How to Cope With Guilt After Your Cat or Dog Dies

How do you stop feeling guilty after your dog or cat dies? Many pet owners experience extreme guilt even when they didn’t cause their pet’s death.

How to Cope With Guilt After Your Cat or Dog DiesIf you’re struggling with grief and guilt because of the circumstances surrounding your dog or cat’s death, read Goodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet. It’s Gary Kowalski’s second book on coping with pet loss, and it’ll help you cope with guilty feelings after having to put your do or cat down.

Why do we feel so guilty after our pets die? Because “Dogs have given us their absolute all,” said Roger Caras. “We are the center of their universe.  We are the focus of their love and faith and trust.  They serve us in return for scraps.  It is without a doubt the best deal man has ever made.”

Isn’t that a beautiful quotation about dogs? And it applies to cats, too — not the “serve” part of course, but the love and affection. Our pets give us unconditional love and don’t ask anything but attention, ear scratches, tummy rubs, and … survival.

Maybe that’s why it’s so difficult to deal with guilt when our cats or dogs die; they depend on us for life, and we feel we failed them by not keeping them alive.

How to Cope With Guilt After Your Cat or Dog Dies

One way to cope with guilty feelings after the death of your dog or cat is to accept that you made the best decision for your pet at the time. If you put your cat or dog to sleep, you made the best decision you could. Maybe you didn’t try every pet medication, alternative therapy, or special food that you could find – but you did the best you could. Take a deep breath, accept that you did the best you could, and let go of your guilt that your cat or dog died. You did the best you could.

Stop replaying the “if only” scenarios

coping with guilty feelings after dog cat dies

How to Cope With Guilt After Your Cat or Dog Dies

“If I only I would’ve known my pet was sick, I would have acted differently…”  We can only see clearly when we look back on what’s happened – because hindsight is 20/20, my friend. There is no value in replaying the “if only” scenarios…unless you replay them with a happier ending! Instead of looking back at the “if onlys”, focus on saying good-bye to your dog or cat — perhaps with a memorial to help you cope with pet loss.

Remember that you don’t know what would have happened

If you’re dealing with guilty feelings because of pet loss, you may think, “If only I would have recognized that he was sick earlier, I could have saved him.”

The problem with this type of thinking is that you don’t know what really would have happened! Maybe it’d be a happily ever after ending – and maybe your pet would have died anyway. When we engage in the “if only” scenario, we deceive ourselves into thinking we could have saved our pet from death.

Know that you’re not alone – many pet owners feel guilty

Your feelings of anger, grief, and guilt over your pet’s death are felt by many people who lost their dogs or cats. We’re all mourning together, my friends…and our pets are watching and loving us from wherever they are. Make them proud and happy; there’s no room for sadness or guilt where they are.

how to heal after losing your petIn How to Heal Your Heart After Losing a Pet: 75 Ways to Cope With Grief and Guilt When Your Dog or Cat Dies, I share the most valuable, comforting advice I found when I was dealing with the loss of my own dog, Jazz.

I interviewed veterinarians, grief counselors, and pet experts for the best ways to survive the death of a beloved dog, and I included stories from real pet owners who coped with guilt and grief in sometimes surprising ways.

When Your Pet Dies: A Guide to Mourning, Remembering and Healing by Alan D. Wolfelt is another good book for people struggling with grief when their pet dies. This book will help you understand why your feelings are so overwhelming, and help you cope with the guilt you feel about your pet’s death. The topics discussed include practical suggestions for grieving, ideas for remembering and memorializing one’s pet, understanding the many emotions experienced after the death of a pet, understanding why grief for pets is unique, pet funerals and burial or cremation, celebrating and remembering the life of one’s pet, coping with feelings about euthanasia (and guilt about putting an animal to sleep), helping children understand the death of their pet, and things to keep in mind before getting another pet.

For more help dealing with guilty feelings after pet loss, read How to Find Peace of Mind After Putting a Dog to Sleep.

If you have any thoughts on these ways to cope with guilty feelings after your dog or cat dies, please comment below…


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337 thoughts on “How to Cope With Guilt After Your Cat or Dog Dies”

  1. My mum and I are lost and desperately heartbroken after the loss of our lovely little baby boy ?
    Angel, our siamese cat was larger than life. 16 years young and full of life until a week ago when he dramatically lost weight in a matter of days. He was eating and drinking ok so we were concerned about the dramatic drop in weight.
    He had been struggling to poop and been prescribed laxatives 2 weeks ago to try and help along with his booster injection so no cause for concern at the time.
    Got him to the vet asap and asked him to check him out as we were worried. Angel also received jabs for feline asthma every 6 weeks so the vet had these prepared for him as per the usual routine.
    However, the look on the vets face when he weighed him told us he was as shocked as we were to discover that he was below 3kg and in the danger zone. He told us the sad news, that Angel was very poorly and had reached the end of his life. His organs were letting him down. Tests could be done but from the vets and our previous experience it would only cause trauma to Angel and have the same outcome at the end. We didn’t want to put our baby through that. He asked us if we were prepared to say goodbye now but we were so shocked and also had our dog with us at the time so we asked if we could take him home and the vet said yes, have a couple of days to say goodbye but don’t leave him too late. Fluids were given and we took him home to say our goodbyes and spent 2 lovely days with him cuddling and letting him feel the warmth of the sun in the garden. He always loved running past us to get outside and try to climb over the fence to next door. This time he wasn’t interested and just wanted to have a little walk round then exhausted, he had a sleep. He deteriorated fast and when we felt he was ready, 2 days after our visit to the vet, we took him back to the vet.
    We stayed with him, held his paw and face and I repeatedly told him that I loved him whilst looking straight into his beautiful blue eyes.
    The vet was wonderful with him and us and sedated him first so his passing was very peaceful.
    Can’t stop crying ?
    I am grateful for the time I had with you Angel but heartbroken forever at your loss. Until we meet again my noisy, beautiful boy xxx love you so so much ?

    1. I am so so sorry for the loss of your gorgeous baby,,,i know your pain we lost our sweet maximus in sept he was only 5 years ,literally was at vets within hours. Such a shock, i thought i’d never stop crying,trying to hold it together at work was the worst thing. Time does heal, we’ve stopped crying as much, my fella is still devastated i know but life has to go on, or you’d crack up.I know you’re feeling awful right now. We have another 4 month kitten called Teddy now he’s so lovely, naughtier than maximus wss lol, and he has healed our grieving hearts. I wish you all strength at this time x

  2. My dog suffered in his death but had a wonderful 11 days before that. Decided not to have him euthanized. Now the guilt of his painful death at home which lasted about 45 minutes . Guilty over not putting him to sleep as vet said since he was not ready but the yelp and head turning and gray drooping tongue haunts me. I did take photos of the 11 additional happy days of his life.But all I remember is his agonizing death of hemorrhages spleen that night.

  3. I put my beloved Snoopy to sleep this past April, just 5 months after his having been diagnosed with a brain tumor. I followed the specialist’s orders as best I could regarding medications and treatment, but for the last week or so if his life, I know he was suffering. When he really seemed to be doing poorly, I put him to sleep. As I said, I was following the doctor’s recommendations, and when I finally decided to put him to sleep, the doctor reassured me that he believed I was making the right decision.
    I suspect it was the 3rd dose of the chemotherapy drugs I was giving him that made him so badly off. I wish to this day I’d stopped after the first day (it was a 5-day thing every third week) when it seemed to make him somewhat ill. I blame myself to this day for not only hastening his demise, but not putting him to sleep sooner when he really seemed at to end to be suffering.

  4. I wrote a comment nearly 2 years ago today. My cat Maxi passed exactly 2 years ago tomorrow. I still live with the guilt, and I will never fully accept that I could not have somehow saved her….. but I have had another cat move in with me (they always seem to find me rather than me find them). It has helped me heal in part. My new cat is also an older cat, and had a terrible skin condition…. she is much better and is a work in progress. But I will never forget my Maxi. Time does heal to an extent, and I can reflect back now and smile, rather than cry. I just wanted to post this as a comfort to those who have recently lost a beloved animal….. it DOES get better.

    1. I know how you feel,, im the same now,after our baby boy Maximus died in sept 2019,,so sad he was only 5,time does heal ,we miss him terribly x

  5. I messed up on so many levels in the care of the two cats I had received from a cat shelter. This is quite a long story, so please bear with me. The two cats were severely obese when they came to me, one weighing as much as 8 kg and the other 6-7 kg. I loved them and doted on them so much! However, I knew I was only going to keep them for a temporary time since I was a stand-in shelter home for my friends who were abroad. When this happened, the cats had been at my place for over a year (I know, a long temporary) and I was only supposed to have them for a few more weeks. In the beginning I was much more careful, checking so they were steadily losing weight by weighing them, yet still eating and drinking properly. This was my first time having cats. They were both indoor cats and I was also careful to see that they pooped etc. However, as the months progressed, and the cats were happy (they really were) and seemed healthy, I began to relax a lot more in my care. I lost the habit to weigh them regularly and the responsibility to feed them and empty the cat litter box was given to my brother who was at home much more than me. The cats were given free access to food and water since none of them were any gluttons (which makes me wonder how they became so big in the first place).

    The cat shelter was actually more like a middle aged crazy catlady who lived alone in a flat with about 7 cats with varying degrees of sickness. She would come and visit and check up on the cats now and then since she was written as the owner of them (I know, strange arrangement). I found her awfully creepy since she would ask me for favours and trespassed all kinds of social barriers. E.g I know all kinds of weird facts about her personal life, how her mum was severly sick, how her sister was against her, how she was feeling so down. She would send me these long texts and would even insist when I said no to her favours (e.g if I could help her move her sofa or keep her things in my basement). She couldn’t keep it professional. This was more in the first few months I had the cats, but eventually she seemed to understand that I couldn’t deal with her personal life. I was simply a caretaker of her cats. I considered returning the cats to her, but by then I was already so infatuated with them. Moreover, I thought I was doing a good thing. Since the alternative for these two cats would be to live with the crazy catlady and share a cramped apartment with 7 other cats.

    Months flew by and the cats were happy and loved. The creepy catlady made a few visits and all was good. I was as always super busy and when summer came I was beyond exhausted. In June and July all I did was work and be tired. At the of June/ beginning of July, I missed replying to the catlady’s texts, several times. I feel so stupid now, how could I just forget to reply! Even if she was creepy, I had an commitment. But I know everyone forgets to reply (even when they have an commitment) and it wasn’t just her, I missed other e-mails and even a deadline. Why didn’t the catlady call me?! That’s what you do when you can’t get ahold of someone!

    Sometime in July, one of the cats started to hide a lot in my walk-in closet. We didn’t think much about it, since the closet had always been one of the favourite places for the cats to be. Especially this cat was quite shy and loved that place. Furthermore, we were experiencing extreme summerheat during that period and we simply thought the cat was hiding there as it was dark and cool there. The cats received a lot less attention from me. I was also preparing myself for having the cats move back to my friends who were returning in August. Later in July, I noticed the the same cat had lost a lot of weight and was behaving very sluggish. Now in aftermath, I cannot believe I didn’t react. I remember asking my brother if he had seen the cat eat and what he thought. He insisted that the cat was fine and that it was just the heat. That’s what my friend said as well when I asked her, it was probably just the heat. Why didn’t I ask the catlady? That thought never crossed my mind, probably because I found her so creepy. Why didn’t I ask Dr. Google? Why did I listen to my brother and my friend instead of what I actually saw? I admit, I looked away, I must have. The cat getting sick was the last thing I expected to happen.

    So this was a Sunday when I started taking notice of the cats condition and was a little bit worried. But since no one else was worried I didn’t think so much about it. I also knew the catlady was coming within a day or two (I had finally replied her). A part of me was probably also thinking “Let’s see when the catlady comes.” as she had 20 years of experience with cats. But then the catlady forgot about it as well ( and so did I) and didn’t come until Friday. All hell broke loose when she noticed the cat was actually severly ill. I was immedialtely stricken by panic and guilt when I realized my mistakes. After yelling at me and that it was monstrous of me to let the cat become so sick (my brother wasn’t at home), we drove to the emergency vet. The veterinarian said the cat was extremely dehydrated and that it was progressed kidney failure. She only weighed 4,5 kg at the vet. I estimate she weighed between 6-7 kg before summer. To be honest, I’m surprised now in aftermath that the vet didn’t recommend euthanisation immediately. But I also suspect they wanted to milk out money. She had kidney stones and her organs were swollen. She was put on IV and stayed over the weekend. Since I wasn’t the owner on paper, it wasn’t up to me what level of care the cat would be given. The catlady was noticeably devastated and shocked.

    On Monday and Tuesday, when the testresults came back, I received the longest texts from the catlady where she blamed me for everything. Pouring her anguish out and laying the guilt on thick. I was already a sinking ship myself and could barerly sleep nor eat. The testresults were terrible, since the kidney failure had progressed so far. The cat was force-fed through tube and still at the vet. As much as it would have pained me, if it had been up to me, I would have euthanised the cat to relieve it of its suffering. But I don’t think we “normal” humans can understand the attachment this lady felt towards a cat which hadn’t even lived at her place for over a year. Naturally, the other cat was returned to the catlady. It was a horrible experience as the cat was meowling unhappily in the car, and the look the catlady gave me still haunts me. I thought she would yell at me, but she just took the cat.

    All my friends were amazing support. They told me to block the catlady and after writing a long message where I admitted my faults and said how sorry I was (and that I understood this wouldn’t change anything for the catlady), I asked her to not contact me anymore. The sick cat was eventually euthanised on the Friday, one week after it had been put in. I saw the message with the offer to be there too late. Thankfully, the catlady hasn’t tried to contact me anymore.

    It ‘s been two months now. It kills me to know that the cat suffered the last few weeks at my place. I feel ashamed for not paying more attention to the cats. For prioritizing myself in front of them. This was not the ending I had wished. I never meant any harm towards the cats nor the catlady. Now in aftermath I see all the things I could have done. I could have just called the vet and asked for advice, I could have googled the symptomps. Why didn’t I read up more on cats when I got them? Why did I give so much responsibility to my brother, who obviously did not pay attention? I feel so naive and ignorant now. There are many “what ifs” and “should have”. I’ve been tormenting myself about this, it’s starting to fade now. But for weeks I would wake up in the middle of the night with extreme anxiety.

    My brother has a completely different way of handling the event. He of course also feels regret, but then he also says that this was our first time taking care of a cat. He says he focuses on thinking how happy the cats were before this happened (they really were). A few wise things he has said are: “Yes, there were many things we should and could have done. However, if you are always going to live in those thoughts, how will you live then?” “You can’t always expect yourself to be 100% rational or make the best decisions, we are only humans and as humans we make mistakes and cause harm even if without ill intent.”

    Now in aftermath, I’m not so surprised this happened, given how crazy the catlady was, how obese the cats were and my own naivety. It was a weird constellation as well. I didn’t understand how attached the catlady was to the cat until afterwards. But why did she not take care of it herself then? Who gives their darling pet away to a stranger (with no experience of taking care of cats), then harrass the stranger and expect everything to go well?

    This site has helped so much in the process of overcoming my grief and guilt. Thank you so much. It will take a long time to forgive myself for my mistakes. I still feel like a monster but I know I never meant any harm.

    1. I’m so sorry the poor kitty suffered. He should have been priority from the start.

      I would like to say that the way you speak about this woman from the shelter is very concerning. Rather than give her a fake name, you decide to call her “cat lady” the whole time, as if her love for the animals and what she does makes her crazy. Granted, her behavior toward you with her personal wasn’t fair, but that is completely separate from her relationship to you as someone who trusted you to take care of some shelter cats.

      You say you aren’t surprised by the events given “how crazy the catlady was”, as if she had anything to do with your negligence toward the cat. She wasn’t there. She was checking in with you. Once she got the hint that you weren’t “friends” outside of this, it seems like she backed off. I think she absolutely has a right to be upset about the turn of events.

      I’m glad you can recognize your faults in this horrible chain of events, and you really do seem remorseful, but bringing up this lady as if to take off some of the blame or explain why things happened the way they happened isn’t right.

      1. BearBear,

        Thank you for your reply. I know, I’m being immature (please forgive as I’m quite young and lack experience). Deep down I know this was all my fault and you are completely right. I need to own up to my mistakes and negligence. And yes, the cat should have come to first priority. But at the time, I prioritized differently and I will always regret that. I still have a difficult time accepting all of my mistakes. Now in aftermath I of course understand why the lady was upset and feel her pain and shock. I know everyone makes mistakes and failures. This is the first time I’ve made such huge mistakes. I doubt I will ever get a pet again (I feel like I don’t fit to take care of an animal). But I can only try and be a better person by admitting my faults wholeheartedly and then improve. Thank you for reading the my long post before and helping me get insight.

        1. BearBear, I’ve thought about your words more during the day and I want to thank you for your rational words and for not turning it into a hateful comment (as is far too common on internet). I now also understand that calling out the catlady’s (I’m sorry, but that’s the fake name I chose) weird behaviour was a defense mechanism. I’ve read that when you have committed a grave mistake, there is a process of depression, denial/ anger and finally acceptance. I guess I am in the process between denial and acceptance. I feel absolutely horrible for having hurt another person by my mistakes, and my biggest regret is that the cat suffered. However, at that time, I truly did not know she was in pain. At the end of the day, nothing will bring her back to life. My only solace is that she was truly happy living at my place before she became sick. I can say that with 100% confidence.

          1. Thank you for taking my comment so well. It could have been very easy to become defensive, but given your response you do seem to really understand where I was coming from and how to take full responsibility. Obviously I am on this site too because I lost a pet (my cat, Bear), and I feel incredibly guilty for the way things turned out. No one is perfect, but recognizing your mistakes and faults is the only way to move on from them. I don’t think you should give up on pets completely, because they are such a light in our lives, and it seems now that you understand the responsibility one has to their pet, you can move forward. Thank you for your comments. Hopefully we all find a way to move on in a healthy way.

  6. Thanks, day after Christmas and I am grieving for Ling-Ling who just left this morning. Reading your comments made me feel better but my heart is broken and no New Year’s Celebration for me!

    Ling-Ling 8-yrs-old died 26th December 2017
    We found this little homeless mixed German Shepherd/ Siberian Husky eight years ago. When she got older, she became our guard dog and not only guarded the house, but also watched the car, and made sure nobody crossed our boundary line without permission from one of us. She checked each guest who arrived and noted what purse or bag they were carrying and would bark if anyone picked up the wrong one.
    I taught her how to play wall ball using a tennis ball and she hated to lose. One time she even snipped a young boy in the leg who she felt was cheating her out of a point.
    She would wait down the street and listen for the sound of our car approaching and then escort us all the way home as if we didn’t know the way.
    Each year on Christmas we would dress all three dogs up in outfits, give them each a stocking full of goodies, and play with them on the floor for hours. This was how we always celebrated our Christmas. We didn’t have the heart to do it this year, but she watched us having fun with a few guests for the very last time. We gave her some favorite treats and kept her warm with blankets. She could barely hold her head up, but you could see a faint smile on her face.
    The day before Christmas Eve I let her out for some fresh air and she disappeared. We looked everywhere for twenty-four hours but she was nowhere to be found. I haven’t prayed to God since I was a little boy, so didn’t feel he would listen now, so just simply screamed out, “How could anyone be so cruel as to allow a loved one to die on Christmas. How many lives have I saved (as a doctor) and now you are taking my best friend on the only day of the year that I celebrate? Why couldn’t you wait until after Christmas? “ Saying that I was angry would have been an understatement as I stormed into the house, but there on the mantle was a solitary lit candle, which freaked the you know what out of me. I went out on the terrace and heard a rustling of leaves down below and when I got down the stairs there she was, very weak, but still alive. She died in our arms after midnight on the 26th. That she made it through her last Christmas meant the world to us. We dressed her up in a favorite costume and buried her in the backyard with her pillow, blanket, and a biscuit for her journey.
    They say that dealing with the loss of a pet helps us to handle the deaths of family and friends. I would add that pets teach us how to love and live life, never complaining, happy to see us even after five minutes when we have forgotten our keys, and just content to be in our company. Ling-Ling, every day that I am coming up the hill on the way home, I will look for you to show me the way. XXX

  7. My sympathies to everyone struggling with guilt and grief after their cat or dog dies. I lost my dog a month ago, and still don’t feel whole.

  8. Dear Bex,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. There is no pain like that of seeing your beloved cat so sick and weak. It is heartbreaking to watch an animal stumble, fall…it really is awful. I know how it feels to see a cat in pain, and I wish I had the right words to ease your pain.

    You did everything right. You took care of your cat the best way you knew how! Now, looking back, you see things you wish you’d done differently…but the truth is that you couldn’t have known when it was happening what you “should” have done.

    The other thing is: you don’t know how it would have turned out if you’d taken different actions. We always look back and think if we had done something different, everything would have changed. But we can’t know for sure this is true. We really don’t know what would have happened if we had done things differently.

    But it is what it is. Your beloved cat is gone, and my prayer is that you find ways to work through the guilty feelings you’re struggling with. You couldn’t have known what she was going through, and you did everything you could to look after her. It’s time to forgive yourself.

    When those feelings of guilt and condemnation come up, replace them with prayers for your beloved cat. Remember her with peace and love. Know that your cat is resting in peace, and those beautiful Heavenly angels are ministering to her! She is floating, remembering you and her life on earth with joy, and happy to finally be free. She is loving all the cat treats she can eat, and she wishes you could forgive yourself because she wants you to be happy…like she is.

    I don’t think you made a mistake, but here’s an article that may help you forgive yourself and deal with those guilty feelings about your cat’s death.

    7 Practical Ways to Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes

    May you find peace and healing.

    In sympathy, with encouragement,

    1. Thank you so much for taking the time to reply Laurie. It has been a very tough week… I felt like I was going through the motions and that I could not, and would not smile with my heart for some time. I have felt the days were something I had to get through. I have had plenty of time to reflect, and I am hating on myself a lot less…. your words and re-reading this article (and several others) played a big part. You are right in that even if I had done everything as ‘textbook’, it does not mean that the outcome would have been any different. And I would have hated myself even more if I had kept her going through aggressive treatment, only to have had the same result. Another thought which brought me some element of peace, was the thought that my intentions were always good. If I had any notion that this would have been the outcome, then of course i would have acted sooner. I just always assumed that she would be here forever. I take some comfort that she had an amazing 10years with me, and she was very much loved, as well as spoilt rotten. A part of me will always feel guilty for not giving her more attention in the past 2 years…. but then again, I know i need to be kinder on myself… I am a single mum, I work full time, and I also maintain my house as well as making sure I cook all food from scratch for my daughter. However, I would never refuse a fuss and a tickle when she sought me out, and I think she was happy with that. She was never a lap cat, but would love to have cuddles on her terms. I have taken your advice, and ordered a memorial plaque for her which I am going to place in the corner of the garden, where she would like to sit. I will also hold a little funeral and scatter her ashes in the garden (she never went further than the garden as she could not jump high). Its amazing how these little creatures, so tiny in stature, can hold such a huge presence, and as a result, their absence leaves a massive chasm. I’m also going to create a canvas with a collage of photos I have of her…… Thanks again Laurie xxx

    2. My cat died on the 30th from two tumors, one on each kidney, only aged 6 years old. I can’t stop feeling guilt, regret and utter shock and disbelief from when he died. What happened on the what seemed to be a normal day of playing on my phone, watching videos and that, and I go downstairs to grab something to eat. My mum says that she think the cat’s lost weight and he’s barely touching his food. So then she says “should we bring him to the vet, and my dad didn’t agree but I agreed thinking he was just going to get an average checkup and be prescribed with a certain medicine or food. My mum is foreign and cannot speak that good in English so she says either me or my brother have to go. We were both very tired and could not bother to go, so my brother thinks of an idea to play rock, paper, scissors, and whoever wins gets to stay home so I end up winning and he angrily gets in the taxi with my mum and the cat in the kennel so they head off and I don’t think much of it, and within 10-15 minutes they knock on the door and not really thinking that he would die. I open the door and I don’t see the cat in hand (thinking they might of had to leave him in the vet for a day or two. I ask “Where’s Minosh?” (My cat’s name) they briefly stop me and say “the cat got put down…”, I run to my room crying in disbelief, regret and guilt that I didn’t come because I was tired. To this day I regret it. Sorry that I’ve turned this into a story, I just wanted to give my full experience with the hopes of relating with all of yoy. Thank you…

      1. I’m so very sorry for your loss, I feel so bad that I wasn’t there when my Sweetheart Kibbles passed away, I regret it so much…he was happy and healthy, I just don’t get it, he just died and not knowing why kills me everyday of my life and it will till the day I die ????

  9. I had my cat put down on Tuesday. I am ravaged with guilt and anger that I didn’t do something earlier. I had her for 10years. She was a local stray and I invited her in for a can of tuna, and after that she stayed with me. She wasn’t well, and I had to take her to the vet who gave her an enema (one of many). And for the first 4 years, she would throw up all the time. The vet didn’t really offer any useful advice and it wasn’t until I met my ex, when he suggested putting her on hills science for sensitive stomachs, did she finally improve. This seemed to do the trick, and although she never had healthy stools, often runny and with blood in them, she seemed healthy. She was never much of a playing cat, but she ate, drank, purred, etc. I took her for a yearly check up every year, and although I mentioned the blood in stools, the vet never seemed too concerned. She was such a loyal friend. She would sleep on me or the bed every night. Then 2 1/2 yrs ago, I had a child. Maxi no longer slept on the bed (due to baby wails), and I didn’t let her do so later on (my little girl sleeps in my bed since the age of 1 when I separated from her dad), as I didn’t want her to disturb my little one. I recently moved home to be nearer my folks, for support. Maxi was in my new house for 3 months on her own. I visited every day, and would work there (I had my office set up, but had some other works done before I moved in). I finally moved in about 3 1/2 months ago. Maxi used to get my full 100% attention and love, but when I had a daughter, Maxi was really put on the sidelines. I ADORED that cat, yet she was getting a fraction of the attention she used to. She was so amazing when I had my baby, as she would get upset at her crying, and jump up on the changing mat and rub her head against my baby’s. I feel so so guilty for not spending more quality time with her when I could have done so. She started to lose weight, but again, I didn’t think much of it… the pre-baby me would have been much more concerned. I wasn’t monitoring her eating, as another cat has been coming in the night and eating her food, so I didn’t notice that she wasn’t eating. WHY oh WHY did I not think to check this if she was losing weight. I have had cats all my life, and I know that older cats lose weight, so I just put it down to that. But my ex pointed out she had lost even more weight in the week period since he last saw her. It was at that point I thought ‘hmmmm, perhaps she isn’t well’. I called the vets, and even though I could have made an appointment that day (saturday), I chose to select an appointment on Monday. She went downhill rapidly… refused her favourite treats which were literally ‘cat crack’ to her. I know something was really not right. The vet said she was suffering from kidney failure, but that is could be managed. I picked up the medication on Tuesday, but by then, she was not even moving. lying down outside, head down. She wasn’t eating and barely drinking. I was feeding her water with a syringe and then attempted to do the same with liquidised food (but didn’t do a good job… just got it all over her chin). I still thought that I could get her over the hump…. But then at around 4pm, she was struggling to walk. She was so so weak. She stumbled off the sofa, and walking very very gingerly, having to stop to rest. Then she did a bit of diarrhea on the floor and collapsed in it. At that very moment, I called the vet and took her in to be euthanised. But I am feeling so so so guilty…. if I had done something earlier, she could have been treated, as kidney failure is manageable. But I didn’t do anything until too late. And the vet didn’t suggest euthanising her… he said that it can be treated and didn’t seem too concerned. But she stopped purring, responding… I could not bare the thought of her lying in her own filth all night and becoming even weaker and worse. But could I have done more? Could I have I insisted that she stay at the vets, put on a drip, get her through her weakness? Or was it too late anyway and she would have spent her last moments shut in a cage with a needle in her? I can’t stop crying as I feel I failed her… and she spent 3 months here on her own.. I had visions of us snuggling up in winter again like we used to, and I regret that I didn’t pay her more attention…… I really really hate myself right now, and I don’t know how I can live with this feeling. Any advice would be so welcome…

  10. Dear Rose,

    Thank you for being here, and for sharing your story. You loved Abby so much, and the grief of her death is so real and intense. I’m sorry for your loss. I know you did everything you could — you made the best decisions you could with what you knew, and you did everything in your power to save her.

    One of the most difficult things to do is forgive yourself after your beloved pet dies. The guilty feelings that so often accompany a dog or cat’s death can be overwhelming, and can even change how you feel about yourself.

    Here’s an article that may help:

    7 Practical Ways to Forgive Yourself for Past Mistakes

    I don’t think you failed your cat — and I don’t believe you made a mistake in your care for her. But, the tips in the article may help with your guilty feelings. It really comes down to a choice: choosing to allow forgiveness to enter and live in your heart.

    Read the article, let me know if it helps. I’ll keep you in my prayers.

    In sympathy,

  11. I lost my baby girl almost a year ago. My cat Abby who was my first childhood pet, my absolute best friend and my everything!! We had her for 14 years. She was diabetic for about 6 years. I gave her insulin shots each morning and night, gave her blood tests to check her glucose and we took her to the vet every 6 months for checkups. One day I came home from work and after not seeing her for about an hour and a half I started to look for her. I found her in our basement on the floor unable to walk. we brought her to the vet that night and after explaining to them her history they said she probably got dehydrated and gave her fluids to rehydrate her. That whole entire night I couldn’t go to sleep and layed on the floor with her. The next morning she still couldn’t walk so we brought her to the vet and she stayed there for 4 days so they can monitor her give her fluids and find out what was wrong. They said she may of had a stroke and lost her ability to walk. She wasn’t paralyzed and still had feeling in her legs but They said they did not know if she would ever walk again but they did not want to rule it out as a possibility. They gave us instructions on what to do to take care of her at home. For the next 3 weeks is where all my guilt lies. For the next 3 weeks I kept hoping a miracle would happen. We mounted comforters on top of each other with a pillow and made a comfortable bed for Abby to lay on. Every 2-3 hours we had to flip her over on her opposite side each time so she didn’t get bedsores from being on one side all day. Every single day I tried to spoon feed her wet food and give her water theough a syringe. Every single day I stretched her legs for her and pinched her paw pads hoping that her nerves would reconnect with her brain. We had to keep weewee pads underneath her and we constantly changed them because she couldn’t go to the litter box. She lost a lot of weight bc she didn’t want to eat anymore, she went from being the loudest cat always meowing to not saying anything. I slept with her every night and some nights played piano music to sooth her. Finally the last weekend I knew it was time however we really wanted to euthanize her comfortably in our home and the vet couldn’t come until the next weekend so we decided to wait until then. Unfortunately 3 days before the appt I came home on my lunch break and she passed on her own…I feel tremendous guilt that we just didn’t bring her to the vet and put her to sleep that final weekend or even put her to sleep a week or 2 before hand…why did I let her lay there depressed forcing her to eat forcing her to try and get better when she probably would of rather been put to sleep..they say putting a pet down is a selfless act and I feel so selfish and guilty for not doing so. How did I not see her quality of life was no longer there. I feel horrible bc I hope I didn’t make her suffer those 3 weeks. I can’t get over it. I still cry for her and wish I did things differeny. I miss her so much. please If anyone has advice it would be greatly appreciated. <3

  12. Margaret Carpenter

    Sergeant’s flea and tick spray killed my dog. I’m overwhelmed with grief knowing that it was I that put this on him. This product will kill your beloved pet as if it was a bug!!! I feel so much guilt for the pain Cocoa suffered because I unknowingly put the stuff on him. I can’t seem to get over this. He is loved by so many. R.I.P. Cocoa. Mommy loves you so very much with all my heart. I would never wish you any pain or death Please forgive me. ???????

