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Losing 2 Pets In 3 Months


J White

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Hi everyone,

I am so bereft. On Sunday, my gorgeous cat Nimbus was hit by a car and died. He was only 18 months old and the most loving, giving and beautiful cat I have ever known. 3 months ago our beloved rescue dog Maisie had to be put to sleep after 10 yrs with us. I was absolutely heart broken by losing Maisie but I did have the slight comfort of knowing that she had a fantastic life with us for a decade. Those ten years were full of wonderful moments which I can now call upon when I am feeling sad about her. Nimbus was so young, he had barely started his life. He was blossoming into the most amazing friend. He walked around with a ridiculous grin on his face, he was so cosseted and loved by everybody. There was just something about him that made people want to cuddle and touch him. And he never got sick of it. He was a great source of healing when Maisie died. Now he is gone too. His poor brother lives with us and is wandering round looking and calling for him. I just don't know how to cope with the overwhelming grief, it almost makes me feel mad and like giving up on life. It's so hard. And none of my friends understand. a few family members are as animal mad as me, but I can't handle speaking on the phone at the moment, I just end up crying. And on top of all this, I am fostering 2 children who are very damaged. They have no feelings for animals at all and no empathy for me. I know why, but they make daily comments about Nimbus and how our other pets will be dying soon.

Sorry to ramble, just having a terrible morning. Thank goodness for places like this,

Jane

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Pets are our children. I had a long hair chihuahua named Gucci. He was always my comfort and the highlight of my day. Death is unenviable unfortunately. But coping is the struggle.

Have you considered adopting another pet currently or just would like time to heal first? Talking about it always helps. Venting out is the best medicine.

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Jane, my dear, I'm so very sorry for your losses, and I certainly understand how alone you must feel at this sad time ~ but please know that you are not alone, as you will discover now that you've found your way here to this warm and caring place. We are kindred spirits here, animal lovers all, and we've all been where you are now, feeling the aching emptiness and pain that accompany the death of our precious animal companions. I hope you will do some reading about pet loss, if only to reassure yourself that what you're experiencing is normal under the circumstances. Read through the posts you'll find in this Loss of a Pet forum, and explore some of the articles and books I've listed on my Grief Healing website ~ the Site Map page is probably the best place to start ~ and see especially Pet Loss Articles.

Stacyines is right: talking about it always helps. You can do that by continuing to post messages here, and if you find that you need more than that, we can point you to some additional resources. (See, for example, Helplines ~ Message Boards ~ Chats and Pet Loss Counseling.) Meanwhile, know that you have our deepest sympathy.

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Hi Stacey and Marty,

Thank you so much for taking the time to respond, I really appreciate it.

I think it is too early for me to think about another animal in the home, just getting through the days is a big enough struggle at the moment. I really thought I would feel better today but I actually seem to feel worse with each day that passes. I have these horribly vivid flashbacks to rounding the corner of the road and seeing Nim stretched out, motionless. It was all so traumatic and I can't seem to come to terms with it on any level.

I will carry on writing and reading and hoping that something will help.

Thanks again both of you,

Best wishes,

Jane

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Oh I am so sorry for you loss!

You are right ! We DO understand and will be her as long as you need us!

I understand that it is made worst by the human factors! In both cases, you wonder if you did the right thing putting one down and if you could have prevented the other (both scenerios I have been through!)

We always feel we could have done so much more. I have to leave for work but will write more tonight! Higs and tears!

CJ

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I am so sorry for your double loss. I have lost many pets and it is so very hard. I can also say that it is harder to let go of some than others because every once in a while one enters our lives that is so special and we fit together so perfectly. I have lost thirteen cats and eight dogs over the years. There were some that were particularly difficult to lose...such as my dog Fluffy, he was just such a great all around family dog, we loved him so much and his years were cut short prematurely...I think that makes it harder. And my cat Chappy, his death was also quite premature and I'd been so close to him, that was really hard. But there was also my 19 year old cat George...having spent so long with him, I missed him terribly in the routine of my life.

