Social Question

janbb's avatar

What did you miss the most when you lost an animal friend?

Asked by janbb (44825 points ) April 24th, 2014

I find the whole feel of the house different now that Frodo is gone. Quieter and cleaner but no funny face or demanding barks. The routines are shaken up, don’t need to be home to walk him. No bouncing crazy puppy face when I come in to the kitchen. I came home last night and put away all the doggie reminders and the house is very sterile. Alone again, naturally….

Care to share any stories, tea or sympathy?

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73 Answers

ucme's avatar

I miss our Penny massively, tragic she was taken away so young & in the prime of life.
That’s as far as i’m going because i’m bound to tear up…again!

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@janbb What happened to Frodo?

janbb's avatar

@ucme Didn’t know you lost Penny! So sorry.

@Adirondackwannabe I had to give him up. He was too aggressive and bit a friend quite badly even after months of training. I brought him back to the home he was being fostered in. I am very sad.

picante's avatar

@ucme, I’m sorry for the loss of your Penny; and Jan, I’m saddened to hear that Frodo was too aggressive for your environment. I’m hopeful you’ll seek another canine companion (or other species, as your heart directs).

I, too, have lost many beloved pets; and there’s a special bond that’s broken. I hope the empty spaces fill for you quickly. Sending all the tea in China and a boatload of sympathy, too.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@janbb I’m so sorry, you said he was a handful. Sometimes those smaller dogs are pretty aggressive. I had two Golden Retrievers for about 14 years. Those were magnificent dogs. And they were so loving and perceptive. It was on the first Mother’s Day after my s/o’s mother passed away I was out working in the yard. I looked over to the porch and she was sitting there crying her eyes out. I let the dogs out and they ignored me and made a beeline to her and took care of her. I walked over to the porch but I couldn’t have done a better job of making her feel better so I just set with her and let them work their magic. It was pretty special.

janbb's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Yes, that is what I would have wanted and this guy was all terrier and then some. Playful and rambunctious and smart and fun but then with this unpredictable vicious streak that just crossed the line of what I could handle.

Cruiser's avatar

@janbb I too had to give up a beautiful Alaskan Malamute. He was simply gorgeous, smart, playful and after he attacked my wife and tore her hand up really good, it was back to the foster home as well. I miss all my pets, the smiles and companionship from the dogs I had, the chirps and squeal’s of the hamsters, the thumpity thump thump of the rabbits running around the house at night, the tweets and whistles of all the birds I have had….all sounds of happy animals, pets and companions I have had. The boa constrictor didn’t make any noise but felt so cool to have him asleep inside my shirt as I read my homework. I really miss Slither.

syz's avatar

My parents gave me a dog when I was 5, out of a concern that I wouldn’t be happy about a new sibling. She grew up with me, went to college with me, got married with me, and moved several times with me. I had her until I was 24.

She was a part of my life longer than any (human) friendship, any boyfriend….everything except the family that I was born with.

For months after she died, I would “see” her out of the corner of my eye. I would hear sounds that my mind interpreted as her footsteps. I would dream about her – she had been with me so long that my brain just expected her to be there.

marinelife's avatar

I still look for Kobe. I miss him every day. The house does feel different when it’s empty, doesn’t it?

ucme's avatar

@janbb She died on Dec 28th, ate something bad on our walk & food poisoning killed her.
We made an appointment with the vet at three o clock that day, but she passed away an hour before we could make it, lay out on the living room rug.
She never got a second chance & it left us all truly heartbroken, she was only four years old & had her whole life in front of her. Left a very big hole, we kept her collar & lots of photos to remember her by, I still wander around on the walks we used to take, but life goes on as they say.
@picante Sorry, just noticed your words, thanks.

janbb's avatar

@ucme Really sorry to hear that.

@syz What a terrible loss! I know what you mean about keeping expecting to see or hear them.

jca's avatar

@janbb: My heart breaks for you.

