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My dog died yesterday

(20 Posts)
Heartbroken21 Thu 30-Jul-20 10:25:25

The pain is unreal. He wasn’t my first dog but I don’t remember feeling this level of grief for the others. He was my baby. When does this get better? I can’t cope.

OP’s posts: |
Sarahlou63 Thu 30-Jul-20 10:27:04

flowers I feel your pain. My eldest dog died suddenly 10 days ago and the grief is almost overwhelming.

If it would help, can you tell me about him?

Heartbroken21 Thu 30-Jul-20 10:32:39

He was beautiful and only 20 months old. He was a big softy, loved to cuddle and run around having fun. He had my heart the moment I set eyes on him and I absolutely adored him, more than any other dog I’ve had. I don’t know why he was so much more special to me but he was.
I don’t know what to do with myself. I can’t stop crying. I can’t eat. I need him back and I need this pain to go away. It really hurts.

OP’s posts: |
RonaldMcDonaldio Thu 30-Jul-20 10:32:46

Every sympathy, I've been there. flowers

It DOES get better, I promise - it will always hurt, but you become better at handling it. Mine died in November, and although I have a new puppy now and can just about talk about my old girl without breaking down, it is still very painful. I have a little cry for her every day.

It will get easier to bear.

RhapsodyandAshe Thu 30-Jul-20 10:32:47

It's horrible isn't it. Cry cry and cry some more.
This might not be helpful but I try and think of pain over losing an animal, as a sign of the joy and love you had for this member of your family.
A cat I loved dearly died earlier this year. It was very sudden, he had a tumor (that no one was aware of) that ruptured.
We are all heart broken over it, but he was really loved, cared for well and had a very good life.

Heartbroken21 Thu 30-Jul-20 10:35:47

@Sarahlou63I’m sorry for your loss too. I think it’s being sudden that makes it so much worse, you can’t prepare yourself. It hits you like a tonne of bricks over and over again.

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Heartbroken21 Thu 30-Jul-20 10:41:24

@RonaldMcDonaldio Sorry for your loss too. Does the new puppy help? People are already telling me to get another one but it wouldn’t be him and I don’t think I could love another one the same. I feel like I’d be comparing them and feel sad that it’s not the dog I loved so very much.
I have another dog, she was my first as an adult, although I love her, the bond isn’t as strong as it was with my boy.

OP’s posts: |
Sarahlou63 Thu 30-Jul-20 12:22:09

If I were you, I would get another dog but not yet - your loss is too raw. There is a 'technique' you could try that works. Set aside one hour a day to grieve - cry, look at photos, write about him, whatever you feel like doing. After one hour, stop (you will be exhausted anyway) and go and do something that completely absorbs you. The next day, do the same but set your alarm for 50 minutes. The next day, 40 minutes and so on. It really does work. flowers

SelkieQualia Thu 30-Jul-20 12:27:26

It takes time. It sounds like he was a "heart dog". You don't get many of those.

RonaldMcDonaldio Thu 30-Jul-20 12:29:48

Funnily enough OP, it hasn't really helped, no. Don't get me wrong, the house was empty without a dog, it's lovely to have one around again and I'm very fond of him.

But when he was a puppy and the puppy blues hit, I really resented him because he turned our lives upside down (it wasn't my idea to get a puppy) and because he wasn't her. I found it quite difficult to bond with him - I would never be unkind or mean to him, I treat him lovingly of course - but I ached for her so much that something stopped me from creating that kind of relationship with him.

He's a lovely dog, he has a friendly, silly personality and loves everyone, whereas my old dog was vicious and bad tempered and neurotic. But she totally relied on me for safety and I protected her fiercely. We had an incredibly close bond (and now I'm crying again).

My new dog is a smasher and I do love him, I'm relieved he's "normal" and I'm grateful for that. But it's just not the same.

RunningFromInsanity Thu 30-Jul-20 12:52:54

Our puppy died at 11months, horrific accident, got hit by a car and died instantly.
I was dumbfounded. So confused that he was suddenly gone. Never felt grief like it.

And it was unfair because 11months was just long enough for us to fall head over heels in love with him, for him to have settled in perfectly. And then he was gone.

We got another dog very very quickly and it has helped. Difficult at first as we were constantly comparing them and in our eyes no other dog will be as perfect as he was.
But the new puppy is loving and cheeky and has helped heal our hearts.

JazzleRazzle Thu 30-Jul-20 13:25:03

I think it is so much more difficult when they die young and suddenly as you have the shock of it too. I have unfortunately lost quite a few elderly dogs over the years (we always have had several dogs and I have been around for a good while!) and it is devastating but you do know for a while before that you are heading towards it, and also there is a certain amount of knowledge, that you comfort yourself with, that they couldn’t have carried on as they were, due to their old age or illness.

However, a few of months back we lost our perfectly healthy 5 year old boy. We have no idea why. He was fine, playing, running around, had his dinner, went to bed fine, we went down the next morning and he was dead. Other two dogs were just sat quietly next to him.

It was devastating. None of us could understand what had happened and why. We had a PM done as well, to try and get some answers but no reason was found there by the vet either.

It was shocking how hard it hit us all. Both DH and I are in our 60’s, so we have both been through losing dogs many times, but always due to age or illness. This loss floored both of us like none of them ever has before.

It took several weeks for the other two dogs to settle down too, they were very confused and very unsettled for a good while and took a lot of that out by being grumpy and snappy with each other (having been a very happy and settled three with the one we lost). They have settled into a new normal with each other now, but their relationship isn’t quite the same as it was before.

It’s a few months on now, but it still isn’t right. He is still missing in the house.

His lead is still hung in the hall on his named hook, I cannot bear to move it and neither DH or DC have suggested it either. It wasn’t there for long enough. He had a right to that hook and his lead being on it for at least 15 years - to only be there for 5 years is just wrong and in his case, I cannot move it away. He needs to stay with us for a good while longer I think. I suspect his lead and name will always stay there now and when we get a new dog, he will just have to share the hook name tag with him.

We are usually very practical and leads, collars etc do get passed down to our new dogs and we continue using them as a kind of nod to the older dog, as in the young puppy goes out to play on the old dogs lead - so he kind of takes the old dogs spirit with him. I know that sounds daft but it is how we have always worked and it makes me happy to think they are all out in the field with us, we just can’t see some of them. However, in this case, he didn’t have his 15 years use of that hook and that lead, so I don’t know if I can follow our tradition this time.

We haven’t got a new dog yet, which we would normally have done by now. We will in time, but our other two dogs needed time to settle down and we are not ready yet.

Sorry, my point of all that rather lengthy post was that losing a dog so young and so suddenly is not the same as losing an elderly dog. We have found it a lot harder.

Yes, it does get better, or at least you get used to it. I have finally stopped calling his name with the others at the back door when I do my last wee of the evening routine, and I have stopped automatically doing his food bowl each meal time. However, I do still mistake one of the others for him, when I see them out of the corner of my eye (they were all the the same breed and colour and were all related to each other, so had similar mannerisms too) and then my brain kicks in to remind me that it isn’t him and the shock hits me again.

So be kind to yourself. I really do understand that feeling in your chest that just isn’t going away at the minute and that pain when you keep remembering why that feeling is in your chest all the time. It does ease, I promise.

Wait it out. It will settle bit by bit. You will be ready for a new boy in time, don’t let the home and the love you had for your lost dog be wasted now, someone else deserves it. They will be different but just as fabulous and gorgeous in their own way, as your lost boy was, and you will love them just as much, but that love for them will be in addition to the love that you had for him, as that will never go away.

