The Five Stages of Dog Grief

by Beverley Wood

In all of my dog-owning years (almost 53 years of them), I have never had to make the heart-wrenching decision to put one down. Until now.

I’ve almost always had a dog (Sun in Sagittarius) but they’ve either died in an accident, died while a vet somewhere was trying to save them, or in my very early years — they disappeared to “the farm”. But the decision was never mine. This time, it wasn’t like the others.

I came home from grade one to find out my parents had sent my four-year-old spaniel, Sparky, to “the farm” where she could “run and play”. What farm? (I’m six, remember.) Later, my younger cousin told me the truth – Sparky had been hit by a car and was dead. Many decades later, a therapist asked me to write down my earliest childhood memories. You bet — number one. I can still see the linoleum and the rotary dial telephone on the hall table. My hair is in pigtails and Sparky’s not there. They sent her away.

Number two: I’m 11-years-old and playing catch with some friends on the street. I throw the ball, miss my target and my four-year-old miniature poodle, Pierre, chases it. A navy blue station wagon (Chevy, I think) blurs past. I scream. Black fur drifts through the air. The driver gets out of the car and I notice his kids in the passenger seat. It’s how I’ve forgiven him for what he does next. He puts my dog in my arms, red raw exposed hunks of skin where fur should be, body broken in the middle, and drives off. I run the four blocks home with both of our hearts spilling onto the street. My friend buries him in the backyard while I watch from my bedroom window. It’s my fault.

Number three was Clyde, a Christmas Chihuahua. I was 12 and had been begging for a German Shepherd but succumbed in minutes. He sat in the crook of my left arm for the next 12 years. No stranger to the vet’s office (he’d had at least two miracles), he died there on a New Year’s Eve. When I got the call the next day, I told them to dispose of his body and systematically collected everything that belonged to him. I drove around with his stuff for hours before throwing it into the Don River from the Gerrard Street bridge. I stood on the sidewalk watched the river for a long time and it was very cold. There were no cars on the road. I was at a party while he died.

It took me almost three years to get another dog. And this time, it was a bull terrier (no one is going to laugh at my dog again). Piggy-Caesar and I spent the next 12 years goin’ down the road with our hair blowing in the wind just like a Bruce song. That dog would have followed me to hell and back (and sort of did). He spent his golden years at the ranch in Texas chasing bunnies (even caught one) and died very suddenly. Also in the vet’s office. Also without me. I fooled myself by going home to make calls to specialists (before the days of cell phones). I did get his ashes in a lovely brass urn. I should have been there with him.

A few months later, my husband and I got a bull terrier pup. That was 14 years ago and we called him Cato.

Cato had his miracles. He’d eat anything he found on the ground – leaves, bottle caps, jeans (don’t ask). Once he almost died from a peach pit lodged in his intestines. His big miracle was two winters ago in Galveston, Texas – his liver and kidneys failed and ultrasounds revealed masses that almost certainly were advanced cancer. Most vets would have advised euthanasia at 12 years old. Our vet said that if he were her dog, she would open him up just to make sure – and if the cancer had spread, he could be euthanized while still sedated.

Waiting to hear was excruciating. But the call came: Cato was clean inside. After a week of aggressive antibiotic IVs, the old man came home and had 20 good months to follow – a gift we could never begin to put a value on. We have a video of him on the beach at Galveston this past winter. Galloping. A year after he should have been dead. What’s that worth?

Death did not cheat Cato, if anything, it was the other way around. Death was very kind to Cato. He went downhill very quickly and a very caring and wise vet came to our house on Vancouver Island so that it would be easier on all of us. I cried. My husband cried. Cato’s friend, the Galveston vet, cried.

Making the call yesterday was very painful and difficult but very true. True to our old friend, true to ourselves, true to life (and death). My husband said it best as we tried to decide: we owe a debt to Cato.

His ashes will be back in a week. We will take them to Galveston. I will miss him so. But no italics. All paid up this time.

