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How do you heal when you lose your buddy?

Myka
July 7th, 2010, 06:13 PM
http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k43/Myka82/Myka/Myka.jpg

Myka passed away unexpectedly from a tumor on January 4th this year. That was 7 months ago, and it still hurts like it was yesterday. :cry: I had her from (my) age 16-27, which is such a time of change that she was my only consistent.

Myka was in such good condition, and had no sign of any ailments. Even her vet commented that she looked and seemed half her age. No one ever believed me that she was 11. One week she was playing frisbee in the snow, and the next week I had 15 minutes to make the decision to euthanize. It was decision made from rationale, and wasn't a difficult decision to make at the time, but I have been suffering ever since.

Part of me appreciates that she never had to live through organ failure, deaf/blindness, painful arthritis, or any long-term ailments. Part of me appreciates that she walked into the emergency clinic gently wagging her tail to greet everyone she saw, but the other part of me saw the pain, worry, and confusion in her eyes, the same side of me that saw her go through two grande mal seizures, the same side of me that told her, "I'm so sorry it had to end like this." as I gently petted her ears (which she liked so much) as she slipped away.

I wonder if it would be easier if I had another dog to fill in the gaping hole of my heart, but I also wonder if I would be mistakenly expecting another dog to fill Myka's shoes. Part of me is scared to be so devasted again. :cry:

A couple weeks after Myka's death I took a job out of town, so my hopes of getting another dog were put on hold. Instead, I brought Peewee with me, my boyfriend's 5 yo Chihuahua. He does not come close to satisfying my yearning for a doggie companion. He is loud, obnoxious, difficult to train, and hyperactive. Myka was excitable, but quiet and mellow. I was always teaching her something new, and she was always wanting to learn. She learned to catch a frizbee at the ripe age of 11. She was a lovable dog, the kind of dog that everyone liked. She lived for the pat on the head and the "What a good hound dog." She lived to be loved. :cloud9:

I will come to tears 3-4 times a week from grief, and longing. I will downright sob once a week. It has been 7 months. Is it normal to be this devasted? How can I heal? I'm so...tired - of the pain. :(

Thanks for reading, and for any help.

http://i85.photobucket.com/albums/k43/Myka82/Myka/Aug200711.jpg

Winston
July 7th, 2010, 07:29 PM
Myka I am sorry about this loss. I cant say for sure but I dont think you will ever get over it but I think time will help you heal. I have a very sick kitty right now and may be faced with a similiar outcome and cannot imagine how you feel. AllI can think of is that we always hold on to the memories and never let go! maybe another doggie will help you remove some of the pain that you feel and replace it with some new love...:grouphug:

Cindy

cpietra16
July 7th, 2010, 08:29 PM
Myka, the pain will fade eventually,but you will always remember. It is hard especially when you shared so much. My condolences to you and your family:(

BusterBoo
July 7th, 2010, 09:35 PM
Myka, I am so sorry about your loss and yes, it does get easier but you will never forget.

It will be 3 years on August 11th that I lost my Harley Dude and I can honestly say I think of him every day, whenever I look at Buster, i think of Harley. Some days I still cry my heart out, other days I smile, other days I out and out laugh at the memory of my Dude.

Let little Peewe help you through the rough times, she may be loud, obnoxious and annoying but maybe she is just trying to get your attention and wants you to focus on helping another pup??

:pray:

Love4himies
July 8th, 2010, 07:03 AM
Myka, I feel your pain. I still haven't gotten over the death of Snowball and that was back in 2005 :(. I can assure you though, the pain does subside over time, but the love will never fade.

Nobody can answer whether another dog can fill that void, only you can answer that. I truly believe you can't replace a beloved pet, they are all so different, but you can share the love you have for animals with another one that is in need :grouphug:.

Melinda
July 8th, 2010, 07:09 AM
I lost my soul doggie in 2005 and like love4himmies, I still haven't gotten over it, I have brina 5ys old that helps a lot...but at certain times, Daisy comes to mind and it tears me apart all over again......I try to think of the happy times and look at the daisy's tattoo'd all over my foot and ankle and have to smile...

mastifflover
July 8th, 2010, 09:13 AM
You never get over it totally. I lost Buddy in 2008 very suddenly and I still have moments where I just think of him and my eyes well up. He was as Melinda said my soul doggie. I think you only get one of these dogs in your life, I hope not. I have Clark now and love him dearly but he is not Buddy. Something only dog/cat owners really understand how you can be so attached to an animal.

