Why Your Dog’s Death May Be The Most Difficult Event Of Your Life

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Nugget watching TV Dog Death Dr Siew
Nugget was my first dog – a quirky, neurotic Japanese Spitz who passed away 6months ago. He was the reason why I began to love dogs, and subsequently, embark on animal rescue work, including heading SOSD today.

It has been 6 months since the first dog’s death, Nugget. . He was 10 years old, a Japanese Spitz, and he succumbed to injuries from a tragic incident. After half a year, I still think of him everyday. Some days less, some days severe enough for me to break down in tears. Speaking about him always evokes strong emotions.

At 40 years of age, I have experienced losing relatives – grandparents, uncles, aunties, friends; I have suffered considerable physical pain – gastric ulcers, gout, and recently, a difficult recovery from tonsillectomy. I have endured mental stress from running SOSD, including defamation & slander necessitating legal action. But none of the pain and suffering compares to the grief, guilt, and heartbreak I experienced, and am still experiencing with the passing of Nugget.

I can’t help but ask: Why?
Why is the pain so intense?

Facing Your Dog’s Death: An Inevitability

All dog owners will have to face the inescapable – of saying goodbye to their canine companions one day – With a lifespan of 10- 20 years, it is very likely that they will leave this earth before we do.

The grief of losing your pet is something which only pet owners can understand. For people who have not owned a pet, witnessing the intense emotions which pet owners go through when their pets pass on is often bewildering. “It is only a dog”, they would say. But as dog owners, we know it is more than that.

It is not uncommon to hear dog owners tell you, that they are even sadder when their dog died, compared to their human relative. This is not to say that dog owners are unfeeling monsters detached from other humans. On the contrary, pet owners are some of the most empathetic people I have come across – towards both animals and humans. I believe that there are very logical and scientific reasons why dog owners feel the intense grief that they do, when they canine friends leave them.

Nugget Dead Dr Siew
The day we brought Nugget’s body back from the vet was one I will always remember

There are many such articles about losing a dog – but I did not take reference from any of them. The 10 reasons I write about here, are entirely from my experience with my dog’s death.

1) You See Your Dogs Much More Than Your Friends or Relatives

Besides your spouse (and colleagues), there is probably no one else you see everyday. You move out from your parents’ place, your children move out. Our dogs are different. They are there waiting when we open our eyes; they are at home waiting for us excitedly when we return home everyday. We take for granted having them around; and when they are no longer there, the home environment changes.

2) You Were There From The Beginning Till The End

Many of us buy or adopt our canine friends as puppies – 2-4 months old. We watched them as they grew up, became a defiant adolescent, mellow down with age, then eventually, grow old, and die. We learn the entire life cycle of birth, old age, sickness and death through them. They are our windows to the realities of life, of impermanence. These realities, while universal, are extremely difficult to deal with. They evoke intense emotions from us – including grief, guilt, regret.

3) You Taught Them Life Lessons

Life Lessons Dog Death Dr Siew
We had to teach our dogs how to pee, poo, and what they should not chew.

You had to teach your puppy how to pee and poo in the right place; how to sit before a meal; how to walk on a leash. We are our dogs’ mentors and teachers, and we watched them blossom from clueless puppy to excellent canine citizen. Although we do not always say it, we are always proud of our dogs – their achievements are as much theirs and they are ours. It is no wonder that we love them as much as we do.

4) Dogs Are Like Our Little Children

Dog Death Puppy Child Dr Siew
Dogs are like little children, from the day they come into our lives as a puppy, till their death in old age

Researchers have found that a dog’s intelligence is comparable to a 2year old human’s, making them childlike, even in old age. From the day they come into our lives, to the day they leave, they act like toddlers. More often than not, we see them as our children. It is said that no parent should have to bury their children; but with pet owners, it will almost always happen – The day we adopt or buy our canine friend, we know that we will one day have to face our dog’s death.

5) Scientific Proof: Love Grows with Dogs

Studies have shown that when we look into a dog’s eyes, the levels of oxytocin increases in our blood. Oxytocin promotes “pro-social” behaviors such as relaxation, trust, improved psychological stability, and altruism in humans.

It is thought that oxytocin in both mother an infant is increased when a mother gazes into her baby’s eyes, and when the baby gazes back. For these reasons, oxytocin is also sometimes called the “love hormone”.

In owners and dogs, oxytocin levels rose by up to 300% when they gazed at each other, supporting the existence of a self-perpetuating oxytocin-mediated positive feedback loop in human-dog relationships that is similar to that of human mother-infant relations.

In other words – our love grows with our canine companions, the longer we spend with them (and watch them beg for food).

6) You Learned Unconditional Love Through Your Dog

Nugget was not a perfect dog. He has food aggression, and snaps when he is unhappy. He has bitten me, my friends, helper and parents. He barks loudly at strangers, vacuum cleaners, and anything else. He LOVEed eating plants and has massacred my greens like a tornado leaving a trail of destruction.

Nugget Confused dog Dr siew Dog Death
Nugget’s one blue eye and squint made him look confused all the time. This picture, in particular, went viral globally and sparked tons of memes. Despite his imperfections, we loved him all the same.

