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Our Dog's Passing - Grief, Guilt, + Possible New Adoption?

Discussion in 'Comment Court' started by ❤ Rosette ❤, 7/29/18.

  1. ❤ Rosette ❤

    ❤ Rosette ❤ Meeting neighbors

    Hey, everyone. Didn't know where else to post so... well I just hope this is acceptable.

    Two weeks ago, our 8-year-old family dog had to be put down. It's been extremely difficult but I think I'm healing quite well - I can think about him now without bursting into tears, and though I still do miss him terribly the wound is healing and no longer so raw.
    I think he's in heaven, now. I feel like he's happy. My dad doesn't believe that dogs go to heaven, but I disagree. Heaven wouldn't be perfect without dogs in it, surely.

    Buddy had to be put down because of his heartworms (a long story, but he couldn't breathe properly for like 8 hours, his gums were gray and he was wheezing and experienced very labored breathing, we think there might have been a clot in one of his lungs or something. He was overweight, too, which might've contributed. He'd been battling exterior lesions and infections for about a month by then - something might've been wrong inside for a while. We'd taken him to the vet but they only gave us antibiotics & pain reliever.)
    We couldn't afford 500-dollar treatment for the heartworms and it would be dangerous, and we weren't always at home monitoring him - making any choking he would've experienced potentially lethal.
    So we tried a slow-kill treatment using preventatives. It lengthened his life, but didn't solve the problem.

    Me and my mom really miss having a dog around, so we've been going to the humane society to interact with some. And though I felt guilty at first, I rationed that me and my mom benefitted by animal therapy and the dogs benefitted from getting a few minutes of attention.
    Well. It just so happens that we've found a lovely two-and-a-half-year-old dog who seems like such a great match for us - he's quiet and so so sweet and seemingly moderately active. We've sort of fallen in love with him, really, and my mom admitted to thinking about him a lot. I do, too.

    So, anyway, I'm experiencing feelings of guilt. Our new dog will be an inside dog (which Buddy wasn't, he stayed in a kennel inside whenever it was really hot or cold outside but didn't get to roam around the house often) and will probably on a better diet and will get monthly preventatives for heartworms, fleas & ticks, etc.
    He will probably get to go on more walks, too, as he won't have heart problems that hinder his activity.

    I feel bad that we'll be treating the new dog better. And I feel bad about considering adopting so soon after his death (it's been two weeks.)
    I wasn't always the best pet owner, too. Especially when I was younger - I might've gone out and really played with him like once a week at best and we took him to the lake maybe once or twice a month.
    I feel awful about that. His last year or so of life, especially his last few months, we really loved him a lot and took him for walks daily and petted him so much. I feel like I've only recently actually become ready for a dog.

    I was so excited for him to get better (his aforementioned infected lesions were healing) and take him for walks and to the dog park and the lake again. And to make him an inside dog! But then he died so suddenly, he was here and healing one day and gone the next, and I never got to fulfil that promise to him. So I feel like I let him down in that way.

    Additionally, since we haven't had an inside dog before, how can we be sure to keep the birds safe? The dog we're smitten with is an intelligent-seeming Australian Kelpie mix - has anyone any experience with that breed? (Buddy was a Golden Retriever and always had his gaze pinned on the birds whenever they were out - he was a bird-hunting dog, after all.)
    Maybe we could put up a little doggy fence between the bird cages and the living room? Would that be safe?
    Also, *any* dog we eventually get will be put in a kennel whenever we're not in the house, and will be put up whenever we take the birds out.

    I know I've been rambling for ages and I'm so sorry about that - I just need some advice. :(
    Thank you all so much.​
  2. zoo mom

    zoo mom Ripping up the road Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Veteran I Can't Stop Posting!

