Was there something wrong with me, or was I experiencing something akin to what one might feel when losing a child? Bewildered and curious about this phenomenon, I later consulted my friend Betty Carmack, author of Grieving the Death of a Pet and pet-loss support-group counselor at the San Francisco SPCA , a volunteer position she had recently retired from after 32 years. In fact, my feelings were far from uncommon. During the holiday season, I missed Hugo so terribly.
I longed to be in his magnificent presence, to laugh at his silly antics, to feel those lion eyes watching my every move. My husband, friends, and family were so kind and understanding, and I was surrounded by love, compassion, and gestures of caring. Yet I ached. And then a little nagging thought began to cloud my mind: Had I done everything I could for my boy, who had suffered from terrible, debilitating arthritis in his last year?
I thought I had followed every medical, natural, and pharmaceutical protocol known to man, but was there something else I could have done? Betty assured me that these moments of self-doubt and guilt are also very common for people, especially when their pets have died from illness or old age. I would then encourage them to find that one person, that one friend with whom they could share their feelings, someone who would respect and honor their grief.
Here are some other helpful suggestions Betty shared with me for coping with my pain:. Two months later, I am still hurting over the loss of my Hugo, but I am finding ways to honor his memory and focus mostly on the good times we shared. To me, he was a person in a dog suit, a special being who opened my heart as it has never been opened before. Because of Hugo, I know I am forever changed for the better. Have you ever experienced the loss of a pet and felt the way I did?
Share your experiences in the comments. Do you miss your dog?
Read more about grieving for pets on Dogster:. About the author: Lisa Plummer Savas is a freelance writer, journalist, devoted dog mom, and animal activist. In an effort to help make the world a more compassionate place for non-human species, she is especially focused on using her writing to spread awareness about controversial animal welfare issues, including the dog and cat meat trade in Asia and Africa. She lives in Atlanta with two spoiled German Shepherds, one very entitled Pug, and a very patient, understanding husband.
Read more of her work.
Wendy Newell. Ernie Ward. Audrey Pavia. Melissa Kauffman. Thank you for the great article. I still miss her everyday. Thank you again! I understand all you who grieve because my handicapped husband and I had to put our 14 year old Dixie down and the greif has overwhelmed us we cry everyday and will not stop crying. Thank you fo your share.
My heart is empty, we lost our Cleetus Saturday and I too can not stop the tears. My house is now painfully quiet and everything I do reminds of him. To the point some moments I think i hear him. I plan to feed him, check for him.. Everything I ever do involves him.
From waking up to. Falling asleep right by his side.
We have also lost our family pet after 10 yrs of being a huge part of our family ,two months ago we had to put him down. I keep praying but still hurts so bad We miss him so much he was our baby our child. Thank you for sharing.
The blog offers reviews of products, dog-friendly travel guides, and tips for proper dog care, as well as adorable pictures of Harley and Charlie—the dogs owned by the two writers. With thousands of marine animals including beluga whales, penguins, seals, fish, frogs, alligators and more — Mom, Dad and each of the kids will have their own Aquarium favorite. Blitz liked going to the family cabin up in northern PA. If I were not to wake up in the morning, it would be a blessing. She died in my arms the following evening.
Jennifer, I feel exactly like you do. My house is so empty. She had health issues for the last five years so my life revolved around her. Lola was always with me. I cry so much for my girl. I just lost my puppy girl I understand your pain as I am going through the same pain.
So hard to say good bye after 14 years. We lost our girl Nina today only 4. We are all lost without her. But my daughter is totally lost,her best friend is gone. She hide her pain as long as she could. I lost my best friend Trixie 4 weeks tomorrow. The grief comes over me in waves. We were inseparable, she was my shadow. Everything just feels so empty now. I loved her more than I have ever loved anyone or anything. I miss her. Jennifer, You are not alone. I do all those things too then it hits me that my Dusty is gone and the pain starts all over again. I am so sorry for your loss.
I have also recently lost my little Lucky on Nov 14, The worst day of my life. I only had her for 2yrs 9 months but felt like a lifetime.
The pain is unbearable at times. I feel lonely in missing her. We were a team, and now my best friend is gone. I am praying that she is happy and I hope she knows how much I love her.
Sorry for your loss. I just lost the love of my life four days ago my heart is so broken. She was always in my arms well as much as she could which was alot. I;m sorry and sad for anyone who lost a pet. Me and my husband are grieving. Everything in this house reminds us of our Shorty Ruth. She was staying overnight at the vet when she died. Me and my husband keep crying and asking how we are going to make it. We miss her.
Rusty came from a shelter, malnourished, afraid, trusting no one. We were every thing to each other. My big hearted loving Dobie died suddenly from DCM today.
Did he know this was to be his last day with me? Does he know how much I wanted to go with him? I can only imagine what he wants me to do until we are together again. The love of your life is a. You do realize their life spans are much shorter than a human..
I understand others will commiserate and sympathize.