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.

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.

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

  1. I miss my Stanley so much. I can’t stop crying. It’s been six days. My world has collapsed. I just sit in the garden, his favourite place, and look at his photos. Then I hold his jumper tightly at night. I long to cuddle and kiss him once again. He was my baby – all Staffy/Lab of him. Broken beyond measure.

  2. Gavin M. Blair

    If anyone would ever like to talk, please feel free to contact me. I would be happy to talk and share with you.
    Thank you, Gavin gmb_007@yahoo.com

    1. Hi Anna:

      I am very sorry to hear about your loss. Myself and everyone on here understands and I'm still devastated about my loss of Brownie, which is with me ever waking minute. I just want to give you encouragement and for you to know how sorry I am about Stanley and how much I can relate to your loss. Gavin

  3. Gavin M. Blair

    I lost my dearly beloved Brownie at age 7 on May 12th. It hurts just to write this especially as she was too young to go and started life badly as an abandoned rescue dog maybe a year old. When I adopted her at the shelter with her big sad but loving eyes, I gave her the best life possible and tried to make her happy every day as she did the same for me.
    I love her so much and her loss has hit me really hard. I’m deeply hurting, sadden, feel emotionally devastated and gutted, and have a hard time realizing that she is gone. It’s so hard that I can’t even discard her last poopie bag as it is the last piece of her I have left. In fact, I occasionally think she is at a playdate at my parent’s house with their dogs (her dog cousins). I’m really hurting and cry every day and periodically throughout the day as my heart feels empty, my house feels empty, and my car is empty as we did everything and went everywhere together. It’s hard not to see her at her favorite spots around the house and not doing her daily routines that we both have grown accustomed to. Everywhere I go, every time I go to the car and not open the car door for her to jump in, and every time I see a squirrel reminds me of her and the painful emptiness can be overwhelming. I suffer because the pain is 24/7 and there is nothing I can do and no where I can go to escape or ease the pain.

    Thankfully, I am glad to find this site (articles and comments), which help me know that I am not alone in my feelings of grief and suffering and that others feel the same way I do. I’m sorry for all of us but it’s comforting to know we are not alone in the pain and grief we are experiencing and can gain consolation and support from those who understand and care.

    As a Christian, I know Brownie is in Heaven and is very happy and waiting for me to join her someday. I take comfort in knowing this is not the end as she will be in my arms once again for eternity. However, it still hurts so much not having her here with me. I love you Brownie. You are a good girl and I miss you so much!

    1. Dear Gavin, that bit "there is nothing I can do and no where I can go to escape or ease the pain" really hit home. It's been two weeks since Polly left and the process of grief is so frustrating. I feel like I can't go walking because I'm not ready for the memories of her to overcome me and I will start sobbing in the street. I still can't believe she isn't here. I look at photos of her daily and I feel like she will come back. I saw a man on the street today who was familiar to both me and Polly, but Polly, for some reason, did not like him one bit and would never stop barking at him until he was out of sight, and even then she'd bark a bit before she settled down. Sometimes she could smell him in the air and bark before we'd even see him. She did not do this to any other human, dog, or cat in her entire 11 years, only this one man. I saw the man today and imagined her barking at him. I long to be with Polly again. She was such a presence in the house and now it's so dull. Maybe I will adopt another shelter dog soon to help with the grief of losing Polly. Take care.

  4. Jeanette Ditlefsen

    May 26, 2021
    I am beside myself in grief. In two days time, husband and I are sending our 8 1/2 year old German Shepherd called Thor to the Rainbow Bridge. Thor has the awful Degenerative Myelopathy. He has deteriated significantly since past January, both back legs paralysed and has become incontinent. There is no cure for DM. I took him to 3 veterinarians, Acupuncture, herbs, pain meds and CBD oil now. Nothing has helped slow the deteriation. Only method of mobility is Help em Up harness. He is a large male 116 lbs. Everyday I try to do something for him; trip to a park lay on a blanket, rides in the SUV, 2 weeks ago I took him to the mountains for one last overnight cabin stay. I will miss his GS intelligence, our long hikes, hours throwing his tennis ball for him to catch and his incredible loyalty. You see he was our bright shinning light, my husband became chronically ill a year before Thor was adopted Thor from a rescue group. Thor brought cheer into a home filled with chronic pain, frequent hospital trips. Thor helped ease my spousal Caregiver stress. He was really husbands dog, but I stepped in 5 years ago as husband's chronic illnesses prevented him caring for Thor. I love Thor so much! This is my 4th pet loss, never gets easier.