45 Responses to “The Five Stages of Dog Grief”

  1. Annette Says:

    I had dogs like yours growing up and growing older. I finally had to make the decision for my wheaten terrier last summer. You said it all and well.

  2. Grame Says:

    Hi….if you have time take a look at Doccer/star 114 – Old Site for my view

  3. gonetodogstar Says:

    Grame, what a lovely “old soul” face Doccer has. I’m so sorry for your loss.

  4. m Says:

    We paid out debt in full, it was so very hard and I know it went as well as it could have. That at this time is no solace, I miss our little girl.
    To everyone else experiencing this loss, know you are not alone in your grief.

  5. pat Says:

    I’ve lost several dogs-mostly springer spaniels. Each required my decision to end their lives because of illness. Each was a heartbreaking experience that lives with me to this day. After not staying with one of them at the end I lived with incredible regret. I vowed to never let one of my friends die alone again. Those last moments with each of them were some of the most precious moments I shared with them. I held them in my arms and they were at peace knowing the person who had loved them for so long loved them enough to let them go.

  6. APRIL Says:

    We had to put down our German Shepherd, Kimba , one month ago.

    She was 10 and the light of my heart….i lost my parents when I was young…my grandparents…nothing was like the grief that I have experienced over Kimba Marie…
    A dog can touch your heart…in so many ways…
    I experienced so much more of life because of her
    i loved so much more deeply because of her
    I am happy for the memories that we had together
    The unconditional love…I will never forget it.

  7. Sheryl Says:

    How do you get back to wanting to love another bull terrier when they ar sooo strange and loveable.

  8. Barb Says:

    I just lost Katie yesterday, a border collie and I am heart broken Love you

  9. Jen Says:

    I lost my beloved golden retriever and first dog, Bailey, 4 days ago and am simply bereft in my grief. Like Cato’s story, the vet told me that they would open Bailey up, and depending on the existence and virulence of cancer, would leave it up to me to make the decision to euthanize him. I sat in the waiting room knowing that as hard as it was to sit there waiting, that the toughest decision may still be before me yet. When the vet came in with tears in her eyes and told me that my poor Bailey’s heart had stopped right before the operation could begin, she left me with 6 words that I will never forget – “He made the decision for you.” Even up to the end, my bull-headed, stubborn and affectionate buddy was looking out for me, knowing that such a decision would tear me apart. My Bailey died with a team of vets and techs surrouding him, and with me and my husband raining tears of love on his sweet head.

    • Sara Says:

      To Jen- My deepest sympathy to you. I also lost my beloved dog (age 15) 2 days ago. I am in mourning. Everything reminds me of him.
      Bailey was your first dog- don’t be ashamed to mourn. Anyone who doesn’t understand you has never experienced the unconditional love of a dog. Sara

      • Kim Says:

        I just lost my dog, a German Shephard mix, yesterday. He was 14. I felt like I was going to throw up when he shut his eyes at the vet’s office. I am heartbroken. He is supposed to be sitting next to me right now. How do you get past the pain? I never knew losing a dog was this hard.

  10. Rick Says:

    My Elvis passed away at home this morning. She was 14 years old. The last couple of months have been good and bad for her. I knew it was getting to be her time to say goodbye. I was not ready, but last night when she went ot bed, I looked into her eyes. I told her it was OK if she had to go, at 3 AM I woke up and she was not in her bed. I went to the living room and she was gone.
    I have never cried so hard in all my life. I have lost numerous human friends and both of my parents. This has been the hardest day of my life.
    I know she is happier and waiting for me, I still miss her so.
    Thank you for having this place to try and cope with all of our losses.
    Rick
    RIP Elvis I am missing her so much…….

  11. gonetodogstar Says:

    Rick, my thoughts are with you, she’s a beautiful girl. It’s really quite amazing how they hang around, for us. And when we release them, they go.

    It is a bond that can never be broken, not by time, not by distance, not even by death. We are lucky people.

