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.

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

  1. I know it's not exactly the same but our experiences were similar. I raised my cat from a baby and he was a bit of a wild child but he taught me how to be a better cat mom. He was ferociously protective of me and attached at the hip. He'd purr in his sleep the moment I entered the room, he didn't even have to consciously know I was there to know I was there (and we're sure of this because he only ever did it for me and not my husband lol). Losing him at the tender age of eight was devastating. He was my clown, everyday with him was funny and cheerful, he made me laugh so much. I have other cats now to look after but it's nowhere near the same. It's been just over a year and I feel inside that I've changed. Part of it is emotional, like grief, and part of it is just dealing with, and navigating, who I am without him. That may sound really weird but it's like I'm not the same person now because of it. I'm not a bad person, I'm just different somehow. There's a lot of this longing for things to go back to the way they were, even though things are good right now. It's difficult and confusing. My heart goes out to all of you, I feel your pain.

  2. My heart goes out to all of you.I can understand a lot of feelings that you all have. I had a wippet cross pit bull and he was like our child/ friend.He was 17.He had holes in his jaw that couldn't be cured .I had to put him to sleep.Hardest thing ever but I felt I had to because he was going to suffer more than he already had.we miss him so much and when it first happened I wanted to die with him I cried for 5 weeks everyday.I understand when people say could I have done more ,the guilt,the pain,the heartache.i cried like a wolf.I think everyone on this page loved their dogs so much and there is no shame in that.there is never enough time or cuddles with them because we want to keep them forever.I hope they are all free and happy with all the doggies in heaven.hugs x

  3. My wonderful Millie went to heaven four days ago. She was being treated for an infection and cancer was discovered. I couldn’t let her suffer any more. I have never felt such sadness. I’m crying non stop, I see her everywhere, I miss her. She rescued me as much as I rescued her. Four wonderful years. We share such a connection. I have never grieved in this way before. My heart is breaking.

  4. Thank you for this! Reading this article and all the comments has helped me today as I just lost my 12 year old Yorkie due to Pancreatitis. I am struggling but my family is very supportive. He was my companion as my children are grown and my husband works out of town. It will take time I know. I miss him terribly!

  5. I wish I could have have 14 years with my boy. He was ten when he was diagnosed with osteosarcoma. The vet said his amputation would go smoothly. He died alone, afraid and in pain. It’s been three days without him and I still feel like I want to die. It was my fault.

    1. You were doing everything you could for him. I understand your regrets but I'm sure he knew you loved him. No doubt you have him ten great years.

    2. It is NOT your fault!!
      I lost my staffie 4 days ago. It feels like I failed. Tumor that ruptured the spleen. I love him so much and I miss him!
      I am sure both you and I loved our pets completely, like they loved us. We were not meant to keep them forever -we knew that. ❤️

    3. Barbara, I am so sorry this happened to your precious boy. I am so sorry the surgery didn't go as expected, but it is very obvious you loved him with all your heart and did everything you possibly could to save his life. It took great courage and love for you to have the surgery and I respect and commend you for that. It isn't your fault something went wrong. He wasn't alone, he had all the vets, vet techs and Jesus right there with him. I am sure they had him on a huge amount of pain medicine and I hope your soul can be comforted in knowing you did right by him and you never gave up. He knows how much you love him and nothing will ever break your bond. He is running and playing in Heaven now, he is healed and one day you two will be together again. I am so sorry this happened to you and your baby, but I applaud you in your choice to try to save his life. I would have done the same. May God bless you both. Lynda

  6. Lost my baby girl CoCo yesterday. Had her for almost 14 years. I feel I lost a part of me. We have two other dogs but CoCo was my dog. She went everywhere with me. I feel so much grief now.Not sure if I will ever get over it.
    I think back at all the times we had together and it makes me smile. I look around for her and she is not there. I feel I could have done more for her. She was old and sick but I feel I let her down. I am a 67 year old man and I cried my eyes out.
    I sure hope I can get over this.

  7. All of you who had to let your beloved fur child go to cross the “Rainbow Bridge” are my soul sisters and brothers. I learned about the “Rainbow Bridge” when I was seeking emotional support after the loss of my precious Fantasia, a ChowChow-Blue Healer mix in 2004. I cried myself into a hospital. I went to a Pet Cemetery in the outskirts of Dallas, TX to visit her grave. I love 100% just like all of you. I still have framed pictures of my girls sitting out. I don’t want to ever forget. There were several over the years. I love each with everything within me. I adopted a young terrier mix in late 2018. This little girl like her previous sisters is a bundle of joy.