  5. Polly, it's been two days and I miss you immensely. Sick with grief. Thank you for allowing me into your life, you were Davor's baby. I hope you enjoyed the walks around the city and in the forests. Thanks for being our weirdo, and for making us laugh, and for enthralling me with your very presence. I loved when you threw yourself into the hedges on our walk and so enjoyed the sensation of the the branches on your back. You were ecstatic at the feeling it gave you. A few weeks ago we made footprints in some wet cement on the ugly side of the train station, I will check them soon. Thank you for being so strong, I knew you were being strong for us. I know your spirit wanted to keep fighting but your body couldn't do it. Gone to the Rainbow Bridge, where my childhood dog Muttley also waits, but I long for the day that I cross over and call your name, and your Flying Nun ears perk up, look around for me like we used to do when playing hide & seek, and you rush to me with the ball, and we're together again for eternity. We love you cuki. Big love. Until we meet again… Jo & Davor XXX

  6. I adopted an old lady dog, they thought she was 15 years old and she was a boxer mix. She was on obviously abused, emaciated, had patches of hair missing, really bad skin, a double ear infection, scar on her nose, mammary cancer, and even a chunk missing out of her tongue.

    The moment I laid eyes on her ad in the local humane society, I knew I had to go meet her. So, there I was the next day. Sitting next her cage, while she was fast asleep. I tried calling her name and she did not budge. I sat there and talked to her for a little while. Then left. I could not stop thinking about her. So I went back two days later and she was wide awake, sitting on her cot with the saddest doggie eyes. I managed to get her to come over to me and we spent a little while talking and getting some pets. I knew that day she was coming home with me.

    We were able to get rid of one ear infection. Fix her bad skin, and make her the happiest wiggliest dog. She was my best friend and the love of my life. I prioritized every single day after taking care of her. I went straight home during my lunches at work and got rid of my social life, because she needed me. It was worth it because she had the best 2 years. Unfortunately, her tumors metastasized and made it impossible for her to walk. I had to carry my 75 lb dog outside to go potty, and she could no longer sit up during her favorite car rides. I knew it was her time.

    Her name is Trace.

    I lost her February 2021, and it is now May. 4 months later I still grieve. I still cry. I still miss my best friend. I do feel like I’ve lost a child (I don’t have people kids. So she was the only thing that depended on me). There is an emptiness inside I can’t seem to shake.

  7. I just lost my sweet dog Howie this past Sunday Apr 25, 2021. He had to be put down since he was in serious pain, and unable to walk or stand up anymore. Even though I made the right decision, I am devasted and very sad over my loss of him. Howie was like a son to me, and I miss him dearly. I will always love him and will never forget him. I was with him to the very end and I'm happy that I did, and am very sad over losing him. Thank you for sharing this article, and I am receiving great support from my siblings and friends to help me cope over my loss.

  8. Sonsheehray Robinson

    Thank you so much for this writing. I lost my sweet boy, Jackaroo, 4 weeks and 3 days ago. He was my 13 1/2 year old chocolate lab. And like you, I felt like he was a human in a dog suit. My fiancé said we were like an old married couple. Lol. We had a very special bond…we were soulmates. I got him when he was 6 weeks old. He was diagnosed with severe hip dysplasia at 5 months and had a few surgeries. He was not expected to live past 5 years but I knew he would be here a long time because we needed each other. I miss everything…I took care of him and he took care of me and I would do it all over again, forever, just to have him back. I cry everyday just aching knowing that I will never get to see him or smell him or snuggle him or kiss his sweet nose while I am alive. He was truly my best friend. He was such a sweet soul with the kindest eyes and best heart. And a great sense of humor as well as a stubborn streak a mile long. We will be getting another puppy soon. Our cat that was raised with Jackaroo as his big brother is devastated. I rescued him on Jackaroo's 4th bday and they were inseparable. He cries and wanders. We are all grieving. I just don't feel like my grief will ever end. He was the bestest boy ever and I will miss him every day for the rest of my life. God bless and thank you.