Yet, despite all that, I loved him. Very much. It did not matter that he was cock-eyed, with glaring character flaws. My love for him was unconditional, and I knew that his love for me was too, as well. It is often very difficult to replicate this with another human being – because we bring with us many expectations when we deal with people. With dogs, the bond is special, and very different. We can be ourselves, with no fear of being judged. We can love without restrain or abandon – and that is what we do with our canine friends. This intense love is precisely the reason our dog’s death is so difficult to come to terms with.

Though our dogs, we learn to love, unconditionally. 

7) We Are Their World

We are our dogs world Dr SIew
There is nowhere our dogs would rather be than to be next to us – whether awake or sleeping. We are their world

We have our work, friends, family. But our dogs only have us. We are cognisant of this at the back of our minds, and hence, we take extra care to make sure that their needs are met. We feel guilty when we go on holidays, or when we spend too much time away from home. We are their world, and in the process, they become a very large part of ours. Following our dog’s death, a part of us dies as well.

8) Dogs Express Themselves, And Taught You How To as Well

Express Yourself Dog Nugget Dog Deat Dr Siew
Dogs always express themselves freely – whether they are angry, happy or sad

Dogs are not like humans. They show it when they are happy. They jump in joy when you are home, sulk when you leave the house. They growl when another dog is trying to snatch their bone. They express their emotions with wild abandon. It rubs off us- their owners as well. That is why, the grief is so raw and real, when they leave us. They never held back when they were alive – and when they are gone, our grief is just as powerful.

9) Dogs are Full of Personality

No 2 dogs are alike. Even if they look the same, they would have different personalities, quirks, and things which define them. Indeed, Nugget was one of a kind. From his squint, to different coloured eyes, to his love for vegetables and liberal chomping, Nugget was absolutely unique. Every dog is irreplaceable. After our dog’s death, we will never be able to find another dog who is exactly the same again. This makes us miss them even more after they are gone.

10) They Were Always There When You Needed Someone

Dr Siew and Nugget Playing Guitar
Through all the sleepless nights when I played the guitar, Nugget was there with me. He didn’t think much of my singing and playing though. 2016, 3 months before Nugget’s death.

Dogs are nature’s most wonderful healers. That is why, after a long day, all we want to do is go home to see our dogs. When we are feeling low, we may not want to meet other people, yet, our dogs will make us feel better.

For me, I often lie sleepless at night, stressing over work and SOSD. Through those nights, Nugget would be with me, listening to me play the guitar, or just being comfortable in my arms.When we need company, our canine friends always give their all for us, rain or shine, day or night.

Dog Death Dr Siew Nugget Bacon Yoghurt
Contrary to what they say, having more dogs does not mean the death of one is easier to deal with. Nugget, Yoghurt, Bacon with me, 2014.

We give our dogs food, water and shelter. But what they give us back in return, are experiences and lessons in life which no amount of money can buy. And when they finally leave us, it is as if this spring of limitless positivity has finally dried up. That is why it so difficult, to grapple with our dog’s death. They are not just a dog. They are our best friends, our children, our family. And even if you have many dogs, like I do, losing any one of them, is just as painful.

Nugget Bathing Dr Siew

Nugget, 2007-2016
Dearly Missed, Now and Forever

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

66 COMMENTS

    • Better: We should love and treat our dogs – and all animals – with the same love as they treat us. People often treat dogs in ways dogs would never treat them.

      • You are So Right. Unfortunately, Humans are Incapable of Such Total Unconditional Love and Giving. We are a Selfish Species. So Very Unlike The Dog and So Many Other Beautiful Animals in Our World.

      • ABSOLUTELY, CLAIRE! Dogs are angels on earth – only on loan – it’s devastating when they are taken back.

        • We are all spirits here on Earth for a while and we then move on to another place. But as for the pain of losing a loved pet being harder than losing a relative,there has never been anything harder as losing your mother or father,siblings or children. Once you experience that in your life you enter a new stage in your life. We have lost many pets and miss all of them. But it still saddens my heart that I lost my father and later my mother.

    • We do love and treat people like that, BUT only dogs have always given back more than a million fold. People are cruel, malicious and intentionally hurt. Animals never. People ALWAYS DISAPPOINT.

  1. I went thru the same thing last year May, & the grief is really more than what I’ve felt when I lost my mum. Sometimes FB ‘timely reminders’ will bring back the happy memories, & sense of loss will kick in. Nonetheless I’m glad I had her & she had me.

  2. I Lost my soul mate black lab to Cancer 12/31/15 and I wanted to die too !! She was my World and still today I MISS her so very much and would give everything I own to have her back with me!!

    • I just wanted to say how very sorry I am. I understand and my heart hurts for you. I just had to let my 17 1/2 year old little buddy, Yoshi, go on the 12th. It’s devastating. Sending you lots of hugs.

    • I had to force the euthanasia of family pet I got to care for for exactly one year. She was almost 17 and this is hurting me so much. Our whole family gathered at the vet’s office, two full vans of us, all sobbing. I am having a tougher time with this, I think, more than any other pet loss. It hasn’t been quite 2 months but I miss this poor dog. I should have had her put down long before we did, but she wasn’t even mine, so it wasn’t my decision, but we let her suffer too long and I might never get by that fact. I hope she has forgiven me.