  8. Diesel’s momma

    On August 30th, 2022 I helped my baby boy Diesel transition to heaven by kissing his face and letting him know it's okay and I love him so so much. I saved Diesel from a barn when he was just born, I nurtured him when his mother stopped and brought him home when I was just 19. Diesel had loyally stuck by his momma's side through physical abuse, trauma, sicknesses and much more. Diesel followed his momma to every room of the house, if I got up, he felt more comfortable going with me to the next room.
    Broken and heartache aren't deep enough words to express the pain and confusion I feel. I feel as if I'm outside my body and we he left this earth, my heart went with him.
    I find myself searching for him through out the house. This morning I woke for what felt like the millionth time through out the night and I went outside to my back porch and looked out at the clouds in the sky. I begged him to come visit me in my dreams if he has a moment. I know he's up there somewhere with my grandparents taking care of him.
    I just so badly want to wake up, turn over and see his beautiful eyes staring back at me.
    All that was ever left in me is dead. I want my baby boy back God.

    1. i am so sorry. my spirit dog crossed over too soon last thursday…..my spirit is broken. just know, that you are not alone in your feelings. trigger was my faithful and loving friend who comforted me and connected with me at a soul level whenever he felt i needed just a gentle soul to sit with….i am so sorry for your loss

  9. I miss my tiger , i lost him yesterday at night , i am unable to process , i can't even imagine my day without him. I don't know what to say , how to say . I am in pain . He was not my pet he was more than my family. Whenever I sit alone and cry he come and sit next to me . I have no clue what to do . My mind is blank . I don't want to forget him . All the memories good and bad tie up to me till my last breath . I want to meet him in heaven and hug him so tight and wishper in his ear how much I love you tiger.

  10. I just lost my dog yesterday. She was just over 12 years old. I raised her since she was 8 weeks. My dog was riddled with disease. She had a degenerative disc disease, luxating patellas, and congenitive heart disease. I was told when she was about 5 or 6 by her cardiologist, that she wouldn't live to see the age of 12 with her heart disease. It was progressing too rapidly and she was eventually going to need medical intervention. About 2 years ago, I put her on heart medications, and they helped for awhile, but it got to a point where I was forcing my dog to take these medications, that were a risk to her renal system which I was also concerned with. I chose to let nature take its course and to let her live out her remaining days without shoving pills down her throat two times a day. The last few months, things got progressively worse. She started coughing more and the fainting spells started. There were a few times I had to resuscitate her because she didn't have enough air. I think about those days and find myself angry with myself. Did I let her suffer? Was I being selfish? Aside from these episodes, which happened maybe once a week at most, she was a normal dog. She would bounce around the house, go outside sniffing everything she could find, beg for treats, beg for people food, clean up my toddler's food messes, etc. She seemed normal so I could never get myself to take her in. She wasn't ready. And then Sunday night came around and I noticed she had very labored breathing. This wasn't out of the ordinary, in fact, the last few months her breathing had been more labored but she still seemed to be doing well. But this was different. She just looked awful. Defeated. I thought, well, maybe she is tired since my toddler daughter was chasing her so much. Even when I separated them, it was still a struggle to keep my daughter away from her. She didn't understand. I put my kiddo to bed early and decided to go lay in bed with my dog. She was doing ok, but as we were laying there, I would see her raise her head about every 10 minutes and just look at me. I would pet her, ask her if she was ok, and she would put her head back down. In hindsight, this was odd. Throughout the night, she couldn't get comfortable. I noticed she was constantly sitting up, wouldn't lay down like she usually would. She stayed glued to my side, snuggled up next to me, but still, something was wrong. Monday morning I woke up at 5:30AM, started getting ready for work and as I come out of the bathroom, I notice my dog looks terrible. Her breathing was still very labored and she just looked pale. Which is odd, because they have fur, but you know when your dog is unwell. So I got her up, took her outside and she was, what seemed like, gasping for air. I knew this day was going to be a bad one. I took her back inside and instead of running over to eat, she laid down on the floor. Then, she started losing oxygen to her brain and I needed to act fast. She was started to sway like she was going to faint and I instantly panicked. I breathed air into her mouth and seemed to get her stable again, but still, she wasn't bouncing back. She was letting me know it was time. I made the most difficult decision of my life yesterday. Asking the vet to take away her pain and suffering, breaking what was left of my already shattered heart. I keep replaying the moment in my head when they gave her the second medication to stop her heart and I just yelled while holding her, "She's not breathing! She's not breathing!" and the vet just looked into my eyes and said, "I know." My heart is broken in so many ways. I just wish my dog was still here. I couldn't sleep last night and I was going crazy looking around my house and she was gone. I don't even want to be there anymore. I need this pain to just go away, and I don't think it will.

