Quincysmomma
It's been just over a month since we had to say goodbye to our dog, Quincy and I am having a hard time accepting the reality that he's really gone...forever. I still have his food station set up, I have still been refilling his outdoor water bowl. When I give our cat her bedtime treat, I leave a couple out on the rug for Quincy. I can't accept that all the little routines and quirks that made Quincy Quincy are never going to happen again.

The logical side of my brain knows that he was so sick.  He had his first seizure 1 month before we lost him and then had 2 more and although we thought we had the seizures under control, he was not great.  Then, during his last week, his whole little body went through a firestorm.  He started having potty issues and vomiting and we were up all night going in and out with him...he couldn't get comfortable. After a few days, an xray showed that almost all of his little organs were enlarged, he had a mass of some sort and had fluid in his abdomen. I know that letting him go was the right thing because he was in such pain.  He would have hung on for us as long as could, but that would not have been fair to him.

This pain is unbearable and I don't know how I will get through the rest of my life without him.  He was such a tough, spunky guy and I feel like I need some of his toughness to get through this.

How long did it take you to accept that your family member wasn't coming back?  Was there any sense of peace when you hit acceptance?  At this rate, with the way my brain can spin out, I'm worried that I will never reach acceptance.  I can see how grief can ruin the rest of your life...

Thanks in advance for sharing!
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JulieF
Quincysmomma,

I am so sorry for your loss!  I know it hurts but your guy was in a lot of pain and you gave him a gift by letting him go.  One week ago I had to let my boy cat Patch go after 19-years.  He was starting to fail with kidney disease and was so thin.  His last night he was up vomiting terribly and crying.  I knew I could not let him go on that way.  It was still so hard and all I can do is wonder if I did the right thing - my brain tells me one thing and my heart another.  Remember your sweet Quincy and make sure you give your cat extra love - I am sure he/she is also missing Quincy.  The first couple of days I felt like I was drowning in grief.  However, every day feels a little better.  I have accepted it (like I said, the brain is way ahead of my heart on this one) but it does not mean I am not still grieving and WISHING I could bring him back.  His litter box is still set-up in the garage (the last few months he loved to go out there - I think to get away because he was not feeling good).  I can't seem to get rid of it.  All the dishes are still there because I have two other cats.  I have the sweater and shirt I was wearing when I took him in folded up in my closet - I don't think I will ever be able to wear them again and I certainly can't wash them.  When I did wash this weekend all I could think of was that I was washing him away.  I would pull the lint basked out of the dryer and there they were - black hairs (he was black and white).  I can't clean his favorite chair - it still has all the black fur on it.  I hope in time things will normalize.  The house feels "wrong".  You will get there - it just might take some time.  Don't beat yourself up.  Hopefully you have been able to smile when you remember him.  A good friend of mine pointed out that once they are gone, all the time we used to take caring for them, particularly if they were sick like our babies were - the time you took to give them pills, the extra care - is now empty.  

Well, sorry for the long missive but it just kept coming.  I hope and pray you will start to feel some peace soon.

Julie
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Quincysmomma
Julie,

I'm so sorry for the loss of your kitty, Patch, and thank you for sharing your story. I actually cleaned up his feeding station area today and it was heartbreaking, but it was also heartbreaking to see his empty plate sitting there every day...there were actually dried up pieces of food laying around on the floor.

I am definitely trying to give our kitty extra attention because I know she misses him too.  I do think that animals are way more perceptive of what is going on than we sometimes give them credit for.

I always thought of myself as a relatively strong person, but this has knocked me on my ass and I don't know if I will ever be the same person.  I used to use music to help if I was in a mood and I haven't even been able to listen to music since we lost him because I feel like I don't deserve to feel better.  It's almost like if I punish myself long enough and hard enough that somehow I can change the situation...which is crazy I know.

Anyway...thank you for sharing and as much as it sucks to know that other people are feeling the same way as I am, it does help a little bit.

