Pet Loss: Dealing With The Death of a Pet

Dog Loss


Meg Marrs


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dealing with the death of a pet

Losing a pet is hard. Really, really hard. For many, losing a pet is losing a member of their family and the grief can be overwhelming.

 9 Tips on How to Cope With Loss of a Pet

Losing a pet is heart breaking, and it can often be difficult for owners to cope with the empty spaced their beloved pet has left. However, there are some actions you can take to find comfort.

1. Surround Yourself With Other Pet Lovers

The grief of losing a pet can be compounded by the fact that some friends and family members may have trouble understanding your despair. Those who aren’t used to owning pets may fail to understand how upsetting losing a beloved pet can be.

While you’re grieving, surround yourself with people who can relate to your pain and don’t belittle you for pain. You don’t need to defend your grief to anyone.

2. Remember the Good Times

Have friends or family over for dinner and share your favorite memories about your pet. Talking about the wonderful times you’ve had with your pet can be very cathartic. In some cases, your pet’s death may have felt quite traumatic. Don’t be afraid to talk those tough memories, but try not to linger too much on those thoughts and instead remember the good times.

losing a dog

When my old family dog Benzy died, no one was home. For many months I tortured myself, wondering if he was scared and wishing I had been there. I played out so many alternative scenarios in my mind – if only I had driven home instead of spending the night at my friend’s house. If only I had charged my phone so that I could have received the message from my neighbor saying that my dog was acting strange.

Ultimately, these thoughts are not constructive and only make things more painful. Instead, try to focus on the good things. For example, I was able to take comfort in the fact that at least my dog died in our house where he was comfortable.

3. Create a Photo Book

You probably have many wonderful photos of your pet. Crafting a photo book about your pet’s happy life can be extremely cathartic. I used Shutterfly to create a photo book for my dog shortly after he died.

how to deal with loss of dog

This provided the opportunity to go through old photos I hadn’t seen in ages. One unexpected result – I began to remember my dog’s whole life, rather than just his death. Benzy had gotten so old, and for years he was my old buddy. Looking through photos reminded me of how different he used to look before he went grey around the edges. I was reminded of how much he loved the beach, and how high he could jump for a Frisbee. Taking time to go through photos of your pet can help ensure that you remember your pet as how he or she really was, rather than focusing too much on those hard last days.

When your photo book ships, you’ll have a wonderful item that will forever remind you of your treasured years with your best friend.

Shutterfly is great for photo books, and with this link you should be able to get your first photo book for free!

4. Remember That Your Pet’s Pain is Over

In many situations, your pet may have been sick or very old before dying. Benzy was sixteen year old and had a lot of trouble getting around. He couldn’t get up and down stairs, and sometimes he would fall when walking. He could no longer do most of the activities he enjoyed. Honestly, I would have done anything to keep him around longer, but he was old and hurting from arthritis. I’m pretty sure many owners have experienced similar situations with their elderly, injured, or sick pets.

After death, your pet is no longer in pain or suffering. I believe my dog is somewhere where he can bound across beaches and roam around woods like a young dog again. No matter what you believe, take comfort in the fact that your pet is no longer in pain.

how to deal with the loss of a dog

5. Purchase a Memorial Tribute 

Many owners like to have a physical tribute to their dog – something they can see in their day to day life to remember their beloved friend.

You might consider purchasing a dog memorial tribute stone you can keep in your yard. I myself bought a charm in the shape of my dog from Etsy. I keep the charm on my keychain as a constant reminder of my love for my dog.

losing a dog

Some owners also choose to keep the remains of their pets in beautiful dog urns that can be kept as a loving tributes.

Another great memorial concept is Pet Perennials – they offer remembrance garden kits that allow you to create a lovely outdoor tribute that you can visit in your own yard. This gardening exercise can help with the grieving process and is a great activity for a family to do together.

6. Read Pet Loss Quotes

Owners who have lost a pet often find some comfort in reading poems and quotes about pet loss. These words can express feelings that are often difficult for us to articulate ourselves. We’ve got a nice collection of dog loss quotes you may find comforting.

7. Create a Free Online Memorial Page

There are some online services that allow you to create a memorial page for a pet that has passed on.

