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Coping with death of DDog and what to do with his things

(41 Posts)
Raia Mon 27-Jul-15 23:30:11

Please help sad We had to have DDog put to sleep last Thursday. He was nearly 13 and he had Cushing's Disease and had been suffering from intervertebral disc disease since 2009. He had been going steadily downhill this year, especially after a fall in April. In the end he came down with a chest infection that took hold of his little old body and we couldn't bear to put him through another round of treatments. Our vet agreed that euthanasia was the most humane thing to do at that point.

Obviously we've been in a terrible state since it happened, all the normal grieving stuff. I felt sort of okay today, but tonight I just couldn't bring myself to throw his half eaten tin of dog food away in the general rubbish. Even more ridiculously, there are two poo bags (not empty ones!) and I know it's absolute madness not to throw them out, but I don't feel able to do it. Am I completely mad? I feel like I must be. I can't in all honesty keep a desiccated poo and half a tin of dog food, but it feels too painful to throw anything connected with him into the general rubbish.

I suppose I'm hoping that someone will tell me this is normal! And I'm wondering how on earth other people manage in these early days when the beloved pet's things are still everywhere. I'm leaving his bed etc where it is for the time being but plan to put his things away into a storage box when I feel able to do it.

I just feel so very cut up about this. I love him so much, it literally feels unbearable that he's not here any more.

DragonsCanHop Mon 27-Jul-15 23:33:42

I'm so sorry sad

It is very normal to feel this way. Do you have someone that could deal with the food and poo bag for you?

Everything else could go to a local rescue, you may feel a tiny bit better by helping other dogs not as fortunate as yours because they had you flowers

lilacblossomtime Mon 27-Jul-15 23:36:39

Very sorry to hear that. You should certainly keep his things out for now, but do throw away the poo. Maybe put a nice photo of him up to look at. I am sure you will miss him very much so just do what feels right. flowers

BurningBridges Mon 27-Jul-15 23:37:35

I am so sorry for your loss Raia, it sounds like you cared for him so much during his final years, he must have felt very loved.

When my DDog died earlier this year, I did throw out food etc., immediately, in fact when we got back from the crematorium (same day) I started throwing things out, his bed, even the clothes I was wearing when he died - that was how I dealt with it. But eventually I got a special box and we packed his blanket and collar, special toys etc. We also chose his favourite ball to be buried with his ashes. He was cremated with some of his blankets and his favourite soft toy.

These things are important, so take some time to think what you could store in your own special box - doing that might help you to let go of the other stuff you don't want to keep. And yes, it is unbearable, as many of us on here know. When will you go shopping for your box?

Wolfiefan Mon 27-Jul-15 23:39:35

I'm so sorry.
Could you put things away somewhere until you feel able to deal with them.
(I had a major wobble throwing out empty cardboard from pet food the recycling day after Dcat was pts.)
Can you plant something or make a photo book to commemorate his life?

BurningBridges Mon 27-Jul-15 23:40:02

Dragons has just reminded me - I held a fundraising coffee morning for the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement service in my DDog's honour, that was important to me too. Do have a look at their website and read about their helpline, I am still using it 5 months down the line. Well worth knowing about.

Raia Mon 27-Jul-15 23:53:30

Thank you so much for your replies. I was scared that someone might think it was a sick joke because I know how stupid the poo bag thing must sound. I've just been hit by another big wave of grief tonight I suppose, triggered by having to deal with disposing of these things.

I also feel very strange about the top I was wearing when he died. It has his hairs on it and I can't bear to wash it.

The idea of choosing special things to keep in a box is a really nice one and we will do that, keeping special things that make us think of our happy memories of him. I had just ordered a special harness for him which didn't arrive in time so I've asked for that to be donated to a rescue (it was made to measure but the company that makes them said they often get requests from rescue organisations for mobility aids). I will probably donate some other things for dogs in need when I've brought myself to sorting it all out.

We are having him cremated individually and his ashes will be returned to us at the end of this week. I feel dreadful about not knowing where his body is exactly or how he has been handled or even when exactly he is being cremated. I have irrational feelings of guilt and worry about him being out there somewhere on his own.

