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How to move on from losing the best dog ever ...

(59 Posts)
furbaby Sat 16-Nov-13 21:11:29

After losing our darling boy in may (staffy who had cancer aged 12) We were so upset and didn, t think we would get over the heart break sad
After much deciding we got our new staffy boy puppy in august , he is s darling and we both love him lots but its just not helping how I thought it would .
dh seems to love him unconditionaly but I can, t help thinking about our old boy and how much smarter and better behaved he was as a pup .
I was looking at photos of old dog yesterday and said to dh "what happened to old boys kong"
Went to let new pup in from garden and he had old boys kong in his mouth , he must have found it in the garden smile
Did make me smile .
But how do you ever get over loosing a dog , I would give anything for just some time again with our special boy ...,, I love and miss him do much .
probably don, t help myself as have only pics of old boy on my phone and tablet .
dh seems content with our new pup but for me he could never reach the standard as extra special dog sad

Frettchen Wed 20-Nov-13 14:52:10

So sorry, furbaby and shepherd and, well, everyone on this thread.

I lost my girl in June. She was my world and she got osteosarcoma - bone cancer. It was the worst thing I think I've ever been through; over the space of 4 weeks she changed from being a happy, lively, wonderful dog, to being dosed up with pain killers and anti inflammatories, and losing the use of her leg, and just looking so sad and tired (and yes, some of that was my projecting my own feelings onto her.)

I got new pup exactly 1 month after losing old girl, although had picked him before I had to have her PTS. It was the only way I could cope with knowing that the end was coming.

Yes I compare him to her, and yes it's been hard, especially as he was so young, and I had the strain of house training, which I never had to do with my girl. But he is so different to her - different size, different temperament. And more than that - he needed me so much. He was 4 months old when he arrived (rescued from Romania and brought over by Action Aid for Animals) and he was so scared after the long journey, and so small, and even despite the lack of training or house training, he needed me so darn much from day one that I had to put my grief to one side for a little while and focus on him.

4 months later I can talk about my old girl without tearing up. I can make the comparisons/discuss the differences and it doesn't feel disloyal. I gave my girl everything I could, and it would be unfair not to do the same for my new boy.

(p.s. your dogs all look gorgeous, furbaby )

Aquelven Wed 20-Nov-13 15:31:30

Like the gentleman who was mentioned, I too have loved & lost many dogs over the years. My mum was always involved in breeding, showing & judging & my dad trained working sheepdogs, so when my mum died in my teens I just took over her kennels & carried on with the breeding & showing.That was forty years ago so I've had lots of dogs,all of whom have been amazing & special.
I think the best explanation I ever got of how you deal with the loss was from an old lady I used to chat to round the show rings who'd bred dogs for over sixty years. She said when an old one dies the younger ones don't nudge them out of your heart. They snuggle down & make their own, new place in there amongst all the oldies.

furbaby Wed 20-Nov-13 15:31:53

Thank you Frettchen think I love the picture of my oldboy In his party hat best smile he was waiting for his birthday doughnut and he sat for ages while I was farting around witn the camera .

I am sorry that your grieving a special dog too , that must have been so hard to see her going downhill and to lose the use of her legs sad
How nice to get a dog from Action aid , he must think hes won the lottery living with you after such a crap start to his life .
Yes it took me about 4 months before I did, nt start blubbing every time his name was mentioned blush

furbaby Wed 20-Nov-13 15:33:43

What a lovely thought Aquelen
My favourite dogs snugged uo together in my heart smile

ButThereAgain Wed 20-Nov-13 15:45:03

A lovely image smile, but now I'm picturing my fearsome dead JRT picking huge fights with my large and clumsy dead spinone about who gets to snuggle up where in my heart. I bet the spinone gets kicked out and has to sleep in my kidney or somewhere else that's not comfy.

Shepherd, I'm so very sorry to hear about your little dog's death. What a terrible shock for you.sad I still have a memory burnt into me of my mum carrying my poor dog from the roadside. Take care.