  13. OMG

    I was up very late, as I’ve been the last few days, dealing with periodic waves of guilt over the loss over my 15 year old “Blackie” dog, the family dog that has been a part of my family’s lives for 14 years. We noticed the gradual decline over the last 2 years, and accelerating decline of the last month. But the last 3 days were the final days as he practically stopped eating, drinking, wouldn’t go out for walks, and barely got up for anyone because he lacked any energy to show us the enthusiastic love we used to enjoy from him. The 2 day nose-dive was confirmed by the vet as at minimum a serious liver condition from which recovery was unlikely, and our decision to put him to sleep was the best choice.

    I guess it was a combination of the shock of going from “normal” to burying our boy that had me rethinking my last few days, weeks, and months, wonder how I could have spent more time with him, doing more of what he loved doing, and not taking him for granted. But then I had to remind myself of all that we did for Blackie — rescuing him from the pound as a year old pup with more energy that I though we could handle, as well as providing him a home where we were there for him almost daily for the 14 years we had him. We were able to do that because I had invested wisely enabling me to be a stay at home dad, and my kids were there for him being home schooled since the 6th grade to present. He had it as good as a dog can have it with love and attention all those years. Despite all that, it’s difficult not to feel guilt and second-guess all your decisions and color them as selfish. However, hindsight is always 20/20. Once I understood his condition and the need to give him comfort from his age and ailments, there was no delay and giving him that gift. And those last couple of days were filled with as much of the good stuff we could give him, the things he enjoyed most.

    The most striking thing about this article for me……..

    The picture of the dog is a spitting image of my Blackie! I’m sure I have pictures of my doggie in that exact same pose and wondered how anyone got a picture of my boy to post on the Internet. But the carpet and flooring are definitely NOT mine.

    Talk about strange coincidence.

    It’s surreal.

  14. I went through worst nightmare which any pet owner can go through.My dear cat passed away yesterday.She was just 10 moths old.I feel my love killed her.I got her from a shop when i saw her in a shop where she was up for sale for few months and since nobody was buying her so she was turning into liability for shop owner. she was losing weight in shop .She was so full of life and desperate to break the cage in shop that i took fatal decision to bring her home.Now i wish i had not gotten her home at least she would have been alive even if in bad condition.I brought her home and dotted on her in fact off late all my decisions like working etc were revolving around her.I live alone in a small flat.She wanted to go out explore everything so i decided to shift to bigger and safer house to give her space to play run etc.
    Since she was extremely playful i used to leave her on terrace to play in evenings and night in fresh air. I live in a flat in metro city.3 days back she developed a habit of going down street and playing.Due to fear of dogs and her being lost i got her multiple time back to home.But she just wanted to explore more and will sneak out as soon i ll put her on terrace. On third day i left her on terrace and went down in kitchen to get my tea.Within 5 mnts she ran down the street got hit by bike and came running back to my home.I can still see her sitting there looking at me in that guilty way.Then she started vomiting.I was unaware that she was hit by bike but i got alarmed and took her to private clinic,on my way to clinic my neighbours told me about her accident.After getting bad treatment in private clinic i took her to a pet research university which is considered the best in city same night.She was still vomiting and continued vomiting whole night despite treatments at two places. All vets were losers who were nt able to make up their mind whther it was case of toxicity or accident.They asked me to get x ray but never asked me to get her blood tested.Since she was able to stand on her legs so they were thinking accident has nt caused the damage.Anyway early morning i took her back to clinic where they managed to stop her vomiting. I got hopeful but she was very sluggish and nt rsponding to touch or anything.I took her in evening again for another round of fluid and injections.When i got her home in evening i saw her stomach was bloated.I realised she had nt passed urine since accident evening which meant 24 hrs.

    I started checking internet and found lack of urination in cat leads to death and bladder burst.Again at 2 am i took her to emergency ward.Doctor on night duty was sleeping and despite my pleading said this is not emergency case just bcoz she was able to stand on her feet.I told him how she was dragging herself on floor and withering in pain.She was dragging her body towards water whole night.He asked me to wait till 8 am morning when normal shift starts.I sat with her whole night in hospital till morning.Then doctors came,it was saturday and doctor who had stopped his vomiting was on leave in place of these doctors only interns who were studying in that institute and few doctors who were present started treating her without any urgency.My cat suffered pain like hell going through all useless checkups,i pleaded with them to tk urine out of her stomach.It took them 1 hr to respond to my request.She was completely broken by that time vomited last time and collapsed in my hands.

    I feel depressed i just wish i would have shifted my house 2 days earlier.I wish i would have kept her in cage instead of taking her to terrace but pleading in her eyes could melt any1 heart.Every moment i see last 2 days of her life i just wish i had asked doctors to put her down evening she met with accident.Today I applied to volunteer for animal organisations but life is not same may be it ll haunt me forever.I will also write complaint letter against doctor who was at night duty and refused treatment to my doll.

  15. I lost my Reid (Portuguese water dog and labrador retriever mix) 3 weeks ago because he had congenital heart disease. I am not aware and I never saw it coming, he was such an energetic puppy and even recovered from being a swimmer pupppy. He was almost 5 months old before he passed away. We got to the clinic and I was given a chance to see him or at least assume that he will recover because his nose stopped bleeding and his temperature went back to normal. According to his xrays, the vet said his heart disease might have been in born but the symptoms are not noticeable until triggered by his very high fever. His lungs collapsed and he had a very hard time breathing, but I still clung onto every inch of hope that he will be coming home with us the day after that. Before I left the clinic I told him to eat very well so he could regain his energy and wait for me to visit him tomorrow after my first aid training. He was just there staring at me as if telling me it’s okay and he will wait, but one hour after I got home the clinic called to tell us the bad news. I still feel guilty when I think of that day when I shouldn’t have left so I could hold his hand and be by his side, so he knows I’m still there to comfort him and hum melodies like I usually do when his leg hurts. I think of the times when I should have went home earlier like my mom and dad so I could have spent more time with him. My mom and dad also looked upon him as their youngest son. I still say goodnight to his bed before I go to sleep, I miss him so much :(

  16. My 10 year old cat Jack died on March 26. I had to have him put to sleep as he had what the vets believed was acute renal failure. He had been sick for nearly three days and he had gone downhill so fast. When my friend came over we found him laying by the litter box in a puddle of his urine. He could barely breathe and it was clear he was now suffering. I had no money for a vet and though I had called around for help I couldn’t find any way I could get him examined without paying something. I am on a fixed income and this couldn’t have happened at a worse time. I feel guilty for not having money saved, I am always struggling to pay my bills and find ways to keep food on the table. Some people say that if you can’t afford proper care for a pet you should not have one but Jack had been abandoned and starving when I found him and I simply couldn’t ignore his plight. He would not have lived much longer out there and stray Toms had been attacking him and he couldn’t get food. I felt there it was something I had to do. I think I gave him a good life though it feels so short it was almost ten years. 9.5 of them were with me, I never really knew his age exactly but when he was vaccinated/fixed and examined when I first found him they said he was something like 5 to 6 months of age. He was always such a fun loving cat, always wanting to play and lay down next to me. He would go under my desk and lay on my feet. I live alone and he was my best friend for such a long time. It has been really hard trying to live life without him. I am afraid that I may have been careless with my medication but I just don’t know for sure and it tears me up to think that he may have eaten one of my pills. I take a tiny pill in the morning, hydrochlorothiazide. I know I had lost a couple while filling my pill dispenser early last month. They both ended up on the floor somewhere in the carpet. I looked around and found one but I could not find the other though I really tried. It is bad enough living with the guilt of not being able to afford a vet for him but the chance he died because I was careless is unbearable.

    1. James, you did everything you could for a living creature no one wanted… we had money, and spent more than most people would or thought wise. My husband’s family think we are crazy… in the end, our little girl (she was a mixed breed dog we got from the pound, abused and abandoned, and 13), like Jack, was found in a pool of urine suffering. My husband and drive drove nothing but 10 minutes taking her to the emergency room. She passed in my arms. We even paid the emergency for CPR…and in the end she went. We are going through the same thing…blaming ourselves because we should have taken her to the vet that day, because we should… but truth is, the one should we should have, we did, which is to give them love, a family and a home… you gave Jack the love and the certainty he had a home and that my friend, no money in the world can buy.

  17. I’m so sorry for your loss. Your Bear cat was such a tough soldier! He will live on forever in your heart and soul, and his spirit will always grace your home. He was so happy with you, so determined to live until he was 100 years old.

    But now he’s resting in peace. He isn’t in any pain, and he knows that you and your family did everything you could to take care of him. He loves you deeply, and misses you…but he is happier now. He is light, free, and floating.

    May you forgive yourself, and find healthy ways to cope with the guilt you feel about your cat’s death. Bear has already forgiven you because he knows that every life must end! Death is natural to animals, not something they fear.

    Grieve your loss. Honor Bear’s life. Have a memorial. His life and death was sacred. Give your heart time to heal, and treasure every moment with Stripes and whichever other animal you will be blessed to share your life with in the future.

    In sympathy,

  18. My cat Bear had trouble breathing for a while now. He would have these coughing fits, and my whole family thought it was just asthma. A year ago, the vet recommended some exploratory surgery, and we just couldn’t afford it.

    2 weeks ago, my other cat, Stripes, threw up a worm, so we brought in both cats to get them checked out. They both got their topical treatments. I actually had a video of one of Bear’s fits on my phone, so I showed the vet. They recommended getting him an x-ray. After a year of watching Bear suffer through these coughing fits, we got him his x-ray. It turns out he had a swollen heart and fluid in his lungs. The vet gave us 3 different medications for him to take (Baytril, Prednisolone, and Furosemide).

    The vet warned us that he would be drinking and peeing a lot, and the first day, he was. But we noticed that he stopped eating and drinking the second day on medication, so we called the vet, and they said we had to force feed him. So we did.He would also laze around most of the time, and had trouble walking even to the litter (he would frequently lie down on his way somewhere because he was tired). I checked the medications online, and all three had the side effect of lethargy, so we chalked it up to that.

    After a couple days, I noticed him being wobbly on his feet. He couldn’t walk in a straight line. When we lifted him, he was like a rag doll. He lost a lot of weight in such a short amount of time. He would lie with his head hanging over the water bowl, but he wouldn’t drink. All of these things, we thought were side effects, that he would get back to normal after 2 weeks, when the pills were done. But yesterday, Valentine’s day, we realized we were so, so wrong.

    At 7 am, I went downstairs to check on him, and I saw my mom laying on the floor beside him. I asked why, and she said she just had the feeling she needed to be beside him. I went back upstairs, and she called up to ask if we should feed him. He’d last eaten at 7 pm the previous day, but we agreed that we would feed him again at 9 am. I didn’t wake up. When I did, it was to his howling meows. I went down at 10, and my brother was feeding him on the floor. I thought he was meowing because he hated being force fed. I went back upstairs, but his meowing brought me back down again. He was lying by the piano, wailing, my brother and my mom hovering over him. He stretched his paws, and I thought he was having a seizure. Then I noticed he stopped breathing.

    My brother started giving him CPR, and I called the emergency vet. Our vet was closed for the long weekend. They told us to bring him in, so we sped over. When we got the paperwork back, it said he was dead on arrival.

    I know that we did everything we could as pet-owners. But I’m devastated that he spent the last week of his life having things shoved down his throat. I’m devastated that I mistook his dying symptoms as side effects of the medicine. I’m devastated that I started the mediation in the first place – it can’t be a coincidence that he passed less than a week after he starts the regimen. I’m devastated that I slept through his scheduled eating time. Maybe I could have known sooner that something was wrong.

    He was such a good boy. So sweet, gentle, loving. He was a month shy of his 12th birthday. I always thought that we’d have to put him down at some point. I never imagined he would pass right in front of me on his own. I wasn’t ready. I miss him more than I thought possible.

    He is everywhere. Every time I’m in the living room, I see where he passed. I see where he liked to lay down. I see his bed, right beside his brother’s in front of the window. I feel broken. I feel guilty, angry, heartbroken. I feel like I could’ve done more to save him. I just don’t know how to move on.

  19. Dear Natalia,

    I’m sorry for your loss, and for the guilt you feel about your cat’s death. It really is hard to know if we should’ve done things differently. We look back and wonder if things had been different – if we had acted differently – would it have made a difference?

    But there is nothing to gain by looking back and condemning ourselves.

    You didn’t abandon your cat. She knew how much you loved her, right up to the very end. At the clinic she was allowing her body to do what came naturally, which is what she needed to do. Her body couldn’t take the strain, and there was likely nothing you or the veterinarian could have done to save her.

    Tell her how you feel. Write her a letter expressing your guilt that she died, and how much you love and miss her. Getting it all out in writing will help you grieve and heal. It will also help you process the guilt you feel about your cat’s death, and help you move forward with a lighter heart.

    It takes time, but you will one day remember Qiqi with love and peace instead of guilt and pain.

    In sympathy,

  20. My cat Qiqi died yesterday. It started with her back legs paralyzed out of a sudden. She was dragging her legs to move. As it was a sunday, our trusted vet was closed so we brought her to an animal hospital, the doctor said it had something to do with her spine. She was also peeing blood and drooling excessively. The next day we brought her to our usual vet and they more or less diagnosed the same thing. That there might be an infection to the spine. I think they detected something wrong with the spine from the x-ray. We took her back home with the meds and some instructions on how to do physiotherapy, but she was rejecting everything. Scared that she might become dehydrated we brought her back to the vet and board her in on Tuesday evening. On wed, when we called the doc the doc said that she is depressed and not eating but they’re trying. I was already thinking of taking her back although the doc said that she may need a couple of more days to recover. On Thursday I got a call at 12.15 pm from the doc who said that Qiqi is getting weaker and her front legs are now paralyzed too. and she suspect that it is cancer and asked that we come in to discuss. From some reason I decided to have lunch first and then leave to the vet. when I arrived at 1.40pm the doc said that she just had a cardiac arrest and may collapse anytime soon. When we walked to her cage she already died.

    The biggest hurdle for me is the fact that none of us visited her on Wednesday and that I didn’t reach the clinic earlier just before she died. She must have been so depressed at the clinic alone all sick. and none of us were there to say that we love her before she went and ease her suffering. She was the source of joy for my whole family yet no one was there beside her when she was suffering on Wed and again I just wish I had reached earlier on Thursday just before she died, at least she would have seen one of us. At least she knew we didn’t abandon her. At least she could have gone knowing that we cared for her.

    I’m also trying to cope with the fact that maybe the doc failed to diagnose her properly. After her death I read about tick paralysis and I wondered whether the doctors did think of this or whether they had ruled it out. If it was tick paralysis then, the diagnose was wrong and we could have saved her. Then again, like this article said, “stop thinking “if only””. It’s hard though.

    Reaching out for comfort by anyone.

  21. Hi Kim: I’m so sorry about your loss of Rion. I am learning myself that cats can have very advanced disease before they show any signs that something is wrong. My cat Jackson died 4 years ago of a huge kidney tumour and renal failure, and I didn’t know until the day before he died that he was even sick! My cat Tabitha just died 2 days ago and she was literally wasting away in front of my eyes down to skin and bone yet she never complained or really showed me how sick she was (it was only obvious because of her vomiting and weight loss.) I had another kitty years ago who had a stroke (fine one day and dreadful the next) as well as another one who got poisoned by pesticide (no more outdoor kitties for me after that one!) None of these four ever complained or showed me obvious signs of distress until the very end. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could live our lives the same way….live life to the fullest everyday then just go to a better place.I guess if we were vets we MIGHT pick up some signs earlier, but generally cats are very stoic. I am learning that and trying to accept that. It doesn’t make the loss any less painful, but it does help me to understand better. Know that you gave Rion a wonderful life. Now grieve, and breathe. I have always found it helpful to have a little service for my animals after they pass and memorialize them in some way. That seems to help with moving on.

  22. Hi Rene: I just read your note about your beloved Pepper and I am so sorry for your loss. It’s so difficult when the grief is so fresh and our stoic little friends rarely give us any warning something is wrong. They are so much stronger and braver than we are in many ways. Try to remember the wonderful life you gave to Pepper, and know that you did do the right thing by taking Pepper to the vet as soon as you realized there was a problem. It isn’t always easy for the vet to figure out what is wrong with a sick animal as they can’t verbalize their symptoms like we can. I just lost my beloved 14 year old Tabitha 2 days ago after two months of daily vomiting and weight loss down to 6.5 lbs. Other than that she seemed fine, cuddly and interactive right up until the end. Even half an hour before I took her to be euthanized she tried to curl up on my lap and said good-bye to me (but she kept shifting and moving because she was in pain I now realize.) I am struggling with my decision to put her down, but I know she was in pain and just trying to be brave and stoic for me. This is the fifth kitty I have lost over the last 29 years. Still I have no regrets….the unconditional love from each of them was unbelievable! There are unique and special memories about each little friend that I will cherish forever. As I write this I am so lonely without my little girl to cuddle up with, but I know she is in a better place, as is your Pepper. Remember the love and companionship. Keep your heart open to love again, but give yourself enough time to properly grieve the loss of Pepper before you consider a new little friend. You will know when you are ready to look FORWARD to a new relationship rather than looking BACKWARD to your memories of Pepper.

  23. I lost my 12 yr old cat, Rion a little less than a week ago. He was my first pet & with me the longest. This was 8 days after I lost my father at 67 to serious illness. I’m consumed with grief for both. I knew my father was ill so I sort of braced myself for it but I didn’t see losing Rion coming. We woke up one morning & his back legs were paralyzed. He was literally trying to drag himself along & I could see the fear in his eyes. That morning haunts me. We found out that he had a “large mass” (cancer) & we had no idea! I’m absolutely devastated & finding myself wallowing in guilt & sadness. Reading some of these stories is somewhat comforting knowing I am not alone, grief stricken.

  24. Dear Rene,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. It’s painful to think your Pepper kitty cat was dealing with health issues that you didn’t know about.

    It’s so difficult to discern when or if animals are in distress…they’re so good at hiding their pain from us! They just keep going about their daily business until it’s too late. They rarely complain or bother us with their health problems….it’s admirable and frustrating at the same time.

    I wish your Pepper didn’t die. I know you miss him so much, and your home won’t be the same without him. I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers, for healing and forgiveness. Know that Pepper hasn’t for one moment thought of forgiving you; he has nothing to forgive you for! He loves you, and wishes you peace, serenity, and joy.

    Grieve. Allow your soul to heal. Open your heart to love again.

    In sympathy,

  25. I lost my beloved Pepper on November 20th. He died of an undetected urinary tract infection. About one month to the day, I took him to the vet because I’ve been noticing that he would be going to the litter box very frequently and sometimes I would hear him meow in discomfort. So, my first thought was he might be constipated. So on October 14th, I took him to the vet to find out what was bothering Pepper. The vet ran some tests on him but not the urine test. He said he didn’t because Pepper had urinated while he was with the vet and he didn’t see any issues. He did however express one of Pepper’s anal glands which was swollen. He said that would most likely be the reason for Pepper’s discomfort and pain while in the litter box. So I took Pepper back home thinking things will be alright now. But that night, while I was cooking Pepper was laying on the floor watching me cook. I noticed a few droplets of a transparent red liquid dripping from his penile area. He didn’t see to be in any pain or discomfort so I thought maybe he’s discharging some of the stuff they used for his exam. It had no smell either. Things did get back to normal. I didn’t hear him meow in pain and he went about playing around with my other kitty like he always did. So I didn’t take him back for another look. Then last week, I heard him meow in pain again while in the litter box. The next morning, I took him to another vet more close to us and told the vet assistant that I think he might have an issue with his anal gland like he did before. So she expressed them and I took Pepper back home. A few hours later, I heard Pepper meow in pain and I ran to where he was in my dining room and he was not responsive. He had passed away. I cried and cried. I called the vet from that morning and the actual doctor asked me to bring in Pepper’s body so she can try to find out what happened. As soon as she picked Pepper up, she said she already knows what happened. She said his bladder was swollen and full. She took a needle and took out what was in his bladder. It turned out to be that transparent red liquid that I saw him leaking on Oct. 14th after his first visit. I miss my baby Pepper. My heart is completely broken and I cry for him everyday since. I feel it’s my fault. I know it’s my fault. I should have taken him back the very next morning after seeing him dripping. It breaks my heart to put him in his carrier cause he cries while he’s in there. I didn’t want to put him through any discomfort of stress if it wasn’t an emergency. And I relied on the first vets words that he only found the swollen anal gland on Pepper that day and that Pepper was otherwise a very healthy cat. Why didn’t he do the urine test anyway? Why didn’t I ask him to do one anyway? I asked the vet that I later went to about the whole thing. She said the first thing her staff does when they hear that a male cat is behaving like he’s constipated, they run a urine test immediately. I messed up and it cost my baby Pepper his young life. I don’t think I can ever forgive myself for this. I miss him so much. And I can’t do a thing about it. My baby is gone.

  26. I am so sorry for your loss. Our beloved cats are so precious, we love them so much! I believe they forgive us for everything, even if we accidentally caused their death somehow. Your cat knows how much you cared, and that you would do anything to restore life and health.

    Accidents happen, and you feel responsible. But it’s an impossible spiral! An accident by definition wasn’t caused on purpose, which means you aren’t responsible. Don’t carry a burden that’s not yours. Don’t let darkness overwhelm you.

    Reach for light, forgiveness, peace, and healing.

    May you find peace as you grieve. I pray for healing of your heart and soul, and forgiveness to fill your mind and body. Your cat isn’t suffering, and doesn’t want you to suffer either. Your cat’s spirit is still with you, and the sadness and longing you feel is part of loving your cat. May thoughts of comfort and joy fill your mind and ease your pain.

    In sympathy,

  27. I lost my litter box to clean and noticed this dark substance, found outbaby boy Beavis (cat) about 6 months ago. He was my whole world. My question I guess is, I want to know if I accidentally caused his death would he forgive me?? I say this because, I have a small lamp on my bed post. I had turned the light on and the bulb blew causing the glass to break. I did my best to clean it up and thought I had everything cleaned to the naked eye. Two days later I noticed he did not eat nor did he want treats. I went to the litter box to clean it and noticed a dark substance, found out later it was dead blood. I hope now you understand what I am getting at. Did I not do enough to clean or could he may have eaten or got a hold of something else. I had him cremated and every time I look to his paw prints, slice of hair, and remains I burst into tears…. I just want to know. Did I cause this death to my precious boy?????

  28. My 8 year old cat was missing last week and my husband looked in the community dumpster. He found our cat half eaten. We assume he jumped the fence and the dog next door attacked him. I am horrified my neighbors would throw him away like trash and have to hear the dog every day. I feel so guilty because we moved from a big yard to this place with a small yard 2 months ago. I can’t get the description of him ripped up out of my mind. It makes me ill. I can’t stop thinking about how much I miss him or the circumstances. I hardly sleep and can only avoid thinking about him when watching TV or for short periods at work. I don’t know how to make it through.

    1. Jennifer, my cat was killed two weeks ago by dogs in the neighborhood. I miss her so much, she was such a sweet trusting cat. I believe they broke her neck and she probably died quickly but it still very distressing. I know it is an instinct for dogs to catch and kill small animals so I try not to blame the dogs for acting true to their nature, I know my kitty would do the same to a bird or mouse. Her life may have been short but I hope she knew she was loved.

  29. So guilty about my cat Candy’s death.She was 16.Something said don’t go to work that day ,but I did.I came home at lunch,she was ok.Went back.she was on the floor meowing, and couldn’t move.She didn’t go until the next day.The vet said it was a mimistroke,but I thought a sprain, because her paw was sideways.I didn’t take her that night,the vet thought she would pass in her sleep.He said she wasn’t in much pain. But,I have so much guilt.

  30. Thank you so much, Laurie , for your kind and very comforting words. I know rationally that I did everything and more for my Diamond girl but she just passed away on Saturday and I feel incredibly sad! You really soothed my aching heart. This forum is truly a blessing!

  31. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for being here, and sharing your experience with your Sheltie.

    It’s possible that she wouldn’t have died if you were home. She may have hung on while you were around, out of love and loyalty. Animals often go off by themselves to die…and perhaps she didn’t want to pass away in your presence.

    May you find peace and healing for the guilty feelings you have. Know that your beloved dog’s soul is resting in peace, and that she passed away at the right time for her. It may not have been the right time for you, but I believe she knew what she was doing. May you let her go, and know that she is in God’s good, kind, loving hands.

    In sympathy,

  32. I’m feeling tortured and guilty that I wasn’t home when our 14 year old sheltie passed away. We knew her death was close and I had been with her every day waiting and caring for her. On the day she died we had gone to a family get together and when we got home that evening she had passed away. I had thought many days it would be her last and the one day we were gone she died! I feel bad we weren’t with her. I just cant shake this feeling of guilt and sadness!

  33. We just had to put Pug Maxine down today. She has been battling Stones for the past 3 years and it had come down to needing a surgery again. The first time we had the surgery was 3 years ago and we spent monthly visits to the vet changing medication trying different foods to prevent them from constantly coming back after a year we were finally free of the issue until last night. She was up all night pacing crying and heavy panting. Looking back I should have seen the signs that the stones were back earlier, its not like we have not been through this forever. We recently changed her washroom duties to outside as we were no longer concerned with looking for blood in her urine. if only i kept her on the puppy pads I would have seen the lack of pee or the blood and have been able to get her to the vet so much sooner. We went to the vet knowing that it was either an expensive evasive surgery or to finally rest peacefully. At the time with her symptoms and knowing the surgery will probably not prevent them from ever coming back resting peacefully seemed like the best bet, but now sitting here it was the worse decision of my life. I wish I could restart her heart or turn back time. We buried her in our back yard and will be planting an Apple tree (she loved (loves?) apples) in memory of her along side her little special area. I am hoping the pain goes away soon. I will never forget her but this wanting to run away feeling, the feeling like you do not know how you will go on is killing me inside.

  34. I’m glad I found this site, I needed to vent a little. We lost one of our 2 greyhounds today… And he left behind his twin brother. He was 10 and we’re not sure what exactly happened. I found him laying on his bed on the back porch with blood in his mouth, he was gone. We have a large fenced in backyard so they generally play outside all day till its time to eat, then we would bring them in. His eating never changed but I did notice the past few days he was coughing a lot, similar to if he had drank too much water or something similar, dogs just hack up things so it didn’t seem out of the ordinary. He did have a heart murmur so I’m not sure if he ate something that did it or if he had a heart attack. I kept thinking I could have prevented this but I know I couldn’t have. I think the worst part, that has really been getting to me, is that his brother is going to be alone now. I feel so bad for him. I can only hope he’s happier now wherever he is. I’m just so torn by this, he was such a happy go lucky guy. His name was Jovi, and I will never forget him. My sympathy for anyone else who is enduring the same situation. We are taking him to get cremated tomorrow. I pray for strength.

  35. Betty my dear sweet 5 year old Pitbull just passed away yesterday. About a 2 Weekes ago we noticed her eating less but didn’t think much of it. After she stopped eating a couple days later I started making her chicken and rice and she ate that so I thought okay just an upset stomach. Well then the deep breathing started and no eating altogether. Something was wrong. We took her to the vet and they took an xray. The vet said it should lung infection equivalent to a human having severe punemonia. She said it was covering about 75% of her lungs. She said she couldn’t promise anything but gave us antibiotics. There was only a 50% chance they would work though. So we had a weeks supply and if they worked we would get another prescription. About 3 days in we didn’t see much difference but a little I thought. She ate some chicken and was able to move a little more normal. But just a few days later she started to decline again. Day 6 on antibiotics we knew they were not working. So we made another appointment. By the appointment on Wednesday April 7th she struggled for air and had the deepest heaviest breathing ever. My boyfriend laid her on the floor at the Vets because she was so weak. The vet looked at her and knew right there that it wasn’t just an infection but because the infection was spread to over 80% of her lungs and she was having trouble hearing her heartbeat that it was probably lung cancer. And then and there is when she told us that we should let her be put to sleep. My boyfriend agreed but made an appt for Thursday at 5:15pm so that he could bring our sweet Betty home to spend a few more moments with her family so we could spoil her and love her just a little longer. Wednesday night was hard. I tried to make her dinner but she would barely drink water. We let our other dogs spend a little time with her and say their goodbyes. Took some photos and then carried her into our bedroom so that she may lay on our bug bed for once next to her parents. Thursday morning came and my boyfriend went to work and would return at 3:30pm so that we could prep to take Betty to the vet at 5:15pm. I woke up and started to do some clay paw prints with Betty and spend time with her. Around 11:30 I gave her a nice sponge bath and did her most favorite thing, brushed her for a whIle then sang to her. I gave her hugs and then got up to out things away. She started to try to walk away to a different room but I struggled to get her to come into the livingroom den. She soon came. But she wobbled. It broke my heart. I pulled her big round dog bed up against the couch and put a pillow on the floor so I could sit behind her on the ground petting her and talking to her while watching tv. At about 12:25 she was so cute she started gazing up at me and I saw her tail wag two times. It made me smile because I knew she looked so happy and was telling me that with her eyes. I just smiled and told her I love you too. Moments later she started to hack up something.. I tried to give her water but she wouldn’t stop hacking so I let her get it out. I was wiping her mouth and knew something was wrong. I called my boyfriend immediately and said I think it’s time And he said he was on his way. Right after that she let out the saddest howl and arched towards the ceiling. It broke my heart because I don’t know if it was in pain or sadness or if it was her final goodbye to the world. She then laid back down and I saw her life end. She stopped breathing and became very still. I just remember crying and yelling no no no.. please no. My boyfriend would miss saying goodbye to his best friend. I knew she was going so I just kept petting her and said I’m here Betty. Mommas here. Im here. I love you. We love you. It’s okay. She then took two more slow shallow breathes. And I saw her eyes stop moving and stare forward into nothing. I was so broken hearted and wanted to try something, anything. So I tried to give her cpr. I tried to help her breathe so that she might stay a little longer for my boyfriend to say goodbye. But just after a minute my left hand was on her body and I felt her heart beat diminish. And I actually got to feel.. her last 3 heartbeats. I felt her heart stop. These few minutes that felt like seconds are still haunting me. And my heart breaks over and over. Betty was only 5 years old. Five. She was suppose to grow old with us. She was suppose to live a long life and we were suppose to have so much more time with her. I didn’t want her to suffer. And the last days were the hardest to watch her decline. But I still naively had hope. I really told myself she would get better. This happened in the span of two short weeks. With no earlier signs. Not knowing anything until it was literally too late. I know I’m not suppose to think of the what ifs, but I can’t help it. Why weren’t there signs earlier. Why couldn’t we save her. I didn’t know how much I loved her until now. I should have spent more time with her, with all my dogs. I’m so focused on work and other things. But I, we are all our dogs have. We are their entire lives. And she gave us everything of her that she possibly could.. and I didn’t give her my all. And I feel awful about that. She was the kindest most sweet loyal and loving dog, friend, family, companion ever. I miss you so much Betty and love you more than you will ever know. And I will continue to love you and remember you everyday of my life. Rest in peace sweet girl. Momma and Daddy love you forever.

  36. Dear Natasha & Richard,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with Simba. When my cat dies, I hope she’s at home with us, and that her death is as peaceful and natural as Simba’s was. It sounds like he was ready to go, and so he left. What a beautiful cat, so strong and able to let his body leave this world.

