Pet bereavment, so worried & guilty.

Old 09-09-2006, 05:00 AM
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Pet bereavment, so worried & guilty.

Hi all
Ok, this isn't a human that has died, but never the less a family member that we spent 14 years with & was like a human.

There is lots of guilt on within my mum, like if me & my dad had done something earlier, our terrier dog Lucy would still be here.
She was old & slowing down & going deaf & was all part of getting old, not eating much too, doing strange things.
Thursday, we went to vet & he gave her anti biotics & anti inflammatory pills, which she could take, we couldn't get them inside her.
We called the vet & he says he didn't realise she hadn't been eating as much as we told him & if she had took the pills, it would have been bad for the dog.

Early Friday morning at 3am, she started with seizures, her haead, arms & legs were all moving so fast & it was so hard to see. She was lathering at mouth & i was freaking out as i have anxiety.
We took her to vet & they sedated her & kept bringing her out of sedation every half hour for eight hours.
He said it was a lesion on brain or even tumor, hence deafness & her feelling & looking in pain.

The decision was made & we are all in shock, we miss her so much, her bed is still there, her water bowl, her treats, her spirit seems here, but my mum blames us that we should have gone to vets earlier & & is very depressed, her marriage isn't healthy & all she had was the dog.

I'm taking valium like sweets & we are all crying a lot.
I know guilt is a 1st step of loss & it seems it won't end. My life is on hold, i can't study or work. My mum is so depressed & has high blood pressure, my dad is 71 & i'm woried about him too as all the blame my mum is putting on him!
She treated the dog like a human, says she knew what she was saying etc & was trying to tell her something.

All life is ****, there's a big void & we're all in shock & it's killing our family, maybe literally.

I'm so scared
Please help

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Old 09-09-2006, 05:52 AM
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Oh Gary, I so know what it is like to loose a part of your family even a pet. I have had to go throught that twice and it hurts like hell. I think you are all going through the natural process of grieving......guilt and blame because you will always think what if.......

Read the posts on the forum and please think about how at peace your baby more pain......just running free and having fun

I am sure you have seen the post of rainbow bridge but I am going to post it here again.

Hugs to you and your family and I hope things get better....truly.

Rainbow Bridge

Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge.

When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge.
There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together.
There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable.

All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor; those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by.
The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind.

They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent; His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster.

You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart.

Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together....

Author unknown...

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Old 09-09-2006, 06:19 AM
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Thank you, i have read this before & it is happy, but makes me cry a lot whilst reading it!
Is she realy spiritualy up there on rainbow bridge, or just scattered ashes in a communal grave that the vet arranges.
I dunno.
When it comes to emotion, humans are the worst, i think dogs cry, & i saw her being carried away with terror in her eyes, my last vision of her, like she was saying help & goodbye.
I am sooo upset.

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Old 09-09-2006, 09:58 AM
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Hi there Gary,

I'm so sorry to hear about your Lucy. I've had many pets die, so I understand how it hurts, they really do become part of the family. What makes it so hard is that they don't understand about disease. If you give an animal medication or surgery that will make them feel better in the future they don't understand, they just suffer in the present. How do you explain to a pet that chemotherapy _might_ help them live longer? It's hard to explain it to humans.

You said you are taking medication for anxiety, I assume you have a Doctor prescribing those. Could you go talk with this Doctor about the pain you are feeling? Maybe have the doc see your whole family?

I'll be praying for you guys.

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Old 09-09-2006, 10:28 AM
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Thanks Mike
I know, like when the vet gave us pills to give her, we couldn't give them her, normally we cover them in butter or cream chesses & she's cool with that, not this time.

I bought a syringe & crushed them up, but she got nasty & nearly bit my dad.
Its obvious, but heartbreaking & frustrating that a dog can't get that we're doing all we can to help!

As you say, they don't understand disease, it's always made me wonder how dogs think, like we think in English with the minds eye, how does a dog do this.
I know they are creatures of habit & go with who cares for them & gives them a better life, but my mum gave all her love to that dog as she hadn't anyone else to love, thats why she's depressed.Alone, she feels.