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge is one such service, letting you create a free tribute page where you can share stories and upload photos and videos, all presented within a beautiful tribute page.

rainbow bridge

8. Visit Dog Forums

Sometimes it helps to visit online forums where others discuss the loss of their own pets and how they felt. Reading forum threads dealing with pet loss can remind you that you are not alone in your suffering. Visit the Dogster “Saying Goodbye” section for advice about dealing with dog loss, and try Caster for dealing with cat loss.

greif over loss of dog

 9. Get Another Dog

Some owners find it helpful to get another dog after their first has passed.

There was a time where I did not understand this sentiment. I felt that my dog was so special to me and thought that getting a new dog after he died would be like replacing him. It didn’t seem right or respectful.

However, after losing my own dog, it made much more sense. Of course your pet will always be special and unique; they can never be replaced. However, I found that losing a dog left a gaping dog-shaped hole in my heart.

Looking out the window and into the backyard and not seeing my dog roaming around sent pangs to my heart. My home felt cold and foreign when there was no dog greeting me at the door. I had become accustomed to having a dog in my life. Being a dog owner was part of my identity, and suddenly I didn’t have a dog anymore.

Getting a new dog after losing your other dog simply helps you pass on all that dog adoration to a new furry friend.

 It’s true what they say – time is the greatest healer of all. Next month it will be one year since my first dog died. Sometimes when I see a Doberman while walking around town, I’ll think about Benzy and get choked up. It still hurts and I’ll always miss him, but it’s nowhere near as difficult as those first months without your pet. I can promise you with the utmost confidence – it WILL get better.

Now the difficult memories surrounding his death have faded. Instead I now remember all the wonderful memories we had together. Those memories are still sad because my dog is no longer in my life, but I wouldn’t trade those good times for anything, and I bet you wouldn’t either.

Have you lost a beloved pet? How did you handle the loss of your friend? Share your story in the comments.

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Written by

Meg Marrs

Meg Marrs is the Founder and Director of Marketing at K9 of Mine. She is a lifelong canine enthusiast and adores dogs of all shapes and sizes! She loves iced coffee, hammocks, and puppy-cuddling!

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  1. Sue Avatar

    My pup, Chelsea, died in my arms on Monday, 9/12, after a night of throwing up. She was blind, had brain cancer and heart disease and is in a much better place. I just miss her so much. I rescued her 10+ years ago and she lived in four different locations with me.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, Sue.
      We’re so sorry to hear about Chelsea’s passing, but we’re glad she isn’t suffering any more.
      Please take care of yourself during this difficult time — we wish you all the best.

  2. shoshin Avatar

    my dog is dying and all i can do is watch her waste away. my financial resources are in complete disarray due to my own medical issues and recent job loss.

    she just turned one a few weeks ago, and was a shelter/rescue – the most adorable german shepherd in the world – in my world. she was three months’ old when we found each other. i sat outside her kennel to comfort her at the shelter right after her intake, afraid yet stoic. i was was able to watch her spay surgery and was there so she could wake to a familiar face, her new family. i watched her grow into those big, outsized ears of hers. during that year, i taught her to sit, stay, heel, to greet others properly – and took her wherever the law allowed. she taught me how to take a proper walk, how to play in the tall grass, how to laugh. she taught me what unconditional love feels like.

    ten months feels like so much longer. i’m going to miss my sweet baby girl.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey there, shoshin.
      We’re so sorry to hear about your pooch. Please take care of yourself during this difficult time and be sure to check out some of the other resources shared in the article — they’ve proven helpful for some of our other readers.

    2. Angelina Avatar

      Hi. I’m so sorry for the loss of your dog.! Hope you get better!

      Dog loss

  3. kendall Avatar

    my dog Tori died in August, but i miss her so much. She grew up with me and was always by my side. We have another dog, but there will always be a hole in my heart where she was. She died when she was 14 and as a German Shepherd she lived a long life. The vet said she had a tumor in her liver and we didn’t want to put her through a painful sugery at such a old age. I was at basketball camp at the time and my mom called a told me and my brother. All i remember was crying in my grandpa’s car. We buried her in our backyard next to our old dog, Tucker. I was 11 at the time so it was very hard. Even to this day I sit awake at night and cry.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      We’re so sorry to hear about Tori’s passing, Kendall. And yes — the loss of a beloved pooch can make a permanent mark on your heart, but it does get better with time (a little, anyway).
      Thanks for sharing your experiences with us.