I wish I could ease your pain, for I know all too well what you must be suffering. I think I would let the kids know when they say something inappropriate that it is unacceptable. They may not understand your loss or know appropriate ways to respond but they are not too young to learn to respect someone else's grief. And for the relatives who would understand and relate, it's okay to call them and just cry...just their being there to listen and care could mean a lot. And we are here, if you want to voice yourself, we'll listen. I'm so sorry. You have an amazing capacity to give, to children, to your pets, you have a big heart, and I pray someone, be it a person or another pet, comes along to fill it again.

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CJ and Kay C, thank you so much for your lovely messages, they have both touched me. I just thought it might be getting a little bit better every day but at the moment it feels as if it is getting worse. More painful, more empty and I feel so panicky and breathless. I think part of the problem for me is that the two children we foster have brought an enormous amount of stress and trauma (through no fault of their own) into our household. Nimbus came to us in the midst of the worst of the stress and he was the beautiful bright spot in what felt like very dark days. As time went on, he became our therapy cat, always happy to accept cuddles and to give them back, with this huge grin on his face. His life was one big bubble of love and I found him so calming. The children are very damaged and unable to form attachments, and when I had been driven to the brink of my sanity, Nimbus was there, stretched out, soft and generous, chatty and playful. He was a tonic to life. And our dog Maisie was the same - she was so sensitive to my moods and needs. So, I guess two of my biggest supports have been removed and I am left caring for children who, as you say, do not know how to behave appropriately. You are right Kay C, I will speak to them about respecting my grief and that of my husband and son. They just do not understand why we are upset. It's difficult for me because I have always had such a deep and loving connection with animals and I hoped when we fostered the children, our animals could help them in some way. They are just not able to open up to the love that animals can give. Such a shame for them.

Anyway, sorry to ramble and thank you for being there.

Jane

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You know, you are allowed to be any way here!

There was a special point here. Some people take a long time to get there next pet. For me, it was with Thunder that I realized that each one was grieving space that would always be a hole that was theirs - so matter how long it took. So I have been able to love other dogs inspite of my loss. Bit let me assure you your feeling about what the pets would do for those kids were dead on. I volunteer for Gabriels Angels http://youtu.be/31Hq-M1IOXc huam animal tean stoppinjg the cycle of abuse in children. There are seven key values that they would for like compassion, empathy, that thise children com to see how connected we are because what they know is that humans lie - so it builds briges back to healing and realionship. I dont want to intrude on your grief but if you want to know more let me know!

Hugs

CJ

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CJ, I just viewed the you tube piece about Gabriel's Angels - oh my goodness it's amazing. What fantastic work you are doing. I have always believed that animals can reach children and adults who are shut down to everyone else. I have seen this happen in hospitals and nursing homes with amazing results. Animals offer that non-judgemental, unconditional love that everyone needs. That's what I'm missing too I guess, even though I have a loving family around me.

Thank you for sharing this, it gives me hope and made me smile.

Jane x

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That is so cool. I can't comment on your children you're fostering because I don't know them or their situation, but they can be taught to respect other's situations even if they don't relate. I wonder if you got another animal at some point and brought them in on the selection process if they'd feel more of a kinship with the animal? As for your grief and loss, I'm sure it's tremendous and who knows how long the pain will continue. I am single and my dog is everything to me...if I lost him, well, I don't know if I could ever be the same, he literally is my world. I know it's something I will undoubtedly face someday and yet I try to push it out of my mind. When the time comes, I will have to focus on being thankful for the time we did have and having had him in my life...just like I had to when I lost my sweet husband. It's tough, no matter how you cut it.

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Thanks Kay C. i am so sorry you lost your husband, that's so sad. How long had you been together? I can't begin to imagine how hard that must be.

Regarding the children we foster - we actually got Nimbus after we had had the children for about 8 months. We thought it was a good opportunity to show them an example of a baby being cared for properly - fed, loved, cleaned up, guided etc. Unfortunately these children come from such a horrific background of abuse and neglect that they were not ready to learn empathy. Nimbus, and our other pets, have unfortunately been the victims of their cruelty. Luckily we have to be vigilant around them anyway so have managed to stop the cruel behaviour before it resulted in significant injury. Now the remaining animals just know, sadly, to stay away from the children.