  9. I had to put my sweet Pepper to sleep on the 14th due to Lymphoma. I am so sad and heartbroken. I did it before he got too bad and was in too much pain, but he was beginning to have the labored breathing and I just didn’t want to wait until he was suffering. But I feel guilty for doing it too soon. I want him back….

  10. I lost my dog last week. They have poisoned her. I watched her dying and i couldn't do anything to save her. She was my everything. I don't know what to do. I keep thinking the way she suffered. I miss her so much. I don't know if i will ever see her again. She was an abused dog and i've adopted her to save her but i failed. I want her back. I don't know if i can continue without her. Nothing else makes me happy. I miss her 💔

  11. Oh I am so sad for your loss, I am going through the same thing now as I lost my darling Payton on March 13 at 1130am and have not stopped crying since. I am so broken and depressed now…..he was my entire life and now I just do not know how to live anymore and really don;t want to either. I so miss his kisses and him looking for me in our home if he can’t see me. He was my little warrior who protected me when we were out and about, he was my everything and now I beg, plead and pray to God to let my baby come back home to me. And that won;t happen I know, so darling Payton wait for mom please as she loves you forever.

  12. Oh Kurt I am doing the same thing when I come home and my darling Payton is not there, I balled my eyes out daily even though it has been 29 days since he left me. I am so miserable and sad and depressed all the time now. NO one understands me…….I just do not know how to move on.

    1. It’s so hard! It’s been three days for me! I feel like people think I’m crazy and should get over this! I can’t! I want to be alone!! How are you doing?

  13. L lost my beloved chocolate Labrador JAVA yesterday . Being a funeral director I thought I would be able to handle the grief – I was wrong.
    20 years ago I had a beautiful Siberian Husky that had to be put down and the vet did a horrific job. I sat with my Husky Tumai as he fought the medication and struggled to breathe. The most painful day of my life until yesterday.
    Yesterday the veterinarian did a wonderful job as Java slipped away so peacefully- it was a blessing.
    But then a wave of unresolved grief hit me more deeply than I ever expected. The loss of my Husky was still with me. Tears poured from my eyes and my heart and then I realized that my Labrador Java was helping my heal from the loss of my Husky as well. What a good & loving dog Java was. I know the loss is fresh & raw but I felt a need to share. Grief takes as long as it takes. Memorialize your loved one with a Photo card or anything but keep their memory alive for as long as you live – it helps tremendously!!

  14. Thank you so kindly Jezza. I rescued a Chihuahua (named her Ella ) two weeks ago. She has quickly claimed my heart. I’ve cried on her ears over Beatrice. I don’t think I will ever get over losing her but Ella has taken that deep dark pain away and made my life livable once more. She’s precious and had a rough start to her little life. She needed me as much as I needed her.
    God bless you!

  15. I completely understand. I hope your pain soon goes. Our beloved dogs are our children and we love them so intensely.

  16. I have recently lost my beautiful little girl Halle. She was so gentle, kind, fun and loving. I miss her terribly. Her funny little ways always delighted me and she always lifted my heart and made me happy. I wish I’d spent more time with her and although I treasured the time we had, those other things in life that get in the way, I now realise are unimportant in the scheme of things. I will never forget or fully get over losing Halle. I’m so grateful she was and will remain part of my life and I’m so happy a piece of my soul has gone with her. Although I have nothing that leads to think I may die any time soon, I strangely now have no fear of dying but instead the hope I may be with her again sometime.

  17. I lost my precious Milkshake three weeks ago, my heart is crushed and the pain is indescribable! I’ve never felt physical pain from a loss however the loss of my sweet boy hurts so deep.
    Mama loves and misses you, my precious sweet boy!

    May God comfort and strengthen you all!

  18. Thunder……you left your paw prints on my heart. And for that, I will ALWAYS BE THANKFUL. THERE IS a hole in my heart that only you can fill. Til the day we meet again…….Miss you my big boy

  19. Jesus, Kenneth- You’ve hit the nail on the head. I’m glad my sweet Soonie is not ill anymore, but it is a year and a half today since she died, and all I have left of her is my grief. I am terrified to let that go, because that will mean she is truly gone.

