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Has Grief for a Dog Who Died Ever Overwhelmed You? | Coping with Loss

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Has Grief for a Dog Who Died Ever Overwhelmed You?
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9 February 2016 - 8:45 am
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I read this article and thought it was a very good and informative article.  I thought it might help someone out. 

Has Grief for a Dog Who Died Ever Overwhelmed You?

http://www.dogs.....-memorials

This article gives great tips too. 

hugs

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Virginia
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9 February 2016 - 9:06 am
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Lovely Michelle. Good stuff Surely it will help bring comfort. Thank you!!

I really liked where, basically, she said share your grief only with those who you know respect your loving relationship with your animal partner.

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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9 February 2016 - 9:44 am
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Thank you for sharing this, Michelle. I am barely getting through it w/out tears (at the office too!!!).

This part resonated with me and where I am in my life right now in general. Why I prefer to company of a dog to a human:

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.'”

It is always good to know I can come here ... 22 months after Shelby passed and not be judged for the intense grief that I still feel on some days. It's hard to navigate this life without her but I do the best that I can. And I heal a little each day ...

Hugs!

alison with spirit shelby in her heart (and little jasper too) 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Schofield, WI
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9 February 2016 - 11:19 am
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Thanks for sharing this Michelle.  As a dog lover I find it hard to fathom how you can have an animal and not feel like you have a loving mothering or fathering relationship with them.  But I know to some out there they are "just a dog".  I've had animals for 65 years mostly dogs with a few cats thrown into the mix and I can wholeheartedly say I've never had just a dog or cat.  They've always been my furry babies.  I feel sorry for those that don't have that with their animals they're missing so much.  Yes by loving so deeply we also have to grieve deeply but the loving part is for a lifetime.

Linda, Ollie, Riley & Spirit Mighty Max

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9 February 2016 - 11:41 am
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linda8115 said
Thanks for sharing this Michelle.  As a dog lover I find it hard to fathom how you can have an animal and not feel like you have a loving mothering or fathering relationship with them.  But I know to some out there they are "just a dog".  I've had animals for 65 years mostly dogs with a few cats thrown into the mix and I can wholeheartedly say I've never had just a dog or cat.  They've always been my furry babies.  I feel sorry for those that don't have that with their animals they're missing so much.  Yes by loving so deeply we also have to grieve deeply but the loving part is for a lifetime.

Linda, Ollie, Riley & Spirit Mighty Max

Totally agree - I was raised with dogs and when they passed, I grieved hard for them but nothing like the grief I felt and still feel about Shelby. There is something about that one on one bond when you are the sole person responsible for their well-being. 

I have always and still do maintain that Shelby was my soul-mate, the love of my life, my heart dog ... I also know that Jasper has wormed her way so into my heart that when she passes (many many years from now) that pain will be very similar. Jasper is my sidekick and we are a team.

I am just happy that even though that pain of losing Shelby is nothing I ever want to experience again, it didn't hold me back from opening my heart (and home) to intense love again! 

Shelby Lynne; Jack Russell/Shiba Inu mix. Proud member of the April Angels of 2014.

October 15, 2000 to April 8, 2014

Our story: Broke rear leg in June 2013 - non-conclusive results for cancer so leg was plated and pinned. Enlarged spleen in September 2013 and had it removed and was diagnosed with Hemangiosarcoma and started chemotherapy. Became a Tripawd January 8th, 2014 and definitive Hemangiosarcoma diagnosis. Three major surgeries in 7 months and Shelby took them all like a champ only to lose her battle to cancer in her brain. We had 8 amazing extra months together and no regrets. #shelbystrong #loveofmylife

Schofield, WI
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9 February 2016 - 3:25 pm
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Exactly Alison.  Once you are the sole person responsible for their world it notches that level up.  You become their world and they become yours.  In my case after I've lost my furry partner I find eventually I have to find a new place in my heart and allow another in because life is too empty otherwise.  Love is meant to be shared.  Hugs to you, Jasper Lily & Spirit Shelby Lynn.