    1. Hi. I feel your pain. I had to have my cavi euthanised on Saturday. I’ve been crying ever since. My heart is broken. My husband said to me last night are you crying again! I don’t even want to be in this house anymore and looking out into my garden is heart wrenching. I’m scouting the internet to see if I can get any advise on how I can get through this. I’m waiting on his ashes to come too. My Maxy. He would of been 14 in January 😭😭😭
      The guilt I’m feeling. I wish I hadn’t of taken him to vets now.

    2. Caitlynn i had to make that same decision yesterday for my magnificent Great Dane Arlo. He was only 8 years old and had epilepsy as well as cancer only diagnosed on Tuesday in the lungs. I didn't want him to suffer for i second in this life, i rescued him as an 18 month old and he was so emaciated and mistreated, he was scared if his own shadow but he became the softest most loving, trusting and gentlest soul i had ever seen. Kids just radiated to him. I have no other family or children so he was the centre of my universe, everything seems off kilter now he is gone. I feel the exact same way you do, I wish I could have gone with him. I know Arlo would be so distressed if he knew how heart broken I feel without him. Hang in there Caitlynn you're not alone in your grief i am experiencing everything you are.

    3. Diesel’s momma

      Hi Caitlynn,
      To tell you sorry for your loss does not come close to meeting the depths of pain your feeling in your heart right now, I know. The care you gave your baby is something to be so proud of and from what I've read, she was at peace with going to Heaven. Know she is waiting for you so someday you can cross the rainbow bridge together.
      -Diesels momma
      8/30/2022 💔

  11. I lost my baby Gustavo January 28 2022 today almost six months and a half the pain hasnt changed. 13 yrs 4 months shih tzu . i knew that loosing him one day would hurt but not like this too painful and the pain doesnt go away. had to be euthanized by the doctor recommendation the cause was difficulty breathing( due to fibrosis, scarring) doctors tried several things there was no improvement six days in the ER receiving oxygen . i was dying watching him struggle, and i am still dying without him near me, hope we all can recover from loosing our babies and go back to normal.

  12. I lost my perfect little boy, Bailey, on April 8, 2022. He was 7 years 3 months and 2 days old. I had him since he was 5 1/2 weeks old (his mother was my sisters dog so I was there helping her as she gave birth to him, his brother and sister). Bailey was the most beautiful and the most sweetest dog I've ever seen and I honestly dont know how to go on without him. He helped me through losing my mother, my mother in-law, three friends and three other dogs all within one year. He was my rock, without him I don't know how to go on. I love you more than life itself my sweet baby boy forever and ever. I miss you> mommy

  13. I lost my beautiful black Lab Freeman on 6/26/22. He was 13 years and 1 month. I brought him home at 8 weeks and I loved him every single day. We spent the last 10 years of his life living in this house together … just him and me. I never felt alone. We were inseparable. If you knew me … you knew Freeman. Beautiful, sweet, funny and outgoing. He was loved by everyone who met him. He was a rock star. I feel like it would be so much easier to handle his loss if I had a family. The deafening silence in the house borders on unbearable at times. I speak to the silence just to hear something aside from the television. I know that 13 years in a loving home is a full and happy life for a Lab … but I still feel shortchanged when I hear about other dogs living to 15+. When I adopted him I knew this day would come but I always had the number 15 in my mind. But then I read the pain of people who lost dogs years older, and I know … it’s NEVER enough time. The cancer took him so quickly. I thought he was just slowing down because of old age, but by the time they found the tumor it was too late. He was gone 3 weeks later. My sweet, sweet, beautiful boy. I miss you as much as I loved you … and that’s too much to measure. Thank You Freeman for giving me the happiest 13 years of my life. As much as it hurts now, I would absolutely make the trade all over again. Like the song says … “I could have missed the pain, but I would have to miss the dance.”

  14. I put my boy Rocky down a few weeks ago and I miss him so much. I feel like as long as I get enough sleep and exercise, I’m ok. But some nights I wake up and just miss him horribly and lay in bed crying. I raised him from puppyhood until I had to put him down at 14, and he was a nearly constant companion for me – hiking, skiing, camping, and, traveling with me as much as possible.

    I have the blankets he lay on in his last few days and can’t make myself wash them, because they smell like his stinky old dog body that I miss so horribly. I so wish I could hug him and pet him again, and I sometimes hug them instead.

    I buried his ashes in my back yard yesterday, and I keep wondering if that was the right decision or if I should dig up the box containing them and bring it back in my house. I keep thinking “what if I move? I don’t want to leave him behind”, even though I know his ashes aren’t really “him”.

