I Miss My Dog: Has Grief for a Dog Who Died Ever Overwhelmed You?

When my German Shepherd, Hugo, died, it felt like a part of me had been clawed out and torn away. I talked to a pet-loss expert -- here's what she said.
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As I buried my face in his thick, furry neck, I felt my dog take his very last breath. Hugo, my beautiful 14-year-old German Shepherd, was gone. Lying with him in his bed, spooning his now motionless body, I sobbed with an intensity that shook me deeply. I realized I was crying harder than I had in years, my grief so intense, it felt as if a part of me had been clawed out and torn away.

Hugo was the first dog I’d raised from cradle to grave. I had had other dogs before him, but what I had with Hugo was different. He was born the night my father died, so I somehow imagined he had come into my life to watch over me. Intensely challenging to raise, fear aggressive from an early age, and overly protective of me at times, Hugo forced me to become a more patient, compassionate person, to work with his issues but to also accept him for who he was. He was my baby, and I was his mom. He saw me through some very difficult and tumultuous times, and he was a constant, steady presence in my life, always there to lick away my tears. I adored him, and in return he gave me his undying loyalty and devotion.

But now here I was, holding Hugo’s old, crippled body in my arms and showering his grizzled head with tears and kisses, remembering when only 14 years ago I had taken that fuzzy little sable puppy in my arms for the first time and declared, “He’s perfect!” Because he was.

As his body began to grow cold and we waited for the pet crematory funeral director to arrive, it dawned on me that the depth of my sadness far surpassed anything I had felt when my human friends had died. In fact, I had just lost a close girlfriend the month before to cancer, yet I had not felt this level of grief. Was there something wrong with me, or was I experiencing something akin to what one might feel when losing a child?

The author and her late dog, Hugo.

Bewildered and curious about this phenomenon, I later consulted my friend Betty Carmack, author of Grieving the Death of a Pet and pet-loss support-group counselor at the San Francisco SPCA, a volunteer position she had recently retired from after 32 years.

No, I wasn’t weird, she said. In fact, my feelings were far from uncommon.

“That was a theme I heard consistently in my group, that people were grieving more for their pet than they ever did for their parents, sibling, or friend, that the grief they felt for their animal was like no other grief,” Betty said. “That’s because of the relationship we have with our animals — it’s unconditional love, it’s deep, and it doesn’t carry all the baggage that human relationships carry. Then there’s that loving, that mothering, that caregiving that people do for their animals. I heard people say all the time: ‘She was like my baby, she was like my child.'”

During the holiday season, I missed Hugo so terribly. I longed to be in his magnificent presence, to laugh at his silly antics, to feel those lion eyes watching my every move. Yes, I had my three other dogs to fawn over and adore, but the house wasn’t the same. My husband, friends, and family were so kind and understanding, and I was surrounded by love, compassion, and gestures of caring. Yet I ached.

The author's dog, who passed away.

And then a little nagging thought began to cloud my mind: Had I done everything I could for my boy, who had suffered from terrible, debilitating arthritis in his last year? I thought I had followed every medical, natural, and pharmaceutical protocol known to man, but was there something else I could have done?

Betty assured me that these moments of self-doubt and guilt are also very common for people, especially when their pets have died from illness or old age.

“Some people would come to the group questioning themselves and thinking that maybe they didn’t do enough or didn’t do as well for their animal as they could have,” Betty said. “But when they would tell their story about what they did do for their animal, people would say to them, ‘You did so much for him’ or ‘He was so lucky to have you, that you loved him that much.'”

“To get that kind of feedback and support was so comforting and healing for people going through those kinds of difficult feelings,” Betty said.

While I had enough support at home to help me through my grief, I could see the incredible value in joining a group like Betty’s to work through the roller coaster of emotions I was experiencing. I felt so grateful for the people my life who understood and could relate to my pain, imagining how terrible it would be that if instead of sympathetic eyes and warm hugs I had been met with blank stares or, even worse, comments like, “Well, can’t you just go get another dog?”

What would I have done then?

Betty reminded me that while Western society has definitely come a long way when it comes to acknowledging the significance of losing a pet, there are still those who don’t understand how deep and intense that pain can be, and as a result they may trivialize those feelings.

“That can be part of the sadness, when someone negates a relationship that was so vitally important to you,” Betty said. “I would always tell people to only put their grief out where they know it’s going to be respected and treated tenderly, because it’s too private and too personal to let it get trampled on. I would then encourage them to find that one person, that one friend with whom they could share their feelings, someone who would respect and honor their grief.”

