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How Has Your Pet(s) Coped?


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As I light a candle for my wife, I watch our Pug dog (Winston) sit attentively, watching solemnly as he does each time I do this ritual.  He can without doubt sense it’s a mourning ritual as his entire demeanor changes each time I light one.  
I wanted to inquire if your significant other (or both of you) had a pet at the time of your loss, and if so how the pet dealt with it.  
We have a family pet. A pug dog we got about nine years before my wife passed.  His name is Winston. As my wife once said “Winston is family.”  I cannot put in to words how much she loved him.  After each stay at the hospital, when my wife would come home, Winston would sit and sleep on her lap all day long. He has never laid on anyone else’s lap other than my wife’s.  
I also remember my final text to her was a picture of Winston. He was looking kind of sad so I sent her a text with the picture saying “Winston misses you”. She never saw the text. 
I’ll never forget coming home from the hospital after she died I saw Winston and burst in to tears.  
As weird as it sounds I told myself I was not going to tell Winston what happened, as I could hear my wife’s voice saying “No. Let me tell him.” so I never explicitly told him.  
Since her passing, Winston without doubt can tell when I am crying and sad.  He rarely leaves my side (I mean literally just to go in the backyard for a few minutes). Otherwise we are together 24/7.  In all candor, I mourned my wife’s passing with Winston more so than any other family member…BY FAR.  
I have told Winston that he will see her again and we will all be together. 
Almost each night, when I light a candle for my wife, he’s sitting in the bed watching so attentively.
Each time I tell him if he happens to go first, he has to “go find mommy” and then wait on me.  
Finally, my wife and I truly in our hearts believe Winston can understand us.  Not that he understands English sentences…but instead when we speak to him from our heart he understands as he has show us this time and time again. So I personally think he will be with her again. I truly in my heart feel that due to the energy of love.  

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That's a touching story about your dog, he has surely suffered enormously for the loss of your soulmate. It must be so comforting for you to have him always by your side, like you say, being able to share your feelings with him and nobody else in your family. Our wonderful dog Milo had already left this world when I lost my husband, I can't  imagine how distraught he would have been if he was still here. They had a special bond, followed him everywhere, it was so emotional watching our dog sitting beside my husband, while he'd get on with 'fixing' something outside in the yard (my darling never stopped, always doing odd jobs) his toolbox open, and Milo absolutely concentrated in every single movement. Everytime my husband put on his work shoes to do some work on our land, watching him from our glass door our beautiful dog would start wagging his tail like crazy, with those deep expressive eyes as if he was saying: "I'm waiting for you, you don't think you're going without me, do you?".Of course not. I also used to say he was "part of the family", not just a dog, to me he was another child. I called him the "dog of a thousand facial expressions" , he made himself understood, we had a special 'language' to communicate together. He was so well-mannered too, would always look at us waiting for approval, when we opened the door to let him in, he'd never just dive in without being invited. Many times my husband had saved his life, medicating his injuries, treating him with antibiotics for infections, injections when necessary, oh, the tears we shed that day he left us! I am so grateful to have had such a special dog in our lives, and me, of all people, I had never had much interest for pets before, I suppose you can't understand until you have one yourself. They really are 'better' than humans at times, aren't they? A real comfort and solace for the mind. We have two adorable cats now. 

 

 

 

 

 

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On 8/19/2022 at 8:51 PM, Sad_Widower said:

I wanted to inquire if your significant other (or both of you) had a pet at the time of your loss, and if so how the pet dealt with it.

We had Lucky, a Whippet/Dalmation.  I was so in shock and grief fog, it took my daughter to point out what was going on with Lucky's sudden behavior change was she was grieving!  After that I started making a concerted effort to give her more time/attention.

Our cat (1 year old) Tigger waited for two months for George to come back, and when he didn't, he took one last hard long look at me, as if committing me to memory, turned tail, and left...never to be seen again.  That was when I realized, he considered himself George's cat, not mine. :( Thankfully King George (cat) didn't leave...he died of cancer 14 months after my husband did.

Grieving Pet

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On 8/19/2022 at 8:51 PM, Sad_Widower said:

Winston without doubt can tell when I am crying and sad.  He rarely leaves my side

Aww, a wonderful companion.

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I can and can’t believe it’s been over a year since I’ve seen my dog.  I just can’t do it unless I can keep her.  I’m happy and sad she isn’t here.  I know I’ve written it before, but I wish she missed me.  I don’t fool myself she thinks beyond her thinking of her happy life right now.   I have my parakeets and Dee as life here, but they aren’t her that began this hell when Steve left this world and me behind. .  All the things you both would have vivid memories of.  Our routines and how days needed to run on schedules as we were closest partners now.  I’m not locked in those routines anymore and I miss it.  I miss seeing her signs of being here.  Im so down it’s because of me.  How having her here is impossible.  How Steve will never know her.  That he couldn’t take care of her either.  We’d be a rag tag family, but we’d be one. 
 

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I had a calico cat called Cessy (short for Cessna) when I was single. Michael adopted her when we started dating. She passed when she was 19 yrs old, 5 years after we married. Then together we got Annie, a grey oriental short-hair. When Michael died Annie sat on his spot of the sectional for a solid month. Then she started sitting on the rug in the front foyer of the house waiting for him to come home. That lasted for a long while too. I'm sure she's still mourning. She'll sometimes do her business in the foyer or just outside her litter box. It's frustrating, but I think she's just expressing her sadness, so I just clean it up.

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You'd best believe she remembers you, Gwen and would be happy to see you!

Boho, I'm sure you're right.  :(  Mine did.

 Grieving Pet

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I appreciate those who discussed their pets here.  I agree they can really touch our heart.  I’m unsure how I will respond when I lose Winston. 

One thing I forgot to tell you that my wife told me about six months before she passed…just to put in perspective how much she loved him.  
She said “The only good thing that will come if I die before Winston is I won’t have to deal with his passing because I don’t know what I would do. “ She wasn’t one to play around with karma like this so I could tell she truly meant it.  So to a degree that is a small positive.
I hope it is okay  I’ve attached a picture of him. He has taken over my wife’s side of the bed.  Prior to that he would snuggle in between us. It’s not the best picture but he is doing what he likes to do best, second to eating…as you can probably see  🙂

 

101F3A70-33C2-4269-BF48-C080990108DF.thumb.jpeg.a9784833fb8affbda61ac104f940f68e.jpeg

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So adorable!

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  • 2 weeks later...

When my spouse passed I was forced out of our home and 3 months later moved into new place. When I rolled out our rugs my dog got so excited he put his butt in the air and jumping all around and I knew he he was looking at the door expecting the men to walk through that door. My dog knew what happened and I don't think they completely know. My dog looks at me different now to see if mom is crying. See my husband was so good at playing with dog and I was the dog walker. My dog is truly my cross helper carrier.

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  • MartyT changed the title to How Has Your Pet(s) Coped?

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