Why Can't I Get Over My Dog's Death?

Updated on July 19, 2018
akirchner profile image

Audrey is a lover of all things DIY. The personal touch is so important and something we all can enjoy—in the creation or receiving!

Coping With Losing Your Best Friend

I have learned over the past two years that losing your best friend is sometimes harder from one pet to the other. It is as if there is no rhyme or reason to it, but here are the things that have helped me heal. That's not to say that I will miss him any less, but these tips have made the pain tolerable.

  • Celebrate your good fortune that you had him or her in your life!
  • Try and focus on the happiest memories and the good things
  • Remember him or her with pictures, collages, even a desktop slide show
  • Be thankful for the many moments you had in spite of your loss - the glass is half full
  • Allow yourself to be sad - whenever it comes upon you
  • Cry when you must and laugh when you can
  • Don't give up on another dog or pet - I tend to believe that your best friend will 'come back to you' in ways you have not realized yet
  • Realize life is not always fair but realize that time does make heartbreak easier to take
  • Let yourself grieve without guilt, shame or remorse - we cannot change the events in our lives. We can only accept them and move on.

My sweet, sweet boy.
My sweet, sweet boy. | Source

Of All the Dogs in the World

To say I have loved and lost before when it came to dogs would be an understatement. I have been so blessed in my lifetime to own at least 15 dogs. However, as much as they were so incredibly special to me, I have never taken the death of one of my dogs as hard as I've taken losing Griffin. I have come to the conclusion that somehow he was my therapy dog and I didn't even know I had one!

I had just lost one of my most favorite dogs ever when I lost Kodi. People that know me say every dog is my favorite but unfortunately, they would be wrong. There were favorites – and many of them – I just couldn’t help it. I have been blessed with having all these dogs over my lifetime (which was still not enough I will add) but there were always sublime standouts. I did not want to start over again. I was at that point where I had just one dog left and she was older, and frankly, I just didn’t want to go through that pain again myself.

Then I saw him. My friend, who was a malamute breeder, sent me a picture of 4 puppies (2 of them long-hair malamutes) and I fell in love with him. However, I told myself “No, can’t go there again” and told the breeder thanks but no thanks. It hurts too much and how can I ever replace my Kodi? He was part malamute and he had been one of the magic ones. I talked to my husband about it and he definitely didn’t want to go down heartbreak lane again.

That being said, I decided to leave it at that. Cut our losses so to speak and quit going through the trauma. The last thing I needed to see (though in retrospect the best thing that ever happened to me) was the movie The Proposal. The puppy in that movie did it. It simply sealed the deal. I walked out of the theater, turned to Bob and said simply “I’m so sorry but this decision goes to a higher power. I have to have that puppy.” It seemed fortuitous as my friend had already given away the puppy away but she got him back just for me.

To say Griffin was the dog of all time would be putting it mildly. I feel like I’m Elizabeth Barrett Browning but how do I describe the ways I have loved that dog? I’ve known a lot of dogs in my day obviously but this little fellow was just surreal. I wanted to name him Dante, which ironically means enduring. He has certainly put a stamp on my heart I will carry with me forever.

I could go on and on and wax eloquent about his many characteristics but suffice it to say that 2 years later and change, I still cry over losing him almost every day. I dream about him, but I suppose that is a good thing. He was in a word incredible. He was so beautiful and I mean inside and out. Every day that I had him I thought how blessed I was to have him in my life and how incredibly happy I am still to have known him and raised him. Malamutes are not known for being “as teachable” as Griffin was. I always laugh when I say it, but he would literally do anything for a treat. If you don't believe me, look at his pictures in some of my other hubs. These were all captured with the promise of just a treat and a few words of instruction or encouragement!

Source

He was majestic. He was incredibly handsome. Every person who ever passed him on the street, saw him in the back of our car or came to visit was just in awe of this gorgeous creature who also happened to be almost human. We had people pass us in their car when we had the back open, put it in reverse and come back just to look at him and go “wow – what a beautiful dog.” That was putting it mildly.

He had a language all his own and he talked to everyone he met and to us every day. He was one of the most social dogs I’ve ever seen. He loved nothing more than to travel with us, be with us, or to just talk to us. He loved walking down the streets, going on hikes, or cruising counters. He was the expert of all time there and made it look like you were the one who was mistaken. There was nothing left of anything so no crumbs or incriminating evidence. He would just look at us innocently as if to say “What are you talking about? What food?”

He would lie next to us in bed just for a bit to say he loved us and put his head on you in just the right place or cuddle against you just so. I called it Griffin acupressure. Instead of being frightened, most people were drawn to all 95 pounds of him. We had people run out of hotels to touch him or call down from balconies exclaiming they had never seen such a beautiful boy.

A young baseball team termed him "polar bear" and came outside in the pouring rain with multiple other people from the hotel just to pet him. We had people who followed us in the parks just to ask about him or pet him. We had families with children hold an elevator door just to let him ride with them and pet him rather than be frightened of him and his size.

He was such a special fellow. Walking downtown one cold wintry day, we had a throng of kids scream “snow dog” at the top of their lungs and laden with hats, coats, backpacks come running at him. They literally flung themselves on him and he just ate it all up rather than eating them up! I always said he was like a life-sized teddy bear. His fur was so soft that I can still almost feel it when I look at his pictures.

On top of being just an incredibly beautiful dog, he possessed the quality I find most endearing in life, which is humor. He had to be the funniest dog I have ever had the pleasure to own. His mannerisms, his antics, his training moments, his “talk” – all of it just made us laugh over and over.

Malamutes are most often thought of as snow dogs, yes, but they are also thought of as dangerous by many and as dogs that can be a bit challenging. If anything, Griffey was predictable. He would do anything for attention or treats and he loved, loved, loved people. He just loved life. He did so many comical things that we never had a day where we did not laugh over a “Griffin” moment.

He watched TV, ran upstairs to see my daughter and son-in-law on Skype and then tried to find out where they were hiding behind my desk. Yet, he was sweet and gentle enough that when we brought his niece home when she was 6 weeks old and he was 2 years old, he showed her the ropes and was the best mentor a puppy could have had. I marveled at him every day that I had him – and I truly thanked God for the time I had with him. I still do. No matter how much it hurts to have lost him.

Griffin in Training Making Everyone Laugh

Griffin Gallery - Some of Thousands

Click thumbnail to view full-size

People die every day of cancer. Dogs die every day of cancer or tragedies like poisoning or being hit by a car and much, much worse. I think the thing that upset me the most about losing my Griff was that I tried so hard to appreciate him, to give thanks every day for him. I was in love with him as a dog because he was absolutely incredible. I took such good care of all of my dogs but it just didn’t make any sense to me at all that this dog, so full of life and love, just all of a sudden ran across the deck one day and yelped. We had just come home from walking and he started to limp on his leg. He was so very much alive and so happy in all that he did that it seemed illogical that it could be something terrible. He was only 6 years old. How could anything be seriously wrong with him? Even the vets thought it was just a muscle sprain. No one thought it was serious enough to take x-rays, including us.

Resting and medications didn’t make it go away and poor Griffin was just frustrated. He wanted to live. He wanted to run and cruise counters. He wanted to have his life back. I am most grateful for the fact that after this started, before we knew how bad it was, we went on a week’s vacation. We always travel with our dogs and Griff and Gabby always went with us to hotels and on our outings and treks. At least I had the time to say goodbye (though little did I know it was going to be goodbye). As sick as he was, he was his usual magnetic self. We had time to cuddle. We had time to go to the places I wanted him to see though he was hampered by the limp so we could not do much – but he was with us for a full week and I treasure that time I had with him now. I do feel some closure over that.

We had an appointment on the day after we got home from vacation with an orthopedic vet because we couldn’t understand why he wasn’t getting better even with the medications and rest. Unfortunately, when they went to finally x-ray my beautiful boy, his leg snapped because the tumor had eaten away the bone. He went from somewhat in pain to being in excruciating pain. He also couldn’t walk on his leg anymore and now had to drag it. Just the sound of it still haunts me.

We were told they could amputate his leg (which would be a horrible thing for a 95-pound dog with cancer) and one as energetic as Griffin but that unfortunately and even more tragically, it would not save him in the slightest. He went from a little uncomfortable to crying all night and being hardly able to move with his now nonfunctional front leg. It did not take long for us both to realize that this was not fair of us to do to our beloved dog. It literally broke my heart but we had to have him put to sleep to ease his pain. I could not live with him suffering like that. They gave us the option to keep increasing his medication but unless he was practically comatose, he was in too much pain.

What a way he had of looking into your soul.
What a way he had of looking into your soul. | Source

In the aftermath of it all, I’ve beaten myself up at least a million times. Why didn’t I see it sooner? When did it start and how did all that time go by and I couldn’t see it? What could I have done to save him? I have never been angry about it except at myself I suppose for not knowing. Would it have changed his outcome? No, I don’t think so at all. It is a genetic thing and it is most of all just so horribly tragic.

The most magnificent dog in the world should not have had to suffer that way and we should not have had to lose him. At first I would tell people “You just don’t understand. He was so special!” What I realized later was the fact that we all have had a dog that was the most magnificent in our eyes and in our hearts. It certainly can’t hurt any less for anyone to lose their best friend as it hurt for us to lose ours. I saw him everywhere and I still think of him every day, even though we have since moved. He is part of us and he will always be part of me. Unfortunately and fortunately, it is as if he was just here 5 minutes ago.

I read something very profound one day that said “Why do you put a question mark where God has put a period?” Humbling and so very true. I cannot change what life/fate/God’s will has decided where my dog is concerned, and I need to accept it for what it is, one of life’s heartbreaking events.

Today, I try and dwell on the bucket load of blessings he gave me and I recall to the moment what made me laugh about him every day. I have literally thousands of pictures and videos and he lives on through them. He was such a sweet, sweet dog and especially for a malamute, he was one of a kind! He was so incredibly intelligent and observant. I swear he was an angel in fur. He soothed me every day that I had him. He was my therapy dog without me knowing I needed one. I could have done anything with him by my side and I did. I miss him every single day and I think I will miss him until the day that I die. He was that special.

I did not know how I could possibly ever go on but then of course, there was the “little’ matter of his niece, who was broken into pieces as well. She absolutely adored Griffin. She was more devastated than us if that was possible because 4 months earlier, she also lost our “queen bee,” Denaya, our rescued malamute who was probably 16 years old. In a couple of months, Gabby had suffered the loss of her entire canine pack.

As humans, Bob and I cried and cried. We still cry over Griffin, but Gabby just gave up. She came into my office on a daily basis and literally threw herself on the floor in desperation as if to say “What do I do now?” Oh that I could just throw myself on the floor because I would have said the same thing over and over and just given up.

Why do certain dogs mark us? Why do they wrap their paws around our hearts and make it feel so full and then break it apart when they leave? That’s the magical question. We tried everything with Gabby and she would spark for a few minutes with walking. She even became a retriever playing ball in the park and would run until she was exhausted and even came back with the ball! It would always come crashing down though when we were home again. It was very obvious she was grieving and probably going into depression from her loneliness.

Bob was the one who finally said we needed to do something. We felt that she was going to give up and die if we didn’t find her a companion. Enter Mad Max. We ended up going again with a puppy and though he looks nothing like Griffin, he “is” Griffin in many ways. He is not the same exact replica. That is probably a very good thing but then again, he is comical in his own ways.

Strangely, he does things that Griffin used to do. In fact, he adopted Griffin’s chair (I could not leave it behind and brought it with us when we moved). He has many similarities to Griff but he is his own boy. Again, that is good. Most importantly, Gabby did not give up. She rose to the occasion and embraced her new pal with all the zest and love that Griffin gave to her when she came on the scene. The most treasured and bittersweet moment was seeing Gabby “smile” in pictures when she was playing with Max, tolerating Max, and showing him the ropes that her beloved Uncle Griffin showed her.

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Gabby gets to be a mom at last!
Gabby gets to be a mom at last!
Gabby gets to be a mom at last! | Source

I believe Griff lives on in spite of his tragic death and I only hope that he is running free somewhere and saying it’s all okay...or that he is waiting for us on the other side. He was a treasure I have never seen the likes of nor will I ever again I imagine. I will always miss him because he made such an imprint on my heart, but I do believe he is coming back to us in his own ways through Max and just by us remembering him. There will never be another one like him, but to have known him and to have loved him was the ultimate gift of a lifetime.

I have thought about this so many times and truthfully have gone at it from every angle possible.

  • Was it meant to teach us something?
  • Did it happen to prepare us for the other losses that occurred over those 2 years since Griffin left us?
  • Will it ever get easier to look back without grieving for him still?
  • Is it possible that I will ever get over losing my all-time favorite canine companion?

I don’t know the answers to any of those questions but I do believe that perhaps time at least soothes all wounds if not heals them. It is certainly easier today than it was 2 years ago or even 1 year ago perhaps.

The only conclusion that I’ve come to is that everyone grieves in their own way and that healing is never going to be same for everyone. Every experience will be different, just as with the grief I felt over losing other dogs. In those cases, I did heal more quickly but that really has nothing to do with the current grief that I feel from my loss of Griffin.

Unbelievably to me still is that I lost a Labrador at exactly the same age to the same exact condition and accepted that tragedy much easier than this time. That in itself made me feel very guilty for some time, but I realize now that it is about how much love I felt for Griffin that is perhaps prolonging the grief and loss. I did not love Mariah any less - I just loved Griffin more somehow.

All I know in the end is that I loved him with all my heart and to have done that is far better than what my life would have been without him in it. He was priceless to me and my time spent with him will always bring me joy, in spite of the pain of losing him too soon.