    May you grieve your cat’s death with peace, knowing he is still with you in spirit. Your soul will be reunited with his one day, when the time is right. In the meantime, he will always be purring in your heart.

    In sympathy,

  37. Simba was our best friend. 11 years old he had been through so much, sick with Pneumonia he fought through and became healthy again. but as the years went on i knew he was getting older. Eventually he began to throw up and did not eat only drank water, until finally he stopped eating as well. At first i thought maybe it was something caught in its throat but he progressed to severe within 4 days. upon visit to the vet she immediately recommended that we put it to sleep: Something i had never to experience with any of my cats before. I decided to take him home that evening, wrapping up in a blanket with rubber bottles of water to keep him warm simba cuddled with us all night, slowly he stopped purring altogether the final day and when richard and i had awakened he was off our bed on the floor, slowing breathing. we placed him back into his bed and stayed by his side until slowing he faded away to a better place.

  38. Dear Ellwood,

    I’m so sorry for your loss. Nothing compares to the pain we feel when we lose our pets. Our dogs are especially meaningful because they go almost everywhere with us, and they are so loyal and loving.

    Jasmine is not mad at you. She loves you, and wants you to be happy. She’s resting in peace, and she wants you to enjoy the rest of your life here on earth, peacefully and happily. Her spirit and soul will be reunited with yours when the time comes…but until then, I know she wants you to live in freedom! She doesn’t want you to be dragged down by the burden of guilt and self-hatred. She wants you to be happy, and to remember her with love and joy.

    I’ll keep you in my thoughts and prayers. May you remember your beloved dog with a sense of acceptance and self-forgiveness, and heal from the pain of this loss.

    In sympathy, with blessings,

  39. I can’t deal with not having my Dog Jasmine no More. She was a Red Nose Pitt Bull . She Loved Everyone . I know she did not want to go . But everyone was on me to do it . I Loved her so much, It hurts so bad . I think she is mad at me . I wish I new if she is . I wish she would come around me. I just can’t stains not being with her. She went every where with me. I will be 63 and I can’t wait till I go to be with her . It hurts at night, she slept with me , she Loved me so much. I am having a real hard time with her not here . All I do is hide and cry. . And tell her I am sorry. Will she come around me. And will we be together when I Die,

  40. Our beautiful retreiver Max who was 9 yrs. old
    we made the decision to put him to sleep on Saturday. He had cancer and it had just overtaken him. It was so hard to watch him go blind, struggle and look so sad. But, we miss him so.
    It has only been a couple of days but my heart is broken and I miss him so very much. This cancer
    just came on suddenly…no warning.

    I just don’t know how to cope….Max was loyal, loving, beautiful, and compassionate. He always
    had a ball in his mouth until the last week….the
    cancer even spread in his mouth.

    I am at a loss to understand. He looked so healthy the end of March to pretty much the second week of April …and then everything happened.

    His life was so short and this is so shocking.

    I really appreciated what I have read by everyone
    and I am so sorry to everyone who has experienced a loss. It is so hard.


  41. Dear Cecile,

    I’m so sorry to hear you lost your cat – it sounds like it was a terrible experience. You were torn between keeping your job, and taking care of your cat. But if you knew your cat was going to die, you would’ve done everything you could to keep her alive and healthy! It’s just that you didn’t know. You didn’t deliberately cause her harm.

    It sounds like you’re going through a bout of depression. Have you experienced depression before? It’s important to talk to someone in person about what you’re going through.

    You didn’t do anything wrong, my friend. You made the same choices I would’ve made. My pets get sick sometimes, and almost all of the time they come through it themselves, without a vet visit. That’s what you thought would happen — and that’s what anyone would have thought.

    Do you think you can start working towards forgiveness? I hope you can forgive yourself, and remember your cat with love and peace. She is resting, and in a better place. You need to grieve her death, and let her go.

    Tell me how you’re doing today.


  42. Ilost my one year old cat last week. she hada cold and I cancelleed the vet appointment 2x due to snow.I wason a probabtionat work and afraid to take time off.I havea 4 hour commute each way and was never home. the day before she died she wasnt breathign right.asa nurse ihave saved hundredsof animals .Sunday i was so depressed abotu goingto workon Mondayinas nowstorm that i didnt checkonher i woke up late monday and hse didnt come to eat . ll day i was freakingout thinking I hope sheisok.i got caughtona train that stalled and dint getin til late and found her dead.i keep havign flashbacks of her tryignto breathe and ocmeingonthe bed. I am anurse and havea 16 year old cat i saved .Depression overcame me andid dint react toher that day I am now sickoverit ive gained 10 pounds cannot getout of bed and feel like dying! if only i culd go back and replay thta moment. because my other cat is 16 I dont care now whathappens t him becausehehas hada great life. i feel bad about that too,. i am sick over this and want to die

  43. Dear Rulab,

    I am so sorry you lost Sai, and that you feel so guilty and tortured because of his death.

    If you had known that the vinegar would hurt him, you would never, ever haven given it to him! You did what you thought was best – you made the best decision you could at the time. You don’t even know for sure if it caused his death! He may have passed on anyway.

    It sounds like the guilt and pain you feel is worse because your attention has been divided since your baby. But I know that Sai knew how much you loved him! He felt it, even though you couldn’t devote yourself to him the way you used to.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers. I will pray that you forgive yourself, and that you are able to let Sai go. He is resting in peace, my friend…and I am sure he would want you to be peaceful, too.

    If you can’t forgive yourself, consider talking to a counselor. Especially about your thoughts that you won’t be a good mother because of Sai’s death. You already ARE a good mother — you put your baby before your cat! Good mothers put their offspring first, right?

    It might also be helpful to talk to other mothers who have made mistakes. Learn how to forgive yourself, and deal with the fear of making a possibly terrible mistake with your daughter.

    I wish I could give you a big hug! I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, Rulab.


  44. I have never felt this way before. I feel overwhelmed. I want to die except I have a baby who is 9 months old and she needs me but I am helpless now. Yesterday I put to sleep my beloved cat that I found in 2000 on the streets of New York. I loved him so much, he saved my life by being there for me through very difficult times. I feel his death is my fault. I took him to two vets and they both said it was cancer through a physical diagnosis. They felt a tumor in his upper chest. I explained to the first vet that, he was throwing up more and more for months, I thought it was the food or hairballs, so I would change the food. This past year also because I had the baby, I couldn’t sleep with him anymore and didn’t have much time for him which I feel deep regret and guilt over.
    I read online all these people used Apple cider vinegar to promote health for their cats so I gave Sai, my cat a little bit in his food. He seemed fine for three days, then suddenly he just stopped eating. That was a month ago, since then I have syringe fed him, pain medication, sub q fluids but he just got worse and when I saw him lying on the floor to exhausted to stand up to poo, I knew he was in deep pain and when we took him to the vet that was on call, she gave me this look that it was time, said it was possible he was having internal bleeding and his breadth was very labored. I did the right thing then. Now though I feel confused. I feel in my heart I am responsible for his death. He trusted me to take care of him and I gave him POISON, aka Apple cider vinegar. I feel like such an idiot! I hate myself so much. What kind of a mother will I be???? Stupid me believing the internet. I love Sai more than anything in this whole world and now he is gone and I wish I was there with him. I am experiencing fainting spells, waves of horrific grief and regret, anger at myself, knocking head in wall. I don’t know how I will survive this. I cannot sleep. I just stare at his picture. I miss him terribly, painfully, just want to touch his beautiful fur to rub my nose in his belly. I cannot live knowing I caused this even if it was with good intention. I wrote the first vet, she said could be contributing factor in his death. How does apple cider vinegar relate to a large tumor? Stupid me thinking I was clever to use alternative medication to improve health. He has been with me for fourteen years. I love him so much, I will never get over this. RIP SAI 11/16/13 My soul mate.

  45. Dear Lorraine,

    I am so sorry to read about Quiver’s experience – his last days on earth. He has been through so much with you and your mom. You loved him so much, and he loved you so much back…and yet he spent his last minutes alive all alone.

    It is so sad. There is nothing I can say to ease the pain. I just hope you know that you did all you could for him! You would never, ever have let him leave this earth that way. If you had known what would happen, you would have done everything differently.

    What would make you feel better about Quiver’s death? It would make me feel better to know that he wasn’t in pain, and that he doesn’t remember what happened in his final moments. He is now running, and leaping, and reliving his happiest moments on earth. He isn’t in pain, and he isn’t suffering. He is forever united with you and mom in his soul – and he knows it, and he is so happy. He loves you more than ever because he is free from the physical pain his body offers.

    Quiver is alive in spirit, and he wants you to be happy, peaceful, and painfree. Can you give him that final gift, of knowing that you are okay? Let him rest in peace. Give yourself the gift of forgiveness and peace, and know that he is in a far better place.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers.


  46. I wrote about my precious boy Quiver in Sept 2012 when he died at the hands of an incompetent vet. There are no words, no tips, no articles, no counciling that will make the pain I feel and guilt I have lived with go away. I have prayed for death everyday since then, and cry useless when I wake the next morning and I am still here. He was like no other cat I ever had in my life and I am now 69.
    The Phoenix second chance humane society found his as a stray with an arrow shot thru him. they saved his life thru miracles and put him up for adoption. I was honored to get him. he was know nationally with his story and countless tv and news people were there. After getting him home the Animal Planet called and wanted to do a story on him. we were to film on a thurs but mom (age 77) got a call that she had cancer so we cancelled. Quiver had immediately jumped up on her lap and over to her breast and put his head on it then looked her right in the eye for a long time. that was before the call. Quiver never left her side for 7 years. if it wasn’t for him, she would have died within a year but she was devoted to him and beat the odds.
    after his first year with us he got crystals and had to have an operation that was 3500.00 paid without a second thought. when mom went on a trip, she would have to pack her bags in the garage so he wouldn’t see them because he wuld get physically sick and throw up. Then one day she left for good and went to heaven. It ripped my heart out. I lost my mother and best friend. I would sit and cry and quiver would crawl up my lap, touch the tear with his nose then wipe it away with his fur. No only did I loose mom but my sibling came in while I wasn’t home and stripped my house of all I own. But I still had quiver.
    I was displaced to the little horror town of Pocatello, Idaho to be near my daughter and her 2 boys. (grown now) This town has been an incompetent nightmare since I moved here. but thats another story. I had a vet I thought was half decent, at least wuiver didn;’t mind him but one day his vet was out and he got sick. The vet we saw, he had never seen before, yet when she walked into the room he hissed at her and tried to slap at here. I knew right then he was telling me he hated her and there was something wrong. God how I wished I had listened to him. She misdiagnoised him 3 times over that weekend and by Sunday night he was worse. I finally got her to meet me at the clinic and he had a blockage. an instinct came over me to take him someplace else, but I was unfamiliar with anyplace and he needed an operation now. I really didn’t have any fear of him dying due to the operation because he had just had all his blood test, teeth and gums checked and every physical test and lab test possible and he was as strong as a young cat his reg vet said. so I reluctantly handed my baby over to the tech to get ready for surgery. it was 12 AM on Labor day 2012. She called me at and said he did fine and was coming around. I said I’ll be there to get him. she said he needs to stay and get fluids but I said he will be alone if anything happens. she said she would be there until he is fine (but to my horror later I learned she left right away). he got sick on the anesthesia and choked to death and died on a cold steel table in a cage ALONE after all the many years (12) he gave me. I would have died years ago if not for quiver, yet he died alone, sick, confused, no one around. I am crying so hard now I can’t finish this, I just wished I could die tonight and wake up at rainbow bridge

  47. Dear Susan,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog, and about how guilty you feel. You had the best intentions; you only wanted to help your dog live a longer, happier life! Your heart was in the right place — you did nothing wrong.

    In my eyes, you didn’t fail him. You did what you could to prolong his life and make him happy and healthy. He couldn’t take the surgery – but that wasn’t your fault! You did nothing to cause his death; your decisions were based on keeping alive and healthy.

    I will keep you in my thoughts and prayers, that you can release your feelings of guilt. Remember your beloved dog with love, and know that he is resting in peace.


  48. I made a very fast decision to get my dog operated on to save his life. I took a flight from Florida with him straight back home to Pennsylvania when the vet in Florida said an operation was needed right away to save him from dying with a tumor resting near his spleen. So I brought him fast to my own vet in pa with all the X-rays and scans to look over. He got operated on late that day and found he was full of cancer. I let them put him to sleep before he could wake again in much pain. So he never woke from the operation and never saw me again from that terrible day I handed him over to be operated on. He was turning 13 and I thought I was giving him more time but I didn’t. I left him in the hands of others all day without me. Thinking I was getting him healthy I failed him and I am so sad with pain and guilt for making the wrong choice. I just finish paying all the medical bills and can’t stop feeling lost without him. Its the guilt I have to live with. I just thought he would live!!!!

  49. Hello Teresa,

    It sounds like you’re at peace with your decision, and I’m so glad to hear you talked to God about it. Know that your beloved Thomas will be in His loving arms – and that’s a much better place to be than this earth! You and Thomas will be reunited one day, and it will be splendid.

    Here’s my article on spiritual ways to survive pet loss; it may help you through the grieving process.

    Come back anytime, let me know how you are.


  50. Thank you for the kind words,I made my chice yesterday after along walk and talk with God and my husband,I called the vet and I take him in Mon at 8.00.

    He is getting worse because he can’t control his bodily functions and I do love him always will and I know it is the right thing to do,

    Thank you for saying it and for being so nice and caring.

  51. Dear Teresa,

    I am so sorry you’re going through this with your cat! It’s one of the most difficult decisions to make, isn’t it?

    But, it’s also the final act of love that you may show your cat. Many veterinarians say that if your pet is suffering, then you must let him go.

    Here’s an article that may help you decide what to do:

    It contains advice from a vet who had to put her dog to sleep.

    You may still feel guilty after your cat dies, but at least you’ll know that you did it out of love! Don’t let him suffer any longer than he has already. Let him leave this world in peace, knowing you love him and would do anything for him.

    Your grief will feel overwhelming at first, but it will get better because you will know you did the right thing.

    What do you think?

    In sympathy,

  52. I have a cat Thomas who is 17 yrs old and for the past few months has been sick and not getting any better,no matter what I try to do.He has now started to pee and poop around the house something he has never done it is like he can;t find the litter box or knows how to use it anymore,I know the time is coming,but I hate being the one to do it,it doesn;t get easy,I have done it before,I have faced the fact that he is sick,Is it the right thing to do? I hate saying good bye,it hurts to bad!!! anyone going through this or been through it please fill free and e-mail me with any thoughts,any kind words will be apprciated, CATA@BLOMAND.NET

  53. Dear Sean,

    Thank you for sharing your experience with us, of your last hours with Coupe. What a beautiful way to walk alongside your dog as she left this earthly world.

    There may be many reasons you’re feeling so much guilt and pain about her death. I can’t list them all here, but I took the main points from the veterinarians I interviewed and the pet books I read and put them in my ebook, listed above.

    Losing our beloved pets is one of the most heartbreaking things we’ll ever experience. Our pets rely on us for everything, and give us everything in return. The bond is incomparable, and when it is broken by death….it feels impossible to recover.

    It might be worth talking to a professional counselor about your feelings, if you feel like you’ve gone beyond “normal” grieving. It’s healthy to mourn our dogs and cats when they die, but if our grief is debilitating or getting in the way of daily functioning, then there may be something else going on.

    I will keep you in my prayers, and hope you come back and let me know how you’re doing.


  54. My friend of 14 years passed away 4 days ago. Coupe was an Australian Kelpie Dog. She was our baby and we even referred to ourselves as Mum and Dad. We had to make a choice on Saturday to help our friend move onto the next world, we understood she was an old dog and had already had a long life but she was still alert and still wagging her tail when you came home. She was arthritic so she was slower than usual in moving. I was woken by my wife saturday morning because Coupe was acting strange. She seemed to be stumbling when she walked, she looked drunk and was finding it hard to get more than a couple of steps withou her backl legs giving way, after which she would get back up and walk another few steps till she got too her bed. her tail was between her legs and she looked sad. I told my wife it was probable a pinched nerve or arthritis and we would watch it. Things didnt improve and when she went to relieve herself she started swaying and tilting her heead. Then she just stood there staring at the fence. I lifted her head and turned her face to me and my heart broke, she was telling me something. I carried her inside and petted her and brought her water and food, she wouldnt eat. I told my wife it was time to take her to the vets to see what was wrong, when we got there the lookon the receptionist/nurses face said it all. We took her into the room and a vet came in and did tests. She said Coupe had an swollen liver, enlarged heart on at least one side and her breathing was laboured. Her temp was ok and she didnt ‘seem’ to be in pain. When the vet watched her trying to walk, she knew. She told us that we could do lots of tests, drugs and scans but her experience told her it was a brain tumor or brain cancer. I didnt know what to do next because i knew what was coming. She left us with coupe for 10 mins to chat, we both started crying, it seemed we were thinking the same thing, we stroked her head and petted her and told her we loved her, I couldnt hug her because she was lying flat down. The vet returned and could see that we had decided. They placed her on a beautiful blanket and i out my arm around her neck and leabed her head against my chest, my wife put hger arm around coupes waist and the vet told us to talk to her, we told her we loved her and my wife said “thank you” too her, then she just leaned against me, and was gone. We had 10 mins with her afterwards and we kissed her on the head and still whispered words of love into her hears. We took her home and I wanted to bury her straight away while she was soft and warm, the way I wanted to remember her. We buried her in a flower garden near the front door because she loved to lie at the door watching people pass. we put her favourite balls and lead in with her and made sure she was covered, kissed her head and covered her face and finished the burial. we went inside and raised a glass of wine to toast her, we cried uncontrollably for a while and comforted each other, then we just sat there and tried to watch tv and act normal.

    That is the background to what happened then. Since that day my grief and guilt are spiralling out of control and I cant find peace. I started by asking all the normal questions, “was it the right time” shld we have waited. should we have tried to make her better first, did she still have some time left. The I felt guilty about a massive range of things like, should I have played with her more, should I have payed her more attention, should I have walked her more, Then I started on my actions before and after the vet visit, should I have hugged her more, did I say enough before I buried her, did I choose the best place to bury her, was she happy in her life with me, should I have seen the signs of her illness sooner, should I have had check ups done every year….then i felt guilty for throwing het old blanket out (was in disrepair), packing all the food away and even spraying down the concrete where she used to visit for the toilet. I cant stop, and its getting worse. I have found peace with the decision about putting her to rest as I found a website that explained the brain tumors and she had every symptom , so there was no doubt the vet was right and the consequencesd of letting it go on included terrible things like paralysis. Its everything else I cant cope with, all the questions rolling like waves, and I cry all the time, i still gfeel like I let her down when she trusted me and I feel like I should have taken her home for one more day to spend time with her, but the way she was, would she have just been in pain and torment, not eating, being sick , not being able to walk, was there any quality to even a last day for her? I miss her terribly and I cant find a way through. I just want to holf her once more.

  55. Dear Denise Joy,

    I am so sorry to hear how you lost your dog! That is awful. There is nothing worse than feeling like you caused your dog’s death in some way :-(

    I hope you realize that it wasn’t you or your mom’s fault. It was an accident, and you have nothing to feel guilty about. You should only feel guilty if you did something deliberately to cause your dog’s death — and you didn’t. Your poor dog was just unlucky that day…and so were you. My heart goes out to you.

    Thank you for sharing your story – it’ll help us cherish our pets all the more.

    I hope you’re doing well, and healing from the guilt and loss you feel.


  56. hi everyone , i found this site when i was searching on how to get over when losing a pet . my boyfriend’s family gave me a pomeranian puppy 2mos old as they’re christmas and new year’s gift to me . he was given to me december 31, 2012 and died yesterday january 10 2013 . he was really playful that day , he just wanted to play with me and my mom .. he always wants to go into our bed , and to do that he would climb into the sofa beside our bed using his nails .. but that day , when he attempted to climb on the couch , i told my mom to remove him and my mom push him away and then we heard a sound like he hit his head on the floor . then suddenly he was not moving at all , i began to feel scared and nervous especially when i saw his eyes and body are not moving but he was still breathing but really hard . i began to cry and to panic because i dont want to lose my new baby , because he was so special to me and he was such a sweet boy . my mom and i immediately called my boyfriend to tell what happened and to ask where is the nearest vet , we decided to meet halfway for it wud waste time if we would have waited for him here in the house , as we were in the taxi , swallow was really not moving at all but im still hearing his heartbeat , then when we are almost on our way to meet my boy friend , blood flow into his mouth and to his nose . i was really in shocked and cried out load but my mom was trying to comfort me because i have a heart disease , hypertrophic cardio myopathy which i inherited from my father and brother who already passed away . when we left the taxi , my swallow’s head was not moving and his heartbeat stopped . we rode into my boyfriend’s car and went in to the vet but unfortunately the vet was not there , my baby died into my arms and i was full of blood , from my hair down to my legs and i feel so guilty about it . and now , i kept on asking myself on the what-ifs .. what if i allowed him to climb into the bed , what if i didnt ask my mom to push him away . if i had only known that would happen . i would have given my life to him . dogs are my life . they are my therapy . i still have two dogs , a shih tzu and a domestic dog and i love them so much .. the anguish im feeling now is indescribable . barely two weeks with me d best christmas gift i consider of ever having . he left me with a bleeding heart . maybe he’s not meant to grow old with me :( bye swallow . mommy loves you ….. forever .

  57. Thank you for sharing how you’re coping with your pet’s death. I know how terrible it is, and my heart goes out to you.

    Your experiences are helping other readers with their feelings of guilt and bereavement.

  58. Hello all.

    I found this site searching for something to help me with the terrible guilt I feel. My dog Katie was hit by a car 2 nights ago. We rushed her to the emergency vet. Her front legs were stiff and vet said she had fluid/blood in her chest. I had paid the vet just to xray and give her pain meds. They said it would be thousands of dollars to keep her overnight and “see” if she would make it. I couldn’t afford the treatment. I had to put my poor baby girl to sleep because I couldn’t pay for them to save her. I feel so awful about it. I’m struggling because I don’t know if I did the right thing. What if she did pull thru if I had waited just a bit longer? She was young and healthy. I can give my self some comfort that I stayed with her, I told her I loved her and to be a good girl wherever she may go.
    Thank you for listening. Everyone’s stories and thoughts have helped a bit.

  59. I lost my cat, Momo, the other day. She was a 6 year old orange tabby. I had her since she was a kitten. She was a petite cautious girl who rarely ventured outside. Last night I moved a washing machine through the front door and had no idea she was gone until I was done moving. By the time I got upstairs, I heard her scream outside my window and knew she was being attacked by a coyote. I live in the city away from the hills but they’ve migrated down because of nearby construction. My girlfriend and I ran out to save her as fast as we could but she was gone. We searched that night for hours and came to the realization that she was gone. It’s really tough right now.

    We both cry non-stop still. There are so many memories of her all around. I stay home all day and she was really my best friend. I am so sad about this and I find it better to share my thoughts with others. However, there aren’t many people who understand my specific situation, especially those who don’t own pets.

    Lastly, I have another cat who’s 6 months younger and has been with Momo since we adopted her as a kitten. She’s really depressed and can tell Momo won’t be coming back. My vet says that we should get her a companion to help her cope but I’m not sure if my girlfriend and I are ready yet.

    Anyways, thank you for your site. I didn’t want to look for help dealing with this as I wanted to let it run its natural course but I’m glad I did. Momo can never be replaced but I don’t want to simply forget her by getting another cat. It’s tough. Truly. Thanks for listening.

    RIP Momo, I hope you’re in a better place. We all love and miss you, especially me.

  60. today i lost my beloved little one my 3 year old cat daisy im heartbroken and wracked with guilt when she was a stray only a few months old i found her shivering in the snow one extremely cold december sick with flu she could barely stand i took her home and nursed her back to health and since that day her and i have been inseperable i fitted a catflap so she could go for a little wander when she wanted her and i would spend hours playing around the flat playing chase with a dressing gown belt and a piece of string with a toy mouse attached..when my gran passed i was devastated and every morning thereafter when i woke she would be there i would lift the bed covers for her and she would immediately dive underneath and curl up at my tummy and snuggle with me for a good half hour before nudging me under the chin with her head until she encouraged me to rise for breakfast..when i would go out and return home within 5 mins of me arriving back in she would sprint through the cat-flap and into the flat to greet me not one time did i ever return home to not have her follow behind me..3 days ago i came home and as usual less than 5 mins later in she came however i noticed her breathing was laboured i prayed it wasnt anything serious checked her all over and she seemed otherwise ok i kept a close eye she was eating and drinking fine but within 24hrs became listless seemed to have trouble lying down and began making little groaning noises,,i decided it best to take her to the vet today so i rang a cab and not being able to get a basket or cage to transport her in tried to wrap her in a towel and get her into the car but once i lifted her she freaked dropped to the floor and started yowling i paniced lifted her again wrapped her up the best i could and managed to get her into the car once the car began moving tho she began freaking out again i tried to calm her down wrapped my arms around her and she let out a sound that i will never forget a heartbreaking deep cry then spasmed in pain twice foam came out of her mouth and she died..i watched the light go out from her little eyes and my heart broke,,i havent stopped crying since im crying as i write this because i feel like its my fault she died and in such pain,,if only id not decided to take her to the vet or waited until i could of gotten a proper cat basket to transport her i think now maybe shed been hit by a car? and had internal injuries? and me lifting her and trying to restrain/subdue her in the car aggravated the injuries and that was what killed her,,its killing me to know that the last few moments of her life with me were spent that way..and that maybe if id of even maybe never tried to take her to the vet she might of healed herself in time or at the very least have been able to pass away peacefully curled up beside me,,i keep playing those last few minutes with her over and over in my head…i loved her so much… was my birthday… but i feel as if part of me has died in that car along with her…

  61. My dog piggy passed away on Monday and my family and I are heartbroken. I miss her so much. She was 15 years old and we had her for 12 years. We adopted her from a family member that abused her. She was such an amazing Boston Terrier, so loving, affectionate, smart and so devoted to all of us. I grew up with her and we spent a lot of time together.

    On Sunday she passed out in the yard when my mom took her to go potty and then we all knew that she was really sick. My sister had taken her to the vet recently and they pretty much gave her a clean bill of health so we had no idea what was going on.

    We took her to an emergency vet and they were very rude and tried to charge us $500 for an xray and then when my sister asked what are her options they flat out asked her “What can you afford?”

    We left and took her to another clinic and found out she had cancer. All of us decided to put her to sleep.

    I feel guilty because on Monday I had to go to work and my sisters took her to the vet and all of us decided to put her to sleep. I was about to go to the vet to say goodbye and unfortunatly I didn’t make it in time.

    I feel like I should have been there and I just miss her so much.

    I’ve cried so much and I just wish I didn’t feel this sadness and I wish I would go home and she would be there. It’s rough.

    Lately I have been feeling like I want to adopt another Boston Terrier but then I feel guilty about that too. I wound never replace Piggy, she was one of a kind and so special, but I feel like adopting another Boston Terrier might help me heal, but then I feel guilty about it.

    All I know is that I KNOW animals have souls and I know she is heaven. With such caring, loving and innocence, how could they not go to heaven?

    Sending love too all of you who have lost a loving pet.

  62. I have a 17 year old little dog, she is still living but she won’t eat much, she is skin and bones and is losing her fur, but its winter. I don’t want to put her down, I have had her all her life, which is all my life too because I’m only 18. I don’t want to put her down too soon but I don’t want her to suffer. She is blind and deaf too and here in the last month she has started walking circles in confusion. The other day we had to go get her because she was almost in the road(we can’t afford to fence in our yard) And neither can we afford to get a bunch of different medicine to help her gain weight or anythig else to keep her going. Is it time?

  63. I am sorry to hear of all of your losses. My cat, tuxi, was my absolute best friend. I cared so much for her that I used to wait hours by the door waiting for her to come in from outside because I was worried about her. Well, two days ago she ran outside just as I was leaving and I tried to get her back in, but not very hard. I got home that night, and tuxi slipped from my mind I forgot all about her. I’m 14 so my mom went outside and screamed, and called my dad and I instantly knew something had happened. So I stayed in my room and my mom came in crying saying that tuxi had got hit by a car and there was no chance for her of living, and that tuxi was in extreme pain and suffering and whimpering. I stayed in my room, I couldn’t bear to think of seeing her dying so my dad shot her to put her out of her misery. Later I realized that she had dragged herself from the road into our backyard, and she was probably in so much pain and confusion and she needed me but instead of hugging her and telling her that it would be ok and saying goodbye, I was a coward and didn’t. So instead of comforting her in her last minutes, I wasn’t there!! I feel so horrible the grief and guilt is overwhelming I actually had the chance to get her in, and after that I had the chance to hug her and say goodbye but I didn’t and now there is no turning back. I made a permanent decision to a “temporary” problem and I can’t go back. The regret stings. I feel like I failed her If you can spare a few words to comfort me I would really appreciate it my email is Thank you

  64. Anyone visiting this site obviously has the empathy and love in them to really care about their pet(s). If your pet passed away or you had to put them to sleep because of financial issues, or whatever your case is, please remember that you gave your pet the best life possible, and probably every ounce of love you could muster out of your heart. Your pet was so lucky to have you in their life, whether for a short while or for many years. I once volunteered at a local pet shelter and saw how many animals were unloved and unwanted. Your pet was neither. You did the best you could and your pet could not have asked for anyone better than you. Keep the love of your pet in your heart always, and remember how lucky both of you were to have each other. And if one day in the future you decide to share your love with another pet that needs love, good for both of you!

  65. Miss Personality. Rosie wasn’t a dog. She had too many human qualities to be a dog. I have other dogs, but Rosie was so different. She was so in tune to my emotions, so loving, kissy, and smart. I am so lost without her. Rosie died on September 11, 2012. I left for work that morning as usual. She kept looking at me as I was getting ready, almost telling me today was the day. I was already depressed because September 11 is the birthday of my brother Joe who died a few years ago of cancer. I officially now hate that date. Rosie started out with a bad tooth infection. After a round of antibiotics she was going to need an over $1000 surgery to remove two back teeth, but she needed a liver biopsy and other costly tests before the surgery. I couldn’t afford the tests right away, so I was hoping to have more time with her to come up with the money. Once in my life I had no quelms charging thousands of dollars on Rosie when she swallowed a whole bottle of my prescription medicine from a dentist, and another time when she ate two bags of chocolate chips and had to have her stomach pumped. But my current economic status prevented me from saving her this time. I feel so guilty. She was only 14 years 8 months old. If I could have afforded the high vet fees she was such a spunky little thing she probably would have lived a few more years. I miss her to death.

  66. Lorraine,

    I read your story and I am just so sad to hear what you have to say and feel empathy with you. I lost my sweet 13-year old dog Zoe 2 days ago because I left a gate open and she got outside and got lost and hit by a car and died. I feel so guilty I have been nonstop sobbing and unable to eat or think about anything but her for 2 days. This feeling is so awful and I am in such misery. I loved Zoe so much and had such a loving wonderful 13 years with her. I feel so empty and alone and there is now a huge piece of me missing. I am so sorry for your situation too. I know how awful this feels. If it is any consolation please know that you are not alone and that we loved our pets with all our hearts and gave them everything we could. You gave your cat so much love, just like I gave my Zoe so much love, and at the end of her life she was lost and alone and I couldn’t help her even though I was desperate to do just that. I am so sorry for you and wish I could just give you a big long weepy hug right now. I miss my sweet Zoe so much.

