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kayyyyleigh's avatar

How to deal with the death of your dog?

Asked by kayyyyleigh (404points) December 8th, 2009 from iPhone

she hasn’t died yet… but I know it’s going to happen, and probably sometime in the next year.
she’s a small dog, a pug, and she is my dog, I’ve taken care of her, named her, she sleeps in my bed as close to me as she can, she fallows me everwhere, and has separation anxiety from me. I got her six years ago, but being a pug she is small (she’s also the runt) and has breathing problems. a few months ago she got really hurt on my bed, and now has neck problems. we have never been able to pick her up by her stomach because they messed up her stiches when she got fixed. she also has severe skin agitation and ear problems. so I know that she will be gone soon, and probably will suffer first.
but she was MY first dog and I know it’s going to hit hard when she is gone.
have you ever lost a loved pet? if so is there something you would have done, or thought about, differently before to help you deal with it?
thanks so much:)

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19 Answers

Tink's avatar

I’m sorry. :(

I lost my puppy a few months ago. She was also a pug, slept in my room with me, and she was only mine, I didn’t share her with my anyone. She was the first dog that was all mine. She didn’t die of being sick or anything like that. She was an obedient puppy. But one day when the front door was left open she came out and ran into the street, and a car that was going way too fast killed her. It dragged her a few houses away from us. When I saw the door was open I ran out and got there in time to see it all happen. I saw her get hit. She died instantly. The guy that hit her stopped when he saw me screaming. But my parents didn’t press charges against that jackass or do anything to him. It left me traumatized for a week, sometimes I blame myself for being so careless and stupid for not closing the door before I let her out of my room. I haven’t stopped thinking about the day it happened.

CMaz's avatar

It killed me when my dog died and I watch it happen.
You will get through it.
I am sorry.
Our pets give so much joy to us. When they are sick or “bad” they give us a sense of purpose. That unconditional thing.

Just do not be in a rush to replace your pet. You will eventually get another shit to drive you crazy. And, all will be good again.

sliceswiththings's avatar

My kitty died a year ago, and honestly, I still miss her so much. My advice is to not keep quiet. Make sure everyone you know knows it’s going on. My cat was sick and I kept frequent updates in my facebook status. All my friends kept commenting, so I knew they cared. Then when she finally died I got an onslaught of kind words and hugs. Just don’t suffer alone!

The good thing was that my old cranky cat turned super nice. She had been really mean for the past 13 years since getting the kitten (the one who died), but once she was gone Ruby turned super affectionate. I still miss my baby a lot, but now I have a nice relationship with the old cat. But now I’ll be extra sad when she goes, too.

kayyyyleigh's avatar

@Tink1113 I am SO SORRY. I do not know what I would do if that ever happened to me. I know that my dog is like my child. haha. that’s such a horrible way to lose her:(

sliceswiththings's avatar

Another logistical thing: I’m not sure where you live, but if you think she might not make it through the winter you might want to dig her grave now.

I’m from Massachusetts where the ground is frozen December-March, so this time of year we dug my cat’s grave so if she died we wouldn’t have to keep her in the freezer til we could bury her. The grieving process will be better if you don’t have to see her dead body when you go to get a waffle…

Tink's avatar

@kayyyyleigh Thats exactly how I felt about her, like my child, I took her everywhere I could. Enjoy your dog while you can now.

sliceswiththings's avatar

(Sorry that last bit was a bit graphic. Bad mental imgage:( )

chyna's avatar

I lost the best friend, the best dog I ever had in the summer of 2008. I took her to the vet because she was breathing funny. He diagnosed her as having bronchitis and gave her medicine. She was supposed to improve within hours. She didn’t. I took her to another vet that correctly diagnosed her with a mass in her throat. I had minutes to make a decision. Do I let her live with a trach, go through chemo and radiation and keep her still for at the least, 3 months, or say goodbye to her. I chose to give her dignity. The whole vets office cried with me. I chose not to stay with her while she was put to sleep. I remember her as the beautiful boxer that she was.

I was very lonely after I lost her, but waited 6 months to get another dog. I got another boxer that is just as wonderful and beautiful but as different as night and day. She helps me come to terms with the loss of my other dog.

