On Monday I brought my 4 year old bulldog Freida in for what I thought was a fairly routine procedure. The vet kept her overnight and she aspirated and passed away. To say I've been shredded by this is an understatement. 

That morning I spent coloring my hair while Freida slept on the sofa. When it was time to leave I jingled the car keys and off we went. Once at the vet I handed him her leash without so much as a second of hesitation and off she went. All of these things, which at the time seemed so routine, are crushing me. I was so casual and it was the last chance I had to spend any time with her. 

From the very first day I held Freida she had me hook, line and sinker. She was feisty, funny, and so incredibly loving to everyone she met -- her bulldog siblings and every person. Most of all she was loving to me. There was not one thing about her that I didn't find utterly charming and adorable. We had a true soul connection which I have never experienced before. She would climb onto my lap to snooze after her breakfast while I drank my coffee. About once a week we would catch eyes and she would gaze directly into my eyes with the most loving, gentle, kind, soulful and knowing look. Those were our most special, bonded times. She knew she was loved and I knew she loved me right back. 

It's only been a few days and I am trying to be patient with myself (never a strong suit) but I feel so utterly bereft and miss her so intensely. I know it will take a long time to heal. I am lucky to know many animal lovers who have experienced similar heartbreaks. That helps. Sort of. I find the mornings are the absolute worst- the pain is most intense then. I'm trying to do one or two normal things everyday -- see a friend, take my other 2 lovey dogs on a nice walk, visit my mom. My husband has been very sweet but I am worried that he will not be able to deal with my level of sadness for much longer. Not sure I can hide it or even want to. I am worrying that I will never have that same feeling of mutual love again (of course, it is different with humans).  And yet I know that while it will not be the same, I will have other deep and loving connections.  I miss the entire tactile experience of holding her and rubbing her chubby belly, cleaning her wrinkles, calling her for dinner, watching her darling ears flap in the breeze when running in from the yard, her jaunty little rolling trot. And most of all the doggy smiles that she generously bestowed on me all the time, especially when I was cracking peanuts shells and sharing the peanuts with her. One of her favorites. 

On the positive side, and I'm not a religious person, I do feel that God sent her to me, that we were destined for each other. She had some hefty health problems from the get go and I did absolutely everything I could to give her the best life possible. I am so thankful for the time I had with her, for the fact that she was mine. But I want more of her. I guess I'm greedy. 

I'm learning from talking to friends that it seems that it might not actually get better but you get used to it and in time life gets normal again. I welcome and dread that day at the same time-- wanting to end this pain and yet hating the day that my new normal doesn't include Freida. :(

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Freida's Mom: I just wanted to say you are in the right place with people who understand your pain and loss. When I first came to this board, I was devastated. The support and understanding I have found here is so healing. Freida was with you a short time but what a wonderful loving life she had with you. Hold on to those precious memories and know that Freida is always with you. Someone shared with me that God had shared my special friend with me, but was ready for him to come back to him. I take comfort that he is at the Rainbow Bridge playing, running and sunning himself. Keep coming back and sharing with us. Frank

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Thank you Frank. I'm hoping to glean some courage from others who have walked this path before me. Your words are so helpful.

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Freidas mom...I am so sorry for your loss. It is hard for others who dont know what that deep bond is with an animal, we do understand here, so you can come and we will understand what you are going through. My Maddie was a health challenged dog, and we muddled through it together the best we could.  You gave Freida those years of love, and you have her in your heart.  Let yourself grieve openly, though maybe someplace private, where you can let it out, that is so much better than holding it in.
I feel so much like you susan, dreading the day, that has no maddie in it. It might help when you are ready, to do some memorial things for Freida. I planted some glowers, and a beautiful cherry blossom tree. And I take her picture and spend a bit of time talking to her everyday. however you choose to grieve is okay. We will be here to support you. Judy
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Thank you Judy. I think you make a good point to find somewhere private to grieve openly. That way I can feel whatever I'm feeling and not stuff it inside. AND not overly burden my husband. Freida was mine, no questions asked-- he loved her but it is entirely different. 

Today was a bit better but still finding that the approaching evening and again the mornings bring the pain on full force. I guess that is how it will be for a while. 
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mornings and evenings are my toughest time. I often cry in the morning when I wake up, knowing the day is without her, and at night when I would spend lots of snuggling time with her, and just close fun time together.  I played with Maddie alot. Living alone, has made the house really empty.I spent all my evenings on here, getting support from people here. Dont know how I would have made it through otherwise.
Do you know there is a live chat, where people are right there at the same time. I went on there alot, and just sobbed my eyes out. Also on Monday night there is a candlelight ceremony here, that honors our pets. it is very beautiful. you can sign up for it and be there with a lit candle. I have done it several times, and just sobbed through it. It is very beauitful...the parts i couldnt handle, I just left.
We will be here for you, so come back for more support. Love to you. Judy
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It is so not OK that you lost your Frieda. I  am very very sorry.  My Little Man Tuffy took my heart away at 5 wks old. He made me believe in love at first sight.  To say he was my "Baby Dog" would be an understatement. He got sick on a Monday.  All week long the vet said he would be fine.  The following Monday I took him in (again).  I believed he would be fine.  He was not. He died w/o me there.  It will haunt me forever.  But I know, I believe, he understands, he knows I did not abandon him, did not leave him alone on purpose.  Frieda knows the same.  It is US not THEM that grieve my friend.  I've been away from my Baby Dog Tuffy for 10 weeks.  The longest 10 wks of my life.  But I KNOW he KNOWS how much I loved him. FRIEDA KNOWS TOO.