My mind's happy place.
My mind's happy place. | Source

Saying Goodbye Is So Very Hard To Do

In my heart and in my mind, we walk along the ocean still and he is whole and healthy.

Rest in peace, my sweet, sweet boy and thank you for all the happiness you gave us. Thank you for visiting me in my dreams and for channeling Max! (Please try harder there - he needs a lot more help, bless his heart!)

Six years was definitely not long enough. I will never forget you.

Why Do We Love Our Dogs?

There are a lot of reasons and I've come to realize every single one of them in the past 2 years!

  • Pleasers - they try to do what's right to please us (most of the time)
  • Unconditional love generators - try to make them stop loving you!
  • Tactile soothers - (in Griff's case, a living, breathing furry body pillow or a real life teddy bear)
  • Joy makers - laughter and merriment because they do the funniest things
  • Goal makers - I want to train my smart malamute to do tricks!!! (not easy)
  • Faith builders - through their innocent eyes, life is simpler

Use Whatever Tools You Can To Cope with Loss

Reading articles and books such as "Losing My Best Friend" noted below really helped me cope with my loss. Even though it is hard, I love the line remember them with tears and laughter because the tears are inevitable but the laughter always comes back as well.

Having loads of pictures and videos have helped me tremendously as well. I can put myself right back there and again be so grateful for the ride with Griff.

As I was trying to heal from suffering my terrible loss, I found myself doing a lot of writing about it. As I mentioned, it took me quite a long while to write this!

I further went on to write a book about it, pouring my heart and soul into that. I was hoping to aid others who might be going through the same experience and possibly having as hard a time as I have had getting over my favorite dog of all time.

I have found a great inner peace and comfort in being able to channel my grief into a positive from such a sad "chapter" in my life in losing him.

In short, doing whatever we can to heal ourselves is the ticket. If we can somehow learn to express what we feel or even just get to a point of understanding it a bit more, we can achieve the ability to grieve but not quite as acutely. I still cried many tears in writing my book but it did help. I only hope that it goes on to help others as well.

Epilogue

As I said above, I always think that somehow Griffin speaks to me and wants me to be okay since he's gone. Yesterday, a very dear friend of mine at work shared a video with me from Animal Watch with Anneka going to visit the giant malamutes owned by Lorna Bartlett from Arctic Rainbow Malamutes.

What immediately stood out to me and almost knocked me off my chair was Taggie, the beautiful long-hair malamute who came in the sliding door and seemed to gravitate toward Anneka. I began to cry. It was liking watching a movie of my sweet Griffin. She looked like him, she had many of the same mannerisms and it was just surreal. It made me miss him terribly, but then in some way, it made me think of Griff when he was healthy, happy and so very personable.

Don't misunderstand - all of Lorna's malamutes are beautiful and enchanting. I could see Gabby in one and my rescued malamute Denaya who died in 2015 as well. Even Dooby reminded me of a malamute I was going to adopt after Griffin died but he was a little too big for us.

I contacted Lorna just to tell her thank you for the incredible gift she had given me of somehow "seeing Griffin" again. I will keep the video forever in my favorites and look at it maybe when I'm missing him. Lorna wrote me back that Dooby had just died 3 weeks ago and again I cried, this time for them as I know what a devastating loss that is. My heart goes out to them because malamutes truly do grab you by the heart and become part of your human "pack."

Part of working through grief I think is just learning to take it a day at a time and finding ways that bring our pet back to us in some small way. This video did it for me and for that, I shall be eternally grateful. It is yet another coping tool and a wonderful way to remember my sweet boy.

Animal Watch Giant Alaskan Malamutes

Good Resource on Amazon

Losing My Best Friend: Thoughtful support for those affected by dog bereavement or pet loss
Losing My Best Friend: Thoughtful support for those affected by dog bereavement or pet loss

I had so much laughter with Griffin that this book really meant a lot to me. Remembering him with laughter and tears works for me every time. Check out some of the other books on grieving for Fido as well and find the one the speaks to you and your unique relationship with your special dog. I'm sorry for your loss as well.

 

This article is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge. It is not meant to substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, or formal and individualized advice from a veterinary medical professional. Animals exhibiting signs and symptoms of distress should be seen by a veterinarian immediately.

Questions & Answers

    © 2017 Audrey Kirchner

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      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        2 weeks ago from Washington

        You are most welcome, FastLemur - will think of your new pup running and frolicking and having a WONDERFULLY long life. If only they could stay with us forever....I would of course then have 5000 dogs probably! Take care!

      • profile image

        FastLemur 

        2 weeks ago

        Thank you so much! I do understand that larger dogs are more prone to some things, but I'm really in need of a friend right now hehe. And same here, of all the dogs I've had the only adult that we had to put down was a husky that was used for breeding (it wasn't us, a breeder gave her to us when they couldn't use her anymore) and the poor thing was very old and worn out and she got really bad hip dysplasia so we decided to let her go... But other than her and the two puppies, all our dogs have lived great, long lives. But I will definitely ask the breeder about family problems to try and cross those out... Also we usually never get pure breeds, we try to rescue as much as we can, but this time I said that I'm going to try a malamute because I think I'm finally getting better with doggy leadership and frustration (I used to never be able to train anything cuz I was way too soft and wavering..) and we're moving to a place with tons of space and snow so she should be happy...

        Again thank you so much for the awesome articles!

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        2 weeks ago from Washington

        Hi FastLemur

        I would not say that long-haired malamutes are more prone to cancer or disease, but some folks argue that they are "inferior" in some ways to "regular" malamutes. At least that is what I have read. I really just do not know if that is true. I do know that any large breed dog is going to be more prone to cancers and other maladies like bloat, etc. than smaller dogs. That is just a painful fact.

        I'm so sorry for your loss of the puppy - that is tragic. I actually have some experience with that as our 2 lab puppies years and years ago both had parvo and we almost lost both of them. We were actually on our way to say goodbye to one of them at the vet's and when we got there, she saw us and perked up. It was a miracle for sure that both of them survived. One of them (Mariah) got cancer (just like Griffin) when she was 6 years old and the other sister lived to be 14-1/2 years old. There is sometimes just no rhyme or reason to it but they could not have been loved more.

        Back to the malamutes, I would say that you could consult with a breeder. As it turns out, there was another malamute in Griffin's line (on the father's side) that did have cancer and perhaps that was the tell sign there. I don't know. All I know is that it is a horribly painful thing to watch your young dog succumb to but then there are a lot of other things (like parvo, etc) that are just as cruel on our blessed dogs. I would always try and just get the "cleanest" dog (breeding line) you can and check it out, do your homework, but even then - nothing is for sure. It is all not up to us and in someone else's hands I guess as to who lives on into long doggie years and who does not! Sad but true. I honestly have had rescued dogs that all lived to be 16 or 17 years old. They were happy campers for sure and they came through time and time again through the craziest of illnesses and in all cases, just collapsed more or less on the day that they died and that was it. Griffin was the first purebred dog we ever owned - ironic. He was just so special though - I would have done it all over again in a heartbeat.

        Take care, and again, I'm so sorry for your loss also. When I read all of you folks' stories, it always makes me cry for your losses. It also makes me feel not so alone in my inability to get over losing Griffin completely. I think we are all good support for each other. Good luck and DO get another dog. We can be as careful as we want to be, but it is sometimes just the 'luck of the draw' I have found. I do believe that somehow these dogs pick us and even if it ends in tragedy before we know it or something we never saw coming, they needed us and we needed them for those moments in time. I'll be thinking of you and getting started again with another little girl or guy. The continuity of it all and life moving on does heal even the most broken of hearts. Peace be with you.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        2 weeks ago from Washington

        Hi DivaDoodles - I am assuming that is not your name but a tribute to your beautiful Diva? I'm so very sorry for your loss. I think that is the worst thing that can happen - when they die unexpectedly and we did not "plan" on that happening. We are all hopeful when we love these dogs (or any pet really) that much. We feel like we just didn't see it coming and we could have, should have done this or that. I beat myself up pretty good for not realizing that Griffin had cancer and then how I took him to the vet and the x-raying broke his leg. He might have lasted a few more months without that. I think we can all second guess what we have done but please remember this MOST OF ALL...you loved your Diva just as much as your heart could possibly hold love - to the moon and back. That is how much I loved my Griffin. They knew that - to their dying breaths. It is just unfortunate that they had to leave us before we were ready to let go. That's about the only thing I can rationalize even 3 years later. I was just simply not prepared or willing to let him go. I wanted him to be with me forever. In truth though, he is with me forever and will always be. It doesn't help much and it is not quite the same as having him here with me to make me laugh and smile, but the only thing I can think of after it has been over and done - he is not suffering anymore. You could not see the future. You could not save Diva no matter what. I think it is the hardest thing in the world to say goodbye and then not to blame ourselves. Please don't do that. She would not want that - and I know now that Griff would not have wanted me to do that either. Honor her and remember her but do not let it break your heart - or maybe just let it break it a little bit. They say a broken heart holds more love and I guess I believe that now. I have been grieving over losing Griffin for so long that I can't believe it - but it does get easier with time. Having Max and Gabby has helped tremendously and knowing that they need me is key to my survival and has been all along. It doesn't mean that we won't miss them every day of our lives going on without them - but it will get easier in time. I totally understand your feelings of guilt and tragedy and I'm again, so sorry.We can't live in "if only" though because we can't go backward - only forward. Take care and know I'm thinking of you. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss of Diva. She sounds like a wonderful girl!

      • profile image

        FastLemur 

        2 weeks ago

        Thank you so much for this article, even though it was hard to read since I just lost my dog last month. Totally true what you say about some dogs just being extra special. I've had 10 other dogs, and none of them compared to her, the whole family felt it. Sadly she was only 4 months old when she passed, but she took a bit of all of our hearts with her... Another puppy (a stunning Czech wolf dog) died the same week as her, so it was extra tragic. The Czech came with parvo and infected the other one as well, and despite our 24/7 treatments they didn't make it...

        Also, you mention that you think Griffin might have been more disposed to cancer because of his long hair? I'm getting a malamute puppy in January if all goes well, but should I not get a long hair if that's the case? We're just so afraid of losing more pups that I'm trying to be extra careful...

        Thank you so much!

      • profile image

        Divadoodles 

        2 weeks ago

        I lost my 8 year old baby 3 days ago.

        Yorkie baby girl Diva was from Korea and we bought our 2 yorkie babies to South Africa with us.

        Diva was my heart and soul, I think I loved that dog more than anything in the entire world.

        She got me through some dark times.

        I spoke to her , she listened , she watched tv and growled and barked at it, she yelled at me for snacks, showed me her nails and did high five .

        Beginning of the year she was diagnosed with CHF.

        Went on usual meds and was ok.

        Last few months her breathing was off , went to a new vet on a Sunday who took her on.

        She then suddenly got pyometra and had to have an emergency spay and recovered like a trooper .

        All was well for a few weeks and then her breathing went off again.

        Back and forth we went to the vet and he then decided to do ultrasound and diagnostics, she was distended by then short of breath and uncomfortable .

        Took 2 days for sedation from ultrasound to wear off.

        Finally got results pointing to cardiac insufficiency leading to liver enlargement.

        Vet adjusted meds and added liver support.

        Came home that night and she got diarrhea .

        By next morning it was bloody diarrhea , I asked vet about starting her on metronidazole which I had and he said go again.

        Went out came back and stool was watery with blood. Messaged vet and asked what to do as I didn’t want her to dehydrate.

        No response .

        I tried stringing glucose water into her mouth . Went out again and my son mashed me saying he thought she needed to go on a drip. Came back to check and was going to go back to the vet at 5. I picked her up , she looked at me took one last breath and was gone.

        I’m devastated as I feel I could have saved her had she gone on a drip to replace fluids.

        Day before hubby asked vet if she was going to die and he said def not.

        Now he says it was liver failure. I don’t believe it, and now she’s gone and I’m grief stricken as well as guilt stricken as I’ve been to the vet every other day but when I should have been there urgently I didn’t get there in time.

        I don’t know how I am going to carry on.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        4 weeks ago from Washington

        I'm sorry for your loss, too, Debbie - ah yes - the walks!!! Griffin was so good at those - we called him Sir Prance-a-Lot - he just had a way about him that said I love life and I'm out here just prancing to the beat of my own happy drum. His name was Mr. Moonlight (kennel name) and he certainly made you smile as he strutted along. It is good to remember our favorite moments with them, for sure. Thanks for stopping by, Debbie. Hugs to you. Never easy saying goodbye.

      • profile image

        Debbie 

        4 weeks ago

        It’s horrible losing a pet. I lost my berty last dec and not over him . I’m so sorry for your loss. We think of the fun times we had and their favourite things and walks .

        Take care

        Debbie

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        5 weeks ago from Washington

        Hi Hayden

        I'm sorry for your loss as well. It is never, never long enough. I grieve my Griffey every day and can't believe it was such a short time that he was with me. I had been hoping it would be longer, as I have mentioned a lot of times. However, if I had had him even longer, the pain probably would have been even worse at losing him. I truly hope and pray that they are all running somewhere happy and free from stress or pain and we will get to reunite with them one day. Take care and know that I do understand completely.

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        Hayden 

        5 weeks ago

        I am sorry for your loss.

        I lost my Reginald Jack Sausage 30 Sept 17 so its nearly a year and today is one of those challenging bad days.

        He was 9 months at adoption and I said goodbye after having him just over 15 and a half years.

        I cannot comprehend he has gone.

