's car (who never owned up to it, either), but as I was renting, my landlord would not allow me to have another pet, so I had no choice in regards to getting a new one.

    I think we all know how irreplacable and unique our animal friends become, and though it's natural to want to fill the sudden void that is left, I think it's just as important to allow yourself the space to grieve the loss as you would any other. I suppose it's different for everyone, so I'm just speaking for myself, really. If you are unsure, I think that the best thing to do is just take some time to think about it.
     
  10. Sparkle
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    Sparkle Member

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    Absolutely! I already decided that I don't want to get a puppy because it seems more like a tribute to my dog, to get an older that really needs a home. We got our Westie when she was four - the breeder had no more use for her. :(

    Hearing all your stories does help me to accept what happened. I had her for nine years, and she died at home. I can learn to cope with that more than if she'd died violently, and/or at a young age. Others have had it harder than me, that's for sure.

    Thanks for all your nice words - I appreciate them all.
     
  11. BellLily
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    BellLily New Member

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    I lost my Shadow two years ago about. I still cry sometimes when I think about her. She was my dog, not the families dog. My parents got her for me back when I was in kindergarten. I got Sunshine maybe a week after Shadow's death. I wasn't trying to replace my Shadow, no other dog could. But everything felt so empty without her that something needed to be done. So I got Sunshine.

    I say get another dog when you're ready to. When you feel you can take care of it. Don't feel bad comparing the two, its not a bad thing in my opinion. You're not deciding who is a better dog, you're just remembering. The only thing I do advise though is to get from a shelter or pound.
     
  12. Puzo44
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    Puzo44 Member

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    I'm sorry for your loss, I had a cat that I loved dearly that has been missing since June I try to stay optimistic that she'll come back but with every day it feels less likely. I know the feeling that you are expecting them to be there, it is very hard to lose a pet just like a family member
     
  13. Sparkle
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    Sparkle Member

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    Just to update this little story, in October 2008, we found a little Westie who was not quite 2 - her owner had too many dogs (including the mother of the Westie who had had another litter).

    So we bought her and it seemed really strange, and I was conscious of the fact that she wasn't "my" dog.

    But she is an absolute delight - cute, funny, and very very loving. And I've fallen for her for herself, and not because she reminds me of my old dog. Although she has developed some ways that are very like the older one, and I sometimes think she's been possessed by her. :)

    So anyone who loses a pet - you never forget them, but offer your home to another, maybe an older one in need of a home. They bring their own joy and can really take the edge off the grief.
     
  14. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    I had to put to sleep our cat of 23 years. I had to do it myself as the vet was 4 hours away and she could not take the trip.
    That was the hardest day of my life. I gave her pills and then laid down on the bathroom floor with her and then moved her to our bed and stayed talking to her for hours.
    Her favourite place was a bread basket on my dishwasher and to this day sometimes I look out the window there and talk to her before I remember she is buried in the backyard beneath her favourite honey suckle bush.
    We have 2 other cats one for 18 years and one for 15. When they go I say it will be nice to not have to get fur off of everything but my husband says we will get one more. Not 3 but at least 2 so they have a playmate.
    They are all indoor cats unless on a halter and rope in the back yard while we are out with them.
    dogs, foxes coyotes and wolves wander around and I don't want them to have a snack on my family.
    All of our cats have been rescued and we got them as kittens. One from some idiot who couldn't kitty litter train her and was going to dump her on the highway. One from a pet store because she couldn't sell him because he was ugly. And one from the bush where someone dumped him and a friend found him.
    People can be so cruel especially because our humane society does not charge you to take in animals.
    I am glad you appreciate your friend I am sure he appreciates your attention.
     
  15. ChimmyBear
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    ChimmyBear Contributing Member Contributor

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    I lost my puss...Rocky, last summer, he was an adorable orange ball of love. The hardest part is not having him at the foot of my bed while I'm sleeping. I miss him terribly and I don't know if I can bond with another cat after him. I guess this is why I am getting a puppy...Rocky was absolutely delightful.
     
  16. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I remember only too well when I had to put down my little Val. I was there the day he was born. He was one of three kitties born that day and then their momma took off. She was feral.

    I had Val for only 13 years before some kind of lymphoma.

    I had him cremated and I still have him in a little urn at my parents house where he can look out a window. I know that sounds ridiculous, but I can deal with ridiculous.
     
  17. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    we buried Cassie in her favourite sunny spot in the yard.
    that was not ridiculous so why having her in an urn so she can look out the window would be ridiculous I don't know.
    it shows you loved her a great deal.
    36+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++33333l
     
  18. lessa
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    lessa Contributing Member

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    ooops that was Lucky adding his two cents worth.
     
  19. Wreybies
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    Wreybies The Ops Pops Operations Manager Staff Contest Administrator Supporter Contributor

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    I know.

    I just always feel like people think I'm a crazy cat lady when I tell them I have my kitteh in an urn. :redface:

    P.S. Val was a he. He was named after Jean ValJean from Le Mis.
     
  20. Carmina
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    Carmina Contributing Member Contributor

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    I have lost many cats in my 31 years and 2 dogs. It is always hard. I do nt look forward to losing Haplo someday. He is turning 11 this year and finally starting to look like an older dog. He also has a few tumors, but they are small and the vet thinks benign. Still...I worry.
     
  21. Silence
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    Silence New Member

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    I lost two kittens about five years ago. We only had them for about a week, and then one of them got sick and we took it to the doctor. It turned out it had Pan-Luke's disease (apparently sort of like AIDs) and that it had to be put to sleep. When we got home, our other cat was beginning to show symptoms as well. It was very sad.

    However, we recently adopted a sweet three-year old cat named Sascha and we love her very much.
     
  22. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    My mother's dachshund is probably not long for this world. Her hearing is going, she's essentially blind, her sense of smell seems to be going too, and she seems to be somewhat arthritic. She waddles around, travelling in more or less a straight line until she bumps into something, then turns to one side and tries again.

    My mother is preparing herself for the inevitable, but it's never easy.
     

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