  3. It is very gut-renching when you have to make that decision to give them release from their pain and discomfort that they have to experience because of their age. My wife and I have had up to six dogs at one time, all “foundlings” as we like to call them. In our 20 years together, we have had to say a tearfully goodbye to six of our companion dogs and it has always been terribly painful. But, their unconditional love for us and companionship they have brought to our lives is enormous! We believe that they are all waiting for us at the Rainbow Bridge!

  4. After 15 years I lost my dog, it’s been 8 months and I just can’t get over it, for lack of a better explanation. By far he was my best friend. Never more than feet from me, we did everything together. I have seen other dog owners that had this bond, so there must be something I can do. My whole life has changed, it’s a different life alltogether. I’m not the person I was.

    • Talk about it. To anyone. Tell the story of you and your dog and their death, over and over. Eventually the telling gets easier. It’s been 12 years since my dog died and it took at least 5 before I made it through telling someone without breaking down. I suspect it was the telling it over and over that helped me eventually come to terms with it. I stopped feeling compelled to tell it after a few years. Now it sometimes pops up in conversation and I can usually talk about it without falling apart completely.

      Hang in there. It gets better. ❤️

      But know that you can never find another dog like yours. But you can find a different dog equally worthy of love.

    • Your lovely friend would not want you to be this sad and would want you to find a new companion to give your love to. So many dogs are needing friendship like yours and are waiting to be found. Go find one and you will be rewarded – again and again. Good luck for future happiness!

    • I’m so sorry, Steve. We have adopted a number of senior dogs, so have been through this loss… This quote, from “The Once Again Prince” by Irving Townsend, has always been comforting to me. Hope it is to you as well. And I hope you will be able to bring another worthy dog into your home and your heart. Losing them is hard, but never having them at all — well, I can’t imagine…

      “We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we still would live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan . . .”

    • I know exactly what you mean, Steve. My Ernie died 4 1/2 months ago from a fast growing cancer. He was my heart and soul and helped me through both parents’ deaths plus a sister. We were together 24/7. When I go to buy cat food for my rescues, I can’t even look down the dog food isle. I have to turn my head. I love my cats but there is nothing in this world deeper than the love of a dog. Like you, I don’t know that I will ever get over it.

  5. My puppy was hit by a car at 16 months old. She was my entire world. It happened 4 months ago today and I can honestly say that this has been the worst 4 months of my life. They are truly so incredible and the pain of losing them will never go away.

  6. I lost my childhood dog last year, just a few days short of my wedding. This dog was around in my teenage years, through college and many heartbreaks. I was completely broken, cried for days, and to this day I still randomly burst into tears when I think about her. Thank you for that article, everything you wrote was so bang on. I think it will really help people who are going through this, it is so important to take the time to grieve and to understand that it is perfectly normal.

  7. I had a basenji 8 years and my neighbor was putting poison for the rats.A sick rat came here and my dog must have ate some of it.I had to put her to sleep broke my heart she was a part of me…..So you grieve as long as you want to.My Prissy has been gone since 2009 i got a puppy to help with the grief,His name is Little Man he is a chiweenie.Loving loving dogs.

  8. Thank you for this article. It’s 29 days since my best friend left me, and it’s sooo hard. She taught me so much and I miss her so.

  9. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your heart! I lost both of my dogs, within 6 months of each other, back on 2014. Pieces of my heart left with both of them, but I vowed to take care of myself and help others in this situation. I gave myself 6 months to grieve before I would consider getting another dog…it took 9 months until I was truly ready to open up my heart again.

    There are so many resources/support groups now a days to help us through this heartbreaking stage of life…to heal your heart. May we all learn something from this difficult process: that we are resilient and CAN process through this pain, to open our hearts once again to the Magic of another Furry Being! Opening your heart to a new baby is not the same as “replacing” your pet that passed…it will always be different energy and they will have their own unique personality that will surely melt your heart!

    Sending love and light to all that have gone, or will go, through the pain of losing a pet.

  10. This week I just lost my 8 year old Dogue de Bordeaux baby boy. His name was Porthos. I’m 40 and Porthos was my first pet dog. Throughout the years, I lost my dad, mom and 3 years ago I lost my husband. I don’t have any human children, just pet children. My husband and I got Porthos when he was 8 weeks old. After my husband passed away, I had a very hard time but my baby boy got me through everything. Porthos was the reason I woke up everything morning. My world revolved around him and my personal and work schedule were planned around Porthos’ needs first. In April I found out he had terminal heart disease and we went through so much until a few days ago when he collapsed in the ER and passed. I won’t even try to describe the pain I’m feeling now. No words can describe it. I won’t try to describe what he meant to me. No words can describe that. All I can say that every time I looked into his eyes, the calm and love and loyalty and assurance I saw was something that I had never experienced before with any other living being before, be it animals or humans. I have another dog, a Boston Terrier and I love her…but my baby boy Porthos was my soul mate. Learning to live without him is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. How is it even possible to love a dog this much?