Linda, Ollie,Riley & Spirit Mighty Max

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9 February 2016 - 7:13 pm
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I agree with all of you.  🙂   I felt it fit and needed to be shared.   I too would be empty without a furkid in my life.

xoxox

Michelle & Angel Sassy

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Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Norene, TN
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10 February 2016 - 2:08 pm
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The timing of this article couldn't be more perfect!

I've been a little absent here lately. There's been so much going on here at the office and at home. We moved a few months ago and are still unpacking. The other day, while going through a box of papers, I came across Harmony's "package". You know the one I'm talking about. The one the surgeon gives you in a nice little folder after you've dropped thousands of dollars trying to save your fur-baby's life. The one that has aftercare and biopsy results printed off and stuffed in a side pocket. The one with receipts, phone numbers, and clinic communique. The one that has a business card tucked in one of those little cutouts made just for it. The one you finally pack away as if closing the last chapter of the journey.

I hesitated at first opening it up to see if there was anything needed for documentation. You see, I've been really missing Harmony alot since the holidays. I really don't know why.

So, I decided to go through all the paperwork. I read as the tears welled up. And then, I found the one piece of paper that really was the gut punch. It was from the oncologist summarizing Harmony's results before her surgery. I read it with "new" eyes. All I can tell you is the hope the hub-a-dub and myself held on to must've blinded us from the truth in that paperwork. Harmony was very, very sick and we were blinded by our grief to not realize it truly was her time. We just delayed it by a week or so by putting her through the surgery. It was at that very moment I understood the meaning of quality over quantity; a very hard lesson to learn.

Like this article said, it is an unconditional love and that's why it's so very hard to process the loss. It's a degree of loss that directly reflects the degree of love. With that said, I will grieve for the rest of my life. Sure, I will find ways, just like the rest of you have, to deal with the sadness, but understanding the origins of the grief helps tremendously. No room for guilt here.

I love you all more than I can articulate in these words. Thank you Michelle for the article. Peace be with you all.

xoxoxo

pam

Harmony became a Tripawd on 10/21/14 (MCT). She left us way too soon on 11/1/14.

"We miss you so much; our love, our heart, our Harmony."

- Pam, Ron and Melody, Meesha and DoubleStuff

Virginia
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10 February 2016 - 7:23 pm
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Our dear, dear, sweet Pam.

If I may, I just want to add this additional perspective about pitting her "through" the surgery. Yes, you saw that report with "new eyes" but with the same heart. Hope pretty much overrides every doubt, every "gloomy" report. You moved forward with the hope you would get more extended time....we ALL do.

As sick as Harmony apparently was, she survived the surgery. She didn't chose that rime to "exit". She still had a mission. She still had a purpose. And ya' know, maybe Harmony wanted to hang around those eleven days because SHE needed that extended time with you. She needed you to know you tried everything. She needed you to have that extraordinary extra time for snuggling and hugging, hub-a-dub style. Goes back to unconditional love.

And Pami, we love YOU more than words can articulate! You loving heart, your compassion, your empathy, yoir support...you have added so much value here to each of us.

Thank you Harmony for bringing us this beautiful Soul.

Love and Light

Sally and My Chunky Spiritual Being Happy Hannah and Merry Myrtle and Frankie too

Happy Hannah had a glorious additional bonus time of over one yr & two months after amp for osteo! She made me laugh everyday! Joined April's Angels after send off meal of steak, ice cream, M&Ms & deer poop!

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11 February 2016 - 2:08 pm
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Thank you for sharing this with us Michelle, much like Alison, I wasn't halfway through reading and started crying.....

All of us here definitely know the overwhelmed feeling of EVERYTHING regarding our most special conpanions..... The love, heartache of diagnosis, and eventual immense heartbreak from loss, and I believe to a certain degree, these feelings will never leave us, and I also believe it is completely okay. 

