Hello, I've been posting discussions off an on for the past few months and have found comfort in reading other members stories & also corresponding with friends that are going thru similar experiences.
I've been having a rough time lately - My precious 16 year old dog passed away on 6/30/08 & I've been going through all the stages of grief and having good days & some not-so-good days. The thing lately that I keep going back to is the day I had her euthanized. I cannot get that moment out of my head - it keeps slipping back into my thoughts, sometimes during my drive home from work, esp. when I hear a sad song on the radio or late at night when I'm having trouble getting to sleep!
I am a sane, rational person & I do know that I did the right thing when I had my little girl euthanized - it's just going through that whole experience of holding her for the last time & having her buried - it is so distressing and I am trying to disconnect from this experience & get back to those good memories of her! It is just that the experience was so overwhelming!
Any words of wisdom would be greatly appreciated!
-Sarah

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Hi Sarah, Its been a while since I have been online. I actually have been doing fine. I have my moments when I see Rio's last moments in my arms. I gasp everytime I remember. However, what has helped me through the grieving since that day is that I know I was always there for Rio before, during and after his lifetime. I get comfort in cleaning up his graveside and watering his beautiful garden. I have comfort in knowing that Rio was always there for me unconditionally.
The vision you see will always be embedded in your head. I've talked to friends who has also recently lost their best friend and they are going through the same thing - remembering that last moment. Only time will heal. I also try to distress myself from that moment, its difficult but I do it. Death is probably the most difficult part of life. But, its a part of life everyone will cross. I see what happened with Rio as part of life's cycle. He lived a very beautiful life full of loving memories and people who loved him dearly. How they lived is the most important rememberance not how they passed on to the other side. Elsa aka Maltese Mom
Hi Elsa,
It's so good to hear from you!
Thank you for your comforting words. It does take time to heal and I'm glad to hear you're doing well.
I also, haven't been on this website for some time. I've been doing much better but on Sunday I went to this place in VT. called "Dog Mountain" for their Annual Fall Dogfest. This place is so incredible - the website is - http://www.dogmt.com/index.php
If you are ever in New England, you should really check this place out. I went to the dog chapel & posted my memories of Chia on the wall. There were so many other postings of people's pets who have passed on - the emotions were overwhelming! But all & all I am glad I went to the event & I met the artist & bought a book named "The Dog Chapel" signed "In Memory of Chia" by the writer/artist.
I hiked all over Dog Mountain and came across all sorts of wonderful sculptures & crossed paths with many dogs their faithful companions. It was such a magical place and a wonderful experience!
Take Care,
-Sarah
http://www.in-memory-of-pets.com/personaltribute.php?ID=73943

http://www.in-memory-of-pets.com/personalreflection.php?ID=74024

http://www.in-memory-of-pets.com/personalcandle.php?ID=74012
click on the brightest star and you'll see Rio.

Sarah, Thanks for the info. Above are some tributes I did for Rio.: )
I will check yours out. Have a great day. Elsa
Hi Elsa,
I love all of your online memorials to Rio!
They are beautiful!
-Sarah
Hi Sarah, It gave me comfort doing the memorials for Rio. I checked out the websire you provided. I was touched by the great attention that is given to the pets and the owners. Its a great place to visit....I hope one day to visit. Thanks Elsa
Dear Sarah,

Don't be sad, I know it seems impossible right now, but remember that your little friend is now awaiting your coming at the Rainbow Bridge in Heaven! I have grieved over many furry friends during my nearly 50 years of existence, and I still mourn their passing. I've found that helping other dogs that need it really makes me feel much better! In fact, after I lost my "Little Gus" a couple of years back, our pack has grown to 20 (22 if you count Purris the cat & myself!). I've found that it helps to have another shoulder to cry on - Lord knows, I've got PLENTY of shoulders now! Perhaps you could volunteer at a shelter - or adopt a new friend in need????

Warm Regards,

Mark
Mark,
Thank you for your kind words.
I am in the process of getting set up to volunteer at our local SPCA - I, too think it will help me feel better.
Wow! 22 in your pack!?
Thanks again for your thoughts.
-Sarah
I have four companions now that I love dearly and have lost many over the years of my lifetime. Usually, that loss was due to natural causes but we had to have our beloved Black Lab, Beau Guard, put to sleep after he had a major stroke. I could not stand to be there ot I would have thrown myself over his body to stop the injection. My husband took him to the vet and was with him when he passed gently into that good night. Hubby called me at work immediately to let me know that he was out of pain and I rushed into the bathroom crying my eyes out. As I stood there I was suddenly surrounded by sparkles of light racing towards me and through me. A feeling of deep peace and understanding came over me and I knew that Beau was there and telling me that he understood why we made the decision that we did and it was all right. I sure that your sweet fur baby understands also. Everyone thinks I've slipped the surly bonds when I tell this story but I knew that you would understand. I will always hold Beau close to my heart with all the rest of my fur babies, and look forward to joining them at Rainbow Bridge. We will make quite a large and excited group!
Hugs,
Evelyn
Hi Evelyn,

I appreciate you sharing your experience with me - I DO understand! :)
Still, It did make me a bit teary eyed to read about your feelings when having Beau Guard being put to sleep.
It's such a hard, hard thing to do and unfortunately we all have to face it at some point but it is nice to know there are lots of "shoulders" out there to lean on.

I went to our local SPCA last night for an orientation meeting for volunteers - it was nice to visit with the cats but as soon as we went to the kennels with the dogs I got all emotional - they were all looking up at me with these anxious eyes!!! But, I really do think it'll be good for me to donate my time to these guys and, at some point, I'm sure I will have another furry friend!

Take Care,
-Sarah
I lost my baby Val while in the hospital having triple bypass. I call him my baby but he was l7 years in my life. I guess he thought I was never coming home and he just curled up and left for the rainbow bridge. Unlike you I didn't get the chance to hold him that last time and there is no closure for me...you did all the right things! Don't dispare...get another puppy and let her spirit guide you with your new baby.
Barb,
I believe that regardless of if you were there in person for your dog or if you were there on some other level, there is a connection of some sort & we all need to find our own sense of "closure".
It's such a heart-wrenching experience to go through & my heart goes out to all that go through such a loss.
Thank you for kind words & at some point there will be the pitter patter of puppy paws again! :)
-Sarah
Sarah,
The first dog I had to euthanize hit me the hardest and I felt so much guilt, like I had let him down. Even though I knew it was the right thing to do, for months after, I could be anywhere and all of a sudden tears would start to well in my eyes and I would get so sad. It was like even though I wasn't thinking about it, my mind was. Then when I'd go a few days without thinking about him, I'd feel guilty, like I was forgetting him.

It didn't help that another dog at home, whom had been best buddies, was also mourning him, so was watching that go on also. So suppose my grief was always there, it just snuck up on me when I didn't realize I had let my guard down?

2 years later I had to euthanize another dog. 8 months and 1 day later her sister died in my arms.

Each passing had affected me in a different way. The sadness, anger, sadness, guilt, sadness, schock, sadness, denial and more sadness.

Don't disconnect but allow yourself to grieve. The good memories will surface as time goes on, but you need to get past the many aspects of the grief. You need to take two steps forward and possibly a step back now and then.

Soon you will go forward 3 or 4 steps and one step back. Then more steps forward with only one step back.

Everyone grieves differently, everyone takes a different amount of time to heal.

Please don't expect more from yourself than you can do. Take the time you need and don't feel that you are
going backwards when you have a moment of sadness for your loss.

Cyndy

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