Take care
Jessica
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BoxerMomForever
Hi Jessica, it takes time. Everyone is different. Six months tomorrow and I’ve accepted it but I’m not okay with it.  I find evenings are the hardest. That’s when is it’s quiet and gosh I still cry at nights.  I’m just ready to move on.  The days are getting nicer and being in the backyard without her is hard. 
Linda *Mom to two boxer angels* Lily {White Girl} 6/22/09 - 10/14/19  ** Ginger {Flashy Fawn Girl} 6/4/97 - 5/28/09
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JulieF
I think the key here is that we never truly get over this - just learn to live with the "new" normal.  Jessica, you should not feel like you do not "deserve" to listen to music.  Your baby would not want that.  Like Boxer Mom, there are times that are hard - mornings for me because that was "our" time.  I smile when I think of him now, but I also shed a tear.  I talk to him and actually asked him to come to me last night - of course I knew that was not going to happen.  Be thankful you had that special bond.  
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Memories_of_Marmalade
Dear Jessica,

I am sorry to learn of your loss of your beloved "Quincy." By the words that you wrote in your post it is easy to see how much your pup was loved by you and yours. All dogs should be so loved, adored & cherished.

It will be 11 months for me tomorrow since I felt I had to put my own boy down. He was an orange tabby cat named "Marmalade." Our paths crossed 850 miles away on a dusty street in New Mexico (I was and am from Southern California) where he was a KING of a colony of feral and stray cats. All the males feared and respected him (all he had to do was raise a paw and they would oblige although the other males were larger than him and he was sickly in some ways.) He was tough like your "Quincy" but also a very sweet soul. The female cats adored him and she was kind and respectful to them and they trusted him with the kittens. But he was a scrapper. A real Tom-Cat in every sense of the word. When I had to return to Los Angeles I knew he would most likely not survive as he was ill when I met him. He came with me on a 3 1/2 road trip, riding in planes, trains & automobiles. And he was a trooper the entire time. "Marmalade" never gave up on me or was uncooperative. His friendship, loyalty, devotion and companionship literally saved my life many times.

When it comes to my own personal healing after "Marmalade" departed it came in waves. They say: "Grief is like the tides. At times is swells around your legs, and then it rises to your waste, and then your chest and then your neck and then at times it goes over your head and completey swallows you and overwhelms you, and you have to just await it's passing."

Thus the above is what I experienced. It has taken me many months to begin to really heal. I couldn't eat (I had to force myself to eventually as I was concerned I was damaging my body) and I had lost interest in so much that I used to enjoy. I felt like I was paying penance in some ways. Punishing myself for the choice that I felt I had to make. I could not allow my boy to continue to endure any additional pain & suffering any in the end, even though I would pay a heavy price. But it was about HIS needs,and not my own needs. I had to let him go as you, as you had to let your "Quincy" go.

I wish you and your family and cat healing and peace. And that soon, when you think of "Quincy" only your most cherished and favorite memories of him will come to mind. There must be many of them.

My kindest regards & sincerest condolences,
James
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JulieF
James - I agree with your comparison to grief as an ocean - it does come in waves and sometimes it feels like it is going to overwhelm us - but then, like the tides, it recedes.  Marmalade was indeed a lucky boy to have found you.]and I am glad you have found some peace.  You have been so helpful so to many on this forum, me included - thank you.  I have found that certain times of the day are more difficult, but each day seems to get just a little bit better.  Last night was the first night I was able to not dread quite so much.  So the healing does come - in small increments.
So Quincys mom - it will get better.  I don't think the missing them ever goes away - how can it?  We spent a lot of life and love with them. They are a part of us.  It would be like saying part of our heart can go away and we would not even miss it.

Thanks to everyone on this forum - it has helped me so much in the last week.  God bless all of you.
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Quincysmomma
James - Thank you so much for your kind words and I love your story about Marmalade...animals are amazing creatures.  They are so pure in their love. I'm glad to hear that you have been able to find a little peace.  Someday I hope to be able to think of Quincy with smiles and laughter and no tears because he was an incredible gift for the last 11 years.

One fateful day 11 yrs ago, my husband and I went up to the store to get new windshield wipers and saw a dog running in traffic.  It took about an hour, but we finally got him into a neighborhood and he got so exhausted that he just jumped in the back of our car.  He was skinny, dirty and had mats in his fur but we were in love.

This is one of my favorite pictures of him...this was about 6 months after he was settled in and happy and healthy and I feel like this picture really shows his personality as well. I miss him every second.