I had many cats over the years. The most recent one that had to be put down was two holiday seasons ago (so about a year and a half ago) the cat was about 15 years old and her kidneys went, so it was very suddenly that she had to be taken to the vet and the decision had to be made quickly. She was like a companion to me. She would sleep on the bed and when I got up to go to the bathroom or leave the room, she would jump off the bed and precede me into the bathroom. She was kind of like a dog. I really miss that and missed it more so when I first put her to sleep.

ucme's avatar

@janbb Yeah thanks, let no one say they’re just pets, she was very much part of our family & loved dearly.

jca's avatar

I always say “the more pets you own, the more heartache you’ll have.”

janbb's avatar

@jca Like kids?

janbb's avatar

@jca “The more you have, the more heartache you’ll have.” :-)

jca's avatar

@janbb: My daughter is only 6, so there’s no heartache yet with her. I don’t think every child causes heartache to their parent, but as far as pets go, the majority of time they’ll be dying before us, so therefore, heartache.

janbb's avatar

@jca Just injecting a little humor….

jca's avatar

@janbb: Oh got it. Hahaha.

thorninmud's avatar

The daily “Welcome home!” celebrations. The content of the ritual varied by pet, but it’s such a wonderful feeling to get home and be greeted like a returning war hero. You really miss it those first few times when you get home and.. .nothing happens.

janbb's avatar

@thorninmud Yes! The walls don’t welcome me enthusiastically.

Mimishu1995's avatar

I missed the time when I fed Milu powder milk the most. Milu was so lovely and he liked powder milk too :’(

RIP Milu…

Pachy's avatar

@janbb, I totally sympathize with you. My previous car, “Elvira,” a Persian, was the sweetest, most loving cat I had ever encountered. She was with me for years but when she developed leukemia, I had to put her to sleep, for which I still feel guilty. I mourned her for years and vowed never to have another pet. But then, 14 years ago, “Sy” came into my life and my feelings for him are hard to express without sounding weird. He’s been especially important to me during this particularly unhappy time. He just seems to know how sad and lonely I’m feeling and, short of holding my hand, is comforting me in so many way.

livelaughlove21's avatar

Oh no, I’m sorry you had to give up Frodo! :(

My current pets, Chloe and Daisy, are the only animals I’ve ever had that I really got close to. I think there was a thread on here awhile back where a jelly said that seeing the dog’s crate or smudges left on the window in the back door made them extremely sad. Just thinking about losing Daisy and seeing evidence of her all around the house makes me tear up a bit. I constantly complain about all the fur around the house, but seeing it on the couch would probably kill me a little bit if she wasn’t there to leave more after we vacuum it away. Every time something happens to her health-wise, I’m the first one to rush her to the vet and freak out that she’s going to die or something. I was devastated when she was diagnosed with hip dyspepsia, and that’s not even something that will kill her. She’s my baby and I always tell her that she better live forever, because I’ll be an absolute wreck when she’s gone.

Yetanotheruser's avatar

Gosh! This thread is really tearing me up. @janbb, @ucme sorry for your losses.

I have had many animal friends over the decades. My first was King, a collie-shepherd. He was a family dog, but I felt we had that special bond.

One of the neighbor boys I’ll refer to as “David” (‘cause that was his name!) had an incident with King, who did not like him at all. Long story short, they had an encounter that ended up with King inflicting a minor wound on David’s face. Nothing serious, but it drew blood. King had to be confined to the yard (no leash laws in 1950’s small town!) for a couple weeks, while being observed for rabies symptoms. One day, David started raking a piece of wood over the picket fence, it seems just to irritate King. Finally King had enough, went for the stick through the fence, and caught David’s hand. So we had to get rid of him (King, not David!)

We gave him to a farm family who had a child with Downes Syndrome. The happy ending is that King stayed with the child one time when she wandered away from the house, and he was herding her away from the highway when they were found.

ucme's avatar

@Yetanotheruser Thanks for that, only a handful of jellies knew about it, because they left pm’s when I took a short break right after, so it’s really out there now.

janbb's avatar

@Yetanotheruser And from me too.

