Purdue U wants to know what you think…

Bye_bye_baruHave you ever lost a pet? Have you experienced the grief of losing a pet? This survey is for you…

The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement wants you to take a moment to help other pet owners deal with the loss of a pet. This research will be used to help counselors and other professionals better understand the issues that patients who have lost pets.

Comments

  1. Wow. This is fantastic. I hope someday grieving for a pet is just as accepted as grieving for any other family member. I dread the day.

    I hope this helps in healing a lot of people.

    Bleenage possertude?

  2. Is it bad if I cried during the survey? :x

  3. Wow, I didnt think that existed for animals, what a neat idea.

  4. Shadyman – totally, me too. Even though I got a new (to me) cat a week ago, I still cry like a baby when I think of my previous (now deceased) cat.

  5. Have you ever lost a pet? yes – many over the past few decades

    Have you experienced the grief of losing a pet? each time – intensely

    memories are bitter-sweet as the pain remains …

  6. Wow, I really hope this helps someone, because it really bummed me out thinking about my dear sweet dog Maggie. I want her back! I almost started crying filling this out too.

  7. I lost my cat Columbus when I was twelfe. I was still sad five years after the poor animal was hit by a car. :(

  8. i couldnt finish that survey because its too painful. im so pathetic

  9. I cried through a lot of this survey. It’s just never not hurtful.

  10. I thought this was interesting. The survey seemed to indicate they were looking at if you were over attached to your pets, it is maybe because your family relationships are unsatisfying.
    I think it would be different for everyone, but this is probably generally true. I know the death of my kitty when I was a girl was devastating because my family was not happy (to put it mildly) and she was my comforting friend who never yelled. But now, altho I love my pets, their loss would make me sad not devastated-which would make sense because the family I have made myself is much happier. It seemed the survey was saying that pets can help you get through a time when you lack human relationships, but they can’t really replace them. Like I said, interesting.

  11. I miss my Punkin. :(
    I want a new orange kittie but I don’t think I could ever find one who loves me as much as Punkin did. He always wanted to be on my chest with his paws around my neck. Funny kitty.

    It was weird to answer the same questions about my brother and my orange kitty.

  12. Cutebabyfix, I didn’t necessarily get the impression that it had that goal. I tended to answer the same way about my family member and my cat. I open up easily to my brother and to my kitty both. I figured that was what it was going for.

  13. Laura b.: I have a dear dear dear orange kittie who has terminal cancer right now. I know, I think orange kitties are the best but I don’t see how I could every place this guy.
    Every day I’m wondering, is today the day to put him down? How do we even know when the right time is? Does anyone have any suggestions? I know my cat is unhappy, but he still wants to eat and seems to be fighting. But it’s a losing battle.

  14. Same here, Susan… It’s been only 5 months but I still didn’t completely get over my cat’s death :'( I know she’s in a better place now, but I’ll never forget the look on her face when she was taken to the vet to be put down… We had her for around 12 years, and suddenly she had an abcess in her mouth, antibiotics didn’t work… She looked terrible after a while. *sniff

  15. fifi – From another who loves orange kitties: I am so sorry.
    You will know when it is time. Good that you are thinking about it. You might want to ask your veterinarian about after hours calls. What if your orange kitty’s time comes on the weekend, or overnight? How can the vet be reached? If your vet says “only during regular office hours”, then you need to prepare for that.

  16. weensicka says:

    I think it’s great that there’s something like this to examine the realities of grieving for a lost pet. I don’t want to speak for all pet caregivers, but my cats are as close to me as family members (perhaps even more so) and my grief for past pets has been devastating.

    You know…I had a strange moment come up in a creative writing workshop I was in recently in which one of my classmates was railing against people that equated loss of pet with the loss of a child or other family member. He was genuinely offended by “people like that” trying to empathize with that kind of grief. I tried for a while to discuss it with him and explain the POV, but he’d have none of it; he was quite angry! I wonder if others have had similar experiences? Luckily, all of my close friends and family understand how much my cats mean to me, and have been so supportive when I’ve been grieving.

    Hugs to all who are remembering their lost loved ones this day, and thanks Meg for making me aware of this survey.

