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Hello! I am new to this group and need a little assistance in coping with this. It was 3 months yesterday when I lost all 5 of my doggies and all 3 of my kitties in a house fire. My Golden Retriever "Coaster" and his friend and companion my Chocolate Lab "Yogi Bear" and my beautiful fur baby Jack Russell Terrier "Taffy" were in their crates for the day while I worked. The Dalmation Mix "Snoopy" and the handicapped 10 year old Yellow Lab "Buddy" were allowed the run of the house during the day and of course my three wonderful kitties "Linus King", "Einstein", and "Panda Bear" ran free too. They didn't even contact me until 4:00 pm on February 1st to ask if there was anyone in the house. The fire started at 11:15 in the morning. I had a friend drive me to the house when I found out and found Coaster, Yogi, and Taffy all burned to death in their crates. I found them with a flash light that night but the house was sitll burning and I couldn't get to them. The next day I went back and one of the fire inspectors and a friend removed my babies from their crates and put them in the back of my jeep. I transported them to the crematorium myself. They wouldn't let me in the house for another 6 days to look for the other 5. My husband and I spent 6 1/2 hours searching through the ash and debris before we found Einstein and Panda Bear together under the collapsed roof in the Master Bedroom. Snoopy we found under the bed and Buddy was under the roof in the Master Bathroom with Linus King. They have no cause for the fire but know that it started outside on the back deck. I keep thinking that if I had been home this wouldn't have happened. I should have stayed home from work that day. I keep thinking that I did something to cause this fire. We lost everything. The only thing we had was the clothing on our backs and no insurance. The loss of baby books, antique crystal and my grandmothers antique furniture the irreplaceable things hurts but not as much as the loss of my babies. Taffy had been my constant companion since she was 10 weeks old. She slept in the bed with me everynight. She and I survived an abusive relationship where he tried to kill me but she was always there. I had had surgery in December and she stayed by my side constantly. Coaster and Yogi along with the kitties were all adopted in 2008 from our local humane society and they were just amazing creatures. They gave me and my husband so much joy and of course there was Snoopy. My husbands dog. I always say that he didn't like the other critters and he knew it was me that brought them all into the house and would give me the "stink eye" when I asked him to do something for me. In the end though I know he loved me as much as I loved him. I can't get the picture of my babies the day I/we found them out of my head. It hurts so much and it doesn't seem to be easing any. There is not a day that goes by that I don't think about them and cry. Things have sucked in our lives for so long, this was just one more thing that we didn'g need on top of everything else. Then on March 21st I lost my job and we were going to be homeless. How do I fix my grief? I can't sleep, I can't eat and I seem to be grumpy more often than not. I've lost 60 lbs (not a bad thing I am now pre baby weight and my youngest is 21).

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My dear friend,

I am so very sorry to learn this devastating news! Your loss is so huge, so catastrophic, so traumatic and so overwhelming that I hope you aren't even thinking that you can handle this all by yourself! Pleased as I am that you've found your way to this group of caring and compassionate fellow animal lovers, you need and deserve much more than "a little assistance" from this group, and I hope you are willing to find and give that to yourself. I don't know where you live or what resources are available in your town, but I hope you will take the time to investigate what is out there for you. I'm going to give you some places to start looking, and if you don't have the energy to do this research yourself, I hope you have someone in your circle who is willing to do it for you.

Pet Loss Counseling

Helplines, Message Boards, Chats

General Pet Loss Resources

Pet Loss Articles

Traumatic Loss

In addition to these resources, I also encourage you to read David Congalton's wonderful book, Three Cats, Two Dogs, One Journey through Mutiple Pet Loss, published by NewSage Press in 2000. (Click on the title to read Amazon's description and reviews.) The author hosts a popular radio talk show on KVEC 920 AM, which airs daily in central California. He also writes for several national publications on veterinary health care and the human-animal bond. David's book won the 2001 Merial Human-Animal Bond Award for Best Writing from the Dog Writers Association of America.

As described by Amazon,

David Congalton survived every pet lover's worst nightmare-the simultaneous death of his five animal companions due to a sudden house fire. This memoir is a refreshingly honest account of the heartache faced by Congalton and his wife. Congalton describes his grief process, unabashed. His story begins with tragedy and ends with redemption-the formation of a new animal family. He depicts anguish transformed into a commitment to abused and abandoned animals. Three Cats, Two Dogs is a down-to-earth read that offers tremendous solace and practical suggestions for coping with grief. Anyone who has an animal companion, and fears the day when he or she may die, will find this story inspirational and hopeful.

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Hello,

I just wanted to say that I am so sorry for your loss. I am somewhat new to this board myself having only been a member a few days. I am afraid that I am not far enough along in my journey to offer much help, but I wanted to let you know that you are not alone, and I am sending you big hugs. Thinking of you at this incredibly painful time, Elizabeth

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  • 1 month later...

Your loss is so huge I really hope you keep reading, even if you don't keep typing. It really does help. You're in the right spot, and I am so grateful that this site includes the 4 legged family members as well. Peace to you- Renee

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OMG, I can't even begin to imagine the devastation you are going through and feeling. To lose your possessions is enough, but nothing compares to the loss of your family, and these sweet little creatures were indeed your family. My heartfelt sympathy goes out to you, I will keep you in my prayers. These poor babies! I'm sure you look forward to the day when you can be reunited with them.

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