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Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #1 
My nightmare started about week ago.

I let our dogs (1 pitbull, 3 shih tzus) outside for literally five minutes and come back to find that our female pitbull killed one of our female shih tzus. Our pitbull had been exposed to ferrets, cats, even kittens before I brought home my shih tzu babies home and everything was fine. All of dogs got along great, played together, no aggression, just dogs being dogs.

After a year of having my little fur babies (shih tzus) I’ve had to bury one and turn my back on another fur baby we had for 5 years. No one seems to understand that it feels like I’ve lost two babies. One to death and one by surrendering. At first my anger wanted our pitbull to be euthanized, immediately. But after the anger subsided and I was told by the shelter who picked up our pitbull that sometimes these things happen when a dog is in heat, (our shih tzu was in heat). My husband said it had to be an accident because our sweet baby girl wasn’t mauled but it looked like her neck was broken, like she was played with too hard.

I feel guilt. I feel like I should’ve known, as a pet owner, that pets in heat can play a factor in their safety. I feel guilty for not being able to protect my baby girl from this happening. I miss her so much. Tears just flow. People can see something’s not right in my eyes. And when asked if I’m okay, all I can do is nod because if I answer my emotions immediately come out.

Having her buried in our backyard makes it so much harder to heal. Every morning I go outside to say good morning to her. At night I do the same thing, to tell her goodnight. I sometimes just sit by her “grave” to tell her how much I miss her and how sorry I am for not protecting her. You miss their personalities. You miss their unconditional love. You miss their presence. You miss the happiness they have playing with their toys.

What was so special about our baby girl was her crooked smile. She never barked. She was our only dog who LOVED doggy toys. She would go to play with her toys before she even ate or drink when fed. She didn’t give kisses, but she loved when you would hug all over her. She was so calm when I’d cut her hair, being such a good girl by sitting there and waiting to be done.

I know this sounds like battered woman syndrome, but I also now feel bad for our pitbull. I hope that they’re able to find our pitbull a great home. She really was a good dog and since some time has passed with her being gone, I can’t hold all this anger towards her for being an animal and having instincts I don’t quite understand. I will always feel like we turned our backs on her and that she didn’t understand why. It’s a lot to bare.

I don’t know how to get through this and I hope others might be able to help from their own experiences. My heart is so broken that it’s hard for me to enjoy the two fur babies I have left. I cry myself to sleep at night. I wake up with eyes filled with tears. I could be driving, then an image of her will fill my mind and I lose it. There are times I can’t even talk because I get choked up.

Could someone, anyone, please help this fur baby mama?


Posts: 4
Reply with quote  #2 
I'm so, so sorry you're going through this.

This is actually my first post on this forum, but I couldn't go to bed without someone responding to you. I want you to know I am sending you all my love and compassion and my heart is heavy for your loss. It is truly tragic.

I've been reading the forum posts for the last few days finding reassurance that I'm not alone, and I can tell you, you are not alone. So many of us are struggling not only with the overwhelming pain of grief, but with the circling round and round in our heads... What if I had done this differently? My beloved companion would still be here.

It's so hard. It's the hardest thing I've ever dealt with, and I've lost pets before. But I keep thinking about what I could have done differently. How I could have kept him from getting away, and when he seemed fine after the person who returned him said he'd been hit by a car, he should have been checked out by a vet anyway. (He really did seem fine. He ran around as ever for five days.) And when I noticed the symptoms, five days later, what I should have done differently. 

I've felt some guilt with every pet I've lost, but this just feels impossible to overcome right now. I feel like there's this massive hole in my life, and he should be here, and it's all my fault...

I'll offer you the reassurance I've found by reading posts here. You didn't mean for anything bad to happen. People make mistakes all the time. It wasn't your intention for something awful to happen. Try to be kind to yourself. Love yourself with the same unconditional love your pet would have offered.

As for your pit bull, is it too late to get her back? You know it wasn't her fault, and you can prevent future incidents with what you've learned. NO pressure, and no judgments if that simply isn't an option for you. But it sounds like it's tormenting you, and it's a living pet you could share more days with... only if that is an option. But as we would do anything to get our crossed-over pets back, I gently suggest you do whatever is within your *reasonable* power to get your still-living pet back. 

Again, I'm so sorry you're going through this. It's been a week for me, and I'm just now starting to find a sense of normalcy. The grief and guilt can still be overwhelming.

One of the things I'm doing to get through it is listening to grief meditations on Insight Timer. It's a topic you can search on the app, and some of them are better than others, but almost all of them help me to be present in the moment, with reality as it is, and in the physical experience of grief - rather than circling around in my head over and over about what I did wrong.

I went to a Yogaville workshop in February on grief and loss, to manage some grief around my family, but the tools I gained there have been invaluable this week. The workshop leader was Karla Helbert and I definitely recommend her book "Yoga for Grief and Loss", which has really helped me.Especially pages 200-210, if you get the book.

Thinking of you. Hang in there. 

Posts: 43
Reply with quote  #3 
I'm so sorry for what you are going through. 

You did nothing wrong. Guilt is an inevitable part of grief, and it is incredibly hard to deal with. 

I don't have much advice, as I am experiencing the grief right now (my loss occurred almost three weeks ago). I can tell you that this initial shock and trauma does ease slightly over time. It is going to take some time. I second the suggestion of meditation and reading. I read am awful lot about grief and guilt etc in the first two weeks which helped tremendously. 

Thinking of you. 

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #4 

Thank you so much for your response and understanding without judgement. (Pitbull automatically get a bad rap and I was worried about those who would say: bad breed, pitbulls are vicious, etc.) I don’t think I would be able to take our pitbull back if I wanted to. The sight of her would remind me of that day and it’s not fair for her to live the rest of her life in a home where I most likely would resent her for what she may have accidentally done. I don’t want that kind of life for her. I do miss our pitbull, because she was one of my babies, but she deserves better than what we would’ve given her after this incident.