MacBean's avatar

Let yourself feel what you feel, just like if it was a “real” family member who died. Ignore people who tell you it was “just” a pet. Animals are just pets to some people (me, for example) but they’re so much more to others, and people need to be allowed to grieve in their own way.

kayyyyleigh's avatar

@sliceswiththings no need to be sorry it gave me a laugh:)
@chyna I’m very sorry to you as well:( that must have been so horrible:X I could never make a decision like that. id be too selfish to let them go, but feel horrible for their pain:( congrats on the new dog and I’m glad you’re taking it well with her:)

holden's avatar

First of all, Tink, that’s really horrible. I’m very sorry you had to go through that. I can’t imagine the trauma you must have endured.

My cat died about two weeks ago. She went missing the day I came home for Thanksgiving break, the first time I had been home for over three months. I never got a chance to see her again. She was almost 14 years old and in a declining state (my parents told me she had all but stopped eating and had lost a lot of weight) and I’m fairly certain that she went away to die. I had had her since I was 6 years old and she was my baby.

Sometimes it’s hard not to be sad that I don’t have Plum anymore, and nothing will ever replace her. But I am very lucky to have had such a good friend for so long. Nothing will ever take away the 13 years we had together. It still hurts from time to time, but her memory makes me smile.

Your puppy is your baby and you are lucky to have found such a good friend in her. Her passing will be hard and you will be sad, but nothing will ever take away all that time you spent with her. It hurts now, but with time it will get better, and eventually you will be able to think about her without wanting to cry.

kayyyyleigh's avatar

@holden thanks so much, that’s so true. I’m sorry you lost your cat:( I know how it was when we lost our family cat.. he was about the same age as your cat, and he used to be a fighter so he was in bad shape. his name was booboo because he only had a little stub for a tail, we saved him from this barn in the next town that was going to kill him. we knew he was suffering though….. he’s now gone and I know even seeing my mother cry like that was enough to traumatize me:/

Buttonstc's avatar

This is a site which I found tremendously helpful when my first cat died.

It was so sudden. She was only 11 yrs. old. One minute she was fine and the next she was panting heavily in great pain. By the time I rushed her to the Vets office, her back legs were paralyzed.

The vet knew immediately what had happened and gave her a shot for the pain. She came back a short while later and explained that she had thrown a clot (basically like a stroke in humans) but there really was no effective treatment.

Even if the paralysis resolved, she would be unlikely to live past a few months and all that would be spent with numerous trips for tests and various medications to prevent another clot. But it would soon happen again.

I wasn’t ready to hear that and just let her go, so I dragged her over to the vet ER at UPenn. They told me essentially the same thing, so I let her go peacefully then. It was the hardest thing I ever did. But I knew what a homebody she was and how much she would hate being dragged in for constant tests and meds just so I could have her around a little longer.

It was just so sudden, but afterwards I did a lot of reading on HCM and knew that I made the right decision. But I still miss her years later. She was my very favorite cat.

Anyhow, the site above was a tremendous help. I hope it can be of comfort to you as well.

marinelife's avatar

It is very hard to lose a pet, especially your first.

Although you want her with you, you will know when it is time. You will see it in her eyes. When she looks not engaged in the life around her anymore, and like she is suffering. Not letting our pets suffer is the best gift we can give them.

While I understand people not wanting to see their pets die, I think it is important for us to be there with them, reassuring them that it is all right to just let go. It can also relieve your mind and give you a sense of closure.

Once you have lost your beloved pug, it will take time for you to get over that loss. You will miss her so much. Be gentle with yourself those first days.

Then, think about getting another dog perhaps faster than you normally would. It does not change your sense of loss for your missing pet, but it fills your heart with new love.

Take care.

flameboi's avatar

I’m very sorry
Come to terms with your loss… let yourself heal, then get a new puppy… like the one in the twilight saga

Darwin's avatar

Grieve for your pet just as you grieve for a family member. Some folks won’t understand it, but those of us who love our animals do. Then, when you are ready, get another pet, not to replace the one you lost, but to create a new relationship.

No dog ever lives long enough.

loser's avatar

I am so very sorry you’re going through this. It’s just a difficult thing. Allow yourself to feel your feelings and remember the good times. In time it does get easier. Animals take up a very special place in our hearts and when they’re gone the there definately is an emptiness. Try to make the best of the time you still have.
Hang in there!

drdoombot's avatar

I’ve only had my dog for 2–3 weeks and I don’t even want to think about losing her.

rooeytoo's avatar

There are several vet schools around the USA that have pet loss hotlines, some are free some are paid calls. You can access a list here.

I always acquire a young one before the old one goes. This often gives the oldie a new lease on life plus you still have one to love when you eventually have to say goodbye to the oldie.

So sorry, I know how badly it hurts.

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