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Dear Marie, please accept my sincere condolences on the loss of your precious beautiful Lola. I wish I could find the words to comfort you, sadly I can't, all I can say is I understand every ounce of emotion you're going through, the heart ache, the brokenness, the pain. Reading your posts have literally brought me to tears.

The most beautiful hearts, I believe, are our furbabies, they love unconditionally, are so loyal and faithful, they dont disappoint us or let us down, they give comfort without words, they just understand. People let you down, why I have more compassion for animals, our furbabies then I do some people.

My family and I lost our handsome shelter boy Gully last July, then Monday just gone, 11/18/19 our beautiful German Shepherd Nell. Our hearts are shattered 😭 I know some people have said "why you so devastated, it's just a dog" They just don't have a clue, our furbabies ARE family, and we will mourn their loss as such.

Take care Marie..⚘😘
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Marie - It's quite normal to be convinced in one moment that you're doing ok, and then on a dime plunge into despair that seems endless. These swings are common, and they're also exhausting.

Six weeks is NOT a long time at all, and you've suffered a truly devastating trauma. 

I know there is nothing that can be said to ease this terrible pain. Know that you were an absolutely wonderful mum for Lola, and Pippin still needs you, too. It's very hard to know sometimes how other animals in the family respond; I'm convinced that they grieve in their own way, too, and thus loss becomes a communal experience.

It's the sharing of the sorrow that can help. I hope you can get some rest, and I wish you some respite from the waves of pain.
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Thank you so much for your message. I read your post about your girl Nell. She was SUCH a beautiful pup! German Shepards always remind me of Lola, because I do think she had some of those genes in her. They really are so majestic and beautiful.

Anyone who ever has the audacity to say the words "it's just a dog", really isn't worth our time. Not worth ANYONE'S time, honestly. We should pity people who are that small-minded. I can't believe how they can go through life being that way. Because NOTHING is more amazing than loving a dog. It's literally the purest, truest love that exists in this world. It's completely unselfish and unconditional. And someone who can't appreciate that kind of love? Well, again, I pity them. They're the ones who are poorer for it.

There aren't really words or anything that can comfort any of us. BUT, I am still glad we all have each other here on this forum, and again, that we UNDERSTAND each other's loss.


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Today marks the seventh week, since my beautiful Lola passed. For some reason - yet again, not triggered by anything specific - last night I just missed her so, SO much. And I STILL find myself thinking, I CANNOT believe she's gone.

I must sound like a broken record, going over the same things over and over again. But it's all true. And it all DOES just keep...plaguing me. And the realization of everything that's still ahead, that I'm no longer going to have Lola with me to share it all with. Christmas, New Year's. Fall and winter, next year. My Lola was JUST like me - she hated the cold. At night when her and Pippin had to go outside for their wee breaks, she would quickly do her business, and then come cuddle up tightly against my leg while we waited for Pippin to finish. If it was really cold, her teeth would chatter! It was always so funny, I would gasp and say: "Lola, your teethies are rattling!" And then she would just cuddle up tighter against me, with those rattling teethies.

In the livingroom, Lola's couch is still empty. None of us want to sit on it. We still haven't taken her food bowls away. They're still right there in the kitchen, with Pippin's. We haven't had a barbeque since before we lost our girl. It was always so nice, having my brother over, and sometimes by best friend (Lola and Pippin's "Godmother") would come along, and we'd all be outside, often laughing at Lola and Pippin's antics. Now, our first barbeque is planned for Christmas day. It will be the first time we'll all be together, without Lola here. It really just is NOT going to be the same, happy, family day anymore. Lola was always SUCH a big part of EVERYTHING.

I'm just having a really tough time finding something - ANYTHING - to focus on. To keep me going. Apart from my responsibilities. Apart from the everyday things, that I'm basically just going through the motions of, anyway. Some days I find it almost impossible to even do just that. Some days I wish I could go to sleep, and not wake up. I don't WANT to do anything. I have no energy or motivation. And the rare moments when I maybe DO try to do something, I often give up halfway, or I never even START. Because everything feels meaningless.

I hope everyone had a good Thanksgiving. Here in South-Africa, we obviously don't celebrate it, but I am well aware of a lot of folks on here that do. And that the holidays without our furbabies, are really difficult. So my thoughts are with all of you, during this time.

Lots of love for all of you.


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Marie - I suspect it'll always feel 'unreal' to realize that our beloved companions are gone. I sometimes feel an intense loneliness - despite the fact that I have wonderful family and friends whom I know completely accept my grieving path - for the simple fact that Sammi is no longer here.

