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Question
Posted by: Tina | 2012/07/17

death of a loving pet

Hi Doctor,
I had to put my dearly loved dog of 16 years down two weeks ago and am really struggling with grief. I seem to be dreaming about her every night and sometimes find myself looking for her at home. Is this normal? I mean, she was only a dog but she was my best friend. I just don''t know how to handle the tears and the immense emotional pain associated with her loss. She had to go before any real pain set in but I miss her so much. Any suggestions as to how to make the pain go away?
Thank you

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageCyberShrink

The death of a loved one is always hard to bear, and its no different when the loss is of a pet. It can be worse when one had, for however many good reasons, and however much for the benefit of the pet, to make the decision to have her put down.
What you're describing is typical of grief, especially early grief. Its habit to expect her to be around, to look for her, to hope that there's still some way to find her. One may even briefly think one has seen her, before remembering that this can't be so. You may hear sounds that remind you of her, or think of her especially at feeding times. Home seems empty without her there to greet you. And so on.
There is no such thing as "only a dog" - as they don't lie, or cheat, they're better than most human friends, and deserve the respect we pay them.
The pain will go with time, even though it usually feels as though this will be impossible. In time one will remember all the good things about her, with pleasure and not pain.
What you did was an act of love, no less loving for being so difficult.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Tina | 2012/07/22

@lucifer you should be banned from this site

Reply to Tina
Posted by: Lucifer | 2012/07/19

Fu< k Tina

Get over the Fu< kin dog already.

Buy a new one!!!

Reply to Lucifer
Posted by: Leez | 2012/07/18

Tina, my eyes fill with tears just reading your post. Been there, done that....too many times. I cry for a solid year, not shy to admit! Wishing you strength during this trying time. Huggzz...

Reply to Leez
Posted by: Lilly | 2012/07/17

The death of a pet can be just as devestating as a friend/family member. Allow yourself to grieve, treat yourself.. a massage/meal out or spend time with people you love the most.
Its totally corny, but in time it WILL ease. and you will feel less sad, tho always remembering your wonderful dog.
lots of love.

Reply to Lilly
Posted by: Tanya | 2012/07/17

So sorry to hear of your loss. Hope this will help you heal your heart:-

If it should be that I grow frail and weak, and pain should keep me from my sleep
Then you must do what must be done, for this, the last battle can''t be won.
You will be sad - I understand. Don''t let your grief then stay
your hand. For this day, more than all the rest, your love and friendship stands the test.

We''ve had so many happy years, what is to come can hold no fears. You''d not want me to suffer so when the time comes, please let me go. Take me where my needs they''ll tend, only stay with me until the end. Hold me firm and speak to me until my eyes no longer see.

I know in time you too will see it is a kindness you do to me. Although my tail its last has waved, from pain and suffering, I''ve been saved. Don''t grieve that it should be you who has to decide this thing to do. We''ve been so close - through all these years. Don''t let your heart hold any tears.

Reply to Tanya
Posted by: cybershrink | 2012/07/17

The death of a loved one is always hard to bear, and its no different when the loss is of a pet. It can be worse when one had, for however many good reasons, and however much for the benefit of the pet, to make the decision to have her put down.
What you're describing is typical of grief, especially early grief. Its habit to expect her to be around, to look for her, to hope that there's still some way to find her. One may even briefly think one has seen her, before remembering that this can't be so. You may hear sounds that remind you of her, or think of her especially at feeding times. Home seems empty without her there to greet you. And so on.
There is no such thing as "only a dog" - as they don't lie, or cheat, they're better than most human friends, and deserve the respect we pay them.
The pain will go with time, even though it usually feels as though this will be impossible. In time one will remember all the good things about her, with pleasure and not pain.
What you did was an act of love, no less loving for being so difficult.

Reply to cybershrink

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