  4. emilie Avatar

    I had to put down my shih tzu a few days ago and it was one of the hardest decisions I have ever had to make in my life. I got him from work and he was having trouble breathing and he had stopped eating and drinking. He would barely stand or show any emotion at all. When I left for work that morning he was fine and normal so when I got back I was very concerned and surprised at his behavior. I brought him to the vet to just be sure nothing severe was happening. I really did not think he was in as much trouble as he actually was. He was only a year and a half and had never had any problems before. The vet told us he had blood in his chest and his oxygen levels were very low and he wouldn’t make it through the night unless we hospitalized him but that would cost $3500 and then more money to find out what was wrong with him and cure him. I had already spent 1000$ on him that night and I am a 20 year old college student so I did not have much money. The doctor said Boogie (my dog) was in serve condition and I had to either be all out or all in financially and I simply did not have the money to give him the help he needed. They said if I took him home he would have most likely suffocated in his sleep and been very uncomfortable so I had to decide to put him down. I got to hold him and let him and tell him how much i love him as they injected him. I know he didn’t feel any pain but I hate that I had to make that decision. He was just a baby and he was my very best friend and I miss him so much. He was literally the most perfect dog I could have ever asked for. I feel so guilty for not being able financially provide for him and I’m struggling with whether or not I made the right decision. I am so lonely without him and the world is not as bright as it was when he was here.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      What a devastatingly heartbreaking story, Emilie! We’re so incredibly sorry about your pooch.

      First of all, please check out our article about dealing with the loss of a pet (as well as some of the other resources linked in that article). It won’t magically make all of the pain go away, but we do hope it’ll help some.

      It’s always hard to lose a beloved dog, and the fact that finances played a role only makes things more difficult. Combine that with the sudden nature of Boogie’s passing, and there’s no wonder you’re hurting so much.

      But try to take some solace in the fact that you did everything you possibly could!

      Several thousand dollars is a lot of money for anyone — let alone a young student. For that matter, it sounds like Boogie just ended up being a victim of incredibly bad luck — you didn’t do anything to cause his passing. Even if you’d been in a position to pay for the vet to do a complete workup, it may not have yielded any definitive answers or changed the ultimate outcome.

      But as it stands, he got to be with his mom during his final moments, and he was comfortable as he left.

      We’re sending out digital hugs your way. Be sure to let yourself grieve appropriately and reach out for help if you need it.

    2. Jeannie Avatar

      Hi Emilie

      My deepest condolences for your loss. I know all too well the pain of losing a beloved dog, very best friend, companion, and family member so suddenly. It is bad enough to have time to process the fact that we will lose our fur baby soon: it is overwhelming to lose them so unexpectedly. Please know that you are not alone to have experienced such a fate. We never know how long we are granted the honor and privilege to have our fur babies with us here on earth. Every day, they are a joy and a blessing; yet, offer so much unconditional love without asking nothing in return.

      Sometimes a tough decision must be made: common sense and what is best for Boogie vs. paying a lot of money to determine what is wrong, then the decision on what to do, along with the questions: “Can Boogie be completely healed 100%?” With as sick as he suddenly became, no one would know for sure if he would have totally recovered or would it only delay the inevitable? Additionally, would Boogie still be in great discomfort afterwards? Would he have had long term side effects? Dogs are very intelligent; much more so than what most humans give them credit. Boogie knew there was something wrong with him and he trusted you to do right by him. I totally believe you made the best decision for Boogie.

      Don’t over analyze or question “Why and how did this happen so suddenly?” or “Were there signs you missed?. Do not beat up yourself over this. Dogs can suddenly get sick without any warning signs only to receive a grim diagnosis by the Vet. It happens; not often, but it does happen.

      The hardest thing a Pet Parent has to do, by far, is to know when to let their fur baby cross over the Rainbow Bridge. You displayed your selfless, true and ultimate love for Boogie. You were with him when it mattered the most and when he trusted you to do the best for him! Boogie sounds like he was a very special boy. The love you have for Boogie will never end; nor will his love for you.

