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Grieving and guilt

March 21st, 2005, 08:35 AM
My husband and I had to put our 13 1/2 year old Samoyed, Baylie, to sleep this past Thursday night. It was awful. I'm very sad about it and feel like I didn't love her enough or pay enough attention to her. We have another dog that I've always been more partial to and Baylie knew it, but she was always more partial to my husband since he got her when she was 12 weeks old. Now that our other dog, Ginger, is alone, we've been giving her much more attention and trying to help her get through her grief. Does she know Baylie was sick? Does she understand that she's not coming back? How long will she be sad? How do I help her? Ginger is 12 years old and she's always been with Baylie, so I know she's lonely. What do I do? I can't stop crying.

March 21st, 2005, 08:39 AM
time and lots of love and attention , thats all i can suggest.

Im sorry you lost your dog


March 21st, 2005, 09:24 AM
I'm so sorry for your loss :grouphug: Take as much time as you need to greive the loss of Baylie. Guilt is a stage that you will go through but should pass. I have a house full of pets and I will admit I have one dog I give all of my attention to constantly. He's my baby. But I love all of my animals equally and would be devastated to lose anyone of them. And yes, I'm sure I will feel guilty too about paying more attention to one and not the other. I already have that guilt now at times!

I'm sure Baylie loved you no less than Ginger does. Some pets appear closer to one human than another. Baylie had your husband and Ginger has you. Give Ginger all the love and attention you can. :grouphug:

Lucky Rescue
March 21st, 2005, 09:27 AM
So sorry for your loss. This is the absolute worst part of pet ownership and we all feel guilt to some extent. :sad:

And yes, I really believe dogs grieve too. Try taking your other dog new places. Get her some new toys - anything to make a change in her routine.

March 21st, 2005, 02:29 PM
My deepest sympathies on your loss, :grouphug: its extemely hard to lose a cherished pet... and no matter what we have done, we do always tend to question whether it was "enough". I'm sure your Baylie had a wonderful life and felt very loved and secure always as part of your family.
I definitely believe that dogs grieve, and giving Ginger the extra attention as you are will help her work through it. As with humans, the time needed to come to terms will vary.

My adult daughter had two large dogs that had spent their entire lives together. When one suddenly died at age 11, the other developed seperation anxiety.. began howling, urinating on their beds when they went out.
He'd always been the quietest of dogs.. and very well behaved.
They knew this was a direct result of not just the loss of his lifetime companion, but he'd also lost his leader.( the other was the Alpha dog)
Harley seemed so sad and lost... he was a grieving dog if I ever saw one. :sad: .

Lots of extra attention and some time solved the problem eventually, and he seemed able to resume with things as before, he was "himself" again..

As mentioned, a variation of schedule and routine often helps too.
My heart goes out to you, take all the time you need time to grieve - its an emotional loss. :grouphug:

March 21st, 2005, 03:51 PM
I'm soooo sorry for your loss....I think everyone on this thread can relate to how difficult it is to put your pet down. I'm sure that dogs feel grief too, but you might be also projecting some of your own grief on Ginger. I think animals feel what we feel...The only remedy is time.

Here's a poem from another thread :

The Last Battle
If it should be that I grow frail and weak
And pain should keep me from my sleep,
Then will you do what must be done,
For this -- the last battle -- can't be won.
You will be sad I understand,
But don't let grief then stay your hand,
For on this day, more than the rest,
Your love and friendship must stand the test.
We have had so many happy years,
You wouldn't want me to suffer so.
When the time comes, please, let me go.
Take me to where to my needs they'll tend,
Only, stay with me till the end
And hold me firm and speak to me
Until my eyes no longer see.
I know in time you will agree
It is a kindness you do to me.
Although my tail its last has waved,
From pain and suffering I have been saved.
Don't grieve that it must be you
Who has to decide this thing to do;
We've been so close -- we two -- these years,
Don't let your heart hold any tears.

-- Unknown

March 21st, 2005, 07:19 PM
I know what you feel. I actually had the reverse though. The dog I really cared about died first and the second one knew that she wasn't my favorite and I wasn't hers either. Even if you didn't have the chemistry with your dog, you have to be proud that you took good care of this dog and gave it a home. The dog did have love in its life, from your husband, you said, and that is all that matters. It's not on you, in my opinion, the dog had the same lack of chemistry for you. Sometimes love is just that way. It's so sad when they go.
I hope you let your present dog help you heel. She probably really is aware that her buddy is gone, but she is more aware of how sad you are.

March 21st, 2005, 07:23 PM
I'm so sorry for your loss. We recently lost our shar pei, Kegger (he was 15). Our other dog, Jazz (pitbull and 7 years old now), grew up with Kegger and has always had him as a companion. Jazz always cleaned Keggers face and ears. It was so sweet. When Kegger became ill, Jazz knew something was wrong. When we didn't bring Kegger home, Jazz would walk around looking for him.

I felt guilt as well. Jazz is "my dog". Kegger was getting older so we stopped playing with him as much since he seemed less interested. I still feel like I could have paid more attention to him.

I think your feelings are normal and only time can help with the pain. I still have episodes of crying, but it happens less frequently. I try to think of it this way. I loved Kegger differently than I love Jazz. I played with him differently and he wasn't a cuddle bug like Jazz. However, I do believe he felt loved, as I am sure your dog, Baylie, felt love from your whole family in different ways.

I read a poem after Kegger died that helped me. It painted a very calming picture for me. I'll see if I can find it. It basically says that dogs go to a special place when they die, full of green fields and lots of dog bones whenever they want. When we die, we meet them there, they run up to us and we walk into heaven together. It's a nice thought.

My sympathy to you and your family.

Lucky Rescue
March 21st, 2005, 07:44 PM
I think you are talking about The Rainbow Bridge (

Yes, it's lovely and comforting. At the above link, you can also get the the virtual Pet Cemetary and leave a memorial for your pals.

March 21st, 2005, 08:02 PM
In October I lost my beloved girl, Belle to heart failure. She was almost 13 years old and I had had her since she was 8 weeks old. I also had two other dogs at the time. All were special in their own way . I don't want to say she was my favorite but she was very special to me. Since she passed I think about her everyday. Some days are worse than others.
As I mentioned at the time of her death I had two other dogs. One was 4 years old and the other was a pup. The pup didn't really notice her passing but the 4 year old grieved for a couple of months. It was very obvious that she was sad. Thankfully she had the pup to keep her company because I don't know how she would have handled it otherwise. :sorry: