Lost in regret and disbelief after my dog died, unable to move forward.

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    I’m so sorry for your loss.  It’s been over two months since I lost my guy. It’s true what they say: the greater the grief the greater the love. I wish I could tell you how to do this after watching all the TED talks and reading all the articles and blogs about grief.  We were fortunate to have such an incredible window of time yet I can’t see when I’ll be capable of being grateful for that. I still want him back. I’m currently fostering a dog right now as of a couple days ago. It is painful to give this dog the pets and kisses and love that feel like they are all Levi’s, but he deserves it nonetheless. The only way that moving forward makes sense to me is to see a part of Levi in every other animal and do what I can to help it have a better life.

    Stay strong. It truly was better to love and lose than to never have loved at all. Especially with our soul mates.


    So glad, or comforted is more like it, that I found this blog.  I’ve read every single post starting with the original one – Sarah’s, and I find a huge amount of comfort in realizing that I am not the only person who lost a beloved dog (March 24, 2020 @ 7:20 p.m.) and am finding it incredibly difficult to function at times.  I’m not going to get into details about my boy’s health issues (there were too many to enumerate here), but I knew for the last month or so that this day was coming. But no matter if it happens out of the blue, COMPLETELY unexpected, or if you have a little advance notice that it’s coming…I don’t think any of us are prepared for the magnitude of how utterly awful it feels when our furry friends are gone. I lost a beloved pup back in 2007. I grieved the loss of her, but not like this time around. This time is different and far worse. I was definitely more bonded with this latest little guy (Louie – a tan and cream Miniature Schnauzer), as he was pretty much stuck to me like glue since I got him at 8 weeks old. Good God… together with the same animal for almost 17 years…no wonder I worry about my emotional and mental health in trying to deal with his death. I even got a little paper back book from Amazon that examines the probability (from a biblical perspective) of being reunited with our pets in Heaven.

    But, as I said in starting, I am grateful to see that there are other souls out there who are experiencing the same type and intensity of feelings. I still cry every day. I have pics of my little Louie in almost every room of my house, ’cause if he were still alive, he would have been following me around no matter where I was in the house. And, I pray…every day, several times throughout the day, asking God to look over my boy – and really – all of these wonderful pets, until such time that we can be reunited with them.





    Hi Susan,

    I know exactly how you feel. Today is day 3 after having put my beautiful brown eyed girl to sleep, she was 11 years and 8 months old German Shepherd. Everyone called her a miracle because in 2017 after a visit to the vet for a runny poop issue they had done an X-ray and found out she had a hole in her heart. We were beyond devastated. After lots of research we found a university hospital who plugged the hole and went very well. She had issues with her heart skipping beats so a month later had a pacemaker placed. The surgeons were terrific. Fast forward to today where my family and I scattered her ashes and it was absolutely gut wrenching and just torture. M beautiful girl always had so much energy, you would never know that she had a heart condition, she was strong, energetic and her outside did not match her inside. I always feared she would go into congestive heart failure at some point and she didn’t. She had the biggest heart literally but it was filled with so much love. She loved walks and being outside, playing with her balls, playing throw and very energetic. After we found out that she had an enlarged heart which no vet ever knew and she saw multiple vets, they also didn’t notice she had a murmur, it was an incident finding as we took her for diarrhea. We tied to keep her active but we were scared to do too much in case it would overwork her heart.but she always engaged in play and was active. She had all her regular visits and we did everything right by her because we love her. For the past few months she had struggles with a perineal fistula and was on an immune suppressant and ointment and after 3months or was healed but my baby struggled so much to go bathroom, you would hear the straining but she really was such a trooper through all of it. Her energy had gotten much less over time and she would lay on the floor and sleep most of the day, she was never food driven except she loved carrots. We always had to get her to eat but she would it, but as of late her 3cups a day she barely eat one and just got less and less overtime and the past couple of weeks it was hard trying to get her to eat, all she wanted to do was sit down, then this week maybe she ate three teaspoons of food and whilst taking her to the bathroom she peed at the door and her hind legs became unstable, she had been struggling to get up and would fall down, we even put doggie shoes on to help her get up and down, she had been struggling, so April 28th took her to the vet and she said she was anemic and quite bad and even with a transfusion she would only get a few days and she had diagnosed her with degenerative myelopathy she said it was also affecting her front legs. She told us we have the horrible and tough decision to make and we didn’t want her to suffer so that is what we did and do I feel regret and like we drove her to her execution yes, do I hate myself, yes, I want her back, my guilt is overwhelming. I also believe based on the doctors words that if she had only a few days and it would be worse, she wasn’t eating, was struggling to go bathroom that the right choice was made, I didn’t want to see her suffer, that too would have killed me, and what if she passed away on her own, and alone. So I have many emotions. I ask myself could the doctor have been wrong. So they layer a blanket under the tree and bought her out and placed her down gently, she didn’t even sit up which she did in the car when we got to the vet, if she had perhaps we wouldn’t have gone through with it. She was given a sedative and my family and I were with her and then the lethal injection and she was gone in seconds without any movement. These past three days have been the absolute hardest in my life. All I do is cry all day, feel guilt, sadness, a massive void that I can never fill, the hole is now in my heart. I don’t want to eat or do anything, I haven’t been working, I was fortune that they agreed to let me take some time but not more than a few days, I will have to work on Monday and I don’t know how I can do that. She has left a physical and emotional void in my life and I feel like any purpose I had to live has gone, I want to be her but I know I can’t and I also don’t want to go through this excruciating pain. I have a lock of (love) her hair that I just hold and cry all day with one of her toys, I don’t have a husband or kids as a support system and I grieve with my parents and my brother who is the pet parent but we have all been together for her whole life and now my life isn’t whole. To help with my grieve I ordered a 36×48 canvas with a photo of her face laying on the ground, it’s so beautiful and she has eyes that you would disappear in to and see her soul, and also a portrait of her, I just need her in my life and I need to see her everyday, she is forever imprinted on my would and my heart and I hope I see her again and wherever she is and if she comes back in physical form I know she will be loved because she was pure love and joy and she gave it to us and she will receive that back a million times over.I don’t know how I can ever get past this grief I am broken in to pieces and I don’t know how to piece myself back together, my pain is so immense that I am consumed by it and the thought of having to work 8 hours a day from Monday, I just hope I can keep myself together. Pretending to be happy over the phone is not something I can pretend to do.