I enjoyed reading everyones point of view here, and Pam, I agree with Sally, and also want to say that nothing you did was wrong and sometimes being blinded happens to a few of us too, but we do what we think is the right road to travel because we truly DO NOT know the right road to travel, and we just want to help our beloved pups and kitties any way we can to be with us longer and try to fight this crappy disease. And you said it best, "No room for guilt here". 🐾💜

Love to all, 

Bonnie, Angel Polly, Pearl, and Zuzu

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11 February 2016 - 4:17 pm
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Thank you Michelle, this is such a great article! I too have been very absent from Tripawds for a good while but today I saw the post about the chemotherapy debate and it drew me right back in.

I absolutely can relate to all of those feelings and didn't get past the first sentence before I started tearing up. The guilt with Lily absolutely ate me up. We made it through amputation, chemo and all of the million decisions you make to extend the life and health of a loved one....and I did it with almost no regrets (okay maybe I did wish I had noticed the lump on her leg sooner)...and then a horribly botched euthanasia experience for Lily was the note we parted on. I knew it wasn't my fault but I should not have allowed that to happen. It took me a long time to get through that - and even now I still dwell on it sometimes but as soon as I catch myself doing it I replace that with one of our gazillions of amazing times.

I think the guilt is something you can never truly avoid when you lose someone you love. You always wonder if you could have done more or better. When I had to say goodbye to Elliott, my 15.5 year-old Standard Poodle in June I could not have asked for a better goodbye after over 15 years together (such a blessing to be lucky enough to have that many years with a Standard Poodle). We spent a week non-stop together, ate hamburgers, took car rides and several family members even flew in for what was a very peaceful sleep in my lap. Still, the regrets. Nowhere near what ate me up with Lily but you can always find something to dwell on if you look for it.

The key, I guess is to work towards honoring their memory with the things that would have made their eyes light up and tails wag 🙂 It's been a journey for me to get there in the last year plus but there are way more smiles than tears when I think about them now. And adopting an ornery Dane puppy sure helped too!

Kerry and Angels Lily and Elliott...and don't forget ornery puppy Augustus Danius, aka Auggie.

Lily the Great Dane (she was actually a lot more than just "Great") joined our family as an ornery puppy on December 20, 2005 and changed our lives forever. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in early May of 2014 and her right rear leg was amputated on May 8, 2014. She sailed through 5 rounds of Carboplatin and 15 weeks of Pallladia. She hopped on 3 legs like she was born to it and continued to fight cancer with grace, valor and an abundant sense of humor...and always a *giant* smile on her face. Lily had two small nodules on her lungs but was brought short by a brain tumor in late December, 2014. Lily earned her wings on December 28, 2014 and we miss her terribly every day. http://lilyt.tripawds.com

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11 February 2016 - 6:15 pm
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Sometimes I think its divine guidance that or some Angels that point these articles in my direction because whenever someone needs something like this it seems to appear on FB or in an email about the time that it is needed.  I am glad it has been helping that is what this site is for no matter how long we have been here .

xoxoxo

Michelle & Angel Sassy

sassymichelle-sm.jpg

Sassy is a proud member of the Winter Warriors. Live long, & strong Winter Warriors.
sassysugarbear.tripawds.com
07/26/2006 - Sassy earned her wings 08/20/2013

"You aren't doing it TO her, you are doing it FOR her. Give her a chance at life."

Orrtanna Pa.
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15 February 2016 - 3:29 pm
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Great article, Michelle! Pam, I like you found TY's " package" a year later. I too, looked at it with fresh eyes. I read the prognosis. I would have probably done things the same. I felt that we were going to be the one who beat it.  I would have felt guilt it I had not done anything, I would have always wondered..... He knows I loved him to the moon and back and would have traveled there if it would have cured him. I geared up reading this article as my Chandler boy is 12 & 1/2. He is aging. He still has times when he acts like a pup, but he sleeps more, he is stiff in the AM. He and Ty grew up together. In fact, I got Ty to keep him company, well that, and because my Hubby wanted him. Just wish they lived about 70 years longer. Lori, Ty & Gang

TY GUY, Best Black Lab ever! Diagnosed  and had amp in January, 2014. Kicked MRSA's butt. Earned his angel wings on April 16, 2014. Run Free my boy and don't forget a shoe. Ty is a proud member of the " April Angels". Ty sent us Daryl, a Tripawd rescue in Sept. of 2016. Daryl is 3 +or -. We are also Pawrents to Chandler, a Border Collie mix who is 13, Lucy, a Corgi who is 5, 2 minis, 2 horses, 2 cows and a feisty cat named Zoe. Zoe had a non skeletal Osteosarcoma removed in July 2015. No Chemo, she is at least 15. She is going strong with no sign of reoccurance.

