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The Agony of Losing a Pet Is Worse Than People Know

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Losing a pet is so much more painful than most people realize. It can even end in “broken heart syndrome.” Here’s how.

The Agony of Losing a Pet Is Worse Than People Know

Do you have a pet you adore? I love seeing pictures and reading stories about the precious pets people have. If you haven’t read this story about a life-saving Pitbull, you have to! Such a sweetie.

The Agony of Losing a Pet

When a pet dies, the family who loved that fur baby is grief-stricken. Pets are family members. They are there when we wake up, and beside us when we go to sleep. They see us sick, happy, angry, sad, and they never pass judgment. Our pets see the truth of who we are and they love us in spite of ourselves.

Isn’t that what family is supposed to do? Be there in good and bad times, offering support and unconditional love? Some may say they don’t even get that kind of care from their human families.

That’s why Scientific American says we should take pet loss seriously.

The aching hearts of those who lose a pet are often lonely hearts. After her dog died, a woman suffered from a terrible condition called “broken heart syndrome.” SA explains, “It can happen when the response to grief is so severe the person exhibits symptoms that mimic a heart attack, including elevated hormone levels that can be 30 times greater than normal.”

Essentially, the author says when you’re in anguish after this kind of loss, you need to reach out and let people know how badly you’re hurting.

“We need to seek social support from people we know will understand and sympathize with our emotions and not judge us for them.”

I think as a society we can always do a better job of supporting each other.

Crossing the Rainbow Bridge

You were used to morning purring to wake you up and now it’s quiet. You and your good boy always went for a walk before heading to bed. Now the leash hangs still.

When you open the front door, no one runs to you. At night all you can think about is how long it been since you slept in a bed without a four-legged friend taking up all the space.

That’s why the rest of us should show up, be loving, supportive and continue to be so for as long as it takes. There is no timeline on grief.

“It is time we gave grieving pet owners the recognition, support and consideration they need. Yes, it is up to us to identify and address our emotional wounds when our pet dies, but the more validation we receive from those around us, the quicker and the more complete our psychological recovery will be.” – Scientific American

If you’ve lost a pet, I want you to know how sorry I am you’re in pain. Tell us about them in the comments. What made you love them so? Did they have a favorite toy or a sweet way of showing you their love?

Don’t hesitate to reach out to a therapist to help you get through.

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ABOUT JILL

I am a mom of 3 awesome boys that love to get crafty with me in the kitchen. Our blog is full of all sorts creative food ideas for the Holidays, Party Ideas, Free Printables, Featured DIY Ideas, Recipes, & Kids Craft Ideas! Read more...

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My Mr. Slick was 19 years old. He had been diagnosed with renal failure and put on sub-q fluids 6 years ago. I gave him is fluids daily like clockwork and most of the time he was patient with the process. When I was a kid, our indoor/outdoor cats never made it 6 years of age. So Mr. Slick lived 3 lifetimes compared to cats I love from my childhood. The sub-q fluids helped him live a whole extra life. I knew he was going a couple of months ago when his behavior patterns began to change but it still hurt so badly the day he left. I found him on collapsed on the bathroom floor, still but breathing. When I touched him, he cried out loud — something he never did, he was the quietest cat I have ever known. I picked him up in a towel and sat on a chair with him in my arms and he stretched his little head back and took one last breath. He had waiting for me to find him before he went. He was going without me there, without saying goodbye, without one more moment of sharing our love. I panicked and rushed him to the hospital but he was, of course, gone. No heartbeat. They let me sit in a private “sorrow room” with him for a while and kindly never sent me a bill. Caring for him was the greatest honor of my entire life and when I come home now, I am painfully aware that there is no love or joy to greet me at the door, no fuzzy little guy to cuddle when I go to bed, no one to sit with me on the couch while I watch TV. Oddly, Mr. Slick only purred about five times his entire life, so the silence here is normal but it isn’t the silence that’s missing — it’s the love and companionship. I never say “I loved you” when I lose a pet because my love did not die, only my pet’s body. I always say, “I love you” because I still do. I did not say goodbye when I let the hospital take him to send him for cremation, I said what I always do when my pet has passed — “Till we meet again”. And with everything I am, I hope we do. RIP Mr. Slick. I love you. Till we meet again.

I lost my sweet 7 month old miniature schnauzer, Cooper, 2 weeks ago to renal dysplasia.  It was devastating especially since we lost our 14 year old miniature pincher, Tobie, 13 months ago to kidney failure.  It took me 9 months to decide to get another fur baby and now I’ve lost him at 7 months.  My heart is definitely broken….. 

