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The Loss Of My Dog Tess


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My 7 year old dog Tess, a Boston Terrier was the love of my life. She passed away at home last Sunday(March 8,2009). Not sure exactly what the complete reason was, she had a ruptured disk in her neck. Was having a tough time regulating her pain management. The lonliness, sadness and emptiness is unberable. I know that time heals, but it is taking it's time. It was a complete schock to my vets , my family and close friends. I appreciate their caring, but it doesn't really help. Any words of advice would be appreciated. Also, is ther a grief support group in the Elgin Illinois area for such a situation? Thanks, Nancy

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I'm so sorry about Tess. I think you're expecting a little too much of yourself if you think your grief should be better in a week's time. I know some people get upset when a pet is talked about like a child but in many ways they are our children. I don't know if you are now by yourself or not but if so I'm sure you lost your best friend, companion, the one who loved you every time you came home. It is a big loss and will take time to heal.

I actually had never seen any group that helped with loss of a pet specifically other than the one here. A general grief support group could possibly help though and maybe a local hospital could put you in touch with one.

Good luck and be gentle on yourself.

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My dear Nancy,

I’m so sorry to learn of the death of your beloved Tess last Sunday. I don't know where you live, but I want to point you to an online pet loss support data base / locator service, at Pet Loss Support Page. On the upper right side of the home page, there is a State-by-State Guide to Pet Loss Support Groups, Counselors & Pet Cemeteries. Just click on your State, and the listings for that state will appear.

Some other alternatives include the following:

- You can find and print out any number of articles by me and by other authors about pet loss. See those listed on the Pet Loss Articles page of my Grief Healing Web site.

- You can go to your local library and / or neighborhood bookstore and find one of the many wonderful books written about pet loss. See my site's Articles and Books page for those that I personally recommend.

- You could order an audiocassette or CD program on coping with pet loss; those I highly recommend are listed on my site's Audiocassettes, CD Programs page.

- You could subscribe to my online e-mail pet loss course. To get a sense of it, click on A Different Grief: Coping with Pet Loss.

I hope this information gives you a place to start -- in the meantime, please know that we are thinking of you and sending our deepest sympathy for your loss.

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Dear Nancy,

My heart goes out to you. When my Pino (German shepard/Sheltie Mix) died amost two years ago, I felt my life come to an end. He was the love of my life and I had him for almost 12 years. He looked tired (which we assumed was from old age) but in general we thought he was healthy. One day he collapsed and it turned out he had a big tumor on his heart. Long story short, I put him through chemo and within three months he died. He suffered a lot and I had that guilt for a very long time. I always will to some extent. "What if I had done this...What if I had done that..." I think I will always ask these questions.

I don't think there is anything that people can tell you to ease your pain. Unfortunately, I believe that the only way to make the pain eventually bearable is to grieve the loss. You need time to cry...to remember Tess...to experience the array of emotions associated with the pain of losing a dear one. I used a pet loss support group, which I found most helpful. I also eventually ended up going to a psychologist because I could not shake the depression setting in from all the pain. You may not need all that...we all grieve differently and I had a pre-disposition to depression. I'm also a psychotherapist so I made use of what I thought would help me best. Whatever you decide to do, remember that the feelings of loneliness, sadness, and emptiness are part of a normal (but painful) process. I will pray that God gives you the strength to help you heal to the extent that your pain will be tolerable. I think you will always have sadness...if someone tells you otherwise, they are lying. But hopefully, you'll get to the point where the sadness will be there without much suffering.

God bless,


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