Here are some other helpful suggestions Betty shared with me for coping with my pain:

  • Be compassionate, loving, and gentle with yourself. You just experienced a major loss and have every right to be upset and to grieve, for as long as it takes to heal.
  • Allow yourself to feel your emotions — the good, bad, and ugly. Acknowledging your feelings will help you process the loss, so if you’re angry about your dog’s death, let yourself vent those frustrations.
  • Cherish the warm and funny memories. Remember when your dog did something naughty or silly and let yourself laugh. Laughter can be extremely healing!
  • Memorials, rituals, and tributes are great ways to honor your dog and work through your grief. Put together a photo album or scrapbook, journal about your dog, write poetry and songs, create a memory garden. Many pet crematories and cemeteries offer myriad services and products to help comfort pet owners, including online forums where people can make tributes as well as beautiful urns, keepsakes, and jewelry to hold pet remains.
  • If you’re finding it difficult to move through your grief, consider finding a pet loss support group, online chat room, or a counselor. You don’t have to go through this alone. There are numerous groups, hotlines, online sites, and books available to help validate your feelings and guide you through your pain.

Two months later, I am still hurting over the loss of my Hugo, but I am finding ways to honor his memory and focus mostly on the good times we shared. I still look for him in the house at times, thinking he’s right there next to me, eager to give me kisses and whining for my attention. To me, he was a person in a dog suit, a special being who opened my heart as it has never been opened before. Because of Hugo, I know I am forever changed for the better.

Have you ever experienced the loss of a pet and felt the way I did? Share your experiences in the comments.

Do you miss your dog? Read more about grieving for pets on Dogster:

About the author: Lisa Plummer Savas is a freelance writer, journalist, devoted dog mom, and animal activist. In an effort to help make the world a more compassionate place for non-human species, she is especially focused on using her writing to spread awareness about controversial animal welfare issues, including the dog and cat meat trade in Asia and Africa. She lives in Atlanta with two spoiled German Shepherds, one very entitled Pug, and a very patient, understanding husband. Read more of her work.

674 thoughts on “I Miss My Dog: Has Grief for a Dog Who Died Ever Overwhelmed You?”

  1. My best buddy Bitty was only a year and a half. She got spayed and 9 days after her surgery something ruptured inside and she was intensely bleeding. Took her to an emergency animal hospital and the vet preformed surgery, pulled out over a liter of blood, but closed the wound, and then after the surgery shortly after she had cardiac arrest. Just this morning she was fine and happy, only to come home from work she was so sick. Rest in peace Bitty, you taught me so much and loved me so much. You know how much I love you because I hugged, kissed and told you everyday. Thank you for the amazing time together, to have had you even for such a short while impacted my life greatly, and forever will. Mama loves you and misses your hugs the most

  2. My teacup poodle died suddenly & unexpectedly the night before last night. As a young dog, she went everywhere with me, parties, bonfires, swimming at the quarry, I even snuck her into the mall in my purse once lol. All my friends knew & loved her, she was like a member of our crew. She moved in to my grandma’s with me about 5 years ago when I had to move back home after an abusive relationship, & she grew very attached to her as well, so when I couldn’t take my 2 cats & her also to my new place, we decided she’d live there. My gran is retired & they spent their days doing old lady things together, but I visited every day & occasionally picked her up for a few days, or sometimes spent the night there to spend time w them both. I had spent the night & left that next morning. She was totally normal. My grandma went out shopping w my mom later that day, & when she came home she let her out back to potty. She put her coat away & changed into PJs, then went back to call her in but there was no movement anywhere in the yard. She went out w a flashlight & found her collapsed by the fence, already dead. When my mom told me, I blacked out & collapsed in my kitchen. I don’t even remember it. My bf, mom, aunt, grandma, & I all convened at her house. She was still warm, & jus looked asleep w her eyes open. I was in denial & kept thinking I felt her heart, but I think I jus heard my own. I’ve never lost a pet I was still so close to, & I’m not handling it well. I’m a recovered heroin addict & have lost more friends than I can count on both hands, but I’ve never felt this much pain over death. I feel silly. I jus don’t know how to cope. I wish I knew what happened. She was a month away from turning 11 & had no health issues we knew of. Nothing attacked her, she didn’t get into anything toxic, I jus don’t understand. I jus needed to type that all out I guess.

  3. Thomas J. Pecheniuk

    I am so sorry for the loss of your beautiful dog. Yes I agree that losing our dogs feels like losing a child. I lost my almost 13 year old Alaskan Malamute siberian husky mix dog Titan last June. Titans health was rapidly declining. I raised Titan from when he was 9 1/2 weeks old. When my dog Titan died, my world stopped. Then my painful Grieving process started and continues to This day. I know when our dogs die, we release their spirit and our dogs go over the rainbow bridge into heaven. They are free from pain and are taken care of until we meet them again at Heavens door when we die. That is my hope someday that I will see my dog Titan again in heaven. We will all see our dogs again.

  4. Gregory.L.Kaylor

    Aggie my sweet baby girl I lost in September – We had a special bond, she knew me and was always there for me. She waited for me to come home from work and then told me off for leaving her. Then we had to go out to play ball every day. At home she was always at my side. She was very special. I still find it hard to accept that she is gone, I sometimes talk to her like she is still at my side. I think she helped me to learn how to love. She was a brindle Great Dane and everywhere we went everyone always said how beautiful she was, she loved everyone she meant. The most precious thing there is the world is to give and receive love from another, she taught me this and she will always be my sweet angel.

    1. Ivan Gabriel Zarate

      I put my baby mika to sleep today. She was young 7. She h cancer. I feel so guilty and a horrible pet owner. I didn't know it was better to have her fixed. When we were told she had cancer the vet said she needed surgery and it was going to be 16000 dollars. We didn't have the money so we just made her comfortable. She was fine for over a year. But her tumors in her breast were huge and hard. She developed new ones seemingly overnight on her sides. My wife slept with her and told me she wasn't sleeping. I didn't realize how bad it was until I slept with her last night. I thought she wasn't too bad because she would still bark at the mailman. But at night her breathing was fast and shallow. She would shake kinda like a seizure. She also would not sleep and just drank water and peed all night. I felt bad for her like I failed her. I should have tried a different vet or something else. I wish I was better. She was a good dog with a crappy owner. She deserved better.

      1. Don’t blame yourself. Guilt is part of the grieving process and completely normal but you did your best.
        We lost our Rambo to respiratory illness in September and I was a complete mess. Like you, I did not realize how bad it really was as we accommodated him so much at home. We don’t realize sometimes how bad our dogs illness is until one day it hits us like a Mack truck. Remember that your dog felt your love and loved you back.

  5. Thank you for sharing your story. We had say goodbye to our little Nala Bear about 3 months ago. She was a 12 year old boxer and her body was breaking down so we knew we had to let her go but it didn’t make it any easier. I still think about her every morning when I’m out walking our other dog and wish I could hold her and feel her gentle kisses on my nose. She changed my perspective on life for the better with her endless love and for that I will always be thankful. PB loves and misses you little one.

  6. I lost Mickey just about 3 months, ago. I've been asked in grief groups and online pet loss sites, to dig deep to get to the center of my Great Loss, by answering "What exactly is your loss?" Or, I have been asked to pay attention to the triggers that cause my falling -apart or sudden onset of of nausea and another meltdown in tears in this bottomless pit of darkness and loneliness. A third discussion entailed working through a pet loss workbook, journaling, and self care entailing allowing myself to live at a slower pace, to find something new to do or go on Mickey's walks to "channel" Mickey or to even consider buying a star for Mickey. What I've learned is that all those things do chip away at the prison of loss I often feel. There have been many times I don't want to do these things, though, because I feel like I'm moving away from Mickey or that I can't be busy doing other things because I will forget Mickey; sometimes I can't remember his face! I also feel much guilt at missing him when I am surrounded by so many kids and their kids and a super great husband. With all that, how can I miss Mickey so much? Here is my thought on that:
    Since no two stars are exactly alike, and stars are full of light, I see love the same way. No two loves and their light are exactly alike. In other words, "there are all kinds of love in this world, but never the same love twice.*F Scott Fitzgerald." Mickey's and my love is a one of a kind very special breadth and depth; I will be forever grateful for the chance to have him in my world and for me to be his mom. There is absolutely no other love like ours in the whole world and will never be. That make us so special. I accept that he had to go; though he wasn't sick and his death was sudden, I still work at agreeing that he had to go. We all do. But this was his time. Our time. This death did not happen to just me. It happened to Mickey, too. Our Star is still shining bright and I will know it when I see it in the next world.