  67. I know how you all feel. My little Pepper(guinea pig) just passed away last night. I was devastated because our guinea pigs are mine & Julio’s whole world. We love them so very much. It had already been hard since our Princess passed away (we think the pet store bred her until she was exhausted), we never knew how old she was but she never was as energetic as the other piggies. Then poor little Bear had health problems from the very beginning and we did everything we could for him. His back legs had stopped working so we took him to the vet and got him on steroids after refusing for the vet to put him down without even trying. So every day we would exercise his little legs till the steroids took the hair off his back. Eventually he started walking again but then one day he just had trouble breathing and passed. Koala we never found out what was wrong with him, he was always healthy then one day he just passed. After her boys died Princess just gave up the will to live. Now just yesterday my little Pepper was so weak that she could barely move. For three hours I held her and cried and fed her through a straw. We thought she was getting better and wanted to find a Guinea pig vet and take her this week just for a catch up. I held her in my arms while she died, feeding her through a medicine dropper and trying to keep her warm. Then she took one last shuddering breathe and closed her eyes. I saw the light leaving her the whole time, for 3 hours she fought to hard. Guinea pigs may be small but they have the most amazing personalities and they are precious.

    (Sorry to everyone that this is kind of all over the place but I was getting all upset writing this.)

    RIP: Koala, Princess, Bear, and now Pepper
    You’re all my little angels now. Please watch over us and Runt.

  68. I have cried non stop since this morning at 2 AM when my precious boy died. He was one in a million cat who did nt know he was a cat. I feel sooo guilty and now just tired of living. He was my life and I was his. He helped me through so many sickness, loosing my mother, robbed of ALL my possessions and more all unconditional. I took him to the vet on Friday who mis diagnoised him with constipation and sent me home with mere lubricant to give him for a whopping 399.00! I watched him fade and get weaker, Now being Sunday and no one open in this small horrible town i called their er number and was told to increase the dose. I called later in the day and said he is getting weaker and lub is not working. The first thing out of her mouth was “You know its extra charges on the weekend” I said YES I know and tomorrow is Labor day-he can’t wait till tues.
    She met me there and took xrays. he had a blockage and had to have immed surgery. He is about 14-15. He was vomiting on Friday and they had to give him meds. So she did the surgery and did not give him any neausa meds along with the anesthesia. Then when it ws over she called and said he is groggy and coming around. I said do I pick him up? She said its best to leave him overnight tot get some fluids. I said but no one is there. She said I will come back and check on him. I agreed BUT I did not know she was going to leave him right away when he hasn’t even cam fully out of the surgery yet! About 1:45 she called and said she is giving him oxygen and he is having prb breathing. I rushed down but as I walked in she said “I’m sorry, but he has passed away”. I cried and cried and help his little body. He was laying on a cold steel table when I went in. I know she grabbed him out of the heated cage and put him on the table for the oxygen but I feel by the time she got back to the clinic it was too late and either he was already dead or he died on the cold table without me! I think he vomited and may have gotten some in his lung, he was so weak and that caused him to have prb breathing. I feel I let him down after all he had done for me. I am so depressed, distraught, and don’t want to go on. I am 68 and alone.. He was all I had. I wished I could just die and get it over with. I feel so bad, so guilty for not being there and angry at these vets. nothing I can prove. I know angry is part of grieving but I can’t take this anymore. I have cried today until I can’t even think.He knew when I was sad, lonely or hurting and would crawl up, look me right in the eye as if to say ‘It’ll be ok, I’m here” and push his head real tight under my chin and just hold there for a long time. A little guy with a big heart of gold and shoulders of steel. I lost my mother,my family robbed me, and he was always there holding me tight. I could not even hold him when he died.

  69. I know this isn’t an answer site, but in posting my question on Friday and seriously watching my furbaby over the weekend I found my answer. I was being completely selfish and thinking only of my future travel plans than realizing what was best for my best friend. I realized that he had so little to live for and he was only hanging on until I was ready to let him go. It was a heartwrenching week but I did what was best. Yesterday I took him in to find his peace and painfree new world.

    He was having a ‘good’ day which made it hard, he followed me around, checked out the bbq one last time, took him for an ice cream cone then we said our goodbyes with his head cradled in my arms with both my husband and I giving him comfort. His vet, since he was a puppy, was thankfully at work yesterday – I’m so glad that she was. About mid-July I took him in to see her, she advised to put him on pain pills, 2 every 8 hours. I fought that thinking that it would just make him a zombie dog – now I realize how much pain he was in and she offered that so he would be more comfortable waiting for me to be ready to let him go. Hindsight is 20/20 – but he hung on and I have no doubt I did the responsible right thing.

    I miss him terribly already but have no doubts about my decision.

  70. Ok, I think I’ve found the website to ask my question. I’m wondering about what to do for my 14.8 yr old Border Collie/Lab furbaby. My dilemma is in the next few months we have travel commitments for our son’s wedding and Boomer (my dog) is scheduled to stay at the kennel for a week in Sept and then for 2 weeks in Oct. With the combination of his failing health and now that he can’t control himself is it fair to have him stay at the kennel or make that hard decision and know that it will come soon anyway. He’s showing all the signs of aging – wandering aimlessly around, back legs/hips losing strength and he sinks down if standing too long, losing weight, etc. We’ve had him sleeping on the deck for the last 2 months because he’s had occasional accidents, but for the last week or so he’s wetting his bed every night now. (the deck has a low access to the yard so it’s not like he can’t get up and out to relieve himself) He still has his good days, tries to keep up with me walking around our property, loves is duck jerky treats and acts like puppy. This is what makes the ultimate decision so hard!! The other big issue is that we live in different country for the winter months, he’s always been with us but I know he won’t be making the trip again because we fly there. I’m reading all I can to help ease my pain.

  71. Also I wanted to add that I feel even worse because of my hightened sense of duty towards animals in general and especially ours, after Powder died. She was 13 but I have a 19 year old cat I adopted from an old woman who went into a nursing home, so that we could have visits, better than nothing. Or so I thought. She is literally losing her mind because at first the nursing home made an exception because of the wing she lived on, but then the other residents complained. She obviously was going to eventually lose some clarity but believe me when I say that she has literally lost her mind within a couple weeks of her cat being taken away from her and steadily getting worse over it. This is proof of how much losing a pet can really do so I wanted to tell anyone who is reading this the woman’s story so that they know it’s ok but that sometime’s there’s nothing you can do but remember the good times and sometimes you can honor your pet’s memory by helping other animals. Even though they can’t be replaced, it is a way to sort of have them still with you in spirit and feel better about yourself too. Everything dies eventually and I think we think we can stop it, but we can’t, it’s a fact.

  72. Well, what do you do when you are actually guilty? I have a dog who is very friendly and never bothers cats, but who I found out will eat newborns if given the chance and sometimes even hurt older kittens. I should have put her down the first time when she ate the newborn, even by the second time when it was an older kitten she bit (he survived though, thankfully!I call him Church.), but I felt sorry for her because she was starving to death at her old “home” and had a mangled paw, so when animal control took her to the pound I adopted her. She definitely isn’t starving now, and although she is too old for surgery she gets pills and gets her paw wrapped daily (except now and you will find out why) Anyways, she ate another newborn (we have cats but this one was the only one who wasn’t spayed yet because the owner had a heart attack and canceled the appt, I don’t have a car, and the spay clinic is an hour away. I feel the need to tell you this because I know a lot of people will assume I’m neglectful but I spend a fortune as well as a ton of energy in taking care of our combined 16 cats and two dogs and deal with people’s assumptions every day, so don’t say anything if you don’t know!)

    Long story short, she ate another newborn so she got locked up in my room while I decided whether to have her put down or not (don’t want her to be gassed in a room of other dogs at the shelter). Then this morning I was exhausted from school and not sleeping and our 6 month old runty kitten (his entire litter died except for him from disease and the mom was sick as well but is doing ok) walked into the room I have been keeping my dog in without me knowing.

    He wasn’t killed but I found him with wet fur and laying very limply and he may die from internal injuries, the owner who is an older lady I rent from came home and I told her and she went off on me really badly. I take care of the animals as best I can but I always feel like that one time I turn my back or fall asleep is when something happens. So she basically just kept yelling at me and saying it wouldn’t have happened if she’d been there and that I need to move out etc etc which she has said before and I take seriously but try not to react to, I try to keep my feelings secret about a lot of things so apparently she thinks I’m heartless. I wasn’t protecting my dog, I just didn’t know what to do and I do because I rescued her and everything…I know it is my fault, but with her yelling at me and accusing me of other things like watching tv all night (I don’t watch tv at all when I’m going to school, I record my two shows I like and watch them later!!) and stupid stuff like that, calling me a liar etc. So I know she is wrong to put me down but I know she is right that this is my fault and I am feeling so bad that I just feel dead inside and almost want to not move on. I am usually a person full of hope and I pick myself up emotionally without help but can I get someone’s view on this? I don’t want to tell her I know it’s my fault cause I tried that once before about something else and she saw it as an invitation to drag me through the mud and later had the audacity to critisize me for defending myself whenever she tries to tell me anything and everything I’ve done wrong. She hates the dog and I don’t dare take care of her except to feed her dry food and my roommate/whatever (it’s a room attached to the house) accuses me of babying her and giving her treats and stuff because she is so mad that she can’t seem to think clearly enough to remember I haven’t been to the store in like a week and she picked up the dog food for me! Idk what to do. If anyone has any suggestions or comments please email me at or I will probably get an email saying there’s a comment I guess.

    I’m sorry to everyone else who commented, I only read a couple but I know the heartbreak of losing a cat (besides these 3 kittens and the currently injured one, I lost my best friend Powder last year. What I did was write a note saying that I would see her in every animal I take care of from now on. It helped a little to know she didn’t die in vain because I was changed by it and made a better and more devoted pet guardian because of it.)

  73. My little dog Buddy/Mr Buds died on friday aged 13.He had been ill for quite a while But, I did’nt even think about him dying and going from a creaking gate to finding him in the morning uninterested and lethargic and absolutely refusing to eat for a couple of days.I didn,t need to be told he was dying.We made a decision to take him to the vets even though we didn’t really want him to be put to sleep.My husband got the car and just as we were going to go he died. At first I was relieved that I didn’t have to have him put to sleep as I don’t know how I would have coped.It’s been really bad for us as we live on a boat and he,d come with us on the boat, to hotels, abroad.He was only at the vets 4 weeks ago.He was very cute and friendly.We had noticed some general deteriation in him since he had come back from France and change in his eating pattern. But I didn’t even have time to know what was to come.My other dog Tanty lived to be 21 and a half.I’ve cried every day as he was a lovely pal and I used to sing songs to him.I feel grief, guilt and wish I.d seen the signs more.There were quite a few when we now think back.Only 2 days before we,d had a laugh as he was streched out on the couch upside down and looking cute and chased a yoghurt round the room until there wasn’t a morsel left.such a thin line between life and death.

  74. My cat ran away on the last sunday. when some of my cousins were visiting. He must have been scared and tried to hide outside the house. He has always been quite outdoor and he often spend his entire day outside in the sun, so that night when he didn’t return, i wasn’t so worried and didn’t go look for him. But the thing is, i am from a country where it is common to eat cats. It’s been a week, he’s never ran away this long, i’m afraid that he has been stolen and possibly eaten. I called out and searched for him everywhere but as the day pass, i am more and more hopeless. Every time i look at a place where he lays, playing around i cry. He’s a very good cat, he is loyal and he loves me so much. Every night, if it’s cold, he will quietly sneek onto my bed and sleep restlessly until i join him too. Or if it’s hot, he’s gonna sleep on the chair by my bed or by the door. When i’m sick, he will curl up next to me and refuse to go anywhere else until i got better. When i play the piano, he likes to sit on the keys and didn’t let me play properly. Even when i’m doing home work, or using the computer, he’s gonna quietly watch me from beside the monitor, until it gets late and he falls asleep. I am only 13 years old and he’s the first cat i’ve ever had, a friend who loves me so much, uncoditionally. I adopted him from my aunt, on the 30th of October 2008 and it’s safe to say that he’s grown up with me. I’ve never loved anyone or anything as much as i loved him, and i had hoped he will grow old and at least died in my arms, not on some babarian’s table. Whenever i’m alone, the thoughts of that night creeps up to me, and i should have gone and find him right when he didn’t return to sleep beside me, but i didn’t. I am so jealous with all these stories here, you know when your pet’s dying and you can help them from a painful death,I miss him too much it’s unbearable, everything i do remind me of him. I have no idea how to move on, although how much i want to.

  75. Hello I feel awful and I’ve been crying for three days straight. My little puppy broke her leg three days ago I toke her to the hospital to see how severe the leg was Unfortunatley her leg was really broken and she was in a lot of pain. The hospital wanted to charge me 800 dollars for X-rays the visit and to wrap my dogs leg. I decided to wait and take her to her vet the next morning eventhough I did pay $200 for the wrapping. Her vet told me she needed surgery after the X-ray was done and it was going to cost me $1000.00 dollars. I told him I didn’t have the money and I asked for another option I then decided to put her to sleep. I feel horrible now because my tinker was an Awsome dog. I’m jot sure if I made the right decision. What do people do when your pet gets hurt and you don’t have the money to help them out??

  76. Hi

    I put my sweet dog Oreo to rest after 17 years this past Wednesday.
    Over the last 6 weeks his health was getting worse. He was at the vets every two weeks. First he couldn’t stand on his back legs. Then he was fine. 2 weeks later he stopped eating he had a gum infection and his heart disease was getting worse. I cleared up the infection and got him eating on his own again. I didn’t give him the heart meds because I wanted to make sure he was eating again. I cooked every meal for him.
    After that he was himself again. Walking, barking and tail wagging. Still old and slow but back to his old man ways.
    2 weeks later he stopped eating again. The day he died he was acting strange so I took him to work with me. He lay there all day eyes open lifeless and breathing so heavy I could see him breath through his now skinny body. By 5pm he was crying and could no longer stand up.I carried him home. I had spoken to my vet earlier and he was coming to the house to see him. He said we would have to put him down the next day.
    I prepared myself to spend the night with Oreo and put him down after that. When my vet got to the house he said he must have had a nuerological issue and maybe a tumour was pressing on something. He was unresponsive when you called his name. He just lay in my arms.
    My vet said he had brought the injection with him and we should do it that evening in case he got worse at night and then I would have to take him to the ER where they would put him down there.
    We did it in the house as a family. My ex husband came over and our 5 year old son was there as well. I held him as he passed. What should have taken 5 min took 30 seconds. That was it and my beloved puppy was gone.
    That dog was always at my heels. My biggest fan. In his old age he relied on me more and needed to be near me at all times.
    I am devasted. The house is so quiet. My 16 year old cat walks around the house calling for his friend. He is confused. I am now worried about the day he passes and my house will be empty.
    I can’t believe how much this hurts. Everytime I walk in the house I expect to see him at the door. But he is not there. When I give into my crying it’s like it just happened. Uncontrolable sobbing for my dog.
    The pain is palpable. I am beating myself up for not giving him the heart drugs. I had them, why didn’t I? Could I have saved him for a few more months? I am so so sad. I loved him.

    Thanks for letting me tell my story. I feel just typing this was a bit of healing. For everyone else who has gone through this I feel your pain and am thinking of you.

  77. I can only offer my sympathy to those who have gone through this tough decision, and my empathy for those who are about to go through with it.

    Tomorrow, I will probably have to put our dog Ginger to sleep. Like all your pets, Ginger has been such an essential part of our family for the past 9 years and one of the most lovable dogs for the past 17 years of her life. We cannot bear for her to go either way, but unfortunately, her quality of life has deteriorated rapidly over the past few days due to her congestive heart failure and lost of her front leg through a subsequent blood clot. What pains me most is seeing her trying to get up and walk towards us but falling over and feeling frustrated after that.

    It is never easy to have to choose to trade life for death. And even when that decision is made, saying goodbye is probably the hardest part of the process. I cannot fathom the emotion that tomorrow will bring, but I take comfort in reading the other comments that we are not alone in what we are experiencing and are doing our best to care for Ginger for one last time.

  78. I feel so horrible and messed up thinking how guilty I am for putting my pet cat to sleep on 2/7 (monday), I didnt realized it was so much pain after he has left me and family. I’ve been crying till now asking myself why didnt I realized earlier of how sick he was. I blame myself for not getting him on fluid/drip to ease his Chronic Renal Failure Disease. I just hate myself for not giving him a chance but he was in BAD shape back then. He was skinny, refused to eat and drink and was just heartbreaking for me to see him in such i had him euthanised and I feel really horrible now without him by my side. I knew it’s selfish to keep him with me when he’s feeling too sic so I really have a mixed thought of my action.. Did i do the right thing to euthanised him or I should have give him the fluid to ease the Progress of CRF.

    I read from some websites that CRF may not be curable, but they can be maintained in way the cat or dog needs to be on fluid most of their time..

  79. Teresa Lynn,

    Don’t feel funny. We lost Shamus (15 year old lab pit mix) on May 3rd and had him cremated with the plan to burry his ashes in our yard at his favorite spot overlooking the lake. We purchased a stone and everything. Well, his urn is next to my wife’s bed on her dresser and hasn’t moved since. For most of May she clutched that urn to her chest, with his collar and tags in her other hand – also clutched to her chest, lying in bed sobbing. It is still hard months later and we catch ourselves crying but less and less. Sadie, our surviving 12 year old pure bread lab, who would vacuum her food (and his if he wasn’t looking) has been leaving bits of food in her bowl and we we believe she is thinking she is still “beta” and doesn’t want to eat all of “his” food…awaiting his return. We are all discombobulated and sad.

    Hang in there. Take Spanky driving as long as you like. Where do you think his spirit would rather be? In the ground, or riding shotgun with you? :)

    Sent from the iPad of Atty. Martin T. Weiss


  81. Dear Ashley,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your puppy got hit by a car. That is terrible, and heartbreaking.

    But I don’t think you need to feel guilty, because puppies get into trouble and get yelled at all the time! One of the beautiful things about animals is that they live in the moment. They aren’t like us, carrying around emotional baggage and thoughts of the past. When your puppy died, he was thinking of running – because he was probably running, right? He was totally in that moment, and I don’t think you have anything to feel guilty about. He knew you loved him, and he had a happy but short life.

    I’m sorry you lost your puppy.


  82. Today my puppy got hit by a car… I feel awful… I yelled at him for getting in trash.. he was my baby my sidekick… Now I feel like he died not thinking I loved him… My heart breaks…

  83. Jennifer,
    I am so sorry for what happened to your dog. Humans can be so cruel. It is a shame the in some countries animals are not as rievered as they are here, that is we do have laws to protect them. Loosing a pet that you love so much cuts like a knife. I just lost boy too. Just keep him in your heart and memories, there he will always be running free!

  84. I hope I have not offended anyone. I meant to say Chocolat was given the best attention the last week of her life. I am still sad over her death, coming home I sometimes look for her. She didn’t die alone,she died in my arms. If I could turn back the time, I would have it otherwise where she is not ppoisoned and would live a full and happy life. I can’t so it is best I can do by telling myself she was happy. The day I wanted to put her down to end her suffering, she showed signs of improvement, drinking water on her own and taking glucose and milk that I gave her so that is the reason why I couldn’t put her down. I wanted her to live,had a hope for her to live. I am just so angry and frustrated that I couldn’t do anything to save her.

  85. Hi Julie, Thanks for listening. I didn’t put her down coz she showed a glimpse of hope on Sat morning. Today, chocolat died at 15.03. She had a Happy week even though she was sick. Still I miss her. About the complaints,there is nothing much we can do here. Dogs are public enemy No 1. All sorts of laws are drawn up. In some housing areas, no dogs are allowed. Whereas in some,you actually need to get your neighbours to agree before you can actually have a dog in your compound. And some religions are

  86. Jennifer,
    This is horrible, and I feel so sorry for you and your dogs. Is there any kind of report you can make to the American Embassy, or any other local office that will investigate? Or, is that too dangerous? That is inhumane in any country for a dog to be poisoned! There must be some worldwide animal society that can help you out.
    My heart goes out to you and your pets.

  87. Hi, I am Jennifer. It never dawned to me that I would be experiencing this again so fast. I had planned to let my dogs live to their ripe age. Earlier this year, I was asked by the local council where I stay in penang,malaysia, to put down at least four of my healthy dogs. I was devastated and Patt has helped me by listening. I had to put three of my dogs in a village house and three with me in my rented house. After holding on to the idea of spaying two of my female , I decided to take them early June. They were fine when I got them back to the village house. I visit them every day. On Monday,they broke out of the area where i lock them in. i put them in again. I only realised that she was sick on tuesday. At first, i thought she was traumatised coz i took her to the vet and that she was afraid of me. On Wednesday I took her to the vet and he gave her some medication. I then only realised that she had been poisoned. I took her home,kept her indoors and fed her with glucose and milk every few hours. This morning, I took her to the vet again for a jab to help her as she was dehydrated. Her condition has worsened and she won’t let me force feed her with glucose and milk anymore. Half of what I put in comes back out. Poor thing, she is really suffering and I have to put her down tomorrow. I am crying. She was sleeping and when she opened her eyes and saw me ,she wagged her tail with whatever little energy she has left. She is so young and hasn’t even reached her first birthday. Sometimes, I wonder why humans are really so cruel. Today itself, I had a bad experience. There was this man who has a fruit stall,selling mostly to tourists, came cruising into our village house,one of my dogs barked at him and he took his helmet and tried to hit my dog. My dog reacted and he accused me of letting my dog try to bite him. I feel so sad that whatever I try to do for my dogs, I am always in the wrong because humans here have little regards for other life forms beside themselves.

  88. Hi Scott,

    I am going through same pain and guilt right now. I just had my cat Snowball put to sleep yesterday and I feel so bad now. I now wish that I didn’t do that. The guilt and regret is overwhelming. I haven’t stopped crying yet and I’m crying now as I write this. How can a decision seem right at the time and then seem so wrong later? I feel totally miserable.


  89. Thats such a sad story. I feel awful having lost my dog 3 weeks ago and I didn’t want to leave her. I sat with her for an hour before I could bring myself to leave her. The vet said he sat with his dog for 3 hours. I think this man couldn’t bare to leave his dog. Bless him.

  90. Sorry for the man. but, this really poses a health problem for the man living with a dead dog. his family and friends should talk to him and find out what is going on with his thinking. as we get older especially seniors may start to have signs of dementia, and sometimes even be unsafe.

    this should be a red flag to his family that something is not right with him. also, i think in this case he needs a lot love and attention and some type of support group if there is no family around. i personally know of a 99 year old man that lost his wife 1 year ago (she was 99 from natural death), and his 2 cats are keeping him going. but, also he has a dynamic, positive personality. in fact, he still lives alone.

    god bless your neighbor.

  91. david — How sad that this elderly man lost his constant companion. He must feel awful. I think that he just couldn’t part with his dog even though he’s dead. It probably made the man feel like the dog is still with him, at least physically.

    Having just lost my pet (cat) a few months ago to death, I still wish she was here. I still yearn for her and wish I could have kept her somehow in some way. But, of course, I can’t, and I struggle with accepting her death a lot . I still keep some of her items right where they were, because I can’t bear removing all traces of her life here. I also live in an apartment, so I couldn’t bury her on the property and have a gravesite to mark and visit.

    I think this man just couldn’t handle parting with his dog, and he went too far. Being older, he probably knows that the dog was the last pet he will have… and its heartbreaking to cope with. For him, its a huge and final loss. Its very sad. And the man may not have family around, so that dog was everything to him. The guy just lost touch with reality over this. Its understandable. He needs some help handling this.

    It would be nice if someone (or a few of the neighbors) could get together with him and talk about it. (Maybe have coffee and doughnuts together, or take him out for a beer!)

    Maybe help him create a little memorial of the dog for him to keep near him. Even ask him if he has a photo of the dog, and you or someone else buy him a picture frame for it and give it to him. Or someone make him a little wooden cross with the dog’s name on it and stake in in the ground outside, where he could see it (if allowed). Just some small momento might help him cope with the loss of his precious pet. Something visual or tangible. (I know that’s what helps me cope on bad days.)

    Thanks for telling this story. Let us/me know how things go in the near future for this poor man, ok?

  92. hello guys my neighbour is an old gentleman he lost his mum 2 years ago who he was very close to,he now lost his dog to old age 3 weeks ago so he is now lonely and on his own,anyway ive been smelling death when im walking across the hall as i live in apartments he lives opposite me,i rang the police and they came to inspect the building,the smell of death was coming from his property,i found out today that he had the dead dog in the property for 3 weeks and just left it there,the police took the dog away to be cremated.i know he loved his dog very much but i find it very very strange why someone would do that,too be honest im quite frightened as this is very weird behaviour,do you think there is something sinister going on or do you think he couldnt bare parting ways with his dog?

  93. Today I had to beloved cat Monty to sleep, he had mega colon and had repeated enemas and meds. I feel so guilty and my sons and 5 other cats are sad too. I can’t stop crying and it has brought back all memories of my brother who died of cancer three years ago. Is this normal because I feel so guilty.

  94. Scott, no animal knows anger, only love. You didn’t put her down, you freed her from what u felt as her human parent to be unnecessary pain, stress, and prolonged anguish. When I was with my dog and she died I tried to resuscitate her and even went ahead with an injection to start her heart and when they were doing this I realized it wasn’t for her it was for me. Even if u have guilt and sadness she doesn’t. It’s a catch 22 u would have been upset if she was put through more stress and sad to put her down. Don’t be so hard on yourself.

  95. Scott,

    So sorry for your loss. These are hard times economically for all of us. You had to make the best decision. Don’t look back move forward. Time is what you need to heal. It’s a big step to have a pet. Think of this as a learning experience more than anything. Sometimes in life you have to put yourself first. That is not selfish. Will pray for you.


  96. It’s nearly 6am and I have tossed and turned all night after having to my best friend, my cat down yesterday. I never knew I could feel so lonely or that my home could feel so empty. Every night without fail she jumps up and lays down on my arm, that’s how I fall asleep. It’s why I can’t sleep now, she’s not there. I keep looking thinking she will come in, from my bed I can always see her tail up in the air as she enters the room.

    I never realized just how much I talked to her, I talked to her constantly and now I don’t have her to talk to.

    My guilt is different from what I have read, I had to make my decision based on finances, the instability of my life right now (the owner of the home I rent is selling it, and the stress on myself and Ashley (my cat) was very apparent as there are strangers coming in and out)as well as her Health.

    She was preparing for surgery (a bladder stone, she has had multiple urinary issues and had just peed all over my bed)while I was at work, a surgery I wrestled with, not just the expense that was beyond my means, but whether it was going to help and for how long. She had other conditions that were beginning. I selfishly didn’t want to go through her “old age”. I knew I could never struggle to get her in her box to take her to be put down as I had struggled the day before, (25 minutes with her hissing at me)when I was bringing her in to “help her” . She was already at the vet under anesthesia, I had several lengthy conversations with her doctors and at the last minute went ahead and chose to put her down.

    I can’t describe the guilt I feel, even more so after reading so many of your stories. Mine was a selfish decision because I couldn’t handle the stress.

    She was 13 years old and I have had her since she was six weeks old and she has been the best companion. I wish with all my heart I could go back and make a different decision. I can’t stop crying.

  97. Dear Terri,

    Think that you are saving him from more devastating pain and symptoms. My pet was hit by a car, I never got a chance to hug her and say goodbye. You will be able to do that.

    There is no reason to feel guilty, its the compassionate thing to do.


  98. Thanks, I needed that. I had my house cat for 8 years, her mother was my aunt’s cat, and her father was a stray. My sister brought her over, and we instantly loved her. She had beautiful green eyes and shiny beige skin with a black tail. We never really named her, me and my brother called her “Marble” because of her eyes, and my mother and little sister called her “Kitty-Kins” for the first year, until she was in heat for the first time, after hearing my mom scream “Cat!” so many times, she began responding to it.

    She was a pesky one, whenever she was in heat she would urinate on my bed, and then get mad and try and attack me. Our neighbor had adopted her brother, whom she didn’t seem to like.And when she was calm she would always try and sleep next to me. She had ticks in her left ear, but hated wearing the collar. And when I left the window of our apartment open, she would crawl onto the fire-escape and try and sneak into our neighbors home. She also loved just sitting out on the fire-escape and watching the streets below. After 8 years, she truly became apart of the family.

    Just yesterday, my mom found her choking on a hairball. She screamed, and I ran over to try and help her. I tried doing the Heimlich maneuver, trying to force it out, but it was too late. I cried harder than ever when she stopped struggling. We all cried, me the hardest. As frustrating as she was, I loved her. We’ve had a lot of cats, but none like her, she was different, she was special. After going through such a loss, I don’t see myself with another pet, because no other cat can replace her.

  99. I’m so sorry Terri I just realized I wrote ‘she’ and ‘her’ instead of ‘he’. I was thinking of my puppy I am sorry :(

  100. Hi Julie,

    Your comment has touched my heart. The last 3 days have been very hard. I go from absolutely miserable to smiling thinking about all the funny stuff she did! It’s a long road ahead for me I think. Your daughter sounds like she has the same sensitivity that I do. It can be a blessing but also causes so much heartache. I don’t envy people who don’t have as much emotion though – it would be like living in a dark dark world.

    I know what you mean about never being ready – I keep saying that it wasn’t fair and I didn’t get enough time but part of me realizes it was selfish because she was in pain and needed to move on and had I tried to keep her here it would have hurt her more.

    Terri, there is not much I can say in terms of lightening the pain you are feeling but I only lost my 15 year old 2 days ago and I can tell you that you are very very lucky to still have her. Spend every single moment with her until she is gone and it will make it easier. Try to hold her and feel her warmth, I miss the warmth of my puppy. And most importantly look at her eyes and try to come to terms with the fact that she may be ready to move on even if you aren’t yet – it’s not fair and hurts like heck but it’s very true in a lot of ways.

    It’s like they were here with us to teach us something and suddenly when they’ve imparted a lesson they move on and we are left wondering why but we should just be happy that we had the chance at all. So many animals are suffering around the world and these precious dogs have such lovely guardians that we mourn them like children (which they are). My prayers and heart is with you!

  101. I am preparing to have my 13 year-old beagle put down, and it is the hardest, most agonizing decision I have ever made. He was diagnosed with kidney failure several weeks ago, and despite various medications, he keeps getting worse. I can’t stop feeling guilty about what is going to happen, though, and I can’t bear the thought of not seeing his warm brown eyes anymore. This is so incredibly painful, and I don’t know how I’m going to bear it.

  102. Sarah B,

    You never are ready when you lose your pet. We have lost 4 pugs over the last 40 years, from sickness, age and accidents. They become part of your family, and you feel their loss as if they were humans also.

    You have to remember her always from your childhood. You were lucky that you did not have to see her deteriorate as some people do with their pets, and having to make the decision to euthanize her. My daughter lost her pet on her 13th birthday, who she had since she was 2 years old. My daughter is 24 now, and still cries when she remember her. She has spontaneous crying whenever she remembers her. That is normal.

    I hope that you can recover your emotions to find it in yourself to get another dog as a companion.


  103. Hi everyone. Whether your pet dies, either expected or not, it can be one off the the hardest and most traumatic experience some people go through. My partner and I have had to say goodbye to two of our dogs , one 5 months ago, at the vets, which we didn’t expect at the age of 12.5 years; Lucy a Shih Tzu and then our adopted daughter Dolly, an 18 year old chihuahua two days ago at the vet with euthanasia.