      When our fur babies get sick, they are the most important life in our life. They matter most how do they really feel, what are they going through. It is after losing our beloved fur babies, we begin to feel the reality of our own emotions. We are the ones who bear the feeling of our heart exploding into a million pieces, feeling lost without them, the void that is now in our life and wondering how to get to the next day without them by our side. You need to take time to grieve. It is perfectly normal and okay to smile one moment while thinking of the fun times you shared with Boogie, then cry the next because you miss him. It is all part of the grieving process. Don’t let anyone tell you different. You need time for you. Remembering all the wonderful moments you had with Boogie, his antics that made you laugh and smile will help you to move forward. Emilie, you will be able to smile again.

      Take comfort that you did the right thing for Boogie; he is pain free and no longer fills any discomfort. He came to know what it was like to be in a loving, caring, protective, happy family. Take comfort in the incredible life you provided for him and one in which he enjoyed with you.

      Keep yourself busy doing chores around your living quarters, working, preparing for your next college semester, or read a book to escape (if you like to read) or in any hobbies you may have. As you journey through life, you will always carry Boogie deep in your heart.

      Take one day at a time, one hour at a time, one moment at a time, and sometimes you will need to just remember to breathe…

      1. Ben Team Avatar

        Well said, Jeannie. Well, said.

  5. Lizette Brockland Avatar
    Lizette Brockland

    Thank you so much.

  6. Lizette Brockland Avatar
    Lizette Brockland

    We lost our beautiful baby girl yesterday. She was a part of our family for 16 years. Daphne, our Westie, had stopped eating, was very restless (especially in the middle of the night), was stumbling, was having trouble breathing, and stopped enjoying the things that she loved to do (like chasing lizards and pulling possums out of the bushes). Things took a sharp, quick turn for the worse yesterday. She was making a strange gurgling sound and her eyes seemed to have developed some kind of eye infection. My husband did not hesitate. He called the vet and made the appointment that I had been dreading for days. He gave me a call and I abruptly said goodbye to my students on Zoom. I proceeded to meet him at the vet’s office. My oldest, age 22, met us there. Thankfully, he was already on his way home from work and knew that he could make it in time. I am grateful that my youngest, age 20, was home and was able to accompany my husband on that dismal drive.

    When it was time, my boys chose to be with Daphne until her last breath. As a mom, I needed to be there, not only for our little girl, but for my boys. The mother hen in me could not let them go through this alone. My husband chose to say goodbye beforehand (totally understandable). I was surprised at how quickly and peacefully Daphne went. It still breaks my heart to see that last, tiny little bit of spunk dissipate, but I did feel peace. Anguish came next. Tears. Pain. Hurt. Lots of hurt. More tears. As I write this comment, I can barely see the monitor. I have not felt this kind of pain in a great deal of years. I do not know when it will end, but I am hoping that it will get better over time. Will it? For now, I am allowing myself to grieve in whatever way possible- crying (lots of that), screaming, reading, writing, and praying (I hope God is listening).

    Lastly, today I reached out to the breeder whom we bought Daphne from back in 2005. I asked her about Daphne’s two sisters. Daphne was the sole survivor of the litter. She told me it was rare for a Westie to live that long and that she did so because of the wonderful care that we provided her throughout the years. Her words brought me incredible comfort. They felt like I had stuck gold.

    I have found writing to be very therapeutic. So, thank you for allowing a space on your website for grieving pet parents to express themselves. Right about now, I feel a “wee” bit better. Tears are coming in waves, but for now, I will take that little bit of feeling better and will roll with it- even if it only lasts a few minutes.

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      We’re so sorry to hear about Daphne, Lizette.
      Most of our team here has been through what you’re going through, so we completely sympathize. A while back, I lost a furry family member of 14 years, so I know exactly how you feel.

      Let yourself grieve — it’s an important part of the process. But, it will get better. Sometime in the not-too-distant future, your first thoughts about your little gal will be about her chasing lizards and snuggling on the couch, rather than the events of the last few days.

      We’re really glad that you’ve found it helpful to share your thoughts (and encourage any other readers in similar circumstances do the same if it helps them).