  20. I lost my precious Beatrice one month ago today and I haven’t stopped crying yet. I don’t sleep, I can’t sleep without her.. She was all I had in this entire world. It was just her and I. I am a widow alone in this big world.. Bea was my child.. my little girl and I loved her with my entire heart and she loved me the same. She went downhill quickly beginning New Years Eve. I knew she was dying.. what I didn’t know was that she had liver cancer and a very invasive form. I can barely work and have missed so many days now that I may end up getting fired. A part of me died with Bea.. I don’t want to be here without her. My life is so empty.. I see her everywhere still and I cry out for her.. but I can’t have her back.. I think I’m still in shock that she’s gone. I raised her from the time she was 5 weeks old and she lived to be 12. She was a Westie and the cutest furbaby in the world, even at 12 yrs old. I don’t know what to do now. I just don’t.. Her death has completely taken me under.. I am grieving her as much as I did my husband. Please pray for me.. To all the other furbaby parents who are experiencing the same loss, my heart goes out to you.. It is the most painful loss I’ve ever felt. I love you Beatrice, forever and I know there’s a place in heaven where you are running free.. xoxo

  21. I am so sorry for your loss of your pal Hugo. I know your pain and sorrow and also your love and honor you have for Hugo. I wish I could take your hurt away, but a part of me thinks if your love for Hugo is like mine towards my two dogs, that you wouldn’t trade any piece of it for anything.
    It will be two years in March since I lost my Hercules. He was just 5 years old and the same full of life dolberman/hound it seemed then out of nowhere he developed a bad lump under his neck and I thought for sure he would snap back normal as soon as it went away. He has been through far worse before when at a young age dealing with a parasite that his immune system just couldn’t fight. This nearly killed him but we were able to battle through it together, all through the multiple daily doses of medicine. So I was extremely confident this now lump was just going to go away as fast as it came.

    This wasnt at all the case. He soon got lumps under his armpits and was rapidly losing weight. And less then two months later he went from the rambunctious spoiled 90lb baby to a frail weak shadow of his former self. I couldn’t afford what would have been excruciating cancer treatments so instead I held onto hope as long as I could, unfortunately this was the biggest regret of my life. My selfishness caused great pain to my Hercules. I just couldn’t believe or face reality that he was dying when just weeks before he was completely normal. I finally had him put asleep and I’ve been hurting every single day since.
    At the same time, and I mean all at once I lost my job, my home that I rented and my Hercules in a span of a month and a half.
    There is light though that accompanies this story… My other baby Jasmine, a much older jack russel/chihuahua mix, was there to hold me together through all of this Turmoil. Ironically she was on her last leg the Christmas before Hercules got sick. I had recently received Christ as my lord and Savior around the time Hercules was living his last days. And I truly believe, as a of matter of fact I Know, Christ took my Hercules home to not only test my faith but to put my new found love for him to the ultimate test. And to my great astonishment, I had pulled through stronger than ever. God took my Hercules, but at the same time spared my Jasmine for a whole year and a few months before taking her home as well. I lost Jasmine last May and this time I refused to allow any suffering before I called my vet to do a at home euthanasia. He didn’t have the IV in 2 seconds before Jasmine was asleep and at peace.
    See I could have blamed God for not healing Hercules and I could have turned away from him for good this time but instead I grew Astronomically stronger in my faith. And realizing that God had granted Jasmine a whole year extra to keep my broken pieces in a somewhat stable pile, this confirmed what I had believe, that ultimately Jasmine was there to save me.
    But even knowing all this to be true, the pain and tremendous grief I feel daily doesn’t seem to subside at all. My heart is still in deep sorrow as it was the day I buried Hercules and the day I buried Jasmine. I’ve lost other dogs before, but this hurt just doesn’t come close to previous deaths. I’m crushed and I’m lonely. I have family, family dogs and friends but nothing seems to curb my grief. I am torn apart missing my Hercules and my Jasmine.
    I now absolutely realize what parents who lose their children go through. I buried a huge part of me and quite frankly the best part of me the days I buried my dogs.