    I feel it will help me to write about my dog, Ava. She was 6 years old, a beautiful boxer who was so intuitive & sensitive to everyone’s needs in the family. I let her go quietly at home on Friday, after the shocking news that she had lymphoma stage 4. It was only 2 weeks ago. The vet said she would survive for 2 weeks with no treatment, 2 months with steroids or maybe 6 months with chemo. We lost her so quickly, she was improving in my eyes & then I noticed that her tongue was a strange colour. The vet told me her vascular system was not working properly, I feel guilty for not noticing sooner. I am so so sad that she’s gone, my whole routine is out. I can’t stop seeing her where she normally would be, she had a beach walk on the morning of her last day & the sand in the car makes me upset when I see it. We have her daughter still, she looks so like her but I feel guilty that I don’t have the same connection with my pup as I did with Ava her mum. It’s so hard, I know it will get easier, she’s our 3rd boxer & it never ever gets easier. I hate it, I even told my husband that I would rather have her sick on her bed than not on her bed at all… Which obviously is not the case but I want her back so badly. She was the Lady of our house, the Matriarch, & it’s so empty right now. I know my little Indi will fill my heart where Ava has left a hole, she’s so young and vibrant & goofy. I hope that the original poster has healed, her story was so painful to read but all of these responses have helped me, & writing this I think is going to help too.


    Dear Kerry:

    Thank you for sharing about Ava, your 6 year old beautiful boxer, so intuitive and sensitive to everyone in your family, the Lady of your home, the Matriarch. Your love for her is evident and I think that you were intuitive and sensitive to her as well.. her illness was not something you could have prevented, I imagine.

    I can see, in my mind’s eye, the sand  in your car, glistening perhaps in the sun, the same sand Ava carried with her from her last walk on the beach. I imagine you picking up this sand with your hands, bit by bit, as you  place it gently outside your car, on the ground perhaps, or elsewhere.

    Ava’s pup is not the same as Ava, but she is loving and lovable in her own way, special too.

    Do share more if it helps, for as long as it helps.



    Dear Sarah,

    I want to thank you and every person who poured their hearts in here.  In a time when I couldn’t cope, I found this website and read about what other people have been through with their furry loved ones.  It helped my tears slow down.