      Hang in there, lean on your family (and vice versa), and don’t hesitate to speak with a grief counselor if you think it will help.
      Sending digital hugs your way!

  7. Sandy Avatar

    I lost my little boy Drew 2 weeks ago today. Drew was a 15 year old Pom all 4 pounds of him. I’m having a hard time letting go of the last couple days of his life I feel with and selfish. I had to babysit grand kids and wasn’t home except for have the day and the day before he died I had to wash his sweater and put another one on him that wasn’t very warm and forgot to change it before bedtime. My husband & I have been sleeping on floor with him months and that night Drew was sleeping on floor in familyroom by my husband whom was on couch. I seen him asleep and just left him there and actually got in my bed and allowed ,2 of my other dogs who haven’t slept with me in over a year to come to bed with me. I feel so guilty like I was lazy or ignored. He was grumpy if you changed his shirt or disturbing his rest so I just left him one. I’m having a hard time fogi kng myself.
    Thanks for your advice it was helpful. I’m broken hearted and miss Drrewsandy

    1. Ben Team Avatar

      Hey, Sandy. Sorry to hear about Drew, but we thank you for sharing your story.

      Please don’t beat yourself up over this — it doesn’t sound like you did anything wrong at all!
      In fact, it sounds to us like you loved Drew deeply and gave him a long, wonderful life.

      I have lost a beloved dog before (I still miss you, Mocha), as have many of the other members of the K9 of Mine team. It is incredibly difficult, but the pain will subside a lot over time.
      Try to focus on the good times the two of you shared, and — on behalf of Drew — we thank you for being such a good dog mom for so many years.

      Best wishes.

  8. Michael Avatar

    There is a chance of not recovering sometimes, although your beloved pet can be replaced. the memories and your bonding together will never be the same. i never get a chance to have a new pet anymore, it is so sad to lost a pet again and again, i hope my dear bella is happy now wherever she is right now.

  9. Zane Mills Avatar

    I recently lost 2 dog’s 9 days apart , one had cancer & arthritis, we had to put her asleep, although she was old, it’s very very heartbreaking,9 days later we lost our black lab, he died from a broken heart . My two dogs loved each other very much, they were inseparable, they are together again . It breaks my wife’s heart & mine also . We think of them everyday with alot sadness. I will be glad when I die so I can be with them again someday.

  10. J. Sherlock Avatar
    J. Sherlock

    I am 72 and know how all of you feel as I have lost 15 fur babies in my life time and each one was harder then the last. I feel your pain and heartache as we speak. I lost My beautiful little Daisy Alana ( A apricot toy poodle that turned the most beautiful blonde color you ever seen) almost 2 years ago on 3/14/17, she was 14 years old. She was the greatest joy of my life. She totally quit eating after her sister (Gidget) passed away so I spoon fed her baby food the rest of her life. She was the picture of health most of her life but her last two years were hard. She got cataracts and also some how scratched the top of her eye ball off and ended up blind in that eye even though it healed and they didn’t have to remove her eye. She also hurt her back and could’t walk periodically, so I put her in diapers and carried her in a baby sling 24/7 for the last year and a half of her life. She also got to where she couldn’t hold her head up and the Dr. said she had a brain tumor so we had to let go and stop her pain and struggling. I am so totally lost without her and I miss her bad . My husband even went from Ga to KY to get another one that looks just like her and acts like her I still brake down crying all the time. She was the best dog ever, everyone said she acted just like a real baby. Everybody loved her and took pictures of her…she truly was a local celebrity…and they still ask how i’m doing and I just shake my head and say it’s still hard and show them pictures of little Mia Ohana my new baby. Pour little Mia has some really big shoes to fill and she working on it.
    So yes I know your pain and it’s going to take time . I read the pet loss poems and It’s like they took the words out of my mouth, it’s as if they knew Daisy …so I enjoy those even if I do end up teary eyed. I also find comfort in knowing shes not hurting any more. I’d love to have her back but not at her expense.
    If you want to hear a beautiful song go to you tube and put in (I’ll See You Again) by Westlife. It’s Beautiful, just listen to the words…it will make you feel good. Thanks for listening….I hope it helps. J. Sherlock

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Thank you for sharing your story J. Sherlock. A lot of us have known a similar pain – we’re all here for you!