    1. Your post is so raw and honest. I can definitely relate. Our Rambo died of collapsing trachea suddenly September 24, 2021. Our first son was just born October 23. Some people have said that “oh it’s a shame that rambos gone but your baby will be here soon.” The guilt I felt that I may forget him, or that anyone can replace him was so immense. I agree- no love happens twice. The love I have for my son is different than I have for Rambo and I will never have a love that’s the exact same for either. I hope that you find ways to cope better when you experience the waves of grief. I also went to counselling snd it helped but I still can’t stop thinking how it’s not fair- my Rambo was only 10 and deserved to meet his new little brother. Again, Thankyou for being so honest in your post. I know Mickey loves you and is watching over you.

  7. I read these stories and realize I'm not the only one who is still in pain after my Harry died. 13 years he gave me happiness, love, always there to make me happy. Working from home let us be together all the time. Miss pulling into drive way and seeing him jump up and down in window, he knew I had a surprise for him, a toy he would tear apart in soon. How many times I opened bathroom door after shower and almost step on him because he was waiting for me. Harry slept next to me in his bed with all his toys. With hip problems he still jumped on my bed to wake me every morning. It has been 1 year and 3 month's. Never have I felt this kind of pain. So much happiness and unconditional love a little 17 pound crazy hair dog gave to everyone will be missed forever!

  8. I loss my little poodle Patsy on September 14th. I woke up and she wasn't in her bed or spot where she liked to sleep, she wouldnt sleep in bed with me all night for a while, think because she couldn't get on and off bed by herself anymore. Being older she would need to get a drink or go on her peepad. So i got up to look for her, didnt see her at first and she had gone on my enclosed front porch and got in one of her beds. Where i saw her head hanging and picked her up and called Patsy,no responce, she was gone i cried my heart out as i laid
    her in bed. I'm crying now as i write this, i am so devasted. I know lots of people don't know what its like when you feel it's your baby and you have no children or a spouse. I havent been able to sleep in the bedroom, even though she didnt die there. I have a hard time doing anything. I think only think that makes me get up is i have 4 cats, it may help, but it doesn't fill that loss. I dread winter and Christmas, her birthday is December 23. My biggest questions are why now and did she know how much i loved her? I have feelings of guilt and regret for times i left the house or worked upstairs without her, i hope she forgives me..i will love you forever Patsy

    1. She knew how much you loved her. Dogs can sense fear and love (that’s why there are service dogs). Patsy knew the care and everything you did for her out of love. I lost my little Rambo Sept 24, 2021, and I wondered the same thing. You are not alone. Both Patsy and Rambo are waiting at the Rainbow Bridge for us ❤️ Asking each other if we knew how much they loved us.

  9. My dog-son-best-friend-love Yorkshire Terrier, Rocky or Rockypoo. He's my heaven. I just lost him today. Somehow I'm at peace that he's no longer in pain. I love you, my son. Promise to wait for me on top of the Rainbow Bridge where one day we will be together again, forever.

  10. i lost my dog Buster- my first dog from puppy on up that my husband had me name Buster because i busted his balls for a dog. i never knew how people could say that there dog was there best friend but here i am 15 months later after he was put down due to lung cancer at the age of 9 still crying…almost every day. i could be an actress and cry on cue-all i have to do is think about him. he was the best dog and never upset me or my husband. he was called to early. after watching the movie "a dogs purpose" i hoped so badly that it was true that they just come back in another form of a dog and somehow come find you….i can not wait till i see him again. we now got another dog- my sons dog- and i thought it would help me get over loosing my boy but it just made it more difficult. total oppasites….i never realized how different dogs can be. im actually going to look into a pet loss group after reading this article.

    1. I understand completely. I lost my Daisy last Sunday the 12th of September… she was staying at a friend's house will I was on vacation for 6 days. She died peacefully but without my being able to cuddle her one last time. I love her, here or not. I had to return home to an empty house with her beds, and bowls and her hair all over. This is the worst pain I have ever felt as I work from home and was with her constantly. I cry off and on all day and especially when she is not on her bed beside me at night. She was 14, the expected age for Australian Heelers to live. But I feel guilty for not being there with and for her. I am angry at myself for leaving, sad, stressed and do not know how to cope with the loss of a perfect soul.