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    Sometimes for your heart to really heal you need something else to focus on. Do not feel guilty about taking better care of the new dog. Think of it as learning from past mistakes. You made mistakes with Buddy and you now recognize the mistakes and are determined not to repeat them. We all make mistakes. We hopefully learn from them. Do better and move forward.
    Rain Bow and Sarahmoluccan like this.
  3. Appolosmom

    Appolosmom Sprinting down the street

    Toledo oh
    Real Name:
    I had to put down my mini daschund Abby 3 years ago I still get emotional I read somewhere in another country they believe that when we die our pets are waiting for us to take us the rest of the way home that thought gives me great comfort I'm very sorry you are going through this
    Rain Bow likes this.
  4. Ankou

    Ankou Rollerblading along the road Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran Shutterbugs' Best

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    I'm so sorry for your loss.
    I know you are still hurting but it's really clear your family did the best they could for Buddy towards the end of his life. It sounds like his last days were full of love and joy. And, for what it's worth I believe animals go to heaven too. Why wouldn't they? Anyone who's ever shared a bond with one can tell they have as much of a soul as we do.

    It's great your family will be treating your new friend better!
    What happened with Buddy is sad but what's really important is you and your family have looked at some of that and each thought "never again. We can do better."
    I understand the guilt but it's a positive thing everyone is so ready to give the next dog more care, love, and attention from the start. We are always learning, we learn to become better people for our animals because we care.
    You aren't replacing him either... it's hard to explain. When an animal passes they rip a hole in your heart. Everything they left behind is still there and can't be replaced but their presence is gone. Their passing is such a wound, getting a new animal can start to fill that hole with their love. If that makes any sense. Each is unique and have their own special love to offer, each leaves a lifelong mark.

    If the birds are in the main living space I like the idea of a doggy fence if he seems interested in the cages but if the birds are out of their cages that fence isn't going to stop them from getting into trouble! Birds are silly like that, really lacking self-preservation skills. But as long as the birds are caged when the dog is loose, and the dog is kenneled or outside when the birds are loose, everyone is vigilant about it, and the family does their best to make sure everyone gets enough attention and activity it does work.
    My own method with birds and dogs is simple one: they don't share space. Peanut's cage is in a bedroom where I spend most of my free time and the dogs are never allowed in there. I split my time between both so everyone gets enough love.

    One concern, if your family had to pass on a $500 treatment maybe another good change they might want to do in addition to the other stuff is start a small vet savings account or look into Care Credit. You never know when there will be an emergency vet bill and it's nice to have some money set aside. (I also understand that $500 is probably more complicated than it sounds.)
    Rain Bow, MommyBird and Sarahmoluccan like this.
  5. Sarahmoluccan

    Sarahmoluccan Rollerblading along the road Moderator Celebirdy of the Month Avenue Spotlight Award

    Ontario Canada
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    I'm so sorry for your loss :sorrow: I don't think you need to feel guilty about getting a new dog. You live and learn from mistakes. Nobody is perfect. Its great to hear your new dog will get heartworm prevention. I really like @Ankou suggestions of looking in to Credit card. Or maybe pet insurance too. Vet care is so expensive it can be tricky to figure out a budget for it. But putting some money aside is always a good idea
    Rain Bow and Ankou like this.
  6. ❤ Rosette ❤

    ❤ Rosette ❤ Meeting neighbors

    @zoo mom
    That's a very healthy way to look at it, thank you so so much. I'm determined to do a heck of a lot better with our next furry pal. :bluhug:

    I'm very sorry for your loss - losing a dog is an awful, awful experience. I'm sure he/she was a lovely pup.
    That is such a beautiful and sweet notion that brings me so much comfort - thank you so much for that. Seriously.

    Thank you so much for your post. Wow.
    I'm thinking that, well, we have an unlimited amount of love to give. (As do all people.) And since Buddy has passed on to somewhere else, we can't give him our love and attention anymore.
    Might as well make another furry soul happy in the meantime, right? And with Bud, the mistakes we made we made early on and couldn't fix easily, if at all. We're going to have a fresh start to learn from our mistakes.
    As for the birds, I think that doggy fence is the best idea for now (my mom would be loathe to move them into our bedroom ; we sleep late sometimes and they can get so noisy!) as well as an extra lock or two to really make sure their cages are secure.
    Also! About the savings, me and my mom were discussing that earlier! She said it's horrible to see your dog suffer and not have the money to help, and that we need to get a bank account or something to deposit money in every month. Just in case of a pet emergency. I'm so glad she's taking it so seriously. And we'll look into Care Credit! Sounds very promising.
    Again, thanks so much for your kind words. It means a whole lot. :heart2:

    Thank you for your post! I agree, we did the best we could for Buddy given our past mistakes. All we can do now is improve for next time.

