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Jelo

Help me, I’m broken!

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My baby of 8 yrs whom We spolied and loved more than ourselves was attacked & killed by another dog while boarding in a kennel facility while me & hubby were on vacation.We have no kids and he is our life!There is a huge guilt on our part.What if we didn’t leave him, what if we didn’t go on vacation, all sorts of “what if.”We’re so broken that we both can’t sleep sincecwe found out  (12.22.18).We cry ourselves to sleep & wake up crying.We skipped the Christmas celebratiom as we’re both on bed and miserable.I myself can’t & won’t do anything.We haven’t gone back to work.I’ve been so depressed & can’t forgive myself!I’m still grieving for the death of my dear dad in Aug.And now this.. I can’t handle all the pain!So much emotions overwhelmed me.I don’t want to leave my bed as I can’t stand seeing the rest of the house especially our family room where he stayed for 8 yrs.We have our daily routine that haunts me every second.Please I need advice & help! Thanks! 

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My heart reaches out to you in your pain, my dear, and I'm so sorry to read your tragic story. And for it to happen at this particular time of year ~ how horrible for both of you. You've asked for advice and help, and the best advice I can give you is to allow yourselves time to mourn this traumatic loss. By that, I don't mean to endorse the common cliche that time heals all wounds. The passage of time does nothing to heal grief; what matters is what we do with the time. Knowing what is normal in grief enables us to better understand why we're feeling as we are, and gives us some tools for managing it. Being with others whose losses are similar to our own helps us to feel less isolated, crazy and alone. You've taken the first step by becoming a member of this forum, where you will meet other animal lovers suffering similar losses: kindred spirits who understand and respect the bond we have with our fur babies and know first-hand the pain that comes when we lose our cherished companions. So I encourage you to do some reading, both in the threads that you'll find posted by right here in this forum and in some of the articles you'll find listed below.

Pet Loss: Coping with the Trauma of An Unexpected Death

Pet Loss: Why Does It Hurt So Much?

Finding Support for Pet Loss

Pet Loss: When Guilt Goes Unresolved

A Bill of Rights for Grieving Animal Lovers

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Thank you Marty!I don’t know how to function & move around at home.Non stop crying when I’m home.I see him in all areas of the house.He is the king in the house.He owns it.We kept his things in 2 huge boxes- that’s how much things he has for such a small puppy - 17 lbs shihtzu.Please, anybtips and advice on hiw to cope with daily life esp when were home is much appreciated! 

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Jelo,

I am so sorry!  Losing a dog we love is one of the hardest losses one can go through, IMO.  We get so

close to them, they love us unconditionally, and our relationship is so close since we interact daily and live together.  I know I feel that way, I've gone through many losses and I dread the day I'll lost my Arlie or Kitty, both of whom are elderly.  But to lose one due to trauma is especially hard.  

When we are suffering a fresh loss, in the beginning it feels we can't live without them and don't know where to start...I felt that way when I lost my husband unexpectedly.  There's no manual that says how to do this because grief is individual and what help one may not another.  Our relationships are unique, and so is our grief...but there are also commonalities.  Any pet lover who read your post would immediately feel instant pain on your behalf.  We've been through it.

I have found it does help to get your feelings out, to know you are heard and understood, and that's what you are doing by coming here and writing...and we are here listening to your heart's cry.  Shed your tears, feel your pain, allow yourself to grieve...there's only one way through it and that's straight through it, pain and all.  If there was a way to circumvent grief, I'd have found it by now.  

Guilt seems to be a part of grief, all of the "what ifs" and "if onlys" ...it's as if we're trying to find a different outcome, only there is only one outcome, and that's the one that happened.  We didn't get magical foresight that this could happen.  We weren't privy to knowing the future and having the option of doing anything differently.  We love our dogs and would do anything we could for them...we just don't know what we don't know.  That doesn't make us guilty of anything or bad parents!  I won't try to talk you out of your guilt, we feel what we feel, but it's good to understand what it is, what it isn't.

In addition to the articles Marty has shared with you, I want to leave you with a couple more that put into words much better than I could attempt to.  Sending you hugs and hopes for peace to come.

http://media.wix.com/ugd/0dd4a5_e934e7f92d104d31bcb334d6c6d63974.pdf

http://www.pet-loss.net/guilt.shtml

Your little one know you love him and is not in pain.  He is free from what happened and in a good place...he'll be there when your time comes to reunite with him...I hope this video brings you some comfort.