Dog Dancer
July 8th, 2010, 12:25 PM
Myka, I agree with the others that sometimes you never really get over it, but time does heal the wounds. Like you, I lost a very healthy dog who was only 7 when she ruptured an artery in her heart. She walked into the vets office and an hour an a half later she was gone. I wasn't even with her as we had no reason to suspect what had happened and the vet just thought she was anemic. We left her there overnight supposedly on an IV to boost her up. She bled to death alone on a table. Still makes me cry. My second one was also 7 when I had to put her down because of very bad hips and a torn ACL. She literally didn't have a good leg to stand on so we could fix the ACL. It was a heartwrenching decision to lose another beloved dog so young. Both times though I knew within days of losing the loved doggy that I needed another dog to love. Not to replace the one that we'd lost, no dog would ever be the same, but to accept the love that we had to give. That we needed to give. For 13 years now I've had my girl Shadow, and 9 years we've had Halo. I think that Shadow is my soul dog. I know her days are numbered now (although I'm so glad she made it past 7!!), and I know no other dog would ever replace her, but I know I'll want another dog. We love Halo to pieces, don't get me wrong, but as you know, it's just not the same feeling. But I honestly believe little Peewee may be trying to get through to your inner heart too. For me, another dog, that's what I needed. Be strong, you will get over it in time, think of all the happy times when you get sad. I still see us camping with the first two dogs, gosh they both loved that. It always makes me smile.

mastifflover
July 8th, 2010, 12:48 PM
I still see us camping with the first two dogs, gosh they both loved that. It always makes me smile.

I still have a jacket with a big drool stain that I will not wash or even think of getting rid of it also makes me smile

Dog Dancer
July 8th, 2010, 12:57 PM
I so hear you Mastifflover! The smiles do come don't they. It just takes time. I know my girls are happy that we've rescued new babies to share our love.

BenMax
July 8th, 2010, 01:20 PM
Myka, I will never ever forget my rottie Ben. He was the shining star in my life. Losing him was like loosing a huge part of my being. Time has healed the sorrow which is now replaced with wonderful memories of his antics and loving nature. I miss him so very much.

I ended up adopting 2 different breeds I had no intention of adopting at all. They just gave me the best of who they are which are different from what Ben was. I know when I loose them, I will feel the same way as I did Ben.

Each animal I have had has never been like the other, but there was one underlying similarity: Love. I love them all the same and yet differently at the same time only because of who they are. Individuals.

I am so sorry that you are in pain, but in time you will be able to have another that is different and unique. You cannot compare but you can enjoy the differences and you may be pleasantly surprised.

:grouphug:. Hope this helps.

Melinda
July 8th, 2010, 01:24 PM
I still see us camping with the first two dogs, gosh they both loved that. It always makes me smile.

I still have a jacket with a big drool stain that I will not wash or even think of getting rid of it also makes me smile

I have Daisy's tags on my motorcycle bag and her ashes buried in my garden....

CsqU4r3d
July 8th, 2010, 01:31 PM
You have my heartfelt sympathy on your loss. When I lost my wonderful malamute Tarkha I was devastated for months, I said I will never get another dog, I can't go thru this again. For 5 years I held true to that statement. Then my sister in law brought Chum over...to stay for a couple of days, till she could find him a home as his owners had alzhiemers and were increasingly unable to care for him. Well needless to say he is still here 5 years later, from the moment I opened that door and he walked straight into my heart.I guess I'm trying to say listen to your heart...you will know when it's time to let a new furry friend into your life. Always remember how much they bring to your life not how much you loose when they go.

Floppy Dog
July 8th, 2010, 02:24 PM
Myka, I've been thinking about you all morning, trying to organize my thoughts and words.

I know it doesn't seem like it but grief and grieving are actually one of our greatest strengths as human beings. The emotional outpouring is critical to our ability to form attachments to others, both in the human and animal world. It serves as a dark background against which our loves and joys shine so much more brightly. To quote a friend of mine, "You can't have light without a dark to stick it in."

Don't run or hide, turn around and embrace your grief, it's what makes you fully human. When you are done crying your tears, you will find that they have combined with the muddy pawprints and doggy kisses that cover your heart to create the very best fertilizer for a new relationship, be it animal or human.

Samuel Johnson once said that remarriage is the "triumph of hope over experience". It's equally true of all other relationships. You're dealing with the "experience" part now, but the "triumph of hope" is just around the corner.:candle:

BenMax
July 8th, 2010, 02:28 PM
Myka, I've been thinking about you all morning, trying to organize my thoughts and words.

I know it doesn't seem like it but grief and grieving are actually one of our greatest strengths as human beings. The emotional outpouring is critical to our ability to form attachments to others, both in the human and animal world. It serves as a dark background against which our loves and joys shine so much more brightly. To quote a friend of mine, "You can't have light without a dark to stick it in."