  17. What is this POV of which you speak? I can’t understand getting angry, but I’m thinking animals and people shouldn’t be put at the same level. I’m not saying don’t greive and be cold hearted about your dear animals, but I would run into a burning building for my babies, but probably not for the animals.
    oooh, people hate babies here. I am prolly in for it now. *Runs away*

  18. weensicka says:

    cutebabyfix:

    POV is the abbreviation for “point of view”. I was trying to talk with him about how someone who really loves their pet could empathize with someone grieving a family member; I was trying to get him to see the idea from a pet lover’s point of view. He seemed to think that people who tried to empathize based on loss of pet were both insensitive and stupid. I was trying to explain that such people were trying to offer genuine condolence, that often a pet can mean that much to a person. He’d have none of it and I backed off since he seemed to take the idea as a personal affront.

    For myself, having lost both beloved pets and a beloved family member, I find that the grief has different manifestations but both are painful and palpable.

  19. POV = Point of view ?

  20. fifi — you don’t mention why your cat is unhappy. If she is in pain, you may need to push your vet for a stronger medication.

    We knew it was time for our Annie when we even morphine couldn’t keep her comfortable, and when offering her her favorite things and activities no longer enticed her.

    On her last day, this dog who was always glued to one of her humans, lay down at a distance and looked away from us. She’d glance over once in a while with an expression that seemed to say, “Please help me.” So we knew.

  21. yeah, this survey got my weepy here at work, thinkng of my dear departed susie-roo:

    http://mfrost.typepad.com/cute_overload/2007/01/bottle_of_red_b.html

    Fifi – it’s so hard to know when to put a pet down, and sometimes when you decide to do it, they have a “good day” and you feel like maybe you made the wrong decision. but i don’t think the decision to euthanize is ever “wrong” when the pet’s quality of life is really diminished, which to me does not necessarily mean only pain, but also just the inablility to enjoy cat things (or dog things, or rat things) anymore.

    when i took susie in for her last vet visit, she had lost the use of her back legs long ago, and not seemed to mind at first (her front legs got REALLY strong), but now she was less active an had an infected cyst on her belly that medication was not clearing up, and she was spending all her time trying in vain to clean it. even though she was still eating and being affectionate, i finally decided she was just not comfortable or leading the kind of life an animal is meant to lead.

    as others have said, you will know when it’s time. i know it’s frustrating that there’s no definitive answer, but i hope hearing from others’ experiences is helping.

    your kitty is lucky to have a mama who cars so deeply!

  22. Thanks- I try to keep up with all the acronyms, but my thirteen year old wasn’t around to ask what POV means in textmessagetalk.

  23. Thank you for having this survey posted. We lost our beloved mini schnauser, January 15, 2006. It still hurts so much. She is buried in our beautiful backyard. She has a headstone and a fence around her and her beloved flowers. She is with us every waking seconds and in our hearts forever. Hang in there any of you that have lost “a perfect friend and companion”. Still cannot think of getting another one. No One Can Take Her Place. Thanks again.

  24. Thank you for having this survey posted. We lost our beloved mini schnauser, January 15, 2006. It still hurts so much. She is buried in our beautiful backyard. She has a headstone and a fence around her and her beloved flowers. She is with us every waking seconds and in our hearts forever. Hang in there any of you that have lost “a perfect friend and companion”. Still cannot think of getting another one. No One Can Take Her Place. Thanks again.

  25. Laura B. says:

    Fifi- That’s so sad about your orange kitty. They’ve always been my favorites, although I don’t want any kitty to be in pain. :( You just wish you could ask the kitty what he wants. All you can do is try to keep kitty out of pain.

  26. Cassandra says:

    My big beautiful retriever Howie passed only a few months ago, and I really did feel like I was losing a brother. He was only 7 and passed so suddenly, it was a complete shock. My family grieved so much because he was a part of it, wholly and completely. Some think it’s silly, but a lot of pet owners feel the same way; that pets are contributing members of a family, who have personalities and behaviours that any family member has. Howie was the best little brother in the world, and he is dearly missed. My heart goes out to anybody who has lost a pet that meant so much to them.