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19 September 2016 - 4:08 pm
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Just found this thread.   There are days when I definitely feel overwhelmed.   Where is my dog?   How can my Otis be dead?  Why didn't he get the statistical 8 months to one year that comes with chemo?   And how can the rest of the world just go on, when he is not here?   (You mean I really have to go to work without having my Otis at home????)   I actually have the "packet" here at work - I brought it in with the intent to shred it.  I mean, I clearly do not need it anymore.   But it still sits here in my office.  It is hard, because you are grieving, but you can't talk to just anyone about it.   There are some things I have gotten rid of - the palladia went in last week's trash with joy.  His favorite bed also (but without joy, more something that just needed to be done, mainly because Tess wouldn't even go into the room where it was) (and honestly, I had been planning on replacing it before he was diagnosed - it was in really bad shape).  His food and water bowls and feeding station have been put away (remembering not to fill it every day was not good for me).  His wading pool is still in the backyard - it really needs to go soon, because Tess will never use it.  His leash and collar will stay forever probably - we just do that.  Fortunately, most of the toys were shared and Tess still uses them, so no problem there.   And I have Tess at home, but I still just miss him so much.sad

Otis - 106 pound lab/Dane mix, lost his right front leg to osteosarcoma on Febuary 9, 2016.  Four rounds of carboplatin completed in April, 2016.  Lung mets August 25, 2016.  Said goodbye too soon on September 4, 2016.   Lost his adopted sister, Tess, suddenly on October 9, 2016. likely due to hemangiosarcoma.  

Wherever they are, they are together.

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19 September 2016 - 6:24 pm
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I'm so, so sorry to hear about Otis. He's such a handsome guy! Do you have some more photos of him that you could share with us?

It sounds like you had a really amazing relationship with him and I know your heart is hurting right now. I can completely relate to your feeling of overwhelming loss and grief. I spent a lot of time after losing Lily wondering how I was ever going to smile and be happy again. It's at least twice as hard, in my opinion, to lose a loved one after standing beside them every day fighting against the loss. Everything is a painful reminder of what you have lost. I wish I could take away the pain for you. My best advice is to find ways to honor your memories of Otis. I found a lot of comfort in writing about Lily - and the Tripawds alumni community was my solace. It was wonderful to pour out my heart and hear from a group of people who could relate and didn't make me feel silly for how deeply, deeply sad I felt. I also found comfort in donating Lily's meds and things that didn't carry too much sentimental value and in doing some volunteer work. Share your grief with Tess - I'm sure she is grieving in her own way and she will give you all the love and support she can.

It's going to take some time but it is going to get better. Try to hold on to all the amazing memories you have with Otis and they will carry you through to better days. And keep in mind the Tripawds community is always here!

Kerry and the spirits of Angels Lily, Elliott and Bogart....and ornery young rescues Auggie and Izzie

Lily the Great Dane (she was actually a lot more than just "Great") joined our family as an ornery puppy on December 20, 2005 and changed our lives forever. She was diagnosed with osteosarcoma in early May of 2014 and her right rear leg was amputated on May 8, 2014. She sailed through 5 rounds of Carboplatin and 15 weeks of Pallladia. She hopped on 3 legs like she was born to it and continued to fight cancer with grace, valor and an abundant sense of humor...and always a *giant* smile on her face. Lily had two small nodules on her lungs but was brought short by a brain tumor in late December, 2014. Lily earned her wings on December 28, 2014 and we miss her terribly every day. http://lilyt.tripawds.com

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