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My Greatest Love And Most Horrific Action.


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This is my first time writing in this type of setting.

6/13/13 I lost my best friend but I want to talk about his life first.

Ruben, a then 4 year old Jack Russel Terrier, to rescue after being in a shelter with extensive kennel cough and emaciation. He had been a stray in the mean streets of Brooklyn. Unfortunately, he was marked to be euthanized the day the rescue organization took him in. He was actually adopted once, but his owner went to jail and was moved into his owner's mother's house where he had to be kenneled all day because the other dog in the house was dog aggressive. Back in rescue I found him, like love at first sight, on Petfinder.

We adopted Ruben 7/4/08, we drove 90 minutes to go and pick him up. He was let out of his kennel and he was so happy, he instantly melted my heart. I went to pick up my new boy and he bit me in the face. Ruben did not like to be picked up back then, fortunately he did not break skin. Despite the mishap we took him home. He had many issues to be ironed out being an obstinate jack russel. At one point his aggression issues worsened and started lunging at us and we almost gave him back to rescue. But, he had worked his way so far into my heart I could not bear to let him go. We worked with him, teaching him tricks and commands and eventually he just became so content and happy to be with us.

His favorite past time was riding in the car with us. We took him everywhere! If we went to a restaurant we needed to make sure we got patio seating so that we could have him by our side. He was an amazing hiker, he had more stamina than any of us or our other furry son. We would take him bike riding and he never got tired running alongside us.

The greatest thing about Ruben, is that I got to take him to work with me everyday for the past 5 years. He loved being at work, and I got to walk him on my lunch break or just go see him when my day was bad. The car rides to and from work were filled with his great listening abilities of my rants about life. He was truly my best friend.

Even at the ripe age of 11 years he was spry and alive and young at heart. I have never been so connected to anyone in my entire life. Until the day he died tragically.

The worst part of my life was actually realizing I killed my best friend. It was a normal day, but I woke up so exhausted (not that it is any kind of excuse) and I even didn't take him for as long of a walk in the morning so that I could just get to work and wake up already. I got to work, my parking spot was filled so I parked in a completely different area. I remember being so annoyed and going to march into work and yell at the person who took my parking spot, and thinking I need to brew a pot of coffee at work. I was just talking in my head as I headed into work. I went about my day like any other, teaching interns, laughing and joking with co-workers, etc. I walked to his kennel where he stayed everyday but it was empty, I panicked. I ran out to my truck in the back where he usually stayed and he wasn't there which I initially felt relieved thinking that maybe someone took him for a walk or he was moved to a different kennel. Then I thought I must have left him outside when he I walked him (off leash) and I ran around the street for 20 minutes. I broke down and lost it thinking the worst that maybe he was hit by a car somewhere and I would never see him again. Only it was much worse. One of my friends/co-workers went to their car parked next to mine and saw my Ruben lying in the front seat. He must have jumped out of the back into the front seat where he suffered a cruel death from heat stroke. It was a very hot 100 degree outside, so god knows how hot the inside of my truck was.

I held him in my arms screaming and crying for over an hour at work, just repeating that I killed my dog, I killed my best friend. I never understood how this could ever happen, but somehow it happened to me. How can I be so connected to my best friend and yet forget him in my car? I keep playing the what if game over and over different scenarios, I know that doesn't help but how can I ever get over it. I wake up in the mornings hoping for some science fiction miracle to take over and somehow redo that day or have that day never happen. How can I move from this? How can I even laugh again, or try to be happy if I have done something so terrible? I have such anxiety since the incident that I don't know anything anymore. I somehow brave it to work everyday but everything reminds me of him. My whole day was planned around him. I loved him so much and yet I killed him. I don't think I could ever even forgive myself.

I just hope that he is really in a "better place" and that he realizes how much I loved and continue to love him and that he knows I never meant to hurt him. Rest in peace Ruben


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My friend, I am so sorry to learn of the death of your beloved Ruben, and there is precious little I can say to ease the pain I know you're feeling now. Heavy as it is to bear, the guilt you're feeling in the wake of this tragic loss is evidence that this was in fact an accident, and that what happened here was not intentional on your part. Right now knowing that does nothing to soothe your soul, as all of the grief you're feeling now must be processed over time, until you're able to comprehend exactly what happened, how it happened, what could have been done to prevent it, and what you can do to make amends. You've taken the first step by coming here to share your story. In circumstances such as these, it takes great courage to do that, and I want you to know that you've been heard. You will find no judgments here ~ only compassion and understanding as we walk with you in your sorrow. We all know that what happened to Ruben was an accident, that you dearly loved him, and that you'd do anything to rewind this tape so it could have a different ending.

Sometimes it helps to read stories similar to your own, so you can see that you're not alone in all of this. Below I'm listing two threads describing two very different situations, both of which contain information that I hope will be of help to you in the days and weeks ahead. Please be sure to follow the links you'll find embedded in the posts:

I Accidentally Killed My Cat In the Dryer

Massive Guilt Over Dog Death

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I just read your story and was deeply moved by it. Your relationship with your furbaby was and remains real and so meaningful. Sometimes, as hard as we try and as much as we love, things happen by accident or because we are exhausted or any number of reasons....never intended accidents and the result is the tragedy you have and are experiencing. Our humanity gets in the way.