    A dog trainer friend of mine once called him my “forever dog”-one of those dogs that has lasting impact on you for forever. I keep swinging from feeling like I am okay to feeling like I have a gaping wound in my heart. I miss my boy so much.

    1. I lost my 9 year old mixed terrier breed today, I had him since he was 4 weeks old, he was an one of a kind, at least to me he was. He was energetic spoiled little guy I had a hard time disciplining him because of his big brown eyes so he wasn’t a very good dog as far as listening.
      He would run off if he had the chance he loved squirrels he would sit and watch and whine for them to come to play with him.
      Things in my life wasn’t always great, he saw some dark times with me I was a addict for about a year and I had him with me the whole time, I checked into rehab and my son took him for that time and when I got my life back together he came back home to me 3 months later he was so happy and so was I. He was my security I guess I needed him like he needed me, I had mad sure that I kept up on his health like shots and meds for heart worm prevention and flea prevention.
      I wasn’t the best at a diet for him he ate everything I ate ( I knew it was wrong)but I couldn’t resist the big brown eyes. So he was overweight and was lazy and I didn’t excercise him much.3 years ago he had a lost all use of his hind legs and was very Ill I took him to the vet and it turns out he had a slip disk in his back he had part jack russel and corgi in him and had an elongated spine with meds he recovered completely.
      Last Saturday I woke up and he was in the closet and I knew something was wrong he was panting in pain so I took him to the vet,they told me they thought that his anal glands were swollen and he had a fever due to infection from that, so I brought him home gave him 2 of the antibiotics over a 12 hour period, well he was getting worse stopped eating and drinking and just layed around didn’t want to be touched or anything so I took him back to the vet.
      They had done blood work and said that he had no fever but his pancreatic enzymes were real high, and they could do treatment it would be a hospital stay and there was no guarantee it would work, with the pain he was in it would be best to put him down.
      I lost it I just said let me take him home to spend some time with him
      He had become increasingly in pain and wouldn’t let me near him, so I decided after a lot of tears to do it.
      I cried and cried felt guilty for what I did or didn’t do to prevent what caused this.
      I took him today and he was in so much pain he couldn’t even get into the car on his own we got to the vets office and I saw him in more pain than I had ever seen this whole time I knew then this is what he needed and I held him til he was gone, it broke my heart and I honestly feel like I have a hole inside of me, I have cried like I’ve never cried before he was my baby and I don’t know how to move forward i wish I had more time
      How does a week ago he was fine and now he’s gone I’m so confused and lost I will always love him please any help would be great.

      1. I hope you’ve been coping okay. Find peace, you loved that little baby. Remember that.
        I’ve personally found a lot of help with writing my memories in a little book. It’s just been a month but I’ve been moving slowly feeling better.
        Sending love.

  15. I lost my little baby boy on June 11, 2022 at 16 1/2. I can't stop crying or can't eat or do much of anything. He died in my arms he looked at me with his beautiful eyes and then was gone. He came to us at 3 weeks old and had to feed him with a bottle he was so sweet and loving. My heart hurts so much I don't think I will ever be the same. Every where I look it seems he should be there waiting for my every move. He was sick for awhile tried to do everything so he could live but I know he was tired. My family – sister brother-in law, nieces and their boyfriends came on Sunday and helped bury him. Said the Lords Prayer. Since my husband died my sweet Shih Tzu Buddy the love of my life and will miss him with all my heart, Someday we will be together.

  16. I had to put my Lady love bug down on 5/16/2022. She walked through fire with me – some of the most difficult moments in my life. Faithful, intelligent sweet — loyal to the end. Diagnosed with splenic hemangiosarcoma which had spread. I miss her terribly. My mom and my brother don't understand.

    1. It’s been just over a month since we had to put our 12 year old hound, Sydney, down. Some days I trick myself into thinking that I don’t notice she’s gone. Like I’ve got used to just walking into a quiet house at the end of the day. And other days, just talking about cheese results in tears for an hour. She was with my in some of the worst and best times of my life. She grew and changed along with me. And all I want is just more time to give her pets and have her curl up with me. Slowly I’m moving her stuff. Yet her dog bed remains. Like she’s still just going to come and lay down in it. There is a peace in the pain and tears, knowing the depth of the love that I have for her. Forever remembered.