    Will this ever be relieved? Am I just going to be heartbroken the rest of my life? I think so. I could always get another buddy, but nothing at all will fill huge gaping hole in my heart. Love is a tricky emotion. Some master it, some fumble it at times and even some never experience the roller coaster of what is Love. But Unconditional Love is irreplaceable, highly addicting and the greatest gift one could receive in life. And the funny thing is, this once in a million connection built through a Dog’s Unconditional Love towards their owner, is at its greatest moment the best feeling one could have for another but at its worst moment the hardest thing to let go. It’s a permanent burden knowing I could easily go out and get another dog and feel this affection in some what to a full degree, but guilt or memory is like a chain preventing me to seek its comfort.
    I am deeply sorry for the loss of your best bud Hugo! I can relate exactly to what you write about. After the years since losing your champion, have you gotten relief to your loss?
    Either way can I ask you to give me your honest advice or thoughts on this matter? Whether or not you have or haven’t gotten some of your pain under control, I would greatly appreciate your words.
    A part of me wants to hear that Yes it gets better, but at the same time a part of me doesn’t as well. I can’t explain it but I feel this grief is somehow the one thing I have left of them.
    I apologize for the length but I got to writing and I just couldn’t stop telling the unusually cruel but uniquely grateful last days of my babies Hercules and Jasmine.
    Thank You All and God Bless All Of You!

    1. Vincent Seluous

      Go visit some dogs at a shelter. Just go with no expectations whatsoever. You wrote that you have found God. Perhaps He will decide to speak to you through one of these animals who might otherwise face the needle without someone there to love them.

  22. Recently lost my puppy boy. Like you I also have other dogs to fawn over, but he held a special place in my heart. He was a pet shop reject due to his leg problem. I took him in and raised him to health. I was very protective of him.

    Right before he died, I felt his breath leave his body as he kept his eyes on me. I can never forget the way he looked at me until the end. It was as though he was waiting for me to find him before he shared his last breath. That one breath–and I knew he was gone.

    I can’t go through the day without sobbing. I’ve lost almost all appetite. My heart aches and there’s a Neverending gnawing sensation in the pit of my stomach. I truly feel like my own child has been ripped away from me.

    I pray to him everyday hoping he would reincarnate and we would find each other again.

  23. I am so sorry for the loss and the pain of those who have discovered this site and posted here. Losing my sweet Soonie is the worst pain I have ever felt, and her death has crippled me. I wish you all Peace and hope that God’s Grace eases your pain on this Christmas Eve. I have found the tiniest solace in Rainbow Bridge, and look forward to our happiest reunion.
    My very best wishes, Rick

  24. We had to make the decision to have our beautiful German Shepherd Sheba put to sleep 2 days ago. At 13 years old, age was taking over her tired body and we couldn’t see her in pain anymore but im left broken. Theres just an empty space where she used to sleep. No fur left all over my clothes. No slobber all over the floor after she had a drink and got it everywhere. Iv lost my shadow. She would follow me every where. My heart hurts. My home is cold and empty and quiet. I so wish I could have her back.

  25. We lost our best friend lily (Golden doodle) on Sunday. It was a normal day we all got up had breakfast, played and were going to spend the day together going for a long walk. While we were getting ready we heard her whine a little. She was on her bed and looked in distress. I checked her over and her stomach was distended. We rushed her to the vet right away and he said her stomach had flipped and needed emergency surgery. They rushed her in but the damage was to sever to save her. The vet said the best thing for her would be to let her go while under anesthesia.
    We are totally devastated to the core. I recently lost my father and it was lily who offered that support and love to help me get through it.
    Lily was so full of life a 13yr old puppy. We always imagined we would all be together till the end of time. The loss is so devastating we just can’t move forwards.
    The house was hers toys in every room multiple beds so she could be comfy no matter where she wanted to be. Our bedroom was hers she slept in our bed with use or in her bed. Every time I walk through the house every thing I look at reminds me of our baby.
    I will miss her loving kisses, her cuddles, her snoring that would somehow put me right to sleep, her soft ears that we would kiss, her beautiful face that would always make a long day bright.
    We love you lily till the end of time my beautiful baby. You were the world to us.

    1. John, I am so sorry for your loss. We are now two days into our own journey through this all-consuming grief. Like Lily, our boy had the run of the house and like Lily, there are reminders of him everywhere. Life seems hollow and dark right now. Stay strong!