  11. Kaley Avatar

    Yesterday my dog Maddie died. All I’ve done since then is cry and cry and cry. I don’t know if I’ll ever get over her death.

  12. Amirha Avatar

    My handsome little boy, Ellis passed away last night. I cant put the feelings in to words but its definitely hard to deal with right now. He was a short haired blue Russian cat and he was SOOOOO sweet. I got him thru a failed relationship and I believe I was meant to meet my ex in order to meet the true love of my life, Ellis. He always purred and loudly. I could always call out his name and he would respond by purring loud enough where I could hear him. He was there for me during some rough times, we had a very strong bond. I would hum and sing to him and I could tell he enjoyed the vibration from my voice. God, I miss him so much. He was previously diagnosed w/congestive heart failure but as it the weeks went by, he’s breathing became supre labored. He started losing weight, but still maintained an appetite so I thought he was getting better. Till one night after work, I came home to him having difficulty breathing and refusing to take his meds. I rushed him to the emergency vet but by the time they put him in the oxygen tank, he was too far gone. I never cried so hard and for so long in my life. I know it’ll take time to grieve, but I want to stop crying and stop replaying his last moments in my head. I hope he had a good 16 years (esp. his last 7 spent with me) and I’ll miss his beautiful face and sweet disposition eveyday that he’s gone.
    R.I.P. Ellis.
    The best kitty a girl could ever ask for.

  13. Isabella Avatar

    Today we decided it was time for Alfonso to go to heaven. He was in such a pain, he had leucemia.
    Near our home we have a little forest, that’s were we found him, lost, almost 5 years ago.
    Today we burried him there, it was sad and poetic at the same time. And it was painful cover his head with earth..
    Thank you for your tips.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      So sorry for your loss Isabella. It’s heartbreaking to lose a pet. No doubt Alfonso is thankful for the time he had with you, filled with love.

    2. Kathy Barber Avatar
      Kathy Barber

      I felt the same when we put my Saint Bernard Max into the ground. My mother uttered the most comforting words, “He’s in the arms of Mother Earth”. Think about it – and God Bless.

  14. Christopher Watkins Avatar
    Christopher Watkins

    My wife and I lost our lovely little dog, Lily yesterday. She was a beagle mix (possibly a yellow lab). We got her from the pound when she was 2 years old. She was a very scared dog. We noticed all the other dogs came to the front of the cages except one. She retreated to the back of her cage when we came near. Then as we passed by she’d come to the front of her cage. We turned around and she retreated to the back again. So we asked for her as we knew something bad must have happened to her. We found out her previous owners left her chained up in the backyard and had moved. She had a big scar on her belly as they said there was a lot of junk in the backyard. Her ears were all ate up from flies. They brought her into a room and as soon as we walked in she peed and shook violently.

    We took her home and brought her inside and she was a whole different dog! She ran around the house and just looked so happy.

    We had her for 11 years and she bounced like a bunny when off her leash. She never chewed anything, rarely barked, and loved to just sit with you.

    We had her prior to enlisting in the Army. She went with us for every move (served 6 years). And she was with us when I was medically retired.

    Lately, she’d wake my wife up every morning at 8:30 am and they’d go outside for a walk. She’d put her little paws up on the bed and just look like she was so happy!

    My wife took her to the park and back. Yesterday, a pit bull was roaming the neighborhood with her pups. My wife was taking Lily home so she crossed the street to just avoid the pit bull. Lily never even noticed her nor growled or even snipped at her. Yet, the pit bull took notice of her and came after them. My wife tried to get home as quickly as she could but it bit Lily and wouldn’t let her go. My wife tried to separate them and got bit a couple of time and scratched several times. It just had Lily in her mouth and violently shook her. My wife said there was so much blood all over her neck and chest. When neighbors came out one managed to get Lily but the pit bull jumped on him and he dropped her. It but her again and shook her violently. Then it sat in front of her, guarding her to prevent access to her and she died without my wife being able to even comfort her in her last moments.