        Hayden

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 weeks ago from Washington

        I'm so sorry for your loss, too, luvs2dance. I know it was so hard to lose Griff after only 6 short years but now I wonder how hard it would have been after 15. I don't think I would have ever been able to endure it no matter what the time frame - it is all just a horrible loss for us when we love them that much. I'm so glad Indiana was a part of your life, too - it sounds like he had a wonderful time, just as Griffin did. People just used to flock to him no matter where we took him so I'm glad for all that pampering he got from the world "at large' as well as his family and friends. These special ones will live with us forever in our heart, but I know what you mean - saying goodbye is the worst part. When they broke Griff's leg with the x-ray it just wasn't tolerable to either one of us to see him in that much pain. I am grateful though for the days leading up to all that where I got to just spend time with him. I'm glad you got that chance as well. Take care, and again, I'm so sorry for your recent loss. I'm hoping Indiana is frolicking with my Griffey and having a wonderful time where there is no cancer and no more pain. Bless them all.

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        luvs2dance 

        6 weeks ago

        Wow. Thank you so much for posting this story. We lost our standard schnauzer of almost 15 years just a few weeks ago. Like Griffin, for us, Indiana was special - he truly was our Indiana Jones...always up for whatever crazy adventure we worked up for him. We travelled with our dogs too - Indiana had travelled from Canada to Florida 4 times! We were halfway done another one of those drives when we discovered a large cancerous mass in his chest. We had no idea it was there. They told us we had 1 week, so we turned around and came home. We got 9 beautiful days to say goodbye before his suffering became too great. I think about him every day. I'm so grateful to have had him in my life and will always cherish all the joy he brought me, but it has been very difficult to say goodbye.

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        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 weeks ago from Washington

        You too, Ken. Take care and keep an eye out for someone who is out there just waiting for you. I know it will happen when the time is right. I'm so sorry for Blackie as well. Every time I have lost a dog, I say never again. Somehow they just grab us with their paws around our heart and will not let go. I just know though there will be someone "like" Sam that will come to visit you and it will help - not completely ever heal it - but it will help. Max makes me laugh every day and Gabby just shakes her head at him. It is good to smile when you thought you never could again. Will be thinking of you!

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        Ken Suter 

        6 weeks ago

        Dear Audrey, Thank you so very much for posting my story and responding to me. I have purchased your book, and I will have a box of tissues nearby when I read it. I am so glad you have Max to help you with your loss, I have 2 dogs, Blackie, a lab who came as a stray six months after we got Sam, and Katie, a Beagle that I rescued from the neighbor's six years ago, she was emaciated badly and neglected, I called the same humane society I got Sam from and they are two sweet dogs. But they always took a back seat to Sam, he too talked constantly and controlled us and the entire house. I called him King Brown Crap and he knew his nickname well! He loved every person and animal he ever met, and he especially loved cats. He loved going to the Veterinarians ironically, he would try to make friends with all the cats. He was like having a four year old toddler his whole life, I talked to him constantly and he was highly intelligent, more human I think than dog. Unfortunately, I will be dealing with losing Blackie in the near future, he has an aggressive cancer. I am trying to give Blackie as much love as I can, but he's not a cuddler like Sam, and Sam is stealing the spotlight in my heart even after his death. I look forward to reading your book, reading it and talking to you will certainly help me immensely in dealing with my grief. Thanks again and I wish you only the best

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 weeks ago from Washington

        Oh Ken - that is so sad - it definitely has me crying trying to type this reply! I so hope that Griff has met up with Sam and that they are frolicking and swapping parent stories!!! I know they will be great ones. I have no doubt that Sam picked you - just like my Griffin picked me to love with all his heart and soul. He loved other people - he was a people magnet - but there was just that special thing between us that was so hard to lose. I totally understand your grief especially when something happens so suddenly. When you just do not expect it or "see it coming" I think it is 5 times harder to accept or get over. I am glad you have come to the conclusion that another dog is out there - he or she truly is - and he or she will find you and love you. I know Max is not the exact same as my Griffey but surprisingly, he knows just what to "say" to me every day to make me grateful for him and for Gabby. He comes bursting into my office - he is not a smooth talker/smooth walker like Griffin was - and is full of zest and energy all the time! He will just trot up to me, put his head on my knee and look at me and start talking. I know he is telling me things like - be happy today - I love you - Griffin loved you - have a nice day, mom!!! He will greet me at night when I come downstairs after a long day of working and start chattering at me again - and then come and lay right beside me. He is my husband's dog "mostly" but he is so sweet to me -it is amazing. I feel like maybe Griff is in there somewhere trying to soothe me still and make me know all is okay. It is still painful to think about - after 3 years! I am amazed that a heart can hurt for that long but it was a deep affection for sure I felt for that beautiful boy - I totally understand your grief over Sam. I ended up writing a book because obviously this article did not "end" my grief but think it all is therapeutic - whatever we need to do to express that sadness we feel is okay. Please take care of you - and I will be imaging another dog "finding you" because he or she will... When the time is right, you will find a dog again and I would almost bet that you will all of a sudden look at him or her and catch a gleam in his or her eye and wonder just for a minute if you are looking at Sam. I've felt that several times with Max and it has given me peace. Wishing you that most of all. I know we cannot change what happened and it must have happened for "some reason" though it escapes me altogether, but we will survive and our pups would have wanted that most of all for us. Thanks for sharing your story about Sam and I am so very sorry for your loss also. May they both be happy today wherever they are and I hope and pray one day I get to see my boy again and you yours!

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        Ken Suter 

        6 weeks ago

        Dear Audrey, As I started my day this morning, I told myself that this was going to be a better day, as I haven't seen really any good days in nearly a year. And then I read your story about your amazing Griffin. And I cried. I cried for you and the immense pain you have been suffering through, and I cried for me, because I lost my adopted four legged son Sam 11 months ago. Nearly every word of your story was mine, as if you were able to somehow get into my mind and tell my story. The only real difference in our losses was the breed of dogs, Sam was a Schnauzer Terrier mix. What I really was amazed at was when you talked about Griffin's eyes. That was Sam. He had the same eyes. When I first met him, at the mall, the humane society was trying to adopt out seven puppies, I had no intention of getting one, even though I had several dogs growing up, but as I stood there with my wife watching the group, one dog in particular was sitting quietly to the side. I kept looking at him from a distance, and he stared at me the whole time, and then he walked up to me and, those eyes, I couldn't believe how his eyes latched on to me like a magnet. He then turned around and laid on my foot, and the humane officers all ran over to me, saying that he picked me, I must take him. I got uncomfortable and told my wife that we must go, and I pulled my foot out from under him, and he let out a signature groan/moan as I walked away. We went about 20 feet, my wife said "will you stop and look at that dog?" I did, and those eyes, they pierced my heart like a laser, as he stood looking like he was going to cry. I said "we'll take him!"That was the single best thing I ever did in my life. For just over 11 years, I had the honor of being his Dad, I had a bond with him that I don't think I have ever had with any human, including my wife, if that is possible. I literally worshipped the ground this sweet, gentle, highly intelligent dog walked on, I considered waking up to him every day as essential as breathing oxygen. Never did that dog ever lick me, but he certainly kissed me a million times with his eyes, and he engraved his being into my heart that will be there forever. And then the worst day of my life came when his full of energy body jumped into the air, excited about going for a walk, when he landed on his feet, he screamed for what seemed like an eternity, I looked at him in horror, he stood motionless for about 5 seconds, and fell over on his side. That was the last sounds he would ever make. He obviously paralyzed himself, and in less than a half hour at the vet's my precious jewel died. How? How did I not know he had a spine problem? I had my hands on this beautiful boy a hundred times a day! I know how your Griffin passed away has created a lot of guilt for you, but you did the right thing, there was no miracle that could help him. The suddenness of losing Sam has devastated me, to the point of going into a state of immense depression for nearly a year. I call it emotional torture. A few days ago, I told myself that I have two choices, one, I can commit suicide and be with him hopefully, but I certainly don't have the guts to do that, or I can pick myself up and live, and that is exactly what I plan on doing, because Sam would want me to, he loved every minute of his life. Some day, another dog will find me, and need me as much as I need it. And if it is a quarter of the dog my Sam was, and obviously your Griffin, I will have hit the jackpot again. My heart truly aches for you, I will forever think of you and your loss when I think of Sam.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 weeks ago from Washington

        Thanks, Sugarplum - wishing you peace. It will eventually come. You will always miss your sweet princess though and I'm there with you. Take care! Thank you for YOUR kind words. It is good to know we have friends out there who understand.

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        Sugerplum 

        6 weeks ago

        Dear Audrey, many thanks for your kind words, when I read about your heartbreaking experience with your beautiful boy Griffin I was in tears, he was so young and in his prime, grief is a lonely place. When I wrote to you I could hardly see for crying. It felt like someone understood how I felt day to day without her. I wear a locket with a photo of her looking like a little princess, that does give me comfort, I know it will get easier, as time passes, I'm so grateful Mollie was in my life, as you were with your sweet Griff. Many thanks you are truly kind, virtual hugs to you, and all who those are missing their cherished doggy friends x

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 weeks ago from Washington

        Hi Sugarplum

        How heartbreaking and I'm so sorry for your loss also. A dog living 16 years seems like a lot but it is never enough to tell the truth. I had a Molly - though different spelling - and she was my first heartbreak for special dogs. She lived to be 14-1/2 years old after having grade IV hip dysplasia and having a hip replacement and then a hip nailing on the other side. It was still not long enough so I know your sorrow. I'm sorry she was in so much pain and know the agony of watching that in your sweet baby. It does not seem right and know you did the right thing to ease her suffering, though it caused your own. That is just the hardest thing of all - making that decision to end their life. However, I think in all fairness to them, it is the right thing to do as they do not deserve pain after they have given us their hearts and souls. I'm so sorry again for your loss and for your family's loss. Do know that she loved you to the moon and back - there is no doubt. She knew you needed her when you did and she was there for you - and you were there for her in the end. Take care and know that she will always know your love - and you will always have hers to carry in your heart. It does get easier with time - though some of them - we simply can never, ever forget, no matter how we lose them or when we lose them. I think that is a gift - despite the pain it causes us for their loss. Virtual hugs to you.

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        Sugarplum 

        7 weeks ago

        Hi, I've just read your wonderful article about your gorgeous boy. We lost our darling Mollie a few months ago aged 16, see was more than a dog to me, she was my best friend and companion, truly beautiful inside and out. She never left my side when I was very ill 5 years ago, her beautiful brown eyes and feeling her warm weight led on the bed next to helped my recovery. I was able to do the same for her in return, arthritis has taken its toll on her little body, she was on so many pain meds, but she also developed dementia which was heartbreaking to watch. I would sit up with her all night so she wasn't afraid to be left alone, my sweet beautiful little girl was in so much pain at the end we took the the decision to part with her. Our vet was so kind he made her comfortable so we could say our goodbyes. My heart was broken. In the months that have followed I'm finding it very hard not to see her everyday, feel her soft but wirey coat run through my fingers. She is greatly missed by all of our family who love her as she loved them.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        2 months ago from Washington

        I'm so sorry for your loss, too, Andrea. That is sad. I know sometimes it seems unfair that we can't be with them when they die. I had that happen also with a border collie who was aggressive toward our other 3 dogs. We had to give her away to preserve some kind of sanity in the house. She had a good life but we were never with her when she died and I felt badly about that. She was such a fierce dog. They do know we love them I think though and we will always carry them in our hearts. Don't feel too guilty over it - unfortunately that is easier said than done. They just are not with us long enough - ever. Take care.

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        Andrea Mazurek 

        2 months ago

        Thank You so much for this. I had to rehome my dog because he was agressive only to my husband. Then he became agressive to others and recently he attacked his new owners and they put him down and called after. I feel really guilty because I had him since a puppy and I would of been there with him. Although I guess he wasn't my dog anymore. To me he was and I feel like I let him down. But thank you for your story.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        2 months ago from Washington

        Oh Juan, truly your pain makes me cry as well. I know most of what that feels like and I'm so sorry for Ziggy and for your loss as well. I do know though just with the experience with Griffin, it is NOT our faults. There is nothing we can do to save them, bless them to the bottom of their furry hearts. We loved them and they loved us way beyond what we could even imagine. They would forgive us anything. It was not intentional - it was just one of those stupid quirks of medical science I think. I had a lab who was 14-1/2 years old who died of that same twist of the stomach. I was heart broken as well because I felt that if I hadn't taken her to the kennel (she would get so nervous) that it never would have happened. We were too far away to get home in time to be with her when they had to put her to sleep and that took me a long time to forgive myself for. However, I did come to the conclusion that it couldn't have been prevented - it was sad, sad, sad and broke my heart as it happened right before Christmas - what an awful gift that was! Yet, I think she left because she wanted me to get Denaya - our first rescued malamute - that is what I told myself anyway. Here was a dog that was going to be put to sleep from starvation at only 1 year old and no one wanted her because she had too many issues. We had her until she was 16 or 17 years old and died right before Griffin. I always feel that these things (as HORRIBLE as they are and how they break us) are meant for some reason. All I can say is try and think of Ziggy running free and free of pain, which is most important. He is young again - and he is meeting up with Griff and saying - hey - your mom wrote a story about you - and my dad wrote a story about me. Isn't that the coolest thing ever? They LOVED us man - with all their hearts and even though they miss us - we are still in their hearts. How cool is that, dude? (I used to always call Griffin 'dude' - too funny I just thought of that). It illustrates though that they are ALWAYS with us - they will never go away. The pain gets better just with time...she says wiping her tears. It truly does. Maxwell has helped us redirect some of our grief into making him into someone Griff would have adored also. I think that is what has saved me anyway. He cannot replace my beautiful boy - but he is a wonderful distraction and another dog to love. I'm hoping Ziggy sends you someone to love and maybe that will help Zoe as well. It saved Gabby's life to be honest. Take care - virtual hugs and will think of Ziggy bounding over bushes and rolling in delight in a heavenly meadow - it just has to be so! They deserve all that and more. You might be surprised to 'see him' in some other dog along the way also - just winking back at you - hey dad - here I am! I catch a glimpse just every now and again from Max of Griffey stopping in to say hi.