  11. Seeing all these comments breaks my already broken heart. I lost my sweet Zero on Monday, held him as the meds went in, and just wailed and wailed when he couldn’t hear me anymore. I feel utterly lost. The pain is unbearable in the sense that I don’t understand how I’m still doing anything. It has seeped into my core. He molded my heart in his likeness. I’m sending you all the love I can from it — We’re in this together.

  12. Chewie, my Goldendoodle, died this last Thursday just shy of 14 years of age. He battled several different types of cancer for almost two years. We tried everything to save him even though my logical mind told me his time was very limited and the treatments were unlikely to save him. The house is now dead quiet and I am beside myself with grief. He was such a good boy. He loved people, especially women. He used to lie down right beside me as I worked in my office. Now I just look down to an empty floor where he used to be. I don't know if his spirit carries on, but I would like to believe that he is now happy, free of his disabilities, and running around like a two-year-old pup.

  13. I know exactly how you feel. I unexpectedly lost my sweet baby (black lab) to cancer at the young age of seven. Her name was Maggie. One minute we were on vacation at the beach having a good time and the next, she was having exploratory surgery to figure out what was wrong. The cancer was so widespread that she had to be euthanized on the surgical table. She was nothing but pure love from the moment we got her as a baby. I miss her terribly and the house feels empty without her. I feel like a part of my soul is gone. I love her and will always love her. I just hope she knows that.

  14. My heart. I lost my sweet girl Blu a month ago today. I'm living without a heart beat these days. I miss her so much. Big hug and light your way.

  15. I lost my first dog two days ago. We're just together for 517 days, he was certainly not a healthy puppy when we first met, he's from a bunch of stray puppies that we found on the street. Our first two months were difficult as he was in and out of veterinary clinic and there were days that I had to stay up all night to make sure that he's comfortable and can take his medicines on time. However, after that rough two months, he finally became a healthy and an energetic puppy. He grew up bigger that what I had in mind when I first saw him, he loved sleeping on my lap even he's almost as big as me. Before we both go to bed, he would hug me for a really long time, if I'm sitting beside him he would just rest his head on my shoulder while he would stand up and try to hug both of my legs when I'm standing next to him. He was the brightest, sweetest and goofiest dog I ever met. I still can't believe that I lost him way too soon, I feel very sorry towards him and I hope he's not hurting anymore. I feel like I would do anything just to spend another day with him, I miss him so much.

  16. I just lost my soulmate heart dog Cleo on Monday August 9th. It happened so quickly. One second she was running around playing with her sister ans the next I brought her to the doctor because her mouth had a cut in it. She had no platelets. She was in remission from itp for 5 years and showed no signs. We had so much hope that she was going to beat this again. She had to have some blood transfusions but was doing ok. Dr called and said she's stating to make platelets I was so happy. Two hours later got a call that she stopped breathing and come. Now to say goodbye. That was when I lost my whe life. Cleo was a rescue dog from India. She was abused and it took some time for her to trust me. As soon as I earned her trust there was no turning back. That dog showed me more love then I have ever felt or experienced. They say I rescued her but she really rescued me. She had a beautiful soul and was the sweetest dog. Cleo and her sister were with me 24 7. I took them to work with me we did everything together. Part of my soul and heart went with her. I am trying so hard to be strong for my other dog. She is grieving too. This is harder to deal with then when my mom died. God bless you all. Animals are so special and I don't know if I will ever truly heal from losing my baby.

  17. I lost my 13 year old Pomeranian this morning. He had spinal surgery in April and was doing pretty good. He died suddenly in his sleep this morning and I have no idea what happened. I have a 16 year old Jack Russell with bad arthritis and she has not been eating well for the past few months. I was so worried about her. I never thought something would happen to him so soon because he seemed to be doing pretty good, all things considered. I am just utterly shocked and heart broken. He was the sweetest most loving dog I have ever seen and I don’t just say that because he was mine. I am just still in a daze or disbelief that he is gone. It will be hard to sleep tonight for sure knowing he won’t greet me when I come downstairs tomorrow morning. He was always waiting for me. He couldn’t go upstairs after his surgery so he slept downstairs & he would come to the gate at the bottom of the steps every morning when he heard me coming.