    A week ago I lost my best friend.  Blu was a healthy 9 year old standard poodle.  We were very close, inseparable, bonded.  She could read my mind. She was more than just a dog to me.  She was smart, sweet. She loved children, cats and everyone.  She was also a little clumsy and couldn’t swim which for a poodle is hilariously not the norm.  So, when my husband sent me a text at work, telling me Blu had a swollen leg.  I wasn’t surprised.  Sometimes, she could play too hard playing fetch, and she strained her hip before.  So, I wasn’t alarmed.  We put an ice pack on her hip and set her up on the sofa with pillows to rest.  The swelling went down but not entirely, so we brought her to our vet and they discovered bites on her inner leg.  huh?  They told me spider or snake bite! What?! I live in a city.   They gave her anti-inflammatories and antibiotics.  When her leg was shaved, her skin was purplish pink. Sort of looked like Black Widow bites according to online pics.

    I tore my house and property apart looking for anything that might be a clue as to how a toxic bite could happen and yes, around our shed there were many spider webs.  In a couple of days she recovered and the blood tests revealed she was 99%.

    Two weeks went by and suddenly her leg swelled up again and seeping clear fluid.  Our vet said she had “vasculitis” which means inflammation of the blood vessels.  It was beyond what his office could treat and he recommended we make an appointment to a specialist, Internist.  The soonest appt I could get was in 3 weeks.  She was eating and playing and didn’t seemed to be fine.

    While we were waiting for the Internist appt., I took her to vet #2.  They took blood work and began a more aggressive approach/immunosuppressant medication.  They said she needed to take it for a week before the next blood test.  Three days in, she seemed “stoned” and out of it on the drugs. I didn’t like it but I figured the doctor knew better than me.  I also noticed she stopped eating, which was a side effect of the medication.  During this time, I was working but leaving early, taking days off, and rotating shifts to be with her.   After another 2 days on the meds, it hit me like a tons of bricks when she didn’t wag her tail.  She was getting worse.  She was  getting weaker, which I tried to give her nutrition in every possible way.  I tried to massage her legs, and ice pack on and off.  I tried everything.  And on Thursday morning I begged an appt. to the vet.  That afternoon they were still stumped as to what was happening.  They said we could take her to the emergency vet hospital but since it’s LA, every hospital is at max capacity and even if she’s admitted, they might not get to her case.  They said she might not make it to next week.  WHAT!   At that moment, I was in shock and denial.  I thought there was no way she would die, she was too healthy to die of a bite.  Everything I read online said she would recover.  She was just weak from not eating.  That we would make our Internist appt.

    In the next couple of hours, her health decline was accelerating.  That night all her legs were starting to swell and she couldn’t stand or walk anymore.  She wasn’t whimpering or looked to be in pain but she had a look in her eyes that told me that she wasn’t ok.  I laid with her all night.  I caressed her snout, telling her how much I love her and I kept apologizing to her.  I failed her.  I was her caretaker and I failed.  First thing in the morning, we called our vet and we took her in.  It was gutting.

    My world caved. I sat on my sofa in shock, staring at the blank tv for hours, running through the events over and over.  I hate myself for the decisions I made. I blame myself for missing signs.  I blame myself for not getting her better vet care and forcing myself into the pet ER.  I blame myself for being undereducated about her condition.  I should have fought harder. I should have done things differently. I shouldn’t have left her at home and gone to work.  I should have taken her to a pet ER in another county. The list goes on.

    My heart hurts. I’m trying to breathe again.  I’m trying to eat again.  I’m trying to be a normal functioning person again.  It’s all I think about right now.   It’s the many stages of grief and I recognize that.

    When I open my eyes in the morning, I expect to see her big brown eyes blinking at me with her chin on my mattress, wagging her tail, willing me to get me out of bed.  Sometimes, a paw smack on the face.  I miss her so much  <3


    Dear Trixie:

    When I open my eyes in the morning, I expect to see her big brown eyes blinking at me with her chin on my mattress, wagging her tail” – your heartache is palpable. I can feel it. Your words make me think of Hunter, our beloved beagle. He too had brown eyes, big brown eyes and a wagging tail. Last I saw him was Dec 2021. If only I could see him ONE more time, one last time.

    You LOVED your poodle girl, and you still do. You did your best considering what you knew at the time and the professional help that was available for you.



    Hi Trixie

    My condolences for your loss. Truly pets are part of the family. Blu sounds like she was the perfect dog.

    I don’t think there was anything that you could have done differently. I did a quick Google and this vasculitis is a condition that poodles are predisposed to developing, additionally spider bites are a trigger.

    It sounds like the specialist vet followed a normal treatment plan. It’s heartbreaking that your baby couldn’t be saved.

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