  12. garry Says:

    i lost my litle mini yokie called lucky today, my heart is broken, he died in my arms, i know that i will meet him again someday, your site is helping me know i am not alone and that others are going through the same as i am

  13. Heidi Says:

    You should look at Weeble Thomas Gustavo if you have a chance. He’s on page 12 of 12. He was a Chihuahua as well and a christmas one at that. He died the night of new years. How odd. I miss him.

  14. Sam Says:

    My dog Wags recently died just yesterday. We were taking a ride with him in the back and when we were gettting out of the car we forgot about him. When we realized he was gone we went looking for him and found him dead from dehydration (it was a hot day) behind the front passenger seat, their was his hair everywhere so we know he struggled to get out. We all loved him so much and we all feel so guilty especially our father who is usually the one who lets him out. He loved us so much and we let him down, I don’t think I’ll ever get over it.

  15. Monique Says:

    We lost our baby girl yesterday – Lacie Joe Gibson. Lacie was a tri colored black white and brown American Cocker Spaniel. I cannot understand how this could have happened. I feel like I have let her down.
    Lacie would not eat on Sunday March 28th. I thought she had a bad tummy ache. She slept on my pillow with her head on my shoulder. Monday morning she was still not herself. I carried her down the stair and placed her on the lawn for a pee. She went and then I carried her back in the house. She would not eat anything but did slowly make her way to her faviorte fresh water toliet bowl. By Monday night she was still sick. She had a temperature of 99.9 and a heart rate of 160. Norma heart rate for her weight is 105. Tuesday March 30 we went to the vet at 9:00 to leave her for observation until her appointment at 2:30. I got the call at 10:00 that Lacie only had 8% red blood cells left as her white cells were attacking her body. She had developed a heart murmer as her blood was so thin and her heart rate is at 200. Oh my I have lost my mind – the room is spinniing and I am going to get viloenly ill. We can take her for an immediate blood transfusion but the Dr. wants to do an xray first. Twenty minutes later they find the mass between her liver and spleen. There is nothing they can due because of her cell count – she cannot go for surgery as the cancer is too far gone. Why did I not know this. We were just playing ball on Saturday. I cannot understand and my heart is so heavy. At 12:35 Tuesday March 30 the big cancer beast took my little baby girl and I want her back so bad. How am I going to do this?

    • Kim Says:

      Monique,

      I had to put my dog, Maverick, down yesterday. It was awful. I felt like i was going to throw up when he shut his eyes on the table. It was a very similar story. We even proceeded with a blood transfusion. His anemia improved, but he still couldn’t walk, and wouldn’t even eat a piece of bacon. His x-ray had shown a couple of masses, which we were hoping were unrelated to the anemia. He had been anemic a year ago & steroids helped him to get better. I am so heartbroken. He was like my shadow. He followed me into every room in the house. It feels so empty without him. I am sorry for your loss. I hope some of your pain is gone, since a couple of weeks have passed since your post. I hope my pain will lessen, as well.


    • to monique. re:blk, wht, and tan cocker spaniel, lacie, I have the same color little right now, named millie, my blk and wht cocker before her died on aug. 23rd, 2010, my dog kirby died of wht cells eating up red blood cells, never found out why. he lived two weeks with this, till one morning at 4:00 am. went over to my husband and rolled over, belly up to be rubbed, he loved that. he then passed away. the saddest day of our lives, am still not over it, i want him back so bad i don’t know what to do sometimes, he was so dedicated to us. Donette

  16. garry Says:

    i know how you must be feeling, my mini yorkie died suddenly in my arms in november 2009,he was in bed next to me and started yelping a i picked him up but he was all floppy, i tried to give him mouth to mouth till we got to the vet, but he dies on the way its a real shock, if there was time to get used to the idea of them passing.if it was because of a long illness it might make it easier, all i can say to you is that you will start to feel a little better, for the first couple of weeks i couldnt even move his bowl or lead, every morning you wake up expecting them to be next to you, but try to remember her when she was full of life and loving, and as my friends tell me, at least he didnt suffer a long drawn out illness, just know that other people know what pain you are going through and that we are all thinking of you at this sad time