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Quincysmomma
I am really struggling...this seems to actually be getting harder. I cry pretty much all day long and its been over 5 weeks...my husband is really starting to worry. He said he wants to see even just glimpses of my old self here and there, but I'm just so incredibly heartbroken and I can't seem to see any light at the end of the tunnel. I don't understand how I'm supposed to move forward when my baby boy is gone...forever.  It's too much.

My husband seems to be living by the quote "don't cry because it's over, smile because it happened" but I can't seem to do that...even reading that quote makes me cry.  I feel almost hysterical at times.

We planted a tree in his memory over the weekend...that was something we really wanted to do, but it didn't help like I hoped.  I have done all the things: photo collages, shadow box with his collar & piece of his favorite blanket, writing a daily journal to him, planted a memorial tree....nothing seems to help and nothing feels like enough. 

Maybe I'm looking for stories about when you felt you started to turn a corner? I don't know if I'll ever be the same person I was and that's ok, but it would be nice to be able to feel some hope for potential happiness in the future or its going to be a long, miserable next 40 years or so...

I really appreciate coming here and being able to pour all of this out...
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JulieF
Quincysmomma - I am so sorry your are struggling with this.  Today marks two weeks for me since I had to say goodbye to my Patchy boy.  I felt awful for the first two days - did not eat at all, but did try to go out for a short run the next day.  I was weak from not eating, but just the act of going out to do something normal helped me.  I ate that night (I think it was something like macaroni and cheese with a big hunk of ice cream for dessert).  I think what has helped me is that I am still working and have been able to go to an office every day.  I also talked with a friend who is the director of the humane society and she was incredibly helpful. I started to slowly feel better in a couple of days - in small increments.  I still feel wretched when I wake in the morning and miss our coffee time together when he would sit on my lap.  I have been able to get back to running on a regular basis (when the weather cooperates) and try to feel and act normal.  It actually takes work to not fall into the hole of despair.  I remind myself I have a lot to be thankful for - I had 19 great years with him.  I have two other cats who need my love and a wonderful boyfriend who needs me as well.  I work with a woman who lost her brother to COVID, which I also think is making all of this worse - there seems to be no good news out in the world.

You and your husband saved a sweet little dog who needed help.  You gave him a great life he would not have had without you.  He gave you the gift of unconditional love.  When that is gone, is hurts.  I don't think you should look at it as "enough" - it was enough when you pulled over on that road and saved him.  You guys had a wonderful life together and that is what you should remember.

The next time you think of him, try to smile.  The next time you write in the journal, write about a fun time and smile.  Talk with your husband about the funny things Quincy did.  Pets are wonderful but unfortunately, they go before we do in many cases.

Hopefully, in time, you will be able to open your heart and home to another dog who needs a loving home.

Hugs and bless you.
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Quincysmomma
Thank you Julie...it's helpful to hear that it is possible to feel even a little normal.  I think you nailed it when you said "It actually takes work to not fall into the hole of despair."  I think that is exactly what I am doing...I feel despair...not only mourning the loss of my guy but also mourning the possible loss of the person I used to be.  My husband said he feels like he's living with a zombie and that's exactly how I feel...how can I enjoy anything that I used to?  Our lives were so entwined with Quincy.

My husband told me to remember that he's still here and he still needs me. There are times I feel like I can't live without Quincy and that scares me too.
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JulieF
You have not lost the person you used to be - she is on hiatus for while, but she will be back because you have a life, a husband who needs you and the opportunity to open your heart and home to another dog.  Can you find a way to take your mind off of this for a while?  Something that does not involve memories of Quincy?  I spent part of my weekend going through all of my stuff and reorganizing - that helped me to feel like I was accomplishing something and got my focus away from feeling sad.

Best to you and your husband.
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Quincysmomma
I am supposed to be back to work today actually, but I work from home and there really isn't much work to do yet and just being home in general reminds me of Quincy.  He is everywhere and was my constant companion, co-worker and love.

I can't seem to wrap my mind around being ok with being sad about losing him, but also being ok with trying to move forward and enjoy things again...the thought of enjoying anything again makes me feel extremely guilty. I still feel like I let him down (even though logically he was so sick) and he is now no longer in pain. I can't picture what the rest of my life looks like without his quirky little personality running the show.  I just want to feel even a little better and not burst into tears every time I think of him.
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