  27. thanks to everyone for their comments, it is really really helpful to hear how people made the decision and just to acknowledge how hard the loss is/will be. I think one of the thing I am going to miss so much is all the pet names I have for him…

  28. I think I will wait until I get home to take that survey. I lost my beloved cat of 17 years. His name was Tuffy. I am tearing up even as I write this. I also had to have him put to sleep. It was so hard to know when the right time was. But there was a day when I knew he should not be made to suffer anymore. even still it was the most difficult thing I have ever done. It was three years ago and I still cry and miss him terribly.

    Fifi I am sorry you and your kitty are going thru this right now. You have my deepest sympathy. And the same to everyone else out there who is going thru or has gone thru the lose of a dear family pet.

  29. fifi — your comments on pet names reminded me of Annie’s Dogster page:

    http://www.dogster.com/dogs/342483

    She had a page while she was living, but I changed her bio to more of a eulogy after she was gone. I think it was therapeutic, and it helps preserve all those funny little daily things that we miss so much.

  30. weensicka – that guy is prolly one of those people who doesnt even slow down when an animal runs in front of the car. Or, you know, wouldnt turn over a turtle that’s stuck on its back.

    And running into a burning bldg to rescue pets – how could you not? You’re just going to let them die? I dont get it. I have always felt that if I make the choice to let an animal share my home then they are my responsibility and equal members of the household. (Reading that over sounds wierd but it is exactly how I have always felt, since I was very young.) I prolly get just as mad as weensicka’s guy but on the opposite side of the argument, lol. Except I wouldnt be able to talk rationally with the guy. I dont understand how you cant feel that way about animals.

    My husband always tries to calm me down when I get riled up over this issue. He tries (very calmly) by saying “Shannon – not everyone feels about animals the way you do. People are different.” LOL – and I am one of the most open minded people I know, but on this issue, I give no lee-way. To quote Ghandi – “The greatness of a nation and its moral progress can be judged by the way its animals are treated.”

  31. Okay – just took the survey. Wasnt too bad for me but I havent lost a pet in a long time either. I can see how it would be tough if you had.

  32. I teared up a bit filling that out, too. My sweet little Sardines was only a baby when she died of a respiratory infection. She was a rat the size of a large mouse, and it hit her system too hard and fast. I couldn’t get her to take her antibiotics, she was just too weak. What got me is how surprised the vet was that we had brought rats in to be seen. Apparently a lot of people look on rats as disposable pets–she was only $5, the vet bill was about $90–which makes me absolutely sick.

    I still get sad when I see the shirt I was wearing the last time I held her. She was just so listless. . .

    Okay, now I’m crying again.

  33. Jennifer says:

    I had a sweet little kitty about 6 weeks old that loved to play in the kitchen.

    She climed into an open bottom cabinet drawer where I had just retrieved a pan. I didn’t know she was getting ready to climb out when I kicked the drawer shut with my foot like I always do.

    [OK, we don’t need the graphic description, thx – Ed.]

    I still ate dinner, but I ate it alone.

  34. Fifi – I have never commented here before, but your situation is much like mine. My cat had terminal cancer in her mouth and I spent every day agonizing – will I know when she’s in too much pain? Will I make the right decision? Will I make it too soon, or too late? It’s such a terrible responsibility. So first of all, know that you are not alone in this. Many of us have felt the same way and it’s perfectly normal. You’re doing the right thing right now – giving your dear kitty everything he needs to be comfortable and to know that you love him. And I know it’s hard to believe, but he will let you know when his time has come. There is something in how they look at you, and withdraw from you, that lets you know that they have hung on for you as long as they can and it’s time to let them go. It’s terribly hard to do, but your vet will always take a look at him first and let you know if you’re making the right decision. My big suggestion is to recruit a friend to go with you and be your driver. My mom actually went with me (even though I’m over 30) and it was one of the best things she’s ever done for me.

    Be strong, love your little guy fiercely, and protect him from pain. It’s all we can do.

  35. Jennifer, TMI.

    Fifi, all I can do is echo that you’ll know when it’s time. No matter how or when, it’ll hurt just the same when you lose him.