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        Juan Tremillo 

        2 months ago

        We lost our half Chow half Shepard, Ziggy 2 weeks ago, sep 7. Our beautiful spoiled boy was 14 1/2 years old. He would've been 15 in December. I continue to live the day in my head where I could have told the vet and my wife NO to the new meds they were going to give him. He was in pain for arthritis all over his body, he could barely walk, but overall he was still getting up to eat lightly, wanting to continue to come to bed with us, wanting to finish his walks even though he could not walk much, but we let him rest at every driveway. I had a bad feeling about the meds, but I was just wanting for my wife to ease her mind that I was in this to help him too because I loved him so much. Ive always hated to watch Ziggy go under for sedation for any type of procedure, so when the vet recommended a small dose of morphine like med to help ease the arthritis so we could get im to eat again, it sent an alarm to me, but again, I trusted the vet and wanted for my wife to have this, to make Ziggy feel better. 2 hours later, he was choking on his phlem, couldn't breath. Vet didn't know why that happened, believed that the meds caused his intestines to twist, or whatever. I tried yo help him breath and relax by rocking him back and forth on my lap and arms. he finally relaxed and started breathing normally, but then he got too relaxed and silently fell asleep. i felt his breathing go lighter then my wife said he stopped breathing, i said he was just sleeping and then meds were finally relaxing him. But no, he was dying in my arms, i moved him to his mattress and tried to help him breath, but he had passed on. I have never experienced this type of pain before, other than my fathers passing. I constantly replay his trust in me when i took him to the vet, that dad would not let anything happen to him. The look in his eyes that he always trusted me, that he wanted me to just take him home. I feel so guilty for allowing the new meds when i could have told my wife and vet to just leave him, i know he's old, but he's happy with us. I miss him everyday, and it does not go away. I just recently allowed myself to smile for a brief moment. what is even harder is watching our other dog, Zoe, who was his partner for 12 1/2 years, miss him too. When he passed, she knew it, she layed next to him for a while, before we asked the vet to pick him up to have him cremated and have the ashes back to us. Me and my wife have approached this differently. She wants to remember the good, but I am constantly stuck on the day he passed. It hurts so much because he was my roaddog, my sleep pillow, he slept at feet or had to be touching my leg for 14 1/2 years. He would ride with me in my truck and was always the navigator by standing on the console. I believe he was like a child to us, but he was also my therapy dog because he always made me so happy no matter how bad of a day i had. always forced me to walk him. Its left such a hole in my life and in my heart. I just hope that this pain gets a little less, but I feel so guilty in trying to move on. I cant or dont want to move on, because i felt i could have saved him and given him a few more months or another year. I just hope if he is in dog heaven, that he forgives me for what happened, because I know I will never forgive myself for not fighting for him.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Oh Liz - I'm so sorry for your loss of Gomez. That is so difficult when something like that happens and we always, always blame ourselves. I knew a young fellow in Oregon who had a 3-year-old rottweiler and somehow she got into the antifreeze. I don't think I've ever seen anyone cry harder or longer. I felt SO bad for him. It isn't our fault, truly it isn't. Things just happen sometimes. I have to believe that our beautiful therapy dogs are meant to be somewhere else and maybe Gomez was needed for someone right then. There just has to be an explanation as to why we have to lose our (as you said almost like a person) dogs who are just giving us everything we need. We are upset (nauseated, can't get out of bed, depressed, tearful for hours on end) because we are going through a horrible poisoning ourselves of our heart. We can't accept the reality of them being gone and I think that is quite normal - especially given the short time that you've been dealing with this and the circumstance. I felt terrible because we had been on vacation with Griffin - and I should have taken him to a vet there - I should have done this - I should have noticed that he had cancer. We can't beat ourselves up for any of this. It is just what it is unfortunately - a tragic, tragic loss. It takes a long while to get over and I can attest to that. Know that I'm thinking of you and wishing you peace of mind. We can't always block the bad things that can happen and that's a sad reality to face sometimes. However, do know - Gomez loved you to the moon and back - he would not want you to grieve but you will. I never have any doubts that my Griffin had a wonderful life and that he loved us all heart and soul. That is comforting even through the loss. I'm so sorry for you all. Sending you virtual hugs as well. We'll think of Gomez finding Griffin and rolling in the grass and howling up a storm. They will be waiting for us on the other side.

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        Liz 

        3 months ago

        I lost my sweet boy Gomez this past Friday. We just got back from a three week vacation and the boys that were watching him said he wasn’t eating much. He was very skinny but otherwise seemed okay. We were jet-lagged but I knew something wasn’t right and waited a couple days before I brought him to the vet. He had injested poison somehow which is odd because he isn’t interested in dead mice, trash, etc. He died a few hours later. The guilt is literally paralyzing me and I am constantly nauseated. This article comforts me somehow because Gomez was so special, crazy and one of a kind and just to know that someone has gone through this too brings some peace. He was almost like a person and was always by my side. He was my therapy dog, too and I am heartbroken. It will be hard but I really pray I can forgive myself and move forward soon. Thank you for writing this- it will help and has helped me already. Peace, Liz

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        After doing the math - it is actually 1109 days since I've seen our beloved Griffin. It feels like at least 1500 days. The point is - no matter how long they are gone - it aches like a hole in your heart. Math has never been my strongest suit!

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Ah Charlie - you said it quite beautifully and eloquently. They are the sum total of all the dogs that we have loved these special ones that set themselves apart. My daughter always said that I loved all my dogs equally but she would be incorrect there. There are just some that put a print on you that is unexplained and quite remarkable. Griffin was that supreme one. There were others before him but no one has broken my heart quite like my little boy leaving me behind. However, as you say - they come back at us in the strangest ways - that is my theory anyway and I'm sticking with it!

        What a beautiful name - Willow! Did she really live to be 23?? Oh my - I'm so jealous! I actually have been so blessed with those that lived to be 15-17 so I think that is why I was so upset that I should lose not 1 dog but 2 of them at age 6 to cancer. That seems unfair - but hey - life is rarely fair. It is meant for some reason I suppose and I like to think Griff was needed somewhere else.

        I will think of Willow too finding Griffin and running like mad through the meadows though Griff will probably stop to take a lie-about if I know him! He was such a sweet, sweet dog - but aren't they all? They love us madly and it is very, very hard not to love them in kind the same way.

        Max has stolen a bit of my heart as well. I see those Griffin 'moments' in Max and it does warm my heart. I do not understand how such broken hearts can live and breathe again as it seems like the whole world has ended when you have such a loss - and that a broken heart can't open up and love something or someone again - but it is quite so. Griff (and Willow) would want it that way.

        Have fun with your lovely bundle of fur and love - they are just remarkable creatures that they make us feel so complete. I am sorry for your loss as well, just a few months after Griffin died. I can't believe that I have been without my beautiful boy for 1500+ days. I did not think I would make it past 1 day. It is truly the hardest thing we have to do for them but unfortunately what we must do when they are suffering.

        Hugs to you.

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        Charlie 

        3 months ago

        Like you I have had many dogs and they have all been special and I have loved each and every single one but some have somehow shined brighter.

        I lost my beautiful dog of 23 year old fog willow on November the 5th 2015 a date thats burned into my head for all the wrong reasons. It is also my late fathers birthday and was the same day as a friends funeral. To make matters worse its a big deal in the uk as its when we celebrate bonfire/guy fawkes night by setting off a lot of fireworks, so its hard to forget.

        Beautiful Willow had cancer she had had tumours removed from her mouth but they had regrown and further treatment options were cruel especially at her age, so we managed to keep her as pain free as possible and she was happy for several months, then one day she stopped eating, i think she was telling us it was time. We made the unenviable choice to put her to sleep and it broke my heart. I cry about her regularly and I miss her so very much.

        I remember her in so many ways and try to smile last year i made my wedding invites from a book she had chewed that id put in a draw and forgotten about, when i found it i decided it would be a nice way to invlude her.

        I thought no dog could fill her space and they can't but at the time my partner worked away a lot and working from home like i do was lonely so we ended up Bringing Rogal home. He is half Mallamute half labrador and he has taken a whole new part of my heart. He is just the right ammount of dog and human and absoloutley my therapy dog, he knows me better than I know myself. He is just a giant hairy bundle of love and I want his attention just as much as he wants mine. I sometimes think he has the souls of all the dogs I've loved before in his heart. He is my world.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Hi Elena

        What a wonderful story about Abbey and I'm so sorry for your loss as well. I think that Griffin wanted to be a chihuahua actually - he was afraid of his own shadow sometimes. He was definitely the most comical dog I have ever owned. The stories - we both have them don't we?

        Please do not beat yourself up over her passing though. It is just one of those things that we can't control - any more than I could control poor Griff getting cancer. We can't pick the time or the place I guess is the lesson there. No matter how they die though, we will probably always wonder what if - could I have done this or that "better" - and in all truth, there is nothing we could have done better. They loved us exactly how we were/are and they will always love us - no matter where they are. I don't think there is any easy way to lose your favorite dog or your best friend that is for sure. I will always miss him no matter how many dogs I had before or have after him. I know that you will feel the same way. I guess that just means that they were extra, extra special. They must have felt that love from the tip of their nose to the end of their tail. They gave it back in spades. Sending you virtual hugs and thanks for telling me about Abbey - I know she is with Griff and they are whole and hearty, just waiting for a day when they can greet us with all that love. Abbey will always know you treasured her, just as my Griffin will. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss, too. It is good to know that other people loved their pets as much as I did. Take care.

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        Elena 

        3 months ago

        Your beloved Griffin was gorgeous and yes apparently incredible in so many ways!!! So sorry for your loss and sorry Griffin was only 6 years old. It sounds like Griffin packed in 26 years of living and loving , in his 6 years! I lost my Chihuahua, Abbey, in May. She was 12 and it happened over a day & a half- she had an embolism or aneurysm of the heart. I didn’t have time to say goodbye, and came home from work, and she was gone. I threw myself on her tiny body (so opposite of Griffin’s 95 pound size!) - and sobbed inconsolably for 20 minutes over her body. Then I called my vet and he said to bring her over there and they would “help me with the body.” They kept saying how sorry they were and were so nice and kind to me, but I’m not sure if I heard all of their words- I was blind with tears and felt as though I could not hear clearly either. I had her cremated. I kept thinking is this my fault? Did I miss something? Not see something? And I was so guilty that she died alone in the apartment because she was always by my side. Had and still have such a hard time with that. My sister had 2 beautiful canvasses made from pictures of her and on one canvass, I wrote a poem to her, that is beautifully printed on the canvas. And of course I have videos as well. It was 4 months ago, and I cry every day thinking of her. I know I will still cry in 4 years from now, snd 14 years from now. She’s was the only dog I had, as a single/divorced woman , living on my own. I think it’s awesome that you have so many dogs of this beautiful breed such a wonderful home!! But like you said, I also laugh at how silly and funny, and fiesty she was. And yes, she too comes to me in my dreams. I have to tell you that I read MANY posts on the loss of a dog, but yours was the most profound and comforting to me. So glad I came across it. Griffin sure was absolutely gorgeous and incredibly special. We have to take comfort in knowing that Griffin and Abbey are in a much more beautuful place and are whole again! And we will one day be with them AGAIN, for certain! God bless you and thanks SO much for sharing that!!

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Oh gosh, John - thanks for writing to me about Mitzi. She sounds like a Griffin spirit as well. I have to believe that they are romping together and are fast friends. It is so hard at first. I remember every day the first thing I woke up and remembered for a very, very long time was that Griffin was gone and I didn't want to get up and move on at all. I cried and cried - everything made me cry. Just reading about Mitzi and your loss made me cry. Three years September 1st for me, and I still cry over missing him. I have Gabby and I have Max, but no one animal can replace that crazy dog and how I felt about him. I totally understand too that you grieve more than over a person because our dogs that we love - they are selfless. There is no end to the love they have for us and it totally shows. Take care and I'm so sorry for your recent loss. It does get better with time. My writing about it helped - first this article and then finally the book I wrote as well about it - that I cried through every page on. I think it is therapeutic though so that is good. Remembering them is therapeutic, even though it hurts. Every once in a while I go to talk about him and find myself starting to cry and I feel a little embarrassed but then I think no - he was THAT special. I won't be sad that it still hurts or feel silly because I still feel the pain of losing him. Virtual hugs to you as well. Visions of them tearing through the fields makes me smile. They will never be forgotten.

      • profile image

        Jon 

        3 months ago

        I am at the same place as you. I know exactly how you feel and hope you can find some peace inside one day. We never get over them, we just learn how to deal with their absence.

        I lost my soul mate and second dearest friend “Mitzi” 3 weeks ago who I love second to only my wife Linda, who is my 1st dearest friend and soul mate.

        I don’t know if I will ever heal from Mitzi’s passing. I cry every day, several times a day because she touched my soul and stole a piece my heart that can not be replaced. I hope to see her again one day ( Rainbow Bridge)because she was more human than 99% of most people I meet.