  11. This week I just lost my 8 year old Dogue de Bordeaux baby boy. His name was Porthos. I’m 40 and Porthos was my first pet dog. Throughout the years, I lost my dad, mom and 3 years ago I lost my husband. I don’t have any human children, just pet children. My husband and I got Porthos when he was 8 weeks old. After my husband passed away, I had a very hard time but my baby boy got me through everything. Porthos was the reason I woke up everything morning. My world revolved around him and my personal and work schedule were planned around Porthos’ needs first. In April I found out he had terminal heart disease and we went through so much until a few days ago when he collapsed in the ER and passed. I won’t even try to describe the pain I’m feeling now. No words can describe it. I won’t try to describe what he meant to me. No words can describe that. All I can say that every time I looked into his eyes, the calm and love and loyalty and assurance I saw was something that I had never experienced before with any other living being before, be it animals or humans. I have another dog, a Boston Terrier and I love her…but my baby boy Porthos was my soul mate. Learning to live without him is the hardest thing I’ve ever gone through. How is it even possible to love a dog this much?

    • I could have written this about my sweet 10 year old baby boy dog, Sampson. He too had a heart problem and died one night very unexpectedly. He died as I was rushing him to the animal hospital. I did not know he had stopped breathing right before we made it to the hospital as he was unresponsive when I put him in the car but he was breathing. When we got to the hospital, they were able to bring him back once but he just couldn’t hold on any longer and passed away. I never thought that I would return home that night without my baby boy. Earlier in the day he had been outside barking at other dogs and just having a good time like he did every afternoon when we would go outside. I’ve had many dogs throughout my life and I loved them all, but there was something different about Sampson. He was the best friend I have ever had and I will never not miss him. I still cry about him all the time if I start remembering all our times together. Anyone who has ever shared this type of love with their pet definitely understands and agrees that their pet was much, much more then just a pet. I have faith one day that Sampson and I will be reunited. I pray one day too that I can remember our times together without tears running down my face as they are doing now. Sending my love to all the pets and the people that have lost their fur babies. I’m thankful that we all got to experience this kind of love. I heard a saying and I’m sure I’m not quoting it right but it was something like this – if you have never grieved, then you have never loved.

  12. I understand more than Id like about the grieving step…my little man “Buddy” was taken from me 8 months ago in a horrific manner. He was a small statute Chihuahua with a big heart…A pack of wild dogs killed him in my front yard in front of my children…devestated is an understatement. …we was my only friend and loved me regardless of what others felt…we was my soulmate…we will meet again with all our loved ones…even the furry ones….!!!

  13. Beautifully put, My life without a dog would not be a good life, My hubby and I both grew up with dogs and thus so have our children. I remember all the dogs in my life and look forward to being reunited again. Our rescue boy currently asleep on the floor behind me as I write this message, I would not have it any other way.

  14. My beloved Briggs passed this past February. It ripped me apart. This was the third dog I have lost during our long marriage, and it never gets easier, and yet I got another dog……to go through it all yet again. Would I give up the 10 years I had Briggsie to love and be loved by him just so I wouldn’t have to go through the grief at the end? An emphatic NO is my answer. There are so many homeless dogs who need a good home, and that is always my deciding factor to let another worm his way into my heart. Dogs, to me, are God’s greatest gift.

  15. I can totally relate to this. When my beloved Stefani passed away, i felt like my whole world crashed and i didnt know how to live on, but thankfully i found a grief support group of dog lovers online called Rainbow bridge. I still think of her everyday for the past 3 years since she passed on. None of my friends could understand and many kept telling me to get a new dog to replc my sadness. It is ok i don’t blame them but i know a bond between a dog and a human is somewhat a mystery at times but deep down, it is a heartfelt love which can never be replaced. Thank you for sharing, your Nugget looks happy and contented just being with you. 😊 I’m sure he is always and will be part of you no matter. Till we see them again at Rainbow bridge someday. God bless.

  16. Thank you, everyone, for sharing your feelings. I agree completely with Dr Siew’s thoughts about why we experience grief for our dogs even more intensely than for most humans. My sister died two months ago after a long illness and I coped. But when my little Potter (MR Potter, actually–‘Pot’ to me), Shi-tsu poodle aged 15 years and 9 months died on 12th August I wrote in my diary “the end of the world”. That said it all………… He had been with me from a puppy, and had seen me through so many tough times, including those caused by highly-stressful jobs, marital separation and the consequent loss of my home. He, as many of you have said, was always there. In recent years, as his health began to decline, I took him everywhere I could, always arranged someone to be with him when I wasn’t, revolved my whole life around him. For the last two years I have essentially been his carer–spoon-feeding when necessary, taking him for walks at 2 am when he couldn’t sleep………..then taking him for painfully slow walks to keep his little lungs going. Some people think I was mad–but I don’t have a single second of regret for doing this. I kept his quality of life quite good, and full of love, good food–and fun, when he could manage it.

    But then, when he had a bad reaction to a new painkiller, and a possible stroke, things looked bad. The vet said that, if he improved in the first few days, he could almost completely recover from its effects. And the brave little man fought so hard, initially not being able to stand or walk properly, but, within two days, progressing to being able to walk around the garden virtually unaided. It was particularly cruel that, at that moment, his breathing declined, to such a degree that, after sitting up with him for three nights, I had to take the terrible decision. I had him sedated first, and so he slowly, literally, ‘went to sleep’ in my arms. The last thing he saw was my face comforting him; the last thing he heard was my voice saying that I loved him……..I did all I could.