  36. meeyrah – that’s so sad. seems like no rat is safe from respiratory infection. my Gretchen had a bad one when she was a baby, and sneezed so much i don’t know how her body could take it. the vet gave her injections, though, and it cleared up eventually.

    i take my rats to a vet that specializes in “exotics” (funny. what could be less exotic that a rat? LOL)and they tend to be really familiar with the respiratory probs, etc. in case you ever try again (because they are such sweet little bundles of joy!) the following link has an article about finding a good vet for your rat:
    http://www.ratfanclub.org/vetgood.html
    i think there might also be a national list of vets who see rats somewhere on that site.

  37. RedKitten says:

    I got a definite lump in my throat when filling out that survey. We had to put our 15-year-old Lhasa mix, Dreyfus, down last August. We only got him when he was 13 (I’m big on adopting senior dogs) and he already had bad kidneys. We took the best care of him that we could, and he had a wonderful 2 years with us, filled with road trips, snuggles, and all the chicken that he could wheedle out of us. (And it was a lot of chicken — how could we resist those Lhasa “j’accuse!” eyes?) But, he started to slow down. And then he’d get sick or pee himself every so often, and then more often. His appetite went downhill and he got thin. When he wouldn’t even eat Beggin’ Strips anymore, and took to hiding under the bushes outside, we knew it was time. Dogs definitely let you know when they’re ready. My heart broke the day we had him put down, even though I knew it was the right thing to do. He was my best friend, my baby, my own personal clown — all wrapped up in a 20-lb package of blond fur, googly eyes, and the softest ears ever. We only had him for 2 years, but I’ll love him for the rest of my life. The fact that dogs are not humans does not make them less worthy of bereavement. In some ways, it makes them more worthy. Caring for a creature who’s utterly dependent upon you, can’t talk to you, can’t understand what the heck you’re saying, but loves you unconditionally — that kind of bond should not be underestimated or belittled.

  38. Amen to that RedKitten!!! That is best way I’ve heard it put all day. Well said.

  39. nearlysentient says:

    I came home from work one day last year to find that my house had burned down and, although a neighbor and a fireman had frantically tried to get to them, my cat and my dog were both dead. Needless to say, it took me two hours and 1/2 a box of tissue to do that survey.

  40. I just had to put my beloved dog to sleep on Tuesday of this week – just two days ago.

    I filled out the survey. It was difficult, but if it helps at all to get the message across that for some compassionate people, losing a pet is as serious as losing a family member or friend, then maybe it will do some good.

    I’m tired of people expecting me to be find 24 hours after I lost my dog. With some education, perhaps people will have more sympathy, if not empathy.

    Thank you for posting the link.

  41. But after a while you start to remember the happy times.

    The survey is likely trying to figure out how long that takes for each type of animal, among other things.

  42. I went to Purdue! Go Boilers!

  43. This is a good idea, but I took the survey, and even though my bunnie’s death is over a year ago, I started crying during taking it. :-(

  44. NEVER feel guilty for loving something. Our pets were put on this earth for a reason. You must remember they’re “borrowed” BUT so are our family members. It’s okay to cry and it’s okay to hurt. Big hugz to anyone going thru this.
    **kisses to Shannon for the honesty!**

  45. A giant wOOt to redkitten!

  46. elizabeth. says:

    my little story:

    i came home last thursday night to find my cat Corky moaning deeply and dragging his legs (limp) behind him. my husband and i rushed him to the vet, where they told us he had a blood clot and was paralyzed. there was only a 10% chance of him surviving. I always hated the idea of having to put a pet to sleep, but i had no other choice.
    Corky was the best. I had him for half my life and he was a constant companion. he would greet me at the door when i came home, hop in my lap whenever i sat down, and wake me up every morning.
    i miss my baby. :(
    life just isn’t the same without him.

  47. Fifi – I had a similar worry when my kitten contracted FIP, which is also a terminal disease. For about two months, she was lethargic, but she still enjoyed being petting, laying out in the sun, and snuggling next to me. Then within one weeks time, she stopped eating, stopped drinking, and started having bathroom accidents. That was when I knew it was time. She was telling me she was ready to go.