Don't run or hide, turn around and embrace your grief, it's what makes you fully human. When you are done crying your tears, you will find that they have combined with the muddy pawprints and doggy kisses that cover your heart to create the very best fertilizer for a new relationship, be it animal or human.

Samuel Johnson once said that remarriage is the "triumph of hope over experience". It's equally true of all other relationships. You're dealing with the "experience" part now, but the "triumph of hope" is just around the corner.:candle:

So beautifully put Floppy Dog :cry:. I think this is very comforting. Thanks.

Melinda
July 8th, 2010, 03:16 PM
very nice Floppy Dog

Myka
July 8th, 2010, 07:30 PM
Thank you everyone for your support and kind words - you have definitely helped me. It always amazes me how some people will reach out a hand to help someone they don't even know. I am sorry for the losses that everyone else has experienced.

I was once told by a 4 year old boy that, "Everyone lives until they learn to do it properly. [He believed in reincarnation] That's why dogs don't live very long, they already know how to do it right."

FloppyDog, thank you for your thoughts and words, they are comforting.

DogDancer, I can't imagine the shocking and devastating loss that would have been. You always hear about horror stories like that, and it is so scary.

Dog Dancer
July 9th, 2010, 04:31 PM
Myka, there are some very comforting words in this thread. It does us all good to read them and to take time to remember and grieve a bit for those we've loved and lost.

Yes when I lost my first girl so suddenly and unexpectedly it was devastating. Even our vet was shocked as she was so healthy right to the end. He did the necropsy on our dog (Natasha) free of charge because he wanted to know what had happened, she was always a picture of health. He had no explanation for what caused the rupture, just that that was the problem. So we never got to say goodbye to her, even though we did hug her and tell her we loved her before we left her for the night, it just wasn't the same. We weren't there with her and I'll always regret that. But alas, I have had to get over it and move on and do the very best with the next ones to give them the life they deserve. You will move on when you are ready. We can't replace them, we can only give our love to a new one with new foibles and character.

Do you ever get over it?? You know, I lost my first husband when I was 43, and yes eventually we are able to get over everything. I'm now happily settled with a new man and give him all my love also. He didn't replace the first husband. They couldn't be more different. But you move on and in time you are ready for another relationship. Please don't tell hubby I'm comparing him to the dogs though! :laughing: Do I worry about when I may lose husband #2, you bet your ass I do. Scares me every time he doesn't answer his cell phone, and I lay in bed at night and listen to him breath. But eventually you have to risk the thought of loss so you can enjoy the pleasure of the love again.

In time you'll find the right place to store your grief, where it can reside with dignity and you can visit it whenever you need to for comfort and consolation, then you will be ready to move on. Be strong, and be happy, Myka above all would want that for you. :grouphug:

Floppy Dog
July 13th, 2010, 02:05 PM
You're welcome!

COCO350
July 14th, 2010, 09:29 AM
Floppy Dog...thanks, very comforting

JennieV
August 4th, 2010, 03:21 PM
Myka, it will always be there, in the corner of your heart. you will always miss her and long for her, she was such a tremendous part of your life. I know, I went through it too, like many here. What you can do is let go. Let her go and know that one day you will see each other again, pain-free, young and beautiful.

She knew she was loved, there will never be another dog like her, it is impossible. But life goes on, time goes on and doesn't stop for nobody. Let it take away your pain and grief. Let your tears fall and if you feel that you need help, an ear(or an eye rather) - WE are here for you. We all have been there, we all have lost our beloved ones, furry and non-furry.

This is where I am personally proud of belonging to this forum, is reading messages like Floppy Dog's and others... People reaching out, people lending a hand, people saving lives...
:grouphug:
:candle: Myka, run free, baby :candle:

Monkey68
August 25th, 2010, 02:55 PM
Myka, I am not sure if you are still reading this thread but I have read your entry and felt your pain; I too have been there. The advice you have received is invaluable and yet Im sure you still grieve. As one member mentioned it is important and essential.

One thing that I wanted to mention is that sometimes there can be an unresolved issue from the past ; for example a death that was never addressed because you felt you could not fully mourn. Sometimes when another traumatic event occurs its like putting salt on an open wound, so it hurts twice as much and can take longer to heal as you are reliving the pain of the other event simultaneously. Take whatever time you need to heal whether or not this be the case.

However, from my own personal experience I can tell you that losing a pet is like no other form of loss. Caring for them and the companionship that they provide creates a strong bond that without realising it, you start to depend upon. Truth be told I find it impossible to live without a dog/pet. I have always brought another pet into my life, again not as a replacement for no one can be replaced, but for the companionship that I know a pet will provide. Each one is different and special in their own way and will bring joy into your life.

I wish you well, everything that you are feeling is part of the healing process.