    Yes, they wee like children to us and I still think about them everyday. I felt guilty about their deaths and was really depressed for months about Lucy and will probably feel the same about Dolly for quite a while. I don’t know why I feel guilty, my partner and I spoilt them rotten, They always lived inside the house with us, travelled with us on holidays and we gave them more love and affection than we gave to each other. Strange, but thinking about it, we gave them a really good happy life. So, when I get down, I always say to myself, hey, they had great lives with us, they were loved and if there is anything after we leave this life, I know they are all together, including the other dogs that we have had in our lives; playing and waiting for us to join them.

  104. I lost my doggy of over 15 years yesterday morning. She was old and arthritic and on pain medication but was so full of life and would still run and play. I went on vacation with my fiance on friday afternoon and my dad was watching her. He didn’t tell me she hadn’t been doing well until monday afternoon when we were driving back. When I got home I witnessed her falling over from a seizure. She got up afterwards and walked in the yard with us and I cuddled with her for a while that night, thinking we would just go to the vet in the morning and she would be fine. She has survived heartworm in the past so I know how strong was. I slept next to her all night then in the morning woke up suddenly for no reason. 5 minutes later she was having a seizure and I brought her outside. She got up after again and then walked maybe 10 feet but fell over and had her final seizure. We put her in the car in her bed and drove to vet she was still breathing but it got so slow then stopped I attempted mouth to mouth. They came out from the vets to the car and brought her inside and gave her a shot of ephenephrine but she didn’t come back.

    She went on her own, we didn’t have to euthanize her. I’m thankful for that. But I can’t get over being gone her last three days on earth. I’m only 23 years old and we saved her from a box on the side of the river when I was 8. So many happy memories but I feel guilty for not doing enough. The doctors think she had kidney/organ failure and that’s why the seizures started suddenly. Everything goes so fast. I didn’t even walk her the day I left, I was in such a rush to get on the road. You can’t take back time and you can’t reverse anything but it doesn’t make it any easier.

    I know there are other people feeling the same way out there. I wake up and forget she’s gone and then re-live the pain very strongly again and again. I want to see her again and I believe in heaven but at the same time there are never any guarantees in life and I just don’t know what to do anymore. I wasn’t ready for this and don’t think you ever are.

  105. Trina,

    Pets are hard to care for. their animal instinct is something they can’t control. its not your fault, you did the best you could. give yourself time to feel happy again. try not to think about the “what ifs”. will pray for you to be yourself again.


  106. Thank You – I spoke with my vet and it put my mind at rest about how Cassie died – but I still miss her everyday.

    Hello Jean, Sorry to hear about your Chihuahua. That sounds traumatic for you but you gave her a big hug by rocking her which must have been a comfort to her.

    Hello Chanda, I’m sorry for the loss of your cat and felt the same about my dog. Not wanting to move her things and still having fur on her dog bed. Its been almost 2 weeks now and although I still feel empty and miss her. The sadness is now mixed with happy memories.


  107. My Mello died May 27th. As a stray he was constantly n fights n unneutered. I loved him. H was so manic from wanting to mate that i put him n the bathroom for just 3 hrs. I never did that bfore. at he fell from my bathroom window to concrete. He was strong n didn’t die there. Went abt 20 ft n I found him intact with head trauma. Just cause I wanted sleep. Y didn’t I jus check on him. Maybe I could have saved him by finding him sooner. It was job to protect him. Now im alone, crying n jus not n a good place. What can I do abt my guilt n processing this trauma. We tried to make it work. I would let him out during the day n a secure ack area and sweep him up at night. He was current on his shots.

  108. My kitty passed away 2 days ago. She was a kitty that we found after someone dumped her out. She was an older cat that took over our lives completely. We did everything we could to keep her as healthy as possible. 2 weeks ago we took her to the vet for her paw. The vet told she had arthritis. A little over a week later I am rushing her to the vet because she wasn’t eating or drinking. They let her come home a day later just to have me rush her to the vet for dehydration. She stayed the night on iv’s the vet said we could bring her home on Saturday and that she was doing better. We went up to visit her Friday and she looked so much better. Only to get a phone call Saturday morning to tell me that she had passed. I don’t know how to take this she was my baby. She was a very needy kitty and now I am sitting here trying to figure out what to do. I changed her litter right before i took her back to the vet and i can’t bring myself to dump it since it has her footprints in it. I feel so lost without her and everything I see in my home reminds me of her and I can’t help but to cry. I am hoping that it gets easier over time.

  109. Sarah,

    Carolyn gives you good advice. I agree, just think of all the good times and try to put behind what happened that day. Reliving those moments keeps that memory alive, and your pet was worth more than those moments. I made a shrine for our dog on our mantle and keep a candle burning for her with her collar. Hang in there.


  110. Dear Sarah – I am so sorry for your loss of your dog. Its a shame that everything ended the way it did. I understand your feeling guilty for how you handled the situation that last day of your dog’s life. I felt (and still feel) the same way, and my cat’s been gone almost 4 months.

    We find it painful to think that we could have done more to help them live longer or better. But I guess the reality is that we do the best we can at that time. YOU reacted in your dog’s best interests, and moved up the time of the appt. You took him/her to the vet as soon as possible. You made the best decision (with what options you were given by the vet).

    We depend on our vets to give us their best advice. Then we do what we believe is in our pet’s best interests. I’m sure you did that. But when it doesn’t turn out well, we feel terrible. We feel like we made the wrong decision and let our pets down. Its such a huge blow, and its so difficult to accept. (I feel the same way as you. I still think maybe I should have waited a little longer to take her to the vet that night, etc.) But the reality is that I was scared because she was getting worse, and I didn’t know what was happening to her.

    Maybe you can take a little comfort in the fact that you DID take him/her to the vet asap, and you did what you thought was best for your dog at the time, with the vet’s opinion. He/she was in the care of the vet. If your dog took a turn for the worse at home and you didn’t take him/her to the vet, then you may have felt WORSE because you DIDN’T take him/her to the vet!

    Unfortunately, we don’t want to let them go. They were with us and gave us their unconditional love, so we want to give them the same back. But at some point, its not within our power any more to help them, and we have to let them go. We want to hold on to them still (I know I do). It will take a while to grieve and accept this loss. Maybe you could make a little memorial to your dog, for yourself. (That helped me. Every time I miss her, I get out her photos or look at photos on the Internet of the same breed of cat as her. And it feels like I’m seeing a little of her again, and it helps.)

    (((((HUGS))))) to you, and brightest blessings to your little puppy in heaven.

  111. I just lost my 13 1/2 year old chihuahua (long hair)to kidney disease. She was to have been put down on 5/10, but I decided against it as she was not in pain and seemed fairly good, but not eating much. She became worse and I took her to another vet on 5/18 figuring this time it was time. But he gave us some tube food and said she could last a little longer. i was so excited and took her home and pampered and cared for her every need. She went several days without eating and we figured she knew best and didn’t force her. She had difficulty walking and slept most of the day. I even took her to work with me one day. Unfortunately she again began to regress, dry heaving and looking very sad. It was time. I knew this. May 22. It was the longest ride I have ever taken. Unfortunately her last moments were not peaceful. she yanked her arm out of the needle and yelped loudly when the assistant came close to her, then tried to bite her. Her arm was bleeding and i scooped her up off the table. I was crying and rocking her and saying I was sorry. She died on her own, but it was not peaceful. I rerun those moments over and over in my minds eye and feel so sad and guilty and angry. I wonder what she must have been thinking. I feel that I let her down. This is so painful

  112. I’m feeling guilty about my dogs death and keep going over the “What If” secenario’s in my head.

    She had a treatment plan but during this I noticed she became lethargic, pale and wouldn’t eat. So I booked her an appointment with the vet at 6pm. I was so worried I changed it to an earlier appointment and saw another vet. She gave us 2 choices of PTS or operate. I chose operate as I wanted to give her a chance. The vet seemed to think she would. My dog died 5 hours after the operation.

    What is making me feel guilty is if I had waited for that 6pm appointment the outcome might have been different.

    I also have a strange feeling of doubt? Should I have taken her to the vet or was I over reacting?

    This time last week she was alive and because I took her to the vet she’s dead :-(

  113. I just made an put my 14 yr old dog down. I’m sick about it but know it’s the right thing to do. His back legs have given out, he can’t get up w/o help, he’s losing control of his bodily functions and not eating. I know he’s in pain and I don’t want him to suffer but I still feel guilty.

  114. Our pug of 11 years was killed on Easter Sunday while we were in church. It’s been a month now and we r still sad. We have her ashes on the mantle and we have her near our family altar with her collar. I try to remember all the good she did for us and how she helped train our other pug “charlie”. I try not to think about that horrible day as it only depresses me. I have had 8 pugs and I decided to have a family portrait of all of them together since its only now Charlie that is alive. I want to remember how beautiful they all were and how much I loved them and how they loved us. we have a saint candle that we keep lit every day for everyone in our family that has died. It’s a shrine that keeps us praying for all of them,

  115. These comments have helped me greatly. My very special cat died several months ago but I am still struggling with her loss. She adopted me and just her and I became a little family. She was there with me through some rough times. She was hit by a car and taken too early at only 4 years old. I believe in the afterlife, but I’ve been struggling with knowing she is there and if I will see her again. I never got to say goodbye. I will say, what’s heaven without animals? Not heaven. Especially with all the love they give here on earth. They must have a special place..

  116. Janelle, so sorry about Skippy. We had to put Shamus down May 3 as well. Maybe they rode the same elevator up to heaven? Shamus was 15 and a Prince of a dog. Regal but not aloof. Quiet and calm. He was so beautiful and we are just now going through all of the photos over the last 15 years. We miss him terribly. We were fortunate to have him for so long and unlike you, we had time to prepare for the inevitable. You, on the other hand, had to make such a horrible choice while in shock, under pressure, and numb from all of the emotion. Nonetheless it took courage on your part and you made the right decision. Skippy would have been in so much more pain and like all good dogs, probably woud have equated that pain with punishment for being a “bad” dog. That would have been worse than anything and so unfair to him. We are total strangers but we will always share the sad anniversary of 5/3/12. Hopefully as the years pass, we will remember on that date the happy times and good memories of our pals. God Bless you and may He keep your heart strong.

  117. Helene- I understand your pain, I have guilt feelings about my sweet Louie too. Someone told me recently something that might make you feel better: The veterinarians are the experts, we take our pets to them and trust that they take care of them. We trust what they say and do. THEY dropped the ball, not you. They gave you their opinion and you trusted it, just like I did. Don’t blame yourself, please.

  118. My dog skippy died today. He was the sweetest dog anyone could ever meet. He was run over and I took him to he vet. They took x-rays and figured out that one of his legs was fractured, his pelvic bone was completely broken and his other leg was broken as well. He also had internal bleeding. They said they could possibly fix it but they didn’t think it was possible. They also said that if they could he would not be the same and would not be able to walk. We decided to euthanize him so he would no longer be in pain. It was the hardest decision I’ve ever made. I could not stop crying. I keep thinking to myself if that I had just done something to prevent his he would still be alive. He was always just a happy little dog and I miss him so much already.

  119. Our sweet cat Smokey just died. He was only two years. I am so heartbroken. We had found him when he was only a few days old and bottle fed him. After two weeks we found his 4 brothers and sister. We found good homes for them and kept Smokey. He was such a good sport. A beautiful black cat with a great attitude. We just moved from a subdivision to the country. He had always tried to go outside and I would never let him in the subdivision, scared he would be killed by a car, because the same had happened to our other cat. He would run out as soon as we would open the door and rub himself on the concrete patio. So when we moved to the country two months ago we reluctantly let him out. Boy, he had the time of his life, watching birdies and running around the field. Last week Smokey suddenly started throwing up mucus and acted a little weird. This recurred the next night when I heard him running like a mad cat escaping something. The next morning he had another one, this time it seemed worse so I immediately took him to the vet. They said it must be a hairball that’s stuck so they gave a laxative. But my poor cat had terrible diarrhea after that so I stopped. That night he had seizures every hour. I held him with a blanket to protect him from harm and afterwards I would hold him till he felt better and wanted to lay on the ground again. I took him back to the vet and they took his blood work. Everything looked perfect, of course he had no seizures or other signs so they gave him anti seizures meds. I told them that I thought about poison, although I had no idea what because I have mostly non toxic cleaners at my home. I gave him his seizure meds at home and the next couple hours he was fine. Then in the afternoon he started having four seizures within an hour, much stronger this time. So I called in panic to the vet and said it really looked like he was poisened. They told me it couldn’t be because his blood work was fine but they would keep him overnight and give his meds intravenously. I asked them if they would be gone at night and they said they would but they would make sure all was fine and that in worst case scenarios they would take the pet home with them to keep an eye on them. This comforted me enough so I went home and we celebrated our anniversary. The next morning the vet called and told my husband our beloved cat had died. He had had no seizures and seemed all fine so they left at around 9.30pm and when they came back the next morning they had found him dead! I can’t get beyond this feeling that I should have pushed for someone to be there with him, that I would have said ‘no, I’ll take him home then’. I can’t believe that I didn’t push immediately that they flush his system because it looked like poison! I trusted the experts and ignored my own instinct. And now my sweet Smokey is gone and I cannot make it right! I still don’t know what on earth he could have gotten into. It drives me insane. But I refused to do further examinations after he died because I wanted to bury him and give him peace. This hurts so terribly much, death is so definite and I can never cuddle him again or tell him ‘sorry’…

  120. My sweet little dog Louie died April 24th. I held him in my arms as he passed away. This was the end of a very long and stressful month. He died of kidney disease with internal bleeding and being so week he could not even walk. Louie was about 10 years old but I hoped to have him a few years longer. When I first noticed one morning Louie had wet the bed a lot, I thought he just couldn’t get outside because I closed the dog door, so I didn’t take him straight to the vet (guilt #1). When he did it again a week or so later I rushed him to the vet and they ran every test on him they could and everything came up negative at that time excepte his kidney levels were up and his tryglicerides were out of wack. They did an MRI and didn’t see anything else. As time passed he spent many nights at the vet in order to get the fluids back in that he was losing. WHen he was home, his stool looked firmer than usual buy dark, it didn’t click that it might be black – it just didn’t click with me because I was so focused on getting rid of the diarrea, not the color. He was a little wobbly on his feet and couldn’t jump up on the bed anymore but I thought that was because he was so week from the treatments and the loss of weight. To make a long story short, the vets, me, everyone thought he had a good chance to pull through until April 24th he just took a turn for the worse, very black stool, couldn’t even stand up, didn’t eat at all but drank a lot. His regular doctor was not on duty that day so I took him in as soon as I got home from work and another doctor familiar with his case said he had really gone down. They didn’t recommend euthanasia then, but I just felt the poor little guy had had enough. They agreed and said his chances were dramatically lower now. He was awake, he knew I was holding him in his little blanket and he licked my hand several times before it all ended. Now I wonder if I should have waited for his doctor, given him one more night at home, given him one more chance. I feel like the pit of my stomach has dropped completely out. I have anxiety attacks thinking that maybe I gave up too late. He trusted me with his life! Why did I not notice the darkened stool, why did the vets not notice his wobbly state and check it? I never mentioned it because I thought he was just weak from the procedures and when he gained weight he would strengthen up. This all happened so fast I just can’t wrap my head around it. I didn’t want him to suffer but I could have waited one more day WHY?

  121. I read some of the posts and couldn’t help notice how we want to find blame on why our dogs died. I don’t think it helps anyone to blame anyone or anything for why we lost our loving pets. Especially since we can’t go back and change the past. I agree that we need to focus on the joy and times we had with them. The article points out wat we can do to find closure in ths devastating event. I am going to try to get over my grief and become stronger from it.

  122. My family lost our dog today. I want to believe that she is happy where she is now. But I feel empty and I am trying to remember her good memories. We as humans ask why? The what if’s are definitely on my mind. I am trying to stop asking why and just accept that it is.

  123. Denise Redbird Smith

    I am Native American,we believe our animal brother and sisters have spirit just like you and I,we will see them again in the next world,but until then the pain of separation is great,how do we live without them when they were so much a part of our lives,the yearning,lonliness,guilt, self torture, because we have the ability to love we ultimately pay the price in the end, for giving our heart and loving,so why are we punished in the end for such a beautiful act,because we still want to love in a happy way,and have joy,we grieve that side of our selves along with the absense of our object of love.our pet who personaly becomes a best friend or child to us,I loved my cat with all my heart never thinking of what it would be to let her go, i had to let her go due to illness this week,i am in pain just like all of you,it hurts bad,last night i saw her in my dream she came to me meowing i anxiuosly petted her knowing i was dreaming,i told her i love her and that was it ,her coming to me saying goodbye,i woke crying its never easy to say goodbye not for them either,the way she came to me tells me she’s going but she has not forgotton the love we had,my pitty is for myself because i have to stay while she goes,but i know she will be there when its my time,for now i will grieve my loss and feel my pain till oneday i have healed,letting go and loving means we agree to undergo all that it entails even letting go,I love you Emmy and will be with you again,for all of you who hurt so i will pray your suffering is eased,so you too can see the chapter in your life,where you loved freely with joy,was an beautiful act upon both parts ,yours and your loved one,one of many relationships where we will share this world and life together with love, its what we do,its what we are meant to do and its beautiful.I have to let go,not be selfish but celebrate her journey and let her know its O.K. for her to go,now that is ultimate LOVE and Dam it hurts.

  124. Thank you Patti B. I am so sorry for your loss. My friend Mike gave me some great advice to really grieve and be honest about my loss. You had 12 wonderful years and hopefully soon your good memories will start to overpower the last awful one.

    I am trying to remember every quirky thing Henri would do. She was wonderfully loving and thought every time I was making up the bed was her playtime. I wasn’t that crazy about her bringing me crickets in from the yard but even that was funny.

    I know you must have great memories too. Most of all you loved and were loved in return. Though some people may not understand it is good to have at least one friend and a community such as this one.

    There’s a no kill shelter near where I live and I think I may volunteer a bit. It might help both the pets there and me too.

  125. Dear Chloe, Your friend is not much of a friend. You were at her house visiting with her when this happened It is not your fault, maybe it was her pain talking, but what about your PAIN? You just grieve, and get yourself better. People really tic me off with their ignorance. Please be well. WE all care about you, so keep that in mind, and post as much as you need to. I still hurt over my Hannah who passed Feb 10, 2012. I still can not talk to my friends away from this site without choking up. If you have your pet along time or a short time, you own that pain. Thursday at Mass, I am going to light candles for all my friends on this site. God Bless Patt.

  126. Hi Minerva,

    I feel for you. I really really do! I to am dealing with guilt, what ifs, flash backs. Its been one month since I lost my bootsie. She passed away in front of my eyes and she suffered. I beat myself up but like you I am processing my feelings and Icry when I need to and do not supress them. It hurts so bad sometime I feel sick. Mon. was a good day. Then yest. I was petting my other cat and rubbing her and she was on the floor and she started kicking her legs laying on her side but she was feeling good. it hit me so fast-thats the last horrible memory I had of my bootsie thrashing and gasping for air as I run to get my husband so we could get her to the vet and I needed him by her so I could call the vet at 2am in the morning. By the time I got back to her side by my bed she was just panting laying there…I picked her up and we got her in the car but she died in my arms on the way there.

    I only feel ok caus she was with me, but I cannot get rid of those visions or sounds. I can’t! No matter how hard I try. I am crying and my stomach hurts now as I type it. I want to ignore it. I can’t. Someone told me they would not let their beloved cat be “defined” by the last or worst moments at the end of their life. That we should honor them and remember the good. I try I really really try. It is so hard. Each day it does seem a little less but when it comes on I get so upset I can barely breath. I think it is a panic attack but I don’t know.

    My husband said I should go to the dr. to talk about it to see if it is? But, I just push through it, I cry and sob. It hurts so bad. I feel like I let her down but others assure me I did everything I could and deep down I know I did but there are those little “what if”s that come into myhead like the devil! I know bootsie knew I was there and I carressed her I just wish I could have helped her sooner but I couldn’t…it happened so fast and the vet does not even know what caused it.

    She was 12 yo. The best 12 years of my life and I have a empty part of my heart that is so lonely that I don’t feel myself at all. I keep praying she is in heaven with my mom. A cousin who loves cats just told me that sh eis in heaven Patti. She said the bible says there is NO pain & suffering in heaven so when we go there our cats have to be there because if they are not we would have pain and suffering! I felt better thinking of it that way.

    God Bless you and I pray you as well as so many others can get through the guilt we all feel!

  127. Hi that’s what happened to me. I lost a dog called emma and I loved her sooooo much this is what happened,
    2 years ago my best friend breanna gave me a dog, it was the most cutest thing I had ever seen I loved it so much, I fed it cared for it bathed it and when it was raining outside I would let her stay in my room for the night.
    A few weeks ago after I got the dog I went to breannas(the one who gave me the dog)house when I was there I got a phone call from my parents and they said emma was at the vets so I told my friend just before I left and she said she hated me but I was to busy caring about my dog. When we got to the vets I started crying so much of how much It was in parents told me she was running across the road and got hit by a car. I few days later she ended up dieing From interal bleeding and since today breanna hasn’t forgiven me yet even though I wasn’t there.

  128. This is the third time I try to post. Honestly, I try to express (in too much detail) everything that happened and how my cat Henri died. She was run over. I found her Monday morning first thing. Everytime I get to the part where I start to explain what I think happened or how its my fault- I don’t know what happens- I hit the wrong key or something and the comments get wiped out.

    Henri was amazing. I thought about getting a pet for at least two years before Henri came along. My brother had a young dog that he wanted socialized to be around other animals. When his son who had just started to crawl got into the kitty litter. My overwrought sister in-law had it. It was xmas and there was way too much going on. Henri literally got kicked out. I felt horrible for her. She was the cutest little gray kitten-named Fluffy. I took her and it was the best thing ever. She was so funny and her personality kept developing and amazing me at every turn. My friend Mike had recommended I get a cat ’cause they are low maintenance. Too bad no one told Henri that. Oh, yeah she was not a “Fluffy” so I named her Henrietta. In my family’s tradition, I only called her by her full name when she was naughty.

    It’s only been 2 days. I am crying wretched mess. I feel so guilty and like the worst neglectful parent. I know I don’t deal well with death in general so I am trying to be proactive and really grieve rather than trying to repress it. I was so unbelievably lucky to have had Henri in my life. I just don’t know how to follow the great advice given in this forum. I don’t know how to stop the what if’s and the guilt. I don’t understand how she got out of the fenced yard or how the person that hit her didn’t stop to help.

    I miss her so much. I miss her demanding little body (my mom insists she was fat!)sleeping next to me. She always slept part of the night on me and the rest right next to me. I thought I would have her for years and years. 3 1/2 years went by so fast. It wasn’t enough and I am so tortured by the idea that she might have laid out across the street from me dying in pain while I was busy doing house chores. Yeah, that the cylce- being grateful I had her to guilt and more guilt to hate of that horrible person who hit her and didn’t stop to help. Sorry, I repeat myself a lot. I hope and pray she didn’t suffer long. I don’t know how people cope with these feelings.

  129. Hello,
    I’ve been reading your comments today, and think that you all did better than me. My cat died this sunday morning and I’m overwhelmed with guilt. He had a big benign tumour near his heart for over a year. I decided to stop the cortisone in January after a year of it because he just got weaker and skinnier. Then I tried all I could with natural remedies and, at one point, convinced myself we were winning. My enormous guilt is because of the way he died. he was having more and more trouble swallowing, and I knew he was close to the end. I just didn’t want to give him the final big trauma of going to the vet. He would have known where he was going. It would have been horribly stressful not least because I don’t have a car and it’s quite a long way, and anyway I was in denial and still thinking I could play god. I tried to feed him water with a syringe and he suffocated on it. I can’t tell you more detail because it’s too awful but I made him suffer by my own panic. He died in the space of a few minutes. Then something strange happened later. My son came after an hour or so and we laid him down in the greenhouse where he liked to sleep. His mouth and eyes were open when we left him there. Maybe two hours after he died, I went back to look at him and said to my son that the sun was too strong on his face. Then I looked closer and saw that his mouth and eyes had shut and he looked absolutely normal, perfect, like a happy sleeping cat. Even the fur on his face was not dull anymore. I know he was already dead when we laid him there so this was bizarre for me. No doubt something explainable but still. Today I’m wondering how to get over the guilt of having killed him – which I did. He would have died soon but it should not have been that way. Thank you all for listening.

  130. Dear Wendy, Tell us what happened, we are here for you, and you are not alone.We all are grieving for our pets, and because of that we can help. Please post more on this site because this the family you need. HUGS Patt

  131. I have not read any posts that share my experience. My 13 1/2 year old German Shepherd had not been able to get up on her own for several months and last week her back legs gave out so she could not stand or walk on her own. She was still totally alert and healthy otherwise. My husband said we can’t let her live like this. I took her to the vet and when they held her leg to give her the injection she started to shake and look at me for help. She was scared. I wanted to stop the procedure but just kept holding her head telling her I loved her. She was so thin they could not find a vein and when they finally did, her body was not processing the medicine so she just fell into a deep sleep and it took another injection to finally stop her heart. I let her die. She wanted to live and she was scared and I let her die. I will never forget the last thing she remembered was being afraid. I will never forgive myself. I want her back. Maybe I should have waited. Maybe I should have stopped it. I miss her terribly.

  132. Wendy, I felt the same exact way with when Betsy passed away. You did nothing wrong and you’re not at fault. Her passing still hurts to this day, and she passed away back in October. Just know that she passed on with the one that loved her completely.

    I’m sorry to hear about your loss. :(

  133. Dear Laila, No, you are not a terrible mother! This was not your fault. Your little girl will be hurt over this, but she, along with a loving mother like you, it will be a learning experience. I had a similar experience as a child.I might have been 11 or 12, but I was looking out my parents window, and 2 guys were pulling up to a stop sign, and there was this kitty crossing the street.I could not get to the front door fast enough to tell them. They ran over it, and its little entralls came out her behind, and I screamed, and screamed until this man stopped his car to help me. He told me to go get a paper bag to put the kitty in, and I did. He put the kitty in a paper bag, and hold it up to the eghaust and the kitty died fast. That was in the 50s, and we lived up by the mountains, and my parents were at work. I think of that often, and it haunts me to this day, so Bill if you are out there, remember you did what you had to do for your dog. I feel your pain buddy, but Laila, check on your child as I never told my mom about this.This is a graphic life experience that happens, and I do not want to hurt just help people on this site, because this site matters, and we are a family.I swear if I hear anything else about my dog Hannah-Belle, other than this site, I will want to deck them. I hope this helps you with your little child, I realize now that I should have told my mom. It was a different time back then. God Bless Patt

  134. Dear Teecee-

    You are soooo welcome! Anytime you feel like just venting or getting your heartache just feel free to write me anytime. I had a horrible day yest. it just hit me all the sudden as I was I was driving home on the route I did 3 weeks ago with Bootsie’s ashes. I cried for 30 minutes while driving and could not stop. I just kept talking to her, my mom who I pray to God has her in heaven(as that would make me feel so much better knowing that) and with God.

    A cute thing happened after getting home I was asked to go to a customers of ours and take our hand leaf blower to lightly blow out some dirt, etc. that was on some rugs next to where her car is parked and I walked in and walk over the green rug and got to the back of the garage and I started blowing the dirt, etc. and when I came back to the green rug to blow it I looked down(Ihad been looking down the WHOLE time obviously to see what I was getting out of there and there wasn’t hardly anything but she is older and has a bad back) anyways there was a bright SHINEY dime. There is a small story about my mom who would put dimes in me and my sisters bra’s when younger for emergency use(she sowed a pocket inside our bra’s(lol). We thought it was goofy and all the years as we got older we kidded and laughed about it together and with her and others. It became our great funny story to tell all the time. Well, after mom passed me and my sister would find them just laying here and there and shared w/eachother we thought it was mom bcaus she always would say if she could send us a sign from heaven she would somehow if possible(and my mom was stubborn, lol). Well, the dimes stopped a while after a year of her passing like in 2008 or so as we started to heal our grief (some). After bootsie passed I would cry and ask mom to send me a sign that she was with her and she was carrying for her caus she called bootsie her grandbabies caus she always wanted a cat but never could where she lived. Mom grandkitty sat for her several times and loved it. Well, yes. the dime I found(the 3rd since bootsie has passed) was on that green rug that I had just walked over and 2 hrs. prior I was crying and begging my mom to send me that sign that bootsie was with her so I could start to heal because I can’t get rid of my guilt because I feel like Iet bootsie down. Well, there that dime lay! I have saved the 3 dimes with the others and I know in my heart my mom got that dime there somehow(whether that blower picked it up and put it there-so be it…it got there by her I know it and I have to believe that). I have been in this business(lawn yard services that we own for 15 years) and never in those years have I EVER found a dime anywhere in anyones garage, yard or drive and walk ways and I tell ya something inside me felt so much better teecee. Then later on the way home I told my husband well, what if it wasn’t her and he looked at me and said patti, lol. I said I can hear mom saying what is it going to take honey-do I have to dump a piggy bank of dimes on your head, haha! Then I laughed caus mom had the best sense of humor of anyone I ever knew. I appreciate your kind reply and again I am to sorry for your loss. No, life is not the same w;out them and it will never be, it will be different and I have to go on like we all do.

    This support website with such understanding compassionate people who are going thru the same or close pain we are is so great. Most people or relatives friends don’t know how to support when there is a loss of family member pet(baby)lol.

    I think in some ways losing our beloved pets is harder in grief because there is no funeral, memorials or family & friends who gather to help us so we don’t feel so alone and they show there support and care but not with this situation…thts why its so much harder-they don’t understand and maybe someday in the far far future there with be such support and memorials…maybe some one will come up with a small non profit business or something to help pet owners have that last celebration of their lives with us after we love our loved one? I hope so-what a wonderful thought right?!

    Take care and you are welcome.

    Thank you to!

  135. Dear Patti B,

    Thank you so much for you kindness. I can’t tell you how much it means to me. You & Carolyn (and others) are complete strangers but you have both showed such kindness. It’s funny how the people we are closest to sometimes are the ones who offer the least understanding and comfort. And yet strangers (especially on a website like this) can be so compassionate.

    I am so sorry to hear about your loss. Bootsie sounded like a wonderful cat/buddy. I can COMPLETELY understand your heartache. It sounds like you had a very special bond with them. They just fill up SO MUCH of our lives. Life without them just isn’t the same.

    I wish you all the best, and agree that we should especially love our other cats/dogs(babies), etc.

    Thanks again.

  136. Dear Leila, So sorry to hear about your kitten. How sad you and your daughter must be. I don’t think you are a bad mother. Its just that sometimes when people are busy or not watching closely enough, the pets don’t get watched as closely as they should. Also, some pets are very curious, and they will look for a chance to get outdoors and run out. That was a terrible event to happen and especially for your daughter to witness. She probably felt helpless and shocked and sad. She probably doesn’t know how to process this and her feelings.

    Maybe (when you think she may be open to it) you could make this a teachable moment, where you could say that “we need to watch our pet(s) more carefully, because they are so precious… like little babies.”

    Another idea that helped me, was making a memorial to my cat. I took photos of her and bought a small album to put them in. You could also make or buy a memorial stone to put over the site where you buried the kitten in your yard (if thats what you did). Even if you didn’t, you could have your daughter select a nice smooth stone, paint the kitty’s name on it and the date it passed away, and place it in your yard or garden. Maybe even make a cross together to mark the spot.

    Some visual reminders helped me. So maybe that may appeal to her, either to do herself or both of you do it together. Just an idea.

