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Man's Best Friend

Man's Best Friend

Dear Sugar
My dog passed away in November and I am having a really hard time coping with his death. He was 14 years old and died very unexpectedly. He was my best friend, was there for me through my divorce, when my father passed away and the death of my grandmother.

I feel a little bit foolish for being so bent out of shape over an animal, but I am just so sad all the time. We were so close and I loved coming home to him every day. Do you have any advice to help me cope with the sudden death of my dog? Devastated Diandra

To see DEARSUGAR's answer

Dear Devastated Diandra
I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I completely understand the pain of losing an animal, and you should not feel the least bit foolish for being upset. Your dog was there for you unconditionally through many life changing events. It is no wonder you are overwhelmed by his passing.

With all deaths, healing takes time. When you feel sad, remember that it's OK to just be sad and try not to keep your emotions bottled up inside. Do you have friends or family you can reach out to for a shoulder to cry on? Even though your dog died suddenly, talk to your vet as he or she is bound to have some good advice for you.

Various Humane Societies have pet loss support groups which is another place for you to voice and vent your emotions. Although you may feel lonely without your four legged friend, don't rush into getting a new dog until the time is right for you. Once you learn how to cope with this loss, your memories will bring you joy instead of sadness. Hang in there, time is an amazing healer.

Join The Conversation
snowflake snowflake 10 years
You are not alone here. My Dog Cooper(Golden Retriever) passed away unexpectaly at the age of 7. It hurt so much. He was the daddy to my little girl Nyla and we lost a great part of our family. this happened in april of 2006 and I am still not over it. I wish he was still here. My heart goes out to you!
Padraigin Padraigin 10 years
our furkids are so important and their loss is felt so keenly. Don't let anyone make you feel silly about it.
appreciated appreciated 10 years
Definetly don't feel foolish. My rabbit died a few years ago and I only had him for about 3-4 years. I cried for about 2 days straight! It's really hard to lose an animal. They're the unconditional, loving friend that you always had by your side.
Mme-Hart Mme-Hart 10 years
You are not being silly!!!! I lost my dogs (yes, two at the same time) last year and it still bugs me. We're getting a puppy in a week and a half and I FINALLY feel ready to keep the love and memories of my two babies alive whilst opening my heart to the love of a new dog. The loss of pets is so hard to recover from because they are selfless and love us's a difficult love to put behind you. Hang in there, it does get easier, but only with time on your side! Hugs!
tifygodess24 tifygodess24 10 years
Im so sorry to hear about the passing of your pet! Losing a pet is so hard , when my first dog died I was 16 years old and I had my dog my whole life (and he was also 16) my parents had gotten him a month before I was born , so we grew up together and he was my guardian angel-dog. He was so sweet and loving and would watch over me especially when I was really little and was doing something stupid like getting to close to the front door or the stove etc... and he would bark or push me away. It seemed he always knew when I could have potentially gotten hurt and he "saved" me in a way. Since he was with me for 16 years he was my best friend, a constant in my life, So when he passed away it hurt so much!And to not see him when I walked in the door and so on that was even harder. But after a little while and time to grieve for him I realized even though hes not with me anymore he did leave me one thing I will ALWAYS have ,All the Amazing memories and a childhood full of love from one amazing dog that I will never forget . So really even though you dog passed on a little piece of him will always be with you in your heart!
lovekailua lovekailua 10 years
aww i love the rainbow bridge poem! so beautiful.
lilxmissxmolly lilxmissxmolly 10 years
Johnny Depp said that only two things are so evolved to love purely: dogs and babies. When I was eight, I was at our family cabin in the wilderness when a mangy looking black puppy came through the gate. Being an eight year old, I picked it up and from that day forward, Blackie (I was eight, it was the best I could come up with) has been my best friend. She sleeps on my bed, lies beside the treadmill while I run on it, licks my face when my alarm doesn't go off, etc. Also, I recently found out that my horse will die soon. I felt foolish at first, too, for being so upset, but then I realized that everytime I got on her back, I was really putting my life in her hands. And she was never angry or a jerk like people are. Being sad over an animal isnt something to be ashamed of. **“In my mind, I’ve always een an A-list Hollywood superstar. Y’all just didn’t know yet.” -Will Smith **
sabrinaland sabrinaland 10 years
My dog died six years ago and I still think of her from time to time, it's only natural. Dogs are the best.
star486 star486 10 years
Your welcome!! Makes me cry too! I love it!
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
aww star486, that poem is so beautiful, it made me cry, thanks for posting it :)
star486 star486 10 years
This poem helped me when I lost my cat. Hope it helps you as well. It is called Rainbow Bridge. Just this side of heaven is a place called Rainbow Bridge. When an animal dies that has been especially close to someone here, that pet goes to Rainbow Bridge. There are meadows and hills for all of our special friends so they can run and play together. There is plenty of food, water and sunshine, and our friends are warm and comfortable. All the animals who had been ill and old are restored to health and vigor. Those who were hurt or maimed are made whole and strong again, just as we remember them in our dreams of days and times gone by. The animals are happy and content, except for one small thing; they each miss someone very special to them, who had to be left behind. They all run and play together, but the day comes when one suddenly stops and looks into the distance. His bright eyes are intent. His eager body quivers. Suddenly he begins to run from the group, flying over the green grass, his legs carrying him faster and faster. You have been spotted, and when you and your special friend finally meet, you cling together in joyous reunion, never to be parted again. The happy kisses rain upon your face; your hands again caress the beloved head, and you look once more into the trusting eyes of your pet, so long gone from your life but never absent from your heart. Then you cross Rainbow Bridge together.... Author unknown...