Love you friend.  Keep coming here.  We care.  We believe in your and Frieda's love.
Death leaves a heartache no one can heal;
Love leaves a memory no one can steal.

Tuffy, My Puppy Love
June 20, 2005-July 26, 2010

Becky Leigh, Queen of my Heart
December 2010-November 10, 2015
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Hi there,

I am so sorry for your loss. I hope that you are doing better. I know this part of losing a loving animal is the worst. That is a beautiful photo of her.
I too hurt from losing our beloved Thunder quickly because of an illness, and often ask myself a million questions, the biggest one being WHY??? Wish we could have all the answers to them but we just can't. Your baby was so young, and I am sure you never expected to lose her this way. We didn't think it either. I am sure we have the same feelings about this situation that we didn't want or ask for but got it anyway. Our Thunder was only 7 years old and we never thought we would lose him this young.
Again, I am so sorry for your loss. If you need someone to talk to, know that I am here, Take care,
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Thank you Erica. It actually has gotten better, to an extent. I still cannot listen to music, especially any type of love song and have actually had to leave stores that play sappy music. I miss her always but I focus my mind on hugging her and smiling at funny things I remember rather than the sad stuff.  I have her pictures everywhere and I study every last little thing, every freckle she had, every sparkle in her eye, everthing I can so that she is always in my minds eye. My other two dogs and I have fallen into a new routine and we are. I wrap my arms around her in my mind 100 times a day. That's all I've got for now. I hate that my life is moving forward, away from the time we had together. I hate that part. But it is inevitable. So I bring her with me in my mind as much as I can. 

I am so very sorry about Thunder. I pray the days are finding some peace for you too. 
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I love your words Freidasmom "I wrap my arms around her in my mind 100 times a day"   thats what i do with Maddie, and it really helps. I feel your deep love for your beautiful baby. Every time I see her picture, it makes me smile. so she is still bringing smiles for people.  Judy :)

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I so missed Mary and our routines when she was first put to sleep (and still do).  There was not only the physical loss of Mary but the whole "world" of Mary.  My son is grown and gone and hubby works long hours at night and sleeps during the day, so my life was wrapped up in Mary.  
Stupid, cruel comments from loved ones absolutely destroyed me. 
Mary was sick for the last few years of her life so I had to be in tune to her physical condition.  Then, one night she had her second stroke and that totally did her in.  She couldn't stand, walk or do anything by herself, poor baby girl.  The guilt of having her put to sleep is still devastating. 
I remember the routines.  I remember her bark, her hard muscles, her grin...everything.  Tomorrow will be Week 16.  I miss my girl soooo much.
BUT, life goes on.  New and different routines fall into place.
We have an addition to our family now...Annie Loa.  She's 3, a rescue dog, doxie/yellow lab, totally loving, and adorable.  More new and different routines are taking place. 
Annie's not taking the place of Mary at all.  In fact, I find myself remembering more and more little things about Mary that I had forgotten.  I feel even closer to Mary if that's even possible.  I'm always telling Annie what her big sister was like and what she would do. lol  They would have loved each other!
I'm so thankful to have had Mary girl in our lives for over 14 years.  She taught us so much.  The grief when she left us was well worth all the years of sheer joy and pure happiness she gave us.
RIP my beloved Marabella Roxie.
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FriedasMom, so very sorry for your loss, it seems from the date of your post that you loss your precious baby the same day I lost my beautiful Kayla..
This morning was particularly hard for me, the days have been getting better but, but she never leaves my mind.
Your Frieda was very lucky to have you and share your very special connection with her..I wish you peace.
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Dear Freida's Mom,
I am so sorry for your loss. It is so sad. My little pug, Charlie, my baby, was only four, too. He had complications several months after his ear surgery. It is truly devastating. I thought he would be with me for many, many years....not just four years. I am not a religious person either, but I too believe that Charlie was sent my way for a reason. He had an awesome four years with me. Next week it will be a month, and I still can't believe he's poor Charlie....your poor Freida......she was so lucky to have you.......
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Thanks everyone. I hope this isn't hard to read but besides missing her pretty much all the time, I have come to a happy, semi-peaceful place about my girl. She was at the beginning stages of a degenerative condition that would have made her life a total misery, full of struggling. I am forever indebted to our "higher power" for taking her early. It was a kind gift to both of us in many ways. Even if that means I feel cheated and miss her so intensely. I couldn't bear to see her struggle. I hope she is running free and can feel how much I love her. I wish that from the depths of my being. 

On another note, I hope no one thinks I am totally nuts but I had an astrological reading about my career path. The astrologer brought up Freida's death--unprompted by me-- I thought we were only talking about my work. He said her little soul would be coming around again, sometime at the end of next summer. If I was open to it, he said I would recognize her immediately. Gulp back tears!!!  This was the last thing I expected him to say.  
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that is awesome will have to be on the lookout.  and no your not nuts.:)
I appreciate sooo much your words of love, about Freida, been taken, before the suffering was huge.  Having watched my beautiful Maddie one of the reasons, I don't think I could handle another dog for a long long time.  and those are such loving words, to think of Freida's welfare first.  Bless you.  Judy
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