    But I’m sure you’ll all experience the guilt afterwards–different in every case, of course. With me, it was for not checking the dosage of that painkiller–I fear the vet may have overdosed him–for not supporting his little head so that it dropped a little at the end………even, perhaps, for not pursuing a possible arthritis treatment that I have only just heard about. I’m sure you are feeling guilt of some kind as well. To make things even worse, I caught just a glimpse online of a song title that reminded me of words that summed up the terrible sadness of his passing. I won’t repeat them because they will upset you too…….

    Two weeks on and I am still grieving, of course. But I have learned how to grieve over the years, and the Rainbow Bridge concept helped a lot. I have also found solace in two other things–you may find these help you, or not………Associating with other dogs helps me: their own life and vitality and love shine forth to me; I take a friend’s dog for a daily walk and she lets me have him at home while she is out. Now I have my stepdaughter’s incredibly lively cocker-poo for a week whilst she is on holiday. His boisterous love also helps. I know this will not work at all for some people. But it is not a case of replacing my Potter–that could never be done. I have also found lighting a small scented tea-light at bedtime enables me to talk to him and light him to his bed in Rainbow Bridge. I love that idea, and it brings me some comfort.

    It does heal, although the grief will always be with you. It helps to remember all of the things you did RIGHT for the one you have lost…..

    I send you all my love.

    Richard

    • I bought our Leah as a puppy when two of my children were very young. We had decided we would stop at two children and it was time for another dog (previous dogs before children). A friend had some German shepherd puppies for sale and I went to have a look, as I’m great believer that a dog will choose you, not you choose them, I stood in the pen and this small ball of fur approached me and sat at my feet. It was live at first sight, so she came to live with us. A day or do later I found out I was having another baby and eventually a fourth child would bless our family. Not to mention we lived in a court with 11 other young children. My house was the place to be and at anytime we would have at least 10 small children running around screaming and playing in our yard and in the centre of the organised chaos was our Leah. She was gentle, kind, protective, sympathetic, showed empathy and loved everyone of those children with all her heart. I never left the children alone with her but she never showed one ounce of aggression ever toward anyone of these children. My son at three, after kinder would come into the house, go to the cupboard take a couple of biscuits and head straight out the back door and onto the back step. I would Potter around bringing this in from the car or unpack his bag and head down the hallway to check in them. There my son was sitting in the step feeding her biscuits, chatting to her about his day. She sat intently looking up at him with adoring eyes. She was his best friend. He would lay on her, open her mouth, hold her tail and just pester her constantly, she would raise her head as if to say oh it’s just you and go back to sleep. She was the sweetest dog ever. At the ripe old she of 16 years we made the decision to put her down due to ill health and a second cancerous tumour. Surviving an operation at that age was not recommended. She could hardly stand, she was blind and as deaf as a post but still she never showed any sign of aggression. It broke all our hearts to have to say goodbye to her. She was older than two of my children and loved by every kid in the street. My husband and I couldn’t bare to watch her leave this world so we waited outside I know regret my decision to not be there for her last breathe but the thought of it was too heartbreaking. However we could not leave her at the Vets so we had her cremated and brought her home to continue to watch over us. She sits on the mantel along with another family pet we lost several years later. It was definitely one of the Saddest days in mine and my families lives. Everyone grieved differently. Even now 10 years on it still brings tears to my eyes. She was one of a kind. Happy to say we have two more gorgeous German shepherds that demand our attention, one 12 and the other 3. They now love my grandchildren. Dogs are definitely a blessing.

  17. Please, please, please to all of you grieving the loss of your animal companion, consider the healing powers of ceremony and ritual. There are Celebrants out there who can craft a ceremony that will be supportive and while it doesn’t end the grief it can help process it.

  18. Dogs are love. Pure and simple. We have been where you are- lost our beloved doggie unexpectedly at just a bit over 10 years old. I rescued another dog, and – of course she is not a replacement, but an addition- our new doggie helped our hearts heal. We gave her the same middle name as her predecessor- Ezra Tulip bequeathed her dogbeds and toys to Basil Tulip (facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BasilTulip/).

  19. We lost our sweet Chocolate Lab “Cash” last year and I still cry because I miss him so much. This story put my feelings into words. He was our constant loving companion thru difficult times. He kept us going when we didn’t feel like doing anything. He also kept peace in the family because he hated it when people were angry and nobody wanted to upset the dog.