        She showed me love every day and followed me around everywhere. I couldn’t turn around without finding her at my side, until now, and wo7ld make me smileShe is gone physically but not spiritually in my mind and heart.

        I miss her more than family members who have passed on and I am not ashamed to admit that because no one EVER gave me as much love as Mitzi Girl my “Sweet BaBoo”, for all you Charlie Brown fans you know what I mean.

        John Morgan

        Please note this is a correction to my previous post

      • profile image

        John 

        3 months ago

        PS

        Audrey, Griff is running freely and pain free with other dogs waiting for you on the other side of Rainbow Bridge and one day he and you will join together and cross that bridge to get enter Rainbow Heaven. We will one day all be with our pets forever. I can’t wait to hug and kiss my Mitzi Girl again one day.

        John Morgan

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Hi Asya - I think that is something you will have to decide for yourself and then maybe speak with a vet and/or a trainer or a breeder. Just try and make sure that the pup is healthy for sure because I don't want you to have to go through another loss. There are just no guarantees though and all we can do is our very best. I do always think that it helps to get another dog but then I also believe sometimes we have to heal a bit first. In the meantime, you can always talk to professionals and/or even join a pet support group. They have them in real life and also online and that can be calming and reassuring also. I think you will know if you are supposed to get one and when. It has always worked that way for me.

      • profile image

        Asya111 

        3 months ago

        And I wish the same for you too. Do you think I should get another puppy after a few months?

      • profile image

        Asya111 

        3 months ago

        Thank you so much. A virtual hug for you

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Thank you, Asya - he so was. I truly never fell quite that in love with a dog and he will be missed forever. Thank you for YOUR kind words and please take care. I'll be thinking of you and wishing you peace.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        I totally understand Asya. When it happens, it is a severe trauma to your system. We had Griffin put to sleep in our SUV because he was in too much pain to keep trying to transport him. We should have probably put him to sleep at home but my husband couldn't bear it. It was so hard to get it out of our heads for months so that is not unusual. You have to do what is best for them so that they will not suffer. It is the hardest decision we ever have to make. Take care and know that in time, it will get better. Never forgotten - just easier to deal with sometimes. I did write a book about this - it is on Amazon. It is not a very big book but my pain led me to do that as well. It's called Mourning the Loss of Your Favorite Dog. It helped me to write about it so maybe trying some ways to deal with grief would be helpful for you as well. It is just hard - there is no other way to explain it and your feelings are completely normal. They are never 'just dogs' for those of us who love them with our whole heart. Take care and again - I'm so very sorry.

      • profile image

        Asya111 

        3 months ago

        Thank you so much Audrey, this made me feel a little better. It’s just that without him around the house feels so empty and I don’t want to be around anyone and nothing makes that feeling go away. I wish I could get him back. I can't get the sight of his last moments from my head. The amount of pain he was in i wish I could’ve taken that pain away from him. I just really miss him a lot ❤️ I am going to get another puppy in few months and I really hope this time it works out or else I will be heart broken and I don’t think that after that I will be able to get another pet in my life because I don’t want to get the life of these precious things in danger just to make myself happy.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Hi Asya

        I'm so very sorry for your loss of Leo. That is just tragic. And your other pup Archie as well. I honestly don't know how these things happen, but please believe you are not the curse and you are not at fault. Sometimes even puppies get sick and die and they should not - they just should not. I actually had 2 black lab puppies that we rescued literally off a 4-lane road when they were 6 weeks old. We found the owner, took them back - not once but twice. The owner just said I don't want them - what don't you understand about that? He let them go again...so this time, we took them home - in my son's baseball bag. They were so tiny. We took them to the vet and while we were there, there was a puppy who later died of parvo and that puppy somehow infected our 2 puppies! One of them almost died. They were both SO ill - it took weeks for Mariah to get back to normal but she made it. I was sure she was going to die because they were doing all kinds of things for her - IV fluids, medication - and nothing was helping. My husband went to be with her when they put her to sleep and she miraculously got better. It is just the most horrid thing though and when they do die, it is the worst thing that can ever happen to you.That I can easily testify too. My heart breaks for your losses. Please do not take on the extra burden though of blaming yourself. Sometimes just bad things happen and who knows why. Sending you virtual hugs - please don't give up on animals. Just be sure and always have them examined by a vet and/or make sure you get the healthiest dog you possibly can get. Even that being said though - there are no guarantees. It is all just a matter of luck and good fortune I think.

      • profile image

        Asya111 

        3 months ago

        On 29th August 2018 I lost my 4 month lab puppy Leo to liver failure and I was there at the vet in his last moments. His temperature had gotten so down that nothing could get it back to normal. He waited for me till I arrived, even though he was unconscious but when he heard my voice he moved his mouth and eyes and after he knew I was there that’s when he breathed his last. I can’t get that sight out of my head and I miss him so much . Day before he had his LFT test and he seemed to be getting better but the next day suddenly I got a call from the vet about his critical condition. I can’t stop crying and I don’t know what to do I feel like my world is coming crashing down. I love him so much. few months earlier I lost another lab puppy Archie who was 3 months old to destemper but I tried again and got another puppy but now he died too. I don’t know what is it that I’m doing wrong as long as I remember even if I noticed a slight problem I took both of them straight to the vet but even then they died and now I feel absolutely terrible. I feel like I’m cursed and now I’m really scared to get another one because I don’t want it to die because of my curse. I love you so much Leo, you were a fighter ❤️

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Gosh, Elle - again, I'm so sorry for your loss that way. That would be so hard! It is never easy no matter how we lose them but knowing it could have been prevented would be the worst ever. Take care. I think I have said that at least 2 or 3 times now - that I never want to go through this kind of grief and pain ever again and then I end up with another friend for life. I try not to get involved with them or love them 'that much' again but it is strange how they just embrace you with their paws and draw you in. IF you ever decide to try again, I'll wish you peace and happiness though it will never take away the pain that you feel/felt over losing Sam. It just doesn't work that way. Sending you virtual hugs and wishing you peace in all things eventually. Take care.

      • profile image

        Elle 

        3 months ago

        Thanks so much for your quick response. To be honest, that depresses me even more, the fact you had all these dogs without having this experience, and I have one and it ends like this, at age 7.

        I am certain I am not going to have another dog (I couldn't possilby go through something like this again), so that was my entire experience with having a dog.

        As for the malpractice; that is a certainty, as I submitted his case to about forty experts and started a disciplinary board case. All necessary steps, but as the cliche goes, it doesn't bring you your dog back.

        But the problem is it takes much more; your trust in people, your social life, the whole fabric of your life. At least that's how I experience it now...

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        Oh gosh, Elle - I'm so sorry for your loss. I haven't had experience with that to be honest although my mother felt that her dog died due to misdiagnosis. He was 14 years old though so I felt like that might not have been avoidable and he had cancer. Off the top of my head, I would recommend asking other vets or medical personnel about it, and/or even joining a pet grief therapy group, as I know sometimes things happen that are horribly tragic with our pets, just like people, and we are left feeling the pain of what if or why did that have to happen? It is so hard losing a pet anyway but if it was preventable in some way, that is even worse. My heart goes out to you. Please everyone - if you have advice for Elle I'd love to hear it as well. Take care, Elle and again, I'm so sorry for your loss of Sam.

      • profile image

        Elle 

        3 months ago

        My precious basset hound Sam died as a result of medical malpractice, and the anger or rather rage combined with the enormous grief is almost too much to bear. I wonder if someone has advice to share on this particular cause/circumstance.My entire life has changed, it affected my relationship with my boyfriend, my work, everything. I can't smile anymore and just feel these people have truly ruined my life. I hope it will get better with time...

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        3 months ago from Washington

        I did, Carolina! Thank you very much!

      • profile image

        Carolina 

        3 months ago

        Hi Audrey,

        I sent you an email with some information I hope you received it.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        4 months ago from Washington

        Hi Carolina

        You can email me privately if you would like - akirchner@pmt-inc.net. You certainly have a wonderful talent!

      • profile image

        Carolina 

        4 months ago

        Hi Audrey,

        I hope I will love the puppy he is so bouncy and playful already and my family love him.

        I’m sure all the doggies we’ve lost are playing in a safer beautiful place.

        Thank you so much I put my everything in that drawing for my baby and I even did one for my boyfriend’s dog that passed away years ago. It made me feel better and happy to see I could give so much to my family and him through that. If you are really interested it would be a pleasure for me to draw Griffin. :)

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        4 months ago from Washington

        PS Carolina - your drawing is EXQUISITE! I would definitely frame that if not try and do something with that. Absolutely beautiful! I wish I had such a sketch of my Griffey boy!

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        4 months ago from Washington

        Hi Carolina

        That is an awesome point to make! Painting or drawing our beloved lost pets can be a tremendous way to cope as well! I do it with photos - you do it with talent that you have and I think that is absolutely marvelous! The thing is about grief (I've found anyway) - it has no time table. As soon as I think I'm over it, I look at something or see his picture and start to cry. It's not that I don't love Gabby and Max (I adore them!!!) - I just miss my Griffin. He was one of a kind and it is so hard to imagine life without him. I do think though that Max and Gabby need me and they need me to be 'present' and in the moment with them. That is what I try my hardest to focus on though some days it is very hard. I feel cheated because Griff was way too young to die and such a tragic death. But it is not for me to decide and I have come to terms with that. I think giving Blacky a memorial is awesome and now wish I had done something like that - or that I had had his ashes put into something. Yet, on the other hand, I have my canvases of him and SO many photos, greeting cards I made, videos, etc - he will never, ever be forgotten. I talk about him all the time so he is always with me. I love to remember what he did to make us laugh and feel good - and I do the same with Gabs and Max. Anyway - virtual hugs to you - I'm hoping you fall head-over-heels in love with the new puppy as he will be looking to you probably for comfort and also with love. Dogs sense when we are hurting. Max was SO sweet with me when we got him and as much as I tried NOT to love him - it was impossible. I met him and fell in love with him as well. They do not have to be replacements - they can just be companions that we need instead when our special friend passes on. I've come to realize I guess that it is a circle of life and I just have to stay in that moment and hopefully I will feel better. I do - and I'm hoping that you have the same experience. Hugs to you! "Tell" Blacky to say hi and hug my Griffin for me, would you?

      • profile image

        Carolina 

        4 months ago

        Hello Audrey,

        I left a comment in your page a few months ago after my childhood dog Blacky passed away far away from me. Next week after 9 months faraway from home and almost 6 months since her dead I will go back. The thing is I am still deeply grieving, it happens so spontaneously I just remember her and I can’t stop from having so many feelings. Last month my family decided to get a new dog, and while I know he is not a replacement and that they all have coped with the lose of Blacky in our home and I am the only one still in denial because I haven’t been there I want to accept the new puppy. He has made my other dog so so happy, he was miserable and depressed without someone to play. And I’m so greatful, all I want is for my remaining baby to be happy, but I feel it’ll be hard for me to accept that my Blacky is not home and a new puppy is.

        Something that helped me cope a bit was drawing her and when I get home we will frame it and put it next to her stuff. We are having a ceremony to plant a tree and spread her ashes and I hope then I can let go of all this guilt and sadness and remember her just with loads of happiness.

        I’ll leave you a link of the drawing in case you would like to see it.

        https://instagram.com/p/BliIYl0jy7_/

        I hope you are well, reading your posts about Griffith always make me feel better.

      • profile image

        Gine Oquendo 

        4 months ago

        Hi while I'm reading this I remember my beloved Tagger who passed away 5 months ago and for 15 years we've been together and now he's gone I don't know how to start my life without him. Until now still painful and it's killing me. Thank you to our friends and who sent their sympathy and to pet cremation Hampton Roads, thank you for giving Tagger a great service.

        Please refer to this link: https://thepetlosscenter.com

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        5 months ago from Washington

        Oh Val, I'm so very sorry. I think that would be so very difficult. I have a kind of similar experience though not quite. I had 4 dogs at the time, 2 of them labs. My daughter for some reason thought I needed a cockatoo (I never asked for one nor did I really think that was a good idea with 4 dogs). I went out for my anniversary dinner with my husband only to get a hysterical phone call (understandably) from my daughter. She had left the labs downstairs with the bird and he got out - and the dogs killed him. She was devastated as well. My point though is that with dogs (or any animals), it is sometimes about instinct. I worry about that a lot with my malamutes because it is very easy to trigger a "prey" instinct in certain breeds of dogs. If a small animal moves too fast - or in the case of my labs - their natural instinct to go after birds kicks in - it is just so awful! I cannot imagine your pain and I'm so sorry for your loss. I am sure you loved Nickee and she loved you every moment that you had with her. I hope that you will be able to forgive yourself as you did all you could to save her - and she knew you loved her. Again, I'm so sorry. If you can find some ways to positively remember her, I hope it will get easier with time. Take care.

      • profile image

        Val Gregg 

        5 months ago

        My big dog killed my little Chi (4.5 lbs) on Sunday 7/15... the guilt and the pain that I feel is unsurmountable... I cry every day... if only we had crated the big dogs... I took her to emergency vet and ultimately had to put her to sleep... So sweet.. my little Nickee... she would climb into my lap and rub her little face against mine. I miss that...I miss her.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        5 months ago from Washington

        Hi "Lovecouldbeanything"

        You are welcome to share your memories here.

