sadiesmom
I've tried so desperately to move on since losing my girl but I am still in a deep, dark place. I'm realizing that having had her through most of my 20s and early 30s as a single woman in San Francisco, she was my only constant. Through dating and career searches and changes, she has been the only thing I was sure of: that she belonged with me. Because of her incontinence etc. I devoted a lot of time to her care. It was worth every second. Now I am not sure what to do with myself. I've lost sight of what's important to me, what I enjoy, where and with whom I belong, where home really is. Home was always where she and I were.

My boyfriend of 3 years ... he is sad about losing her, too, but mostly he is worried and feels worried about us. I find that I don't care very much about the things that were important to me 2 weeks ago, like my relationship, rock climbing, friendships. None of them seem to matter to me much compared to what I've lost. I know they are important---they must be. Has anyone experienced this during their loss?

I decided to take in a foster dog because the house was so quiet I just hated be home. We were thinking of adopting her but she's 8 months old and very puppy-like, has separation anxiety and can't be left at home. So I've been having to spend every minute with her and take her to work (which means driving into the city and paying for parking). It turned out to be too much stress for me; the opposite of what I was going for! Now we've decided to let the org. put her up for adoption, in the hopes that she can get all of the daily attention and love she deserves; hopefully someone who works from home etc. I feel a little foolish for trying to find some relief in helping a new pup. I make a great dog mom but me and my relationship don't have much energy to give right now. I hope at least we've given her a lovely foster home for the time being and can help her get placed in a great home.

How long has it taken those of you out there going through this grief to feel ready to let another animal into your home? Does the quiet feel unbearable to you, too?

Liz

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Leigh
Liz,
I'm so sorry for the loss of your fur baby.

In the scheme of grieving, two weeks is a drop in the bucket, although it feels like a lifetime of sorrow.
 
We had our Mary dog put to sleep on July 28 so it's been a little over 11 weeks now.  It's been THE most miserable part of my life.  Ever.

My husband decided that we weren't going to get another dog.  (If you knew me, you would understand what a mess I was in for me to go along with that).  I eventually got rid of all of Mary's things except the really special toys, collar and leash that are on the hearth along with her ashes and a goofy picture of her my sister gave me for my bd.  The only thing left was the dog house my late dad had made just for Mary that takes about 4 grown men to move.

Grief hit me h-a-r-d.  The guilt for having Mary killed was excruciating.  "Why did I...or why didn't I..." were the phrases that my mind kept coming up with.  I was lost.  Multi-tasking was a thing of the past.  I couldn't eat, couldn't sleep.  Cried until I actually was nauseous.  Discovered I couldn't drive...and I used to be a truck driver.  My heart truly felt broken with a hole in it.  The quiet was deafening.  Depression of epic proportions hit pretty quickly.  Thoughts of joining Mary not only crossed my mind but were in the planning stages.  The loss of Mary was more powerful than my dad dying in their back yard and me performing CPR on him (to no avail).  And friends and family?  Some were absolutely fantastic and understood.  Some said unbelievably brutal and cruel things.  Nothing mattered any more.  Guilt 24 hours a day plays with a person's mind. I just hated to see another day start.
  
And then new friends here reached out to me and dragged me back from the brink.  I can never thank Judy, Regina, Donna Lee, Barb, Jen, Erica and others enough for their insights, wisdom and kind words.
 
Just last Friday, my husband told me he was still very worried about me and wondered if another dog would help.  Huh?  Seriously?  Really?  More tears.  My husband works long hours during the night, so I'm alone at night and during the day he sleeps, so more alone time.  Our son is grown and lives 6 hours away.  

To make a long story even longer (sorry)...we'll be picking up our new family member, Annie, this Sunday.  She's a dachshund/lab, 3 years old, 17 lbs., blonde, and a rescue girl.  Our Mary was a dachshund/rottweiler (yes, really), 14 years old, 32 lbs. more or less, black/tan/white and a 9-week-old pound puppy when she came to us.  I didn't want a dog that looked like Mary but we do like the qualities of doxies.  I checked locally and there were no doxie mixes so just for the grins of it, I looked around online.  This precious little Annie kept popping up on 4 or 5 sites.  Thought she'd be in a new home since she'd been listed for so long but nooooo ;) 
   
After getting off the phone with the foster mom, suddenly sad thoughts of Mary engulfed me and stopped me in my tracks.  There's been a lot of "remember how Mary would..." stories lately.  They might be told with a laugh and a smile, but there's also tears in our eyes.

