Caring for a Three Legged Dog or Cat
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I just wanted to thank everyone for your comments on my original post about my Sissy girl. I was going out of my mind with grief and I felt like I was going through it on my own. It really helped and still does to see all the comments. Sissy died Aug 13 and I was an absolute mess for over a week. My mother basically told me to get over it and my husband seemed all too relieved that we did not have to care for Sis anymore. I guess I can’t be upset with anyone, but I don’t want to forget her and sometimes that happens when we don’t want to relive the pain of losing a pet. I am finding that I am not thinking about Sis on purpose, so that I don’t get that sick feeling in my stomach. I was visiting her grave every morning to have coffee with her, but now I don’t. I can barely look at Sissy’s sister (Abby) because I will eventually lose her too (10 years old). I can’t bare to think of going through that emotional stress again. The thing is… life doesn’t stop and everything we love will eventually go away. It’s so sad to think that everything has an end to it. I am so stressed that I began having panic attacks thinking my 10 month old son is dead!! Like I wake up in a sweat and start shaking my son to see if he is alive and for whatever reason I’m convinced that he is dead. I know, I probably should seek therapy. This started after Sissy died, so I am certain there is a connection there. I found a lump on Abby’s inner arm, but I am afraid to get it checked out now. I am just so scarred from Sissy’s situation that I have totally put things on the back burner. My own health is going down the toilet. I know that I need to rise out of this and keep going.
25 April 2007
Heidi, it is good to hear from you, thank you for writing and letting us know how you’re doing. I know that there are a lot of us out there who understand how much you are hurting, and how it affects daily life in so many ways.
I’m sorry that your mom and husband aren’t able to get it. It sounds like there is nobody close to you that understands? If so, a local pet loss grief support group would be a good step toward healing your heart. There are many out there. If you want help finding one let me know and we will do our best to locate one nearby OK? Perhaps by starting there, you can start to feel better.
For now, know that what you are feeling is common and not unusual. Sissy’s passing was tough, and it will take time for your head and your heart to accept what happened. In my own experience, everyone’s timeline for getting there is different so don’t be hard on yourself, and don’t let anyone tell you to hurry up. There are things that can help us get there, like perhaps creating something in her honor. A garden, a memory box, a painting, even making a video tribute… something that expresses your love for her that is tangible and from the heart. If you do, we would love it if you wanted to share it with us here.
Also, do your best to keep you own health as good as it can be. Physical exercise, even just walking for 15 minutes a day, is a way to help the heart heal. Don’t overlook the benefit it will have on you overall.
One more thing…please do get that lump on Abby checked out though OK? For her sake. Most times these things are nothing at all, and by having it aspirated you will have one less worry on your mind.
I’m sure others will have ideas for you so stick around OK? We are here for you.
6 August 2016
I’ve not been here lately so I apologize that I didn’t see any of your previous posts. I’m so sorry that your lost your sweet Sissy. I lost My Sweet Ted on 30 November 2016. It was a rough year for our family and losing him broke my heart – and my family’s heart too. i think of him every day and miss him terribly…2 years have gone by and the pain isn’t so raw, but I still miss him and wish his silly soul was bouncing around my house. Sometimes it’s really hard for other people to understand the connection and love that we have for our pets. And when they get sick and you try to save them those same people still don’t understand why and are not equipped to offer support and empathy. You will never forget her, and you shouldn’t…and you shouldn’t let other people decide what your grieving process is going to be – only you know what that is. Have coffee at her grave, feel bad, embrace the time you had with her and don’t force yourself not to think about her, that’s not fair to you or her lifetime with you. And you should pay as much attention to Abby as you can. She is grieving just like you and is confused and sad and needs you. Breathe….. hug your child, hug your remaining dog, embrace your grief. You need to do that, unfortunately your mother and your husband don’t understand what you are going through – but it is not an uncommon situation. Take care of yourself and be kind to yourself. I’m very sorry for your loss of Sissy.
26 January 2017
A month isn’t long at all. It’s been over a year since Rocky went to the Bridge and the pain, while not as severe now, still lingers for me. I suspect it always will. Losing Sissy is a major loss. Give yourself time to heal and don’t rush it.
Unfortunately, a lot of people don’t realize how impactful it is to lose a beloved pet. And not getting support from the people close to you makes it even harder to get through.
The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement (APLB) has chat rooms you might find helpful. They meet Monday-Wednesday and Friday from 8-10 p.m. Eastern time. You have to register, but it’s free. You can find it here: APLB chat room.
I went at least once a week for the first six months after Rocky died, and it helped just being able to chat with other people who understand. I still pop in from time to time there.