And sympathy to all of you on the thread who have lost dogs.

hellymelly Wed 20-Nov-13 15:54:09

It takes a really long time to get over losing a dog, and the relationship took years to build, so a new puppy really won't fill the void for a while, and even when you are in your stride with newdog, you still miss olddog. I got my last dog only 3 weeks after losing my darling old boy, and for a year I was still really upset. This time it has been longer, 18m, and I am getting a new puppy after Christmas.

runningonwillpower Wed 20-Nov-13 15:56:39

Our old girl is on her last legs. In just the last few months she has aged so much and it's just a matter of time.

It's breaking my heart.

They are so much a part of the family but they go from baby to geriatric in such a short time!

furbaby, of course you miss him. The new pup can't be a replacement - that would be unfair to both of them because they're individuals. You'll come to love the new guy in his own right. But you'll always love the old guy for the same reason.

Sorry for your loss. It does hurt. (Especially if he was your first dog - they are always the most special.)

furbaby Wed 20-Nov-13 19:46:10

Lol ButThereAgain yes was thinking similar .
my old boy would be sitting on new boy to shut him up .

helly how exciting to be getting new pup , have you chosen yet or waiting to see whats available .
do you know what breed yet ?

running yes he was first dog that I owned as an adult .
and he was so very special , I would have given my life for him . Like I said if only I could just have one last cuddle .
I am so sorry that your dog is slowing down sad
If its any comfort our old staffy whos 16 slowed down about 5 years ago and keeps giving us a fright with her health but each time we think this is the end she picks up and gets a new lease of life smile
I do love her but she was sort of dumped with us years ago and have never had the same connection as with darling old boy .

furbaby Wed 20-Nov-13 19:54:15

sheperd are you out there ?
Can, t stop thinking of you at this sad time .
life sucks sometimes .

Crownjewel Wed 20-Nov-13 21:19:04

OP, I'm so sorry to read your post.

Shepherd, I hate to think what you're going through right now, the same happened to my gorgeous Jimmy many years ago and I still shed a tear to think about it now. I can't say anything that will make it any better, but please be assured that I'm thinking of you.

OP, my mum's collie x (my childhood best pal) sadly passed away with cancer a few years ago. He had an amazing life, filled with laughter, long walks, and cuddles. He had also seen my mum through two marital splits, two kids leaving home, deaths of several other (human) family members, and remained her constant loyal buddy throughout.

A few weeks after he passed, my mum saw a notice on a newsletter from the rescue centre from where she'd re-homed him 12 years earlier, advertising a new home wanted for a (different breed, different age, different temperament) boy with the same name. She saw it as an omen (if you believe in that sort of thing). It was Grand National day and there was also a horse running with the same name as Dog1 and Dog2.

Fate was watching her, we went to visit the centre that day, and Dog2 came home with us (both of us were in floods of tears all the time we were there). You couldn't imagine a more different dog to Dog1, but Dog2 has certainly made his mark on her home and brought her much happiness. He wasn't a replacement for Dog1, but instead he filled a different place in her heart and is just as loving and loyal (although more daft and totally different personality-wise) as Dog1.

Like a PP mentioned, Dog1's ashes still live on a shelf in the living room, and it's still the done thing for all family members to say hello to Dog1 and pat the box as we walk in!

We also sponsored a kennel at the rescue centre in memory of Dog1 - it costs a couple of pounds a month, and we were able to choose the wording for a plaque in his memory on the wall next to the kennel. This really helped my mum make the transition, as she felt that Dog1s memory was able to live on by way of a good cause.

HTH and thinking of you x

mistlethrush Wed 20-Nov-13 21:35:18

we lost mistledog to osteosarcoma last October - she also went downhill so quickly... DS is 8 now - 7 then - and has never known life without a dog around. Mistledog was so good with him (and he was taught how to be good around dogs by her too). We didn't want a big gap because of that - and we found a new dog that we picked up 2 weeks later. She was also a rescue with a bit of a problematic background - but very keen to please people. we didn't choose her to be a replacement for mistledog - she couldn't be that and it wasn't fair to expect her to be. However, a year later, she occupies her own space in our lives and our hearts, another special dog in her own right.

furbaby Wed 20-Nov-13 21:35:34

Thats so nice crown that your mum has found another special dog smile
Even nicer that they pat darling dog 1,s ashes in recognition to the great dog he was .
I do hope he has a special life with your mum .
when I am out walking with new pup and find a feather (which is every walk) I always bring it home and place it on the rosemary plant in a pot by front door that my dd brought in memory of my old boy .
we do look like a pair of muppets new pup and I dressing a rosemary plant in feathers but hey ...

furbaby Wed 20-Nov-13 21:41:09

mistlethrush I am happy she has found a place in your hearts , and good for ds to grow up with mistledog 2 .
Dogs are so important in a childs life .