    1. I lost my peppa 2 weeks ago she was 14 and a beautiful boxweiller she was the kindest loving presence I have ever had in my life , I spent 24 hours a day with her the last year ,she got ill and had to be put to sleep in my arms
      I have lost my mother but never felt grief or pain like this,I miss her every second of the days , my life is just so empty without her, I fear every day when I wake up,, knowing other people feel the same , makes me realise I'm not crazy , I can't advise anyone I guess you simply have to learn to live with it,

  18. I lost my amazing little Mini Fox Terrier a year ago. Lily. She came into my life when it seems we needed each other most. She was in a household with a friend of mine who had ended up with too many dogs because of his soft heart for looking after abandoned animals. As stupid as it sounds, she chose me, even when I was in a time in my life when I didn't think it would be right. I helped her through clearly deep psychological trauma (she originally thought she was doing everything wrong, even though she was the most well behaved dog I've ever known) – and she helped me after my divorce by giving me an opportunity to love and help another being i could communicate, care for, and come home to. Over the years she grew into a happy, confident dog, and she knew my every move, sometimes knowing what i was going to do before I'd even decided to do it. She was with me 10 amazing years. I miss her every day.

    This article really resonate with me. Thank you.

  19. I lost my sweet yellow lab, Noelle, today. She was almost 14 and sick with a tumor. I laid with her and snuggled her as she took her last breathe. This sadness is something I’ve never experienced before, even when I’ve lost close friends and family members. I feel like I don’t know how to function now and it breaks my heart to pack her stuff up and to know she’ll never meet me at the door again. I find some comfort in reading your comments, it makes me feel I’m not alone.

    1. Wow Jamie Lee, I could have written your post myself. I too lost my beautiful yellow lab Zeus yesterday (7th July 2021), he was 11years & 5 months old. He got cancer 7 years ago. Numerous operations and chemotherapy & Zeus was in remission. But 3 weeks ago we took him to the vet because he was limping. Turns out our boy had bone cancer in his left back leg. He had gone through enough so we decided palliative care was best for him. His pain grew, even though he tried to hide it. It almost killed me to make the call to end his suffering.
      I surprised myself at how calm I was as I fed my boy strawberries & chocolate and the vet administered the drugs. I too lay with him while waiting for him to be collected, hoping they would arrive soon as I could feel him getting cold. Now I'm numb. Everywhere I look I see him. The house feels empty. It's a pain like nothing I've ever felt. Got out of the house tonight just for the sake of it. Made me feel a little better until I pulled into the garage and the usual excited barking boy was not there to greet me. The silence is heartbreaking. I haven't packed away anything yet, I just can't. I'm sorry for your loss, I can truly understand how you are feeling.

      1. Hi Sandra, I’ve relied to this a few times but I don’t see it posted so I hope you’re not getting it 13 times lol. I too am sorry for your loss. I love that you had a lab too, I think they are the best dogs ever. I feel all of the same things you are and I’m having to force myself to get out of bed and be productive. I keep wanting to let her out or I look for her to meet me at the door. I don’t know why they can’t stay as long as we’d like them to, my friend told me he thinks it’s because they can’t live without us so they must go on before us. I’m trying to take comfort in the wonderful memories and knowing that Noelle wouldn’t want me to be sad. I’m thinking of you, know you’re are not alone in your sadness.

        1. Hi, only the 1 reply lol. I am with you, labs are the best! Such beautiful hearts & cheeky personalities. I'm finding nights the worst, miss Zeus snuggling in with me on the bed at night (even miss sleeping with little room to move). I find cuddling one of his soft toys helps me get to sleep. They definitely wouldn't want us feeling sad. I'm sure you have some awesome memories, as do I. A friend of mine lost her yellow lab earlier this year. She was also completely heartbroken, crying all the time. She promised me it does get easier, just takes time. Thinking of you also.

          1. I agree about the nights being the hardest. I’m trying to stay busy during the day and force myself to do stuff but at night, it’s quiet and I miss her snoring. I got her little pillow out she’d lay on and I’m hoping that will help me rest tonight. It’s bringing me comfort to have these groups to talk with, it reminds me that we had wonderful times with our beloved dogs and were not crazy for feeling this empty and sad.

        2. Hi Jamie Lee, I'm having so many roller coaster moments. I literally just finished having a huge cry. I'm still having trouble believing my Zeus is gone. Sounds crazy, I know he is gone but when I look at photos it just doesn't feel real. How can my beautiful boy be here one day and in an urn sitting on my shelf the next. Feels like 2 different lives.
          Not sure if you're on Facebook, but there's an awesome private group I've joined called Pet Loss Support with Renee Magri. It's a very supportive group of people, much like here. You can share or just read posts that Renee puts up. I've found it very helpful. How are you doing?