  17. Monique Says:

    Thank you for your kind words Garry


  18. sunday night I stayed up late watching tv. before I went to bed I looked for my Rosie and Asia. Asia was sitting on her little bed just sitting up not laying down. I said to Asia where is Rosie? Rosie never goes up the stairs by herself to sleep in my bed. But, Asia would come up by herself. Figuring Rosie was laying down some where. I went to bed. I could not fall asleep. My husband said he heard the dogs downstair and got out of bed. Suddenly I heard my husband yell ” Asia is dead.” I jumped out of bed. There was a little doll Asia limp. We thought maybe she had chocked and my husband and I both put our hands down her throat to see if we could feel anything. No vomit no diarhea were found. My husband did CPR, her body was still warm so we thought we could bring her back.. Finally we held her kissed her and wrapped her in a blanket. Why? this sweet little girl did not deserve to die so young she was only 3 years old… She had the sweetest disposistion, she will never be replaced. My heart is so broken I never felt this pain before. I have lost my mother and father and sad to say I did not feel as bad as I do losing my precious Asia. All I do now is see her face and for a milli second I forget she is gone. She and Rosie were buddys, wherever Rosie went Asia would follow. She was not sick…. She did not deserve to be shortchanged. I hear stories about dogs dying at 10 or so, but Asia was still a puppy and I thought we would have more years together. I can’t get the vision of her out of my mind and all the cute things she did. I know I have to go through this pain but I feel worse for her I hope she wasn’t scared. I wish I had picked her up and put her in my bed as I usually did. Sorry this is so long. But I could go on and on about my broken heart. I have been reading different blogs the past few days to see how others feel about thier loss. I don’t know if I can go though this again. I don’t feel there will ever be another dog like Asia. God! I miss her

  19. Damon Says:

    my dog looks dismal and vet says she most likely has cancer based on looking at ultrasound. but she is only 4 years old! you said cato was misdiagnosed with cancer – what was the proiblem afterall? how did cato get better eventually?

  20. gonetodogstar Says:

    Hi Damon, with Cato, it ended up being a very bad infection. But they couldn’t tell until they opened him up. I’m sorry about your dog, hope she gets better and it is something else :(

  21. Michael Brody Says:

    Bettis was 4 he was attacked by his brother guinness(he is my baby too and I cant look at him the same anymore) and I could not afford to help him, I so let him down and I was out of state working, and could not be there. I often wonder if I been there would he still be alive.. I have not stopped crying for 3 days since it happend 1-3-11.. god I dont know what to do..

  22. marianne Says:

    I had to put my best friend and life companion Grizzly down today. It was the hardest thing I have done in my life…. It tears me up!
    He was a Chow and he was 17 1/2. He has taken care of me and my progressive Multiple Sclerosis and all my illness with that. He has been by my side thru it all.
    Always there to listen to just be there for me…
    Yet he was 90% blind recently himself got worse, then a tumor grew on him the past year the other vet kept saying it was allergies… I am upset that had the vet treated him correctly he would not have gotten so bad. Then this past couple weeks he could not walk hardly at all with his hind legs… he was doing okay spunky and all but his suffering with the walking, the pain in his hips and neck and I just couldnt bear to see him suffer….
    I took him to his old vet 17yrs ago and they confirmed it was a cancerous tumor and that the antibiotics and steroids were not the correct way… but said I did the right thing to put him out of pain.

    He did not want to go even in all his pain. I held him and told him how much I loved him and how good he is and kept telling him I am okay and it was okay for him to Rest and I would see him at rainbow bridge one day…

    He then bit the vein the shot was in and they had to give him a sedative to relax him and try again in 10 min and I held him so tight and kept petting him…
    no suffering just rest and gone… it is soooo hard to accept…. I did not want to lose him… but I could not let him suffer… It was so very hard to do….
    in love and light..
    let Grizzly be at peace…