Crownjewel Wed 20-Nov-13 23:36:54

OP the feathers and rosemary bush are lovely grin your best pal lives on x

EvenBetter Thu 21-Nov-13 11:47:48

Nice to hear others in the same boat as me.
Our Best Dog Ever died in September aged 14 and we've had a wee pound puppy for 5 weeks now. I love her, and am protective of her but she's not her . I still miss our old lady and would do anything to have her back in our arms. But I can't. And this is our life now, without her.
I feel guilty for getting this puppy, our lady would have hated her, and us, for betraying her.

Someone sent me this link, it's a 'will' of a dog from the 20s and is funny and sweet. Basically saying 'get another dog. It'll honour my memory, but obviously he will never be as handsome or wonderful as me, but its not his fault'


mistlethrush Thu 21-Nov-13 12:56:04

I suppose what I meant to say was that you'll never manage to 'replace' that extra special dog - and getting a dog 'to replace' them is not fair on that new dog - and possibly yourselves and your memory of the old dog. However, there's absolutely nothing wrong with sharing your lives with a different dog - and in time, that different dog may well turn out to be special too - but almost certainly in a different way from Dear Dog 1.

(And in the early days of mistlehound I did wonder if we'd done the right thing - after clearing up yet another 'heap' or puddle - or when down the garden with my coat over my dressing gown at 4am in December to try to make sure that she did whatever she needed to do outside rather than inside, and on the walks where she bounced and bounced and we didn't know whether she'd ever have enough recall to be let off the lead. This was so different from mistledog who was so easy after her first couple of years... But it has all worked out in the end)

ormirian Thu 21-Nov-13 13:03:28

It will take time. Dad lost his JR over 2 years ago now and he still tears up at times. I have seen his attitude to our new dog which we got about 6 months after JR died, change from dubious standoffishness, to affection. Dogs do that to you.

When my cat died of cancer 5 years ago we bought an adorable little kitten after a few months and although I could see she was lovely I almost resented the fact that this silly little ball of fluff was attempting to replace my elegant, dignified old Jenny. But I ended up loving her just as much ( we lost her too after a year sad)

shepherdsdelight Fri 22-Nov-13 23:09:55

furbaby crown jewel and everyone else - thanks for your lovely thoughts and messages. I seem to be coping ok - maybe that is thanks to all the lovely support I have had. Anyone who has had a much loved pet pass away knows that sense of loss, and the massive hole that is left in your life when they go. People have been so kind and understanding and I have found that very comforting. thank you again MNers for your kindness.

furbaby Sat 23-Nov-13 20:45:01

I am so happy that you have lots of support sheperd more than welcome to pm me if you need any extra support .
it is just so bloody hard though , I feel so bad for you as your darling dog went early sad
At least our boy was 12 , mind you knowing it was his time and helping him pass to the other side was so dam hard .
we lost our boy in may and I don, t cry all the time now when I think about him but I do miss him so dreadfully .
I think now that I may own and love many dogs but there will always be specical place in my heart for the worlds best staffy x

minkersmum Mon 25-Nov-13 15:08:55

Had to stop reading as couldn't see from the bloody tears ..... argh... you lot!!

Think this feeling is so common. I liken it to friends. Some you enjoy your time with and you wouldn't be without but a rare few, maybe even just once in a lifetime you find a true soulmate. A connection that just can't be put into words.

I have had dogs my whole life. I have loved them all dearly. I currently have a rescue labradoodle who i love more than i could have ever imagined but I still hold a special place in my heart for my old girl who i rescued when i was a student. She only passed away last year. Just something about her made her so special to me, and me to her.