This morning I met a dear friend for our weekly Sat coffee chat, and because I was early, I stopped by a nearby park to get some fresh air. It was a brilliantly sunny day, cold, and there was an amazing swirl of the finest snow particles that resembled diamond dust. 

I couldn't hold back the tears; all I thought was how much Sammi would have LOVED to be out in this bracing chill, intently observing the tiny chickadees flitting from branch to branch, and that the snow would have powdered his dense fur in an ephemeral and scintillating nimbus that only accentuated the silver and black of his markings.

Nothing is the same. I sometimes wonder - as callous as it might sound - if I would have had an easier time accepting things had I lost my younger boy, Moses. The truth is that I lost my Sammi who was the undisputed favourite, my Boy1, the incandescent light in my heart.

I adore my little baby Mo, but there was such an energetic difference between the 2 cats, and I'd always responded viscerally to Sammi's energy in a way that had never happened with any of my previous wonderful felines. 

The poet Lord Alfred Tennyson's famous line - 'tis better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all' - is immensely bittersweet. I never knew I could bond so deeply with an animal as I did with Sammi, and his absence is a constant ache.

Grieving is unique to each person, and whatever form/duration it takes is immune to coercion to be otherwise. As a Canadian, I endured the dreadful first Thanksgiving holiday in early Oct; so many here have done so just a few days ago. We now brace ourselves for Christmas.

Sending peaceful thoughts.

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Marie - I believe you're spot on when you say it's a 'different love' that you have for Pippin. I don't at all believe you're a bad person or somehow reprehensible because you knew you felt more deeply for Lola. It's very clear to me that you love Pippin and are devoted to his care, no matter the frustration or sense of helplessness. That you are committed to his well-being is highly admirable.

I, too, feel a degree of bewilderment when it comes to Mo. He's only known Sammi since he came to the household as a baby (Sammi was already about a year and half) and took his cues from his older brother.

I don't think I realized the extent of that until we lost Sammi. Mo seems unmoored, tentative, aimless, as if he no longer knows his place anymore or what to do. It's very distressing to watch this, and there's definitely a sense of helplessness on my part because I don't know how to ease what I feel is his distress.

I can also relate to health concerns. Sammi was in perfect health. Mo has allergies (albeit a mild form), and I've changed his diet multiple times in an attempt to address it. He's on low-dose medication, and can be incredibly picky about being introduced to new food, and I end up throwing out a lot of food that I've tested and he's refused. It can be so wearing, and sometimes just plain overwhelming on top of the mourning we are going through for Lola and Sammi.

I'm so glad you're on the forum and can share your feelings as you work your way through immense and profound sadness. I know how hard it is. 

Sending you peaceful wishes.
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Everything you describe about Mo, is almost exactly what I'm going through with Pippin. Pippin also has skin allergies, anxiety, and digestion issues. On top of that, he has food and possession aggression. That all makes things REALLY difficult for us. Because I WANT to make things...BETTER, for him. But no matter what I try, things just...don't WORK. To get Pippin to play more - be more active - is almost impossible. He doesn't "play" with toys - he just holds on to them, and God forbid anyone trying to get close then, because you'd lose a hand. He mostly doesn't want to go outside anymore, at all - and hardly ever alone. Lola was the one who liked being outside. Running and barking, or even just laying on the grass.

I've also tried to address his digestive issues, by getting him a probiotic supplement. I can't really change his diet - we can't afford it. But so far, I'm not really seeing good results from the probiotics. It makes me feel so useless, that whatever I try, doesn't seem to work. And I CAN'T do anything else, because financially we're not able to.

Helplessness is one of the things in life I hate the most. Especially when it comes to my pups. I had to - helplessly - watch for basically one whole day, while Lola was dying. At the time, during that horrible day, I was of course still hoping - still believing, that she would somehow pull through. But she didn't. And I wasn't able to do a thing about it. Now, watching Pippin, daily, and not knowing what to do for him, or even really able to do much, is really just destroying me even more.

I KNOW Pippin misses Lola, too. But...HOW do I make that better for him? I can't replace her. We CAN'T get another dog, even IF I did want to, which I REALLY don't. But like I said, to get Pippin to even just play is almost impossible. And it DOES make me feel awful, because I'm NOT good enough for Pippin, right now. And that, in turn, makes ME feel angry and useless, and yes, HELPLESS. And it also makes me so, SO tired. Tired of EVERYTHING. Tired of the fact that everything I TRY, doesn't work. And that I CAN'T "try" anything else, anymore.

