I lost my girl Sasha about 6 weeks ago. She had mammary cancer and tumors which caused some other problems. At the time of her diagnosis, I was in the process of organizing my life to move from the West Coast to the Midwest. The weekend before I left I had her into the vet and she said it was risky and we knew she didn't have a whole lot of time but we both thought she was in plenty good enough shape to make it. We left and for the 1st 4-5 hours she had her head out the window smiling and loving life and both of us were truly happy... And then all of a sudden we got to a rest stop and she went south. I got a hotel and she almost died in the room fighting for her life. I slept with her on the floor that night knowing that was likely the last night I would spend with her. I got up after little sleep and thought she'd rally and the next morning and then she had a major seizure and I subsequently had to find a vet and go get her put down in a strange place at a Banfield in a PetSmart. The worst of situations and truly traumatizing to the point where I still have those images play in my head on a daily basis. Something I'll have to live with for the rest of my life. I have grief from having her go down like that. It sucked for both of us. Not how 11+ was supposed to come to an end for sure. She deserved better.

She was literally my everything. She came to me 11+ years ago frightened and neglected. I had a friend who lived above me who rescued her and enlisted me to help find her a good home. Well... We all know how those stories turn out. Haha. She was a German Shepard-Malamute mix. Big, soft, furry, and oh so squeezable! She had a submissive urination issue and was abused and then neglected. She was 9-10 months old and just ridiculously cute and sweet. I was about to move at the time and really didn't "need" a dog but I couldn't say no to this girl because she just took my heart and made it hers. I worked with her and had patience and she blossomed like a flower. We lived in 7 cities in 5 states and most of that time I was single and I have no kids and because we moved around so much we kind of were each other's support system. I traveled like I did in many ways because I knew with her I had a great reason to get out and explore and even when I barely knew anyone I knew her and really that's all that mattered to me. I like hanging out with her more than humans... She was part human as far as I'm concerned... Just the good parts. She knew over 50 commands, didn't need a leash but walked perfectly on one, didn't bark, never was the slightest bit aggressive towards anything, super duper chill, always smiling, always under control. Literally the most perfect of pups. We hiked the whole west coast, crossed the country, visited parks and hiked all over the South and Midwest. She swam in the Great Lakes, Gulf of Mexico, the Atlantic, and the Pacific. She was by far and away my best friend and we had a bond that was the tightest of anything other than my mother and that's even debatable. 

Now I don't even know what to do with myself. I'm all settled into my new digs in a new city and school is going well and the job is good but... I'm not alright. Not even close. Most nights are a struggle to sleep. Traumatized by losing her and how it went down. I cry a lot. Try to do it when nobody is looking or when I'm alone... Speaking of that... I used to love solitude with Sasha and I and now I can't handle being alone. I take more deep breathes than I ever have. My house is so quiet that it's the most deafening thing I've ever heard. My life feels so sterile and cold and emotionless. I feel capable one moment and the weakest I've ever felt the next. I haven't slept right in weeks and I have bouts of anxiety that are kinds of crippling hence it being 4:15 am and me writing this when I have to be up in a matter of hours. Somehow I've managed to keep it all together but damn if I'm still not the saddest I've ever been. I want to feel the love of a dog again and have that pitter patter of paws on the floor and something greeting me when I get home. Something I can't wait to see... But I don't know if I'm ready for it. But I know I have to do it.