  23. Pomlover Says:

    Day before yesterday I took my little baby Spud (ten years old) to the vet, something just wasn’t right. For a couple weeks his appetite was going down and the last two days he’d been breathing shallow and just not himself. The vet felt around and found a large mass in his little tummy. I started to cry and after she did an x-ray said that it had obviously attached itself to his liver and invaded one lung. I was immediately faced with the decision to put him down and after asking more questions agreed with the vet it was the ‘best’ thing. It was, I know that intellectually, but what a horrible thing. Those beautiful eyes looking at me that way the last few seconds. I just can’t stop crying. He was on the table trying to get away and I so regret not holding him tightly but I wanted to look into his eyes. I wanted to somehow ‘tell’ him it’s okay and I love you so much. Instead I just keep replaying everything in my head. I love and miss that little guy so much and feel kind of silly that I’m making this big of a deal about it. It wasn’t my spouse, thank God, that was sick, or even me. We didn’t lose everything in a Tsunami or anything. I just simply really miss him and it really hurts. Every time I look at the picture on my phone I just “feel” him all over again right as he was, I can almost smell him, just as though he was right there. It hurts so much I can’t kiss those soft cheeks or feel his incredibly soft fur (softest fur I’ve ever felt) every again in this life. He’s the closest I’ll ever get to having kids. He had a lot of little issues, he was I guess even a bit high maintenance but never was there a sweeter, gentler, deeper soul. It was all worth it, every second. I never was much for humanizing dogs. What I like about them is that they’re dogs and not humans, but you just felt this weird connection with him, people that just met him always commented on it. We’d just laugh and say, oh yeah, that’s Spud. He was on my bed or in my arms or licking me pretty much constantly if we were ever even in the same room. You sit down and he’d immediately be on you. I loved every minute of it. I don’t know how you’re supposed to just not have that anymore. It’s only been two days, I’m sure it gets easier but this time it reaaaallly hurts! I love you baby Spud, always,
    Daddy.

    • garry Says:

      we all understand what you are going through, and im sure we all send our love to you at this sad time,its not silly to feel the way you do.our doga are an important part of our family, and make our lives that little bit brighter with their unconditional love, it does get easier as time passes, but you never forget them, and you will always have the good memories to hold onto, and those good memories will soon take over from the tough, but right decision you had to make,you saved him from suffering and it takes real love to do that selflessly, memories last forever,and as long as you remember him he is still alive in your heart

  24. T Says:

    I lost my pit bull yesturday suddenly. She was just fine and I went to work, and my boyfriends mom came over and sat with our daughter till my step son got home, she left a little after noon, and she said the dog was fine, she was happy and playful..then sometime after she left, my dog apparently threw up blood on the patio, and went to the back corner of the yard behind the shed and laid down and died. When I got home from work, i took a shower as usual, and boyfriend came home from work, he walked outside and noticed the blood, and we called for her. He noticed her and started cussing and yelling her name, and all I could say was NO NO NO. And when I saw her I broke down and fell apart.

    It has been over 24 hours, and I am STILL taking it hard, I can’t get past losing her, it’s too much to handle. We are thinking of another dog to fill the hole inside our hearts, but when I look at her pictures, I feel like I’m only letting her down by getting another dog. She was our child. She was only 3 yrs old, TOO YOUNG TO DIE. Talking about her only makes it worse, this is the hardest thing I’ve ever faced, even harder than losing family members.

    • Jessica Says:

      @T I know how you feel. Its hard losing a dog. I just lost my Siberian Huskey a week ago. And i still cry when i think of her. Her name was Angel. She was my best friend. I would tell her things I never told anybody else. I loved her so much and I miss her. Angel died from cancer. She was a surviver once and she got it again. I let her live out the rest of her life, and she almost made it to half a year! Angel was a fighter. But i think it must be hard for you because your dog died young. Mine was 17. And I dont think your letting her down because you want a new dog, that just means your ready to move on, taking baby steps to recovery. I wish you the best of luck:)

  25. nell Says:

    Its been just over 2 months since I took my dear boy to the vets. He was in pain with arthritis, his eyes kept becoming very painfully infected and he rarely managed a walk. I think we both knew he couldn’t go on. I held him as he died and I know that for him it was a good death and for me it was expected but there is no end to how badly I miss him.
    I expected to cope better especially as I was prepared. The hardest part for me is having to hide the grief because by now I ‘should be over it’. He was my sunshine, my best friend and the only sure thing in my life.

