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I Do Not Know How To Cope.

Hugh's Mum

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May 8th 2013 my life was changed forever.

My house was broken into and my two Mn Schnauzer's Hugh & Stella were brutally mudered.

I only recently got their cremains home, due to the fact that the case is still open.

I have gone through all stages of grief and continue to do so, maybe not as much as the first year but nevertheless it can throw me into a tail spin at times.

I do not think that I ever will get over this.

I have been in therapy, and on medication for the past year. I have spoken to Animal Psychics, tried to get an animal abuser registry going.

Still I can not get this off my mind.

Has anyone else gone through anything similar ?

Any help I would appreciate, I feel like I am in a huge tunnel with no way out.

Thank you.


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I am so very sorry that you have not only lost your beautiful dogs but under such horrendous circumstances. It surely sounds like you have been taking steps i.e. therapy and your registry, to cope with the pain of losing your family members. Keep in mind that it has only been a year since this traumatic event. With the work you are doing in therapy and by coming here to a place where people understand losses of all kinds it becomes a matter of continuing to work through this loss. One of the most important things is sharing your pain and talking about your feelings and you can do that here where others are doing the same thing. There are many pet lovers on this site, including me, and we understand pet loss.

You mentioned stages of grief. I think you will find that grief is not organized into stages though that term has been used widely and wrongly. Grief is more like a standing on a beach where waves come in, waves of all sizes. Some gently wash past your feet and others feel like a tsunami that carries you into deep pain. In time and with work (time is not enough) you will find those huge waves become further apart and the roller coaster tends to smooth out as you learn how to live with this loss. I wish I could say you will "get over" this loss but we do not get over it, we learn how to carry the pain which DOES lessen as we deal with it and share it.

I might recommend Belleruth Naparstek's series of CDs. One in particular on trauma might be helpful. Her work is excellent. Any of her books on trauma might also prove helpful. This is a traumatic event.


In the meantime I urge you to become a part of this wonderful group of people who understand loss, trauma, and pain and who will support you as you walk through this and find some peace and learn how to carry this loss. I am so sorry. Others will respond to you and you can get to know the folks here in time. You will find them loving and kind.

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I just read this and thought it might be helpful for you. I know the losses are different but the pain of losing a person or pet that we dearly love is well....it is pain and loss and it is what we all have in common here.


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Dear Mum,

I too am so sorry to read your tragic story, and I hope you'll accept my heartfelt sympathy for the death of your precious fur babies. So random. So brutal. So unnecessary. So not fair.

You say you've tried so many things to help, but you still cannot get this off your mind and you don't think you'll ever get over this.

I think that, as Mary suggested, when we buy into the so-called "stages of grief" model, we delude ourselves into thinking that the day will come when we'll stop missing our deceased loved ones, their absence will no longer bother us, and we'll find ourselves in some magical state of "acceptance." But how can you ever "accept" something as horrific as this? What happened to your dogs is not okay, and it will never, ever be okay with you.

In addition to the readings Mary has suggested for you, I want to offer some that deal specifically with this notion of "acceptance." As you read, remember that the grief that accompanies pet loss is just as real as that which follows the loss of any loved family member:

Is Grief Ever Resolved?

Can We Ever "Accept" The Death of a Loved One?

Mother Struggles to "Accept" The Death of Her Son

See also Is Pet Loss Comparable to Loss of a Loved One?

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I am so sorry for the loss of your two precious, beautiful dogs. I can only imagine the hard road you've been on this last year. To suffer loss is bad enough, but to have it done with a senseless and brutal murder is beyond comprehension. I'm glad you're in therapy, I hope with time and the right therapist it will help you go on.

I know the memories of how they died, what they must have felt, etc. is probably eating at you, which continues to haunt you in utter agony. I am speaking from how I would feel, not experience. I have lost my husband, father, MIL, niece, nephew, and many pets, but none to murder. I encourage you to focus not on their deaths/murder, but rather on their lives. I truly believe we will be with our beloveds again and that your Hugh and Stella are happy and whole right now and awaiting the day your journey here is done and you can be with them again.

I don't know or understand why bad things happen to good people...or pets, I only know that in this world there is a lot of injustice that we deal with and one day things will be made better for us. It is to that end I focus and my hope is placed. I hope by coming here you can find some degree of comfort, for you are not alone in suffering loss, it is something all of us here have had to learn to live with.

I see Marty has just posted some links, in addition to Mary's, and I hope you'll read them and find something of value there.

I want to add that by memorializing them it can help our grief journey just a bit by focusing on honoring their memory. I purchased headstones to place in the back yard where I have my pets buried and my husband's ashes scattered, so that whenever I look out on my back yard I can know that is their bodies' final resting place, as this is where they'd want to be. It does bring me comfort.

You're in my thoughts today and I hope your road gets a little easier as you go along.

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