I do so appreciate your comments and support and send you best wishes,

Jane x

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Jane,

It took my husband and I most of our lives to find each other and when we did, we were inseparable. From the very beginning, we felt each other's hearts and could relate to each other, we had the most amazing love, communication, and faith in each other. Unfortunately, we were only married 3 years and 8 months when his life was abruptly cut short with a heart attack...we hadn't even known until that weekend that he HAD a heart problem, he looked the picture of health but his energy had waned and his breath was short...he was trying to quit smoking, although it was much too late.

Time eases the pain in our hearts, but the missing them doesn't ever seem to go away, a tribute to our love. If I lost my dog I'm afraid it would hit me as keenly as George's death did, although it would not affect me on as many levels as losing co-provider, the person who did half the chores, the person who looked at me appreciatively when I dressed up, the person who held me in his arms and in his heart each day...that person is irreplaceable. But losing a dog or a beloved cat can also strike us very hard, they love so unconditionally and we open our hearts fully to them. They become so much a part of our lives, our routines. I can't imagine living without my dog now, I only know we don't get asked if we think we can or what we want, sometimes we just have to deal with what we're handed and try and do our best anyway, and sometimes, that's tough. My heart goes out to you.

Kay

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Kay,

Thank you for sharing your story. I am so sorry you had such a short time with your husband, and such shock to deal with at losing him so suddenly.

I know some people would find it shocking, wrong or plain crazy that other people find the loss of an animal this devastating, but the grief is so real. As you say, the love we get from animals is unconditional and unsullied by the usual distractions which can affect human relationships.

Having a bad day again, it is one week today since Nimbus died. Still can't accept it and cannot begin to move on in any way.

I am hoping for a better day tomorrow.

Best wishes to you,

Jane x

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In the beginning, when I lost my husband, I hated the word "acceptance" or "move on". Move on to what? It's been over six years and I still haven't figured that out. But gradually I did begin to "accept", which by the way, does NOT equate with "like" or "agree with", but merely realizing they're gone and there's nothing you can do about it. A week is much too early to expect acceptance, it takes time. I also hated that phrase because it meant there was nothing I could do to help it alone, I couldn't speed it up, and I didn't like waiting for time to pass. But that's the neat thing about time, eventually it DOES pass and it helps. In the meanwhile, I found there were things I could do to help myself in this grief journey. I could talk to others about it, express myself, and that seemed to lend value to what I was going through. Sharing that journey with others such as I found here on this site, it was my lifesaver. Little things I did to memorialize him, such as hanging his stocking at Christmas and us putting pieces of paper on which we'd written what he meant to us, that helped. I gave his clothing (most of it, I kept favorites that reminded me so much of him, such as his fishing hat and vest, and his bathrobe) to Sponsors (a group that helps newly released inmates transition back into society), a cause I knew he would approve of...for my husband was a very caring person that would have given the shirt off his back to someone who needed it. I put together a huge collage of pictures depicting his life and displayed it at his memorial service, and sent copies to his children. I realize these are not things you'd do for a dog, but I did lose a family pet dog once, Fluffy, and we made a cross and put it in the ground where he is buried, and on that cross are his favorite words "go", "treat", "good boy", etc. Those are the kinds of things that help us when we lose a beloved dog, everyone finds their own way, but it helps to do something to honor them. Some people volunteer their time or donate to a cause "in honor of them", and that's another consideration. I've found after a few months it has helped me to get another dog, they don't replace each other, I wouldn't even try, they're unique in their own way, but it does help to have a new one in our lives even if they're totally different.

I wish it didn't take time to heal the wound of our hearts.

Kay

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Hi Kay,

Thank you again for your lovely message. Your ideas for memorials are great and I hope in time I may be able to act on them. When Maisie, my gorgeous dog, died, I made a donation to a German Shepherd Rescue organisation and I felt good about that. Just managed to phone my dad up - I haven't spoken to him since Nimbus died, although we have emailed each other. It was so hard to talk to him, because he loved Nimbus too and knew how much love I had invested in him. I ended up in floods of tears again, but I guess it's a good step. Hopefully I will have a few more good steps this week.