I see a Psychiatrist that gives me lexaopro & valium, which the latter has helped during these times.
The way my mum thinks & i used to is a way that can't be changed. I've had counceling & changed my thought process slowly & i remember how my mum treated me, the same as Lucy.

We all loved her & will continue to forever.

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Old 09-09-2006, 10:30 AM
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Gary I believe she is there and I believe she is happy and out of pain. Would you have wanted her to suffer more? I dont think so. And I think when your family calms down a little bit, you will all realize what you did was best for Lucy.

I have experienced this with too babies of my own.......Max who was a collie/sheperd mix and Buster who was a yorkie. I cried and still cry at the thought they are gone. When my hubby passed on I thought of his reunion with our babies. I know they are all happy together and free of all the pain. I bet Lucy has introduced herself to them and they are all frolicing together having fun.

Please take care of yourself. You are in my thoughts and prayers.
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:36 AM
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Here is a site that deals with pet bereavement.......maybe it will answer some of your questions and perhaps calm a few of your fears.....I hope so.

Hugs to you!
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:45 AM
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It breaks my heart so much to lose a pet that after losing the last dog a few months ago I still can't bring myself to go get another one YET! But I know it'll happen.... cuz I heart those little doggies big time!
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Old 09-09-2006, 12:24 PM
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Hi all & thanks
I've talked to some pet bereavement support people here & they say knowing that you did the right thing & that nothing could have been done is important, then comes acceptance.
I know that it wasn't epilepsy, as she was seizuring for 7 hours after being brought around a fiew times to see if they had subsided & they hadn't.
Mamary tumors are connected to Brain ones & she has had them.
I know if we went earlier to the vet, they couldn't have operated on her brain, it would have been too dangerous.
I'm just upset by the fact that i saw her eyes looking at me in pain & heard her squeeling.
That hurt.

Debbie, i hope she's met Max & Buster & they will be frolicking together.

It's weird that those thought bringa tear & lump in throat & that happy thoughts like that & past times can create tears, both of happiness & sadness that i can't experience them again with her.

Regards & thoughts

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Old 09-09-2006, 07:41 PM
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Hi Gary,

My 2 kitties were killed this week and I'm going through the same guilt. I'm obsessing on the way they died and it's really hurting right now. I know that this is a stage of grief and the obsessing will pass. I think they were both killed by a coyote and I feel so bad that I couldn't protect them.

I am trying to redirect my thoughts to other things when I catch myself obsessing. I also try to think past their death and know that they are not in pain now. They are not afraid now. Then I try to cry a little to let some of the grief out.

You did everything you could have done to help her. You did the best you could with what you knew. It's hard when everyone in the family is grieving. It's hard to support each other when you are all in the same pain. Give it some time.

Huge hugs,
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Old 09-09-2006, 10:29 PM
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Loss and the Burden of Guilt

Even if there is no basis for it, we often feel guilty for what we did or didn't do to save a pet from a terminal illness or accidental death. We really do assume a god-like role in our pets' lives, taking complete responsibility for every aspect of their care. When something goes wrong, it's only natural that we feel responsible for that as well.
Guilt is a normal response to the perception that we've somehow failed in our duties and obligations or that we've done something wrong. It generates a whole mixture of feelings including shame, inadequacy, insecurity, failure, unworthiness, self-judgment, anxiety and fear of punishment.

If your pet is diagnosed with a terminal illness, you may feel guilty for not having noticed symptoms sooner. You may feel guilty about your decision to euthanize your pet, thinking you should have let your pet live longer. Conversely, you may feel guilty that you didn't euthanize your pet soon enough, thinking you were selfish in your unwillingness to let the animal go. If your pet was critically hurt or killed in an accident, you may feel guilty that you didn't foresee it or prevent it.

Know that guilt is a normal part of grieving. It's only human to dwell on the what if's and if only's: "If only I'd done something differently, this never would've happened." Yet it's probably safe to say that, when your pet's accident, illness or death occurred, whatever happened was not intentional on your part. You were doing the best you could and, given the information available to you at the time, you were doing what you normally would have done. Harsh as it may seem, consider that even if you had done things differently, your pet still could have died in some other way the very next day! Sometimes we act as if we can control the random hazards of existence, even when we know that death is a fact of life.