I have a Golden Retriever who is almost 9. He is a part of who I am more than even I know. I am a person who carries with me in my car, signs to put on people's windshields if I see a dog in an unattended car and it appears that if the weather was a bit warmer, the dog would be uncomfortable, suffer or even die. I also carry a tool that is designed to break car windows and if I saw a dog in a car on a hot day, I would break the window. I say that because last week when I was preoccupied with the grief of losing my soulmate and husband, I went to the bank. It was NOT a hot day, it was dark and gray and almost cool. I parked in the shade and the back window was wide open because my heavily furred dog was in the car. However, normally on a day like that I would have opened all the windows for circulation even though I knew I was only going to be in the bank for only 3 or 4 minutes. I am extremely conscientious about Bentley's well being especially on warm days when he is with me in the car. I will put the AC on and "freeze" if I think he is hot in the back seat. When I came out of the bank, I was shocked to see how poorly I had attended to Bentley and even though he was in absolutely no danger...it was a gigantic red flag for me to know that with all my passion about dogs being left in cars when it is hot or even too cold, and the deep love and connection I have for my Bentley, I AM capable of doing the very thing I protest so vehemently.

You love/d your dog and you would never ever have endangered his life intentionally. You saved his life and gave him what he never had before you came along. You arealso human and your mind got scattered for a moment at a time that mattered. I am capable of that and you and everyone else is also. We are all capable of most anything. I hope someday you can forgive yourself and remember the life you provided for that wonderful friend...a great life he would never have had. We all do things that under normal circumstances we would not do. I have done it even in the care of my husband when I was so exhausted and lost my patience. It has taken me three years to even begin to let go of that. I wish you peace as you deal with this painful and sad loss and begin to forgive yourself. I have no words to comfort you except to tell you that this can happen to all of us because we are human.


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So sorry for your loss. Your story is so sad. I can relate cause this tragedy almost happened to me a year ago. I left my dog in the car after taking her to the park. I had so much on my mind that I went into my house forgetting she was in the back. An hour later I realized I had left her and was in a panick. Luckily it was not that hot and she was fine. Had it been during summer she would not have made it. Unfortunately, we sometimes are stressed or overloaded with so many things that it is easy to forget. Very scary but it is not intentional. It is a tragic accident. I can't help to believe that everything happens for a reason. I know that is no comfort to you right now.

I lost my Ali (female boxer) 2 months ago and am missing and grieving for her. The hardest part is the guilt I feel. I think about the time I left her in the car, the times I was impatient with her, the time I forgot to give her her medicine, etc. I wish I had been a better mommy. Losing her has been the hardest loss I have ever experienced. Don't know how this is possible, but it has been harder than the loss of human family members. This to me is so strange because I was never an animal lover. I only got this dog because my children wanted a pet. However, I grew to love her so deeply. My life revolved around taking care of her especially went she got sick. She was my comfort when I was down, and my dearest companion. I have dreams about her and sometimes wake up to her bark or the sound of her nails on the wooden floor. I am a religious person and believe our animals are in heaven and forgive us. I will pray for you and your sweet baby. Isabel

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I am so sorry for your loss. Years ago, I had an adorable dog, Fluffy, he was 1/2 Cocker Spaniel and 1/2 American Eskimo. He was a family dog, and our family of four adored him. He went everywhere with us, swimming, bike riding, picking Huckleberries, camping, anything and everything we did, so did he.

One day I took Fluffy and George (my cat) to the vet. We got home and the kids and I were busy trying to get some medicine into George, and since I'd already let Fluffy out, I closed my van up and went on to work. At the end of the day, I opened up my van, and Fluffy rolled out into my arms, stiff as a board. He had snuck back into the van and I hadn't noticed...knowing he wasn't supposed to, he was quiet my long drive to work.

When I think about the suffering that poor dog underwent, how he may have cried out to me, just outside my office window, with me not hearing above the sounds of the mill where I worked...it literally broke my heart. I called the vet and brought him right over...I know, that doesn't make any sense, was I hoping for a miracle? But it had been hours, and rigamortis had already set in. I'd give anything to take back that day. Like you, I had plenty of self-repercussions...I admonished myself, why hadn't I double checked the van before closing it? Why hadn't I made sure he made it into the house with the kids? Why, why, why? But it happened and it couldn't be changed. It was an accident. I loved Fluffy more than anything, I never would have hurt him for the world, and he knew that. I only pray that where he is and where your Ruben is, they are enjoying themselves as they wait for our reunion. So many of us here have lost wonderful animals, and it truly is one of the hardest losses one can have...we wish we could undo that day, but we can't change what is, only look forward to being with them again.

I am so sorry for your incredible loss.

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