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When will I stop crying over losing my dog?
Old 01-03-2018, 04:05 PM
  #1

I am starting to worry that I am being a nut. I miss my Ricochet so much, as I expected I would. He was my constant companion for over 12 years, and with me even when my other son (lol) moved away to college and a semester abroad, etc. But I cry every day, sometimes a few times.

I thought i had been getting better, but lately, I am having a hard time again. He died Oct. 21.

ETA: I think one reason I am so sad is I feel guilty. Making the choice to put him down, I second guess it constantly (maybe even just letting him have one last day in the sun.... or maybe pursuing expensive and not guaranteed treatments...and worrying that he'd been in pain for a while and I didn't know, or didnt want to know). I also picture him looking at me while I had to sort of pull him into the vet's office, knowing that he would not come out. He just looked at me. I can't shake it.


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Old 01-03-2018, 04:08 PM
  #2

I am so sorry. I think everyone processes grief differently. 12 years is a lifetime so of course it will take a long time to heal. Go at your pace and be kind to yourself.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:13 PM
  #3

I am so sorry Tammy. I think along with him being your constant companion, you also have had other big changes in your life (DS moving out to be closer to his job). It's a lot to process. Change can be so hard even when it is inevitable. Hugs!!
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:16 PM
  #4

It's a good thing to allow your feelings of grief at any time now or in the future. Don't feel that the grief should end at any time . He was a wonderful ,loving companion . Enjoy your happy memories of him whenever you can. ((tammynj))
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:17 PM
  #5

Is your son college aged? Was he home for break?

A few years ago, we lost our dog in August and DS#2 went off to college in September and we became empty nesters. I did reasonably well through the Fall because I was busy as a teacher. However, both boys came home for Christmas break and when they left in January it hit me hard.

I was not planning on getting another dog, but we got the dog we have now that February. You are not a nut. Grieving a loved one takes time and your dog was a member of your family.


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I am sorry
Old 01-03-2018, 04:25 PM
  #6

It is difficult losing a pet.

Are you still on break? Maybe when you go back to work and you are busier, plus not at home you will begin to cry less.

Maybe you could write about him. Include all your memories and what you miss about him most. Maybe that would help with all the feelings you still have for him.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:33 PM
  #7

I am so sorry. It sounds like that last vet visit was very traumatic. I feel bad for you and I also think you did the best you could. You loved your dog and you made the best decision you could. I know it's different for each person, but after losing a very special dog I waited about 4 months then got a puppy who turned out to be so special to me. Sometimes having a new pet to love may be what you need. That's a decision you have to make for yourself though. You may not be ready for that. Please don't be so hard on yourself. None of us last forever and we do the best we can.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:36 PM
  #8

I'm sorry for your loss. Oct 21st isn't that long ago, so it will take time...sometimes like losing a human loved one. I know the feeling as well and it's tough. I blamed myself a bit regarding the circumstances, but then the time comes when you realize you did the best thing.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:49 PM
  #9

I am so sorry for your loss. Try to remember that your dog loved you as much as you loved him. I think animals are so perceptive. I am sure that your dog knew that you would never do anything but what was best for him. Animals trust us and they know we do everything we can to protect them and give them a good life. Had you made another choice, you really don't have any way of knowing what would have happened. Things may have been much worse and then you would be beating yourself up for not putting him down when you did. I liked what 1956BD said about writing about your dog. That could help you remember all of the good times you had together and all of the wonderful ways you cared for him. Try to remember his spirit is still with you, and honor him by living in the moment and taking in all life has to offer. I'm sure that's what he did.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:54 PM
  #10

When my beloved Mom passed, my school psychologist told me something that Ive never forgotten. She said that grief is like the waves. Waves can be big and frequent but over time the waves get smaller and less frequent. It hasnt been a long time since your lost your furbaby. Its natural for grief to come and go. It will get better. Time is our friend. ((((hugs))))


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Old 01-03-2018, 04:56 PM
  #11

October 21st is a short amount of time to be over Ricochet. I cry all the time over the loss of my Kriss and she has been gone 5 years.

Quote:
I also picture him looking at me while I had to sort of pull him into the vet's office, knowing that he would not come out. He just looked at me. I can't shake it.
Don't be hard on yourself, I think Ricochet was letting you know it was his time to leave.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:57 PM
  #12

Hugs! You are not a nut. We had to put our lab asleep 2 years ago in November, DH and I took our cats to the vet last week to get shaved and both of us about cried. We had not been back since we took him. DD usually takes them to get shaved. As we pulled in I was gulping, DH said couldn't you find another vet? We also blamed ourselves that we should of known he was sick sooner. What I am trying to say is please know you are not alone or crazy. I am sure you and your vet both did what was the best for your fur baby.
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Old 01-03-2018, 04:59 PM
  #13

We lost our hound two and a half years ago, and DH will still sometimes tear up thinking about him. October is such a short time ago to be worried you’re not “over it” yet.
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:04 PM
  #14

I am sorry you are feeling this way. My dog passed away 2 years ago and it still brings tears to my eyes.
I cried pretty regularly for months. I would get irrationally angry at people walking their dogs for a few months. We put our dog down because she had a tumor and seizures - she was 14. I still wonder if we made the right decision. I think your process is normal and will take awhile.