Thank you again for your kind words and for sharing your experiences,

Best wishes

Jane x

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One thing that I recommend is to allow your crying when ever it comes up. (One time I had to excuse myself from a business meeting, went in the bathroon and cried my eyes out, then went on with my day). One thiing to keep in mind is that is just the body's way of releasing energy that has been pent up, no matter what the reason or why. To me the problem is when I become incapacitited, unwillining to engage in life which it does NOT appear you are at at all! For me it is in that place of darkness that I stop eating healthy, dont engage with people, even my loved ones and allow my live to be colored through that one event, especially if I have to take responibility for euthanizes the dog or for the death in some way. So please dont confuse the two kinds of emotion, emotionality which is helplessness and paraylsis vs emtions which are simply emergy in motion as necessary to the body as laughing, eating, breathing or going to the bathroom!

Hugs '

CJ

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Jane,

I'm hoping each day will get a little better...sometimes it hard to see progress when we're in it, it's only when we look back we can see any measure of improvement. Thinking of you today...

(((hugs)))

Kay

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Thanks CJ and Kay, I do appreciate your continued support.

Am feeling exhausted this evening. Finding it hard to eat anything and I keep waking in the night, feeling physically sick and miserable.

Just wish I could get past this terrible grief and move on.

Thanks again ladies,

Jane x

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I am so sorry for your loss; I am currently going through something similar as my dog was just hit by a car and killed. I think you need to let yourself realize that what you are feeling is completely normal. I cried this morning before I went to work because I didn't have my dog to walk as part of my morning routine, and I struggld with keeping it together today at work. Grieving is normal; nobody should judge you for what you love. My dog was like my child; from your post it sounds like you completely understand that. When we love our pets so intensely they become an enormous part of our lives and they leave an equally large hole when they are taken from us. I know I wouldn't feel such intense pain right now if my pet hadn't brought me such overwhelming joy while she was with me. I loved her.. a lot, as I am sure you did; and only time is going to start to ease the pain of losing her so I can remember her without feeling lost and desolate. Just talk about it as much as you can; there isn't much that will help right now - nothing can bring our babies back.. we just have to try to move along knowing that we gave them the best life we knew how.

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Hi Sfrank,

Thank you so much for taking the time to contact me while in the middle of your grief. It is so hard to carry on with life, as you say. I am so sorry you lost you beloved dog too. They are definitely full family members to me and deeply loved which, as you also mentioned, is why we miss them so much when they go. Especially losing a pet to a car - the shock has been a huge factor for me too - there was no preparation, no time to come to terms with NImbus being gone...he was just gone.

Nimbus was the kind of cat who would seek me out when he came in to the house - he demanded my attention and then gave me huge amounts of love. Maisie, our dog who died 3 months ago, was also the kind of dog who liked to be by my side and to make sure I was happy, her head on my lap, her paw on my leg.

They were both animals who made their presence felt and who gave huge amounts of love to us. The house feels so empty without them, even though we still have another dog and cat. The remaining animals are absolutely lovely and I love them to bits, but they don't come and seek me out as much.

I guess NIm and Maisie were my therapy pets and I am missing the comfort they brought.

Sorry to ramble on, I hope you are having a better, calmer day.

Thinking of you,

Jane

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I read a while back that when we pet our animals it makes us feel good just like when we hold our babies, so it's no wonder we feel about them like they are our children. They are dependent on us and we have such a close relationship, it's natural we feel huge loss when we lose them. People who don't have or love animals can't begin to understand. (I have a sister who constantly tells me I should get rid of my dog, that he limits my options...to which I reply, my dog is my life, what do options matter if I lose my very life?!). As I learned when I lost my husband, the loss and grief continues but eventually we get better at coping with it so it seems to us it lessens, although we miss them just as keenly and it can hit us out of the blue at any given moment. I rarely cry over my husband now, it's been over six years, but I miss him just as much as I did the day he died. There is that "George shaped void" in my heart, just as there is with each of my special animals I've lost. Time will pass and the pain will not be as keenly felt, but they will continue to live on in your hearts as they did when they were alive.

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