Pachy's avatar

LOL on me! Of course it wasn’t my CAR I had to put to sleep—it was my CAT. I really shouldn’t write comments via my iPhone.

I too am sorry for your loss, @janbb.

Coloma's avatar

@janbb Awww..I’m sorry. I once had to give up a dog because he bit my ex BIL and then ME!
I couldn’t risk his aggression either, and he too had lots of professional training but was just unstable and moody. So sorry for your loss.
That experience was very painful, we chose to have him euthanized because I could not give him to anyone with his unstable personality.

More recently as many of you know, I had to give up my geese, Marwyn, the love of my life.
Not a day goes by that I do not think of him, all those years of him being my shadow, always by my side, his quirks, “our” special little rituals, routines, words, etc.
There is no comforting answers, only another chapter in the book of acceptance of what is I’m afraid.

Coloma's avatar

edit..there are no comforting answers…

GloPro's avatar

Getting a new puppy has oddly made me sad and long for my best friend and companion through college, Asha. She was the sweetest damn Rottie on the face of the Earth for 8 years. God is so lucky to have her.
I miss her steady, mellow companionship. She let me torture her with costumes, drunken wrestling, teasing, and taunting, and would still follow me anywhere. She allowed me to love unconditionally for the first time in my life. Everyone needs someone to love shamelessly.
When she passed I flew from California to Wilmington, NC and dumped her ashes in the ocean. That’s where she belonged. A huge wave hit me and covered me in ash. One last wet, sloppy kiss from my best friend.

@janbb I’m sorry the house is so quiet. That sucks. Maybe in time you can try again.

gailcalled's avatar

I didn’t even know Frodo personally but he had become an important part of my cyberlife, along with weekly photos. I understand what had to be done, but I too feel bereft.

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled I know you do. We had so much fun with him. Maybe he will continue to have a fantasy afterlife but right now, it’s just so sad.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@syz Your story reminds me of the dog my niece got recently. Part Irish Wolf Hound and part Great Dane. The dog and her 18 month old daughter have become inseparable.

One

Two

Dutchess_III's avatar

Kudos to those who need the responsible thing when you found you had biters on your hands, even though it hurt. Too many people would justify the dog’s actions and blame the people.

I still miss my Snuffy dog. She was 15 and hurting when I finally made the heart rending decision to put her to sleep. This was in 1996. For several years afterward I would hear the clink of her dog tags and her toe nails tapping on the hard floor…but it was just my imagination. When we have to go some place I put Snuffy’s old collar on Dutchess…and I hear the clink and miss Snuffs all over again.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@Dutchess_III Wow! I’m not a fan of wolf hounds or great danes, but I absolutely love the look of that dog. He looks like he’d be so great to cuddle with! I always wanted a small dog. We didn’t know how big Daisy would get when we got her, but she’s about 35 lbs. I’m glad she didn’t end up being small – I like being able to hug and cuddle her like I would a kid or something and not worry about crushing any little bones. :)

It would be so hard to get rid of an animal that behaves aggressively toward other people. I’d wonder what would happen to them once I gave them up. Does a dog that fear bites deserve to be euthanized? I don’t think so. But it’s not responsible to keep an aggressive animal that has hurt people. Daisy has never actually bitten anyone, but she has snapped at the vet, so we muzzled her as a precaution this last time. She really is a sweetheart, but one bad vet experience is hard to make up for. She was always good with the vet until she had to be hospitalized and stuck with needles for three days straight. And now she has a big orange sheet in her file that says she’s a fear biter. Sucks.

GloPro's avatar

@Dutchess_III Those are great pics.

chyna's avatar

I missed the insane greeting each time I came in the house.
@janbb I’m so sorry that Froddo didn’t work out for you. I know you gave a huge amount of time and energy trying to get him trained.

Dutchess_III's avatar

@GloPro Aren’t they though? I haven’t seen my niece in years. Her folks (my sister and BIL) used to have dogs. At least one was a pit mix, but they just left them penned up in the yard. I never understood why they even had them. I’m tickled that my niece is making the dog part of the family.

cookieman's avatar

I miss the Bassett Hound’s soft, velvety ears and thick paws that smelled like Fritos.

I miss the Yorkie’s honk/bark/sneeze and his funny name.

We have a Havanese now whom I love, but still…

GloPro's avatar

@cookieman How are you NOT going to tell us the yorkie’s name?

I avoid smelling my dog’s paws at all costs. I see where they’ve been.

cookieman's avatar

@GloPro: I named the Yorkie “Pantoof”. Extra points if ya know where it comes from.

Good point about dog’s paws, but all my dogs have been house dogs. Front yard at most.

gailcalled's avatar

^^ French bedroom slippers?

janbb's avatar

Sounds like a character from Commedia Del’Arte? (Or am I thinking of Pantagruel from “Candide”?)

downtide's avatar

My dog passed away a little over a year ago and I still miss her. What I miss the most is coming home and finding her sitting on the window-ledge waiting for me, and her waggy-tail greeting at the door. And I miss long walks in the countryside. I don’t visit parks any more, partly because going to a park without her at my side would make me too sad.

cookieman's avatar

@dappled_leaves FTW! “Pantoof” was the name of the little girl’s imaginary kangaroo in “Chocolat”.

Dutchess_III's avatar

You smell your dog’s paws? Does that come under the heading of “fetish”?

gailcalled's avatar

@cookieman:Some critics contend it was a wallaby with a bum leg, but it was officially called “Pantoufle” pronounced “pantoof”. Cute name, under any circumstance.”

So unsettling to know that there will be no more correspondences between Milo and Frodo.

janbb's avatar

@gailcalled Yes. Unless Milo masterminds a rescue operation and springs Frodo from the foster home.

gailcalled's avatar

Milo and Frodo under one roof would be my undoing, sadly. @jca has a cat named Magic, whom I saw on FB. She looks promising, if she has any esprit.

janbb's avatar

I think I will have to keep the Froster alive in mythology at least when it doesn’t hurt so much.

gailcalled's avatar

Have you temporarily covered the mirrors and tiltied the photos facedown?

janbb's avatar

Ha! I did put all the doggy stuff in the basement.

ucme's avatar

How much is that doggy in the window
The one with the “paned” look on it’s face…oh, it’s a reflection.

livelaughlove21's avatar

I was cuddling with Daisy last night and thinking about this question. I decided that I’d have to get my husband to remove any trace of her from the house, even if it hurt to do so. Seeing her toys, food bowls, or bed would probably make me break down in tears every time I saw it for a long time.

@ucme You know…I grew up singing that song and no one I know has ever heard it. For awhile, I thought my mom had made it up, until I saw a video on YouTube with it playing in the background.

My mom did make up this version, though: “How much is that Lyndsey in the mirror? The one with the pony tail. How much is that Lyndsey in the mirror? I do hope that Lyndsey’s for sale.” Ha! :)

ucme's avatar

@livelaughlove21 The words are redundant now, no dogs for sale in pet shops anymore.

GloPro's avatar

@ucme They’re for sale in some pet shops around here. Hopefully no one buys them, but someone must be.

@livelaughlove21 A little off subject, but last year a friend of mine lost her 4-year old son in a freak accident. A few of us went to her house while she was at a spa resort for the night and completely cleared all little boy things. She had boxed only what she wanted to keep before she left. We even removed the kid-friendly snack drawer and moved the grapes to the top shelf in the fridge. We donated juice boxes, kid food, clothes, toys and bathtub kid soaps. We found toy cars in random drawers, under the couch, you name it. It seems cold, but for her, seeing little boy things everywhere every time she turned around was killing her. She asked that we make his room a sterile office/guest room. It was her way of coping at the time. She slowly brought some things back out as she was ready.

janbb's avatar

I have de_Frodo’ed the house pretty much and put the things I didn’t send to camp with him down in the basement. It is better this way for me but there are still some Kongs in the freezer.

livelaughlove21's avatar

@GloPro Wow, how sad. I understand why she’d want that to be done, though.

