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dachsiemom
Hi Matthew-  As you can probably tell from my name, I am a dachshund person.  I lost my beloved red smoothie, Brandon, in 2018.  Although the profound grief has subsided, I can still vividly remember how difficult it was when I lost him.  I had him euthanized after a long illness.  It was time.  It was the right thing to do.  It devastated me.   I am happily married with three grown children and five young grandchildren.   But the death of my dachshund boy left me shattered.  I have had many other pets throughout my life, which I have loved and lost.  Then at the age of 49 I got a dachshund.  It was love at first sight for both of us.  The breeder told me that "Once you've gone wiener you'll never go back", and she was right.  There is just something about a dachshund.  Brandon and I were inseparable for the next 15 years.  I am an avid quilter, but after he died I could not even sit down at my sewing machine for a month.  I just didn't care.  Days passed, then weeks and months, and now it has been over a year.  I still miss my Brandon, but I have recovered at last.  And now I have a new dachshund boy in my life- a long haired shaded cream named Bingley.  I was so afraid I would never be able to love another dog, but that has not been the case.  
It's good that you found this Forum.  This is a place to articulate your feelings, and no one will think you are crazy for grieving so intensely over a pet.  We have all been there, or are there still.  It will take time, but you will rally.  
-Dachsiemom
Moira - remembering Brandon
"Better lo'ed ye canna be. Will ye no' come back again?"
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Matthew
@dachsiemom

Thank you so much for taking the time to post that. Its been three and a half weeks and Im just now coming out of the fog and pretending to function normally again, I get it. As you know, I miss the loud chirps, the burrowing under blankets, and the circle dogging. Im not on the level to think of another dog yet but a post like yours gives me hope I can one day. I just cant think how I can without thinking of the pain of the last day we had together. 
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dachsiemom
I always hesitate to mention a new dog when someone is newly grieving as you are.  You are right that it is too soon for you to think about another dachshund.  Some people rush out to replace a beloved pet immediately in an attempt to make the pain go away.  This is usually a mistake, as I learned years ago.  There is joy in your future, as you know.  But you must live in the present with sorrow.  I weep for you and for everyone who is experiencing the loss of cherished pet.  
Moira - remembering Brandon
"Better lo'ed ye canna be. Will ye no' come back again?"
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Gucci
dachiesmom - It's true that we have an astonishing capacity to regenerate after profound loss, and love again. As you say, it's something that can't be forced, and the present grief has to be processed.

I'm very happy for you that you've found Bingley; I have no doubt he brings you such joy.

I realized that in the past 3 years, I'd lost my beloved British Shorthair cat Argus (illness); a neighbour's cat, Jojo, who was a regular visitor at our place and was Sammi's best pal, was killed after being struck by a car; Mimi, a stray I took in before Sammi, suddenly disappeared and was never found; and my brother's cat Toby escaped the apartment last summer and was not found. Then this past Oct I lost Sammi, my #1 boy, the feline light of my heart.

Loss is cumulative, and I have no doubt that all the previous absences only magnified my desolation after losing Sammi.

Thank you for your kind words of encouragement; it's good to share our sadness with those who can relate to the magnitude of losing a cherished animal companion. Warm regards to you and Matthew both. 
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dachsiemom
Gucci-  Yes I know what you mean about loss being cumulative.  I used to love bringing our two dogs, Brandon and Willoughby, over to my parents' house.  I would open their front door so the dogs could race in excitedly to let my parents know we had arrived.  Dad would be in his chair reading; Mom would be in the kitchen.  They were always so happy to see us.  Within three years both dogs died and so did both my parents.  One does become worn down by grief.  Things will never be the same again, but life goes on.  I do have grandchildren now, for which I am very thankful, but they live far away and are not part of my daily life.  After so much dying it is such a joy to have Bingley and experience his youthful vitality.  I know it won't be forever, but I'll enjoy it while it lasts.  -Dachsiemom
Moira - remembering Brandon
"Better lo'ed ye canna be. Will ye no' come back again?"
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Gucci
dachsiemom - What a wonderfully evocative memory of your Brandon and Willoughby. There's nothing like the unrestrained excitement of dogs happy to see their people. What a compressed series of losses you've endured.

It is indeed easy to shut down after multiple emotional hits; it takes bravery to choose to stay receptive to happiness. 

Joy when we have them and suffering when we lose them...that's the bargain with our animals and our humans. The key is to absolutely enjoy those wonderful moments while they're in our grasp.


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Matthew
Hi guys, just wanted to check in. 112 days now since I last held my girl. Days are continuing to get easier. Nights remain hard. Its a Monday again, and my Aunt texted and lost her 16 year old dachshund today as well. Kind of triggered a lot of stuff I buried - at least tried to veil. So kind of took two steps back today. Also have an artist working on a painting of Twinkie and got her first sketch today - she's doing a great Job and nailed her face! Still wish I had that furry hot water bottle under the blanket next to me though. 

Check this story out - our company had a dinner on Friday night where the whole staff went. Twinkies birthday was Saturday. I had a lot of anxiety and a heavy heart for the better part of the week for the birthday where we would not be able to sing to her. So we go to the company dinner, and at the end the waitress comes up to me and say "whose birthday is it?" I was a little drunk, and hey, the temptation of a free piece of tres leches, I gut-reaction said "Her! Right there!" and pointed to my wife. Everyone got a chuckle out of and I was happy we landed a free piece of cake. 

But only the next day when I woke up and sobered up, did I realize that Twinkie herself indeed have us sing happy birthday that night. Theres about a .0001% chance of a crowded (400+) restaurant, a waiter coming up to me out of the 8 people at the table, and asking who to sing happy birthday to. I am better but still not well but undeniable signs like this make me feel like I can still get by. I just wish there wasn't a nighttime anymore. 
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Gucci
Oh wow - Matthew, I am so sorry to hear your Aunt also lost her 16 year old baby. Of course you were going to find that really tough. My sympathies; this is quite the extended family loss, as your Aunt had the same breed.

I think that's great you're getting a portrait of Twinkie done. In retrospect, I wish I'd had Sammi cremated so I could have his ashes with me. He's buried in the front garden where he loved to spend so much of his time. At the end of the day, I'm good with that, though; in a way, he's literally become part of me since he's supporting the ecosystem, and all those molecules get recirculated and reabsorbed and we breathe it in and end up eating food grown from soil that's accepted an endless cycle of beings...

I loved your story of having had 'happy birthday' sung the day before Twinkie's bday. It's a comfort of sorts when something incredibly random and serendipitous happens that you can so easily connect to a profoundly important aspect of your life.

I don't have trouble sleeping, which is fortunate. Daytimes, however, are still sometimes loopy. Not a day goes by without thinking of Sammi, and I never know when it's going to hurt like hell, or when I can linger on memories and feel ok. I know some people have put up collages and lots of photos of their absent one; I'm so not there. I have one picture of him in my bedroom only, and I've taken down all pics of him in my office because it's just too much. I usually have to compartmentalize pretty strongly or else I just lose it.

In any case, hope everyone here is doing ok. I live in central Canada, and we've passed the 'dead of winter' phase (with the requisite episodes of -33 degree mornings), and the days are getting noticeably longer, which is a welcome relief. Today's a brilliantly sunny day...so good for the soul...

Sending you all warm regards and peaceful thoughts. 
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