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I Lost My Dog Of 12 Years


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Just yesterday I lost my dear Chopper. I had him for 12 years. It hurts deeply and there are moments I can't control my crying. My son is also taking it very hard. My husband (son's step dad) told us today we needed to move on. I understand, but I still feel I need to grieve. I don't think he understands that that is something I need. We are very different in that area. His father died almost a year ago, and I have yet to see him grieve.

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I'm sorry you lost your dog. It will hurt and you will continue to miss him for some time so it's understandable that you are grieving. I'm sorry your husband doesn't seem to understand that. It sounds like he buries things instead of dealing with them. You can't change him, but you have every right to grieve and so does your son. Perhaps you and your son could do something to memorialize your dog. Did you bury him or have him cremated? Perhaps you could put his toys with his ashes or body. I ordered a headstone for my dog from Personal Creations, it cost $25 and they always have coupon codes you can sign up for and use that covers the shipping. They did a great job but you want to put it out of the sun so it doesn't fade. It helps me somehow to feel like I'm honoring my pet.

the routines that you and your dog had will probably hit you afresh in the days to come until you've gotten more used to it changing. If you can do something to help that...for instance, if your son walked the dog every day, you might want to take a walk with him to change the routine so it's not felt quite so keenly, just an idea.

If your husband gives you a hard time about grieving, you might point out that you are respectful of his way of handling things and would hope that he would be respectful of your way of handling things.

I am so sorry you lost your Chopper.

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Thank you. My husband does hold a lot in and then he breaks. I know I need more time and so does my son. We are having him cremated to remember him. I know he loved him too, but he says someone has to be the strong one. And that sounds like a good idea. Plus we have two other doggies that need our attention who are feeling the loss as well. Again thank you.

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your beloved Chipper, and I hope it helps to know that here, you are among fellow animal lovers who certainly do understand and appreciate the pain that accompanies the death of a cherished animal companion, as well as your real and legitimate need to mourn your loss.

The way we mourn a death is as individual as we are, and to better understand your husband's reactions, it may help to read this article: How We Mourn: Understanding Our Differences.

You might also consider printing out a couple of articles explaining what is normal in pet loss, and giving them to your husband to read ~ to help him better understand your reactions to this death:

Pet Loss: Is It A Different Kind of Grief?

Losing A Cherished Pet: Myths and Misconceptions

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The Pet Lover's Code
1. You have the right to grieve the death of a pet.
2. You have the right to talk about your grief.
3. You have the right to feel a variety of emotions.
4. You have the right to be tolerant of your physical & emotional limits.
5. You have the right to experience "griefbursts."
6. You have the right to make use of ritual.
7. You have the right to embrace spirituality.
8. You have the right to search for meaning.
9. You have the right to treasure your memories.
10. You have the right to move toward your grief and heal.

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  • 3 weeks later...

I Loved You Best

Copyright © Jim Willis 2002, All Rights Reserved

So this is where we part, My Friend,

and you'll run on, around the bend,

gone from sight, but not from mind,

new pleasures there you'll surely find.

I will go on, I'll find the strength,

life measures quality, not its length.

One long embrace before you leave,

share one last look, before I grieve.

There are others, that much is true,

but they be they, and they aren't you.

And I, fair, impartial, or so I thought,

will remember well all you've taught.

Your place I'll hold, you will be missed,

the fur I stroked, the nose I kissed.

And as you journey to your final rest,

take with you this...I loved you best.

Photo Copyright © 1998 by Wayne R. Pope and used by permission.

All Rights Reserved.

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Thank you for that, it is beautiful.

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