      2. Hi im carol I lost my German shepherd sasha 23 July she was 15 the vet says her quality life was no good she couldn't walk down stairs no more to get out she couldn't stand for long in house to get her water and she had lumps I couldn't get checked for her because age the vet says its her time I went into denial for two days I had this beautiful dog since was six weeks old I didn't want leave I did every thing for her even helping get off floor get water cleaning mess up after accidents but vet kept saying her quality life no good you and your dog cant keep doing this but I still thought its my duty to keep going but she had bad smell from her wee and I needed vet again but vet still went on about putting asleep her legs weren't good and that I ended up agreeing I don't no where came from but when over I felt sick iam so filled with guilt that did wrong thing but everyone keeps saying you didn't she was old and couldn't get outside or stand up get water but it dose.nt seem matter what people say iam still feeling guilt i miss so much I never felt so much pain I thought losing my parents was bad enough but this pain is so iam sorry iam getting upset just writing this I have no words for this kind pain.i only hope I can move on and one day look at my dogs photos and smile.

  20. I have read all your wonderful tributes to your darling Furbabes
    The pain is awful..because they have gone way too soon..
    They show us Love and how to love…
    I miss my boy 🐅 Tiger…and nothing will ever replace him…
    It's over a year now…and life is empty…
    All I Cared about was him X

      1. Thank you so much for writing this article. I miss my Black Labrador Retriever. I called her Rain. She had a brain tumor at 8 1/2 she had surgery then died a a few months after her 9th birthday. That was 1 year 3 months ago. I was told I have a really cool dog. She really was jumping off a dock, retrieving, hiking, swimming, running, camping, running errands. She taught herself to put 3 tennis balls in her mouth and walk around like look at me! Funny and fun! I agree giving myself permission to grieve. She is a huge loss, I cry, I know we shared a very special companionship and life together. I love her and that will be forever.
        Thank you to all who share.
        Mary

  21. We had to say goodbye to our beloved Golden, Maisy, on June 1 very unexpectedly. She was almost 11 and the best dog we ever had–she went everywhere with us! I worked at home her entire life so she was my constant companion, walking partner, cuddler, etc. She was loyal, trusting, and a master of the Golden lean! We never imagined that when we took her to the emergency vet we’d have to make the heartbreaking decision to say our goodbyes (she had an aggressive tumor on her brainstem that once it made itself known caused her to pretty much shutdown). My heart is broken. I miss her so much but am so thankful for the years had together. I’ll love you forever Maisy girl!

  22. This past year has been the worst of my life. I not only lost one, I lost both of my beloved babies, 9 months apart from each other. I have never felt such pain, and grief as I do now, and it is not getting any easier. They were 14 & 15 years old. The best companions a girl could ask for. We went on so many adventures and were connected at the hip. I get signs all the time from them, but I miss them so much. I feel like a huge part of me has been ripped from my body. I lost my children. I keep having to remind myself that this is real.

    1. I feel your pain. I just had to put my border collie/ lab
      down a couple of weeks ago. His name was Shadow. I adopted him while I was still in Afghanistan, and he was the greatest coping mechanism for coming back from a war. About a few weeks before, I found out my Lab/shepherd, Caesar has mouth cancer. The vet days he had approximately 1-3 months left to live. I feel like such a huge part of my life is gone, but I know it will get better. Hopefully you are feeling better and can look back on all of the good times you and your pups had together

      1. I’m so sorry for your loss too! I know exactly how you feel. Going through the pain of one is the worst feeling, but then adding another is so unbearable. We will get through this, and yes remember all the good times. I just miss them so much. Thank you for your kind words.