There are soooo many thoughts and feelings going through me.   I'm hoping that giving Annie a home will help all of us.  Like a friend said recently, I hope Annie helps ease the Mary-shaped hole in my heart.

Please come back and tell us more about your baby.  This is a good place to throw out all your thoughts, feelings, insecurities, etc. because grief truly doesn't discriminate.

hugs and peace,
Leigh           

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tikibarb
Everyone grieves at a different pace.  For me, I was devastated for about 4 weeks.  I didn't think about doing anything to myself, but I wouldn't have cared if I died I missed him so bad.  Then, after some time, and a lot of posting on this site,  I was able to start functioning and started replacing the tears with bittersweet memories.  I credit this site and the wisdom of the many friends I have made with bringing me back from the brink of hopelessness, not caring about getting out of my pajamas to moving to a place of functionality and learning to live and love again.  It has been 14 weeks since I lost my beloved best friend Ted. I have since adopted a new  baby, a toy poodle named Pippin  after about 12 weeks.  It was an emotional roller coaster for a couple of days but we worked it out and he is a complete joy now.  I am one of the lucky few who works from home.  Perhaps you just need a bit more time before you bring another baby into you home.  Especially one with emotional issues.  That makes it so much harder.  I hope you find a permanent home for your foster soon so you can spend more time healing.  I am sure you will give  it a try again when the time is better or you.  I will say an extra prayer that your foster dog finds the perfect permanent home and that you will find the perfect baby when the time is right..
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
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tikibarb
Everyone grieves at a different pace.  For me, I was devastated for about 4 weeks.  I didn't think about doing anything to myself, but I wouldn't have cared if I died I missed him so bad.  Then, after some time, and a lot of posting on this site,  I was able to start functioning and started replacing the tears with bittersweet memories.  I credit this site and the wisdom of the many friends I have made with bringing me back from the brink of hopelessness, not caring about getting out of my pajamas to moving to a place of functionality and learning to live and love again.  It has been 14 weeks since I lost my beloved best friend Ted. I have since adopted a new  baby, a toy poodle named Pippin  after about 12 weeks.  It was an emotional roller coaster for a couple of days but we worked it out and he is a complete joy now.  I am one of the lucky few who works from home.  Perhaps you just need a bit more time before you bring another baby into you home.  Especially one with emotional issues.  That makes it so much harder.  I hope you find a permanent home for your foster soon so you can spend more time healing.  I am sure you will give  it a try again when the time is better or you.  I will say an extra prayer that your foster dog finds the perfect permanent home and that you will find the perfect baby when the time is right..
Barbara Lyngarkos
My Beloved Ted 8/7/2005 - 7/7/10
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/TED001/Resident.htm
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judylinn
sadiesmom. my heart goes out to you in your pain. It really hasnt been that long since you lost your beloved girl.
Good for you that you realized that this dog, want reight for you at this time. that is probably the best descion for both of you if you have to work alot.
I didnt care about anyone or anything after Maddie passed, and for me, it has been a slow process. Its different for all of us.
Yes the quiet does feel unbearable. Maddie was the only other living being in the house, and the quietness is hard. more than the quietness, it was the prescence of that love and joy, I think thats what we all miss.
Take the time you need to heal and to grieve, sometimes getting a new baby too soon, doesnt work well, and for some it does. Listen to your heart, like you did about this dog, and you will know what is right for you.
Take care. Judy
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Rottiesmammandaddy

To say I understand is an understatement, but very true. It's been 10 days that my baby boy Rottie walked over the bridge dangling our hearts around his little neck. He too was a doxie mix, doxie, beagle, and lab to be exact. His parents each weigh 30lbs apiece,  he was half their size.  We had thought of getting a new baby, to help the hole in our hearts, but the right one hasn't come along just yet. I'm glad you have found Annie, I'm sure she will be wonderful and loved. Please, when you get her let us see some pics.  May the Lord bless you and send you healing prayers.