RonaldMcDonaldio Thu 30-Jul-20 15:17:38

@JazzleRazzle flowers

What a terribly sad tale (and @RunningFromInsanity). Yes I have to agree, a young dog that hasn't lived its fullest life is more of a shock, the grief is different. The dog I still grieve for that I had such a strong bond with was my first dog, but she was 12 - she had been in chronic back pain for years, which we managed with a cocktail of drugs, but we knew one day she would succumb to either another ruptured disc, or she just wouldn't be able to manage the pain anymore. Suddenly that day came, she could sit, couldn't stand, couldn't lie down - was just in extreme discomfort. We'd been her 3 or 4 times already, and she always rallied with steroids. I found myself back on the phone to the vet, discussing valium and tramadol and more steroids, but he sounded sad and she sat hunched in front of me, lips drawn back in pain, and gave me this desperate stare. I even have a picture that captured it - I'd bought her a new squeaky pig to cheer her up, she'd been miserable for a few days, but she couldn't play with it. I snapped a picture of her with it that evening and she had that agonised look in her eyes then. I flatly said to the vet, I think she's had enough...we're letting her go. He agreed with us.

It was awful, I still get very choked remembering. I still have that last pig that she never played with, but my new puppy has been wearing her old harness. He's too big for it already!

Her ashes are under a Wildfire rose in a pot in my garden.

OnceUponAMidnightBeery Thu 30-Jul-20 15:41:20

I’m so, so sorry for you OP, and everyone who’s had this loss flowers

I’ve lost 2 dogs over lockdown, my boy was my soul dog and baby girl the sweetest dog you could ever meet. I miss them everyday.

As other posters have said, they were elderly and at least we had a little time to prepare. Losing one so young is a horrible, horrible shock and you grieve not only for their loss, but for the life they should’ve had.

I lost my first pup when he was only a few months old (liver shunt, had to have him pts) I’m still not over it, but it does get slowly better, I promise.

You’ll know if/when you’re ready to have another. Don’t rush anything, take time to heal and grieve xxx

SilverOtter Thu 30-Jul-20 15:50:54

Although my last dog was old, she collapsed and died suddenly, and it was absolutely devastating. I was utterly heartbroken and rushed into getting a new puppy.

I've never regretted getting my new dog and love her to pieces, but she didn't magically heal the pain of losing my old dog. I still shed a tear even now, but more often now I think of my old dog and smile rather than cry.

I think you've got to do what feels right for you x

Heartbroken21 Thu 30-Jul-20 17:35:25

@Sarahlou63 Thankyou for the technique suggestion. I will try that when I’m not so consumed with grief, it’s with me constantly, I couldn’t put it aside for a set amount of time.

@RonaldMcDonaldio your experience is exactly what I’d be afraid of. My dog had issues too, it didn’t stop me completely adoring him though. My other dog is much easier, maintenance and behaviour wise but she isn’t him. I also had puppy blues with both of mine, it can be a lot of work raising and training a pup. I don’t know if I’m cut out for it again. I might look into adopting at some point. I don’t want to replace him, I feel guilty even considering it but at the same time, I feel so sad that I may never have another dog that I have that bond with.

OP’s posts: |
Heartbroken21 Thu 30-Jul-20 17:50:01

Thankyou to everyone for sharing your stories, it’s comforting to read about your ddogs. And to know I’m not alone in this. As a lot of you have said I think it does feel different with a young one, maybe that’s why I can’t remember it feeling this consuming with the others. I had plans for him, he wasn’t even fully grown. I won’t get to watch him grow into an adult and do all the things I wanted to do with him. I didn’t have time to prepare and it feels so unfair that I only had him long enough to get so attached but not enough time to love him for.
I’m so sorry to the rest of you who have been through the same, I wouldn’t wish this pain on anyone.

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Frenchfancy Thu 30-Jul-20 18:33:21

Losing a young dog must be so difficult. We've had about a year to prepare but its still terribly sad. One seems to forget all the bad things, the smell, the hair ... The moment they are no longer with us none of that seems important.

OnceUponAMidnightBeery Thu 30-Jul-20 18:45:07

You’re certainly not alone OP xx

OnceUponAMidnightBeery Thu 30-Jul-20 18:47:51

Frenchfancy

Losing a young dog must be so difficult. We've had about a year to prepare but its still terribly sad. One seems to forget all the bad things, the smell, the hair ... The moment they are no longer with us none of that seems important.

Understand totally - I’d give anything now to put my foot in something debatable at 3 am!

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