    God bless all 3 of you.

  137. Dear Debbie,

    You do not need to carry that guilt around for putting Snowy down, because it sounds like you did do everything you could to help Snowy modify his/her behavior to have peace in your household. You can’t allow any pet to terrorize another. That’s unacceptable and unfair to the other pet Buddy. Snowy would not or could not stop that bad behavior, so YOU had to take control of the situation for the sake of sanity in your home. I get it. Its ok. I would never allow that behavior to continue either. That was awful. You did right.

    I once knew a woman with two cats, and one was like your Snowy, in that it terrorized the other “sweeet’ cat. Same scenario. And the “sweet” cat was there first. The mean cat was very territorial. It wouldn’t let the nice cat downstairs at all! And it wouldn’t even let other people pet it or even go near it, only its owner…. eventually.

    I had never seen such a bully. I am an animal lover, especially cats. I thought I could win the mean cat over. But, no, I never could. That was its “set” personality, and it was not going to change. The lady owner said that she had been somewhat abused when she was young, so that could be the reason for it. But, even so, I wouldn’t let it terrorize my other cat. Things could have gotten worse. Then you would have felt bad that you didn’t do this sooner.

    So please don’t ruminate a lot about it. You needed to solve the problem for the other cats and people in your home. You couldn’t allow Snowy to hold others “hostage”. I hope you feel better real soon. xo

  138. my beloved cat abby died on 17th march we didnt have any warning as some eveil sick person poisend her she came home and was sick she kept losing her balance we took her straight to vets they said she very sick cat we transfered her to another clinic and from there she went down hill there was no hope she was a loving cat not just us lost her but or dog buddy played with her they slept together he now missing her why are people so cruel they dont care what hurt they are doing

  139. My little kitten died over the weekend. She got outside and my daughter tried to get her in. I didn’t know the kitten ran into our back yard and was killed by our boxer. I guess the prey instinct in the boxer took over or she thought it was a toy or something. My daughter tried to save the kitten from the dog and i was inside and didn’t hear a thing. so not only am i feeling the guilt of losing my best buddy, i mean really this was the best most loving cat we ever had. I had a special bond with her from the moment i met her. I have guilt that my daughter had to see this happen and that i didn’t hear her. She had to see her dog kill our cat. I’m so heartbroken. I miss my little cat, feel so much guilt that she got outside, guilt that i sent my daughter to get her and that my daughter had to be traumatized by this. My daughter wont talk about it and refuses to go to a therapist. She is so sad. Why did this happen? Am i a terrible mother?

  140. It has helped me to hear about other people going through the pain of losing a pet. I have lost pets before but never like this. I had 3 cats Harley 10 Snowy 4 and Buddy almost 1. Snowy I got from a friend that traveled back from the Deminick Republic and brought this white cat with blue eyes! My cat Harley loved him from the first time he met him. I had at the time Gismo she was 14 and as snowy got older ha jumped on her and would bit her. Well she got sick and we put her down about 3 years ago. Well we took in a stry Buddy and snowy hated him and it got worse. He would get him down and bit his neck and back. Buddy is a very friendly cat and snowy would always hid under my bed when people camo over. He would bit me too from time to time. I called the vet and we decided to put snowy on some antidepressants. Well it got worse and worse and then snowy jumped on our wood burner and burned his feet. I think he was chassing buddy. Ever since that he would charge at buddy and stauk him. He would trap him for hours and not let him come upstairs when he used the litter box. We finally decided to put snowy down two days ago and I feel terrible. He wasn’t yet 4 and me and my husband miss him and Harley is heart broken. But buddy is feeling better and is going around the house with a new freedom. Please help me feel like I did the best I could and I could have tryed something else but I was going nuts with the fighting. Thanks for listening!

  141. Dear Friends,Jennifer,Ruth,Carolyn,Helga, Patti Jo,Sandi,and all my new friends, I have not really posted anything about my beloved Hannah- Belle because, well I really do not know how to express all my pain.I think I posted once that I go into a quite place and stay there for a while. I lost 11 pounds, and I could not eat,and then I maxed myself out on Big Hunk candy bars, and water. I could not stand to watch my poor mother, and my little peke go through hell. I have never seen a dog suffer like that about losing his big friend. I still can not take Hannahs crate down yet. I tried, and tried, but I can not do it. Grizzly my little peke is going to go on prozac to help him. My mother who is conjestive heart failure, now, is in stage 2 alzheimers, and she does not know it, and I am not telling her, but the decline is getting faster. She sleeps with Hannahs ashes, and my grandson has her paw print in pewter,and a beautiful poem about the Rainbow Bridge. Just type in the RB Bridge, and it is very comforting. Hannahs last three nights were difficult for her. Her nightly walks were only to the middle of the driveway, and she waited for Grizzly and I to return.Her last3 nights I slept with her, mom and Grizz, and about 4am, I would return to my bed, but she wanted me to come back. I always asked her to show me what she wanted in her Beautiful Life, and she did, but I did not see that she showing me she could not breathe, and all the signs that were suppose to be, were not present. the third morning I just touched her so lightly, and she yelped, then I knew it was time. I gathered all her meds, and told my mom that this was it.I had just gotten her pain meds refilled, even though they said there would be no pain.My daughter had stolen all her pain pills just before Christmas, and I never said anything to her, but to steal from a dying animal, good god it sickened me, anyway, my neighbor helped get Hannah in my Edge and off we went. They had the gurney waiting for her, to take us to the comfortable dying room. The doc came in,and said all the things we could for her, and I said no more, and they agreed. They are obligated to say all that. I asked for an xray to see how much cancer came back, and they did that. I went back to see them, and it was everywhere,and while I was doing that, two giant surgery techs, and three female nurses were feeding her chicken breasts (3)infact, and loving on her. The doc came into the grieving room, and said they were prepping Hannahs i.v. They said to take all the time that I needed to hold her, and tell her all the beautiful moments she brought to my life, and thanked her for all her tenderness I have never known, and my grandsons girlfriend took pictures of before, and after.They said I could again stay as long as I wanted, and I did, but not too long.She had her plaid blanket wrapped around her, and she looked so peaceful, and beautiful, just laying there as if she were asleep.She went so fast it was almost like she was thanking me.I got home, and I slept with Hannahs collar around my neck that day, and night.People piss me off when they say thats so sick, and I say F- them because they have no heart!!!!!I just went quite for a while. I watch my mom struggle, and I remind her,that this is what we wanted so Hannah could be buried with her, but now in this condition, no words can help her, but I know Hannah is waiting with my beloved brother, along with many other family on the RAINBOW BRIDGE. Now to Sandie, I am so sorry about your precious animal being mauled by those pit bulls.My sister-in-law had the same situation, his pit killed her little chiwawa, and it makes me sick. My Daughter has feral cats, and I named this cute one Stella- Blu, she got poisoned, and I kept telling her to get that Kitty put up, and I say up because thats where they go. I am so glad I do not live where she does, or I would be in trouble.Thankful for your tenderness everyone,and I will keep in touch. I wish somehow we could meet, or post pictures, because we are a family. God Bless you all,Patt

  142. Dear Teecee,
    Your baby Tommy is “your baby”. I am a cat lover and my cats to are my babies. I have not had children either myself and regardless there are mothers who have their own children and still feel their cats or dogs are their babies. So many people do not get it. I to have faced others who are not cat lovers and DO NOT get it. Trust me I get it. And, I get in some way why they don’t get it. To love a cat unconditionally we understand that you can’t make a cat do what you want like you can a dog or a human child. So, for some people they don’t get why we could love a cat that we can’t order around. To me, thats what makes them so loving and endurnig. They come to us when they want and keep their space when they want just as we would do when we need our own space. I lost my bootsie almost 4 weeks ago and am still sick over it. I can barely bring myself to look at her pictures. She had all white paws, a white belly and her nose was the pinkest pink-it just glistened and the white around her nose was like a heart upside down…she was a tabby but a beautiful marked cat. I posted a picture of her under my original post. I am just having a horrible time accepting that she is gone. Like you I have another Niki who is so quiet and reserved. Bootsie was so outgoing she played fetch, met me at the door, was in the window when I would walk-she slept either at my feet on her blankey or next to my head where another pillow would go on a blankey. And every morning at 4am she would wake me to come under my covers to lay on my stomach and fall asleep until she was warmed. I could go on and on but the emptiness I feel is like no other. She was my bf, my boo boo. She was a silly fun cat who loved to play fetch with me, she hated the outdoors and would not step foot outside the door. They fill not only our hearts with love but our home. I guess we both need to focus on our other baby we have with us and give them as much love if not more that we can to help them cope as well. God Bless you. You are not alone in your grief!

  143. Dear Carolyn,

    Thank you so much for your kind words. My cats name was Tommy. He was the most beautiful boy – a big fluffy B&W cat with white paws (socks) and a white chest/tummy (bib) and a big bushy tail. He had the most amazing golden-green eyes and some of the longest whiskers I’ve ever seen on a cat. And he had a beautiful nature too, he was so mellow and so tolerant of other cats, he was a big teddy bear. He was just such an easy going cat, very even tempered (I have another cat, who I love just as much as Tommy, but she can be feisty lol).

    I’m sorry to go on about him but I don’t have many people I can talk to about him. My own parents (and some friends) are not cat lovers and think I should be over the loss by now. They just don’t understand. They think a cat is just a cat. They can’t understand that Tommy WAS my baby! I don’t have kids so my cats are my children and some people just don’t get that. Although to be honest I don’t really care if they ‘get it’ or not. My cats have brought so much joy & happiness into my life and I wouldn’t change that for anyone or anything.

    I am so sorry for your loss. I can relate to your pain. It sounds like your cat was your baby too. You sound like you were a wonderful carer for your cat. You did everything you could for them. They were blessed to have you I’m sure. I completely understand your love and devotion for them. I wish you all the best.

  144. Words cannot express how sorry I am to hear this. Please give Niki a hug and tell her she is not alone in her grief and that there is a very large support group here who care! I can’t imagine what she went through that day and the post traumatic stress she is enduring. I know the feeling of PTS from my loss of my bootsie almost 4 weeks ago as she lay suffering and gasping for air in my presence and it was a late night on sun. morning when no vet office was open…I wrapped her in a blanket and put her in my arms as my husband tried to get us to the vets office at 2:30am as the vet was going to meet us there, we did not know she was dying and she died in my arms. I watched her suffer before we left the house and I can’t get those visions out of my head no matter how hard I try.

    I get sick to my stomach and feel faint every time I see her thrashing and gasping for air and all I can do is pray to God to help me get through it. I start to panic and I just feel the pain and cry and there is nothing I can do to bring her back. So, I feel part of what Niki is feeling….helpless, pure helpless feeling and guilt. But, one person wrote to me on this board(alot actually) but one thing that person said stuck with me and that was that they “would not let their loved ones life of great memories be defined by that one horrible memory event”. That hit me and I know I have to honor Bootsie and not let her 12 beautiful yrs. she gave me be defined by that horrible night when I could not stop her pain and suffering. No matter how much I beat myself up It will not bring her back so I work through the sorrow and pain and I cry when it comes on and I let myself cry and then I pick myself up again until I hurt and cry again. So tell niki to feel her pain but to try to pick herself up whenever she can find the strength.

    God Bless Niki and you for being there for her(even tho you think you aren’t) you are there because you are not telling her to just get over it…its not that easy…just listen to her and tell her you care and love her.

  145. Dear Sandie,
    Oh my God. I can’t even imagine how tragic that was for the dogs and your daughter to experience! Please tell her for me that I am extremely shocked to hear that such a horrible thing as that happened to her two wonderful pet doggies. I can’t wrap my mind around something that terrible happening, let alone in her own home to her pets. I would be a “basket case” for sure. No wonder she’s so distraught. That former boss of her’s sounds like a real loser. I’ve worked with people with attitudes just like him. When a pet of mine died many years ago, I knew the people around me were not pet lovers and would say something mean and stupid. So I didn’t tell them. BUT THIS IS A TRAGEDY! Anyone who says something that mean, has no feelings at all… probably not even for people I bet.

    Please relay my message of love and sympathy to your daughter on this unbelievable demise of her 2 furbabies. From one pet lover to another, I know how close a pet/pets can be to their parent(s). Its a unique relationship and the purest of love. I will say a prayer for those doggies and her. Thank you for coming here and letting us know about this. She needs so much support. I wish I could do more to help her.

    God bless you all at this sad time. (((((Hugs to Niki)))

  146. Hi everyone,
    I’ve been feeling some tremendous guilt about the recent death of my golden retriever, Chester. Growing up my entire life as an only child, I was overjoyed to receive a puppy at the age of 7. My parents gave him the affectionate label of being ‘my brother.’ I guess they didn’t know that I would become more attached to this dog than anything in the next twelve years of my life. He saw me through every single mishap in elementary, middle, and high school. I literally depended on seeing Chester everyday after school just to get me by. This past August, my mom and I went out for the day to go shopping for my freshman year at college. When we returned home, we noticed that Chester hadn’t moved all day or touched his food. Upon seeing us, he attempted to get up and couldn’t. After trying again, he got up, took several steps and fell on the ground. My mom called the vet and I called my Dad, holding back tears. “Chester is really sick, Dad,” I choked.
    He quickly came home and we took him to the vet. After examining him for five minutes, the vet confirmed that Chester had several cancerous masses on his spleen, a common threat to goldens. He recommended that we euthanize because Chester was suffering and allowed my parents and I a moment to speak.
    The room was completely silent until I spoke up and told my parents that putting him down would be the best option at this point; I couldn’t see him in pain any more. They both agreed solemnly and the vet led us to the room where Chester was laying on a table. I cupped his head in my hands and looked into his eyes. I kissed him on the head and told him how much I loved him, tears streaming down my face. I rubbed his ears well after the vet said his heart stopped.
    I truly believe that this experience changed my life. For the better or worse, I don’t know. But when you grow up with someone who is equal or greater than a sibling, you weave them into the fabric of your heart. When they die in your arms and you watch the life you were so involved in fade, that tears out some of the material in your heart. I guess it is my job to repair that area and seek solace in the belief that my brother is watching me somewhere. I just hope he knows how much I love him.
    Rest In Peace Chester

  147. I am writing on behalf of my daughter, Niki. She had 2 Yorkshire terriers; named Dodger & Laker. She went to work and came home to an opened back door. 3 pit bulls had killed her dogs. It was so traumatic for her seeing the remains scattered throughout the house and back yard. She was immediately rushed to urgent care. She was experiencing a asthma attack, anxiety attack and her left arm was going numb. Needless to say, prior to this attack, we had been in contact with animal control for several weeks regarding the 3 pit bulls, being agressive and running wild in the neighborhood. I myself have a pit bull and I am a responsible dog owner. Niki was under a doctors care for 2 weeks. unfortuantely she lost her job because of this tragic incident. She was in a state of depression, couldn’t sleep, feeling guilty for not staying home with them. I felt so helpless, I couldn’t even help my own daughter thru this. I only wish I would have found this site earlier. I had Dodger & Laker creamted and they sit on her living room. This provided little relief for her. Niki’s supervisor had the Audacity to say, get over it, they are only dogs. These were like her children. They slept in her bed. She had them since they were puppies. I only pray that she can begin the healing process of losing her babies. Thanks for listening. Sandie, Niki’s mom.

  148. Hi everyone out there in the land of grief and pain for their deceased Pet.
    I also cannot find the words that can describe the loss of my beloved friend Cleoanne as i have had to be without her now for a whole week. My precious Maltese of 17 years never left my side. I don’t even know how i can live without her in my life. I was her mom and Cleo has seen me through so much and hung in there to protect me when i was ill and she is my life. I guess what i am trying to express is i realize Cleo is home with me in spirit but i am not able to hold her little body close to me and feel her warmth. I love and miss her so much. Cleo crossed over March 15 2012. Please come home to me Cleo

  149. i actually killed my best friend. he was over 18 and suffering in my arms. my wife phoned me to tell me he wasnt doing well that night , we did all we could with meds and special diet but in the end he was very sick. i came home late and saw the poop and vomit all over and took him downstairs to sleep, he had another seizure which i helped him with but went into another one. the vet wasnt open so i helped him by ending his life . this was the hardest thing i have ever done and it haunts me. he didnt struggle as the seizure was too much for him, i cried out to him as he left my life and his. dont let this happen to you, when its time to let go, let go, dont wait. this is the guilt you dont want. i have started to let the pain and guilt pas but beleive me this one hurts.when your loved pet needs to pass, dont wait, do it right witha vet

  150. I thank everyone of you for sharing your grief as it’s giving me a little comfort knowing I’m not alone in this heart wrenching pain and guilt over the sudden painful death of my beloved Duff a White West Highland Terrier like no other that has walked this planet, he was my best friend and he knew it. He had me wrapped around his paw and with those big brown eyes he had he’d just give me a certain look in a pet shop for example then look at a squeeky toy and I couldn’t say no. When we walked those walks together every day, maybe 6/7 times a day for 8 years he had such a proud bounce in every step, I never tired of watching him parade and strut his little self around town like he was the Mayor. People would always stop us on our walks and say “Hi Duff how are you” or “hello Duff enjoy your day” none of these people know my name nor did they care to but he sure was the town celebrity, a character like no other. He loved the snow, digging and rolling around keeping me out for hours, maybe Westies don’t feel the cold but when I home it would take me an hour to warm up, mind you he didn’t like the hot summer days, they were slow walks and I always had a bag over my shoulder with a small bowl and a cold bottle of water ready for his dragging tongue and a water gun to spray him lol. I didn’t realize that we spent so much time together till now, it was effortless and wonderful, fun and silly, hot and cold, loving and happy. Oh how I miss our walks together, I haven’t found the strength yet to walk his paths that he’d leave his scent for other dogs to sniff at, I wonder if those dogs miss his scent and wonder where he is. I always thought it was such a strange habit dogs needing to pee a little at every corner post or have certain trees they liked to really spray on to let the next dog passing know they’d been there ;-) I’d give anything now to take a stroll with Duff so he could spray his scent of life for all dogs to sniff at. I have no words to describe the silence and pain now in my heart, my home feels empty and cold, I can’t go to work or talk to another person without breaking out in tears. I did everything I could for Duff when I saw he was sick but will never know if the vet did everything he/she could to save his life. I told them to do everything possible and to please not mention the $thousands it would cost as money seemed such a stupid thing over the health of my little guy. I’m not a rich person by no means but I knew that what ever the cost I wanted him to not suffer and hoped they could heal his strange sudden illness and I would find a way to pay the bill. I wonder if he knew he was dying when I cradled his head, kissed him, told him I loved him and to be strong, I wonder if he knew I’d hurt like this and those once big brown eyes that used to look up at me shining looked up at me for the last time so dull and sad. Oh how I miss him. I had a private cremation and just got the ashes back, I want to spread them over his favorite parks and trails when I have the strength one day. I know I’ll never stop missing Duff, I just hope soon I can look at his smiling face on the many photo’s I have of him and smile myself looking at him. He was the most amazing little guy, we really are lucky to have such unconditional love given to us in our pets. Have fun at the rainbow bridge Duff till we meet again, I love you x

  151. To everyone with a heavy heart . I know exactly how you feel ! My Brittay Spaniel was 14, I knew that they only live this long but after taking food out to him I found him with shallow breathing. He calapsed and he died as I rushed to find the closest vet in town. He died on the way in the car. I walked the floor , cried , threw up all day and went over it and over it in my head. Trying to figure out what he died of and why I couldn’t help. I still feel the guilt ! But and I hate but, I had to finally realize he was old and I had to prepare myself. No matter how old they are, no matter what is going on we NEVER want them to get sick and pass. We wish they would outlive us. I lost Emery Nov 9, 2011 and I go to his grave all the time and talk to him. I still hurt and I miss him soooo much. I have to realize that I was so lucky to have him in our lives for as long as I did. He was a blessing and we must think of the wonderful times we had ( He is so loved and he is forever in my heart. He loved us so mush and we loved him !!!!!!!!!! god bless all of you. You gave them love and that is all that counts. You made their lives special.

  152. When they go forever it is then that we understand how much we love them…… And a pet is the closest to our heart as its only us who speaks and they r the silent listener…..
    {only a dog owner who doesnt have anyone besides him other then his dog n the parents in the family will only understand the pain ..}
    i dnt know what else to say but m just mourning n playin rewindin n forwardin the video and photograph stuffs of him
    i miss him ..
    i love him ..
    he was my broda,sista n what not ..everything
    i know i cant get him back evn if i replace him vd the other puppy but i ve gotta somethn really different that can help me to recover from the accident
    i’ll plant a small plant/tree at my backyard and will name it joe joe ( the name of my pet)
    jst hope he is watching me from the heaven …damn i miss him :'(

  153. Hi,
    My cat-my best friend Bootise died unexpectedly early Sunday morning. I have lost one other cat in the past back in 2000 and a few months later my husband suprised me with Bootsie as he said “to heal our broken hearts”! He was right-it helped so much to bring her into our home as a little kitten and do everything we could to give her a good life. She was 12 years old, what I considered in great health. She ate good, played, ran indoors all the time. She was never an oudoor cat-she was actually afraid to go outside or if she walked outside the door she ran back in immedately! After eating Sat. morning at 9:30am she did her normal routine, did a little window bird watching and went to take her nap. She woke up at about 4pm and started vomitting. It went from food, to pure liquid and then white bile. She was a restless, would go from one spot to lay to the other after getting sick in between. I called our vet at home(we live in a rural area that does not have a hosp. or clinic open 24/7. I explained I was concerned because she was lethargic, would not eat or drink(and she was always a great eater let me tell you). What concerned me was while sitting there after vomitting she had a bowel movement and didn’t flinch or move and thats when I called vet. He didn’t think it was food poisoining and told me if things got any worse after I did a little eye test, and watched her walk and jump up to call him anytime. I am going through such “guilt”-I feel like I should have done sometime more, How can I know or could I know she would worse-her vomitted stopped at about 8:20pm but she would cry out about every half hour after she went and layed under my bed. I would pet her and she would just lay there. At 2:30 as I lay above her in my bed I here her cry or moan and looked down and she was half out from under the bed and what I consider having a seisure and gasping for air…she couldn’t move. I just stroked her to comfort her(omg, it was horrible)and I screamed for my husband to call the vet to meet us at clinic immediately. I wrapped her in a towel and held her in my arms as she lay they slowly trying to get air-she was suffering and I cannot get the blame out of my heart and head that it was all my fault. Why didn’t I take her to the vet earlier, why did I listen to him and wait til things could have got worse. She died in my arms on the way out to clinic and she at that time was peaceful but she suffered so bad and its all my fault. Everyone is telling me I am not god and I did not know she was dying but I should have known. I don’t know how I can get ove this horrible horrible guilt. Yes, I was a great mother to her, she was my cat, my best friend who was there when I was sad or hurting always-I stayed by her side yes all day and through that night til she passed but I of course think what if, what if, what if…would she be alive now. The vet thinks her bowels were either twisted because of how fast she went. I can’t even sit and try and figure out what killed her-I just want to know why I couldn’t save her and why I didn’t tell him at 8:30 to meet met here so he could run tests…but he said it sounded more bacterial in the stomach and was pleased to hear she was jumping to different spots at the time(which he thought was a good sign) to find diff. places to lay. She has never been a cat to lay under a bed(that should have been my first sign)…but he said she wanted quiet time to calm down probably. She was never afraid of storms…no noise bothered her. How can I get rid of guilt. I have never been one to ever have guilt…I have always tried to do all in my power to do my best to help others and to support others so I would never feel guilt for not helping. I think the only comfort I have is that I have a loving husband who cares so much and I need to count my blessings as I do have 3 other cats I need to love and care for but I am hurting so bad and the worst part is I cannot get that imagine out of my head of her suffering like she did….animals are not meant to suffer-that is what is killing me-I should have been able to prevent her suffering-why was I so stupid!? I know myself I would have had her there after she continued to throw up after 2 hrs. at the vet office if during the week but I think deep down I did not want to inconvenience my vet dr. at 8:30on a sat. on his weekend off. Bootsie was my priority thats why I called him at home which normally I never would do unless it was an ER in my opinion. I just needed to write this in hopes of getting some or any clarity. Thanks for reading this.

  154. Dear TeeCee, My heart goes out to you over the loss of your wonderful cat. I can feel your pain over this. I just had to have my beloved cat put to sleep just 4 weeks ago today. I feel just as you do, because I do not have answers to my many questions about her entire situation. I called our vet a day or so later, to get more clarification, but I was so emotional still… that I couldn’t handle asking more. But I have so many unanswered questions, as I hear that you do.

    I, too, miss her SO MUCH! We kept each other ! I comforted her, and she comforted me by her presence and personality. She brought happiness and sunshine to me each day. I did whatever I could for her, but she was SO SICK. She too had lost a lot of weight in the past few years. She had lost 75% of her body weight! I constantly ran around to do whatever I could for her, every day! I did everything I could to help her gain weight and get better. I bought her special foods, even prescription foods from the vet, but that just kept her going a little while longer. I gave her meds daily. I kept a close watch on her all the time. But her health was still failing. I didn’t want to lose her, and I felt SO responsible for her life!!! I wore myself down trying everything I could think of to help her and get her back to good health! I was her Intensive-Care nurse almost 24/7! I didn’t go anywhere for any length of time, for the past few YEARS, because I was concerned about HER, and she needed care every few HOURS.

    I don’t think I will EVER get over losing her, too. Its been a very rough 4 weeks since I lost her. I HEAR how you just can’t reconcile the loss of him. I feel the same. Nothing will ever be the same without her. I haven’t put away or removed her things yet… I just can’t. I need to feel like at least some of her is still here in a way. I just can’t wipe the slate clean as if she never existed.

    I have done a few things to create a memorial to her, which HAS HELPED me. Maybe that could help you?

    Please take it slowly. Its going to take a long time to process our grief for our special pets that we had such close relationships with! It hurts so badly that we can’t be with them still. I find it so difficult to accept. But we have no choice, unfortunately. Its beyond our control now.

    I will say a prayer for your kitty, ok? What is his name?
    Take care.


  155. Dear Patt, I am so sorry to hear about the passing of your beloved dog, Hanna-Belle. (And I’m sorry to be responding so late to you about this. I haven’t been able to find this site in a while, or I would have written to you sooner!)

    I know you haven’t been able to write about Hanna much since then, and that’s ok. Its such a painful time. I feel the same way since the loss of my pet a few weeks ago.

    Its heart-warming that you were so close to her. How lucky she was to have that relationship with you! I know you did the best that you knew how to do for her. But somehow we pet parents think its never enough. I feel that way too. I wish I could have known more what to do for my girl.

    I liked hearing that you two prayed together. That was a wonderful idea. I’m sure God and the angels are looking after Hannah-Belle now. Its so difficult for us to let go of them, since we protected and took care of them all of their years with us. We were so used to responding to their needs, especially when they were sick.

    Its been almost a month now since I lost my love, my baby, and its been a very rough month. I miss her so much. My heart aches for her.

    I surely can relate to your loss, Patt. I hope you will take extra good care of yourself at this time. Just be easy on yourself. You’re going thru a major stressful event in your life.

    I’ll say a prayer for your little one, Hannah-Belle, ok?


  156. Hi guys,
    Condolences to everyone who has lost a pet. It has been about 10 weeks since I put my beloved 8 year old cat to sleep. And the pain doesn’t get easier. I MISS HIM EVERY SINGLE DAY. I think about him all the time and I’m still trying to work out why he got sick. I just can’t fully accept that a healthy, happy cat suddenly got so sick. I can’t believe that the strongest antibiotics he could have didn’t help him. He was such a big, strong, active cat. I just can’t wrap my mind around why he got sick so suddenly. I also made the mistake of looking up cat diseases and trying to figure out what illness he actually had. There is so much information and so many things that can cause sickness, I found myself overwhelmed reading the different web sites, etc. Tests showed he had a massive infection but the vets couldn’t tell me where the infection was in his body, or what was causing it. They did tests that ruled out feline aids and leukemia. But he just got sicker and thinner. He hardly ate, was lethargic and constipated. His pupils were cloudy, he had a high temperature and sores on his back. He was a mess.

    He was my baby. I loved him as I would have a child. He was the world to me. I still haven’t come to terms with his loss. I don’t know if or when I will. I keep asking myself if I did the right thing by having him put to sleep. But he was so thin and lifeless. I just didn’t want thim to slowly starve to death and suffer. The only option was putting him to sleep. Even though that option has made me feel so damn guilty. I just didn’t know what else to do. I could have done more tests but I KNOW he still had the infection. Nothing had changed. He wasn’t getting any better, even after a two day stay at the vets.

    I just miss him. I will NEVER, EVER forget him and I’ll always love him.

  157. I very much appreciate this post about dealing with guilt. We are facing the loss of our first dog, Ajax, probably sometime this week. One emotion that keeps recurring is guilt. “If only we wouldn’t have adopted so many dogs, Ajax would have experienced more devotion from us” “We have moved so many times over the last year. If only we had stayed in one place and given him the last year of life he deserves.” Things like that. I try to push those feelings out by remembering all the things he experienced… being a ring bearer in our wedding, canoeing, visiting Niagara Falls, competing in frisbee, having his best friend Angus by his side the whole time. I remind myself that he was hit by a car long ago, years before we knew him. He was paralyzed for at least several hours. He could have died on the road that night eleven years ago if a vet hadn’t seen him and picked him up. That could have been the end of his life, but instead it is here with us after a life of being loved. We are moving to a new house in a couple of days. Finally a place to stay put. I pray that Ajax stays strong for a few more days. Since our offer was accepted on this house 3 weeks ago, I have been so excited. I have pictured where everything would go and how we and the dogs would live there. I pictured Ajax sleeping on the couch when we get home from work. I pictured him romping in our big yard with Angus and Mindy (Angus has had 2 knee surgeries in the last year and he is finally well enough to play with Ajax). When I got the news 2 days ago that Ajax has a massive tumor in his heart, I couldn’t bear to imagine our new house without him. He is so important to me and I don’t know how I’m going to cope with losing him.

    1. To all my friends, and Clara, to whom I will address first. Clara I want to tell you what a fantastic name you picked for Ajax, and he has lived up to that name for surviving what he has been through.I just put my Hannah-Belle to sleep the very next morning, after I had told my friends on this site she was fine,and I have not been able to write anything until I read about your precious Ajax. Have you any idea how your dog did not care how many times you moved or anything else like that? Your Ajax loves you so much no matter what. Please do what is best for you, and Ajax.Your dog had friends to play with, and had alot of great experiences. Watch for his breathing to get labored something I did not, and I thought I knew all the signs. Love him like you do, and talk to him. I did that every night with Hannah, and I prayed to God with her.I do not know what else to say except we are all here to help you.This is not an easy situation even if there no choice in this matter. God Bless you, and your family, and God Bless Ajax. To all my other friends, I still can not write any thing yet, I am so heart sick over Hannah-Belle, and I promise I will soon. Love and care about you all.

  158. Dear Ruth,Carolyn,Helga, Patt and everyone else. Patt, please keep us updated. Ruth,I understand your pain. I have been through the deaths of several dogs from illness and old age and each time it gets harder. I have decided not to foster or adopt anymore dogs after my current ones pass on. I am sure your pet has held on as long as possible and would like to see you move on. It is very hard but you should keep going because of them. It may take a while but it will heal but the scar never goes away. When I sit and think of them,my tears start rolling. So, I keep strong because I know they would want to see me happy and not sad.