  20. I wish to share my harrowing experience with an irresponsible vet who put me and my recent rescue Jammy in so much distress!I’ve rescued numerous dogs.Some have passed and recently I lost my Jothi after 14 years of love and friendship.Jimmy I found with a fracture for days living on neighbours feeding him but exposed to rain and harsh weather.I took him in because I couldn’t bear to see him suffer anymore.I brought him to a vet At Klinik Veterinary Amping where Jammy was sedated to have a plaster on his leg.I explained to the vet that I have seven rescues and to be reasonable on charges but yet I was charged the standard rates.After bringing home Jimmy, a few days later,I noticed a deep gash on his leg and the vet claimed it’s my negligence and the plaster had to removed.Later he charged me for removing it and medication and told me I had to deal with it and he can’t do anything further.With a very heavy heart I brought him back in more pain and suffering than he was in the beginning.Now I treat him with medicinal herbal oils vowed never to go back there again.Vets are only interested in cash and lack compassion as most of us rescuers who spend our own time and money to save their lives.Jothi who passed is still in my heart and soul every day.I visit her, talk to her and pray for her.Im also Vegan because I love animals and the planet that much

  21. Thank you for this wonderful article. I had just let my beloved dog outside just as I had done a thousand times before. She then made two steps and suddenly collapsed, I tried my best to give her CPR from the knowledge that I had but my hands wouldn’t stop shaking, it was all too sudden. I didn’t know it until after the Emergency room visit that she had taken her last 2 breaths in my arms. Somehow my mind kept telling me that she was going to be ok and that she just fainted or something, we had too much history for her to leave so soon and so sudden. I spent hours at the ER this morning and we exhausted every option we had to try to save her but we were unsuccessful in every attempt. We said our goodbyes just before the sun came out, it has been one of the hardest things we’ve been dealt with. She was 4 years old which makes her 28 in human years, I’ve known people longer than that who have never come close to giving me the unconditonal love that my dog has given me. I am just grateful that the good times will always outweigh the bad and that my dear girl was able to teach me how to love deeper with the time we spent together. You will always be in our hearts Cherie <3

    (While at the ER during the whole ordeal I met a 14 year old female dog who had a heart problem, the owner told me that she was approaching her last days. She kept walking up to me and giving me her love every 5-10 minutes. She kept this smile that I will never be able to truly describe. It was as if she was telling me that everything was going to be ok. Her smile lit up the room even at 4am. I later found out that she had crossed over while I was there. She only blessed me with her presence for a few hours but the impression she left on me will last forever. It was as if she accepted her fate and wanted me to know that when our time comes, All we can do is smile and leave gracefully . <3

  22. Your story touched my heart.. I know how it feels to lose a beloved pet… Bless your heart and may Nugget RIP… You took great care of Nugget.. You’re a great pet parent

  23. I still mourn the loss of my dog Ricky even three years later. It was harder than when my father passed about a year and a half later. With my dad there was a sense of relief, that he wasn’t in pain any more; that he had a good life. Don’t get me wrong, I still think about Dad everyday. But with Ricky there was a sense that I had failed him somehow. That no matter how hard I tried to protect him and care for him, it wasn’t enough. When he got sick, the end was so quick as well. I couldn’t wrap my head around it. But I also knew that choosing to ease his pain was the most important thing I could do to honor our relationship. It was also the hardest thing I had to do. Here’s the site I created to help me deal with his loss. I still look at it. At least now when I look at it the pain is eased by some wonderful memories.

  24. thanks for writing this. 12 years ago we rescued a mom (Leenie) and her pup (Pete). We had to put mom down on March 1, 2017 and he was completely lost without her. Everything happened so fast – he got sick and we had to put him down on July 11. Our hearts are broken

  25. Thank you so much. This is beautiful. I would add this: They never betray you. There are never mixed emotions about the time they hurt you in some ways because THEY NEVER DO!

  26. Confused was my state when my husband decided to call our marriage a quit after a long separation, given up was my only hope and at the last minute of me giving in to my husbands decision, i got hold of Prophet Mike contact through an old college mate i confided in with my marriage problems. 2days was all it took Prophet Mike to heal my marriage and restore a wonderful relationship with me and my husband. There is sure wonders with Prophet Mike, reach him on purityspell @ gmail.com today before considering a divorce…..Yuda Tama