    • bullies619champ Says:

      I totally understand! For its been 18 months and not a day goes by that I don’t think of Kado.
      Atleaste once a week I still have a good cry..
      Sorry for your loss!

  26. Margo Temple Says:

    I have loved animals all my life. When my daughter brought home a Chiweenie named Auggie the Doggie I culdn’t resist. Auggie became my dog and companion. For seven years I loved him with all my heart. something happend two years ago and my dog became a biting dog. He was loyal and loving and very entertaining. He was able to jump four foot fences on those short little legs. He loved to run around the pool as peple would fight with him with water and he just took it over and over. Fearless as he was he couldn’t control the urge to bite when he was in pain. We put Auggie down on December 8, 2011. He is buried under my rose plants in th erose garden. I can say that an dog or cat are as precious to me as anything on the earth. I loved that dog and he will be forever missed. At least I can visit his grave and remember how many times he made me laugh. Enjoy the rainbow my loving Auggie.

  27. bullies619champ Says:

    KADO The Grand Champ My Spartan, was a Bullterier,
    Brindle Grey, he was like my brother! I was 19 years old, got in my car borrowed money from my parents to go and fetch my very first dog a Little Bully.

    Kado soon became part of our whole family and loved them to bits! The bond we had was unbreakable! He went everywhere with me and had the Softest Heart! For the next seven years I had a blast with the naughty “lil” sh#at. He taught me so much, he’s courage, fearfullness, he’s way of love could been seen radiating from he’s eyes, and who he was as a bullterier guided me through everything did!
    A year and a half ago I had to Put my Bestfriend Down as he had a blod and skin disease! He was on antibiotics for two everytday and it wil come and go, but it wore off! When Kado cudnt get out of he’s bed! I had to make the most dificult decision ever! At first my mom was going to take him. Then my uncle was going to take him! But I said I was he’s brother and closest to him,I want to hold My Kado and be there with him as he was countles times for. That afternoon 15H00 I held Kado in my arms, feeling him, rubbing him, kissing him, telling him in he’s ear I LOVE YOU My Boy Please forgive me! The horrible injection went in and Kado slowly passed in my arms!!
    I was heartbroken and in a complete mess! I brought him home wrapped him in my coolest blanket and I buried my Best Friend! I am still hurting and it efeects me everyday! KadO you were a Legend and I know you waiting for Me!! RIP..Ayo Kado..

  28. bullies619champ Says:

    Sorry it was long, but no one understands except you people!
    Thank you for reading..I’m so sorry for everyones loss!!


  29. boo boo, where are you? mummy loves you, you are my one and only baby love, fifteen years of constant devotion must have shown you that. through thick or thin, we will always love each other. I had to make the decision to let you sleep,on friday feb.26,2011.@12:15 p.m. my only baby belly button-nose . If you see me crying it is because mummy’s heart feels as if it has been ripped from her chest. rest assured there will NEVER be another YOU! I love you! your mummy always. trudy vasilaros oshawa on canada

  30. katherinekileydavies Says:

    A few hours ago we said goodbye to our beautiful deaf rescue Bullie, Skye. The hardest thing I have ever done. She was a pure character, but had so many health problems, so we had to make the decision for her sake. Run free over the Rainbow Bridge, Skye. You were loved and wanted, finally, and now we know you are in heaven with no more pain, and you can eat anything you want there, and finally hear beautiful music. I know we’ll see you again someday.