Owllady Mon 25-Nov-13 18:26:03

The truth of it is, you do not 'get over' it, you learn to live with it, that same you would with a human. I lost my sister when she was 21 and I was 24, and I cannot compare that pain to that, but also I did not find it easy to get over the death of my dogs either (and don't) and I remember when i had counselling part of it was I felt so sad that I had lost my sister because I loved her so much and she loved me and really it's the same with dogs. I understand that people who haven't got dogs wont 'get that' but they spend every day with you and quite a lot of the time are better companions than your human friends and relatives and they love you unconditionally

and they are reason to get up every day
a reason to get out and about
a reason to talk to other people
a reason to be more empathetic and sympathetic
but above all they give you so much for you what you might feel is so little in return, a walk, a feed a love, a warm basket/crate
and of course you feel sad that your companion has gone because you you used to do this and that and in my last dogs case, you were the only dog brave enough to not be bothered by dora the rottweiler (who was as soft as shitsmile) and loads of other small and big things that are 'just' your old dog

but your new dog just has a different personality and you will love them in a different way and appreciate their ways but it's okay to feel sad (and I felt guilty but there is no need to feel guilty for loving another dog!)smile

Owllady Mon 25-Nov-13 18:27:47

my sister would laugh at my post and me comparing her with a dog grin because she loved dogs too (my Mum inherited hers after her death)

Rowgtfc72 Tue 26-Nov-13 22:43:13

Have made an appt to have the old jack Russell pts next wed. He's sixteen and on his way out and would be cruel to let him suffer. I'll still have fat jack who's eleven but she's not old jack and never will be he's a dog in a million,but then so is she in her own way.

furbaby Wed 27-Nov-13 22:02:03

minkersmum your so right about the friends bit , some you get on better with and have that special connection and others you like but not quite in the same way .... just the same with dogs , some you connect with better .
sorry we made you cry smile

owllady I am sorry to hear that you lost your sister and at such a young age sad
Yes I sure she would be having a giggle at being compared to a dog ,
but as you say they are always there much more than friends and relatives and need you as much as you need them .

Rowgtfc72 tomorrow or week wednesday ? That must be so tough if even if the time is right sad
I will be thinking of you .
I think its tougher in some ways for us than them .
Having to make the decision that its the right time and lifting the phone to vets is just so heartbreaking .
They just trust us to do the right thing by them .

We know that we haven't got our 16 old girl for long sad
She has had a couple of health problems and we thought this is the beginning of the end but she has bounced back and is ok at moment .
She has lots her marbles and gets lost in the house often but the puppy has taught her new trick of begging for food . She never had much interest in our food before pup .
who said you can't teach an old dog new tricks smile

Wordsmith Fri 29-Nov-13 12:07:58

In tears here. We lost our 11 month old Cairn a couple of days ago. Came downstairs to find him lying dead in his crate. I thought he was asleep. sad. We had no warning, other than he was a bit sick the evening before but nothing remarkable. It was just before DH and kids were due to leave house for work/school and I was to go to a meeting. None of that happened. Our lives stood still with grief. Can't understand how and why it could happen to such a gorgeous, fun-loving, friendly, cuddly and above all young pup!

We decided not to have a post mortem - nothing would bring him back. We have had him cremated and will scatter his ashes on one of his favourite walks in the summer.

We are going away at Christmas to the seaside and were so looking forward to him running up and down the beach. We thought about not going, but have decided against it. It is a place we as a family love, but we had not taken him there yet, so hopefully our thoughts will be happy ones and we won't be haunted by memories of him running on that beach, or playing catch on that hill, or whatever.

What is helping is that we have decided as a family we want another dog. He was our first dog and we have a huge dog-shaped hole in our lives. We are going to see some pups this weekend who won't be ready until January - same breed but girls not boys. We will never forget our little lad but I need to fill that hole. I think in a month or two we may be ready to welcome a new pup into our lives.

Big hugs to everyone who has been through this loss. I have lost cats before but have never felt like this.

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