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rebbel's avatar

How do/did you deal with the death of a loved pet?

Asked by rebbel (31549points) December 19th, 2011

If you had a much loved pet pass away in the past, how have you dealt with it?
Both emotionally and practically.
Did/do you let all your emotions run free or kept/keep them the emotions inside (for whatever reason)?
Did/do you clean up all the things that had/have to do with the pet (to have no stuff lying around to be remembered by) or did/do you intentionally keep things in sight (just to be remembered)?
Did your grief lasted a long time or were you relatively quick over it?

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34 Answers

marinelife's avatar

I absolutely hate that our pets have shorter lifespans than we do. With my whippet, I grieved that he would die for years ahead of his death.

When he did die, I went totally numb. I missed him horribly.

I have found that getting anew pet helps with the frief. it does not replace the lost pet, but the love of an animal is so boundless and unconditional that it helps to heal the heart.

I love my current dog so very much. he is 11, and in his twilight years. Every minute of time I have with him is precious. I often think about losing him when he is curled next to me in bed.

Coloma's avatar

I’ve lost 3 pets in the last 3 years. My 15 year old cat, my 11 year old goose, and, most recently a young cat I had for only 8 months who fell ill and died after a short, acute illness and It’s always a sad time, and their memory lingers.
I do much better with people dying, haha
Meaning, that animals are so innocent and you cannot communicate with them in a manner that they really can understand.

At least a person can grasp what is happening to them, take their medicine, understand why they are being poked and prodded.
Animals are truly innocent and I think this makes their passing somehow more poignant, but, that’s just my take on it.
I’m going to be really sad when my 13.5 year old goose goes.
They can live 20+ years and when he goes it will be the end of the farm animal era of my life.

No more geese, horses, but, I’ll always have a cat or two.
I have 2 new cats this year and they are wonderful, the newest I just adopted 2 weeks ago!
Long live Myles & Mia! :-)

MilkyWay's avatar

I’ve had 10 cats in the past, and lost a couple of them due to motor accidents. At the time of death, I didn’t let my emotions show, and kept them inside. But after a few weeks, I let myself cry over them. I think pets can be just as close to you as people, even more so in some aspects. But be it a death of my pet, or a relative’friend, my reactions are the same. I never let myself be upset or cry at the the time of passing, or just after. I give it a few weeks to sink in.

TheIntern55's avatar

We had to put down the dog my family had had since before I was born. My parents didn’t know how to tell me they were putting him down and told me the night before the deed. I cried that night and for a week after. But after a while, it got better. For the first few weeks, it felt weird coming home to an empty house when all my life I’ve been coming home to my puppy. But now we have a new dog, not even a year old yet, and I don’t really miss my old dog as much anymore. The thing is, my old dog was a mix of a bunch of different types and he was small while my new dog is mostly coonhound, with a touch of beagle we think. We didn’t replace my old dog, but we got something else to make us happy.
Damn, now I’m crying. This looks like it’ll be a sad thread. We should group hug!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Cry and cry and cry. Then go to work, and take breaks to cry some more in the bathroom. And think about them occasionally for the rest of your life.

WestRiverrat's avatar

Find a copy of the Rainbow Bridge poem, I don’t know why but it helps.

Coloma's avatar

@TheIntern55

I had a big, goofy, Coonhound once…they are a LOT of dog. Probably about 6 of your little one all rolled into one big, slobbery, LOUD, but adorable bonehead puppy. lol

janbb's avatar

I think the sharp ache lasted about 4–5 months for me and then it dulled to a background pain. I kept some of Prince’s things but did not leave them out. The hardest thing was sitting in my reading chair and not having a puddle of red Cocker Spaniel at my feet.

TheIntern55's avatar

@Coloma Haha, yep. He’s adorable. And, since my first dog was 4 when I was born, it was my first time with a puppy. I realized how little patience I had:)

comity's avatar

It’s so hard to lose a beloved pet and I’ve lost a few over the years. I now have a 13½ year old Silky Yorkie, a 10 year old Shitzu/Poodle and a 9 year old Yorkie mix, plus 3 kitties over 6 years old. I try not to think about their passing and am enjoying them now! A picture in my Avatar is of me with my two little Bijons who passed on last year. They are always in my heart. And, my pets pictures are sweet reminders of the good times.

john65pennington's avatar

When Mikey died, our border collie, it was total grief in my house for about six weeks. We gathered his toys and bones and tucked them away in a box with his name on it. Mikey was our protector for 12 years. He died chasing something and broke his neck. He was suffering so bad and could not breath. The vet said it was best to put him to sleep. I will never forget his brown eyes looking at me, as if to say, “come dad, you’ve got to help me. I hurt and cannot breathe”. Needles to say, it broke our hearts beyond belief. I left the vets office with a box of Kleenex. My tears would just not stop flowing.