    2. I am so sorry about your precious, beloved Lady Bug. Don't listen to your mom and brother. Some people didn't get the gift that those of us who are here did. We got the gift of love and communication with animals. I wouldn't trade that for anything in the world. It is such a blessing to touch souls with these precious, perfect little angels. I am so sorry about you girl getting hemangiosarcoma. I had a female shepherd wolf mix who got that too. It is so heart breaking. I had the surgery for her to have the tumor removed and she died about a week later. It is so sad and such a horrible disease. You and your beautiful Lady Bug will be together forever some day. Right now she will always be with you even though you can't see her. I am deeply sorry for your loss and for the behavior your brother and mom are exhibiting. Don't listen to them and don't let them make you question this beautiful gift that you have been given. God bless you and your sweet soul mate Lady Bug. Lynda

  17. I don't know where to begin. I can't stop sobbing. My little girl, Jackie, was a Jack Russell and full of life. The last year has been painful to watch her age, slow down, and become lethargic. Last night, we let her out to pee and she fell in the pool and drowned. I feel so guilty….I let her down. I loved my dog with all my heart. The pain is unbearable and real. She was 17…had a long life…but I wasn't ready for her to go. I can't believe she is gone. I pray she had a heart attack and did not suffer from the drowning. I'm not sure what to do….the flood gates are open.

  18. David Thornton

    I had my Lady Bug 19 years. She was by my side through it all. Good or bad. We took a chance 10 years ago and moved to Texas. We thrived! Yesterday after 19 years of loyalty she had to be put down. She would wonder for hours. Until she collapsed. That was Friday I knew she was hurting. Along with a slight case of confusion. I miss my baby the days are empty without her here. She was the foundation that kept me together. I’m hurting I don’t know what to do…… I miss you Lady Bug

  19. I lost my beautiful baby girl on 15/5/2022. She wasn't really a baby as she was 11 and half years old but she was born in my house to my other dog her mother and she has always been my beautiful girl. I guess I am lucky to have had those wonderful years with her and so many happy funny memories she has left me with.
    She was a staffie x with american bull dog but she was not huge she was a lovely size. She was friendly and would play with other dogs and loved to be around children and in all the years I had her she never fought or troubled other animals, in fact when out walking all she wanted was to sniff out and smell all the wonderful things to be found on her walks. When in the big parks and she went off lead she ran just like a greyhound and then she would bound back to me always stopping within about 6 inches distance of not knocking me over. I used to laugh so much at her. She got to eight years old without any illness and then she was diagnosed with diabetes something I did not know dogs could even have it was a condition the vet told me could be managed with insulin so for several years I carried on with the treatment and was saddened when she lost her sight. My baby was not beaten by that and still managed her walks although letting her off lead once she was blind was something I had to stop.

    Moving on from all that over the last eight months or so she was slowing down and sometimes was getting disorientated which to me was signs she was far from her usual self. I made several visits to the vet and then only a couple of weeks ago the vet told me she had a tumour on her mammaries there was nothing could be done and perhaps she had three weeks or maybe three months to live. The day I saw the vet I knew losing her would be very soon, and over that weekend the tumour popped and I rushed her to the emergency vet, my baby was still able to walk and was breathing but she was not in good condition and holding her lovingly for the last time the vet gave her a small dose of the drug and peacefully she was put to rest.
    It has only been one week and still I miss her so much nothing at the moment feels the same because she has gone although some days I still seem to see her lying in her favourite place on the sofa and looking at me as she hears me walking into the room even though she had gone blind she would still look in my direction when she heard me and that powerful tail of hers would start wagging.

    Sleep soundly baby girl until the day we meet again when I know my face will be covered in those wet kisses and once more you are back at my side nothing will part us then. LOVE XXX YOU XXX FOREVER XXX from your Mum.

  20. I lost my baby girl last year. She was a mixed dog. Likely had corgi, beagle, and others. She was one of the smartest dogs I’ve ever had. I miss her so much. Just like my half German Shepard girl who died when I first went to college. Both were so smart, loyal, and unconditional love. It still hurts and I still cry sometimes.

  21. My dog, Veda, died from CKD after battling like a Viking shield-maiden for over 2 months. I was (still am) so devastated that I slept for over a week and a half and lost 13 pounds.

    Everything is so surreal. She’s supposed to be here. Something’s missing. Something big. But she was just a little Min-Pin/Rat Terrier.

    Where is she?! WHY?!!!!! WHY?! WHY?! WHY?!!!!!

    Why did she have to go through what she went through?! She didn’t deserve it!!!

    I’m not religious. I have no belief about an afterlife. I want there to be one. And since she died, I’ve been obsessed with finding proof (or at least a high likelihood) that one exists.

    The closest I got so far is quantum mechanics and microtubules. It’s a far out theory but it’s all I can trust in. And it might just be wishful thinking.

    I can’t live with the thought that I’ll never see her again. I just can’t. I can’t.

