missingmylittlefriends
Hi: 

Over the past two weeks, both my dog and my parents' dog (the dog I grew up with) had to be put to sleep. In both cases, it was the humane thing to do, to prevent any more suffering, but I never expected both of them to go at the same time and it is so, so hard. I don't think I've cried this hard in ages, and my apartment just feels empty -- I feel empty, for that matter. I saw a piece of my dog's kibble on the floor this morning, for example, and just lost it. I can't stop crying, my sleep is rubbish, and I've really been struggling at work: I'm a doctor and I feel like I'm so consumed by my own grief that I haven't been there for my patients and their families in the way that I should be as a medical professional. (I haven't broken down at work or anything, I'm still holding strong, but it's really hard most days.)

I know, with time and tears, that this will pass, that grief is normal and healthy. But it feels like a living, slow-moving nightmare. And because this is my first experience with pet euthanasia, I have no idea how long the grieving process "usually" takes (I realize we all move at our own speeds). If you made it this far, thanks for reading, and for any advice you might have.
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Jcunnane
Hi missingmylittlefriends,

I’m so sorry for the loss of both your dog and your childhood dog. I couldn’t imagine.

Like you, I recently had to say goodbye to my sweet ginger tabby cat Bubby a little over 3 weeks again. He was in renal failure and like you said it was the humane thing to do. End his pain and suffering and take that upon myself. He would have been 10 this month. This is my first time I’ve ever had to say goodbye to a furbaby of my own and it has been the most painful, heart wrenching, sadness I have ever felt along with the guilt. The first week for me was really hard. I cried uncontrollably even at work. Everything and anything was setting me off. Luckily I have my own office so I just kind of hid in there. I looked like a mess though even when I tried to make myself look presentable. Like you said sleep has been horrible. I haven’t been able to really sleep in the past 3 weeks. I wake around 2am and can’t fall back asleep. That’s when Bubby would lay in between our pillows and I would lay my head on his belly and get the best sleep ever. Now not so much. Lola his sister/littermate is with us but she isn’t 15 pounds like him and I’m afraid of crushing her. He loved being laid on and cuddled.

The only advice I have is time and this forum. The people here are so wonderful and helped me so much. They’ve been helping me through my darkest days and some days even providing me with laughs. Im forever thankful to them. I’m starting to eat again and function better but it still hurts. The emptiness is growing knowing he isn’t coming back now. I guess I’m starting to accept it even though we got his ashes home 4 days after he passed.

We all feel or have felt what you are feeling. So please understand we’re here for you. If you want to write to your pups, share stories, post photos, were here to listen and help however we can. And in the end, be gentle with yourself. Grieving is a painful process and can be lengthy too. Our pets are our furbabies which provided us with endless amounts of unconditional love. That love is hard to lose but they don’t ever stop loving us just because they’re not physically here. They continue to love and watch over us at the Rainbow Bridge where we will be reunited one day.

Sending you tons of hugs,
Jackie

Bubby's (Milo) Mommy - Always & Forever My Little Man 💜

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Jan_H
I am very sorry for your loss of two special dogs. I had to make that difficult decision for my special friend, Jagger, 4 weeks ago. My advice:

Use this forum. Post pictures and stories. People here understand.
Remember good times with your dogs. It may be painful at first but it gets better.
I don't share with people who don't understand. I don't need to hear "get over it already".
When I leave for work I think "I'll be home in 10 hours and I can survive 10 hours".
Take care of yourself.

Jan
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missingmylittlefriends
Thank you, Jackie and Jan, for your kind responses. I'm sorry for your own losses. It is indeed an almost unimaginable pain.

What particularly stings for me is that my dog was a rescue, she was younger than my parents' dog. I thought I would have many more years with my dog (I can't even bring myself to write her name, it hurts that much), but I know with rescues you don't always have a relationship on your timeframe and terms because they have already been through so much in so many cases. With my girl, she was a street dog for a few years in a country that's fairly inhospitable to dogs and it pains me so much to think about what she went through before I met her. I wanted to give her the kind of wonderful life my parents' dog had; it's very sad that he's gone, but he had such a good, long life filled with nothing but love. But it ended not being possible for my dog, and it just devastates me. I feel like I failed her even though I think what I did was ultimately the kindest and most humane thing to do. I've been posting on a few other sites as well and people have often encouraged me to get another dog, ideally a rescue, but I just don't think my heart can bear it right now.
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Jan_H
When/if you are ready for another dog you will know. For me it takes time (months) to feel prepared to provide the love another animal needs. Some are ready sooner and others later. There is no right or wrong answer.