Healthy guilt allows us to own up to and learn from our mistakes. It gives us a chance to make amends, to do things differently next time, to come to a better understanding of ourselves, to forgive ourselves.

What You Can Do That Helps
If you find yourself saddled with guilt over the loss of your cherished companion animal, here are some things you can do to get relief:

Listen to the messages you give yourself (the should have's, could have's, and if only's), and realize the past is something you can do absolutely nothing about.

When guilty thoughts come to mind, disrupt them by telling yourself to stop thinking such thoughts. Say, "STOP!" firmly, and out loud if you need to.

Live the next day or next week of your life as if you were guilt-free, knowing you can return to your guilt feelings any time you wish. Pick a start time, and stop yourself whenever you make any guilt-related statements.

Write down your guilt-related statements, set a date, and pledge that from that day forward you won't say them to yourself anymore. Post them and read them every day.

If you believe in God or a higher power, consider what He or She has to say about forgiveness.

Participate in a pet grief support group - it's a powerful way to obtain forgiveness and absolution from others.

Be your own best friend. What would you have said to your best friend if this had happened to that person? Can you say the same to yourself?

Memorialize your pet so he or she won't be forgotten.

Have a visit with your lost pet - or have the lost pet write a letter to you. What would your pet say to you about the guilt and sadness you've been carrying around?

Ask what it would take for you to forgive yourself. Can you begin doing it?

Say out loud to yourself, "I forgive you." Say it several times a day.

Remember the good things you did in your relationship with your pet and all the loving care you gave. Write those things down, hold onto them and read them when you need to.

Channel your guilt into a worthwhile project. If you've learned a lesson from this loss, you may want to share your newfound knowledge with other pet owners, so that other animals won't meet with the same fate.

Copyright © 2003 - 2006 by Martha M. Tousley
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Old 09-10-2006, 05:41 AM
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MG i'm sorry for your los, as you say, i know how you feel & i empathise with you.
I'm worried about ythe state of my mum, she is the one that had nobody else to love as she is having partner difficulties, she gave all her love to the dog!

I have spoken to bluecross & Pet Samaritans & they reassured me that the symptoms were untreatable as my vet says.

There is such a void, something missing, a spirit in the house is gone & we're all in shock & disbelief.

The guilt, i don't have any realy, as i know that she is at peace & not hurting & at her age, she would have needed 24/7 sedation & that would have meant no life at all.

It's just that fragile human way of bursting into tears at any thought or vision that reminds us.

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Old 09-10-2006, 07:29 AM
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For you Gazmix, and for you, MG...I know the feeling of this loss. I have lived through several losses, but am just filled with love from the memories of those wonderful animals I had the honor of having in my life.

Peace and Prayers...
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Old 09-10-2006, 10:45 AM
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Thankyou Sungrace
My memories are the good ones, although the last time i saw her was painfull, i have photos of her i can't look at yet, but having an urn of ashes or grave to visit is something i couldn't handle!

I wonder why i don't mind visiting human relatives graves, but a dog that i love would bring out so much memories & emotion, i think it's because they, dogs, give a lot & take a little & rely on us & offer unconditional love.
I add attachment for you all to see, but is hard for me.
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Old 09-12-2006, 07:31 AM
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I'm sorry for the loss of your beautiful girl

I'm also a dog lover and have lost a few. It's so hard losing them, the price we pay for the gift of having them share our lives. I hope you can replace that last memory with all the good times you shared.

hugs and prayers ~

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Old 09-14-2006, 03:37 AM
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I too am so sorry for your loss, it's like losing one of the family. I recently lost my young goat Gertrude, she followed me like a dog, we eventually found out that she had been stung by a hornet and was allergic. I hope you and your family can pull together and grieve your loss.

hugs indigo
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Old 09-15-2006, 07:48 PM
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Gary, I am so sorry for your loss. As you have said, the unconditional love a dog gives to you is a truly special bond. I hope that in time the memories of the bond you shared with your dog will bring you comfort.
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Old 09-16-2006, 04:39 AM
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Thanks all
Time heals & she is still in my heart!
She always will be & i won't forget her.
I will get another companion, many people have rules as to what the best to do is, each individual!
Thankyou all for your help & support.
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Old 09-16-2006, 05:06 AM
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I feel ya...
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