    She was everything. Her beautiful sister is still with me and I love her just as much. She has tracheal collapse. I’m terrified about what might happen if I lose her. I have nightmares all the time.

    I’m exhausted. Every day takes so much effort. I feel so weighted down. I just want her back.

    Veda, I hope you can “hear” me. You’re my choo-chee. I miss you with everything in me. I hope you can forgive me. Thank you for everything. I desperately hope to see you and hold you again.

    1. My little Germany died this past January 19. At 13, not old for a chihuahua. When back spasm pain knocked me out, she was the one head butting me, licking my face, and whining at me to wake up. So she was special to me for not leaving me. We lost her to heart failure. Medicine helped for a couple of weeks, but was not enough.
      As for afterlife…I am of a scientific mind, and while I wish for an afterlife, I wanted proof. In reading up on various aspects of Christianity (don't worry, this isn't a religious screed), I came to the conclusion that various pivotal events did indeed happen. There is proof Pontius Pilate, the Roman Prefect, did exist. Historians basically agree the the crucifixion did happen. On a more personal note…after taking Germany to be cremated, I came home and heard Germany's distinctive bark from upstairs. It was a happy bark. I had been up 40 hours so I wondered if I was hearing things, and when I turned to my girlfriend, she asked me "Did you hear that?" so she heard it too.
      I also believe that what many call "the soul" upon death of the body, transforms into another kind of energy. What, I cannot say. I just don't believe that the soul, what makes you, you, and what makes me, me, simply disappears. Especially that of dogs, whom will love you without reservation, who spend their lives attentive to us. I don't think that bond is breakable, even by death.

    2. Just because you can't see something, it doesn't mean it's not there. Think about a television. It's useless without an antenna and the power to make it work, right? Bodies are like t.v.'s When the energy leaves, the body is useless. Think about the Hubble telescope, recently superseded by the James Webb. Both of these instruments have captured images of things that were always there but we were unable to see, for a looooong time, because we didn't have the tool. That's how I feel about "afterlife" or whatever you want to call it. Maybe we will never have an instrument, maybe we one day will (I also think quantum physics is the start of this instrument, it's so remarkable and mind-blowing!), and besides, who are we mere humans to dictate what Truth is? There are billions of other species, maybe one or more of them have the "answer"?. I'm open-minded. We will all one day be where our loved ones are. Keep this in mind as you navigate the seas of the storm of grief in this difficult life. Keep researching quantum physics, it's incredible! I recommend Jim Al-Khalili videos on Youtube.

  22. I lost my Sooty on 8/2/20, Domino his sister and my little girl died on 4/2/22. They were the most wonderful eternal puppies. I loved them so much that it would physically hurt sometimes. When my mum died these two amazing pups gave me reason to get out of bed, when Sooty died it was Domino who helped me carry on, she needed me because she was grieving too. Now that she has gone I feel lost. I know how amazing our fur babies are but underestimated just how pivotal they are to our lives. I know they are now together and happy and healthy once more, I miss them both so much, they bought fun, laughter, games, company and love. There is a film called ‘A dogs purpose’, I think they come to teach us unconditional love and loyalty. Thank you Sooty and Domino for being my babies. I love you both forever xxxxx

  23. To my Zoe, she was my 14 years and 3 month old yellow lab. I can’t stop crying! She was the air I breathe,

    To my Zoe,

    I love you so very much my princess,
    This much is true, nevertheless,

    Losing you hurts more than I can imagine,
    I often ask God, why did this have to happen,

    Zoe, you gave me the best years of my life,
    And losing you hurts like a knife,

    Your presence changed me in so many ways,
    But now I feel like I’m lost in a maze,

    You will always be a part of me,
    No matter where I go or who I see,

    You have placed a paw print on my heart,
    Having you in my life, was like a picturesque art,

    Zoe, daddy is heartbroken without you,
    The beautiful 14 years you gave me just flew,

    Oh what I’d do to bring you back,
    Search everywhere and through every crack,

    My Zoe, you are free to run and play,
    Where the sky is always blue and never grey,

    My sweet Zoe, I know we will meet again my love,
    When I close my eyes, it’s you I want to see sailing towards me like a flying dove!

    I love you, I miss you and we will always be together,
    Our beautiful bond will always live forever!

    Zoe, I’ll see you when my turn comes,
    It’ll be like magical sounds of playing drums!

