jimmy17
Six weeks ago today, we sadly had to have our 17 year old beautiful boy Jim put to sleep. Our `Once in a Lifetime Dog`, he was very much our baby, we have no kids, so our lives totally revolved around him. He was a rescue dog who had been taken along with his sister and mum to be put to sleep as they were unwanted - fortunately the vet took all 3 of them to the local shelter, where we adopted Jim at 4 months old. Whoever had him previously had decided to cut his tail off, he was left with a little stump which in 17 years never seemed to stop wagging! 
 The day we got Jim was the best day of our lives, he was gentle, loving and such a kind little dog - my dad idolised him and used to take care of Jim while we were in work. When my dad passed almost 7 years ago, Jim used to look out of the window at 8.30 every morning waiting for my dad to come get him, when he realised he wasn`t coming he would go and sit very quietly on the sofa - it was then that I truly realised that dogs felt grief the same way we do.
 Jim really slowed down during his last 12 months, my mum looked after him each day, but my husband started to work from home to be with him, and although he still enjoyed life, his walks were getting shorter as he was getting a bit unsteady on his legs, and eating was becoming a problem - we were trying anything and everything to get him to eat from rib-eye steak, lamb, ox hearts. The strange thing was that on his last full day with us, he ate more than he had been doing, and seemed so much brighter in himself. However that Saturday evening he went started to deteriorate really fast, early hours Sunday morning we had to take him to the 24 hour vet as his own vet was closed. We both knew what had to be done - looking back I  don`t think he would have lived for more than a couple of hours , if that. In the end it was so peaceful, we stayed with him, telling him what a great little boy he`d been, and how my dad was now going to take care of him. 
 That day was the worse day of my life, and the following 2 to 3 weeks I felt like a huge hole had appeared in my heart - the house was so empty, we both kept expecting to see him. We have his ashes which come upstairs at night, during the day they sit on his favourite little cushion on the sofa.   We have both had little signs that he is still about, every now and then we can smell him - only for a few seconds, and my husband, who had previously been highly sceptical of such things has heard him walking about on the wooden floor, and I have just got a sense that he is still about- like I can almost see him out of the corner of my eye.      About 2 weeks ago, I finally accepted he is gone, we were so lucky to have had him so long - one of our previous dogs had died age 9 from kidney disease. Then yesterday, from out of nowhere it just hit me all over again from the moment I woke up I spent most of the day crying - that awful feeling in the pit on my stomach was back, and I just want him back so much. Maybe this is how it is going to be, acceptance followed by grief again - everyone`s pattern will be different. I actually thought I was nearing the stage were we could think about adopting another dog from the shelter, but after yesterday I`m thinking its still way to soon. 
 This morning I feel a little better, and I know its because of how much we loved him that we feel all this pain now, but its so so hard not having him here. 
 Sorry if I`ve rambled on a bit, but it really helps writing things down -  I also keep a diary which helps too. 
                         Jackie



J Taylor
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JodyFish
I admit it was different in our home with two cats and one of them passing away. We didn't think we'd adopt again for a while, but with Flora's wandering from room to room meowing, we knew she wanted another companion, so we decided to get another. 

While it's an individual choice as to when or if to adopt again, I would strongly urge you to go ahead and get another. You have a home that can provide love and affection to a dog who currently doesn't have that. I've seen from others I know that a house that grieves strongly for a lost pet has a tremendous amount of love to give.

It was one reason we went ahead only a couple weeks later and adopted Phoenix from the same shelter we'd gotten Flora and Margo. They were already familiar with each other and it made the transition for both of them better.
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LUCYLULU
Jackie:  Thank you for your post about Jim. My situation is so similar to yours. And the 'Once in a Lifetime Dog' is why I think we have extra measures of grief...though there is no real measure-- it's all deep pain. Yet when I start thinking about getting another dog, I know there will never be another Lucy. Almost feels like a betrayal to her somehow. I know it sounds whacked but in a short minute that's how it feels. Rationally I do think when the timing is right & my own heart feels like I can handle it...I hope to get another dog. At that time I believe Lucy, just like your Jim, will somehow direct us to our next dog...or maybe give us the signs & signals to make the step and adopt another dog.