  23. We lost our handsome little boy JIP a patterdale on Tuesday he was 14 1/2 he’s was full of life on Friday On the Saturday he started being ill sicknesses and took him to emergency vets they said he’s got gastrointestinal he got worse sunday so we took him to our vets on Monday morning put him on iv give him fluids blood test only to find out it was his spleen… so made the hardest decision of our life and have him put to sleep… couldn’t believe he was running round so happy one minute within a few days he was gone. We are so devastated our hearts are broken feels like we cant cope without him.our home is so empty with out him. He was so bossy he ruled the house but we wouldn’t have had him any other way 😭

  24. Yesterday, (6/22), I had to make the very painful decision to release my sweet partner from her debilitating sickness. I gave my pup multiple kisses and said goodbye while my wife stayed with our dog during the euthanasia process. She held our Ipi in her arms as she went fell asleep for the last time. I didn't have the heart to watch her slip away. It hasn't been 24 hours yet and my life has been turned upside down. I already miss the little things she would do such as standing in front of the door when I come home. That was so painful this morning. My wife works at another office while I work at home and it's difficult to work without having my "supervisor" lying next to my desk fast asleep. I love my wife dearly, but I feel so lonely right now. Reading Lisa's testimony hits home to me. I feel the same way. I can only hope the pain fades and the memories will keep me content.

    1. I’m sorry for loss , I lost my Miniature Schnauzer 2 days ago , she was with me for 16 years and I feel devastated

  25. My sweet almost 12 year old Pit Bull died on Friday June 18th after battling cancer for 9 months. My mom and I adopted her when I was 21. She was with me for 11 years. Last year I lost my mom to cancer as well. My sweet girl- Faith had surgery and we did chemotherapy and it extended her life which I am grateful for. However, this pain is excruciating. Could I have done more? Did I pay enough attention to her in the end? Did she know I loved her? She was so scared when we were at the vet so I feel I didn’t take as much time as I could have to spend with her before they put her to sleep. I am beating myself up everyday. Does anyone have any tips? I do not have other pets so my house is very quiet.

    1. I am so sorry for your loss. I totally understand your feelings of "did you do enough." I said goodbye to my 14 and 1/2 year old golden yesterday. I have the same worries. Like my girl, your dog loved you so much…he wouldn't want you blaming yourself for anything. You were his world and everything you did was perfect to him. It is so much easier to give grace to others than yourself. I need to hear my own words. Take care and sorry for you loss.

      1. It is easier to give grace to others. I don’t know what to do without my sweet Noelle. When does the sadness get better? I miss her sweet snout so much.

  26. I just lost my beautiful 13 half year old bichon frise Charlie he was my world he came everywhere with me wherever you could take dog he came with me he was my baby lost him nearly 2 months ago feel traumatised lost out routine it’s seems so unreal empty the joy he brought me I miss him forever i felt breathless with the pain never felt pain like it xxxx

    1. I feel that same pain. Know how much Charlie loved you! I have a Charlie too. We are both feeling the loss of my golden Hailey. He so loved her and was her constant companion.I let her go yesterday after 14 1/2 years. A lifetime and yet not long enough. I truly believe dogs are a gift from God. I have no idea how I deserved the gift of their love.

  27. This article hits the nail on the head. We live in the UK and lost our beautiful Beagle at the age of 12 years and 3 months. It happened so quickly one minute he was a bouncy healthy Beagle and the next minute he had been diagnosed with cancer. We are both devastated he was put to sleep 4 weeks ago and I feel quite traumatised still even though it was a very peaceful and loving ending. I still can't believe we went through it. I remember seeing the vet at our front door dressed in PPE and shouting to my husband oh my god she is here, this is it. I have gone through all the stages of grief…. extreme guilt did I do enough, was my overriding need to ensure he did not suffer determine the decisions we made, did lockdown and not being able to go into vet appointments with him cause a misdiagnosis. I know that time will be the healer and I also realise we do not have our dogs long enough. I do feel lucky to have had him for as long as we did but I just was not ready to lose him but I don't think I would ever have been. My heart goes out to you all and thank you all for sharing. TO LOVE IS TO GRIEVE.

  28. We had to put down our beautiful wonderful Simon. He was 15 years old. He is and was the love of my life. A beautiful English golden retriever. Kind, smart, loyal and he was ours. I was so very proud to be his mamma. He grew so tired. He tried until the very end. He was truly a part of our family. Every family member loved him and he loved every one of us. My heart is shattered. I will miss him every day for the rest of my life. He gave me purpose. He taught me kindness, patience and courage. Rest In Peace my sweet angel. Mamma loves her baby

    1. I totally understand. I feel the same. I waited 15 years to get my first golden. I petted her as she fell asleep for the last time yesterday. She was my first baby. She was tough as nails in dealing with pain. But had a heart of gold and loved me like no other. The pain can be unbearable. Wishing you peace. Maybe our two goldens will meet in heaven.

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