In Loving Memory of Rottie, our baby boy
http://rainbowsbridge.com/residents/ROTTI002/Resident.htm
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Leigh
Steve and Dawn,
I just looked at the pics of Rottie you posted.  He looks so soft and huggable...what a precious little guy!
I'm so nervous about Annie.  Are we doing the right thing?  It feels kind of like when Mary was gone...is this really real?  We're leaving early tomorrow and here it is almost midnight and I can't sleep.
I also feel bad about going on and on about Annie but this is such new territory for us.  Maybe it's helping somebody, too???
I'll post pics of Annie.  She's a little blonde and that just tickles me, for some reason. 
Your all-consuming grief will slowly ease and you'll think of Rottie more and more with smiles instead of tears.
hugs and peace,
Leigh 
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sadiesmom
Thank you so much Leigh and everyone. I have been feeling a little bit better the last few days, and we had fun taking the foster to experience the ocean for the first time, and play with other dogs. She is getting more comfortable with us and being alone for most of the workday and I am getting a bit attached to her, so we will see what happens over the next week. No one adopted her this weekend.

I have put Sadie's ashes and pretty pictures of her on my dresser (pictures all over the house, really). I am starting to wrap my head around the fact that she is not alone or suffering somewhere, which brings comfort to me. After so long tending to her so closely, it seemed incomprehensible to me that she wasn't

Now that some of the utter despair is passing, I am trying to focus on how to get back interested in life and enjoying something. Baby steps. Sadie was a lot of my identity; my sense of home and purpose, and without it I'm not sure what those things are.

Leigh, your posts really spoke to me. I am curious to hear how the new baby is going. It complicates the grief, but I think anything that keeps me occupied and makes me giggle sometimes is good. And I would be grieving with or without a foster pup. I know Sadie would want me to enjoy and focus on something if I could. (I did put her favorite things away; she was territorial and I know she would want not another dog touching them!)

Thank you everyone for your sweet thoughts and kind words.... they have been a huge comfort to me.

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judylinn

Sadie is a cutie. how you felt about Sadie, always reminds me about how I felt about Maddie. Baby steps is really what it is. my prayers are with you. Judy

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sadiesmom
Today after writing I was waiting for the bus and began to think of the whole "euthanasia" scene again. I know I am not alone in feeling incredibly heavy-hearted about that decision and visit. They left me alone in the room with her after and I could feel the weight of her head on my leg but recognized she was no longer in her body. And I left her body there---mostly because I felt like I might throw up and I am the queen of keeping up appearances (it's ingrained in me). I was alone and unsure if I could drive home; a survival instinct kicked in and I had to get out of there. But I think of leaving her in that room and looking back at her and the image of her laying on the floor is probably one I will never forget. Before that moment I would NEVER have left her anywhere; it was a big switch to accept she could suddenly no longer feel. So thinking of that day is one of the most troubling thoughts I have.

Sadie was literally run over by a bus at 2 or 3 years old in a freak accident in front of me, so we had been through a ton. And she was the type who liked the vet and would tolerate just about any poking and prodding. But she was feisty, too. My boyfriend and I did a deep little voice imitating what she must be thinking all of the time  "Sadie inside" would be what she was thinking when she broke through barriers and doors to get in when she didn't want to be out. She was like a little tank. She was also an incredible flirt. She loved men --- it took months before she bonded enough to me to listen to my commands etc. instead of whatever man. And all through her life if a large man passed us on the street (especially an African American man) she stopped in her tracks and made crazy googly eyes at him, so much so that people would comment, "Why is your dog looking at me like that?" and laugh.

"Sadie hungry!" was another thing we said in the imaginary Sadie voice, because she was always hungry. Her mom being a vegetarian didn't work too well for her. Around meat, she'd turn into an exceptional begger! My dad saved rib bones for her and she followed him around like he was a god for days on end. The girl thought she was starving! And if I asked him not to feed her anymore, I would hear him slipping her more while I was in the bathroom, "She won't know!" They were a cute pair. And she and I were a funny pair. More than once she knocked me down running up behind me (she was 80 lbs; I'm 135) and went on her merry way  leaving me laying in the dirt. She loved everyone, even the mailman, but if someone bothered me (an ex and I were fighting once, I was crying and he hugged me to comfort me; she loved him and still came up at him baring her teeth and ready to take him out), she didn't mess around.