  24. I had to put Agnes, my sweet little Boston terrier, to sleep last Sunday morning. She was only 8.5 years old and the pain i feel is unbearable. She was my life, my baby girl. I wasn't able to eat since i brought her to the vet 4 days ago. I noticed a lump on her chest 1 month ago wich turned out to be a cancer tumor. Being a Boston terrier she always had problem breathing because of her short nose and operating her would be risky, she could die during the operation.
    She became much worse during the Easter vacation last week. She couldn't lay down to sleep because she couldn't breath normally anymore and was exhausted because of this. On Friday she stopped eating and didn't want to take her painkillers any longer. Sunday morning she started to throw up all over the house and that was enough for me, i didn't want her to suffer any longer.
    I was laying with her the last 10 days, hugging and kissing her, saying goodbye and saying it was ok and she could let go. I cried so much and never felt so much pain. Within 1 month she changed from a happy energetic girl into a puppy who could not breath, sleep or move any longer. I feel i will never be able to go on with my life anymore. Her mother died of a heart attack after having breathing problems when she was 6. They are together now.

  25. Today I’m heartbroken and devastated. 💔💔💔 We sadly had to say goodbye to my beautiful beagle boy Toby . He came into our lives at just six weeks old and has been with us for amazing 14.5 years .He gave us unconditional love and loyalty and amazing memories.
    He was handsome , Regal and had a wonderfully unique character who loved
    sharing the settee with me and chilling . Sleep well my friend and we will miss you so so much. I’m overwhelmed with grief and cannot stop crying when I think of him .

  26. I lost my baby boy Bruce on 4/2/22 he was only nine months old, although I felt like I had known him my whole life. He was hit by a car and I had to have him put to sleep, just thinking about it now I have tears in my eyes while writing this. There is a hole in my heart that feels like it will never heal, I am broken. I love you boy more than life itself.

  27. My dog Rocky is now resting in peace. He was 2 years old puppy and had to be put to sleep because he had a tumor growing in his nose that wasn’t allowing him to breathe and caused bad nose bleeds. He was the sweetest and most loyal dog who taught me to live in the moment. Even when he was in pain he still wagged his tail and went everywhere i went. I can’t believe he is gone and i feel completely heartbroken because he was so young and loving and my best friend. I’ve never felt this pain that I’m feeling now. My only condolence is that he is no longer suffering and can smell all the pretty flowers in heaven now.

  28. I had to put down my 12 year old GSD last week. He was my best friend and I miss him so much. My sadness comes and goes, and I still keep thinking in the back of my head whether or not I could've or should've done things differently. I'm so heartbroken.

    1. We put our sweet baby girl down March 27, just a week ahead of you. (She was 11) I’m right with you. I too wonder if we cared for her correctly, could we have done something over the years to extend her life? And putting her to sleep was more difficult then I thought it would be. 💔 we had just moved and she died five days later. So I’m also grieving in a new town and home. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dear one. 😪 The depth of pain is unexpected.

  29. My family lost our German Shepard, Axel yesterday. We suspect it may have been some form of heart failure, he was 9 years old and we have had him since a puppy. I held him while he took his last breaths and I can’t stop thinking about that very moment, it hurts my heart to know that I’m not going to go outside and be greeted by him anymore. My dad is absolutely broken, losing his best friend was not something we expected so soon. He has not got out of bed since it happened. I have a young son to look after and a puppy of my own so I have to stay strong which makes it hard to grieve. I feel numb, he was so loyal, precious and beautiful, I miss him so much it hurts. I don’t feel like I can get through this

  30. my Beloved Candy died 2 days ago, was an energetic pitbull, she got sick and we treat her sickness as pregnancy, but we try to do something was too late. my mother and I feel devastated for this loss. she was like my little baby. she slept with me on the bet, and I always wake up with the illusion that my little angel will greet me with a kiss or just bark until I moved from the bed. I'm deeply depressed about this situation.

  31. I just lost my beloved Skipperke Coach 2 days ago. He ran in front of a UPS truck. I feel to blame as he wears a collar that use to keep him in the yard, only problem it was not in my hand that day. Coach and I had a bond like no other pet I have ever had. I knew he loved me and he knew I loved him. I was his person. He was loyal, protective, and so smart. He was only 4 years old and I had him since he was 6 weeks. I am finding it incredibly difficult to meet the needs of my other animals that are also grieving the loss because mine is over-whelming. I cry and call out for my beloved Coach. The vision of my last cradling him is something I can not get out of my mind. Did he suffer, was he in pain? All these questions lead me to Google searching every thought I had. I loved my boy and those are the last words he heard.