Anyway, I just also want to say THANK YOU, to everone on this forum, again. I can't really say THANK YOU ENOUGH. The kindess and understanding of everyone on here, really IS one of the few things that help me, these days.


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Marie - My heart truly goes out to you. Pippin has many complex and intertwined challenges, and I know you're doing your absolute best to meet them and rectify whatever you can, given the constraints you're working under.

That you're trying so, so hard with so much on your plate is a reflection of your dedication and loyalty. I can understand your frustration, and the sense of helplessness can be particularly vicious. Health conditions are rarely resolved quickly, and the stress involved in dealing with them long-term can feel like you're trapped. It's the same caretaker-fatigue that occurs to those tending daily to others with chronic conditions...

I'm so sorry you're in this situation, and that it's been so hard for your entire family. It's especially wrenching because the counterpoint to Pippin is no longer there. This is what is so awful to accept. Sammi and Mo existed in a yin/yang balance despite their radically different personalities and habits. The destruction of that equilibrium has affected me in a way I never expected, and I know that Mo is also having to adjust to the huge change in his daily routine.

I take it one day at a time, and do my best to accept whatever I'm feeling without self-blame or judgment. We're so vulnerable right now, and it can feel like we're just one raw nerve that is excruciatingly sensitive to everything around us.

Please take extra care of yourself as well, and I wish you moments of respite and tranquillity.
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Three months. Three months since you left this world. And I still expect to turn my head, and see you lounging on the grass right here next to me.

I'm sitting outside, under the orange trees. When I took my cushion just now - my 'outside' cushion - I couldn't help but remember how you would jump up when I picked that cushion up. Because you knew it meant I was going outside. And you ALWAYS came to keep me company. Like I said, you would just...lounge on the grass, sometimes wriggling around happily on your back for a while. It always, ALWAYS made me smile when you did that. Because you were always HAPPY. The simplest things made you happy, and content. not happy, anymore. YOU were my happiness. For three months, I feel like I have really just been trudging along, like a ghost. It sometimes still feels like this is some bizzarro world, horrible alternate universe that I've been sucked into. And that you're still alive and well, in the REAL universe. But I just can't get there. I'm stuck here, in this awful, dark, terrifyingly empty place, without you.

YES, Pippin is still here. And you KNOW I love him.'s not the same. Your brother is...not an easy little man. Me and mom and dad constantly talk about how EASY you were. You would ALWAYS eat your food, with gusto. You would always do your business outside at night, without any fuss. You weren't afraid of thunder, or fireworks. You DID know that Pippin was afraid of it, though. And THAT affected you. Because you were such a sensitive soul, with such a big heart. You would instinctively know when Pippin was upset, and you would try to comfort or distract him, by kissing his ears, or sometimes even by trying to get him to play with you. That just showed what a big ball of LOVE you really were. Of course you got a little annoyed at Pippin too, at times. Growling at him a bit. But you were always right back to kissing his ears just a little while later.

I have NO WORDS for how much I miss you. I sometimes really, REALLY just don't even want to be in this world, without YOU in it, anymore. I actually have no real reason to be here. YES, I have people - and Pippin - depending on me. But I cannot do this, anymore. I am SO tired. I know it's VERY selfish, but there is nothing GOOD left in this world, for ME, anymore. ALL there is, is the dread and fear, and outright TERROR, of when the next horrible thing will happen. Because losing you, my beautiful Lola girl, was already the worst thing I've ever gone through. And I CANNOT do it again. Losing mom, or dad, or Pippin. I DON'T want to be here, for ANY of that. If that makes me selfish, well, then I guess I just am a very selfish person.

That day, three months ago, broke me. It really did. I sometimes play some of it over in my head, and it makes me feel like I'm suffocating when I DO. Remembering you, my always bright and sparky girl, looking so...weak and helpless. And ME, being HELPLESS to HELP you. I could just stand by, watching how you faded away. And yet, even then, I still had hope. I had, somehow, believed that you were going to survive. That you would come back home with us. But you didn't.

I miss you, my baby girl. I miss you so, SO much. And I WANT to be with you again, more than anything.

I love you, my Angel. My Lola girl.

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Marie - I'm glad you write about your feelings on the forum. It's a very healthy thing to do, and knowing that others can witness/empathise with your self-expression is part of the healing process.

There's an aspect of grief that is enormously solitary, and often quite lonely, beyond the awareness that family, friends, and this community are invaluable support. You're the only one who can know all the nuances and details of who your wonderful Lola was, what you're missing, and what's that like to live every day without her.