  26. I lost my 12 year old companion, Lexi, on November 18, 2020 to liver cancer. Her debilitation began around the end of October, 2020 and she was treated for pancreatitis but kept getting worse. A second trip to the vet revealed liver cancer that had metasticized and was also in her spleen. Her abdominal cavity was filled with fluid as well. She had quit eating although she did drink some water every day. Over a course of 3 weeks I watched her lose weight and have an overall weakness about her. We had to make the heartbreaking decision to euthanize her, but my husband and I were with her through it all. I miss her every day. I have 5 grandchildren whom I love dearly and feel guilty for crying over the loss of my dog to this point. She was my everyday companion, my riding partner, my confidant, my protector, my sleeping buddy, etc. I miss her terribly and hope to see her again one day. For all of you who are experiencing the death of a beloved and devoted pet, I understand your pain completely.

  27. My girl was so small. She was dragged off my property and mauled by two large dogs that hoped their fence a block away. I can’t sleep. I cry a lot. The owner is not helpful. She wants me to prove with a receipt the amount my dog was. My dog was 13 years old! I don’t have receipt. She was my everything & i am failing to get her justice. I’m so sad and this pandemic isn’t helping

  28. I adopted my dog Hiker 4 months after the death of my husband back in 2011 when she was just over a year old. She was an Australian Cattle Dog. She was picked up on the streets right after July 4th and taken to a no-kill shelter. In August of 2020, her routine started changing. I noticed small changes, but mostly in how she was eating. After a few weeks, I took her to her vet who thought she had gotten some kind of infection. They prescribed some antibiotics and told me to bring her back in a month. After 2 weeks, she was getting worse. Shad had totally stopped eating, so I took her back. They did an ultrasound on her and found that her liver and spleen were inflamed and her stomach to big and bloated. She was not eating, she could barely move and she looked at me so sadly. 4 days later, she threw-up blood. I knew it was time to let to let her go. On October 12, 2020, she crossed the Rainbow Bridge. I miss her so much.

    1. I have just gone through a similar experience with my mixed catahoula/bird dog who looked like a chocolate lab. Lexi suddenly got sick, was treated for pancreatitis, but her condition only got worse. A closer look revealed liver and spleen cancer. She had stopped eating and lost weight over a period of 3 weeks. I also had to let my sweet Lexi go. Prayers for you.

  29. Reading all the comments here helped greatly. We had to put down our dog Lucy this past Sunday. I found her in 2009 at a shelter just staring at me. I originally went to the shelter to look at another dog but that dog was mean and kept aggressively barking at me. So I walked around and saw this fuzzball, furry and unkept dog (Lhasa Apso Terrier mix) just staring at me which made me smile. I asked to see her, and when I started petting her, she immediately laid down and turn to her backside so I can rub her belly. It was love at first sight! Lucy was such a great friend and was always so loyal waiting for me when I did the dishes, waiting by the front door when I ran to do errands, and always wanted to be next to me. So here I am today… 2 days later and just heartbroken like never before. I have been looking at all her pictures and it just makes me so emotionally. Considering I am grown man… it’s hard for me to understand this sadness as I am rarely emotionally with anything but losing my best friend of 11 years truly hurts.

  30. We had to say “see you in a little while” to our sweet boy (6 days ago) Monday night at 6:25, October 19th 2020. We had him for 10 years. He was our first baby. He walked through all of life’s hardest seasons with us.. from college to marriage to having children, moving 15 times 2 different states, helping me through my dad’s transition to heaven, and oh so much in between. He brought tremendous joy to us. We feel a part of us went to heaven with him when he left. We miss him beyond words, the tears don’t seem to cease.. my prayers go out to all of us feeling this gut-wrenching pain..

  31. I’m Laura, from Italy. The words in my language seem so obvious and banal … finding this site was certainly not a coincidence. I’m reading your stories every day … so different and so similar to mine. The names, the way, the time change, but the pain and emptiness we feel is the same for everyone. My heart is shattered into millions of pieces and for now it seems impossible that it can heal … but my Toffy has taught me to truly love. Pure, unconditional, clean love, total love, that love that makes you feel complete. He was the most beautiful part of me, I liked who I was when I was with him. Now he is with my others dogs and cats in my Sacred Wood, we loved that place. I promised him that one day I will be able to say goodnight without crying. For now … for now I immerse myself in this pain, in this emptiness. And I think back to the wonderful life he gave me and we spent together. He was my perfect dog, made just for me, like a tailored suit. The deeper the Love, the greater the pain.
    Più profondo l’Amore, più intenso il dolore.

