S_K
Hi, just found this forum and feel like I need to share my experience just to vent but also to possibly get some words of wisdom. Maybe someone has been in a similar kind of situation where you feel like a new pet is disturbing the grieving process, I'd love to hear how you've coped..

So me and my partner lost one of our cats suddenly in june. Her health crashed during just one day and the emergency vet couldn't do anything except to euthanize her. This was devastating and extremely traumatic and we were completely heartbroken. It was rough couple of weeks trying to get over the guilt and make sense of what happened.

Only three weeks after her sudden death, we got a dog. We had decided to get a dog months ago, a rescue from another country whose adoption process took months due to covid restrictions and then her health issues that had to be taken care of first. We got to know the date of her arrival on the same day our cat passed away, and only three weeks after we picked her up. I immediately got serious anxiety about the change. I felt like we had made the worst mistake ever, that it was too soon after the loss but also because her presence in our home makes me extremely anxious and I feel unable to bond with her. I also realized that our oldest cat was starting to get worse and I felt extremely guilty and panicky that I can't pay enough attention to her because of the big life change.

Our old cat had thyroid issues, arthritis and kidney disease that had been in control for two years with regular vet visits and proper medication, but this summer she really started losing weight and acting different and I knew she wasn't going to be with us long. One day she couldn't keep even water in and we took her to the emergency vet, again to hear that her kidneys had gone worse and it would be kindest to let her go before she got worse. She was still in relatively good condition and we didn't want her to crash, so less than a month after the previous loss we had to make the gut wrenching decision again.

It's been three weeks since the passing of our old cat, 7 weeks since the dog got home and 2 months since the passing of our younger cat, and I feel like I can't wrap my head around all this. I'm still extremely anxious about having a dog, it feels like a mistake and the worst timing ever, and I think I am the worst person in the world right now because I can't bond at all with that sweet dog. My partner loves her and although at first we thought we would rehome her because the situation is stressful for all parties, he decided against it which of course was morally the right thing to do. I feel like I'm unable to grieve because this current situation is taking up all headspace, and there is great deal of anxiety, pain and worry. (I am very prone to anxiety & depression which is triggered by any life changes positive or negative, so that's why such a strong reaction). Right now I just feel like I'd need to have a breather to go through the grieving process, but it's not possible. Also I'm worried how this all will affect my relationship with my partner, because he now sees a totally new side of me (unable to love an animal because of my own anxiety) and he tries to be understanding but it can't last forever. Luckily we still have one cat who is my special boy and gives me a lot of comfort.

Sorry about the long post and thank you if you read this far.. Just feeling really hopeless and in need of some outsider's perspective, I guess.
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P_Mom
Dear SK, I'm so very sorry for the recent losses of your kitties. ❤️❤️ The pain is truly heartbreaking. You're grieving. You have been through so much and as you said, trying to make sense of it all. The grief of your kitties will likely take a long time to work through.  I lost my Chihuahua in February of kidney failure and I'm still completely devastated and unable to move forward.  It sounds like you had a deep bond with both your babies and did all you could to help them.  

Regarding the new doggy, it's not as is if you went out and got a dog all of a sudden after your losses. This was a decision already made and in planning for quite some time prior to your losses.  So it seems to me, the stars may actually have aligned bringing this pup to you when you need her most. 💖 It may be hard to see it that way, but my opinion only reading the timing of events. I'm sure you feel guilt opening your heart so soon, or like you're betraying your kitties, but you're not.  Sounds like you went through a lot of effort to bring this pup into your home - I'm with your partner on giving her a chance she deserves. 

There is a really good recent post to this forum about adopting a dog after recent loss of another dog and feeling conflicting.  While the circumstances are a bit different as there was some planning for this pup, the experiences of others may help you. (I posted it below - hope it works.)

Try to just take it one day at a time - your heart is going through so much right now.  You can still grieve and love at the same time. I thank God for my other dog to help get me through the loss of my boy.  Sending big hugs your way.  XO

https://forums.rainbowsbridge.com/post/adopted-new-doggie-feeling-very-conflicted-10644008?pid=1312811718
Jennifer
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S_K
Hi Jennifer and thank you so, so much for your kind words <3 I am also sorry to hear about your loss, the grief eases over time but missing our furbabies never stops, just turns into sweet memories.

You are most likely right about everything falling into place at the right time, even though now it feels like everything has gone terribly wrong. I think that getting a dog is always going to be a big life change and cause some kind of "crisis" in the beginning, when you have  only had cats before. Now the "puppy blues" is getting mixed up with the grieving process which makes everything so much bigger and harder. Also losing two of our beloved family members is such a big shock to take that it might take long time for it to sink in properly and to process. My cats were part of my life 10 and 12 years and I went through so much with them by my side, so just losing them would've been a big change to handle on it's own. Like you said, it's so important to stay open to love even amidst grief and to not shut down from life <3 Anyway, even though loss is so painful it's such a gift that we have experienced love so deep <3
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P_Mom
Thank you for your kind words as well. ❤Losing one of our life's most beloved companions is unbearable, losing two in such a short span is unthinkable to go through. 💔 Then you're adding a new dog (which sounds like new territory for you) on top of all of it. Truly a great deal to cope with. 

When I got my boy Patch as a puppy, less than a month later, my father passed away unexpectedly in a car accident on his way home from work due to an unknown medical condition. It was devastating to our entire family. Now I have this little puppy who needs me - and lots of attention! But it turns out, I needed him - he was my rock and comfort through that loss and deep grief -bringing me laughter and joy, literally licking my tears away.

Dogs are very intuitive and want nothing but to please their owners. I think (hope!) you'll find over time she brings you comfort in your time of sorrow and mourning.  It sounds like with the loving home you've provided your 3 kitties, she'll be in great hands if it all works out. 
Jennifer
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