 

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Thank you,Kayc!I appreciate everything you said.You read my mind, heart, & soul. This has helped me a lot.I will do my best to follow all those tips/advices. Me & husband are in the process of looking fir a new baby- we want exactly like him- We don’t know if this is a good decision- to get one right away or to look for one exactly like him.We read a few articles to not do any of this.What do you guys think? My sister also has a shihtzu -whom my baby hates so much bec he is the jealous type & he doesn’t want any other in the house but him. Our baby is very protective of us & everytime we bring my sidter’s puppy in the house, he acts weird & obviously he doesn’t like him in the house. We borrowed him one night on Christnas Eve just so we can fill in the emptiness of the house & our feelings.It wasn’t 100% happiness - I kept camparing him to our baby; There was huge guilt while holding him; I was constantly apologizing to my bany for caring for the pup; I was crying on & off the whole time the puppy was with us... I had mixed unexplained emotions.I don’t know if it was a good decision. Hubby is thinking of borrowing the puppy again & sister was offering her puppy if we feel the need to have him for sometime.What do guys you think?Thank you all for your time & advice! 

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35 minutes ago, Jelo said:

It wasn’t 100% happiness - I kept camparing him to our baby; There was huge guilt while holding him; I was constantly apologizing to my bany for caring for the pup; I was crying on & off the whole time the puppy was with us... I had mixed unexplained emotions.I don’t know if it was a good decision.

There is so much "trial and error" as you make your way through grief, and the only way to know what helps or hurts is to give it a try, and always leave an "out" for yourselves if what you're trying isn't working. That's why it's a good idea to do what you're doing with your sister's pup ~ "borrowing" him for a limited period of time to see how it feels for both of you, and if it gets to be too much, you know that you can ask your sister to take her pup back home.

There simply is no "right" or "wrong" way to "do" grief ~ it's different for every one of us, and it will be different in some ways for you and your husband too. Be patient with each other; the key is to communicate openly and honestly with each other as you go through this. As for getting another fur baby of your own ~ that, too, is very much an individual decision. I always suggest that you wait until you both feel ready, willing and able to love the new pup for him- or herself, without comparing to the one who has died. That just isn't fair to the new pup, who needs and deserves to be loved as the individual that he or she is. (I don't mean to suggest that you shouldn't get another shihtzu ~ If you love that breed and all its inborn characteristics, that is fine. Nothing wrong with that.)

Just be very honest with yourselves about this. Some folks believe that the very best thing you can do is to get another pup right away. Others find that just impossible to do, as they feel the need to "finish" with the one who died before they feel ready to open their hearts and homes to a new fur baby. Just know this: the human heart is remarkable in its ability to expand, and we humans are fully capable of opening our hearts enough to love another pup without forgetting the one who has died. It's just a matter of knowing if and when you feel ready. Grief does not have a time table; asking how long it lasts is like asking how high is up. It takes as long as it takes, and when you feel really ready to bring another pup into your lives, you will know it.

As I said earlier, give yourselves time enough to mourn this loss ~ and if you're not sure what the work of mourning entails, you may find this helpful: Bereavement: Doing the Work of Grief ♥️

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@Jelo  You can get another puppy as soon as you want, or take your time, it's really up to you.  The only thing I caution you about is not to expect it to be a clone of your other one, they all have different personalities and a lot of times you don't fully know what they're like until you start living with them...just be sure to give it a chance, to love it for who it is, not expect it to be the same.  The dog I have now is the polar opposite of my previous dog and I love him more than anything in the world.  I look back at my previous one and appreciate her for who she was.  She was graceful, delicate, ran 45 mph, completely trained and obedient, and scared of everything.  Arlie is a boy, not graceful, he's huge, he's very self assured, goofy, has a mind of his own, quiet, does the Husky talk, and I couldn't adore him more.  He's also the first dog I've had to keep leashed or fenced or he'd run off...not too far, just out of arms length, he likes the power of choice.  They're so different!  He's also a self-appointed watch dog.

If you're looking to fill a void and have someone to interact with, get to know, love, then it's fine to start looking...there are no rules about it!  You will continue to mourn the loss of your dog regardless, but it could help fill something within you too.

This is a painful time, and at Christmas, that just seems to magnify it all the more!  Do keep us posted!  (((hugs)))

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On 12/26/2018 at 11:04 AM, MartyT said:

My heart reaches out to you in your pain, my dear, and I'm so sorry to read your tragic story. And for it to happen at this particular time of year ~ how horrible for both of you. You've asked for advice and help, and the best advice I can give you is to allow yourselves time to mourn this traumatic loss. By that, I don't mean to endorse the common cliche that time heals all wounds. The passage of time does nothing to heal grief; what matters is what we do with the time. Knowing what is normal in grief enables us to better understand why we're feeling as we are, and gives us some tools for managing it. Being with others whose losses are similar to our own helps us to feel less isolated, crazy and alone. You've taken the first step by becoming a member of this forum, where you will meet other animal lovers suffering similar losses: kindred spirits who understand and respect the bond we have with our fur babies and know first-hand the pain that comes when we lose our cherished companions. So I encourage you to do some reading, both in the threads that you'll find posted by right here in this forum and in some of the articles you'll find listed below.

Pet Loss: Coping with the Trauma of An Unexpected Death

Pet Loss: Why Does It Hurt So Much?

Finding Support for Pet Loss

Pet Loss: When Guilt Goes Unresolved

A Bill of Rights for Grieving Animal Lovers

Great articles, Marty, also the other one too!