      • profile image

        Lovecouldbeanything 

        5 months ago

        I lost my baby, I am feeling so overwhelmed, want to share these memories with someone.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        5 months ago from Washington

        Gosh, Emma - thank you and I agree with you. They get cancer and it is so horrible to think of them suffering like that. It does not seem fair as they never did anything but love us. I felt terribly guilty and I still do sometimes if I let myself - why didn't I KNOW he had cancer or sense it? I just didn't. We had just the same amount of time with Griffin - that is strange, isn't it? He was diagnosed on Monday and we had to put him to sleep on Wednesday and I held him in my arms as well. I just could not stand to see him suffering that much as they broke his leg when they x-rayed him. There was no fixing it except to medicate him to the hilt, and even with that, he was crying the entire time. We couldn't bear it. I guess we have to just try and remember all those unique Willie and Griffin moments - and if someone did ask me would I do it if I knew the outcome - I would say yes!!!! I would give anything to have those memories even though the loss seems unbearable at times. I have learned to go on with Max and Gabby as they need me - but gosh - he'll never be far from my thoughts or from my heart. I totally understand. Thanks again and take care. Thinking positive thoughts for you to heal and you will - it just takes time.

      • Emma7777 profile image

        Emma7777 

        5 months ago from canada

        Dear Audrey,

        Thank you for your wonderful words. I just want to say you are beautiful person. I had to read your reply for a few times and I have to say as well, that I agree with you, our dogs were flawless. I have been disappointed in people way too many times to even care to count, but Willie have never ever hurt me. He had died in my arms, he locked his eyes with mine and took one last breath. The world just stopped.He was diagnosed with cancer on Monday and died on Wednesday. I only had 48 hours with him. I feel like someone just took him from me, it was so sudden. This picture is in front of my eyes, feeling powerless...I was his mom but yet I couldn't do a thing to save him. But I was there and the rest of the fam thank God.This little doggie got cancer thanks to our polluted world, and there was nothing I could've done. So much guilt...All he did his whole life was loving us.But reading about your love for your beautiful boy Griff, I am happy I had Willie for as long as I did. Griff deserved to have a longer life, but unfortunately he didn't. I just want to say one more time, thank you Audrey.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        5 months ago from Washington

        Hi Emma

        I'm so sorry for your loss of Willie. A lifetime happens loving a dog for 16 years and what a treasure! I can't imagine how that must feel because I think the longer we have them if we love them that much - the harder it is going to be to let go. I think if Griff had lived to be 16 I'd be in a padded room. I have so many memories for just 6 short years with him I can't imagine having 10 more. I'm so sorry for you and it makes me cry reading your beautiful words as well. I think that is the healing process - when we know we are NOT alone and that they were not "just" dogs. I would rather think of people as "just" people because to be frank, most of the people I have known have been flawed and some very much so! Dogs are not flawed - they love us no matter what we do. They do not betray us, they do not lie to us - they just love us. That is I think why we miss them SO much when we have to say goodbye. I would rather have "just" a dog rather than many of the people that I have known!!! I think that is terrible to say but it is the truth. People can hurt us so badly but a dog - well - they can't hurt us as it is not in their nature. They can only support us, be there for us through thick and thin and then the worst part of all is we have to give them up. I am still coming to terms with my terrible loss and it has been over 2 years. I think he will always be in my heart and soul but I will always, always miss him and treasure every single moment I had with that beautiful creature. I'm sure Willie hated to leave you and I hope and pray we get to see them "on the other side" some day. I hope they will see us and come running to us and be hale and hearty once more. Thank you for sharing your sorrow with me and again, I'm so sorry for your loss, too. Virtual hugs!

      • Emma7777 profile image

        Emma7777 

        5 months ago from canada

        Thank you for such a wonderful read. It brought tears to my eyes... I have recently lost my dog Willie. He had passed away on Jun 13th 2018, and nothing and I mean absolutely nothing could've prepared me for this kind of pain. Some people think I am crazy, some people even say oh cheer up, he was just a dog. I hate when people don't understand how difficult this is. Willie was my best friend for 16 years. He was my best friend and I have known him longer than most of my human friends. I feel like my insides were hollowed out, I feel so empty without him. I miss this beautiful creature. I was in search for comfort and found your read and I took time to say thank you so much I feel so much better after reading it. I am glad I am not alone in this. I think I will be missing Willie until the day I die.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        5 months ago from Washington

        Hi Nancy

        I'm glad it helps a little - and to be honest with you, even though it is such a tragedy when other people lose their pets, you bring ME comfort as well because I know I'm not alone either. I have felt so conflicted about grieving for Griffin for so long and now I realize that it is just one of those things. Some of us get over our loss easier and some of us - it just takes more time. Nothing wrong with that - and to me, that just means that he (and all the other dogs that you folks have lost) were special in the most profound sort of way. Why wouldn't we be grieving them and missing them?

        I am currently working on a book that I hope to publish on Amazon about grieving your dog's loss. I thought I would be crying less writing that since I'd written this - turns out I guess I'm not done crying over it...but again, that's okay. It makes me remember him and gives me peace of a certain kind just knowing he isn't suffering anymore. That was the hardest part for me. Hopefully I will get it finished one day soon. It is another step (I feel) in my own healing process though I'll never be over Griffin just as you won't be over Shasta soon. That is just how it goes when we have one that is super special. They are all super special to me but I think we have seen how one of them can just be a standout amongst the others. That has to be why it hurts so much to say goodbye to them. Take care and thank YOU for your kind, kind words!

      • profile image

        Nancy Hoelscher 

        5 months ago

        Hi Audrey,

        Thank you so much for responding to me. It brought tears to my eyes that you cared enough to reply about my special girl. I keep hoping the pain will get easier but it doesn’t seem to be lessening quite yet. I too hope all the pets we’ve loved are somewhere happy until we can see them again! Hugs to you!

        * are there any others writings you’ve done about pet loss? You are a very talented writer

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        5 months ago from Washington

        Hi Nancy

        I'm so glad that it helped you! I wrote it as a healing step for myself and it has brought me even more healing hearing from kind people just like you who have felt the pain of loss and feel the same way. That helps me as well. I'm so sorry for your loss of Shasta. There has to be a place where all our beloved pets are running and romping and getting to know each other - free from pain and misery and exactly as we remember them in all their goodness and glory. I only hope we get to meet up with them one day. Like you, I will miss my Griffin boy until the day I die also. Hugs to you and thanks so much for writing!

      • profile image

        Nancy Hoelscher 

        6 months ago

        Hi Audrey,

        I loved reading what you wrote! I lost my chihuahua Shasta a few months ago and the pain is awful! It’s comforting to know other people also feel so much love for their dogs that have passed...

        My “girl” also was like a therapy dog to me and I think I’ll miss her until the day I die! Your words brought me comfort that I’m not alone! God Bless

      • profile image

        Doug 

        6 months ago

        Hi Audrey

        Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, your words continue to comfort us in this time of terrible loss.

        My wife and burst with emotion when we read....

        " I only hope I get to see him truly one day and that in the meantime, he is somewhere where the good and pure of heart go - blessing someone else with his sense of humor and his beautiful style.I hope he is there with Henry and that they are best buds. It sounds like they were cut from the same "angel" cloth. Virtual hugs to you both."

        Today, in my mind's eye, I am dreaming of them together happy, healthy and free of pain.

        Here is my own words...they came to me while reading your response...

        "Only good and wonderful dogs take ownership of good and wonderful people"

        once again, God bless.

        P.S. I hope i didn't send this twice, if so, sorry.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 months ago from Washington

        Oh Doug, that is so very beautiful! Thank you for writing! Even though it makes me cry, it's okay. We loved them that much...and we always will. Take care. Thinking of you both.

      • profile image

        Doug Andersen 

        6 months ago

        Hi Audrey

        Thank you so much for your thoughtful response, your words continue to comfort us in this time of terrible loss.

        My wife and burst with emotion when we read....

        " I only hope I get to see him truly one day and that in the meantime, he is somewhere where the good and pure of heart go - blessing someone else with his sense of humor and his beautiful style.I hope he is there with Henry and that they are best buds. It sounds like they were cut from the same "angel" cloth. Virtual hugs to you both."

        Today, in my mind's eye, I am dreaming of them together happy, healthy and free of pain.

        Here is my own words...they came to me while reading your response...

        "Only good and wonderful dogs take ownership of good and wonderful people"

        once again, God bless.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 months ago from Washington

        Hi Doug

        Well, I always think I can eventually not cry but reading your beautiful description of Henry, I'm sobbing myself. What a wonderful boy he sounds like! He definitely sounds like Griffin in every way possible.

        I completely understand your description as well - if we knew what we knew when we had gotten them, would we have gone through it - of course we would because there was something about them that touched our very soul. I'm so sorry for your loss - both you and your wife and know how that goes. Bob and I still cry over Griffey and we have Gabby and Max with us. That seems 'bad' on many levels and we feel guilty almost - but we just loved Griffin so much and he was just the diamond in our lives when it came to our dogs. Max and Gabby give us great pleasure though, and I try and just be grateful for THEM every day that I have them. In fact, Gabby had a frightening vet appointment today and I was in tears feeling guilty because maybe I had thought too much about Griffin - guilt is a powerful thing if we let it be. Thankfully, she is okay and it is "just" her thyroid and not cancer but anything that happens to these dogs that we love is truly enough to make you old in 5 minutes!

        I dream about Griffin quite often and I have a lot of people who keep saying that it is a bad thing - I should let go - yada yada yada - but I don't want to let go. He was one of a kind - an angel sent here to help us and love us - and I want to remember him always. I know you will feel the same about Henry. Every once in a while, if I turn quickly and see Max out of the corner of my eye, I think for a moment Griffin is standing there and I 'saw him' in every place we had ever gone with him. The hole is huge sometimes in our hearts but I truly would give anything just to have that boy with us again and go through it - no matter what the outcome.

        I do believe that things always happen for some reason and it is a stepping stone in our lives for a reason. I have to believe that though it has been one of the hardest things I've ever coped with. I don't know how that little guy got so deep in my heart but again, it was worth every moment of those short 6 years I had with him. Again, I am so sorry for your beautiful Henry - but I do think we did the right thing. I could not imagine keeping Griff alive and making him suffer. I only hope I get to see him truly one day and that in the meantime, he is somewhere where the good and pure of heart go - blessing someone else with his sense of humor and his beautiful style. I hope he is there with Henry and that they are best buds. It sounds like they were cut from the same "angel" cloth. Virtual hugs to you both. It does get "better" with time I have found, though the rawness of it will always be there I'm afraid just because I adored him/we adored him. In the meantime, give yourself time to grieve and know Henry loved you just as much as you loved him - and probably then some. That is how they seemed to work and why we felt so close to them.

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        Doug 

        6 months ago

        Hi Audrey

        Just four days ago we let go our extra large chocolate lab, Henry.

        he had wobblers' disease and the results were to the point of bad days outnumbering the good days.

        My wife and I are overcome with grief, in spite of knowing we chose our beloveds' well being over ours.

        What i find amazing is that after praying that God would show us a sign that would comfort us regarding his passing...I found this article of yours...your description of Griff is ours of Henry verbatim!

        Your thoughts and wondering of his purpose in your life...our thoughts exactly, down to every word and point you expressed.

        Many days since the day we welcomed 4 month, 55 pound Henry into our lives...we literally thanked God for the angel he blessed us with...his character was unsurpassed in both the canine and human world, he displayed the fruits of the spirit in every situation, every manner.

        He was a truly gentle giant, even as an intact 120# male, he NEVER acted aggressive to a single dog challenge or attack, and there was many. He would stand aside for the smallest of dogs to steal attention or to eat or drink before him, yet had the courage and confidence of a lion.

        He understood just about every spoken or unspoken word, he faithfully looked you directly in the eyes everyday and communicated his love for you, regardless of his pain.

        I have had many dogs during my life and several labs, none were like Henry.

        When the end was near and the sorrow was approaching my wife and I asked ourselves....

        If Henry came to us and told us..."I am only going to have 7 1/2 years with you and then my pain will surpass my joy and you will need to do the right thing for me...I will give you everything I have but i need you to give back....Do you still want me?"

        The answer without question (even in hindsight) would be YES!

        We see him everywhere, we think of him everyday and cry.

        Thank you for sharing your story, your honesty, your humility and your articulate expressions of love, they are a real blessing and answer to prayer.

        God Bless.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 months ago from Washington

        Hi David

        I hope you are, too but sometimes it really takes a while - or somehow, your Ruby will just figure out a way to send someone to you. I believe it, I truly do. It is so hard when we lose them and I think in many ways it is worse than losing a person because it doesn't make sense. Dogs (well, pets) are pure - they don't have malice, they don't have a mean bone really in their body (unless they've been abused or raised all wrong). They just love us pure and simple and that is the hardest thing to let go of. That is what we miss, all that love and devotion. Virtual hugs to you and I'm so sorry for your loss. I hope you find peace with it someday soon though you will always grieve on some level, as will I. They were just that special to us - that isn't a bad thing - but it is a hard thing.

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        David evans 

        6 months ago

        I can’t get over the loss of my beloved ruby .she was one in a million.she was my best friend.your story as touched my heart and I hope one day I’m strong enough again to have another dog.thank you so much.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 months ago from Washington

        Hi Caitlin

        I know it is SO hard to even think of right now but someday, you will decide if it is right for you. Every time we have lost a dog, we said never again but with Griff it was unbearable to even fathom. I am glad I did it now though as Gabby I'm sure would not have survived. I'm glad for us as well because it has made us 'see' Griff again in some ways so that can't be a bad thing. Again, I'm so sorry for your loss. Tully sounds like a spectacular friend! Take care.

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        Caitlin 

        6 months ago

        Thank you Audrey, that seriously means a lot. You have definitely made me consider getting another dog again one day.