    1. Hi girls, Thank you for your thoughts, and Hannah-Belle is sitting on the floor by my feet. I know it will not be long before she passes, and at least she will go peacefully. The room that she will pass in is quiet,beautiful, and has a fire place, couch, and recliners. I stay awake at night checking on her, as she sleeps with my mom who is OK for now. How are you all doing? I get worried for you all, you have very sad situations with your wonderful pets,but like the chaplain explained to me, death is death, no matter how pets, or people die.I must hang on to that. I am a very emotional person,and when I get real sad, I withdraw, but maybe this time, because you all are out there I will not. Thank Heavens for this site!!!!! Oh,I must say that Hannah is in no pain, and her breathing is good. The A.V.C. where I live is open 24/7 so Hannah and I are lucky for that. Take care everyone,and thanks again for thinking of my precious dog. Bye- Bye Patt

  159. Hi again Ruth, Thanks for letting me/us know more about your doggie, Tammie. I am so sorry that you are upset for not being there with her at the end. That’s so distressing for you to be feeling. But, I would feel the SAME WAY as you, believe me. I understand.

    (I, too, am STILL UPSET by the ending of my cat’s life last Monday, even though I WAS there!!! I still feel like I didn’t have enough time to say goodbye to her. Everything happened so quickly… too quickly for her AND ME.) I’m having a hard time accepting how things ended too.

    People keep telling me that I shouldn’t feel guilty, but they are not the one that lost their pet, lived with this pet, talked with this pet, and they are not the person my pet “depended on”. I was responsible for her. She counted on me for everything about her. I still feel like I didn’t do enough for her.

    But everything was not in my control, unfortunately. And that’s what is difficult to accept. Its so hard to let go of them. It feels like losing a part of yourself. Well, it was!

    I’m glad that you took off a few days of work. You need some time to process all of this and get some balance back. Its a BIG BLOW to lose your pet, so just take things easy. (I’ve stayed in my pj’s most of the days this past week. I can’t even bring myself to put away her last dishes that she used.) I am doing better than last week though, so that is a good sign. Take care of you now. Be gentle with yourself. You’ve suffered a huge loss. And so has your other doggie! Please give him/her MORE hugs and kisses. He needs that so much now as well!

    Take care.

  160. Hi there Carolyn…. thankyou so much for taking the time out to read my message and sorry to hear of your loss to. They are such big parts of out lives arnt they. If I could feel less guilty about not being there when she passed then maybe I could grieve her properly.
    Cannot believe I was too late. I did see her in the morning and we all decided to give her a little chance overnight but as the saying goes tomorrow never came.
    She was officially our Nana’s dog Tammie a Bischon Frise who we have had since 7 weeks old she would have been 11 on the 18th Feb this year. She had the awful condition called Cushings disease which masked other illnesses. We only knew this on Sunday by a routine bloody test . She was Diabetic, had a tumour somewhere they werent sure as was pooing black.. It just all happened so suddenly. We also have a rescue dog Arthur who was besotted by her and is now lost he is very quiet. I have taken few days off work and have not changed out of my pyjamas since Sunday.. sure people think Im bonkers feeling like this over my dog but she wasnt just a dog she was our beloved girl x love and hugs to you .. hope you keep well .. thanks again Ruth

  161. Dear Ruth of Llanelli, I am so sorry to hear about your pet losing her battle to illness. I feel for you. I know how you wanted to be there at the end of her life, whenever that came. Its a shame that she slipped away that quickly, before you got to see her once again. She must have been so sick. You were trying everything you and the vet could do to help her get better.

    Was your pet a cat or dog? What was her name? How old was she? (I just lost the light of my life last Monday, my cat Carly, who I had for 16 happy years. I’ve been so sad, missing her so much! Its so quiet and empty here without her…).

    Do you have some photos of her? It may help you to have one in a frame or just keep it right with you. (That is helping me. At least I can look at her photos when I’m missing her.) I even took her little I.D. tag and bought a thin silver chain to put it on, and now “I” wear it around MY neck. (SHE would never wear a collar, so never wore the pretty pink heart I.D. tag with her name engraved on it.) I like that I have something of her’s with me all the time. Maybe you can take something of her’s and make it your momento.

    It is so difficult to come to terms with losing our pet. They are really an extension of ourselves! We put so much of our own personality into them, and they respond in kind! It is a wonderful bond. We get so much love from them that we want to give them so much love back. And it hurts us when we can’t do more to keep them here with us. Its hard to let go of them when they mean so much to us.

    Be easy on yourself right now. You are suffering a big loss, and its a very emotional one. HUGS to you at this sorrowful time in your life.

  162. Hi there, I lost my 4 legged friend on Sunday 4th Feb. After receiving a phone call from the vet to say Tammie wasnt 2 good I made my way down but I was 2 late. I am heartbroken for not being there when she needed me. Now I feel so awful for letting her down. She had Cushings Disease alingside we later found out with Diabetes we decided to try her on a drip as was being sick then we would make the decision of all being there to put her 2 sleep she couldnt wait no more. feel awful

  163. Hello, Carolyn.Thank you for reading my story.Yes,i understand how you’re feeling right now.
    I’ve already had all of my cat’s things out of sight, and the house feels even wronger that way. And all the small habits, like leaving the doors open so Barsa could walk in freely only to realize that there’s no need to to so anymore. But at least her things arent there as if waiting for her.
    And as for dealing with loss, well, i’ve read somethere that the best way is to change something – replace furniture,have a haircut, ect. It sounds strange, but it may help.
    Adopting new cat would be great, after some time. “I catn’t stand an empty house, I need to adopt a cat right now!”- i was like that all day, until i figured out that i just want my cat back so bad that i think a new one will replace her, and it’d be a bad thing for both of us.

  164. Hello Helga, I read your post and I feel so bad for you losing your baby, Barsa, after 14.5 years together! I too just lost my little girl cat, after 16 years! It is a terrible loss, isn’t it? I feel just as you do…. there’s this big emptiness in my heart and life! I miss her so much. I still haven’t removed all of her things yet. I think that will take a long while before I’m able to put them away. I hear your pain and feel awful that your beloved cat is no longer with you. If you were nearby, I would come pick you up and take you out for lunch or coffee, and give you some big hugs! Today I called a pet loss grief counselor. She gave me some consolation and suggested (when I’m up to it) to maybe volunteer at an animal shelter, where I could have some contact with animals “in my cat’s honor”. That way, I could share my over-flow of emotions in a positive way with some cats that are needing love and care. That’s something I have thought about in the past, so I think I may (later, of course). Helga, and others, maybe that would be an option for you, to give our love to other animals who need us so much. It would surely help them, and it would help us cope with this big hole in our lives too. Just an idea to think about…..

  165. Dear Patt, Thank you for your response to my blog post about losing my baby, Carly. I am still in a lot of pain over having to let go of her. Its so difficult. This is going to take a lot of grief work to get to a better place, and I know it will take a long time for me. I hope I can do it.

    About your situation, I heard you say that your mom has Dementia and your dog sticks by her like glue. That’s so sweet. Pets are amazing in how they are so tuned in to the people that love them! How is Hanna-belle today? I wish her well. She sounds wonderful. I hope you are ok too, dealing with both your mom and your pet. Please let me know…

  166. Hi Carolyn, I just read your post, and I am so sorry for all your pain. You have a heavy heart full of pain, and suffering, but somehow you must get to the place where you took all of your precious cats pain away. The last thing your cat saw was your loving eyes, and felt your loving arms.I held my cat in my arms while he was passing with my vet, and that was in the 80s. As I have posted before, I will always remember that pain, but you get through it. You did so much for your pet, and you must pat yourself on the back for that.At some time maybe later on you can get another pet, I do not know if I could, but I am trying to help. I have a friend who the day after gets a new pet. I could never do that, but every one is different. Please take of you, and I will be thinking the good thoughts for you. God Bless Patt

  167. Hello, everyone. I’ve just lost my beloved cat, Barsa, who i’ve grown up with. I really don’t know that to do. Its empty, dark end cold…every little thing reminds me of her.
    It was wrong diagnosis, wrond meds and maybe age (14,5) that killed her. And i woke up just a minutes after her last breath…than had to call my vet to say 2 weeks of struggling were in vain. Cant stop tears…

  168. Hello fellow pet parents. I just had to let go of my 16-year-old cat, Carly, on Monday evening 12/30/12, by letting her be put to sleep by our vet. My heart is aching and broken. Nothing is the same. Nothing means anything to me now, because I miss her so much. We were together almost 24/7 for the past 2 1/2 years. She had not been well for past 4 to 5 years. She was diagnosed with Hyperthyroidism a few years ago, and was losing weight continuously. She was put on medication, which helped some, but had side effects. She still went downhill. She also had a very bad sinus infection that wouldn’t quit. Fast forward to this past year, she was not well at all. I even tried a couple of herbal meds because I was desperate to find something to help her. A few months ago I even found and got her a new prescription food from the vet. Last week I took her to the vet for another follow up checkup for exam, weight and bloodwork. She had lost weight again. A few days later, she was getting weaker and more lethargic. On Monday 12/30 I thought she had a stroke. She woke up from a nap and couldn’t get her balance and stand, nor could she walk. And when she did, she went to her dishes just a few feet away, and “fell” into her water dish and couldn’t get up! It was so frightening! I took her to the vet, and he did an exray of her body and found a very large abdominal tumor plus fluid around her heart. He showed me that on her exray. He said she didn’t have long to live and recommended I let her be put to sleep. I always dreaded that decision, but I was afraid to bring her home because she was getting worse. So, I held her head in my hand as she laid on her side and the vet gave her the injection. It was over so fast, and I couldn’t believe she was truly gone! I’ve had a “pit” in my stomach and a headache ever since. I am so profoundly “lost” and sad. I don’t think I will EVER get over her passing!!! Nothing else was as important as her life. I took care of her almost 24/7, to keep her going. I was home with her and we shared our daily lives. I was a 24/7 mom and nurse to her for the past 2 1/2 years. I miss her presence so much! We were 2 peas in a pod, all the time! It was just the 2 of us here, and we enjoyed each other’s company much. I don’t know what I will do without her. Her things are still around the house. I just can’t bear to remove them. I “need” things of hers around me, to feel like she is still sort of here. I don’t know what else to do to comfort myself about this loss. I feel such guilt for having her put down. I didn’t know that Monday would be her last day. But I did know that she hasn’t been well for a long time, and she was barely holding on. I encouraged her to hold on until Christmas, so we could have that special time together. And she did. And I just had my birthday, and she held on for that too. She had been slipping away right before my eyes, and I had been doing a lot to keep her ok and living. I didn’t know what else to do for her. I am having a hard time coping with the loss of her. Does anyone have suggestions for healing? I welcome your ideas. I am at a loss for what I can do to feel ok about letting her go. I am devastated that she is gone. She was such a huge part of me.

    Thank you for reading my story.

  169. Hi everyone and Patt, I pray Hannah is feeling better. She is really special. Just an update my dogs are still alive. I have moved three of them to aother premise nearby. Everyday, I will visit them,sometimes twice a day. I have to keep them caged or tied up as they have tried to follow my car home by running on a busy road,how heart wrenching when I see that. Everytime I get ready to go,they will be crying or trying to ask me to take them home by using their paw to hold onto my hand. But at the end of the day,the important thing is that they are still around. Thanks for listening when I felt down. Part,please keep us updated.

  170. Hi Everyone, and Jenifer Loo, How are you doing since you lost your beloved pets since the first of the year, and before that? Have you gotten over your pain, and I should say gotten through that pain?
    I feel like the end of the world as I know it, is happening to me. Hannah- belle had a fever this morning, and it scared the crap out of me. They say not to panic, but I am. My beloved mom said she could not go, and see her pass.She is close to that too, as I have posted before, but they, the docs, said mom has dementia last week, and I think Hannah knows, as she never leaves mom side, even to the bathroom. Hannah is truly something special, and I get this feeling she is waiting for mom, could that be possible? I am sorry I am rambling on, but I just need to know how everyone is doing? It will help. Patt

  171. Debra and Hannah Pooch, my prayers will go out for you. Debra i think that you will know when it is time. I lost my Rascal unexpectedly and within hours – there truly was not a “choice” for me but the guilt is still high. For Hannah Pooch, my personal opinion is that when you know that Hannah is suffering and is in pain and the care options are not ones that offer resolution for a long period of time, then you need to do the right thing for Hannah Pooch and let her go.

    Take are.

  172. My girl has cushing’s disease and is almost 13 years old. I love her so much! I don’t want to watch her fade away and despise making this decision to put her to sleep. Am I hesitating because I don”t know when to let her go? I want to love her for as long as she’s loved me. I’m truley losing my heart and mind. I will suffer with her and without her. Please pray for us! Hannah Pooch and me.

    1. Hi Debra, I am going through the very same thing with my dog Hannah-Belle. Every morning I wake up I think will this be the day? She is no pain, but her cancer is back. I know how hard it is, and I will pray for you because everyones prayers are all we have. She looks so peaceful at night, but I, and you, are just fooling ourselves. Keep me posted, and I will do the same, in the meantime I hope you can some peace. Take care Patt

  173. I had to put my 20 year old cat to sleep this morning. I’ve had her longer than any other pet or, for that matter, longer than any human other than my parents. She had kidney failure and probably other things.

    I did all I could. I considered the health issue and her age. Most of all I considered her quality of life and, frankly, my quality of life and what her illness was doing to me – physically and mentally.

    I feel comfortable about my decision. I had a long talk with the vet before doing it. I didn’t make the decision uninformed.

    It hurts. Awfully bad. But, once I made the decision and took her to the vet, I began to heal. I know it will take some time and I know I’ll always love her and she’ll always be a big big part of my heart and memories and life.

    But, I also know she’s no longer suffering. She wouldn’t have lasted much longer anyway and would have probably gotten increasingly miserable. It would have been selfish for me to keep her alive.

    A number of years ago I waited too long to put a beloved dog to sleep and I had to watch him die slowly. I had no help and no way to help him. I never want to go through that again or put my pets through it. I feel it’s better to let them die with dignity under the care of a trained vet.

    To anyone who feels guilty, let me say this: Don’t. When you do all you can for your pet, when you’ve loved it and cared for it and made it part of your home and life, you’ve done all you can for that pet and you’ve made the pet happy. When the pet is no longer happy, it’s time to let go.

  174. Hi Pat, thanks for your support. I am trying hard to see if I can still keep them alive. I come from Penang Malaysia. The media here tend to cover more negative than positive reports about dogs. Previously the local council was trigger happy,shooting at the sight of any stray dog they see,even colared and licensed dogs,they deem running wild. As long as they are not inside the house compound,they are deem stray dogs. Sometimes,they would injure the dog in the process and when it runs under the car for cover,they will just pull it out and shoot it dead. Thankfully, due to dog lovers outcry they stopped shooting in the open. I have been reading up on some local posts and it seems that the local council can obtain a warrant to come into the house to remove dogs or cats. I will try to keep some of them indoors and hopefully when the council comes,they will keep quiet so that the big bad wolf will go away. Then hopefully the complainant will not persist until I get a chance to find another place to move to. My dogs are just mongrels,a few picked off the street but to me they bring joy to my life. My daughters love them and they are just as disturbed with this incident. Will update you after the council has visited,probably end month. There a few sanctuaries in penang. But that are overloaded. Receiving more strays than finding homes for them. The SPCA on penang island is not helpful. Cant go into details,otherwise i maybe sued. The SPCA Seberang Jaya is overloaded,too many strays coming in. Funding is their own effort. But end of the day, i dont want to put my dogs anywhere but home with me. Everyone who loves a dog would understand. I don’t mean to moan about this, just that I feel frustrated….

    1. You can moan all you want, we are here to listen. I just wish any one could help you, but I will pray for you and the precious dogs. Take care Patt

  175. Hi, I am so sad that I have to put down at least three or four of my healthy dogs. I really do not want to do so but a neighbor who doesn’t like dogs made a complaint. The local council does not want to care and only said that you are allowed only two dogs. If I don’t do so,the council will climb into the compound and take all but two dogs.Afterwhich, they will take back to their premise and shoot dead. I have tried to get them rehomed but people here are plain selfish and refuse to help. People who loves dogs are in the same situation as me. My dogs are like family and they are not noisy or aggressive. They will want me to carry them and hug them. They even get jealous if I am petting another dog. What to do,I live in a country with zero tolerance for dogs. This makes me angry with humanity.

    1. Hi, I just read your post, and I am shocked!!!! Have you heard of no more homeless pets. They will come and get your dogs. This is in Kanab ,Utah You can find them on the internet. Call CNN or any other big news media, I have done that in the past with good results. These people are murderers!!! This can not be tolerated, and I am sure you are going through Hell.I am so sorry for you, and I wish I could help, but the media can.Betty White has a web sight, and you put this on Twitter anything you can think of. Please keep everyone posted. God Bless Patt

  176. i very sadly found my 10 yr old lab retreiver passed away this morning.she was very old and had arthritis .despite this i never had the heart to put her down. she would have accidents quite frequently and i wld just clean it up but never did i want to have to put her down.i admit tht i wasnt strong enough to do it!!so i tell u that now i sit here with so very many guilty feelings.did she know i loved her? does she forgive me for keeping her here for so long, even though she did hurt sometimes.?i cant stop feeling that im a horrible awful human being right now. she died alone on her blanket and i cry knowing she wasnt at least in my arms to know she was loved as she went.i know that she is no longer suffering and she finially at peace.i knoe that she is comfortable now and sleeping !i am oddly compelled to sit where i found her..i dont know why and i find it an odd emotion to home feels empty and so strange,and yet in an odd way i still feel her presence here. i look where her bed was and i swear i cld still see her there,and how i wish she were so i cld tell her im sorry i was weak..and that i love her and shell be will haunt me that she had to go alone after all those yrs she stayed here for me!i didnt deserve her.she was better than i. she was an angel!

    1. dear michelle,
      just read ur post.. the feeling u r going thru is not at all odd, it is very much normal coz i found myself before one month exactly the same place where u r now. ..
      i look for my ghoncha in every places where he used to sit, sleep and roam around.. i look for him every where especially in my room.. my room has become empty without him, i go to all the places he used to spend time and sit there, feel him there and talk to him in my mind.. i dont think it is odd coz this is the only thing that is left after him.

  177. I wanted to add to these comments, because I have been struggling ever since it happened. On December 15, my dog (chihuahua) started to not eat. He LOVES food. Another thing you should know is he had VERY successfully been thriving with congestive heart failure for almost five years (he had an extremely good cardiologist that he saw every six months for the last five years). Anyway he had an appt with his doctor about a week prior and we mentioned that he had started becoming a little more picky about his food, but his tests all came out completely normal so they weren’t worried and neither were we because he was still technically eating. When he stopped eating altogether (literally, it was all I could do to shove food down his throat with his pills hidden inside), I called and they felt pretty confident that it was his teeth (which had steadily been rotting but we couldn’t put him under anesthesia because of his heart). They gave me a pain medication that turned him into a zombie and my husband and I sat up all night with him making sure to keep him awake and breathing and putting water in his mouth to make the medicine go through faster. That morning I vowed never to give it to him again and took him to the vet so they could give him an iv and see if there was any other cause for the eating issues. They ran every test–heart, kidney, liver, etc. and as a 16-year-old dog with a heart problem, they shockingly found absolutely nothing remarkable pointing to his not eating, except possibly his calcium levels were off. They felt confident that the cause was for sure his teeth. So after him being in the hospital for a few days being pumped with IVs we took him home overnight and spent 24 straight hours with him loving on him and taking pictures and we slept by him in the living room, etc. We had to syringe feed him though, even though every time we ate, he wanted our food (we gave it to him in little bits and he seemed like he really wanted it). From observing this behavior for 24 hours, we also agreed it was his teeth and didn’t wait for the calcium results to come back from the lab. Sunday evening we took him to the vet and cried and cried and gave him to the vet. On Monday he had his surgery, and they called and said everything went well and he was just resting. We cried some more because we were so happy, and knew that Tuesday he’d be home and hopefully starting to eat again, even though he’d have some recovery to do. On Tuesday morning, Dec. 20, we received a call that he had been moved into oxygen and wasn’t doing well. We got there about 15 minutes later and found out he had aspiration pneumonia. They tried doing all sorts of things to help, but it had taken over one whole lung and he was having trouble breathing. We were there the whole day, until they told us it had gotten to the point where he’d need a ventilator that may or may not do anything, or we could stop his suffering because it was a little like suffocation for him. Also, his kidneys had started to fail from the pneumonia. We didn’t want to put him on a ventilator, and they said we couldn’t even take him out of the ICU to take him home or somewhere more comfortable. So my husband and I sat on a single computer chair and they put him on our lap and we talked to him as quickly and as much as we could before they did it. It all happened in like, 5 minutes, which I think was because they didn’t want him to be in pain. And I haven’t stopped being obsessed since. I have researched everything, talked to three doctors at the hospital about what happened, seen a therapist, buried him with a proper headstone, created memory books of him, and I can’t even hardly focus on anything else because my pain is so strong right now. And, I didn’t mention that I’m 9 months pregnant, and am really worried about how this affects the baby on top of everything else. I had so many plans for him and the baby (little brother/big brother photo shoot, stuff like that), and I know I should have never did the surgery. I felt like every decision I made was so unlike me. I just trusted the doctors, and did everything they recommended and I never do that. they still may have been right, but I always research and make decisions on my own. I should have insisted on taking more time to talk to him and let him hear my voice before they put him down. I should have waited for the calcium results (which, BTW, came back showing hypoparathyroidism–another cause for not eating), and I shouldn’t have decided everything on emotion. I feel like I let him down and myself. And I feel like things would have been so much different if I wasn’t pregnant at the time. I just don’t know how to stop feeling like I killed the one creature I loved more than myself. It just seems like it was one bad series of event after another that led to everything turning out the way it did.

  178. Dearest Kevin and Tanya thank you for your warm response and I am so very sorry to hear about your little Hank, it is so very hard to lose your best buddy, but with your experience you have helped me explore this even deeper. I guess I am really looking for some validation that putting her down is the right thing to do and, as you mentioned, it’s about making a responsible pet owner decision. Patt thank you for suggesting that I give myself some credit for posting as the first step in the right direction, I feel like the greiving process has already begun. As to your question if I have taken her to the vet…I have and she has been diagnosed with osteoarthritis and her kidney function isn’t too good. They had me put her on a senior diet and glucosamine and chondroiton pills and some anti-inflammatory/pain pills, but you both got me thinking that she may still be in pain despite this treatment. It got me thinking about when my family and all the dogs were out hiking together and we went over an area on the hiking trail that must have been covered with some little thorns. All the dogs, except my Molly, started limping and so we looked at their paws and took out the torns and continued on our way. Molly seemed perfectly fine. A little while later I was thinking how could Molly have escaped getting any torns when all the rest had gotten them, so I stopped to check her feet and to my horror she had the worse thorns of all of the dogs, all stuck deep into her pads. She never even limped! I have heard Border Collies are very stoic and that has now got me thinking that my poor girl is probably in a lot of pain. I can’t thank you all enough for helping me get out of my denial and really start seeing and thinking through what is best for her, not me. I am going to talk with all my family this weekend in hopes of gathering even more support so that I can do the responsible thing for my dog. Thank you all again and I hope we can all, with time, heal our hearts. This is a wonderful site and I am so glad I stumble upon it, thank you to Laurie for that.

  179. I have a empty heart and home …I had to say good bye to my 17 year old dog name Bubba…He was my best friend and companion…I had to put down my other dog almost 3 years ago…I can’t say it was easier with her, but at the time I had him to come home to and grieve with…It has been just me and these dogs for over 15 years…The last 2 years it was just me and Bubba..I had back surgery and can no longer work..For the last 2 years we were together for 24/7…He was every where I was and when I would cry he would lick the tears away…The last few months he started to fall and could no longer get up and down the stairs..He started to pee on the floors when walking and I asked him every night please hold on for mommy…I wanted him for Thanksgiving then I asked for Christmas…I guess I was selfish in a way towards the end he finally stopped eating his food..He would eat a little out of my hand as long as it was meat I was eating..He still drank water…This went on for about a week…Last week it took a turn for the worse…He ate even less, I held ice in my hands for him to lick and he slept so much…I had to coax him to go for his walks and he would go out and his business but no longer wanted to walk…He would stand and look around and move in circles…On Sunday night he became very restless and kept jumping up looking for me…I had to force him to go out early Monday morning and he fell back into his poop when he tried to go…I knew the sadness in his eyes were telling me I am tired…I got in back in the house and cleaned him up..He just laid on his side and I tried to give him his favorite treat..He turned his head…He licked the ice maybe twice and didn’t want that either..I called the vet and made the appt that day…He said that his spleen was enlarged and he developed lymphoid cancer…With his age he recommended letting him go…I held his little head while they did the procedure and looked him in his eyes and told him how he made my world complete..He was a good loving dog and I would always love him..He just went to sleep…Now I can’t..I hate being here a lone without him…My heart won’t stop aching and I cry all day…I know my pain will ease up a little each day, but I will never stop missing him…January 9, 2012 I lost my best friend…I had him cremated like I did the other one and will be picking him up today…I am hoping when he is back in my home I can feel some closure…The loss of a pet is a terrible depressing thing to go through..My heart goes out to everyone that has to make this decision…I know some people go out and get another one, but for me this was the last one…I have went through this twice in less than 3 years….My heart won’t do this anymore..Thanks for everyone that post on here…It helps reading how other people feel..

  180. My dog is 12 years old. She has an inflated heart and a nose infection. I have taken her to a vet and he suggested medicine that she would have to take for the rest of her life. I unfortunately cant aford it. She has now developed a tumour on her head which has lead to her eye that is now beginning to pop out. She battles to breaths and chokes all the time. She still eats and drinks but as i said chokes all the time. She still runs around though. but in my heart i feel she isnt the happy doggie i once new. I have to put her out tommorrow morning and i am honestly battling with it. I feel that it is not my place to do it but i know that i has to be done.

  181. sue,i am sorry to hear you are struggling so with a decision to put your collie to sleep,my wife and i had to let go of our doxy hank back in sept and was the worst feeling we have ever had,hanky was only 5 1/2 and had every intention when we took hank to k-state for surgery that we would be picking him back up in a week but he lost all feeling and controlof his hind end,we elected to euthinize but still it was so hard,i cried every day for 10 weeks,hank was our world,we couldnot even bare to watch the proceedure but now i wish i would have,we are still upset with not having hank around,a friend of mine said and also the doctor said we made the right ,responsible pet owner decision,still the guilt is there but day by day i try to accept it,your animal is hurting though your friend may not show it at times,help em out and when its over remember your pal is waiting for you at the rainbo bridge,we have since brought a neww pal to our household,healer is a godd ,smart pup,he would never take the place in our hearts that hanky occupies so we just make another spot for him,we think hank would want us to share our love and home as we did with him,so i know its hard but your collies like hanks, quality of life is what matters, not ours.i hope this may help you.kevin and tanya pet lovers of nebraska

  182. I dont know if it is appropriate to post here as I have not put my dog down yet, but I am struggling so much on what is best for my beloved Border collie who is almost 15. She has been my constant companion since she was 8 weeks old, sleeping in our room every night, taking her everywhere with me, never taking a vacation without her since we have had her. I am writing this through my tears because we can no longer let her sleep with us because she is so restless and wanders around all night making alot of noise on the wood floor so we can’t sleep. I feel so bad when she barks at night to be let into our room, I try to keep her happy with a stuffed Kong. She has also been incontinent of stool in the house for many months, which I’ve just been cleaning up when it happens, but last night she peed all over the family room and kitchen, like she was wandering around with no bladder control at all. I have mopped the floor twice now and it still stinks. She has always been a house dog, I could never kick her out of the house. I suppose I could start diapering her, but it seems so undignified. I also can’t take her with me in the car anymore as she can’t control her bowels. We drove from AZ to CA in Oct and stopped at every rest stop, but still had to clean her and her crate up at each rest stop because she couldn’t make it between stops. Last weekend I took her when visiting my Mom’s just an hour away and couldn’t even make it that long. If I put her down now I am afraid I will feel guilty just because I couldn’t deal with the messes anymore, but I know she is suffering too from being banished from our bedroom and now I have to leave her home alone when I go places and I know that stresses her out and that she will be lonely. I am really struggling with this. She is also very weak in her back legs and at least once or twice a day I need to help her right herself. She is also losing weight and is so bony she is getting pressure sores on her elbows from plopping down on the floor. She has two orthopedic beds, but for some reason prefers the floor. My husband has been very patient about this because he knows how much I love her, but now is starting to suggest that I think about letting her go. I just dont know if I can deal with the loss and the guilt.

    1. Hi there, Have you taken your dog to a vet? This would ease your mind as to what to do. I am sure age is a factor, and maybe yours is in pain. Dogs and cats are trying to tell us something when this happens, plus dogs get embarrassed when they think they are letting us down. Give yourself some credit for posting this.It is a step in the right direction, and your dog needs help. God Bless Patt

  183. This morning I had to put my 10 year old cat to sleep. It was so totally unexpected. She was fine last night. I feel so much guilt because when I woke up this morning I heard her meowing this horrible sound; sounded hoarse like she had been crying for me for a while..I did not hear her. I searched and found her downstairs and she kept wailing. I went to pick her up and knew immediately something was wrong. I put her back down and went to run and get dressed to take her to the vet. She tried to come after me but could not move her back legs. Emergency vet gave her pain relief and exam. It was an embolism from heart issue not detected that threw a clot. Vet said it is very painful. While there were some meds that may dissolve the clot, damage unknown and most likely it would happen again. I had to do the right thing for her. They brought her out of the sedative for me to say goodbye. I cried talked to her and apologized. Her eyes were still total trust for me. I held her and talked to her as she took her last breath. I feel so guilty. She had to have been crying for me all night. Why didn’t I check to see why she hadn’t followed me upstairs? How could I not have heard her? She waited for me for hours to hear her. When I did find her you could see that she trusted I would make it better. I know that she had a great life and was totally loved by me but knowing that she was in pain and I didn’t hear her is breaking my heart.