My thoughts are with you and Sissy. It does get better.
David and Rocky (and Baxter now too!)
Rocky had his right front leg amputated on Valentine's Day 2017 after being diagnosed with osteosarcoma.
He joined the September Saints on September 3, 2017.
He is the toughest, bravest, sweetest and best friend I'll ever know.
18 May 2014
So very sorry for the loss of Sissy…I lost my beloved Nitro 14 months ago. He was a Tripawd Warrior for over 3 years, when old age took him from us. It doesn’t matter if your heart-dog survived 6 weeks, 6 months or 6 years post amp – it hurts so bad! The bond that is formed on this journey is SO STRONG! I’ve lost many dogs in my life, but none hurt like losing my Nitro. Wanda and David both make such good points….you do her a great disservice by trying not to think of her. I know it hurts! With great love, comes great pain. And Abby IS missing her too.
I never knew about the pet loss chat room – sounds like it could be very helpful. And David is right, it does get better. I felt guilt that I was feeling better, but Nitro wouldn’t want that for me. They don’t want us to be forever sad. I’m sorry your family isn’t very supportive of you – everyone deals with grief in their own way. We will always be here for you, please know that. I leave you with a quote that I thought of often after Nitro died……”How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard”. Sissy will always remain in your heart, until you meet again.
Paula and Warrior Angel Nitro
Nitro 11 1/2 yr old Doberman; right front amp June 2014. Had 6 doses carboplatin, followed by metronomic therapy. Rocked it on 3 legs for over 3 years! My Warrior beat cancer, but couldn't beat old age. He crossed the Bridge peacefully on July 25, 2017, with dignity and on his terms. Follow his blog entitled "Doberman's journey"
"Be good, mama loves you".....run free my beautiful Warrior
22 February 2013
And can only repeat what everyone has said so well in various way, “We understand”.
You will never forget her, and you shouldn’t…and you shouldn’t let other people decide what your grieving process is going to be – only you know what that is. Have coffee at her grave, feel bad, embrace the time you had with her and don’t force yourself not to think about her, that’s not fair to you or her lifetime with you. And you should pay as much attention to Abby as you can. She is grieving just like you and is confused and sad and needs you. Breathe….. hug your child, hug your remaining dog, embrace your grief.
Well said Wanda.
As hard as it was, you expressed you grief with eloquence and with raw truth. I’m glad you are able to do that here with us. We understand every emotion you are feeling. While it may sound “foreign” to others, these are emotions that are very familiar to us.
Maybe you could take Abby with you to visit her place where the three of you spent some time. Maube it was u ser a shade tree, maybe time on a deck or sofa. You could talk with Abby and let her know that Sissy is still with her , and with you, but just in energy form. Abby probably already knows that though, because she’s already felt her presence. Let Abby know it’s okay to be sad. It’s also cery important to celebrate all of the glorious time you had together. May be you could take Abby for a ride in the car to get a drive-thru cheeseburger. The two of you could have a “cheeseburger and French fries toast” to Sissy to celebrate a life well loved and well lived.
Please stay connected and share more avout the beautiful Sissy with us. Yoir bond clearly was special and chock full of happy times.
Sally and Alumni 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!
1 October 2017
I love all of those responses. They are so positive and heartfelt. This is why you should try to stick around if/when you are able and maybe even share some Sissy stories and pictures if you can find some.
We are all here and share a similar bond. Nobody gets to tell you when, and how to get “over it”. There is simply NO “getting over it”, there is only learning to move on with them in our hearts so that we can take care of those still with us. Our spirit furbabies will always be by our sides… always. 6 years later for me and my heart still cries, but I can also smile when I think of “Rosie antics” and all the happiness she brought us.
I love Sally’s idea … car ride, cheeseburgers and fries, and a place to enjoy them with Abby and reconnect. She needs that maybe more than you realize. She cannot tell you in human words about her loss, but I guarantee they are a reflection of yours.
Please take care of yourself. Depression is awful. Start by doing simple things. Once you start, little by little it will get easier. You need to fight that, use Abby as a reason if you must, but you need to do it for you. You are worth it. I never knew about the place that David posted either. That is a wonderful idea. Wanda’s words are very wise also. Matter of fact, everybody that has posted here has suffered heartbreaking loss.
Please take a breath and take care of yourself. I hope you come back to read these posts and I hope they hug your hurting heart and help to give you a place to start.
Jackie and Huckleberry
Jackie, David, Mitchell, Bo, Andy, Oscar,and the coolest feral tripawd kitty Huckleberry