  31. I had to say goodbye to my loving companion, Larry on 4/28/12. He was 14. He was my best friend. My gentle giant….a Black Lab/ Dobie mix. Larry was the best dog in the world and my world feels empty now. I miss his sweet face, his soulful eyes.
    Larry had cancer in 2008 and had to have part of his lower jaw removed. I was so afraid that I would lose him then, but God gave us almost 4 more years to be together.
    I had to make the decision to put him to sleep. He went in for surgery for a removal of a lipoma on his back inner thigh. He got along well with that on 4/2/12. He was back and forth at the vets’ because it was had to keep the wound dressed at home and when he stood blood/serum would start running down his leg.
    I feel guilty that he didn’t get to spend most of his last month of life at home. He was at the vet’s being boarded because of his leg wound.
    I would have never put him thru the lipoma surgery if the vet hadn’t thought he was healthy enough.
    Something happened while he was at the vet’s. He must have contracted some sort of virus and he was too weak to fight it. He came home and the first thing that happened when he got out of the car at home was have diarrhea. :( He wasn’t hungry and we couldn’t entice him to eat anything. He did drink some water. During the night he cried out and whimpered a few times. He vomited a couple times, too. In the morning we took him back to the vet’s and they said he had a fever. They started an IV and some pain medicine, but my boy never bounced back. He wasn’t interested in eating and he became so weak in the next two days that he couldn’t lift his head. It broke my heart to see him so frail and ill. :(
    I went to the vet’s on Friday and spent some time with him talking to him and kissing him. My tears falling on his beautiful black glossy coat of hair. There was one moment when I was hugging him and he raised his head up to my neck as if to tell me he knew I was sad and it was going to be okay.
    Saturday morning my husband and I had to go to the vet clinic and do the last thing I wanted to do. :( I said my goodbyes to Larry and told him I loved him and would miss him so. I told him I’d see him again. I left before the injection. I should have stayed, but I didn’t. I feel guilty about that, too. My faithful, loyal friend all these years and I didn’t stay by his side as he left this world. My husband stayed with him. Larry loved my husband, too. I have only known my husband for five years. Larry I had in my life for fourteen. Larry was my world and my rock during some very sad, lonely times in my life. It’s been ten days since Larry left my world. I sometimes can’t believe he’s truly gone. I wish I could kiss his soft ears and tell him how much I love him one last time.
    I thought I was feeling a little better about losing Larry….I had been reading message boards and books about pets going to heaven. (I know they are waiting on me!) , but I had a big cry today when I was handed his ashes. :(

    I am thinking of all of you that have lost a beloved pet.
    Wishing you peace and comfort.

    P.S. I forgot to tell you all that last Friday I was leaving my house and there on my house numbers was a Luna moth! It’s pretty rare to see one in the daylight. It stayed over 24 hours. I somehow interpreted that as a sign from Larry that he is in heaven and doing fine and doesn’t want me sad or worried. I looked up what a Luna moth symbolizes and it is spiritual transformation! I won’t forget that, either. Coincidence or something more? I think it was a sign sent from my dear sweet Larry to tell me it’s alright, he’s doing fine.


  32. Our tenant left the gate open of our compound and our amazing fawn mastiff pit bull Kalyan, “the one who brings happiness to the home” of 41/2 years got out on tuesday night May the 14th 2012.
    My boy friend went looking for him at the pound soon after, on the way back driving slowly, he saw him on the side of the highway. He had been struck violently and had died right there, He had never gone to the highway before.

    My boyfriends heart sank. He brought him home to me.
    I have been totally heartbroken because he was the most incredible blessing to me for the 3 years we had him.. He was the sweetest most beautiful handsome and loving boy.
    Everyone who met him was awestruck by him he was so gorgeous and powerful, the most amazing athlete we had ever seen in a dog, so intelligent and psychically connected to me, so protective,
    yet the biggest most sensitive heart.

    We buried him yesterday morning at his most favorite spot overlooking his beloved private beach on our land.
    I’m happy to have done that for him. He loved to run and play with my lhassa poodle mix., an 80 pound power of love and grace with a 6 pound of fun and spunk was such an unusual combination for these two dogs to be such a good match. And of course the female poodle was top dog.