  32. I had to lay my angel beagle, Dixie to rest on 2/17/22. My heart is broken. She was almost 17. I wish I could fast forward the pain I feel. She was my girl. I have another beagle who I love more than life too and she is lost without her fury companion. We three did everything together. I look at Dixie bed and places she used to lay amd it’s empty. I miss her so much. Life seems so different without her kisses and greeting me when I walked in. I’m lost 😞

  33. I lost my boy just over two months ago. It's the most painful feeling I've ever had, and I think I have depression over it now. I long for another pooch in my house, but I feel it's both disrespectful to his life with me, and I know I'm not ready.

    I went through some tough times during the last 12 years he was with me and my wife. She misses him almost as much as I do… I'm at my end here. I honestly don't know what else I can do.

    Photo album – done.
    Paw Print – done.
    Urn – done.
    Toys and blanket in a tote – done.

    Toys and Tote put in basement – not done.

    I feel like seeing his stuff daily is holding me back from moving on, but I can't take it to the basement yet.

    1. I lost my almost 15 year old Dalmatian/collie cross Domino on 4/4/22. I lost her brother Sooty on 8/2/20. His bowl is now my fruit bowl, I’ve put her coats in my wardrobe, her bed is in the conservatory. We move their things when we are ready, sometimes that takes a long time. The only way to heal is go through this horrible phase. My condolences to you and your family.

    2. I feel your pain Mark.

      I recently lost my little sister, Belle. The pain is surreal and unlike any loss I have ever experienced.

      I try and keep a strong front for my folks, but it can be tough as they are really broken, especially mum.

      Belle was an integral and uniting front in our household and was there for nearly half my lifetime as a 13 year old Bichon X.

      Just wish she could have made it to my wedding.

      RIP Belle. I love you so much.

    3. I’m sorry. It is so hard. I had my husband take my sweet beagle’s tote to the basement and put it where I won’t see it. You will get through this. Just let yourself grieve as long as you need to.

    4. I understand that feeling entirely. I put my boy R down less than a month ago and packed up many of his toys that week, and just buried his favorite toys and collar with his ashes yesterday. I honestly don’t know if I did the right thing, in that I don’t have anything of his with me now except a favorite toy of his from when he was older and a fur cutting from him. I woke up this morning wondering if I should go dig his box of ashes back up – then feel like that’s ridiculous and have sat crying for the last hour.

      1. If you’re still thinking of those ashes, get them! I hope you are doing alright. I know I couldn’t be without my little baby’s ashes. I actually take them to the room with me every night so far, along with her favorite ball and my little memory book I’ve been making. It’s been a bit more than a month but it still hurts often enough. At least when I wake up she is still there. In the day I put her and her stuff on our living room shelf where we have a bit of a memorial. I know they are things, but right now it’s comforting.
        I just keep remembering this pamphlet I got with her ashes talking about grief and all the ways it affects us, and ya know it says at the bottom, “if these symptoms persist for more than a year seek help from a professional.” 1 Year! (It is also okay before this!!!) To me this was notable! Even a paper knows how much these precious beasts mean to us. Sending lots of love to everyone. Be well friends.

    5. You keep those toys as long as you feel the need to have them in plain sight. i immediately had to move her bed because seeing it was just too painful. her toys i kept the favorites and find myself hugging her very favorite that plays easter parade. It must smell like her because i find some degree of comfort in having it near and hugging it as i sleep. . I feel her everywhere and when i was at the store yesterday and clouds came up ovverhead i found myself thinking i have to hurry home becasue she is so afraid of thunderstorms. I had her put to sleep this past tuesdsay and it was the most traumatic experience of my life.. She was so scared she lost control of her bowels….not the peaceful transition i hoped for or that she deserved..Had her in my life as a rescue for 11 years….overwhelmed with guilt and loss. So you keep those toys nearby. forever if it helps.

  34. I said goodbye to my Ginger almost a month ago, on Jan 23. I had her as a foster 13 years ago when she was only 5 months old, and adopted her a few months later. I've sat here for the past two hours going through old pictures and videos one more time, and the sadness is overwhelming.

    She had hip dysplasia as a puppy. Went blind at 8. Swallowed a twig that required 2 surgeries to fix right at the start of the pandemic. Rebounded half a dozen times over the past two years, but developed anemia that even a transfusion couldn't fix for very long. I keep replaying that Sunday afternoon when I took her in to the ER, limp in my arms, hoping for one more miracle that didn't come. I put my face to hers, and she gave me kisses until she went to sleep.

    Shattered doesn't describe it. I can go for hours, even days, okay, but a fleeting thought, a glimpse at a picture, a card from her vet, or insurance company, or the Dog Aging study overwhelms me again.

    I have two other dogs, both rescues, one almost 9 and one just 1 (who came into the house only 5 days before Ginger left) and both good boys. They help a lot, but they aren't my good girl.

    I miss my girl.

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