What are some things some of you have done to make it at least feel better? Can you look at pictures yet? Does it crush you like it does me right now or does it make you smile? Have any of you gotten dogs since? How long does this gut-wrenching pain last? I thought I was prepared for it because her initial diagnosis was weeks to months and she lasted 9 months after that. So I knew it was coming... Yet... I was scared of this then and I was right... It's the freaking worst. Ever.
ryan hetrick
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I haven't lost a dog, but I have lost 3 cats in the past, and I just lost my hamster a few nights ago. This one has hit me hardest and I don't know why. Right now it hurts so much, I keep looking at photos and it makes it hurt more but I think I need to. I have taken time off work, and the only thing that has helped me is talking to people in forums and Facebook groups. Right now it feels like my heart will never heal, but I know it will just take time. I hope you find a way through it. Xxxx
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Oh bless. It sounds like Sasha had a fabulous life with you and was truly your best friend and she also sounds lime she was a beautiful dog My heartfelt condolences go out to you and im sure Sasha is playing over the bridge. I lost my beautiful golden retriever Lily 3 years ago now. We moved together from Canada to the UK almost 7 years ago. She was the loveliest, sweetest dog and I miss her every day. When she was 5(ish) she became quite ill very suddenly and it turned out she had kidney disease and was rapidly declining. I believe she hid it well as I had noticed she was off her food a bit but she was like that from time to time. She was always happy and had a big bum and tail wag for me all the time. I took her to the vets and they did all sorts of tests and sadly the vet delivered the bad news. The vet came to our house 2 days later and we let her go. She died in my arms. I was devasted. I cried for weeks often bursting into tears in public. 3 years later I still well up when I see a retriever but I always try to think of all the good times we had together. Like you, I couldn't stand the silence in my house so after about 3 months if being miserable I/we got a puppy. Enter Daisy! A beautiful german shepherd/Newfoundland cross. She saved my life. She helped me deal with the loss of my lily and I love her just as much as I love Lily. Daisy is now 3 and a bit and just a wonderful, beautiful girl. My husband had a beautiful portrait of Lily made for me and to honour her memory I got a tattoo of Lilies and butterflies. Lily will never be forgotten and I miss her every day but now I have Daisy and she means everything to me. I seem to be rambling. I've not been on here in a long time and I read your story and my heart goes out to you. Xx
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I am so sorry for the loss of your dog Sasha. She sounds so beautiful, and from what you describe it sounds like you two truly needed each other. The bond we have with them is so special and so hard when it ends. I just lost my husky mix Lucky two weeks ago today. When you say that you replay those final moments over again, it sounds exactly like me. I cannot help but think about it, and the raw feelings have faded some, but the ache is still huge. It would have been so much tougher if I did not have my other two huskies, but still there is no replacing Lucky. Even though I know I can't replace him, maybe in time we will get another dog to bring new love into our lives. But we will always miss Lucky.
It is still so hard looking at pictures of him. The things that have helped me most are the words of other people, because he made so many friends. He helped bring happiness to many other people, and thinking that he left his mark on the world means that he's not forgotten. And I also think of him being free of his suffering, and whole again at the rainbow bridge. Last week I stepped outside after it rained and saw a full rainbow, and I knew it was a sign from him. I felt him beside me and could feel that the love we have is not at an end. The pain is great, but so is the love. I hope you can find some comfort.
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I lost my Dobie to fatal heart arrhythmia 3 months and 3 days ago. He was 8 1/2, and had never shown any signs of health issues in our 8+ years together. I look at pictures of him every day now, it does make me feel better. Talking about him helps, too. But some days it was just too hard, and it's ok to try to distract yourself on the really tough days. For me, every day was really tough for about 6 weeks. I still cry over him, but not all the time anymore. I still say goodnight to him ( his pictures and ashes, actually), but that helps me, too. I'm sorry for your loss and pain. Losing a constant companion, One That's moved with you and been your family, it's unbelievably difficult. You will get better, and it will get easier. It takes time, which sucks, because there is no way to hurry it along. Think of the positive, the great life you shared and the all the fun and love. That will always be there. And I firmly believe that our shared love means they are always with us and that we will be with them again one day.
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It sounds like Sasha had amazing experiences with you. She's been more places than I have! Your bond sounds so close, so special. It's helped me to talk about my girl, way past the point where I think anyone wants to hear about her. I've told strangers, I've told this forum, I emailed the shelter where I adopted her, I've talked my friends' ears off even though they know everything already. Tell everyone about how special she was even though you know they can't understand. Even if it feels silly try talking to her picture, to her bed, to the empty room. I hope you can find some peace.
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First, thank you for rescuing Sasha and giving her such a fun, adventurous life! It's so obvious how much you loved her and she would have known that as dogs are so very sensitive. No doubt it would have been better if you could have been closer to home when you had to let her go but for Sasha, she had her dad with her, and that's what she really needed. I would say that right now you should just do what you need to do to get through. I put Bailey's bed away only to take it back out because it was worse seeing it gone. So do whatever feels right for you.
I found it helpful working on a Memory book for Bailey. It was great feeling like I could still do something to honour him because it also kept him close to me. Perhaps you could include try that and include some things from all of your adventure together along with pictures of course.
My thought would be to wait a bit - to allow yourself time to mourn your loss - before you get another dog. We adopted another rescue dog, Charlie and it really was wondeful! I was glad we waited a bit because I still miss Bailey every day but I need to give our new dog all the love he never got before we adopted him. I think it's wondeful that you are open to the possibility and you know you want to get another dog though!
I'm so sorry you lost Sascha! Sending hugs, MJ
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