  27. The words of Dr Siew ring so very true.. We had to make the devastating decision on the 5th of August to guide our Bobby on his journey over the Rainbow 🌈 Bridge. To look at him.. you would think they’re was nothing wrong with him.. yes, a little grey in the fur around the eyes it’s true.. but in a humans, some people would say that a few hints of grey has the look of sophistication. Other than the tell tale white “T” in the fur on his chest and his shape, you wouldn’t know that he was part Staffie.. his mother was a pure bread Staf but she must have felt a bit.. shall we say “Amorous” one night.. and had a bit of a fling with a Lurcher. There’s another thing that the K9 world shows us.. “Looks aren’t everything” when it comes to finding a partner. When we went to view the pups, Bobby stood out from the rest.. all be it there was only 3 left from a litter of 8, but he was the one that stole our hearts. He just laid in the corner of his pen.. lifted his head from under his front legs and gave us that look, those “Poor Little Me” eyes, and that was it, he had us Hook Line and Sinker. The bond between dog an human was instantaneous. In the months and years to come it became obvious that he had the love, affection and intelligence of the Staffie.. always wanting to be at your side whether it be walking, sitting or asleep, he was never far away.. and very very smart.. but from a young age it became obvious that he was going to take after his dad, not only in the looks department, but OMG was he quick, that was definitely the Lurcher in him. We have a large playing field near us where we used to walk daily. I used to get him in the down position at one side of the field and I could walk away to the other side and he would just follow me with his eyes. Sometimes I could be 5 or 600 yes away and he would just watch me.. waiting for the signal.. and then he’d come tearing toward me so fast.. sometimes that fast that he used to bump into my legs before he could slow down in time.. then he’d lay on his back reaching from side to side while I rubbed his chest in praise for being such a clever boy.. OMG I miss that so much.!! He used to love playing his game with his ball, he would lay in the prone position with the ball between his front legs and his chin resting on it. When ever you made a move towards the ball he would start his little growl and move the ball closer into his chest with his chin.. and then when you finally reached in and got your hand on his ball he used to press down on it so that you couldn’t get it out from between his legs.. OMG I miss that so much.!! In reality it’s not the “THAT” I miss so much.. it’s “HIM” that’s left this gaping hole in our hearts.. one that can never be filled again. Although we have 2 more dogs and love them both immensely.. even though the 8 month old pup can cause more destruction that a notorious 20th century German dictator.. we still love him to bits.. but neither of them will ever have the same bond we had with our Bobby. Even though he was the runt of the litter and looked the part as well, everyone that met him fell in love with him.. he just had that personality..!! He always seemed to know when we were sad and managed to bring a smile back to our faces.. he knew when we were frustrated and managed to calm us down.. and knew when we were happy and revelled in the playtimes that came with it. The guilt we felt on the 5th August was unimaginable when we had to help him on his journey.. but our vet confirmed to us that it was the kindest thing to do and it would only have been a matter of time before the inevitable. We had our boy cremated the very same day and brought him back home with us where he belongs.. but the grief this man feels for what was truly “His Best Friend” has left a void that can never be filled.. but I take some solace in the thought that Bobby is just the other side of the Rainbow Bridge waiting for that signal again and I know he’ll come running to meet me as I make my crossing and we’ll be able once again to do all the good things we loved doing together.

    Thanks for listening to my story and thank you Dr Siew.. yes the grief is real, the pain is real and so are the memories.. it takes a special kind of person to be a dog person.. the world would be a better place if everyone was a true dog person..!!

  28. I bought our Leah as a puppy when two of my children were very young. We had decided we would stop at two children and it was time for another dog (previous dogs before children). A friend had some German shepherd puppies for sale and I went to have a look, as I’m great believer that a dog will choose you, not you choose them, I stood in the pen and this small ball of fur approached me and sat at my feet. It was live at first sight, so she came to live with us. A day or do later I found out I was having another baby and eventually a fourth child would bless our family. Not to mention we lived in a court with 11 other young children. My house was the place to be and at anytime we would have at least 10 small children running around screaming and playing in our yard and in the centre of the organised chaos was our Leah. She was gentle, kind, protective, sympathetic, showed empathy and loved everyone of those children with all her heart. I never left the children alone with her but she never showed one ounce of aggression ever toward anyone of these children. My son at three, after kinder would come into the house, go to the cupboard take a couple of biscuits and head straight out the back door and onto the back step. I would Potter around bringing this in from the car or unpack his bag and head down the hallway to check in them. There my son was sitting in the step feeding her biscuits, chatting to her about his day. She sat intently looking up at him with adoring eyes. She was his best friend. He would lay on her, open her mouth, hold her tail and just pester her constantly, she would raise her head as if to say oh it’s just you and go back to sleep. She was the sweetest dog ever. At the ripe old she of 16 years we made the decision to put her down due to ill health and a second cancerous tumour. Surviving an operation at that age was not recommended. She could hardly stand, she was blind and as deaf as a post but still she never showed any sign of aggression. It broke all our hearts to have to say goodbye to her. She was older than two of my children and loved by every kid in the street. My husband and I couldn’t bare to watch her leave this world so we waited outside I know regret my decision to not be there for her last breathe but the thought of it was too heartbreaking. However we could not leave her at the Vets so we had her cremated and brought her home to continue to watch over us. She sits on the mantel along with another family pet we lost several years later. It was definitely one of the Saddest days in mine and my families lives. Everyone grieved differently. Even now 10 years on it still brings tears to my eyes. She was one of a kind. Happy to say we have two more gorgeous German shepherds that demand our attention, one 12 and the other 3. They now love my grandchildren. Dogs are definitely a blessing.

  29. May the good memories that Nugget left with you be a source of comfort in times when you miss him. Continue to love other dogs, your heart is so big it can accommodate lots of loving fur babies.

  30. THANK you for this heartwarming article, as I chose to not be a parent to a human, my dog is everything to me and the love runs deep, and I will surely save this article for when the time comes.

  31. This article is so unbelievably offensive to people who HAVE ACTUALLY GONE THROUGH REAL TRAUMA! I love my dog and have already lost two dogs. IVE ALSO LOST MY MOM AND LOST MY SISTER WHEN SHE WAS 10 years old! This article is disgusting and really shows how sheltered and unsympathetic to the rest of the world you are. Some people are abused by their parents, some kids lose their parents, some people are brutally raped and assaulted, some people live in war torn countries and some parents lose their children – like mine did when my 10 year old sister died when I was 5. How dare you write this after never having experienced REAL trauma and take zero account into those who have. So offensive and absolutely ridiculous. Gout and the loss of a grandparent? Please! I guess you are lucky if you think losing a dog is the worst thing that can happen in your life.