@janbb but there are still some Kongs in the freezer

:( You’re killing me.

longgone's avatar

I’ve lost a rabbit, a hamster, two guinea-pigs and two cats. All were hard, but I am dreading the day my lab dies. I grew up with her, and I can’t imagine how I’ll get over the loss. She has touched many people’s life, and I know I’ll get asked why I’m out alone by people I barely know.

I found a poem on the subject:

Things to do When You’ve Lost Your Dog

Sweep the floor

Look out the window

Pant

Make a cup of tea and some toast

But then not eat them

Change the sheets on the bed

Try to sing

Start to cry

Forget what day it is

Stumble into a corner of the floor and hold your knees tightly

Keen

Pull yourself together

Make another cup of tea and this time, drink it

Look out a different window

Stare at that spot on the floor where your dog used to stretch out, languid and happy, his paws twitching as he raced across sleep meadows and into dream ravines filled with moss and ferns and the scent of foxes

Look for the Kleenex

Use toilet paper instead

Wander around the house, your heart like a damned anvil in your chest

Heat up leftovers

Push them around the plate before leaving the entire thing in the sink

Look for what is not there

Hear things

Feel the forgotten fur beneath your fingertips

Feel the forgetting begin

Hold a memory, any memory, bright and shining, soft and sad, smelling of wet fur and leaves, with a whisker there and muddy paw prints left on the stairs, of a walk, of a hike, of a trip to the park with a treat and a bone and a belly rub snacks stolen off the counter and tug of war and the squeaky toy a glance of complicity in play with your hand on head with tail wagging and breath misting in the morning light or the moon over the trees while an owl croons ears are pricked and nose to the ground sniffing, sniffing, sniffing following the invisible trail to its joyful finding

Put on your pajamas

Turn around three times before you curl up by the rope toy and find yourself chasing the echo of a bark into a night that will never end

Grow a tail

Catherine Young

You did the best you could, @janbb.

janbb's avatar

@longgone Oh jeez – now you’ve got me crying again…..

dappled_leaves's avatar

Reminds me of Sharon Creech’s Love That Dog.

GloPro's avatar

Jimmy Sewart on Johnny Carson, reading Beau.

longgone's avatar

@janbb Sorry. I do think allowing yourself to grieve is essential right now, though. Take care of yourself!

Will you visit Frodo, or do you think that would make it harder for both of you?

janbb's avatar

@longgone Not a problem re: the crying.

Was just thinking this morning that maybe I could go occasionally to the foster home and take him out for a walk. Will ponder it.

Coloma's avatar

@janbb

Have you thought of a kitty instead?
Really, cats are such low maintenance, affectionate, amusing, playful, cuddly, and self sufficient in the sense that you can leave them for a few days and they do not need walking, or to be taken out to go. They rarely show aggression to anyone and either just pal around with strangers or, go hide until they leave. haha

Coloma's avatar

@Mimishu1995 Haha..but of course, best “dog” I ever had, I used to joke, living in the country, that nobody ever called and said “your goose just ran my cow into a fence.” lol
They are great to keep away solicitors to.

janbb's avatar

@Coloma Others have suggested a cat and they don’t really do it for me. Plus I am often allergic to them but thanks for the idea.

Coloma's avatar

@janbb Well, there is always a fish tank, parakeet, Macaw or a hermit crab. lol
Cat allergy tip, darker colored cats carry more allergens, and some breeds are more hypoallergenic than others. You never know, a little pussy might become the next love of your life. Ask Milo. :-)

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