I think it is wonderful that you rescued a street dog from another country. I'm sure that you gave her a wonderful life, even if it was too short, and I'm sure she greatly appreciated and loved you after her difficult start in life. Maybe in time you'll be able to share the story of how you rescued her.

Jan
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Memories_of_Marmalade

Dear Missing my little friends,

I concur with what Jackie and Jan have written you. I too am sorry for your double losses. That is a lot of grief to try and process. I too see something related to my recent loss, and it triggers me in the same way. Please know that you are not alone.

I too adopted a rescue. A cat I named "Marmalade." He was an orange and white Tabby cat. Named after the jelly/jam. : )  Our paths crossed 850 miles away from my primary place of residence in Los Angeles, Ca. in the high desert of New Mexico.

Like your rescue, Marmalade had had a very difficult youth as far as I knew. I had no background on him. He was the King of a colony of feral and strays in a neighborhood I stayed in for awhile in New Mexico, and I fed the colony of 7 or 8 for a few years. Eventually the house I rented was scheduled for a renovation, due to flood damage, so I had to depart NM. Marmalade had so many chronic health problems and had to eat so specifically, to be able to eat at all, that I felt he would not survive if I did not bring him with me back to L.A. He was the only feral / stray that could have made the trip with me and adjusted well. The others would have all ran away. I am hoping that they cozied up to other people in the neighborhood as there were neighbors with cats. I did my best to feed all of them and show them affection before we left New Mexico.

Like you with your rescue, I have often thought about how hard Marmalade's life must have been prior to our paths crossing and my adopting him. What was his kittenhood like? How did he survive? Was he abandoned as a kitten? As an adult? Did his human caretaker pass away? He had a choking and gagging reflex when I met him when he tried to eat, and he had dried, caked black pus from infections around his mouth, covering his nose and up and down his front paws and his ears were caked with dark mite droppings (it took me a couple of years to get him fully cleaned up) He was rail thin. He was near completely deaf. But once he learned what "petting" was (he appeared so, so shocked the first time, as far as we know, that he was pet) he was a lovey-dovey never-the-less. A "Little Prince." He was so, so grateful and content for the simplest of things and he taught me how to feel the same way by example. 

I always knew (for the 4.2 years) since I had met him, that at any time he could fall ill and either pass away naturally or need to be put to sleep. It was the bargain I made when I adopted him. Together we fought his health problems, with 5 Vet's (2 being Animal Hospitals) X-Rays, Ultrasound, Bloodwork, 2 surgical procedures, a variety of antibiotics and medicines etc. He was so courageous, brave and cooperative (although he did attack the Vet's and his staff in the back of the Hospital a few times), but eventually the sands in the hourglass began to run out and I felt I had to put him down. It was a devastating and heartbreaking experience. My World is completely shattered and I am an empty husk of a human being now. But I would not have traded my experiences with Marmalade for anything. And I am willing to accept and bear the burden of this pain & suffering, if it saves my little lad from having to do so. The same way that you are now doing so for your lost beloved.

Kind regards,
James

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missingmylittlefriends
Thank you for your kind words and for sharing, Jan and James. I'm sorry, once again, for your own losses. Right now, I don't think I'm able to share pictures or stories about my own dogs, it just hurts too too much, but I hope that in the near future I can do so with you. James, what you wrote: "And I am willing to accept and bear the burden of this pain and suffering, if it saves my little lad from having to do so." That resonates with me so much right now, thank you. I had to make a very hard decision for my girl but it saved her from suffering and I don't regret that, though I also hate having to wade through this grief, it's like moving through honey, slow and thick and it just holds you back from going where you want to go when you want to go there. If that analogy makes any sense. And I feel empty and the apartment feels empty. I'm currently living overseas for work, and my husband is back in the US, so that doesn't help matters either. I miss my dogs and love them. But it's just... hard.
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