  32. I feel the same about my cherished cat Wiggles. He taught me so much about life and love. I am sad that he taught me about death so early in his life, only eight years old. His brother Squeaky and I miss his sweetness. My animals are the best friends ever. We are so fortunate to have animal friends in life.

  33. Been crying whilw reading this one Sir. I remembered my beloved baby that’s been killed by someone. 🙁

  34. i lost my beloved gregory 5 days after you wrote this! i am seeing it now for the first time. thank you for this and for capturing, and putting to words, what so many of us felt and feel! i’ll love and miss gregory forever!

  35. I can relate so much to this. I lost my pup 5 yrs ago this month and I still tear up when I think about her. Mainly Bc of my last memory of her was so terrible. Sassy was w me from the time she was a puppy, sleeping on the back of my neck til the day she had her accident. A friend of my hubby ran her over and I broke down on my living room floor pregnant w my now 4 yr old daughter as she lie lifeless in the street. It was so horrific I couldn’t even go out there w her. My husband had to get her for me. I cried for months and it started getting easier for me but it still hurts I think mainly Bc I didn’t get to say goodbye to her. She was with me at the best of time to the worst of times and she made me so happy. She was a min pin mix w white on her chest and she was a hopper lol. I miss her big brown eyes so much and her barking and tearing apart my trash when I’m not home. Mostly, I miss her sleeping w me in bed and cuddling w me on the couch and I’m so sad that my kids will never get to experience a life w her. She was hands down the best dog I ever had. And little she may have been but mighty she was. RIP Sassay girl💜😘🐾

  36. I have lost so many relatives in my life. My parents, all my grandparents, friends and i sometimes feel guilty that it hurts so much more losing my dog. He was my best friend. Always and forever Gizmo.

  37. I just read the first couple of paragraphs and viewed the pictures, and realized that tears are running down my cheeks at work. There is no comparison to the love between your furry family member and the connection we have with them. Thank you for sharing this beautiful story and know that he had a wonderful and life filled with joy.

  38. I lost my Maggie six months ago to cancer. I still cannot get over the loss. There are times the least thing will set me off and I’ll cry uncontrollably for half an hour. Things that people say should make me happy like pictures of the two of us, movies of the two of us bring me no happiness only more grief. I got a new puppy and I love her dearly but she is what she is and Maggie is what she was. The two are not interchangeable and I would never try to expect her to be like Maggie. Our new dog was abused as a puppy and I like to think Maggie would have wanted me to give the new puppy the same love I gave her. At 64 you would think that it wouldn’t bother me as much but guess what it hurts. My greatest hope is that when it comes my time to go she will be waiting for me like she did when I came home from work. I’ve lost my Mother, Father and a lot of friends but just like the man said nothing in my life has hurt me like losing Maggie. She was my best friend, companion, child and most of all what kept the world sane for me. Miss and love you Maggie.

  39. I lost my dog 3 years ago and I still mourn him. He was not just my dog, he was my baby and my best friend. The way he looked at me and was always there when I came home melted my heart. I told him good-bye when I went to work or left the house and gave him my full attention when I returned home. I did for him what he did for me; loved him unconditionally. I buried my baby in my favorite jacket and in that way I will always be with him. His name is Boshi “Gruntles” and he is still dearly missed.

  40. I’ve only had my little girl Luna for 5 years and as she is only five I hope she will live a hundred more, but I know I am in trouble because I already cry if I think about my baby passing on one day.
    I have never love something or someone in my life… dogs are amazing.

  41. We lost our Oliver in February and a day does not go by where I don’t miss him. It was the most miserable experience of my life to have to put him down. We will never replace him but will always own dogs. The blessing of loving them and being love by them is a kiss from God.

  42. Thank you for your caring words. Cooch died on August 9 at 4:15. We are still devastated. How do you go for a walk without him? He was my best friend. Today we found his baby pics. How precious was this golden. We are retired and he was our child. Feels good to know others go through this too. Even our kids don’t get it. He’s a dog! Thank you again and many blessings to all who shared their stories🙏🏻

  43. I lost my little dog and it has nothing on the pain I experience everyday from my child’s death. You do the mother’s of the world a disservice by comparing the two. When we get a dog no matter how much we truly love them we know that we will have 10 to 15 years or so with them. I have another dog i love veey much. i would be crushed if i lost him but would kill him with my bare hands if it would give me my son back.

  44. Losing our Molly 9/1/2011 was very difficult indeed… yet losing my daughter less than 6 months later was worse. I still miss Molly very much and cry about losing her, but it is 2nd in line after losing my child. What I wrote in 2011 after we had to put her down due to cancer>>”One of the sweetest souls I have ever had the pleasure of knowing left this earth last night in the arms of her mama. I wish I had been there to hold her and give her a final kiss and most of all to thank her for coming into our lives. This gramma will forever miss our little Miss Molly who graced us with her presence for almost 11 years. Protecting us and showing us how special a dog can be. Love you and will always miss you my sweet girl!!”

    • I agree. Losing a pet is difficult, but there is no sorrow in this world to compare with losing your child. Ever.

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