  48. i will share my story with yall…

    A month ago 3 of my dogs got out and a man down the street shot my 3 yr old female Siberian Husky Katie. He said that she had cornered his prego mule/donkey(they can’t be prego). We found her on a little creek bed which was not even near his animals. We just missed her and when we arrived he was gonna shoot my male husky in front of us. She was our little princess, the smartest thing in the world and a daddy’s girl.
    Then little over a week ago I went out of town with my sister against my better judgement. I got a call from my hubby saying the dogs had ganged up on my 8 yr old cat. I rushed home as he was my baby, but there was nothing we could do for him. We live in the country and there was no one to take him to that late in the day. I still cry a little every day. I got Marcus when he was 6 wks old and his 9th birthday is on Monday. It sucks so much and sometimes, this cat followed me all over and even slept with me under the covers. I hate my dogs for killing him and I even blame myself for going out of town, cause if I had stayed maybe he would have lived.
    I missed them both a whole bunch. It’s just not the same with out them.

  49. francesca says:

    carmen, your story just broke heart! i had a ten year old siberian husky bianca who died 2 years ago, and it still makes me cry. i cried taking that survey. I’m SO sorry for your loss, it’s just terrible. how can anyone shoot a defenseless dog????? my dog had cancer,and had to be put to sleep. :(
    Though, now i have a wonderful little tabby Ralphie who is my baby, he sleeps with my husband and I every night, but i still remember bianca and get sad, huskies are great dogs.

  50. No, I don’t think it’s bad anyone cried. I cried and it has been 2 years since I lost my dear sweet kitty, Ruby.

    It’s a very certain kind of loss and I am so glad the survey was posted.

  51. I think we could all use a dose of cute after that.:( But thanks for posting it; I’m glad to see this topic being addressed. So many people don’t understand how devastating the loss of a pet is. My beloved cat died last year, and the lack of sympathy from most people quite honestly angered me.

  52. HedgePigLove says:

    Thanks for posting this link, Meg.

    Fifi – I am sorry that you’re having to think about euthanasia for your beloved companion. It’s never easy to make that decision and it takes a strong person to help their animal cross the Bridge, but it is also a great gift to give to your pet, when you free them from their pain. This website might help you in evaluating quality of life issues: http://www.vetpracticenews.com/vpn/detail.aspx?aid=17604 . You also should talk with your vet about your concerns and ask them for advice and support – not just for when to make the decision, but also for pain medication and pallative care to keep your kitty comfy and happy for the time being.

    I work in animal rescue and deal with sick and dying animals almost every day – every death hurts and I cannot recall a single one that I did not cry over. But I also know that, in every case, the animal was ready to shed their body – you can see it in their eyes and you know it in your heart (even if you don’t want to hear it, you do know it).

    Don’t worry about getting another cat right now – no being is replaceable, but when the time is right, another animal will come into your life and bring you joy and love and laughter – that doesn’t mean you love your current cat any less, it means that love is not finite and that you can and will love and care for another, once you’ve grieved and healed.

    Trust yourself and trust your cat – he will tell you when he’s ready to go. *HUGS*

  53. Fifi, Laura B.: HedgePigLove is right: you musn’t think now about getting other cat or not. Enjoy these last moments with your kittehs to the max, and after they’re gone, a day will come when another furry thingy will appear to bring joy into your lives. Of course no pet replaces other – of course a new kitty will not the *the same*… but it will, I assure you, be *as much*.
    Don’t be reluctant to have a new pet for the fear of losing it… You don’t stop making friends bc one of them has died… widows remarry…
    Remember we are lucky to grieve like this, because it means we have loved deeply and been loved the same way.
    My tortoise Rosita died 3 years ago after 26 of friendship and I’m still crying half an hour after taking the survey.

  54. iggyhenry says:

    I wanted to personally thank everyone that took time to fill out the survey. Know that the information you shared will help others understand that the death of a pet can be a significant experience for some people. Because of you counselors, educators, and other professionals will be better to help those who are going through this difficult time. These postings show that we are not alone in this. You would be amazed to know that I have had over 5000 responses so far. A lot of people had a hard time filling out the survey. Please check out some of the websites that I had listed on my homepage. There are a lot of great sites that have support groups and healing information.

    Take Care Everyone….