    Lily had been getting older so she slept in longer. I didn’t pet her yesterday and never thought she wouldn’t be home waiting for me.

    She was 13 years old but still had so much energy! She chased several bunnies on our nightly walks but never caught them. I’d slap my legs and call to her she’d run circles around me (big ones) about 4-5 times before we’d go back inside. She bounced like a bunny and bit snow for touching her face. I don’t think she ever understood what snow was!

  15. Ευγενία Πανοπούλου Avatar

    I lost my baby 10 days ago…. he was a mixed maltez 13.5 years old… suffering from his heart and kidneys failure… his veterian and I did everything we could to give him more life… but his heart betrayed him… I refuse to accept that I will not see him again, I will not go walks with him, I will not kiss him… I had him since he was a 40 days old puppy, we went everywher together ! did he love me ? I do not know if it was love when he always wanted to be near me, even when I had to go to the bathroom ! he used to follow me , pushing the door and sitting by my feet. He could undestand many words and phrases , so I always was saying him “Mommy goes out to bring food, I will come back soon” so he was calm waiting for me…. And now I do not know how to cope with his loss…. I want him back , I want time to go back, I think that all this is a nightmare… He died peacefully while he was sleeping among my feet on the sofa… I have his beloved body in my garden and every morning I say ‘good morning” and every night ‘good night my love” … I do not want to forget him, I do not want time to make me feel less pain, because I think that this will mean I have forgotten him…

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Hang in there, it gets easier, I promise. So sorry for your loss.

  16. Robin Avatar

    It’s been 7months..I cry like it was yesterday…I closed my dog grooming
    Business of 24 yrs…my heart is not
    In it anymore.

  17. Erica Avatar

    This was helpful, I’m grasping onto anything that will help. I just lost my sweet Boston, Tux, in June 4th. He just turned 10 and suffered from seizures. I would do anything to have him back. I’m still waiting for his ashes so I can finally bring him home.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      So sorry for your loss Erica. Hang in there, it gets better.

  18. Margaret Avatar

    Thanks for all the advice.

  19. Linda Lopez Avatar
    Linda Lopez

    I just lost 2 doxies. Spikey was 17 he had a seizure for no reason and then gone the next day. His mother Heidi died 5 months later, she was 19 an 4 months old. She was my everything and her son was my life. I miss them so much. Thank you for this article

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Sorry for your loss Linda – glad we can help.

  20. Elena Avatar

    We just made the excruciating decision to put our dog to sleep after he experienced incurable liver cancer. We are simply devastated and perhaps a bit traumatized. We’ve been reminiscing through old photos and videos. To know he is no longer hurting gives some solace. We are desperately hurting with so much love left to give him. Time will be the only real help here.

  21. Muriel Avatar

    Many thanks for the advice. Very helpful to ease the pain of losing a pet! ❤❤

  22. M Avatar

    you share and speak of dogs, what about those of us who had kitties? We hurt and are in pain to.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      This site is dedicated to dog ownership and dog care. But I’m sure you can find plenty of other similar websites that focus on cats!

  23. Kay Avatar

    I lost my sweet 12.5 year old Barney to cancer Jan 5th, and cry every day when I enter the bedroom at night. He was always on the bed waiting for me. I also feel pain when he isn’t at the door when I come home. As a retired single woman, he was my partner & confidante… now I talk to the fish (not the same). It seems like my life has turned into a sad country song. I do plan on rescuing another dog, but I’m not sure when the time is right for that. Helping out with my neighbor’s new puppy helps. Hoping my depressed state will dissipate in time.

  24. Carrie Avatar

    Thank you for writing this. You have no idea how badly I needed to hear this right now. I lost my Jeff in January and I have been struggling so badly. So sorry for the loss of your sweet baby .

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Glad our words could help Carrie. Hang in there – I know how much it hurts. Jeff was a lucky boy to have an owner who cared for him so much.

  25. Eva Miller Avatar
    Eva Miller

    I had my Cookie minature poodle for 18 years. 18 best years of my life. He went to heaven April 30, 2017 it is so so hard, I am devasted and lost, it hurts so bad. I had his ashes blessed by the Catholic Priest at church than brought him home. Having his ashes home with me is comforting to me. I truely lost my best friend.

