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Old 01-21-2012, 07:37 AM
 
1,325 posts, read 2,833,778 times
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Losing a pet is heartbreaking! For all of you who have experienced this, would you mind sharing what the people around you did to help? What gave you comfort? Or perhaps, what you wished they would have done?
I appreciate your insight - I know it is a personal sharing.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:44 AM
 
Location: Asheville
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Receiving a sympathy card meant so much to my husband and I when our first dog died. It came from our veterinarian. No one else thought to send a card, and have not ever since when any of our dogs have died. But to tell you the truth, I usually learn of other people's dogs dying months after they're gone, so I haven't sent OUT any cards, either. But it's just a nice touch, particularly if you are close to that person.

As for what to say, it's like all tragic things, it's hard to know WHAT to say. But an acknowledgement of what has happened, "I'm so sorry to hear of the loss of your dog," is enough, really. If you personally knew the dog, then you can say something complimentary, like, "I thought that was such a pretty dog," or cute dog or sweet dog, whatever fits. I do know that for the first few days, I'm just an emotional wreck, so it's sort of hard to talk about it. But to those closest to me, my mother or a best friend who has dogs, I will usually bend their ear on how it ended and what burial route we chose, so if you're close, they might share in that way, so just listen. "That's good," or "That was so nice of you," or whatever to praise them for how things went.

One lady said something to me one time that was hard to understand. Our dog had died on a Friday afternoon. We were crying fools thru the weekend, but by Sunday, we had to pull ourselves together and go on. A person can only cry so long. But come Monday when I went to work, I had to hold back the tears just the same as I walked up to the building, but once I got situated, I told my small group of coworkers, the ones who were in the main room where we would work together. One of the girls said something like, "I can't believe you're not crying. I'd be a basket case. Where are all the tears?" I got defensive, as if they thought I didn't care about my dog or something. So, I just replied that it happened three days before and so we had done our grieving over the weekend. But it still stung. Some people, you gotta wonder.

So, really, acknowledgement, 'I'm sorry," and the less said the better. But not saying anything or changing the subject is also not the way, either. It's really like losing a family member, I'm telling you! Hurts real bad. I think it's sweet you're asking. Others may have better ideas than me. I'm just going from vague memories. But that card was the best thing in the world for us... for us, anyway.
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Old 01-21-2012, 09:48 AM
 
Location: Northern MN
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x2

"So, really, acknowledgement, 'I'm sorry," and the less said the better. But not saying anything or changing the subject is also not the way, either. It's really like losing a family member, I'm telling you! Hurts real bad. I think it's sweet you're asking."

" I do know that for the first few days, I'm just an emotional wreck, so it's sort of hard to talk about it."
It took me months to be able to talk about the last one that left us to soon.
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Old 01-21-2012, 12:55 PM
 
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I have sent a donation to an animal group in memory of that person's animal with a personal statement "In memory of Jacob, an excellent cat," for instance, and had an acknowledgment sent to the person. That meant a lot.
For me, the card from the vet meant a lot and just having people around me acknowledge that it's a true loss, "I'm so sorry, he was a great dog," or maybe a memory of something that person saw the animal do." Like any loss, you want them remembered and your sadness validated.
And damn to hell anyone who says, "It was only a cat/dog/___. ****, I say.
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Old 01-21-2012, 02:50 PM
 
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Thank you everyone for your thoughts. I know when I had a loss, I appreciated people's thoughts but for the life of me could not hold back the tears when someone brought it up. I know this is a devastating loss and I want to help move things toward a tribute and celebration to a great dog and a special relationship. Just not sure how do that.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:07 PM
 
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When I've lost a pet, I've gone back through their pictures starting as a puppy and made a beautiful montage set to a song and saved on cd. I'd be happy to share one if you'd like, but you'll need a kleenex.
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Old 01-21-2012, 04:37 PM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
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I wish I had the courage to put down my dog "Angel" a little sooner than I did. She had kidney failure and I probably should have put her down a month sooner than I did. She lasted six months from the diagnosis- the vet said she wouldn't be in pain but it came to the point she had to tell me it was time to go.

She was a very sweet dog (American Eskimo) I adopted when the neighbors house burned down and they had to move to an apartment. I adopted her and her boyfriend "Buddy" because they were going to the pound if I didn't. Angel was pregnant and had four puppies that survived the birth. I kept all the pups too. They all remind me of Angel is ways.....
(I had her fixed after that birth)

Buddy is still here at an estimated age of 18 years old (he is a beagle mix). I am hoping he just keels over when it is his time. He had cancer last year on his paw and he is blind in one eye but other than that he seems to be hanging in there.
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Old 01-21-2012, 06:38 PM
 
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Kahncss, I would love to see your montage. Think thatis a lovely idea - to make a picture montage.

Wartrace, I have done it both ways and I think self doubts are hard to avoid. I have let things go too long then chastised myself for undo suffering and then gone the other way and possibly jumped the gun then felt guilty for hastening the inevitable. In the very end, we do the best we can with love.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:29 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by talloolla View Post
Kahncss, I would love to see your montage. Think thatis a lovely idea - to make a picture montage.
Check your PM.
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Old 01-21-2012, 08:58 PM
 
Location: Wartrace,TN
5,516 posts, read 8,852,519 times
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I have a buddy who just lost his German Shepard dog. It didn't go well; he was too attached to the dog to do the right thing.

The dog was ten years old and had inoperable cancer. I tried to suggest that he consider putting the dog down but he insisted on "fighting" the cancer.

What upsets me is there were vets willing to humor my friend and encouraging him to spend close to 8,000 dollars treating a dog that was close to a normal lifespan for that breed. I am sure he bought the dog an extra six months of life but the dog was suffering. It finally collapsed and died one day.

I think there is a problem with vets like that- the ones that aren't forthcoming in a reasonable prognosis for the eventual outcome. An honest vet would have said " Your dog is near the normal lifespan for his breed and the chances of him beating cancer are zero. He will experience a lot of pain if you do not help him go."

My friend got the" We can do a cat scan on him and identify the cancerous area and start chemotherapy and he will be good as new".......
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