I expect all these sorts of feelings are fairly normal aren't they. I am so grateful for having somewhere I can put this down in words, however crazy it all must sound. Thank you flowers

Mutt Mon 27-Jul-15 23:55:14

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Raia Tue 28-Jul-15 00:07:51

Yes, that's it, it feels disloyal to put anything of his in the rubbish. I know it's utterly ridiculous but I can't help it. The tin of food and the poo bags (omg I can't believe I'm actually writing this, I'm appalled at myself at how crazy I'm being!) hold very painful memories of his last hours, so they're not really things I want to keep, but they are so full of meaning it doesn't feel right to just chuck them. Burying them may be the answer, thanks for that idea - I could light a candle and bury these things and say a prayer for him. That would feel better than throwing them away as if they mean nothing.

I hadn't heard of the Blue Cross Bereavement Service, thanks so much for that. I might have to give them a call. I have been thinking that when this initial crazy grief stage passes I definitely want to do something for dogs in need whether it's making a donation to a dog related charity in DDog's memory or volunteering for the Cinnamon Trust or something like that.

Mutt Tue 28-Jul-15 00:16:10

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Adarajames Tue 28-Jul-15 00:16:45

My girl was pts 4 weeks ago tomorrow, her bowls and bed are still where they were when she went, my younger dog wouldn't sleep on old girls bed for days, was used to being told it wasn't her bed, but she does now sleep there which has helped me I think. Keep things for memories if it helps, but maybe not those more likely to start smelling items!
I still get upset but now I can also smile and remember her younger and rushing around with the bright intelligent eyes that dulled towards the end, which helps
Hugs for you

Mutt Tue 28-Jul-15 00:21:29

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

SmileAndNod Tue 28-Jul-15 07:23:48

I'm so sorry for your lossflowers

We had to have our old boy PTS after he suffered a stroke that he wouldn't recover from. He was 17 and I had had him since he was 8 weeks old. I was distraught.

I couldn't bear having his things around the house - I gave his special blankie to DB for his dog, beds, toys etc went to the local dogs trust. I didn't keep anything apart from his puppy collar and his last collar and tag.

Five and abit years on, we are now considering another puppy (currently keeping fingers crossed that the bitch is pregnant) and I wish I had kept something of his.

I wish I had known about that bereavement service. At the time I was in such grief I didn't know what I was doing. I had helpful comments from colleagues like 'it was only a dog'sad.

You're not being crazy. At all. You've lost a much loved member of your family.

JoffreyBaratheon Tue 28-Jul-15 09:19:26

Just to echo what everyone else has said. It's normal. I'd get someone else to deal with the poo and food, maybe make a treasure box for very special things (my old staffy died in 2006 and the son who was closest to him still has a shoe box with his photos and his collar in - only last week he brought it out to look at the photos).

Our 14 year old bull terrier died 11 months ago and I was OK with the food and binning her last poos, so did that myself. But the thing I struggled with was - like others here - the top I was wearing the day we took her to be PTS. I couldn't bear to throw it out or wear it again. About two months ago, I had a huge clothing cull and felt able to put it out for the charity shop. I felt better when it was gone. Her bowls, I washed up myself and put to one side for the next dog (I knew before she went there would be a next dog). Next dog now eats from her bowls, and I feel they belong to them both.

One thing she had I will never part with as long as I live, is her collar. It was custom made for her. I never thought I'd be able to do this but - when pup got adult sized, I gave it to her. She wears it a lot. That would have been difficult say 10 months ago but now, it actually helps me.

Totally a part of grieving. And apart fro the urgent stuff - which someone else should do for you - no need to part with anything or make any decisions at all til you feel ready. It is not strange or weird. We love our pets and they are a huge part of family life. Saying goodbye happens over time, in stages - just get someone else to do the urgent stuff and keep the rest safe.

The treasures box really helped my (autistic) son let go of his beloved dog and our new dog reminds him so much of him that he actually wanted to go through it, last week, after all these years. Love to you at this horrendous time.

BurningBridges Tue 28-Jul-15 09:24:19

I thought I was going mad with grief, our DDog was only 5, we had him PTS so the guilt was/is overwhelming. I am still using the Blue Cross now, I think its essential. So sorry to hear of everyone's losses.

Raia Tue 28-Jul-15 10:25:21

I am so sorry for all your losses. It's the most awful thing sad

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Tue 28-Jul-15 11:31:51

I'm sorry for you Raia, it's awful isn't it? We've all been there and we know how you feel. Just do whatever you want, grief is individual and nobody can tell you how to feel or what to do. I would say though that if you want to bury things in the garden, bury them very deep. Otherwise you will wake up to a big messy hole and an empty tin.

Our old boy has been gone nearly eight months and his bed is still in the bag behind the sofa where we left it. We had to move it, he died a couple of weeks before Christmas and the tree always goes where his bed was. We used to put his bed in front of the fire for Christmas. What came hard was when we took the tree down and didn't put the bed back. It was about a month after he'd died though and not quite so raw. His collar and lead is still in the drawer in the hall though.