        Caitlin,

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        6 months ago from Washington

        Oh Caitlin, I feel so badly for you. It made me cry yet again as I remember that horrible, horrible first bit of trying so hard to get over Griff. The first days, weeks, even months I burst into tears for no reason other than missing him. That is such a tragedy and so young for your Tully, too. I do hate it - I hate that we lose so many pets to cancer - and people! I know that 'larger breeds are more prone to cancer' but it just does not help those of us who lose them - no matter what age they are. Know I'm thinking of you and grieving with you. I just had a dream about Griffin last night. He was sick and I knew he was dying but even that 'bad dream' still made me think of him. It has gotten easier and I think you will find that it does - it doesn't mean that we love them any less or we miss them any less though. I still look at his pictures and depending on the day or whatever, I can cry all over again just for missing him. Emptiness comes in many forms. I am not very religious either - but I like to think of Griffey waiting for me as well. In the meantime, I'm hoping he is romping with Tully and all the other friends who died too young and waiting for us happily. At least they cannot suffer anymore and that was the ONLY way I could let go of him. I could not bear to see him suffer. I know it is early going but down the road, maybe think of another pal. Max and Gabby do not replace Griffin - they actually make me remember him more in some ways just because he was so special. They are special in their own ways though and they do bring us both comfort from missing our best pal ever. It is very strange, too as I see little Griffin 'quirks' in Max sometimes especially and that makes me smile - as if he is in there or watching from somewhere - who knows! Sending you virtual hugs and truly, I am so sorry for your loss. Take care.

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        Caitlin 

        6 months ago

        I just lost my beautiful 7 year old German Shepherd, Tully, to cancer three days ago. It came out of no where and we had to put her down on the day that we discovered the final stage cancer in her liver and spleen. Just like you, the bond I had with Tully was particularly profound, and she was definitely my therapy. I'm only 21 and still going through university and now I feel so incredibly lost without her. The house feels so empty and it's hard to believe that this wrenching feeling will ever settle. Thank you for writing this, it was very relatable and helpful in some ways. I'm not really religious but I still like to think that she's waiting for me, somewhere.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        7 months ago from Washington

        Hi Skm

        It is normal to feel broken and helpless - and even to beat yourself up from time to time. We want ourselves to be perfect and unfortunately, this is not anything we can be perfect about. We all have our own ways of dealing with cancer and I've seen it in humans, not just dogs. We or the patient put them through needless therapies that we are hoping and praying will work, and sometimes they just don't. But then we'd be upset because we didn't try, so do give yourself and your family credit because you TRIED! I felt guilt at not having tried anything and everything but by the time we knew and his leg broke, it seemed pointless and inhumane to try and keep him comfortable or save him - in our case. However - if I'd have had the chance for another 9 months of my Griffey, I might have done the same thing - who knows? We can only do what we do out of love and compassion and I truly, truly, truly do not believe that your sweet baby would have missed a day with you - no matter how bad he felt. They love us that much. He will always be with you - no matter what and I do so understand the gaping hole they leave behind....for us and for their brothers and sisters. Gabby was literally going to die without Griffin and Denaya - because she lost all of them within 4 months I think. I do not think she would have recovered. All you can do is keep your other pup entertained as much as you can, love her to death and try not to worry (though I know it is only natural). I still worry about Gabby getting cancer because she is Griffin's niece. I have to believe it will be as it will be - and to enjoy her to the best of my ability, I have to trust that today is a gift and tomorrow an unknown I guess. It really did help her getting Maxwell - though oh my GOSH what a lot of work to start again with a puppy!!! I think any dog might have worked that she was compatible with though so I'm glad we did it though we really, truly were so brokenhearted it seemed like we simply could not do it. I'm glad we did as Griffin 'visits' me every day somehow in Max - that seems odd but I'm sure of it. Little tiny mannerisms or things he does that only Griffin did. Max has a different variation of it most often by a bit but it is still like a call-out from my beloved beautiful boy. He reminds me as well to love and cherish Gabby and Max and hang on for dear life as nothing is a certainty in life. He definitely taught me that - and more. Hugs to you and your family, human and canine. Keep his memory alive but don't dwell on everything you did incorrectly - think of the love you had for him and learn from it - that is all we can do. I have come to terms with the most important thing - berating myself won't bring Griff back and he would be 'furious' with me if he saw me sad and beating myself up because I know he adored me with every fiber in his being. I am trying now to just remember all those good, good times and all that love. I'm trying to love myself like he would have loved me and I wish you that peace also. Take care. Maybe your boy and my boy are romping somewhere and having a gay old time - I hope and pray it is true!

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        Skm 

        7 months ago

        Just lost our heart dog yellow lab of 11 years from the very disease you speak of in this wonderful piece. We did happen to treat his cancer thru radiation therapy (not a weight bearing bone so low risk of fracture), chemo, and unfortunately it delayed but not much else. We knew how the story would play out . We got 9 extra months. I am thankful. For now I struggle because we took treating and hoping too far. I knew better but didn’t have the courage to tell the vet or my husband enuff please let’s let him go with peace and dignity. Instead he suffered horribly in the end due to the very interventions meant to help, that I knew deep in my heart would not. I hope someday i can forgive myself. Now, I have to try to understand how to help his littermate sister cope. She doesn’t understand. It breaks my heart to see her sadness and confusion. I don’t know what to do. Miss him so much and worry about our other baby. Feel so broken and helpless.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        7 months ago from Washington

        Hi Tim

        I am so very, very sorry. I have never experienced the loss of my dog quite that way though my childhood dog was about the same age and my parents told me that she wandered off and they never found her as well. I don't know what happened to her, and that may be true. Perhaps they loved so much that they didn't want us to bear that pain of having to say goodbye. We just sometimes cannot know -and I understand completely how that is worse than closure because it is the opposite - no closure. I am so sorry. I think now that I have lost Griffin, I grieve even more about my best friends who stuck around so long. I did not realize until I lost him that I was SO blessed to have their company for so very long. I still will always have a special nook in my heart forever for Griffin and I miss him terribly all the time. However, I think I have started to think more about my other dogs who I've lost in the aftermath of all the pain and have tried to conjure up in my mind a place for them - a virtual 'farm' where they all run around me 24/7 and no one is sick and no one gets cancer or dies of old age. Sometimes I think we can more easily love our pets because they are so good to us. They are not like people who do us dirt or family we can't get along with. We treasure them and they treasure us. It is so hard on us when they leave - no matter how they leave. Those extra special ones though - oh my goodness. How it hurts because no matter how 'ready' we are, we are never ready to say goodbye. Again, I'm so sorry. I hope you do get closure on your sweet boy and will hope and pray that that happens. Take care and know that he loved you as much if not more than you loved him. I know my Griff would not have left me for all the world and I will always feel loved because of that - miss him until the day I die - but know he was given to me for a reason. I was blessed. So were you. Virtual hugs.

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        Tim Murphy 

        7 months ago

        I am a 66 year old school teacher. If it weren't for having to get up and teach I don't think I would be able to get out of bed at all. Have had dogs all my life, and all were special, but my little Yorkie/Silkie was my greatest love for 13.5 years. We needed each other. No other dog would do things like check each of my legs every night for scratches, and lick one if he found it. He would look so deep into my eyes.

        I took the absolute best care I every could of this little fella. A couple of months ago out of the clear blue he started having seizures, which freeked me out, and they found a small tumor next to his brain, that they said could be treated pretty well with medicine. But he would pace endlessly at night until he just wore out and would come sleep next to me. Had to be difficult for him not being able to control all his pacing back and forth for 2-3 hours at a time.

        Three weeks ago, I let him outside for a couple minutes at bedtime just like I always have. That night, April 9 however, he did not come back inside. My wife and I and a neighbor looked for him until 3:00 AM and found nothing. He had never ever gone away before. We took off work and school and looked for a solid week in our subdivision and never found him. We even looked for two hours today. And he wore a bright blue harness.

        This has absolutely been killing me. Whenever he did die, I was going to have him cremeated then buried with me when I go. But I don't even have his body which makes it even worse. He was a brilliant dog, and I have to think that he made the decision for us as well as him to end his suffering and leave this world. We have had neighbors help us look everywhere. I have grieved for all my dogs dying in my life, but not like this. I have never bonded like this. It is horrible beyond words. I know I will survive eventually, but right now it doesn't seem so. I did not see this coming. The love of my life is gone and just left a big empty space.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        7 months ago from Washington

        Oh Jake, I'm so sorry for your tragic loss. What a wonderful companion and how WONDERFUL that he got to see the ocean and live out his obvious dream! It is sad when we lose a dog at any age but especially so very young, whether it is to tragedy or illness - no matter what - I think it just kills a part of us because we did not expect it. I do wish you peace and please don't be too hard on yourself. I know I have a lot of questions about cancers and why dogs seem to get it so much nowadays - is it food? is it pesticides? is it medicines/vaccines? I just don't know - we try and minimize these as well and try our best to do right for our pups - but in the end, I think it is all simply out of our hands. Anything can go wrong on any given day and we have them one moment it seems and they are gone the next. All I can get out of all of this in my own case is that I loved him like no other dog in my life and he loved me back. He was happy and he wanted nothing more than to be there with us. It is unfortunate that he had to 'go' and I like to think someone else needed him just then - he had to go be their 'angel' or their best friend. I do also believe that he has come back to me in a few ways through Max, our male malamute - and of course he is still here in his niece, Gabby. I see him every day in them and I am thankful for the memories. It doesn't mean that I miss him any less or grieve any less for losing him - but they do help me to go on I guess and give me something to be grateful for. I will always treasure every single moment I spent with Griff but I know he would want me to still laugh and still be happy a day at a time. Take care and sending you virtual hugs. I am so sorry for your loss.

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        Jake 

        7 months ago

        I had dog all my life, but one got to me more than any other I had had. He loved water. he used to chase water down the drain when we lived in the city, and stick his head down the drain trying to work out where it went. One day i moved to the coast and when he saw the sea for the first time he went crazy, jumped out the window of the car, crazy and ran to the sea running up and down its edges until I came down and showed him he could go in. From that day on if he was ever missing from the house I could find him down at the water playing with everybody in the water. He was in paradise, a dog who when I found him as a puppy in the street would likely have never have gone on to see the ocean in his life. Or maybe he had remember the ocean from when he was born and then was brought to the city.

        I have depression almost every day when I see water or a swimming pool I feel sad that he is gone. I am against vaccinations because I think that the pharmaceutical industry is poisoning them with cancer viruses. He died of Distemper virus. you can't imagine the guilt and regret i feel. 7 years later he would still be by my side. 7 years later I still feel sad every day I miss him. I can't imagine ever having a dog like that again ,he was by my side 24/7 for 2 years. Yes, at 2 years he got that damned Distemper virus. I tried to make him survive it, but finally it shut down his lungs and I watched him suffocate to death in front of me. I tell you that moment when he died, having nobody else around me in that country Brazil, that was the loneliest I have ever felt in my life. It was a darkness like death itself.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        7 months ago from Washington

        Hi Carolina

        I'm so sorry for your loss of Blacky - that would be terribly painful because you grew up with her. I know my kids were very, very attached to our dogs over the years and hated to lose them as well. We were so very blessed with all but one of our dogs when my kids were growing up living into very old age. We lost one black lab though, Mariah, to the same disease as my beautiful Griffin - bone cancer - and at the same age - 6 years old. It was devastating because she was just "so alive" - just like my Griffin.

        I know it sounds silly to a lot of people but I DO BELIEVE IT - I think that they come back to see us. Griffin visits me in my dreams and some of them are painful because in some he is sick all over again, but then in some - he's running and happy - just like I remember him. Maybe your dog did somehow reach out to you to say goodbye, and that is the wonderful thing about those that we love. They somehow know what we need and I believe they do get into our psyche as well as our hearts! I had a weird premonition about one of my malamutes getting cancer - "unfortunately" it was the wrong dog - I thought it was Gabby and it turned out it was Griffin. I feel terrible guilt over that to this day and worry now that she is going to die because I thought of it. I don't think we have much control though over our minds - or our hearts for that matter when it comes to our pets. I think that in time, it will get easier for you to accept simply because we do not want our beloved pets to suffer. That was the only thing that "allowed" me to put Griffin to sleep. I truly did not think I could do it. However, watching him suffer killed me in such a short time that I knew I was being selfish if I let him keep suffering....there was no cure and he would only need more and more medication to stay alive. Why would I want to do that to my beautiful boy? It is so hard to let go but I have come to believe that they will 'return' - somehow they manage to come back and visit us - whether it's in our dreams - or even traits in another dog that we have later on, like Maxwell. He is not Griffin - but he brings me little snatches of memory of my beautiful boy and somehow soothes me in a way that would not happen if I didn't have him. He tries so hard to please us and to ease the pain and for that, I am so thankful - not to mention Griffey's little niece Gabby. She is so happy now that we have Max in her life. Every day I look at Gabby, I see a bit of my Griff, too - and the memories are just treasures. Don't feel badly that you were not there. I lost one of my favorite dogs, Molly, when we were away on vacation of all things and I felt terrible about it. Looking back though, I know that she knew - she adored me and she knew I adored her right back. She will always, always, be with me - and she came 'back' in my next dog, a beautiful rescued malamute named Denaya. Funny how life cycles. Take care - I'm thinking of you, and again, so sorry for your loss. Sending you virtual hugs.

