PawsMatter
Duke
The most handsome boxer of his kind. I would say the most handsome dog in the world. I might be a little biased, but he really is a wonderful soul. Was a wonderful soul I guess..
It was really hot today here in South Georgia. 83 degrees and higher. My dog, being as loyal as he was, always had a habit of jumping into the car whenever he saw an open door, just in case he was going to miss an opportunity to "go for a ride!" It had been an hour since I hadn't seen him around and after calling his name for a while, I decided I should ride around the neighborhood calling for him. After doing so with a friend I was spending that day with, my friend went to open their car and that is when we found Duke. It was obvious he has struggled a but but he was passed out in the floorboard. I immediately went weak in my knees. The vet told us that he had had a heat stroke and that he had been gone for at least an hour by then. I never felt so sick at my stomach until that moment, especially knowing that there was nothing I could do to try to save him. I've been trying not to blame myself, because it wasn't my car and neither me or my friend saw him get in the car at any point. However, the guilt is eating me alive and being that he follows me everywhere I go and sleeps with me at night, I feel so lonely and depressed. I keep his collar with me now. My heart is so heavy. What should I do?
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tuxtails
I am so sorry you are going through this, the first couple weeks are excruciating. I lost my Tux three weeks ago and I felt so raw. There are alot of emotions you will experience. I couldn't put into words the pain I felt. I know you feel bad about this tragic accident, but please do not blame yourself. Duke is very handsome, I just love Boxers. I had a Boxer growing up and she was the best! Coming to this forum is the best thing I did, there are so many kind people here that are going through the same loss as you and will be able to comfort you. I am in Coastal Georgia...so in the same area as you.
Take care and be gentle to yourself.
Toni 
(Tux's Mom)
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AliceM
I am so sorry for your loss of Duke.  I know how hard it is to lose a beloved pet and it had to be such a shock.  I know the devastation and guilt you are going through, but I hope you will keep reminding yourself that it was not only a tragic accident but an accident that could have easily happened to any of us.  I know of two others who have lost an animal in a similar way that you lost Duke,  Who can blame one of our babies from getting excited thinking about getting to go for a ride.  I have a black cat I have to watch so closely when I get home from work because he loves to get in the car and explore and because he is about the same color as the car's interior, he is sometimes hard to see and I fear so badly that I might accidently confine him in there some day.  Duke knows you love him and that you would never do anything to intentionally cause harm to him.  I hope your heart will begin to heal soon and your memories of Duke will bring a smile to your face one day soon.  Take care of yourself.
Alice
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PawsMatter
Thank you both so much AliceM & tuxtails.
I wish there was a handbook that told us what to do when things like this happen. I wish I could turn back time and undo everything that happened today. I don't think I'll ever love an animal as much as I did Duke. I spent the past four months out of the country working and I missed him then and I could tell he missed me because when I got back he NEVER left my side. He was my best friend.
Thanks so much for your encouraging words. I'm glad I do not have to be alone in this.
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AliceM
PawsMatter, you will find a lot of support from people here who are going through the same pain and grief.  When you feel up to it, you might read some or the tributes and stories from those who have lost a beloved pet.  It is incredibly sad, but it helped me so much the first week or so to know that so many were going through exactly what I was.  My thoughts are with you.
Alice
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Yunalesca31

Pawsmstter sorry you are going through this. it isn't hard losing a family member. just recently i lost my Congo African Grey Long John Silver, and its still just as hard being without him today as it was the day he left.  i believe we will see them all again when it is time.  just tell Duke how you feel and that it was an accident.

true story: when we lived in New Mexico we had rabbits.  my father had a Jack Rabbit bunny a guy had caught out on the flightline and asked if we wanted it. my father brought it home and he and i made a cage for him out of wood and chicken wire.  well somehow the bunny had gotten out of the cage and we put him back in.  a few minutes before my brother and i were to leave for school i went to check on the bunny, he had tried to get out  again and the chick wire had basically punctured and strangled him to death. this was the first time i had ever lost an animal.  though we didn't ahve for very long, it was still shocking.  The second rabbit we got, we named him Bugs. (i know real original, right?)  we put Bugs outside under a tree we had in out backyard out of the sun.  we gave him food and water.  my parents went to grocery shopping i was at home with my brother. when my parents came home they finished putting the groceries up and asked how bugs was doing.  i went out to check on him...again like you dog duke, he was out of the sun in the shade and he still managed to have a heat stroke.  which was kinda creepy because he looked like a taxidermist stuffed him and left him in the cage.  

after that we decided to not get anymore rabbit for a while, but eventually found an all black one with white on his paws, that we named Oreo.  we kept him until we moved here to florida.  before we left we donated or gave him to the zoo there so he could be with other rabbits, because we didn't think he would survive the trip to Florida.  

in time you will be able to look back on this and say it was an accident and out of your control.  you will miss Duke everyday, and that shows that you truly genuinely cared for him.  just take it one day at a time.  this is what i am doing over the loss of my bird.  one step and one day at a time. i hope this helps some.  if not i am sorry, i am not too good at this.  i just hope your hurting doesn't last very long. 

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PepperPots
I have just experienced a very similar death of my baby. She adored the car. Jumps in any time she can. Friends and family have taken her home accidentally before. But this time we think she jumped into my husbands truck as he was getting out. We had no idea. Each of us thought she was with the other for most of the day (I was inside and he was working in the garage). It wasn’t until we were together in the house that we realized she wasn’t around. After searching for a bit I discovered her dead in my husbands truck. It was devastating. I keep blaming myself for not looking for her so much sooner. I know that she had a habit of getting herself into trouble with vehicles. I am so guilt ridden and heartbroken. I drove my car yesterday for the first time and nearly had a panic attack. Do you have any advice or experience you can share with me? I must admit it is at least a little comforting to know I’m not alone. 
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