It feels heartwarming to know that I’m not alone. It’s comforting to know that there are other fur parents who have had to make decisions as mine or have been in my shoes of grieving a loved animal. They become part of your family and it’s so hard to say “see you later” to a faithful pet baby who you have loved and who has given you unconditional love.

People think it’s silly that I refer to my fur babies as my babies. But they are my babies. They seek food, shelter, attention, and love from us, just like babies do. They can’t just get their own food and let themselves outside to handle their business. They seek us to help them. To teach them. So for anyone who says, “It’s just a dog.” remember that that dog has given me love that no person could ever give. I’ve cared for my fur babies like they are babies because they seek “mama” to take care of them.

Thank you again. Your response meant so much to me. I needed a shoulder and you so generously gave me yours, not even knowing me. I have learned how much a pet parent community comes together when needed and I’m in absolute aweee.

Please take care of yourself. I know it’s hard to do, it took me days to even eat something, but our babies would want us to take care of ourselves. I know they wouldn’t want us crying over them, but that’s just not an option (for me at least). My eyes can’t help revealing the sadness I have through my tears. And I’m learning that it’s okay to cry as long as you need to. Just don’t let it consume you.

I just want to see my baby again at the rainbow bridge, to hug and kiss her. To say I’m sorry, I love you and I’ve missed you. To see her crooked smile again 😭

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #5 

Thank you for your response. Guilt consumes the heart so much, but you completely make sense with it being part of grieving. It is hard to deal with, but reading of others who have been there and know that it’s part of the process makes me feel like I did do all that I could, knowing what I knew. Now I make sure to tell everyone, those with big dogs, those with little dogs, those with the mixture of both about dogs being in heat and the affect it could have on animals. I need to educate others so they don’t ever have to endure the heartache of losing a beloved pet due to another beloved pet. Not something one would wish on even a worst enemy.

I seen a therapist about it because it was eating me alive and she stressed not to feel guilt because I didn’t know this would happen. She also stressed taking care of myself. (You make sure to take care of yourself too. Your loss is also fresh and I can imagine that you are not far ahead of how I feel.) I lost my youngest brother at a young age and it devastated me as it would anyone. I literally didn’t come out of my room for one month. I didn’t eat. It got to a point where I was dragged outside just to get fresh air. I’m trying my hardest not to get to that place again but it’s so hard fighting that fight. The therapist wants to make sure I don’t end up there again because I know it then becomes serious.

Like I told the therapist, I’m not built for this. Some people can be so strong during these times. I on the other hand fall apart and end up in a dark place.

Like Queen Elizabeth II said, “Grief is the price we pay for love.” But times like these I wish I had a heart that was cold as ice so I didn’t have all these emotions.

I’ll be praying for your healing. May your heart find peace.

Posts: 5
Reply with quote  #6 
It’s the next day from my original post and I’ve come up with something that may help us heal, mainly myself.

As you know our Lady is buried in our back yard. My youngest daughter has placed flowers and toys on her grave. I have found her sitting out there for a few minutes at a time just to gather her feelings. (I’m so proud of her. Even at the young age of 9 she’s learning that it’s okay to show her emotions for those we love and miss.)

I bought some beautiful baby roses to plant near Lady’s grave this weekend, along with a beautiful, simple, cross to place on her grave with a rosary. Doing all of this might make it hard to go out there to talk to her at first, because it’ll make her loss real, but no loved one should just be buried in the dirt and disregarded. I believe someone grieving should commemorate their life.

Knowing that we are doing that this weekend makes my heart feel like our Lady knows how much she was loved and
that she appreciates our gesture. She’s getting what her beautiful soul deserves.

One thing I do know that’s going to make me lose my tear duct control is when her birthday comes up. When it’s my fur babies birthdays I make them a cake (don’t worry, it’s a dog recipe) and get them all excited with, “It’s a baby party. Cake and (homemade) doggy treats.” They all get so excited. This year my Lady will have her birthday cake buried next to her.

The loss of our Lady has put an inconsolable void in our lives. The loss of our Dallas (pitbull) has put an incredible void in our lives.

Just trying to take it all one day at a time at this point. I Hope decorating Lady’s grave will bring some comfort to our family. There will not be a day that goes by where I don’t visit her. It might bring tears, but those tears don’t matter when it comes to wishing my Lady a great day and for her to sleep well.

If dogs get wings, I’m sure you’ve already gotten yours. You were such a sweet, wonderful, baby girl that loved people. Now you can help other fur babies find their way or help save them when it’s not their time to run in heaven.

Please, PLEASE, visit me. I swore I heard you this morning, but when I turned around, you weren’t there. It felt like your presence was there and I so needed that. Yes I cried, but I cried because I felt so loved by you that you would waste your time visiting me, letting me know you’ll always be around.

I’ll always need you around baby girl ❤️


Posts: 165
Reply with quote  #7 
You have experienced two very profound losses and I am so sorry for the pain you and your family are experiencing.  From experience, there is no way around the grief, you have to face and feel it head on and literally plow right through it.  And it is okay to grieve for both your babies and for the peace of mind you lost.   I have a shihtzu who is a sweetheart, but bit of a playful instigator and loves playing with the "big dogs" so I can see how it might have happened.  They can be fearless little things and your pittie was probably just engaged in play with her.   Take your time, continue to talk to Lady and forgive your pitbull. but most importantly, forgive yourself.

Wishing you peace,

Lori, Daisy's Mom and now Luna's Mom
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