Mikey was so intelligent. We still miss him unbelievable.

We sleep with his red nylon collar at the foot of our bed, just like Mikey use to do.

Its not easy to have your pet die. Its not easy to tell the vet to put him to sleep.

Its not easy to forget Mikey and we never will.

This is our first Christmas without Mikey to buy his carton of ice cream for. He loved vanilla ice cream and I made sure he had plenty. He loved McDonalds hamburgers and would watch the cars turn signal go on and he knew his Macky Ds hamburger was coming up.

Merry Christmas Mikey.

MilkyWay's avatar

I’m not gonna cry.

comity's avatar

@john65pennington My heart goes out to you. I understand. Hugs!

rebbel's avatar

I am not gonna cry”
I am.

Lovely idea about the collar, @john65pennington, I think I will think of something similar.
Thank you!

And thank you all for your answers!

Ayesha's avatar

I lost my dog Rico a few months back. We had him for 7 years. I had never seen my Dad love any other dog as much. I couldn’t deal with it. I cried day and night. I had breaks that lasted 5 minutes, and I’d start crying again. Everybody was just dead in the house. It was horrible. I couldn’t handle my emotions, they were all over the place.

Coloma's avatar

Oh God, I can’t do the details…waaaah!
I still remember my beautiful Marley lying dead on my bed after the vet gave him the shot in June and wrapping him in an orange beach towel, his burial shroud. I hospice cared for him for a month, syringing food and medicine into his mouth bit by bit and he would cry when I left the room.

6rant6's avatar

Two dogs and three cats in the last eight years – all lived well beyond what the books say, but it doesn’t matter.

With each new pet we get, and each pet I bond with I can’t help but reflect on the end of it. I wish that I could say that anticipating the overwhelming sorrow of a pet dying helped make it easier when the time comes. It doesn’t seem to.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

I was adopted by two abandoned Golden Retrievers. I had them for 12 years. I’ve never felt love like that. Cried my eyes out when I lost them. That hurt like hell.

Dutchess_III's avatar

I miss my Snuffy..I am not going to cry either….. Excuse me.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@MilkyWay Classy. Can I get in on the hug with D?

MilkyWay's avatar

@Adirondackwannabe Of course. Anyone can. (Hug)

Dutchess_III's avatar

Thank you @MilkyWay. L:( :) :(

comity's avatar

@Dutchess_III
@MilkyWay Hugs to you and to all who lost their beloved furry kids, a good hug!

TheIntern55's avatar

Guys, I can’t go to bed crying! Let’s think of the happy times we had with our pets. Group hug!

Dutchess_III's avatar

(((Hugs))) @comity. Sniffle…...I used to run a daycare. Whenever I put a kid in time out, Snuffy would go sit with them. The kids would wrap their arms around her and cry into her fur. She’d sit there in time out and look at me sadly with her soulful brown eyes, asking how I could be so mean.

augustlan's avatar

I cried and cried. {hugs} to all of you. <3

Paradox25's avatar

I usually will try to get another pet as soon as possible. It did take me a while to get over the death of my last cat and it was two years before I got another one. It was a stray kitten actually.

smilingheart1's avatar

It’s a bereavement like the death of anyone else in the family. Allow yourself the stages of grief and as far as accepting another into your life allow yourself all the space you need before you even consider it. Then its fair to both you and your new family member. Maybe you know right away though just as some familes choose to “try again” after a recent miscarrriage.
Huggers!

Dutchess_III's avatar

Oh…to answer your question…I still have Snuffy’s collar and tags. When I need a collar for Dutchess I use Snuffys. The sound of the tags clinking brings tears to my eyes.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

My long-time canine companion, Walker died last week. I’m grieving the loss our a good friend.

Adirondackwannabe's avatar

@Dr_Lawrence My condolences as well. I know how it hurts.

Dr_Lawrence's avatar

Thank you for your kindness.

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