I could go on for hours; she had a huge personality and I was always more shy and unsure of myself; it's part of the bond that formed between us.

On a separate similar note, this foster dog is funny and one of the only things that lifts my spirits. I'll be watching TV, depressed, and I look down and she house her mouth around the couch like "is this okay?" I haven't dealt with a puppy before and have to laugh. I took her to an adoption fair this Sun. trying to find a nice  home for her and she was distressed there, then wouldn't look at me the rest of the day. Like, "Thanks for trying to give me away on the street lady!" Ha.

Anyway, I was just thinking of some of the amazing things about my Sadie, and some of the small joys the foster dog brings. Dogs are all too much. Sometimes I wonder about myself---I look like a normal 35-year-old with pretty good social skills and if there is an animal around, at a party or whatever, I focus on that, and not the people, for the entire time. Every time.

Anyway, thinking of everyone on this site and so grateful for the stories and comfort you've given me.

Liz

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slotaddict
Liz, I completely understand what you are going through..I lost my best friend Kayla on 10/04, I cannot get the image of her laying dead on the floor out of my mind.  For days I hoped the vet would call and say it was a mistake and she somehow woke up...the most difficult part was she fought to the very end, until she took her last breath...I am haunted by the memory.  Could I have done more, should I have done more...she was on medication that kept her alive, she had a bad liver...I and I alone made a consious decision to try giving her the pill every other day instead of every day - she seemed to be doing so well - my guilt is overwhelming - I think that I killed her twice...my days are empty - the silence is deafening - I cry all the time...I cannot undo what I did or did not do..
I applaud you for trying to foster a dog, I do not know if I could do that, I cannot replace her and I don;t want any other pet, I want her...
I hope these forums are helpful to you, I am here everyday since I found them.   I will forever miss my furbaby, 16 1/2 years, a lifetime of unconditional love..
I look forward to any stories that you may have about fostering a pet, maybe that is an option for me.  Of course not right now, but maybe someday...
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sadiesmom
Hi Slotaddict,

Thank you for your sweet post. I had that same experience---worrying she woke up after I left with me already gone. Sadie was a fighter, too---so tough, like a little tank. It was hard to realize that every creature, no matter how life-loving and strong reaches a point where it's time to go. I felt it was not okay to watch Sadie suffer anymore. I am sure you went through the same realization. You obviously loved her incredibly and were devoted to doing the right thing for her, even if it was letting her go. Remember that she felt your love through her entire life and her death as well. She was surrounded with it even then and had the gift of going as peacefully as possible with you right there. Those are the things I try to remember!

The fostering situation has been complicated for me. I knew I was not in an emotional state to adopt but literally could not bear the loneliness and loss and was willing to do anything for it to ease. Of course, we've given the pup love and lots of walks and encouragement. But I am still filled with sorrow and not at all myself. There is no way to replace the most important being in your life, even if you wanted to. I will absolutely never be the same person I was before I met Sadie, or since she died.

I think if Sadie could see me, she would be troubled by how sad I've been and happy for me to have anything that made me laugh, even if just a little! And puppies do make you chuckle you sometimes. I think that's the only thing I've laughed at in weeks.

Fostering is not for me, by the way. I prefer the idea of going in, choosing the pet who seems right for me and jump in. I just couldn't have done it so quickly. (We are considering adopting her now). I get easily attached but more importantly, dogs do. I worry that the bouncing from home to home is not good for them if it can be avoided. ALTHOUGH a foster situation is a blessing for dogs who are not currently adoptable or who have just had surgery/puppies etc. and for some dogs who are not doing well in a shelter, it could help give them a more normal situation for the time being. And help with socialization and training etc.  So that's my two cents! It's a very personal thing. I have seen a few serial foster parents who love it and have done amazing things for dogs in need.

I'll be thinking of you ... I hope the guilt feelings slowly pass for you. They have gotten less for me as time goes on. With how much we loved our babes, there is no question we would ever have done anything but what we thought we had to for them. Liz

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