I used to regularly think Sammi would simply show up somehow. It is, of course, completely illogical, but that's the way the mind works. That doesn't happen so much anymore, which I find a bit of a relief, to be honest. It was so jarring to believe something so completely in one instant, and then have to adjust to the cold reality. The process of accepting our new context is a slow, inconsistent, unpredictable path, and that's as it needs to be since the shock of it all at once would simply be too much to bear.

Looking back, I realise how protectively numb I was for the first couple of weeks. When that wore off was when it got really bad, but it's unavoidable. It's infinitely worse to repress that sorrow, and I can't imagine the effort it would take to attempt that... 

I have several cat-themed calendars at home, and the photo for this past weekend on one of them was of a kitten who looked exactly like Sammi as a baby. I couldn't have it there in front of me all weekend - it was just too painful, so I removed the sheet Sat morning. There's a fine line for me in looking at his pictures. I want so much to see him, then it reminds me of the fact that he's not here, and I have to stop.

It's also a curious experience having a 2nd companion who's just so different. I love Momo to bits AND the truth is that it was Sammi who seemed able to take the edge off a crummy day, or a lousy mood. It somehow seemed more 'complete' with Sammi's energy in the household, as much as dear Mo added to the overall wonderful atmosphere with his sweet, quiet, unobtrusive ways. There was a unique congruence and complicity of energy with Sammi, and I'd encountered and loved enough cats to know how rare that was. 

Now Mo and I are bereft, and no amount of wishing makes it different. 

I know it's so very hard, and some days can be absolutely excruciating. Sending you peaceful thoughts, including for your dear Pippin as well.

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Dear Gucci,

Thank you so much for your reply. I'm sorry I've taken so long to respond, again - or to even post on the forum at all. I just find it so difficult to get myself to do much of anything, these days.

I read posts, though - I receive email notifications on all of the threads I've posted to. I read them every day, as they come in. I want to reply, sometimes...but then just cannot muster the energy to even do that. That, in turn, makes me feel quilty again. I don't want ANYONE on this forum to ever think I'm not interested - or invested - in everyone on here, and the pain and terrible loss we all have shared. I am just going though a really hard time, currently.

It feels like my whole...process, of losing Lola, and the subsequent 'grief', has...shifted. I find myself in terrible, unbearable pain, lately. Some days I really, REALLY want it all to end. Because it's not JUST missing Lola that's making me feel this way. No - it's life - MY life, and all my struggles, that are becoming too much for me. Because when Lola was still here, she cheered me up. She could do it in a heartbeat, by doing the simplest, smallest things. Sometimes I could just look at her, and I'd feel blessed, and all the problems would seem not so bad. But everything is just too much for me. Lola was my happiness - my crutch, my support, my everything. And without her, ALL the bad things, seem a hundred times worse.


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I know it's really tough beimg without your beloved Lola. I feel exactly the same way. I miss Shelby so much - it hurts. Just post when you feel like it. There's no pressure on doing anything at all. When you can muster up the energy please share some more of your writing with us. I really enjoyed your short story. You have a flair for writing and I encourage you to pursue that. In the meantime, give Pippin a pat on the head and a hug for me. We're all here for you. Stay strong. We all understand.


Jim Miller
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Marie - No worries about response time. I think all of us here understand what it's like to feel that every day is like slogging unwillingly through wet cement. Those terrible episodes of despair, hopelessness, lassitude, sadness, and overwhelm are to be expected and respected.

Are there any hotlines you can access to speak to an actual human being? I know forums can be incredibly helpful; sometimes hearing a voice, though, can provide a different kind of relief. I know the humane society here offers a pet loss support group once a month or so. I'd like to attend at some point to see how I feel in that kind of a setting.

Regardless, you can only do what works for you, and acknowledge your emotions, no matter how black things seem in that moment. I very much relate to how not having your heart animal can make everything seem harsher, colder, worthless.

I've been going through my own recalibrations with Mo, who's truly been revealed without the overarching energy of Sammi that subsumed him (Mo) to a large extent. There's no question that I don't resonate with Mo in the seamless way that I did with Sammi. (That's also just not possible because one always has a unique dynamic with each being that can never be replicated.) At the same time, he's his own unique being, and I'm getting to know in a very different way now, and learning to appreciate him in his own right.

Adjusting to reality is never an easy experience, and all the more so when we've suffered the devastating loss of our beloved animal companions.

Sending warm regards and peaceful thoughts your way.

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