  26. Courtney Bullaboy Avatar
    Courtney Bullaboy

    Your article on dealing with grief after losing a beloved pet reassures me that what I feel is okay. I had to put my min pin, Iris, down after she was suddenly taken ill with organ failure from pancreatitis. I was able to hold her while she was eased out of her pain, and it was the most difficult experience of my life. Focusing on the good times has helped me. I will start to cry when my family and I reminisce about Iris, but it’s healing to feel the love and joy she brought us. Thank you from my heart.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      So glad we could provide some consultation Courtney. Hang in there.

  27. Norliza Noordin Avatar
    Norliza Noordin

    I lost a Black Cat 5 months old (16 Mac 2017). Last Sunday 9 April I lost her Sister ShaSha
    due to injury when she and her siblings and Mother when outside. I bring home and ShaSha (about same age with Black) died in my arms the next day which is really really sad for me because ShaSha is a very good Cat & Shy (fragile). I lost controlled of myself that day and keep crying. Her sister ZaZa and her mother (Ibunda) came to the box and as if they know its ShaSha and try to look inside even though it has been sealed. My heart cried watching their reaction. I’m really emotionally attached to these Cats. We just knew about 3 months. These are the wild cats which I bumped into with their Mother when they are 2 months old, leaving under the Cars. I took them back home one day after seeing them wet after heavy rains for that particular week. I nurture and provide food every day (kitten 5 cats & a Mother). Due to flea, Black didnt make it after I gave him a bath, suddenly he became quiet I knew something is not right. I bring to the Pet care and the doctor said that her temperature had dropped down from 38 to 34. The doctor try to help by giving water and antibiotic but in the afternoon got a called Black had passed away. I cried unstoppable after receiving the Doctor’s call. I blamed myself for this incident. Later I buried her and cried for many many days. I told the Mother and other siblings and one of her brother Didi Boy put his paw in my face and said something soft (cat’s language). I cried and kiss him.

    They are really shy cat, polite and afraid of human being. The 5 cats always followed their Mother, their mother always protect her kittens & loved them (you can see she kissing and licking her kittens).

    Question: How do I overcome my grief due to the real story i mentioned above. Appreciate if you could HELP me as I’m a soft person. Borned 28 September 1968 (Horoscope: Libra). Always gives Loves More… than I love myself.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      Really Norliza, at least for me, time was what I needed most to heal. Just remember the good times, pray that your pet is at peace (if you believe in a higher power), and give yourself time and space to heal.

  28. Sarah Avatar

    Thank you for this. Yesterday we had to say goodbye to our 19 year old Lhasa Apso, Suki. I’m trying to remember the good times and all the vibrant Years she had, but my mind keeps wondering to those last moments leading up to her death, when she was small and vulnerable and lying in my arms helplessly. I hope I can get past this and think about the 19 good years she had and not the difficult last few days. Really appreciate your post, as this feels heartbreakingly painful, she was with me through all the stages of my life from elementary to grad school. It’s good too know I’m not alone and hear that it will get better…

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      So sorry Sarah. It will get better, I promise. Just hang in there and try to surround yourself with other dog lovers who understand.

  29. Andrew Avatar

    Today we sent our 17yr old Hercules to Heaven and it was the hardest decision I have ever had to make. He was not only my best friend but also my first son. I will always remember him.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      So sorry Andrew. It sounds like you gave Hercules a loving and good long life. Hang in there!

  30. Gina Avatar

    I just lost my best friend, Bella. I wonder if I will ever be the same. Thank you.

    1. Meg Marrs Avatar

      So sorry for your loss Gina.

  31. jan Avatar

    Good suggestions. It might be better to get a new dog of a very different breed so you are not always comparing.

  32. Elaine Avatar

    It’s never easy losing a pet and you’re right, time is a great healer. Your number 1 tip is so important too. Having someone who can relate really helps.

    You have some wonderful articles on your blog and I’m so happy to nominate you for the Liebster Award. My latest blog post has more details if you decide to accept the award. I hope that you do, it’s been a lot of fun to participate! 🙂

    1. Meghan Avatar

      Thanks so much for nominating me Elaine! This sounds like a ton of fun and I’m excited to participate!

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