Pinkgirl88 Pinkgirl88 10 years
I am so sorry. I lost my horse when i was a younger girl and it hurt as bad as anything i can remember. My dog is part of my family i would be devastated if i lost him. Have your thought about rescuing a dog? It might make you feel better to know you save another dog's life. Or you could sponsor a local rescue dog in your Dog that passed's name. I am so sorry for what you are going through and my dog Elvis is sending you some licks and snuggles. TINA!
lovekailua lovekailua 10 years
that's a great idea grl! i did that too...I made a certificate for ALDF's wall of love for my pet...a memorial certificate and made a donation in her name.
grl-in-the-world grl-in-the-world 10 years
I am so sorry that you have lost such a loyal companion. Pets are very interactive parts of our everyday lives and I know it's hard to wake up every morning expecting those licks and a wagging tail and finding them missing. I lost my 9 year old cat to cancer this summer and am experiencing similar feelings of loss. I like Dear's idea of a pet loss support group. Since my pets passing I have created a scrapbook of my favourite moments with him and have several photos aroud the house. Although sometimes the memories can be painful, I think it helps to talk about good times with your pet with other people who knew and loved him. Another idea is making a memorial donation to a local animal shelter, they will often include a picture and message about your pet in their newsletter or place your pets name on a cage used to house an animal awaiting adoption. If you felt up to being around some animals that needed some love and companionship, volunteering to walk dogs or brush cats for your local shelter is also a great way to get some rewarding animal companionship, and who knows, maybe when the time is right one of those animasl will steal your heart and you will have a new furry friend to make memories with.
lovekailua lovekailua 10 years
definitely never feel everyone has said, it takes time and is completely natural. my cat died in late October. We got her when I was 9 and had her for over 17 years. she was the single sweetest animal in the world..never hissed, scratched or showed any negative anything, just love. it happened so suddenly too :( this was my first xmas without her. i hope you feel better soon...time will heal!
cubadog cubadog 10 years
Never feel silly about losing your pet. They are part of your family. I would be so upset if anything ever happened to my Noodle Love.
LillyRose LillyRose 10 years
My aunt (who I'm extremely close to) never had children, only pets...anyway she had this one cat for something like twelve years...It passed away this last spring and she was well beyond devastated. I felt really bad for her loss so my husband and I made a special picture frame for her (we are both into woodworking). We told her she could put a picture in it when she felt she could. She ended up hanging it right away...she also made the cat a little memorial in her garden. I'm sorry you lost your dog and I hope you find a way to cope also.
rubialala rubialala 10 years
Pets really are part of a family and when you loose them it can feel just as strong as when you loose a human family member. Sometimes even stronger because they provide unconditional love and support and, other than peeing on furniture or chewing shoes, there is little that they can do wrong! I am so sorry that you lost your friend. It sounds like you two went through a lot together. You said this happened in November. It's only January. Give yourself some time to heal. While dealing with this loss, you had to go through the holidays without your friend, which I'm sure did not help. Remember, too, that your little doggie lived to make you happy, and that he would want you to be happy now, even without him.
masmith masmith 10 years
You are not being silly at all. I am an only child and have always had dogs in my life, never been without them. They almost became my siblings. I always have a hard time when we loose one of our family, because dogs do become family. Just remember the good times you had with them and know that both of your lives were better because you shared them together. It will get better I promise. ~~Live each day like it's your last~~
SaRaH-22 SaRaH-22 10 years
Dont let anyone tell you that you are being really is one of the hardest things ever! I have never really had anyone close to me pass away and when my lil yorkie died the summer after I graduated from H.S(she was 16years old) i really thought the world was coming to an end! just try to do little things that remind you of them! Like i kept her blanket that she use to always sleep with that way when i would get sad i could get it and it would remind me of the good times...ok now i sound a little cheesy but you get the point..keep them close to your heart, dont try to push the memories away!
colormesticky colormesticky 10 years
I dread the day I lose my dogs, and I'm sorry you lost yours. :( There isn't anything wrong with being bent out of shape, either. I've cried over a hedgehog! Dear's right- don't buy another dog yet. Trying to replace him to fill that void won't do any good for you OR the dog. You'll know when you're ready. :hug:
bluejeanie bluejeanie 10 years
don't feel foolish and don't let anyone tell you "it was just a pet." i had a pet pass away earlier this year and i was inconsolable. a pet is a good friend and member of your family, of course you will be upset. check out, they're a great site. i hope you feel better soon.
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