    Thank you to everyone who has offered their condolences and comforting words. It absolutely means the world to me.
    Rain Bow, Ankou and Sarahmoluccan like this.
  7. iamwhoiam

    iamwhoiam Joyriding the Neighborhood Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

    So sorry for your loss.
  8. expressmailtome

    expressmailtome Ripping up the road Administrator Celebirdy of the Month Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award Avenue Veteran

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    I am sorry for your loss.
  9. hrafn

    hrafn Rollerblading along the road Avenue Spotlight Award

    When my aussie Anita passed suddenly and tragically to cancer at four earlier this year, I couldn't handle not having a dog. I physically and psychologically could not deal with the abrupt emptiness.

    Obviously no dog was ever going to replace my Ani, or fully fill in that hole - but I needed a dog to help me heal.

    Enter Morgan, a broken shell of a six-month-old pittie mix, who had been born into a dog fighting ring and rescued from the streets alongside her battle-scarred mother. I fell in love with her on first meeting her, and brought her home the next day, mere weeks after losing Anita.

    I absolutely empathise with the guilt. I felt I hadn't walked Ani often enough, played with her enough, hugged her enough, showed her just how much she meant to me before she died. When I vowed to make Morgan's life the best I could, it hurt that I hadn't, at least in my mind, done the same for Anita.

    But you know what? Ani loved me anyway.
    And Buddy loved you too.

    And devoting your heart to another dog, a dog in need, doesn't change that or make you a bad person. It doesn't mean Buddy meant less to you.
    You didn't let him down.
  10. Rain Bow

    Rain Bow Sprinting down the street

    Real Name:
    I am truly sorry for the loss of your fur baby. There is no good information that I can say that hasn't been said already. Some type of $ account is important (even if its a puppy piggybank you & mom put change). You can never go back & change things but going forward you can give your Golden a gift by not learning the lesson they taught you! They will say Thank you & You can say your sorry when your hearts touch & your forever together! :walkdog1:

    I lost my 19 yr. Family kitty last yr. She had kidney failure. Buddy our feather baby had just moved in. The kitty only ever wanted us to be happy. She spent her life either being funny or trying to make the sickest person well. She was our kitty Dr. We usually knew who was going to be sick because she knew first. I was torn like you. Then I knew she understood I wasn't replacing her but saving another soul/stray in another way. I felt it deep in my heart, even tho she was gone.

    You'll never replace 1 with the other. They're still there as they live in you. In your heart & head are the best parts of them, all you have to do is look w/in!

    My hearts hugging yours! :bluhug:
  11. Shezbug

    Shezbug ASK ME FOR PICTURES OF MY MACAW! Mayor of the Avenue Avenue Spotlight Award

    Vic, Australia
    Kelpie's are lovely dogs. My grandfather used to breed them and I also had one when I was a teenager and I had one for my kids when they were little, my last Kelpie was put down (old age and cancer) about four years ago. The last one I had I took in as the people who had her did not exercise her and she became a problem to them due to being full of energy, she would slip her collar and take off to round up sheep, horses, ducks or anything she could make move. She started becoming aggressive and ignorant as she was so in need of regular exercise, they are very intelligent dogs and also very energetic and these things need to be directed correctly so as not to make the dog a pest or un controllable. They need a lot of exercise as they are a working dog, if they do not get a lot of exercise daily they can start to become quite a handful as they go stir crazy. They will dig holes and chew everything so just make sure you do lots of training to keep the mind stimulated and also walk the dog daily and I mean long walks to burn up the energy. They are herding dogs and will likely try to push many things into the corner, my dogs used to try to keep the cat and other dogs in the corner and also any children who were around. I have never met a nasty or badly behaved Kelpie but all the ones I have known have been working dogs.

    I am sorry to hear of the loss of your last dog and I hope the new one will make your family feel whole again :) Enjoy your new Kelpie and please post some pics when you can.....Kelpies are one of my favorite dog breeds.
    Rain Bow likes this.

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