    I’ have been totally devastated as i knew i would be from the day i would be separated from him, because to me he is like my own child and I have 2 kids. I slept outside on the ground where he used to love to lay just because I can’t imagine my life without him, and i also wanted to feel more what its like to be a dog. I ‘m noticing his paw marks on the sand, and those will be disappearing two in another day …everywhere I turn, it feels so dead and cold without him.,
    The color and sheen of my world has gone out. There will never be another dog like him for me. He died way too early. It has been the most terrible nightmare come true.
    I always imagined that he would die old and spent after a long and joyful loving active life lived amongst us, in my arms, while I would be caressing him, holding him and talking to him gazing into his amazing yellow eyes, into his soul, like I had done the very first moment I met him. I could see right into him, and he could see right into me. Every day I felt a winner, like i was the richest person on earth, he was my most precious treasure having him there with us.

    We were about to take him on another camping trip to one of his favorite destination on deserted beaches. I will be walking alone and missing him so. To everyone who ever crossed his path, he is one of a kind, they felt totally different about pit bulls afterwords, always wanted to touch him, because it was like meeting with the wild, meeting with ones deep fears, At first awe struck and then everyone fell in love with him, he is irreplaceable, He was perfect. I feel so alone, so poor without him…He was my light, my invincible protector.

    I do hope and pray with all my heart, that he will be there running and jumping over to meet me as he did always, when I’m ready to the other side.
    Animals help us become better people, they teach us how to love unconditionally, the way the world ought to be.
    He knows he has his big paw imprinted on my very soul forever.

    • San-Miguel-Gringo Says:

      I am so very sorry for your loss, what a beautiful tribute :(


      • Thank you for your thoughts San Miguel-Gringo, it means a lot to me. I’m thinking of him every moment.
        I have read that losing an animal that you’re close to may be more devastating than losing a friend or family member. In my case, this is so true. Perhaps because its one of those rare relationships that work from the moment you meet and you just go on the most marvelous ride together.

        All who knew him are chocked and devastated because they loved him so, he was so human. I’ve seen grown and old men cry in the last few days. He was a friend to us all, but to me he will remain the very best there can ever be….

  33. Jim Johnson Says:

    ***Know the signs and prevention of bloat in dogs! I was out of town on Saturday when I got the call from my wife that our 8 year old German Shepherd, Berlin, was very sick. My wife saw her vomit in the yard, but didn’t think much of it because dogs vomit. She didn’t realize that nothing was being expelled. Perhaps 15 minutes later she saw Berlinie in the bathtub, which is strange, fighting to breath. Her gums and tongue were pale and her abdomen was very swollen. My 130 lb wife picked up our 90 lb baby, carried her down the stairs put her in the car and drove to he emergency vet as quickly as possible. On arrival she was in critical condition. Her heart and lungs had stopped functioning, but she was resuscitated for a brief time. Our baby died at 802pm July 14th, 2012. She was fine when I left her on Friday and 24 hrs later, she was dead. Bloat can kill in minutes, not hours. I’ve read it is the 2nd leading cause of death behind cancer. Ask your vet about gastropexy, bloat, brake fast bowls, water consumption, etc. Prevention is better than cure. Don’t let my dog die in vain. Educate yourself and act accordingly. I sincerely wish we had.
    R.I.P. Berlin. You will always be loved and deeply missed.


  34. Jim Johnson To you and your wife .
    My heart goes out to you and those who knew your beloved family companion. We are made better people through loving our 4 legged friends. Every moment we share with them is absolutely precious and perfect.
    They are soo easy to get along with, have such unique touching personalities, they come to us, deeply touch us, irrevocably change us.
    They become an intrinsic important part of our daily lives.
    When they leave us, always too soon, we need to take time to mourn them and in time we can heal.
    We lost our beloved friend 2 months ago. I have had some beautiful experiences, and dreams about him that have helped bridge the gap and given me some comfort and solace..
    We never forget them, i don’t think they forget us either,
    that loving bond is just too powerful
    You will meet again

    Gods Blessings on You….


  35. My warm sympathies to you and your wife. We lost our Briard, Chloe, to bloat many years ago. She was only 9 months old. You’ve given some very good advice for people who are not aware of the condition. Our hearts go out to you on the loss of Berlin.


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