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Finding it so hard

(21 Posts)
missingmyfriend Fri 09-Nov-12 11:11:04

My lovely 15 year old dog was put to sleep last week. He was showing signs of old age and I knew he would probably start becoming ill over the next few months, but I'm finding extremely difficult. I miss him so much it hurts. He was my baby, had been through so much with me and was always there to comfort me. I don't have any children of my own and yes, I had probably humanised him way too much, but he was my little furry boy. Everyone misses him, but I feel like theres a huge hole in my chest and everywhere I look reminds me of him. I might sound a bit crazy but really struggling to deal with the circumstance of him being PTS, as I was not there. My friend had been walking him while I was at work and he collapsed, I had to talk over the phone with the vet, as my friend had rushed him there. I miss his presence, his lovely smiling eyes, his little nudges to let me know he was there, his pitter patter on the floorbaards, his snoring, everything. sad

pumpkinsweetie Fri 09-Nov-12 11:14:28

So sorry to hear your sad news.
My thoughts are with you opsad, our pets are more than just pets they are our companions.
Your feelings are completely natural, i remember once grieving for my last dog when she was pts, it was like losing a dear friend.

pumpkinsweetie Fri 09-Nov-12 11:15:16

I still think about her many years later, she was a beautiful dog x

missingmyfriend Fri 09-Nov-12 11:22:11

thank you pumpkin I know it will get easier to bear and I'll never forget him. <filling up again> I need to pull myself together and remember what a long and happy life he had.

Principality Fri 09-Nov-12 13:33:51

Take time and be kind to yourself.

Ddog was pts in September and I still regularly have a cry.

All I can say is that it really hurts and it is losing a family member so don't push yourself. It is ok to fall apart, he was not "just" a dog, he was a very special friend.

I posted on here when I was really struggling, and one poster really touched me. She said, you have loved deeply and unconditionally and that love does not diminish because of mere physical separation.

Makes me sob and yet was very comforting.

spudballoo Fri 09-Nov-12 14:25:26

Oh I'm so sorry to read this - I have had a couple of cats put to sleep and I was in pieces for a long, long time afterwards. Is your vet nice, could you maybe pop in and have a bit of a chat with someone there? My old vet was just lovely, he even wrote a letter of condolence to me after both cats were put to sleep.

I don't think losing a pet is any different than losing a human family member. It leaves a big, big gap in your life. When my mother died I found myself thinking that I never wanted to 'get over' her death because that would have meant her life meant nothing to me, whereas it meant everything. I think it's just the same with pets. You will, with time, get used to living without him but you won't ever forget him or 'get over' him.

Be kind to yourself and one day the time might be right to find a new furry pal. But for now remember the good times, and be happy that he was put to sleep without having suffered or being in pain.

Grief is so hard and cruel. I feel for you.

wriggletto Fri 09-Nov-12 14:53:09

I'm so sorry you're sad, and can understand a little of what you're going through - I don't have children either, and my dog is the outlet for a lot of love; she's my constant companion, she shares my home and my routine, and I'm all of her world. When she goes, so will all my memories of our time together, and I will miss her horribly. Though any goodbye hurts, I can absolutely see how not being there at the end means you didn't have the goodbye that you'd have wanted.

But keep telling yourself that the final dash to the vets was only a few minutes, compared with the fifteen years of happiness you and your dog shared together. It's the hardest part of owning a dog, knowing that they're not here for very long - allow yourself to grieve, because it's a sign that you've loved.

missingmyfriend Fri 09-Nov-12 15:08:36

Your messages mean a lot thank you so much for sharing your experiences with me, I know it's hard.
I have received a card from the vet today with a lovely handwritten note saying he understand how hard it must be and that it was very quick and peaceful. My friend was with him and she said she told him how much I loved him and he looked like he was smiling, but it still hurts and I feel so guilty that I wasnt there. A colleague has taken the time to ask how I'm feeling today, which is so kind as she's a dog lover too and has obviously been through this. She said my boy would have wanted it that way, because he wouldn't have wanted me to have to go through that and he chose to go to sleep in his own time. The vet did say when he rang that his pulse was very weak and he was 'letting go' but would I like to help him go and I said yes through uncontrollable tears.
I'm pouring my heart out here and not making much sense but its hard to keep it all bottled up.
Thank you again and I will re-read your messages and take comfort in them x

RedwingWinter Fri 09-Nov-12 18:27:02

I'm so sorry to hear this. You gave your boy 15 wonderful years and he knew that you loved him; the vet and your friend did the right thing for him at the end - and so did you, from the other end of the phone. A last minute dash to the vet wouldn't have been fair on him, even if it were possible. It's so hard when these things happen. Be kind to yourself and give yourself time to grieve. It gets easier, and you will always have the lovely memories of the time with your boy.

Cuebill Fri 09-Nov-12 19:53:11

Oh my your post made me feel so sad. If it is any consolation I know exactly how you feel - it is horrendous when you lose such a friend and companion. In time I hope you can look back on the happy memories. What a fantastic dog to have 15 years being totally loved and adored he could ask for no more.

missingmyfriend Mon 12-Nov-12 12:39:57

Thank you for your kind replies. I'm still missing him so much. I have found it really hard over the weekend and there were lots of first times...first time of doing certain things without him there...and I feel like members of the family have just moved on and forgotten him. I find myself mentioning him all the time. He was such a wonderful soul. I felt immediately comforted when I cuddled him and he came bounding up to me. I feel empty. I know I will feel differently in time, but I never imagined how hard this would affect me.

