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My First Dog


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I have been reading everyone's posts for a couple of days since I didn't know how to handle my own grief. My first little dog, Kaiya, died on July first. She was a red dapple miniature dachshund. We went hiking on Tuesday night on a trail that starts by the road next to a lake and ends up at the ocean. My other dog Jeff and Kaiya were on the leashes until we got to the beach where I let them roam and ate some dinner. Kaiya wasn't off the leash for more than a minute before she took off after something in the woods. She has always been a great hunter and she had been running off more and more recently. I looked for her until around midnight and then was pretty frantic. I called my grandmother on the East coast and she told me to go home and that animals find warm places to hole up overnight. I made a report with the police but I was worried since it gets cold here at night in Alaska and there are lots of bears around. I couldn't sleep and sat on the couch with Jeff. I kept thinking I should go back and look again or I should get a sleeping bag and stay and wait there for her to come back. I regret not doing either of those things. I received a call at 4am that she had been hit by a car and was dead. I drove out to pick her up and she was no more than 100 yards from where the car had been parked. My life crumbled out from under me. I have never felt such pain. I couldn't believe the sounds that came out of me. It was the worst moment I have ever experienced. She had been dead for a while so I must have just missed her. I keep blaming myself and playing the "what if" game. What if I had stayed, or what if I had gone back one more time? I know that I can't change what happened. She was only 2 1/2. I can't imagine my life without her and I am really struggling. I know I have to be a good mom to Jeff as I just adopted him. He is a year old and had been abused so he has some issues. I keep realizing that he's not my little girl. He doesn't kiss like she did or cuddle under the blankets with me. She brought me so much joy and now I feel like I've done wrong by her. I didn't take good enough care of her and I feel such guilt. I just wish I could have her back.

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your sweet little Kaiya. I know exactly what you're going through right now and the guilt and pain can feel overwhelming. Please use this opportunity to cherish the beautiful dog you still have - he is probably feeling the loss also and needs you now more than ever.

Our little puppy, Scarlett was hit and killed by a car 8 days ago and I saw the whole thing. The images are still fresh and the pain is still present, but I am slowly starting to deal with the reality of what happened and trying to sort out all of the emotions and feelings that go along with it. I also struggle with wondering "what could I have done differently that would have kept her safe" and have spent a lot of time beating myself up for the mistakes I made that day.

Switching from the constant self-questioning and focus on all the things we did right by our girls will be difficult. For me, I try to think about how we took her everywhere and she couldn't have asked for a more loving family. She was also my little princess and snuggle bug, so I know she was happy the short time we had her in our home.

You mentioned that you took your dogs hiking and to the ocean - it sounds like you also cared for Kaiya very much and she knew how much you loved her. Please try to remember the good times and all the good things you did for her to make her life a joyful one. I bet if the situation were to happen again, you would do things much differently. These tragedies have taught us some valuable lessons - but if we dwell on the "what if's" for too long, we will cause ourselves an immense amount of additional pain. It's very important to forgive yourself and let the guilt go.

I don't know if this tip will help you or not, but it helped me. The day after Scarlett died, I came home to our empty house and apologized to her and begged for her forgiveness for all the mistakes I made that day. It really helped to say it out loud, and when no one else was around to hear it so I could be as raw and honest as I needed to be without someone else around to chime in. I felt a lot better afterwards and it seemed like the guilt started to diminish shortly afterwards. It was almost as if I felt her forgive me all the way from Heaven.

(((((( ))))))) Sending big hugs to you and your family. Again, I'm very sorry for your loss.


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Hey there! It feels awful to lose one of our babies. I'm so sorry to hear about Kaiya. I can relate to your loss, your grief, your guilt feelings. I, too, have recently experienced that feeling that your stomach just dropped out through your shoes. I know what it's like to cry until your eyes are so swollen you can't wear your contacts. There is no other way to describe it all than to say it's awful. It hurts so bad you can hardly breathe.

I believe that you did the best that you could on the night that Kaiya died. You didn't know what else to do. You had to take care of Jeff and yourself. You asked your grandma for advice and she gave the best that she knew. Unfortunately, even when we do our best and sometimes even when we do the "right thing," bad things still happen. I sorry that it happened to you now. I don't think you did anything wrong. Please don't add guilt to your hurt. You loved her. You didn't know what else you could do.

As you can, let the happy memories sustain you through the times when you miss Kaiya. It won't bring her back, but i've found that the overwhelming sense of loss does diminish. It takes time but it does happen. I had a psychologist friend tell me that grief for a pet is different than grief for a person. He said that the grief for a pet is typically more acute but that the relief usually comes more quickly than when a person dies. I don't know if that is true but it has given me something to hold onto.

Your Kaiya, CharlieGirl's Scarlett, and my Ebony have all left us in the past couple of weeks. A friend of mine said that Ebony is waiting for me at the Pearly Gates. (Saint Peter keeps telling her it's okay for her to go in but she doesn't want to go without me. I'm the one who always told her when it was safe to cross the street.) I bet Kaiya and Scarlett are waiting there for you. Maybe they can become friends and comfort one another while they wait for us...

I hope your healing comes soon. I imagine you miss Kaiya as much as i miss my Ebster.


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