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Thank you so much!!!Yes, we’re looking for one now.We need someone to receive the love & time we have.The silence & emptiness at home is killing us.We haven’t been back to wrk yet & we’re planning to be back nxt week & I’m so scared to go on the “normal routine and schedule” without my baby. His ashes will be home anytime & that’s another big fear I have.I don’t know how I’ll take that moment. I almost passed out when I found out his death & hysterical from day 1.I’m dreading that day! I know all negative emotions I had from day 1 will come back, maybe worse & then I’ll go through the same ordeal & scared that I’ll be worse tgan today.We want one right away.I know I’m rushing.  I’m guilty of looking for a clone & hubby just wants the same breed & male pup about the same age( 2 mos) when we got our 1st baby. Been searching for sites in our state for male pup shih tzus.We both want one asap.

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I pray you will feel relieved to have his ashes back with you, that it will bring you some comfort.  I know it can make it feel all the more real, so I hope it doesn't set you back, but I also know that all of this is part of the grief process.  You will make it through this.  I'm glad you and your husband have each other to go through this with, it can be terribly hard alone.  I hope you find your new addition to your household, soon.

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We’eevwaiting for his ashes anytime this week.I’m dreading that moment.. that call!I know I’ll be back from scratch.There are less & shorter crying times now.The family room & garage are trigger areas as those are his areas.His scent lingers.We’re thinking of changing the sofa & carpet, the house layout so it’ll be “easier” to avoid the triggers.I don’t know if this is the right move now.No luck in finding a new baby yet. We terrbily miss our routines & everytime we come home we break down as no one is welcoming us anymore.The silence in the house is killing us so we leave the radio on. We still talk to him & few of his favorite things we left visible in the family room. I don’t kjow if doing this is making things worse- maybe we should hide them with the rest of his things??? I don’t know.Last night I cried myself to sleep.Husband is silently grieving unlike me.We’re still broken & seems this will lasts forever. Thank you for your time & advice. 

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We can't circumvent grief so as to not hurt.  When we try to, it's still waiting for us at the end of the day.  We can take breaks from grief, but not altogether avoid it.  Allowing ourselves to sit with our pain, tears and all, helps us process our grief and aids our healing.  It's been 13 1/2 years and I still talk to my husband.  Some things we don't get over, we get through.  (((hugs))).  I hope you find the dog you're looking for soon.  It won't stop your grief, but like you said, it'll be nice to have someone to come home to.

 

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Thank you!Can you please cite concrete examples of ways you did or went through to help you go through the process? Most of the time, I’m lost, staring blankly at nowhere & just don’t know what to do then I would cry umcontrollably & that paralyzes me for the rest of the day... 

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One of the things I did after my beloved Tibetan terrier Beringer died was to gather on my computer all the digital photos I'd ever taken of him. I selected the best ones, many of which included pictures of him with my grandchildren, and placed them into a photo book ~ I made copies for myself and for each of my grands, which I later gave to each of them, both as memory books and as framed composites. There are many photo services online who offer this feature ~ just Google "how to make a photo book." Believe me, I am not a techie, but if I could figure out how to do it, anyone can! The photo site I used (Snapfish) was very user-friendly and instructions were easy to follow, even for me ~ and I was submerged in grief at the time. Still, the project kept me busy and focused, helped me to process my grief over time, and left me with a tangible memory book that I treasure to this day.

There are many different ways you can choose to memorialize your dog. See, for example, 

Memorializing Pets We Have Lost

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When my husband died, I spent 17 hours straight assembling and printing photos, sending them to his kids, I made a huge collage for his funeral, his life before me, his life with me.  I'm not a techie, not even as much as Marty, so it was all manually, but it gave me some purpose and focus for the moment, I worked feverishly.  

A lot of people do a memorial garden...when my little sister's nearly two year old daughter died, they put in a fountain and flowers in their yard, where they scattered her ashes.

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Thank you! I admire you for doing that. I can’t even open my facebook & photo library from my phone as I breakdown everytime I see his pictures & videos.By the  way, would you know of any legal public assistance I can get? I already reported this to the animal control & they’re doing tgeir own investigation & the most do is to add that incident on the boarding facilities’ public records. I want to seek legal actions but after talking to this lawyer, I was told  my baby is just considered a “property” & legal fees are high 😞😭

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Maybe try here https://www.aspca.org/

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Thank you for that article, Marty, I hadn't seen it before.  It's frightening as my dog is a Husky Mix and he's been attacked ten times, although he's never bitten back or been the aggressor.  The last time was when I was walking him and a HOUND jumped his fence and made a beeline right for my dog, knocking me down in the processor.  The owner was right there and yelled at him and he ran off, so she ran after him, leaving me to get myself up and calm my dog down.  Totally unprovoked, we'd never even met the dog before as he's kept in the back yard.

I can't imagine the trauma one feels, how helpless it makes them feel, and to have those images planted in their brain.  This article addresses help for that, it's one I will keep.

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