      1. 456 days today, sweet girl- I went to Rail X today, to the stump where you treed your second ground squirrel. My tattoo is from your face when you looked over your shoulder at me at this stump. I sure miss you, and half of me died when you did. I know you are having fun, and are healthy and happy at the Rainbow Bridge, and I look forward to seeing you there. Your Dad, Rick

  32. My baby boy, Jack, left us 2 months ago. I am still learning how to live without him. Everyday, I think about him- what he would be doing, where he would be, how he would react to certain things. I often go to do something routine, and forget that he is gone. He was a brother to me, we adopted him when I was 11 years old. Now, at the age of 22, I don’t remember life without him. I miss him every single day. Sometimes I feel like my friends do not understand this grief I am experiencing. He had arthritis, an autoimmune skin disease, and one day he didn’t want to eat anymore. My parents put him down because they refused to see him suffer. I often wonder if he could’ve lasted a little longer. That’s the hardest part. I love you forever jack. You made me whole.

  33. I was so glad to find this site. I have lost so many of my friends and it always hurts, no matter what. I just lost my little Simba. I was not watching her as I should have been when we went for a walk late at night. A car hit her. It was not the driver’s fault as Simba had run out into the street. I screamed at her to get out of the street and rushed towards her. The last thing I saw before the car hit her was her doggy smile and how happy she was that she saw me. The veterinary hospital could not save her. Over and over and over again, I kept telling myself if only I had been close to her so I could have caught her before she ran out into the street. She was an orphan when I took her in. I cried and cried in the veterinary emergency hospital and the staff was so very kind. I have such an awful emptiness in me. I care for another dog and love him to but it was the way I lost Simba. Because I was not careful enough with her. She gave me 10 years of joy, being a rascal, playing and running about. She is with St. Francis now and her mama, papa, siblings. I am waiting to join her and all the other four legged joys I have lost.

  34. We put down my 12 years old rotti down last night. I feel like I’m dying inside. I can’t stop crying. He was my soulmate. I’m dying inside. I miss my boy so much I can’t explain it.

    1. So sad. Just to let you know I lost my baby boy (GSD)Lennox on the 23 rd June – he was 12.5 yrs old and I’d had him from 6 weeks of age. He suddenly went Ill on the 22nd June 2020 and the following day a Tumour was detected on his spleen. I had to do the best for Lennox but still it makes it no easier to come to terms with. Don’t mind telling you that I am 53 years of age and I have cried every single day. Just hope he knew how much he meant to me and all my family. He was my world and I feel as if a piece of my heart has been taken forever. Stay strong

  35. We lost our sweet Biscuit (golden retriever/labrador retriever/poodle mix) on 6/14/20, unexpectedly, from a liver tumor that we were unaware of…it placed pressure on a blood vessel that burst and she bled internally. My husband and I and our other dog, Gravy, were having a wonderful Sunday together doing all our favorite things together at our home on 5 acres. Around 4:30 we noticed her having trouble breathing and so we rushed her to the vet…within minutes after arrival we were saying goodbye, totally shaken. She was 10 years old and was our baby girl…we were unable to have kids and so our whole hearts immediately went to her. Because we both worked full time we wanted her to have company while at home. When we got our second dog, Gravy, a golden retriever who is now 6, our hearts doubled and our family was complete. Biscuit and Gravy were total besties. Now we are torn apart. It is unexplainable what Biscuit meant and still means to us. We are devastated beyond measure. We try to hide our heartache around Gravy…she seems to be doing fine, but some of her cues came from Biscuit and so she sometimes looks confused about what to do and looks around for her sister to help her out (e.g. when the mailman comes she seems unsure about if she should bark or not…Biscuit would have quickly confirmed that for her).
    I lost my dad 2 years ago and that pain still runs so deep. The pain of losing Biscuit is even deeper. She really was our baby girl and I was her mom..and it hurts terribly to not have her with us any longer. It’s been 2 months already, but I’m still crying so much especially at night. My husband bought two solar lanterns and hung them on our property in two spots that were special to Biscuit. It’s warming to see the glow from the house, like she is still protecting us. I know it will get easier…and we need to make the time left with Gravy to be special.

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