My sweet angel Blazer crosses the rainbow bridge on June 8, 2019. He was my absolute best friend and I am still completely heart broken. Blazer was the most loving, gentle boy I’ve ever seen. He was a Golden Retriever so he was beautiful, but his soul was the most beautiful thing about him. He was beside me through breast cancer, a broken marriage and bouts of migraines and depression and so many other things. He loved me no matter what and I could never repay him for his love and devotion.

When I met my husband, he had two puppies (brothers) – Buck and Rolo. They were ornery and had crazy energy but they LOVED us so completely. After we got married, I wanted to get another pup, so we picked out a sweet pup at the animal shelter and brought her home to her big brothers – our June. Those dogs were amazing. They were all so different and unique – we were such an awesome family unit. A bit later we began fostering pups and kittens and they where the best foster siblings! We had our first baby a year after that… A few more years after we moved out in to the country, we added another baby. And they grew and aged with us and our growing family. Rolo had always been a tad weaker and incredibly sensitive. He went from being perfectly healthy one morning to dying that night in my husband’s arms – our vet suspects his heart just gave out… I think his heart honestly outgrew his earthly body. His poor brother, who had never known life without him was so lost. But he was still so eager to please us and be with us all the time that it made the loss almost bearable. Six months later, Buck’s body just began to wear out – he dragged his back leg due to some undiagnosable neurological issue while gimping on his arthritic front legs. He could barely get around, but he was still so happy to be with us. A few months more and one day he just couldn’t get up. He had developed a mass in his abdomen but was too weak for surgery. He had run out of options. The worst part was choosing for him to be done suffering versus letting him go on his own… He wanted so badly to be better and stay with us, but his body was just done. We were devastated, but we still had our June. She had always been more of the third wheel so we didn’t realize how badly losing her second brother would be for her. She had never had a single health issue in her 9 years, and we often joked that she would live forever. But she was never the same after Buck died. And 3 months after that, we woke up to find her unable to get up off the floor, surrounded by drool and urine. Vet specialists ran all kinds of tests and found no real cause but she never again was able to get up. She began having seizures that night and our vet came to our home and we said goodbye to our last dog. Three dogs who had been with us through our whole relationship – dating, married, moving, new jobs, kids… And within a year we’d lost all three. Heart-broken doesn’t begin to describe it. They were so much a part of us on every level. We lost pieces of ourselves that we’ll never get back. It’s been four years and I still get so emotional every time I think about them. We have two new brothers who are amazingly wonderful dogs and are just as much a part of our family as our first three, but they’re not replacements because each of our dogs was/is irreplaceable.

I remember saying I never wanted another dog again because losing them was so devastating… But not being dog people eventually grew to be too much. I was sad all the time and bitter about fostering and watching dogs of family and friends when I didn’t have any of my own. So eventually I nervously caved. Billee and Kylo bring so much fullness to our family, and I wouldn’t give them up for anything. But I am already dreading the day when I will have to say goodbye to them, too.

I lost my precious girl 7-12-19. It kills me every day that she is not here with me. Her and I were besties till the end. Losing her was worst than losing my parents. I miss her every second of the day. People ask if I’m gonna get another dog…… I say no… never again. The heartache I have every day is so emotional. My only wish is that other folks would get it… losing a pet is heartbreaking and it takes time!

My cat died on November 25 it hurt me so bad she was 18 years people say u will get over it but u dont

I lost my Siamese cat, Pandora, in June of 1991. The pain is still fresh. I loved her so much. I was away from home for the first time working to save money to buy a c ar. She became ill with kidney failure. My parents did not tell me because they knew I would come home. The week she died, my mom kept telling her to hang on, that I was on my way. She held on for 6 more days. When I saw her, she was so sick, smelled, of dealth, and bleeding from her gums. I was so angry and upset. But I put my emotions away and had one more beautiful night with her curled up by my side. Her head resting on my arm. She did exactly what she was asked to do. She held on until I got there, so we could both have on more night. She crossed the Rainbow Bridge the next morning. I have missed her every day for 29 years. She was mine and I was hers. My baby girl, my Pandy.

My sweet girl died Monday.  My heart is broken into pieces.  Nothing is as it should be.  

Buddy crossed the Rainbow Bridge in 2014. Miss my baby boy so terribly and still cry. Mommy loves you so much Bud-Bud!!

Tiffany. She was a 15 year old, toothless tabby I had had since I was 11 years old. I just turned 27.

She was my best friend. She has been gone for almost a month now, and the wounds feel fresher than ever.

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