alizoomer
Yesterday our 5 month old puppy Archie died. He was the best dog I have ever had and he made our house feel like a home and made my boyfriend and I feel like a family with him. He was sweet and cuddly and rambunctious just like puppies are. I was showing my friend around the new house we have just moved into which has a rooftop patio. I held Archie all the way up to the patio but while we were on the deck he wiggled out of my arms. I ran after him but he thought it was a game and jumped off the roof. He fell 4 stories and it was one of the most horrific and terrifying experiences of my life. 
I bolted down the stairs and scooped him up and we immediately took him to the emergency animal care. He was going in and out of consciousness on the car ride there and I just kept trying to get him to keep breathing. Once we were there they put him on fluids and in an oxygen kennel. The x-rays showed that he only had a break in his femur but they were still concerned. We waited for hours at the clinic in tears but Archie went into respiratory failure and passed away. 
I keep thinking there are a million things I should've done differently. Why on earth did i take him up there with us? Why did I scare him so he had to jump off the roof? Why couldn't I have just held on to him? 
I miss him so much and have been in tears since. I don't know what to do or where to go from here and I feel like the worst person in the world. My boyfriend is also grieving but can't seem to talk to me (not that I blame him at all). We are devastated and the house feels so empty and lonely. I guess I am just looking for advice on where to go next? I feel lost and our family is so broken now. The worst part being this was my fault and I can't make things right.
Alison
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mcianchette
Alison,
I can't begin to understand the level of your grief right now.  Losing our fur babies is tough enough but to lose your sweet Archie in this way really compounds the pain.  You are raw with guilt right now and that's perfectly understandable.  Can I offer to you that the first place you go now is into your own heart and examine your intentions.  You certainly never intended for this accident to happen.  You never intended or could even imagine putting Archie in danger.  Your intentions for him were to care for him, love him and make a family with him.  And you did that.  You had the best of intentions for a happy and loving life with Archie.  My guess is that he was a pretty lucky little guy during his short earth journey!  Be gentle with yourself - Archie would not want his momma to be stuck in this guilt.  The fact that you came to this website is a great start toward the healing journey that we are all on.  Peace to you, your boyfriend...and Archie.
Martha  
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emilycohen
I am so sorry for your loss. I lost my Bichon Frise at age 15. She almost made it to the vet. She died on the way to the vet. I am so sorry. All I know is I know how you feel because I have GONE CRAZY since my dog died. I am 27. IT is hard. It will be okay. maybe you could adopt a dog from the shelter in honor of Archie. Think of a life that could be SAVED because of you. 
Emily
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alizoomer
Thank you so much for your kind words Martha and Emily. We adopted Archie from a rescue called Furgotten Friends. I still have to tell the woman we got him from what happened and that terrifies me. How can I tell someone that is so loving of animals that I put my wonderful dog in danger and the worst happened? I know it was not my intention to harm him in anyway and I just wish I could hold him and tell him how sorry I am. I'm not sure we will be ready for another animal for some time. Archie was special and we want to honor him as best we can. Thank you again for your replies. It is really comforting to know people are out there who care and understand
Alison
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mcianchette
My guess is that Archie's spirit will help heal you faster than you think and he'd want you to have another fur baby in the near future.  We lost our 14+ Winston last month - had to put him down after short and sudden auto-immune issue.  I talk to him - and write to him constantly.  It's so hard to not have him with us in the way he used to be, but it has really helped keep his spirit near.  I love that you want to give special time to Archie.  Talk to him - he knows you're sorry.  And I bet he'd rather hear more about all the happiness and joy he brought to you, not how his accidental passing has brought you such pain.  Peace...Martha

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Dalidog
Your puppy was just being a puppy and accidents happen.  Not your fault.  I know the guilt can eat you up, so just know that the puppy was happy and although life was short, he was cared for and love.  Many animals aren't.  I lost my Lhasa Dali (my daughter to me) after 12 1/2 years two weeks ago.  I haven't quit crying.  I too feel guilt because I thought she just had a cold and waited a few days to take to the vet.  Even thought the vet gave her a shot and prescription and said she would be fine, the next morning she had a seizure and died.  Think was just too much for her little heart.  I feel such guilt too and not sure how to handle it.  Am trying to remember the good times and know that she is in a happier place as is your pup

Dali, as much a daughter as any human...  pure love
Until we meet again

http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/DALI003/Resident.htm

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alizoomer
I am so sorry for your losses. It breaks my heart to hear about such wonderful animals passing away and the pain you have all felt. I know this is a tough question but what do I do next? I'm sitting in my office in and out of tears trying to keep going but it is so difficult. We get Archie's ashes on Friday and I don't know what to do. Should we keep them in our home with a picture next to them? Should we find a pet cemetery? Should we have a memorial?  I just want to make sure we give him a proper goodbye and are able to cherish his memory.
Alison
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patent123
Alizoomer- I think you should do what feels best for your family.  For me personally I kept my girls ashes.  I thought it might be nice to spread them somewhere amazing but I also can't bring myself to let her go.  For me I kept her.  I have her ashes in this beautiful wooden box with flowers carved into it, her collars around the box as well.  I have it on a shelf above my T.V. in the living room.  I was lighting these fake candles at night by it but of course the batteries have died now.  I still have HORRIBLE nights so its kind of comforting to hold her box and just talk to her.  I tell her goodnight every single night still. For me the day I got her ashes back later that night I just talked to her.  I told her how sorry I was for putting her to sleep.  I told her it was ok to move on and ultimately I just wanted her to be happy again.  I explained I was sorry if I failed her in anyway and I wished more then anything she was back with me in real life...not just in a box. I asked her to move on  and when it was my time to meet me.  Although the pain isn't gone it really helped saying a proper goodbye.  Her euthanasia was so fast and emotional I didn't send her off how I would have liked.  I know your really hurting right now.  I'm sure your struggling with all the guilt and what ifs like we all have or do.  I still do at times and I feel the loss of my best friend daily. Its been a month since I let her go...I have decent days and really sad days.  I'm still shocked shes gone like its not real.  Allow yourself to grieve and feel out all your emotions.  My Uncle who for me I feel was one of the few people who understood how sad I was told me "its ok to be sad or really pissed off right now...if I were you I would feel so angry and sad.  Its ok to feel those things because you lost a loved one.  To feel better do something that really honors your dog do something amazing" For me I just took some special treats to the shelter and gave a needy dog some attention.  Find something that you feel Honors Archie and do it in his memory.  With time the pain will become less or more easy to handle.  Hopefully my answer helps a little...bottom line do what feels best for you. 
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mcianchette
Alison...since my dogs are older, I had started thinking about how we would handle their ashes.  Thought we had it all planned out...then we lost Winston fairly suddenly and everything changed and I can't seem to feel right about any of those original ideas.  So for now, he's "sitting" on the bookshelf where he can look out the window, one of his favorite activities.  And we have a sweet picture of him nearby.  One day we might be inspired to do something different but at that point, we're taking this journey one hour at a time.  It's a very personal and emotional journey so it's really important to do what feels comfortable in the moment.  Love the idea of finding something to do that honors Archie.  Imagine how much he'd love that, knowing his spirit is being kept alive!  Peace to you, through this tough time...Martha
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