  55. How fitting, I just lost a pet this week.

  56. R. Moore says:

    Carmen: I feel for you. When I was a wee baby my big sister’s best friend, an orange tabby, was poisoned. Apparently one of the neighbors hated animals, and many a beloved pet died that summer. I also know of dogs causing problems. A friend of mine lost a finger breaking something up. She was able to forgive her dogs, though.

    My own dog was killed over a year ago when two pit bulls that may have been trained to fight escaped from a garage and attacked my little pommy mix. She was what got my Mom through many a miscarriage and had slept on my bed every night since I was a young teen. I literally collapsed when I heard what had happened. My Mom could have been killed, too, as she was just getting out of the car when our pup ran to greet her. She held off those dogs while Mom got in the car again. Because of the investigation they police/animal control took her body, so we haven’t been able to really let her go and have peace, even though half of us have pined for a dog in recent months. For weeks after her death I still felt her sleeping on my bed by my feet. Now my cats sleep there. But I still hear the tinkling of tiny tags sometimes as I bed down.

    I didn’t cry as I took the survey, but the injustice of her death came back to me. I don’t think that will ever go away.

  57. R. Moore says:

    Also, as for people not understanding grieving over pets, I was inundated with warm wishes (and angered friends who had loved her). My SO has never really cried over the loss of a pet and doesn’t quite understand it, but when HIS pet rat died and I started to cry over the little grave, he lovingly wrapped an arm around me and held me until I was better. My dog’s death was still fresh then, and I just wasn’t ready for anything else.

    Okay, I’ll stop hogging comment space now :P

  58. just one more thank you to everyone’s comments here. My heart goes out to everyone with their stories of lost pets and the heartache it entails! I took my wonderful old cat to the vet this afternoon and put him down. It was really really hard, but it did feel right. He had just suffered enough. He went peacefully and I got to hold him and pat him as he died. It is so sad now, but it is consolation to hear everyone else’s words about how they have or are now struggling with the loss of their pets too. I expect to use many boxes of kleenex for some time! anyway, say thank you to the whole cute overload community for providing a place for us all to share these very real, deep losses.

  59. TastesLikeChicken says:

    I cried when I did the survey and I cried when I read the comments. It hurts when we lose them because we love them but every minute of that pain is worth it for the love that we receive.
    One of the things I love about CO is the way that Meg slips in the occassional (spelling?) item that makes people really connect with each other.
    Fifi, I am so sorry for your loss, you did what was best for him. That’s all that we can try to do for our loved ones.

  60. i suppose it is a sign that i have healed as i didn’t cry when i filled out the survey.

    maybe it’s a sign i haven’t healed as i cried reading all of your comments! such beautiful expressions of love…while we all grieve, we all also have had the fortune of having these lights in our lives – whether it be canine, feline, rodent…we all have opened our hearts and homes to a species other than our own and have improved our lives so much more because of it.

    like redkitten, i also have thing for adopting senior dogs, and had to say goodbye to one too soon when his time had come. i have to say that day was easily one of the worst days of my life, if not the worst day.

    for those of you trying to decide if it is time or not, i found that it helped to have friends that i knew loved my dog, cared for me, and had the objective viewpoint to tell me when it was time for him to go – i asked them to do this. i wouldn’t have been able to see it otherwise, but once they pointed it out to me, i could see the truth for myself.

    it took me 4 years before i could adopt again, and i’m a year into a new (senior, of course) dog. this one is nothing like the one before, but i have found the way to bury the pain of my previous loss and love him with an open heart and open arms…and i have to believe that we are all better because of it. :)

  61. R. Moore says:

    Fifi, love and condolences sent your way. When our cat grew very old and frail it was only her last days that she became unable to care for herself, and we weren’t able to ease the pain for her. It’s painful now, but as these comments show (at least in part) things end up better. We all have the warm memories of our lost loved ones, be they human, dog, cat, or otherwise. And that’s always worth being thankful for.

  62. Anner, thank you for the link. I do have a good vet for my two rats (as the vet I take my cats to doesn’t do rats). Anchovies made it through her infection without a problem, and we got Kippers to keep her company after Sardines died. Neither one has been sick since, and I hope to keep it that way.

    ‘Chovies and ‘Dines were both babies, within a week of each other in age, but ‘Dines was half ‘Chovies’ size. She was just too fragile.