I had a dream shortly after my dog's death. It was her in the backyard and she was running and happy. The colors were extra vibrant and there were leaves on the grass, blue sky...perfect. I took it as a sign from her that she was in peace. I hope you find peace and give yourself some time.
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:06 PM
  #15

We put my Lucy down 18 years ago this March. I still cry over her. Some loves are not to be gotten over. It does become less intense. But I totally get that grief. Her tag from her dog collar is still on my keychain. I'm sending you hugs.
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:08 PM
  #16

I am so sorry! We had to put down our beloved 11year old lab just before Christmas a year ago. It is so hard when you have to make the decision to end their pain. Just realize that the pain needed to end, and you loved him every minute you could. Our vet told us that we made the right decision and thanked us for loving him.

MathWA is right. The grief comes in waves. I still find myself grieving the dog we had prior to the lab! They each have their own unique ‘dogalities’ and became such a big part of our everyday lives.

(((Hugs)))
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Old 01-03-2018, 05:39 PM
  #17

Like others have said to reassure you that what you are going through is normal as sad as it is. In time you will be able to think about Richochet without the tears, but with just maybe a lump in your throat. You will never forget him and the joy he brought you and the love you gave him. It is so tough to love a pet and then to have to make the decision you had to make. I once read a book by a vet that said he would rather a pet owner make that decision one week too soon rather than one day too late. You did what a true friend would do to spare him unnecessary distress. (( hugs))
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:04 PM
  #18

I am so sorry. I cried frequently for a year when I lost my 18 year old dog. I would sometimes cry during year 2. Things would trigger it. She had been with me through every trial of my adult life and it was so hard. I felt like a member of my family was gone. I can still tear up over certain things.

I didn't want another dog for a long time. I finally saw a little guy online that was in the pound that tugged at my heart and adopted him. It helps to have another dog to love after you are ready. I wish their life spans were longer.

Your hurt is still fresh. It's going to take time. You made the best decision you could out of love for your dog. Don't blame yourself.
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Old 01-03-2018, 06:29 PM
  #19

Thanks for the kind words and advice and shared stories.

It just sucks. I guess there is no way around it.

I try to tell myself, you feel like you lost your best friend because you did lose your best friend.

I know I will get another dog (just seeing all the dogs that need a home out there is so sad) but I think I need a little time first.

Thanks again.... It helps to know others are going/have gone through it and crying is normal.

"A dog's life is too short. Their only fault, really." Agnes Sligh
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:03 PM
  #20

My heart hurts for you. I'm so sorry. Go ahead and cry. It's a sad time and it will be for a while. I dread the day. I will be devastated!!! Try to shut out those guilty thoughts - don't dwell on them. Replace them with wonderful memories of your little Ricochet. (Great name, btw!)
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:13 PM
  #21

You are not alone. I posted last week that we lost our beloved 9 year old lab last week. He was sick only 8 days and passed after surgery. Dh and I are still a mess. They were our constant companions for a long time and it is so strange without them. I know it’s going to take me a while to feel ok. Hang in there.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:22 PM
  #22

I think you are just grieving. It has not been very long ago that he passed. Our dog passed a year ago, and i spent several months extremely upset. It was traumatic letting him suffer trying to let nature take it's course. Then there was the guilt when I finally decided it was time. I felt guilty for giving in, but I felt even guiltier for waiting too long. Even when I felt I was fine, the grief would get me. In July, seven months after losing Otis, I saw an
old woman pushing a dog stroller with a cute little dog in it. I tried to tell my sister that's what i needed for Otis when he got old, but as soon as I opened my mouth, I couldn't speak. I've only recently been able to talk about my dog without breaking down. Then there are days when I still choke up. I am getting better. It takes time. I think with grief the pain is always there, we just learn to tuck it away.

I don't believe there is any right or wrong answer. Sickness and death is ugly. Losing a dear pet is very hard. You will get through this, even if only one day at a time.
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Old 01-03-2018, 07:31 PM
  #23

I am so sorry. You are grieving and grieving is on your own timetable. It is no different than losing a human loved one. There are still times when I think I didn't do all I could for my mom, that I put her in the nursing home too soon, things like that. I think guilt is part of grief no matter what the specifics of it are. Its OK to grieve as long as you feel the need!