But man oh man...I felt every single word you wrote. Everything is so off and so wrong. Whether it's waking, going to sleep, making meals, even shopping-- I start to go toward Petco or Petsmart-- reality hits-- it all feels so crappy & empty. Hearing Jim or different sounds & smells-- even if for a second or two-- makes it a moment of feeling 'OK'. But coming home @ night-- wicked hard. Lucy's been gone since 11/10/15. It sometimes feels longer...like a bad dream that I wish would be over. Though we are all fortunate to have found this site because we can truly understand each other's pain & grief. I may start a diary-- thank you for the idea. Marianne Soucy's 'Healing Pet Loss' site has helped me too. And I don't think you rambled at all. You wrote that it helps you to write things down. Please also know that in your writing & relating, you are also helping all of us. Thank you! Hugs,KC
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jimmy17
JodyFish, up until yesterday we felt ready to bring another dog into our home - I know deep down we have so much to give a poor little shelter dog, but after my `meltdown` yesterday  , well I`m doubting this is the right time - but when exactly is the right time? 

 KC, I so get when you say it would be a sort of betrayal getting another dog - in short I hate it being without a dog, but the truth is I want Jim back - sounds stupid, but there it is.
Like you, I seem to think a dog will choose us, we are in contact with the shelter where we got Jim from so there is a possibility we could do a bit of short term fostering which in turn could lead to something more permanent.
  Grief is such a strange emotion, like I said, the last 2 weeks I thought I was dealing with it, then Wham - back  it all came again yesterday. Lucy`s loss is still very raw for you too, and l think when you`ve had a dog with that very special  bond, no amount of time will ever make it better. We`ll learn to live with it, but that bond will be with us for the rest of our lives. I`m also going to have a look at the `Healing Pet Loss ` site too. 
                             Thanks KC,  Jackie xx


J Taylor
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joale1
I just read your story...your posts...I want to tell you ..you are not alone...I know how u feel...the heartache that you feel about losing your sweet little boy jim...I lost my chi chi of 15 years in October to kidney disease. ..I still have no idea how to get through the hurt...the sadness of her not being here with me...I miss her terribly...as u do jim...we also have no kids. ..chi chi was our baby...it's so hard not having them here physically. ..I think that is the worst part...I also as you...just have days I cry and cry...I wish I could make it feel better...the one thing that has helped is this website. .people truly care...I know that chi chi and Jim are in heaven watching over us...and someday we will be with them again forever. ..hugs ❤
joale reda
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JerseyNonna
Jackie, you might just be right about how grief works.  after roxie's reading last Saturday I actually felt a peace in my heart...I mean, she was ok and accepted it was her time to pass and that all worked out as it was supposed to, was young and healthy again and oh even more beautiful than I told her she would be.  then that sunday night came and for the life of me I can't figure out what set me off but those tsunami waves of grief kept knocking me in my heart over and over again and it has been one heck of a rough week for me.  while it does seem that there are now good days where I can talk to roxie and not meltdown, I can look lovingly at her pictures and not break out in tears...but the bad days while fewer are no less as intense where it's hard to breathe at times, tears are almost non-stop and i'm back to being a zombie in a fog with no way out.  I've always been told that tears and crying is a cleansing and maybe it's a way for our souls to rid our earthly bodies of the negativities from sadness.  I surely don't have the answer to that thought but I do believe that there are stages to grief and for everyone the journey to the end is different though many of us will have the same type of days.  the one thought that keeps me sane right now is that as roxie said in one of her messages "she will see me again, this separation isn't real and we are forever".  oi though it just hurts so much right now still.  many hugs to everyone
JerseyNonna
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