What did help to take our minds off missing him so much was the arrival of a puppy in April. I often feel quite guilt about it but he's a lovely dog, he can't live in the old boy's shadow and I can't be without a dog. He's not a replacement, he's just our next dog. Old boy was fantastic but I'm sure new boy will be too, in time.

We all deal with it in different ways. You just have to do whatever feels right to you.

MitchellMummy Tue 28-Jul-15 14:30:28

So very sorry, I'm ahead of you by exactly a week, also with a Cushing's boy. Totally normal to feel the way you do. Good idea about burying the poo and food - hadn't thought of that one. I keep boxes for all of our departed dogs. Collar, sympathy cards, petals from sympathy flowers, the drugs that I'd counted out to give him later in the day, sympathy emails, last ball he played with. Also write a list of all his little habits and one off things that made you laugh. I had months to get used to the idea this time round, unlike previous dogs, so the grieving process is easier in a way but still hits me when I least expect it. I've told lots of people fairly calmly, but told a couple of people this morning and cried. Not sure if you've been in this situation before but it does get better ... never forget them but it gets easier as time goes on. x

Raia Wed 29-Jul-15 09:38:27

MitchellMummy, I'm so sorry to hear you're in the same boat - sending you much sympathy flowers

Our dog got his Cushing's diagnosis only in December last year when he was 12 - I suspect he'd had it for quite some time before that but it hadn't been spotted. The vet put him on Vetoryl, but I didn't notice any improvement in his health at all tbh. His spinal condition was the main problem but it seemed like his immune system was very weak as the months went by - he had a persistent skin infection (for which he'd had a couple of courses of anti-biotics) and then the chest infection that carried him off in the end. Poor old boy.

Feeling a little less distraught each day but still an ever present hollow sadness. First thing in the morning is hard, because we have that millisecond of forgetting that he's not here any more, then remembering again. So many habits and rituals of our lives were centred around him, it feels disorientating. Then meal times are difficult because he would always be on the scrounge for food while we were eating, then "help with the washing up", then, when he was absolutely sure that all the food had gone, he would throw himself to the floor and writhe around in a sort of after dinner ecstasy grin We really, really miss that. DP still saves little bits of food for him, but I don't - I know he wouldn't approve of food being chucked out, so any bits that would have gone to him I eat on his behalf.

I've got an old tin trunk that used to have the kids' toys in it, which I'm going to use for DDog's things. The half eaten tin of food and poo bags x 2 are still outside (but securely sealed!).

Thanks again for your support everyone. This thread has been a huge help.


Wolfiefan Wed 29-Jul-15 09:44:02

I volunteer with the cinnamon trust. It has helped hugely since losing our cat.
Definitely do something to mark his life.
My cat is in my heart and mind. She's not "in" her bowls or litter tray. Gone but never forgotten. flowers

MitchellMummy Wed 29-Jul-15 16:33:00

Thank you. I'm glad you're feeling a little better day by day. Keeping busy helps. I moved the furniture round - that helped too.

Raia Thu 30-Jul-15 14:44:12

One week today. I still can't believe he's gone.

MsAdorabelleDearheartVonLipwig Thu 30-Jul-15 19:43:53

Oh Raia. flowers

He was a little cutie!

What's that saying, be sad not that they've gone but glad that they lived? Or something like that. He had a lifetime of love with you and you will always have that with you.

kathryng90 Thu 30-Jul-15 23:23:06

Oh I am sorry for your loss. When mine died I also had 2 small children. So they made and decorated a box to put her lead collar blanket toy in. We bundled up everything else bed, towels,bowls,food,treat tine etc and went to the local rescue to donate it. It really helped the kids (and me!) as the staff showed us some of the needy dogs.

We got another dog around 4 months later when I felt ready. Brown dog.

Around 6 months later (slob I am) I pulled out the washer and fished out a clump of her black hair and cried for ages. I couldn't throw it out so we added it to her box. But don't think that helps with poo or open tin of food.

Raia Fri 31-Jul-15 13:12:12

Oh Kathryn, the clump of hair, that's so sad and it just shows how you never forget them, never stop missing them or loving them.

Really, this thread has helped a lot. Thank you all again for your kindness and empathy. Yesterday was awful, today I felt okay enough to put some of his things away. We still have his photos out and I'm still sleeping with his stinky blanket.

We are picking his ashes up from the vet later.


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