    (For anyone curious, the rats have fish names since they live in a large aquarium.)

  63. Hm! I went to take the survey and the connection was reset while in th middle of it because there was too much traffic! Guess this is a good thing, hehe.

    I had wanted to share about my rat Claire… I had her when I was 10, and I’m 31 now… She was 5 when she died, quite a ripe ol’ age for a rat! However, she still has a place in my heart, even now. I even had a table in the student union center when in college on flea market days handing out flyers entitled Rats Make Great Pets! They sure do. :)

  64. I lost my childhood cat over three years ago… and I still bawl like a baby when I think about her.

    Thank goodness I have two cuddly bundles of fluffy love to squeeze when I need to! Both of them were what you would call “problem fosters” – pets no one would want to adopt! One has bad asthma and the other was so feral, she’d rip your face off. Now, everyone comments how healthy and LOVING they are!

    Grieving is hard, but it is amazing how quickly your heart forgets pain when it needs to love. My best wishes and love to everyone out there who needs it! And even to those who don’t. =^.^=

  65. I lost my 14 yr old White Shepherd a month ago. I knew it was time, and my other elder pup knew as well. Doesn’t stop the hurt here, but she is swimming in a lake somewhere. Thank you so much for posting the survey and comments. They have helped.

  66. Fifi,

    All we can do is the best we know how. My Nibbet was older but seemed healthy. She got sick pretty rapidly in the end. We scheduled the appointment at what we thought was the right time, but she died the night before. There is a part of us that will never forgive ourselves. But, my father that night, who was the closest to her, she never left his side, slept on his chest every night for years, heard a meow that woke him up. He searched and searched for the meow but never found the source. He isn’t an outwardly emotional man, in fact, that is the only time I heard him say anything spiritual, but he believes it was her, thanking him for letting her go her own way. She was always so independent, it isn’t hard to think that is what she wanted. Tears are flowing now, and I’m at work. No matter what choice you make, he knows you love him. *hugs to everyone*

  67. I’m taking up lots of space now, but I wanted to add one more thing. Someone once told me there is a Native American tribe who believes when we go to heaven we are met by all of the animals we have known in our lives. It is they who judge our character and decide our fate. I love this idea, and every time I hug my kitties, or read about someone hurting an animal, I think of this belief and hope it’s true. Seems like a pretty good ruler.

  68. Just as a note, for anyone who is curious.

    The researcher, who was hoping for 150 replies, ended up with 7300 thanks to cute overload.

    Thanks so much to everyone who participated!

  69. Mara, I had no idea of this belief, but I love it! In fact I hate it when people say “fluffy went to doggy/kitty/bunny heaven”, because heaven would not be without our beloved pets. Do you know which tribe is it? I’d love to know who the Wise Guys are!

  70. Wow. This was certainly a good idea…. Sadly, I can’t take the survey because I’ve never experienced the death of a pet, though I have experienced loss.

    Back when I had just finished grade 4, I had to give my dog Benji away to the humane society because we were moving and couldn’t take him with us. Benji was the first dog we’d owned that we’d gotten as a pup, and I had named him myself, so I was rather attached to him. It was hard to leave him behind, even though I knew he’d find a good family. Almost as hard as if he died, I think. Not quite, though.

    But, you do recover… well, I did. I think I had an easier time than most because of my generally non-sentimental nature. Plus, we bought a long-haired chihuahua puppy after we moved. ^^; That helped.

  71. metsakins says:

    Wow, I can’t believe I never saw this blog until I noticed someone commented on it yesterday. By April 18th I was more than hopelessly addicted to teh qte yet its like my mind couldn’t deal with this so it didn’t see it.

    We had our beloved cat Handsome euthanized on March 23rd. He was 16, in kidney failure, unable to regulate his blood sugar and a cancer survivor. He hadn’t eaten for days even though I cooked for him and my husband started buying him sardines. He was hiding under my son’s bed alot (and my son doesn’t live with us) so he wanted to leave us. He still loved us at the end, giving us his morning chirp and was glad to see us, but he was done. There was no doubt in my mind when I took him to the vet, but my husband still questions it. He has left a hole in all of our hearts, the human and feline members of this family. It does hurt less now than then, but there are still so many times I miss him.

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