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        Carolina 

        7 months ago

        Hi Audrey, reading about griffin has made me realise we all feel the same in concern of grieveing our dogs. I saw some photos and he was a gorgeous dog and you should always remember him with loads of love, I know it’s very hard because I experience this terrible pain as well, I had never loads anyone so dearly. I just had never felt something like this and I’ve been so heartbroken, I just want to go back in time. I keep thinking that I don’t want to forget my Blacky, she passed away 1 month and a half ago at 12. I’m studying in a foreign country since a year and a half ago and there was nothing more heartbreaking for me than leaving my furry babies behind with my parents, and I just kept on wishing that she would stay for longer, that I would be able to say goodbye, she was so strong she didn’t even look old to my eyes. Two days before her passing I felt like I seriously needed to talk with her, I had this terrible urge to see her. I Skyped my mom that night and asked to see the baby that had been with me since I was 9, and she said Blacky wasn’t there, she was at the vet because of a pneumonia. She died 20 hours later of lung failure and my mom ordered the vet to stop trying to revive her, to stop hurting her anymore. I know I shouldn’t be this upset and I should think about the 12 beautiful years she gave me. All the love she had for me as a kid and as I grew up. She was there in my worst moments. But I just ask myself if she sent me a sign, if I had this urge to see her because she was sending me a goodbye, I feel like I failed her, I feel like I wasn’t greatful enough for the beautiful soul she was. Right now I just want to go back to my country to see my family and my other dog that was incredibly bonded to her, but because of responsibilities I can’t go until August and at the same time I dread going there and not see her welcome me at the door, not hear her paws against the wood or her snores. Suddenly the house will be so different and I think I’ll grieve over again as if it had just happened. I have terribly sad dreams about her about how I’ll never see her shiny, kind eyes again, how nothing of her soul remains for me to hug, how I have lost my childhood baby. I know with time I’ll feel better, and what she really wants is for me and all my family to love our other pets the same way we loved her, and that she is waiting for all us, and I can’t wait to see her again one day and tell her I love her more than anything and if she hadn’t been there as my first dog, as my childhood dog, my whole life and me as a person wouldn’t be the same.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        8 months ago from Washington

        Hi Ash

        Essays are OKAY when it comes to losing our best friends! I completely understand your feelings and your pain. At the present time, I have Max and Gabs but I don't know if I can truly ever go through it again. Losing Griffin just tore such a huge hole in my heart that I have to seriously think about it. I went on with Max because I felt that I owed Gabby that much. She adored Griffin and I could not bear to see her die as well, and I am convinced she just would have given up. Just know that Roxy knew how much you loved her - there is no doubt in my mind that these pets that we love so much do not feel it right back!!! I know just from looking at the pictures I have of Griff that he adored me as much as I loved him. It is just so sad that we have such short times with them - whether it's 6 years or 13-1/2....it is all the same grief. I'm sorry for your loss. If you ever do get to the point where you decide to get another dog, don't think of it as a replacement...though I have many, many times been upset with myself for comparing Max to Griff. They are just a reminder perhaps though of what we did have - and they are all SO easy to love. I adore Maxwell - not in the same exact ways but he has grown on me! He adores me and that seems to be all it takes! Someone to love us unconditionally. Wishing you peace over your loss - and you will decide if it is ever time or not to get another companion. No matter what we decide, it is okay to grieve and it is okay to keep missing someone who meant so much to us. Hugs!

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        Ash 

        8 months ago

        Reading your article has helped me realise my grieving is normal too! I had to get my German shepherd Roxy put down year and a half ago and I still cry most days. I had her from a puppy until she was 13.5 years old! She was such a beautiful ginger dog with such a quirky personality! She was so intelligent aswell! She came into my life during a real rough patch and was there to cuddle and talk to through all my life dramas. I genuinely thought of her as my baby and would of given my life for her, which I no sounds stupid to some.

        I've thought about getting another dog but no dog could ever compare to Roxy plus I don't think I could go through this heartbreak again!

        Sorry for the essay!

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        9 months ago from Washington

        Oh Michele - it makes me cry just reading your beautiful words and I'm sending you virtual hugs. I TOTALLY get it. Two and a half years later, I still cry about it and think what could I have done differently. I don't think there was anything in reality but it is because we just loved them so much. Having Max is not quite the same because he is so different from Griffin, but I can tell you, he has healed both of us just because we are busy with him and he does make us laugh most days. Then I look up to the sky and say 'ah - there you are my sweet Griffin - thanks for visiting me again and reminding me to cherish Max while I have him.' I think of him and it somehow makes it better. It takes a long, long time to grieve though - for people and I think for our pets because they just love us SO unconditionally. I've thought so much about it and still think about it. I think it is so 'unfair' the way these particular pets had to die and it was such a shock that perhaps that makes it even worse. I also tell myself Griff would come and lay his head on my hip or put his head in my laugh and give me his longest most soulful look and say "Mom, don't cry - I will always love you and I loved, loved, loved the time I had with you. Thank you for being my friend and being so good to me." You are right - there will never be another Teddy - and I'll never have another Griffey boy but we have to somehow go on and try really hard to think how lucky we were. It is that old saying - life is too short. I'll miss him until the day I die but I do find it a little easier as time goes on. Again, I think Max (and Gabby too) are distractions in a way from the grief part and that is a good thing. Hugs to you and I'm so very sorry for your loss. He sounds like a magnificent dog!!!

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        Michele 

        9 months ago

        Audrey,

        You literally explained exactly how I feel. I'm so heartbroken. I was so happy, thankful, grateful and so in love with my Teddy, as a dog. He was a talker too. Just my all around black shadow, that we took everywhere with us. We planned trips around him, we took trips that we knew he'd love. Just as part of our family, everyone of our friends just loved him to death. He was our toy, we were his. He was our pack and we were his. He was our family, and we were his.

        I feel so guilty. Like why I didn't notice him changing earlier. And I am angry. I just thought he was getting a little older. I just took him for an ordinary visit because they said he needed a vaccine, and the next thing they tell me is he has bone cancer. WHAT?? no blood work, no nothing. It was such a nightmare. He might have had liver cancer, we only did a ultrasound. No biopsy. No bone cancer either. All I know is he got a vaccine and went totally downhill after that. I felt so helpless. He kept looking at me as to help him. Teddy just turned 10. He passed away a couple weeks later, in my arms with me yelling that I loved him in his ear, and that I was so sorry I couldn't save him. He started to breath again, and then stopped. It was horrible. He died in his own home, with me holding all 90 pounds of him. I miss every single day. I look out the window every morning and tell him good morning! Every night, I say it's time to go nite nite Teddy. I know I could get another dog. There will never in my lifetime, be another Teddy. And it still feels like he was just here 5 minutes ago, like you said. He was my beautiful black soft curly straight furry Australian Shepherd/Border Collie mix. So beautiful. To me anyway. Thank you so much for sharing your story about Griffin. And about how you felt. Somehow, the pain you felt, didn't make me feel so alone on how I felt. I go over and over in my mind, how I could have done things differently. I took such good care of him, and in the end, it didn't really matter. because he died way to soon. I know if I ever do get another dog, I will do things a little differently as far as vet care and vaccines go. Thank you again for your wonderful heartfelt writtings.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        9 months ago from Washington

        Ah Anonymous - my heart goes out to you. It just seems so unfair and I completely get your pain as well. I dream about Griffey every now and again and I think that is weird but also helps me in some strange, comforting way. Even though I adore Gabby and Max now and they are constant companions, there was no one more special than my Griffin or at least it feels that way still. When I dream of him, he is whole and healthy and that is just such a gift! Like you, I hope to see him one day again and be able to hug him crazily! He was one of a kind for sure and I was SO blessed to have had him. That is the gift I guess and have to try and remember that. Hugs to you and so sorry for your tragic loss.

        Jody - you are right - it is so hard to forgive ourselves! I kept saying for months 'why didn't I see that' - but what difference would it have made in the end? Not much at all. I would have known for longer but it would have hurt just the same. Griffin would not have wanted me to grieve and I do know that - he was the craziest, most comical dog on the planet and he just wanted everyone to be happy and love him - and give him treats! He would not have been one to want people crying over him I imagine (if he could think or talk about it!!!). I know how much he adored me/all of us - and I know how much we all loved him so that has to be enough. It was a gift as I said above and one I can never be grateful enough for - even though it has been the hardest pet loss I have ever suffered and there were many. He will live on in my heart though - and apparently my dreams! That is a kind of cool thing I think and I don't mind the visitations at all. Thanks for your kind comments and I'm so sorry for your devastating loss as well. I tend to think of him always with a tear and a smile - it will probably get better with time. I 'see him' still in Max and that is also a good thing. He reminds me of what I need to do and how much to enjoy ever precious moment we have with them. Take care.

      • profile image

        Jody 

        9 months ago

        You need to forgive yourself. I went thought the same thing 4 years ago. It absolutely devastate me. I did the best I could do at the time. I also learned a lot as well. They are great teachers, unfortunately in death as well. I still cry every once in a while but I know I'll see again.

      • profile image

        Anonymous uk 

        9 months ago

        Hi, first of all thank you for putting your thoughts on the net, put a real lump in my throat. In my 30's now and I've just lost my 2 year old dog to a hit and run... in front of me

        In the past I've buried 3 dogs before all of them hurt the same and yes you do move on... but I always had big dogs ( labs/staffs... but my 2 year old was a chihuahua cross - small fluffy and white dog

        And I tell you he has been gone 2 weeks and 2 days and I have never felt like this ever - he was special to me in a way I can't even describe x your not on your own in this world and all I can say is it was a pleasure to have had him in my life and one day I hope I do see him again xx

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        9 months ago from Washington

        Hi Melissa - I can just imagine how your heart must hurt as it is indeed just a moment ago that you lost your buddy. I remember that feeling well and send you virtual hugs. It is so hard to lose them and all I can say is that it gets a little easier with time though I still 'see him' when I think of something that reminds me of him so I think they are always with us, those extra, extra special ones. Just know that he knew you adored him and that it will get better with time.

      • profile image

        Melissa 

        9 months ago

        I appreciate your post and hope that time has helped. Your Griffin sounds like he was a special guy! I too lost my dearest friend, Finnegan, a 9.5 year old golden retriever, a month ago today. I have had a very hard time adjusting as he was such a part of my life and such a loyal and true blue friend. I think I will always miss him. He gave me so much comfort and peace in my heart and I miss him dearly. Your words gave me comfort - thank you.

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        9 months ago from Washington

        Hi Luann - that isn't so long ago so I feel your pain. That is pretty fresh grief and I am so sorry for your loss. They just aren't with us long enough and I guess my only hope and prayer is that I do get to see them all again someday - but especially my Griffin. Bless you for rescuing Harley as that is the greatest gift you could have given him and loving him all the way to the end.

      • LuannJohnson profile image

        Luann 

        9 months ago from New York

        My dog Harley passed away on October 1, 2017. I rescued him over 11 years before he passed and wasn't sure of his age. I started to cry again after looking at a video of him. My heart hurts but I try to focus that I did the best that I could for him at the end and didn't want him in pain & confused about what was happening to him. He had liver disease and going blind. One day he seemed he had enough and could not even sit comfortably. I was with him till the end but still feel I wish I could have done more for him. He got sick and got bad really fast and all the meds seemed to make him sicker. anyway he was my heart and soul and I will always be sad until we meet again! I needed to vent, don't want to get family or friends down any longer...thank you!

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        10 months ago from Washington

        Hi Hugh - I completely agree with you - it is the unconditional love part that gets us and keeps us in their debt. I don't think I'll ever love a dog quite as much as my Griffey but again, he was just such a gift. I have to remember that every time I get upset that he's gone and remember the good and try and forget the bad. I'm so glad you have had the blessings of so many healing dogs in your life. I have had so many GREAT dogs - all of them in fact - it was just/it is just that Griffin was beyond special. I do think he was an angel - and if that is true, he will always be with me. Take care. I encourage you to put your experiences to use as well!!!

      • akirchner profile imageAUTHOR

        Audrey Kirchner 

        10 months ago from Washington

        Hi Drew - I'm so sorry for your loss. I think we love them so much that it just really is the hardest thing ever to lose them because they love us no matter who we are - it's that unconditional love thing. Griffin just had a way about him that I will never, ever forget but I try and think now how very lucky I was to have had him! It was just the best 6 years I can ever imagine. Unfortunately it wasn't enough but it is better than no time with him I suppose.

      • profile image

        Drew Petrie 

        10 months ago

        I lost my dog this year. His name was Woody, and my parents owned him since before I was born. He had a therapy dog in his blood so he was naturally soft and sweet. I will miss him forever. I didn’t cry at first when I lost him, but I am thinking about him now and it hurts way more than it ever has to lose him.

      • profile image

        Hugh Perriman 

        10 months ago

        I've had dogs for the last 40 years, each and everyone stole my heart. You may have come across a book or film called a Dog's Purpose, a nice story about dogs and very touching. For me, I got a sense of why I have had these creatures in my life, they were, without me knowing, my therapy dogs.

        I had some extremely horrific trauma when I was very young and for some unknown reason I had dogs that were there for me and pulled me through the dark times, and kept me going. There is no rime or reason for it, and without them, I know I would not have survived.

        My journey is not finished and there are a few more pages to write,and I will always need a dog by my side. In writing those pages though it occurs to me that maybe my life I'm living, has a different purpose than I think, passing something on to help others as you have done by writing about Griff and your loss has helped me immensely, and brought me closer to my own grief and gratitude for the unconditional love given to me by such wonderful aminals. That is perhaps the best part of having a dog in our lives. We are given the example of unconditional love. Hopefully one day we learn to do that for our own species and live our lives in service to others.

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