Ephiny Mon 12-Nov-12 15:50:28

Sorry to hear this. My old boy finally had to be put to sleep a couple of weeks ago too, it is the hardest decision to make sad

In your case it sounds like it was a shock for you, and you need to give yourself a while to get over that. You won't ever forget him or stop missing him, but the shock and grief will ease with time, and you'll be able to remember him with fondness more than pain.

It really is such a quick, gentle, peaceful thing for them at the end. They just go to sleep, and it's over. That's how it was for my boy - he just put his head down on my knee like he would for a cuddle or a snooze, and he was gone - and it will have been for yours too.

He had a long happy life with someone who loved him, and a quick painless end - what more could any of us ask for?


Floralnomad Mon 12-Nov-12 15:54:44

ephiny that was very well put . Sorry for you loss * missing*

FurryDogMother Mon 12-Nov-12 16:04:22

I feel so much empathy for you - I lost my 'baby' a year ago this coming Thursday, and I'm finding this week hard. Time does ease the pain and lets the happy memories shine through, but there will always be that dog shaped hole in our hearts, I think. I have several such holes, now (6, actually)- but I would never wish them away, those holes are reminders of the precious time we spent together - and please do take comfort from knowing that you made the right decision when you had to, and saved your friend from suffering.

I have another dog now (we have 2, but one is very much my husband's dog, the other is mine) - in no way a replacement for my lost friend, but rather in honour of him. She's the same (cross) breed, but very different in many ways - she's just a year old (I couldn't cope without a dog in my life for long), and is bringing us a lot of joy (and trauma, had forgotten about the chewing and house training stages, but we're through them!).

Don't beat yourself up with 'what ifs' and guilt that you weren't there - and don't for a moment think that your grief is in any way inappropriate because he was 'just' a dog. Dogs are people too, mine are the children I never had. I really do feel for you - not everyone 'gets' it, but I feel a bit sorry for those who don't, because it means they've not experienced that very special relationship. Be gentle with yourself.

Abra1d Mon 12-Nov-12 16:16:52

I have been through this three times with dogs and it never gets easier. I send you my empathies. Dogs are important. I totally get why you are feeling so low.

My advice, though, might not be what you would expect. Get another dog or puppy as soon as possible. You will in no way be being disloyal to your old friend, who is irreplaceable in your heart. You won't betray him. I think every single day of my three other dogs and remember them with love and gratitude. One in particular died in very tragic circumstances and I am very sad still about this and wish things could have gone differently. The other two were old and I remember them less sadly now, but smile and laugh, thinking of their naughty ways.

Our new dog has brought us great joy. She doesn't replace the others: she is herself. However, we love to compare what she is doing now with what the others did and as others have said: it honours the dogs who have died.

Don't leave it too long.

Ephiny Mon 12-Nov-12 16:17:42

It's similar for me FurryDogMother - we still have BearDog and he is delightful and a real comfort to me, but deep-down he is DH's dog not 'mine'. OldDog was my boy. I don't have kids either and when he came into my life, and bonded with me and loved me and depended on me like no one was the first time I felt like I was someone's 'mummy'.

I really believe dogs are people too. Don't care what anyone says.

Sorry, OP, don't mean to hijack your thread. But you can see you're not alone here.

missingmyfriend Wed 14-Nov-12 09:50:24

your messages are so kind thank you. sad I'm missing him so much.

PuddinAforeDinner Wed 14-Nov-12 10:40:56

Oh missingmyfriend, you have my deepest sympathy ((unmumsnetty hugs)). I am in the same boat as you.

My beautiful 10.5 year old chocolate lab went on Saturday and I too was not there at the end. He was fine in the morning, went out for his walk, breakfast etc. then by lunchtime he was drooling and having difficulty breathing. We rushed him to the vets and was told to leave him there so that they could do tests etc. By 6 o'clock the vet had phoned to say he had collapsed and there was nothing they could do. Apparently he had a massive tumor and twisted guts, causing major organ failure sad.

We are all in shock at the moment and can't quite believe what has happened and I'm sure you feel exactly the same.

Don't beat yourself up about not being there trying not to do the same here, your dog was very much loved and had a wonderful life with you.

Run free at the bridge, until we meet again xx

missingmyfriend Wed 14-Nov-12 17:00:00

We are all so lucky to have shared our lives with such loving wonderful dogs.

What Ephiny said. I firmly believe my boy had a human soul and I always called him my furry son/boy and so did all of my friends and family.

I just can't seem to let him go. I'm still talking to him around the house. Is this normal?

doglover Wed 14-Nov-12 17:30:12

You gave your beloved dog all he could want - he was your family. You are grieving for him and need to go through this process. So, yes, it IS normal. All my love - we will be going through the same process soon with our old girl and it truly hurts. Hugs. xx

Gay40 Wed 14-Nov-12 17:34:11

I'm sorry to hear this. I recently lost a much loved pet who we only had for 6 months but made a massve impact on our lives and we miss her very much.
They are never just an animal, they are part of your family xx

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