Ricochet was a special guy. Just seeing his pictures I fell in love with him. The first time I ever saw him on FB I called my DH into the living room to see that beautiful dog! I never even met him, but there was always a special place in my heart for that little guy. I am being very sincere about what I am saying.

(((HUGS))) and may the peace of God comfort you!

Nancy
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Old 01-03-2018, 08:44 PM
  #24

You are not a nut! I heard on the news today that the law is now even recognizing pets in divorces. The attorney on the news said that in the past, in the eyes of the law pets were like furniture or property. Now they are much more like children (in the eyes of the law as well!).

Source:http://www.chicagotribune.com/news/l...218-story.html

On the Rachel Ray show today, she almost started crying about her first dog that past away (Boo). We all love our pets so very much.

I am so sorry for your loss. I just went through a scare with my cat and I understand the emotion.

Hang in there. You will heal, over time. Have you ever thought of maybe volunteering at the shelter? My mom did this after our family dogs died. It was helpful for her.
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I'm so sorry
Old 01-03-2018, 09:00 PM
  #25

It is so difficult. It has only been a couple of months since you lost him. I still miss my Hogan and at times second guess my decision. It's been a year and a half. Since then I lost my almost 18 year old cat. I still miss him every time I get in the shower.

Be easy on yourself. You did what was right. You didn't want him to suffer.
Sending hugs.
Kathy
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Old 01-04-2018, 09:08 AM
  #26

We put my favorite cat of all time down in April of 2011. Her picture is still on my phones lock screen. She was beautiful, smart and funny. Even our friends who did not like cats liked her. I truly loved her. So even today almost 7 years later I can cry over her.
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So normal
Old 01-04-2018, 09:23 AM
  #27

Oh, Tammy, it's so hard to lose your best friend. It's been such a short time. Try to take comfort in knowing you did the right thing, the only thing you could do. If he was in pain earlier, you would have known. You made sure he had a great quality of life for all of his days, knowing he was loved. THAT was the look he gave you. It was the look of total trust, knowing that your final act of love was to make sure he didn't suffer. He loved you and trusted you, and you didn't let him down. (((Tammy)))

It took me a good year to accept that our first "baby" was gone- she was 11 yo when her kidneys went. I cried for the longest time. It takes as long as it takes. Be kind to yourself.
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Old 01-04-2018, 02:54 PM
  #28

Thanks again for all the replies. I read the ones from last night but felt too emotionally drained to say much back.

Quote:
I think along with him being your constant companion, you also have had other big changes in your life (DS moving out to be closer to his job).
Yes, it was kind of a one-two punch. Ricky died exactly three weeks after my son moved out.

Maestra, I am not a cat person, but wow, she was pretty!

Sprite, I have thought of volunteering at the shelter, but have not heard back yet. (I put in an application) Good to hear it helped your mom.

Quote:
he first time I ever saw him on FB I called my DH into the living room to see that beautiful dog!
He really was, wasn't he? People stopped me ALL the time to ask about him.

twin2, I know what you mean. I go back and forth between feeling guilty that he was suffering for too long or feeling I should have given him another day.
There is no winning with that kind of guilt.


Quote:
She had been with me through every trial of my adult life and it was so hard. I felt like a member of my family was gone. I can still tear up over certain things.
They are totally a part of our families. Ricky had been with us since the day we moved into our current home. I had literally never lived here without him.

Quote:
I once read a book by a vet that said he would rather a pet owner make that decision one week too soon rather than one day too late.
Interesting. That is something to consider. As an aside, I do not know how the vets do it, seeing that so often, and how devastated the owners are.

Quote:
They each have their own unique ‘dogalities’ and became such a big part of our everyday lives.
They really do! I try to remember all of the funny things Ricky did. He was such a character.

Quote:
would get irrationally angry at people walking their dogs for a few months
Me, too. Not angry, maybe but I would look away.

My son was home for almost a week at Christmas; it was great having him home, though he was out and about much of the time. But I was, too. I have considered getting another dog, but I am also getting used to having some freedom, too, not having anyone that i need to get home to, or be responsible for. That is a big change for me, after 20+ years of being a single mom to a boy, and then an even bigger boy and a large dog.

Thanks, truly, everyone, for your advice and kind words and sharing about the pets you've loved and lost...
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Old 01-04-2018, 07:47 PM
  #29

You are absolutely not a nut. You will never "get over it" and that's ok. Losing a pet has to be one of the hardest things to experience. Sending your heart a hug...
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Old 01-06-2018, 08:16 AM
  #30

Not a nut at all. You loved Ricochet deeply and he was your best friend. I understand that kind of love for a pet as I have it with my dog. I can’t imagine losing him and there are times I worry about just that. He saved me from my overwhelming grief of losing my husband. I still grieve my husband and he’s been gone 7 years. That kind of grief is the price of loving deeply.

Be gentle with yourself. Hugs
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