    1. Dear Nicole, I just read your post, and I am so sorry for you. This will be hard to do right now, but try to remember, the last thing your cat saw was seeing your love, and tenderness. That is what your cat saw, and new you were right there. I know, I sound like I know what I am talking about, but it is true.I will be going through that soon, and I am trying to stay strong.You loved your cat very much, and you will over come this some time, and I hope soon. Please leave your guilt out side, and remember your cats life was good. A lot of animals do not get the love we all on this site get. you did good kid- please remember that! It is ok to grieve, that is normal, do that with no guilt ok Take care Patt

  184. On mon.1/2 i found my poor lil kitty that was just 8 years old lying on the bathroom floor on a damp towel i thought silly little kitty let me pick u up and take u to bed with me when then i noticed her eyes were gunky and her sided looked sunken in and she had pooped all over down her hind legs…i was wondering what was going on i just saw her last nite and she seemed fine. I figured she was sick but did not know what caused this so i put her in her little kennel for the nite i lyed in bed thinking thats strange shes not even meowing in there just rubing her head against the kennel a little that i could hear. next day i had to work so i put her in a larger kennel down stairs till she felt better with some water i did not want her around my other cat or dog… i went to work and got her some wet food she would not eat but i seen she peed a little i was hoping for her to poo so i could take a sample to vet. the day after that on wed afternoon i reilized shes not looking any better so i took her to the vet. she didnt even cry in the car but when we got there she let out the worst moaning noice at me i hope it meant she did not wan to be in pain anymore cause when the vet walked in he looked at me and said i figured this before u came in she has cancer and she is going to die her body is shutting down that her back sticked up because it was hardening from her joints stiffing and she was gonna dye of starvation and will no longer eat so i made the decsion to have her put down who would wanna starve to death?? i feel so much guilt the last few years we got a dog and had kids and the poor kittys kinda got left behind could i have gaven her a better life? and my poor boy kitty there not bro and sis but they have been raised together i know he has been looking for her this all breaks my heart it was so unexpected i hope she knows how much i loved her even if i didnt always have the time to show it anymore. i miss u my pretty kitty kali

  185. Reading all those posts above is almost making me cry, i had to go threw losing my little baby, she was a kingcharles, i lost her tuesday the 3rd january, she was only 5 years old she got knocked over while i was at a disco, worst thing i have ever gona threw she was my baby she was my everthing i miss her so much, she wasnt like normal dogs she was so different which i loved about her she was so relaxed and loved to kiss and cuddle me , she would always know if im sad or upset she would lick me, i cud tell her anything and i knew she was listening to me she always used to sleep with me wait up with me at night, i miss hearing her barking and snoring, we were so close, she was my little baby girl, the weird thing about it is that , that night before i left i went over and cuddled her she was so depressed just lying there, i kissed her and said id see her later, but little did i know that was gonna be the last kiss wed ever share, she had the most beautiful eyes ever big brown ones, she was so spilt as well she got everything she wanted no dout about that. shes buried up the garden and i visit her 4 or 5 times a day. i find it so hard because i miss seeing her face cuddling her kissing her i blame myself because if only i didnt go to that disco she would of been safe and sound cuddled up beside me but no shes gone and i really hope my baby girl rosie is happy, i dont want to leave the house of do anything with my friends because i feel bad on her that i shouldnt be doing those things, but she knows how much i love her she was one of a kind. my baby girlie, my other dog is finfing it hard to dho they had there ups and downs too deep down they were family. miss you so much rosie and love you forever, sleep tight my little angle xox

  186. Dear Jeff and Family, What a horrible experience for all of you. My heart is heavy, and sad for you, and all that is on this blessed site we have. I guess there many things we wish we had done differently, but you did all you could. It is so hard to get those pictures out of your mind. I too had an experience like that with my neighbors dog. Princess got into my friends chocolate vitamins, and it was the first time they did not ask to watch princess. I was sitting in my driveway watching my grandson learn how to ride his bike. I kept thinking about the dog,and maybe I should go check on her, but I did not.Princess got into everything, and anything. She was actually dying in her house a horrible death from those vitamins she got into, while I was sitting in my driveway. When the owners got home they came and got me, and what a sight. Her husband and I went to emergency room, but there was no hope. Princess was gone,but was dripping out those chocolate vitamins from every part of her body. That was 2001, and I still blame myself for not checking on her, but that is what we do, as people like us, who love all animals. My dog and Princess were best friends, but they went right out and got another dog who they named Princess also. I could not do that but everyone is different. I take my dog in for her xrays on 14 Jan and I hope for the best, but preparing for the worst.I did not do the chemo on her, because I thought she had been through enough with them taking her leg. She did hurt for a good 15 days, but now she runs around the neighbor hood like a deer.I did have chemo for her at home, but I was sitting there wondering what to do. I decided against it, and she had been through enough.The chemo is so toxic that it would kill my other dog grisley, and I would have to wear 2 pair of gloves so I would not get sick myself. these dogs can not be apart they are always together, so it was not safe. Yes I will feel guilty, but at least she had quality of life,and I sound rational now, but I will not be when the time comes.I also asked the cancer doc if I could bring the chemo back, in case a young family with a young dog could use that,and could not afford to get that medication, and they welcome that, and any meds that you have left over, so find out if your vet does that. You would do that in memory of your precious pet. God Bless Patt

  187. My wife and i had to put down our beloved 4 1/2 year old boxer Bear two days ago. We are in deep agony, and can’t help but think if we did the right thing. He was diagnosed with Poly-arthritis about 2 months ago, and has been rapidly losing weight ever since, about 20 lbs. We took him to the vet Monday afternoon, and the vat mentioned that his platelets were up and wanted to lower his doses of medicine he was on, saying he was doing much better. We left happy, hearing our buddy was doing better, as the word euthanize has been brought up by the vet before. We went to the bank after that and had to stop at the store. My wife was getting our daughter out of the backseat, and there was blood all over the seat. She called me over there, and we noticed it was our dog bleeding. i went to the back of the truck, and noticed he was bleeding perfusely from his mouth. The only thing i could do was hop in the back with him, and have my wife rush us to the er clinic where we JUST were 20 minutes ago. They immediately sedated him as they were worried he would choke to death on his blood. The only thing in our backseat was a blanket, so we had no idea how this happened, and neither did the vet. They had trouble stopping the bleeding, so they asked we keep him there overnight, and again, the word euthanize came up.They also found sores in his tounge, had no clue what they were, but they said they didnt look good. They said if you dont hear from us, come get him in the am. I called the next morning assuming it was good to pick him up, and the vet got on the phone, and said he’s been pooping pure diarrhea blood, and thought there was an internal issue, and with his recent weight loss, change in behavior (being sad all the time and falling every now and then) that we should look into putting him to sleep. He just hasn’t been himself for 2 months, couldnt even jump on the bed or couch to snuggle with us like he always loved doing. So I called my wife, and told her….we cried hysterically, and went to the vet immediately to talk with the vet. Once we got there, we found out he started urinating pure blood. The vet was sure he had a sort of cancer, and didnt see the need to do any tests, as whatever he had, it couldnt be fixed. At that point, my wife and i had to make the hardest decision we ever had to make…do we listen to the vet and put him down?? Or see what happens when we get him home? Ultimately, we did, and we spent about 1 hour with him before watching him slowly go to doggy heaven. We are so distraught over this not knowing if we did the right thing. We feel we gave up on him…..this is going to be sooo tough for us to cope with. We miss our dog Bear sooooooo much!! Should we have spent more days with him, or did we do the right thing? This is the worst feeling ever.

  188. Good evening all,

    Reading these comments, I now know I am not the only one to feel guilty at what I had to do yesterday. My beloved collie, Ben who was 16 had a massive tumor. It started growing a month ago and no matter what vet I took him to, they would not operate because of his age. I didn’t have him put to sleep then as he still had quality of life. However, over the few weeks of December he declined so rapidly that I didn’t think I had any choice. After going through hell yesterday, I just keep thinking, did I do the right thing. Could I have tried more vets and feeling guilty about not noticing the tumor earlier. I have lost pets before through illness but none has hit me more than this. What makes it worse to is I have another dog and they were inseparable and of course he is looking for his best friend. I don’t know, I love my dogs, well all my animals. But if it is this heart breaking losing them, I don’t think I will get another.

  189. Dear Patt, Thank you so much for your kind words. I agree that we never get over the loss. Our loved ones (pets & people) are a part of us and losing them feels like losing a part of ourselves too. I’m sorry to hear about your mom and dog. God bless you too and all the best.

  190. Hello everyone. I’m sitting here, reading all of your posts, with tears streaming down my face. It’s good to know that other people can relate to how I am feeling. I had my beautiful 8-1/2 year old cat put to sleep almost four weeks ago and I am still feeling guilty about it. He was the love of my life and making the decision to have him euthanized was the hardest thing I have EVER had to do. He was my baby. And I loved him with every inch of my being. He was my sweet little boy. I miss EVERYTHING about him. I miss seeing his little face every day. I miss hugging him and kissing him. I miss talking to him and having him speak (meow) in return. I miss the smell of his fur. I miss watching him sleep, curled up in a ball. I keep asking myself maybe I should have tried more things in order to save him. More medication, more tests, etc. But he was so sick. It just happened out of the blue. One minute he was happy, healthy and active. The next minute he was lethargic, hardly eating/drinking, losing weight, etc. I still can’t believe that my boy got so sick. I ask myself why? Why did he get so sick. But of course there is no real answer. He just did. But that is hard to accept. The vets told me he had a massive infection and within 6-8 weeks he had gone down hill fast. It affected his internal organs, skin, eyes, etc. I kept hoping and praying that he would get better. But he didn’t. I had to end his suffering. I just wish, with all my heart, that I could have saved him. I don’t know how long this pain will last. I hope eventually the tears will stop. But I have a feeling it is going to take me a long time. I will always love him and always miss him. Tom, I miss you baby boy and I will love you forever xxx.

    1. Dear Teecee, I feel your pain, but I have a thought about terrible loss like this. I believe that in time we all get through this loss, but we never get over it. those feelings will come back all of our life. I will be losing my mom and my dog at about the same time, but I only talk about my dog on this site. I still miss my cats that I had in the 80s. I remember them fondly, and I honor their memory. You will get to that point, but not now. Keep reading all these posts. They will help you. God Bless, I will keep you and everyone else in my prayers. Patt

  191. My beautiful baby died yesterday excatly on new year day 01 01 2012 died because of our horrible neighbour who doesnt like us,she been poisened.I am very devastated since shes only about one year old too young to day, shes been pretty unlucky,we found her when she was a baby in our letter box on a very hot day,if I didnt found it she would die then, and now at only one year old her life end up in a horrible man.I am heart broken and very guilty, my other cat heart broken other cat behave very aggresively now,I am really feel sorry for him since she was his bestfriend.And I have this guilt that I didnt give her enough love or attention during her life time,usually she will greet me at the door when I back from work,squeek her voice and wag her tail,No I cant bear to enter my house.
    I found her dead in our back veranda when I am back from work shes still warm,must be horrible and paintfull way to die.I miss her lick my nose to wake me up in the morning,miss her squicky voice miss her miss her…why why..have to be my baby?I wish that horrible man die the same way as my baby does!!
    I wish my baby happy and full of love up there…you will be always in our heart mailbox…Love Mommy,dady,your big bro chillie and your big sis Foxie

    1. Dear Friend, What a horrible loss for you! Tears are coming down my face as I post this. That is a crime to poison any animal!! Did you inform the police? They can create a file on those creeps, and in some places can never own an animal ever! That is the best thing you can do for your pet
      besides having loved your precious cat.I will pray for you, and your cat. Be comforted in knowing every one cares, but I know your feelings are very raw at this time. God Bless Patt

  192. I am taking down my Christmas tree today and getting ready for the New Year. But this year, this process seems harder than it has ever been. I too lost my beloved dog (my husky Chamomile) this past March. While I still have her son he too is older and riddled with many different medical issues like hypothyroidism, seizures and difficulty walking. I can’t help but wonder if this was his last Christmas tree. But his spirit is strong and his attitude good even though he has lost almost all of his hair. (He does suffer with doggie embarrassment as he is a husky who has to wear a coat) I just wanted to send hugs and kisses to everyone on this site who has lost their best friend year. I had to make the choice of putting Chamomile to sleep, the first time I ever had to do this. She had cancer, and while I tried everything, in the end her quality of life was gone and I knew it was time. I have made a memorial for her out in my garden with a cross, a statue and of course lots of chamomile planted nearby. This beautiful, peaceful area I have created for her helps me to remember that she is waiting nearby, just past the rainbow bridge (that’s where huskies go, to the northern lights). I hope everyone here can find peace and happiness this next year. Our best friends always wanted to please us and what better way to honor them than to be happy in their memory. God looks after his creatures and will keep them safe and healthy until we cross over and are reunited with them. As for Chamomile, she is presently running North of the Rainbow Bridge with other husky friends. Gods speed old friend, play hard until I get there!

  193. It is the last day of 2011. I made the decision on December 11th to put my faithful, loving friend to sleep forever. Halo and I were 2 peas in a pod. She has been through many moves over the years, including a move to France and back. It has been 20 days since I said goodbye, and I can’t seem to snap back. As I am writing this, tears are pouring down my face. I feel so much guilt for all of the times I left her to do other things. This last year, I started dating someone very special to me. He lived about 50 minutes away. I would spend time with him on the weekends and leave her with a pet sitter or I would spend the night at his house and come home in the morning. I lost so much time with her. She was fading before my eyes, but I just didn’t want to see it. I miss the days when I would take her to the park, and she would run and catch a frisbee over and over until she had to quit. She used to wake me up every morning by making a quiet, yet noticeable sound. My Halo was 14.5 years old, but it hurts the same as if I had to put her down at 3 years. I just wish I had more time…

  194. It sounds like you all loved your pets. You would not be upset if you did not care. I still have my precious dog (Hannah-Belle, but not for long. She is a tripod, and is doing well. I took her in for a cranial excruciate ligament tear)and when they did the Xray, they found cancer all through her hind leg. My choice was to put her down, or take the leg. That was 16 September 2011. I was told that even if they get all the cancer, she would only live for 2 to 8 months,because Osteo- sarcoma comes back with a vengence, but she will have no pain. It will go to the lungs,and her breathing will be labored. Hannah has been my life saver, beyond loyal, and even now a fierce protector of my 90year old mom, but she always comes to let me know what she needs. She is 10yrs.9months old. Some of my family seem to care only about the cost of everything. I only say that it my money, my dog, and it is non of your business!!!! My mom has helped me too. I think that my mom is waiting for Hannah to pass,and then she will go.It is legal for your pet to be buried with an owner.Everything is planned, but that does not take the pain of losing her,and I am so very greatful for the extra time I have had with my Black Beauty. She loves Winter,and that was a factor in doing this surgery.She has had 4 mild snow storms,and she will go out and sit in the snow with a ball of snow on her nose My neighbors love to see Hannah and my other 15lb. Pekinese sit in the snow like that. They are a sight to see. I write all this because a lot of people think I am foolish, but I say I am leery of people who do not like animals.Grisly my pek will miss her terribly. He stayed right by her side after the surgery. I slept on the couch, Hannah on an air mattress in the front room for 10 days, because we have too many stairs, but after 6 days she removed the pet gate, jumped on my moms bed and the bed is a high one, but she felt she needed to be with mom, who is in conjestive heart failure. How loyal is that? I do not think I will have a gentle giant for a pet like that again. Her next cancer appointment is 13 jan 2012. After her first cancer app.the doc was so surprised that the cancer had not come back yet.So to all of you blessed people who lost your pet,you are truly kind people, who did the right thing, and do not blame yourself, you did your best,and if you can, get another pet. There are programs that help pay for a lot of surgeries. My daughter is on a program in Utah called no more homeless pets. The cats she has gets all the shots, spay and neuterd. I told the doc that I could not go through this again, but he said,Its people like you and me that should have them.Well I will close for now, I hope I have not bored you,I just needed to vent God Bless Patty

  195. My beautiful baby 12.5 year old Shih Tzu girl Lucy died on Tuesday nigh, 26 December 2011 at 7pm at the vets. We took her there erslier at about 4pm and the Vet said she was dehydrated and gave her fluids through her skin. Within an hour she started coughing up flud and having difficulty breathing. We took her back to the vet who said she had fluid on her lungs; strange because it wasn’t there earlier when he checked her out before injectng her with fluds. He immediately put her on an oxygen mask, injected 3 medications to remove the fluid and it seemed to get some pink colouring back to her toungue. But within an hour she died. The vet didn’t charge me for doing this procedure and I will always be wondering if the fluids he gave her earlier contributed to her death and he was tyrying to soften me up so I wouldn’t complain He reckons it wasn’t that, but hey, she wasn’t that bad until after the fluids were injected.

    Please, does anyone know where in Australia and can get some advice about this? I know I am grieving her loss and am really pissed off about it all, but I need some answers as to why this tragedy has happened to my beautiful baby girl Lucy. I am soooo suss about what this vet at Matraville Veterinarty Hospital, Sydney as he may have mistakenly incorrectly diagnosed and treated her.

  196. My Tortoiseshell cat Poppy died of a heart attack on Wednesday just gone. I’m finding it extremely difficult to come to accept that she’s gone! It was only hours before that she was being her usual self and trying to pinch food off my plate whilst I was eating. I miss her so much and so does my other cat Diamond who now has to face long days at home whilst I’m out working!

    I was fitting a new carpet and I heard cries coming from the landing, I thought she must have stood on a carpet gripper and ran over to see if she was okay. I found her lying on her side and when I went to pick her up, she was growling in pain and as I picked her up, she died instantly in my arms. I ran into the kitchen and tried to resuscitate her, but it was too late. The hardest thing was leaving her at the vets knowing I was never going to see her again.

    She appeared to be a very healthy cat, only ever went to the vets for her injections and to be neutered and the vet told me she was a healthy cat.

    I checked over the carpet grippers where I found her and I found no blood spots whatsoever and even if she did stand on a nail, surely that wouldn’t have killed her on the spot. The vets said it was almost certainly a heart attack and there would have been nothing I could have ever done to prevent it from happening.

    Unfortunately it’s going to be a very sad Christmas for me and my other cat, but I guess life has to go on.

  197. I just thought I’d share this, since I finally found a place I can vent a little. I’m feeling extraordinarily guilty this week. Sunday, after two long weeks of struggle, we had to make the choice whether to put our not quite 2 year old cat down. He was so young, and loving, and had so much to give still. He was, and still is, my baby. He had FLUTD, and had succumbed to three blockages in under two weeks, even with the special food, cat fountain to encourage drinking, everything we could think of to do. We had to take him to the regular vet twice, once for monitoring and a urine catheter and fluids, the second for manual expression because he wasn’t urinating on his own regardless of blockage. He was in so much pain all the time. We had to rush him to the ER vet twice last weekend…for blockages both times. He was straining, breathing heavy, meowing and trying to pee in pain again and with a large bladder. Likely beginning kidney failure. We had already paid over 1300.00 in the last two weeks for his health…every penny we had saved, plus some. They wanted another 800.00 to keep him overnight and then to do the PU surgery in the morning to keep him from getting blocked- quoted at 2-4K.
    There was absolutely no way we could afford this. At the vets, crying, we called everyone we could think of to borrow money luck. We had to make the worst decision in the world- $$ or our baby boy. We didn’t have the money and no way to get it, so we figured it was best to euthanize so that he wouldn’t be in any more pain at least, and not have to go through the horror of kidney failure and toxins building up in the blood.
    But still, I can’t forgive myself. His sister, who has been with him since birth, keeps wandering the house and crying…it breaks my heart. I don’t know what to do. I’m devastated, blaming myself for not trying harder to find the money, for letting him go..quite honestly, I’ve been mildly suicidal over it. But that won’t help my partner or my living cat, so won’t choose that. I’m just heartbroken and lost.


  198. We just put our 14 year old boston terrier down a week ago today and I am dealing with so much guilt. First and foremost I just feel like I may have done it too soon. Maybe there was another test that could have been run to try and diagnose her. She had started having seizures in August and she started losing her mental capabilities too. She had started going to the bathroom in the house which she had not done since she was a puppy. She had started whining, pacing and looked so tired. I thought I was doing the best thing for her but now I not sure and I don’t know how to deal with this grief. I miss her so much.

  199. My little dog Sadie is 17 and 1/2 years old and I really hate to say this but I think it’s time to let her go, I was so hoping she would just pass away here at home, she has been my best friend for so long , now It’s time to say good bye

  200. Our cat wasted away and died because of a surgery we were hoping could wait just a few more weeks… I had not seen him for a few weeks, I could not believe what a horrible mess he had become right under my partner’s nose… who swears he never noticed him fading, and I know he probably didn’t, because I could move an elephant into his bathroom and he wouldn’t notice that either. This article, and the other about having pets put down, was like reading my very thoughts put into words before me. I realise the overwhelming guilt, which I cannot see as anything other than deserved, is simply because the grief is too raw, and it’s too early to start forgiving myself or him for our terrible mistake. We will always miss him but I know deep down we would never have deliberately let him die if we had really known what was coming.

  201. i lost my cat, ghoncha, on december the 3rd, you wont believe, dec 3rd is the date when i started to keep ghoncha with me at our house. and his last day was on the same date.
    i found him suffering after a month’s back. he was hurt by one of my family member, i have yelled at her, blamed her, even cursed her, but nothing made my ghoncha stronger than before, vet tried many medicines, but suddenly after 3 injections i found my ghoncha is suffering muscles twitches in his body, his body is under some shock, i immediately changed to a new veterinarian in hope if any wrong med is given then if the newer vet can rectify that and made my ghoncha feel better, but the second vet also given some injections which my ghoncha did not tolerate, one day my baby showed some good sign and after that day his health started to become worse. after one week he died, i wish if i had not pursued those injections!!!!! dont know if those injections had killed my goncha or not,
    after one week i found my ghoncha getting more and more sick, i took leave from work, at 10 p.m. dont know what happened, i felt a fear and took my baby at my lap from his own bed, it was experiencing shocks in his body, i fed the med suggested by vet, but he did not seem to respond, his eyes were stunned, legs were getting cooler, i was crying helplessly, those family members who hurt ghoncha and those who supported the culprit accumulated before me and ghoncha saying that ghoncha will be no more, i could not stop crying, at 10.15 to 10.20 my ghoncha’s last breath came out, it was a wheezing sound in his breathing for five minutes, i was so afraid, i hold his head in my right hand, his head was turning down, after 5 minutes of wheezing i found there was no next breathing sound from ghoncha, i could not believe my baby had died in my lap while i was holding his head in my hand, i cant express how it felt.
    i buried him in our garden, those so-called sympathetic family members put flowers and incense sticks on that particular place where ghoncha is still sleeping forever. i have buried him with him lying on his own bed. i put the first clay in the dig.
    my room is full of ghoncha’s memory. empty room is killing me. ghoncha’s belongings are scattered here and there and actually everywhere in my room.. i may find myself gone mad in his memory. i have no place to go out. no supportive persons are here. for all ghoncha was just a cat which has died and their attitude is what s a big deal in his death, everyone dies, so has he.. i cant express myself to them coz they will make fun of my love and my grief for ghoncha.

  202. My dog and best friend I found in his dog box breathing funny. I pulled him out and hugged him told him I love him and would get him to any vet I could quickly. He collapsed on me and I put him in the car and went as fast as I could. I am so afraid to say, ” He passed before I could get there”. We had him for 14 beautiful years. The oldest spaniels tend to live are 14 years of age. I hurt so bad and I have walked the floors blaming myself thinking maybe this happend or I could have thought to do this or that to help. What if he had chocked on a food or was it a stroke or an anurysum ? I just didn’t know. I did make sure I got to a vet to tell me there was no hope before I took him home. We love him so much. This happend the morning of November 9th 2011.

  203. I miss my dog, Lola so much. She wsa the love of my life. I don’t know how to express in words how much I loved her. She was tragically hit by a car. She was young and healthy and had so many years left in her.
    I know I could have been a better mother. It kills me when I think of it. I was always cleaning hte house and doing dumb stuff instead of spendign time with her like my husband did. My husband is inconsalable. I’m so worried about him too. She was our child. I couldn’t have asked for a better child. I keep telling myself- I was blessed just to know her and thankful. I just wish she could have lived longer. I just wasn’t done loving her.

  204. Just had our 17 1/2 year old cat Charlie put to sleep. Oh, what a hard decision! I so understand the guilty feelings and the doubts and everything else that comes with it. In all gentleness: if someone hasn’t let go after some time, and the length of time is different for every individual situation, but I would say a year maximum, then you should really see a professional about it. 13 or 15 years, that’s just too long! Ask yourself some questions. What would have happened to the pet if you hadn’t taking this step? You’ve obviously put it to sleep because it was suffering or was going to die soon, which was going to be a much more uncomfortable death. So as many comments on the web say: you’ve done a good thing for your pet. My daughter was with me this morning and she said it was as if our Charlie was saying “Finally I can go! Thank you, I love you, but I really am finished, so goodbye.” If you had not put your pet to sleep, would he/she have recovered? If not, you did the right thing by ending its suffering. I think we put our pets too much on the same level as us. They can’t reason, they are dependent on us, they can’t make these decisions for themselves so we have to do it for them. It’s like taking your kid to the dentist to have a tooth filled, or taken to the doctor for a jab. You know it’s going to hurt them, but you also know it’ll help them after that. This is the same and the hurt in this case was minimal, just that little prick into a vein. I’ve been reading up on how that final moment actually works. I’ve read it is like going under general aneastetic. One moment you’re with it, the next second you’re “under”. In the case of putting to sleep: one moment your pet is still there, and suffering!, the next they are under and they just don’t come back. Blissful drifting into wherever they’re going, with no pain, no breathing problems, no problems eating, no joint pain, no suspected tumor pressing against the trachea, no suspicious mass against the heart, no doing the business behind the tv, no obvious discomfort when walking, lying down, sitting, an end to being obviously miserable. When I read all that, yes, we’ve done the right thing by Charlie. And all those who are agonising over the same feelings of loss and guilt and what have you: you’ve got a heart, that’s for sure. You care and that’s why you made the decision to allow your pet to go to a better place. You are to be commended. So put things into perspective by looking at the misery of some people in this world, or the animals my daughter was involved with in Jordan, and please realise that your pet had it sweet. He/she was well cared for and was even allowed to die painlessly. Then, if you can stomach it, get a new pet and smother it with all that love you’ve obviously got inside you. You are to be commended!

  205. I just had to put my beautiful Nikki to sleep, November 9th. She was 17 years and 8 months. My last bearded collie, she helped me through when I had to put her mom down after 15 years and her sister Echo when she was almost 14. But this time it was different. I thought I would lose her in october but she bounced back and was ok, this time she didn’t bounce back I knew it was time. We did a home euthanasia, it helped because she always got so nervous at the vets. It was a beautiful warm day, I took her outside quite a few times that day just to sit in the sun. When it was time I sat on the couch with her like we did many times before. I question everything I did that day, did i spend enough alone time with her? Did i take her out too many times? Did I do the right thing holding her because I couldn’t see her face straight on? Should I have told the vet I wanted her to have a sedative? He said he preferred to just do one stick. Did I kiss her enough? should I have talked to her more? I didn’t have the right music playing….. I still feel guilty, was she really ready? I don’t understand why we beat ourselves up? Am I not grieving enough? I have been trying to keep busy, It feels empty in the house, i still have hobbes my dachsund and willie my cat, but I even beat myself up because I’m only crying sometimes. I cut off the end of her ponytail so i could keep a piece of her, I smell her ponytail every morning it smells like Nikki and I put it next to my heart. I feel numb.

  206. On November 6 I posted how we were struggling with the thought of putting out pet down.

    This past Tuesday, November 8 we said said good-bye to our precious pug Jonah. I thought I’d never survive going through this.

    That evening we could not believe the quietness and peace in our home.
    It was then I realized that in my thinking that I could not bear to say good-bye I may have actually caused him to be miserable.

    He had become so anxious the last year, over time he had lost his hearing, his eyesight had become dim and the last month he had to wear diapers 24/7. What was I thinking? Why couldn’t I see this?

    While I’m stuggling with guilt. I have learned a valuable lesson ..if you are thinking it may be time to put your precious pet down …it probably is the time.

    While I wish I could hold my Jonah boy, kiss and love him up, I have no reqrets I know we did the right thing.

    I’m so thankful to still have Jonah’s sister Dolly. They have been together all their 13. years.
    While I’m terrified at the thought of having to go through this again, I will not let her be miserable.
    Instead I’m going to cherish every day I have left with her.

    At my vet’s suggestion we let Dolly visit Jonah after he passed.
    She was not in the room with us during the process but was brought in right afterward.
    She is very quiet right now but she is not looking all over for him. I really do believe by doing this she understands he is not coming back.

    I’m trying not to beat myself up with guilt, its hard. But I share my thoughts in hopes to help others.

    Thank you for listening to me it truly is healing to be able to talk about it with others who really do understand.

  207. well its been 7 weeks since we put our doxy hanky to sleep,i can honestly tell you that not one day has went by that i have not shed a tear or lots of them since then,we have brought another doxy into our house and healer is doing fine,though my wife has taken to him rather well i still have the guilt feelings ,not from another pet in our home but from not doing more to help hank while he was struggling,i dont know if i could ever establish that type of a bond that hank and i had but slowly i am working on it,it is amazing the charastristics these dogs share but a friend of mine told me they build their character from their owners,good luck to all of you with the same delima as i ,i think this mourning thing is going to take alot longer than i thought. thanks to webs like this we all can share. kevin and tanya sharing our love but still broken hearted in nebraska

  208. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Andy,

    I’m sorry to hear your dog has cancer. It sounds like you’re going through all the “normal” emotions of losing someone you love to death…it’s so complicated! Not just grief, but anger, guilt, despair, dread, and even fear.

    Maybe you’ll feel relieved when he passes, because he won’t be in pain. He’ll be free, and in a happier place (that’s what I like to believe, anyway!). He’ll be able to romp and play and eat all the dog biscuits he can handle while he waits to meet you again.

    About your son…I wrote this article:

    5 Ways to Help Kids Cope With a Pet’s Death

    I hope it helps, and wish you all the best as you cope with your dog’s cancer and death. I’ll keep you in my prayers.


  209. Reading the articles and post here are helping me tonight as I’m agonizing with putting my 13 yr old male pug down. Im trying to find an answer and direction. I will still have my female pug who is also 13 and I’m not sure how she will do …maybe fine as she has always liked to boss him around. Thank you for all the helpful information made available here ..sometimes you just don’t know where to go for help. I’m much more confident now moving forward. Will probably read a few things over again several more time for couarge.

  210. We just found out yesterday that our 10 year old dog has cancer and has maybe 4 weeks to live.
    It’s strange because I have so many feelings inside of me all at once.
    Angry, sad, and feel like I’m dying all at the same time.
    I’m dreading the whole death process of my dog because I feel that if I’m feeling this much pain now, how will I feel when he passes.
    Also, does anyone have any suggestions on dealing with this situation with my 5 year old son.
    He lost 2 of his grandparents a year ago within 6 months of each other. I’m dreading telling him about his pet.

  211. Thanks for your letter Laurie, to day I’m having to deal with my putting down my nine year old pekingnese. He has lost a lot of weight and is hardly eating, or perhap should say not eating. He is my companion. In another two hours he will be gone and I’m wanting to change my mind as he has been under the Vet’s care for 5 months now however at this time he is in no pain. I do hae another pekinese who is 11 years old and she is healthy. I do have to admit that I am more attached to my Rambo he is the one to be put down. He cuddles up to me everynight in bed since I lost my husband a year ago. I have bought time in keeping him and still want to. I know you understand and thanks for your letter.

  212. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Cece and Stevo,

    I’m so sorry to hear how hard your cat’s deaths ahve been – and how guilty you feel. I wish I could say things that make you feel better, but I’m at a loss. I still feel guilty about my cat’s death 15 years ago…there are some things that never really go away.

    Your guilty feelings will fade a bit more each year, I think (though I still feel guilt after 15 years, and Stevo still can’t forgive himself after 13!)

    Maybe I’m wrong, that it gets easier. I mostly have forgiven myself because I know that I didn’t do anything to deliberately harm my cat.

    Stevo and Cece, you should only feel guilty about your cat’s deaths if you caused them to die on purpose! But if you didn’t do anything to purposely hurt your cat, then you’re feeling guilty without a reason.

    I hope you’re able to forgive yourselves and move on. I hope the same for me, too!


  213. My cat, Betsy, died today. I still can’t believe it. On Monday, I took her to the vet for some antibiotics. I found out she had an infection and I thought she’d be fine. Two days later, when the shot kicked in, she looked better when I left for school (I had an all-day at school). Last night, I laid her on my bed to make sure she was warm (the vent was right over my legs). This morning, I looked over and didn’t see her move. I thought maybe she was sleeping, but when I picked her up… she was light. I freaked and called the vet… and she told me that she didn’t make it.

    I felt myself screaming as loud as I could, hoping that maybe… just maybe, Betsy would wake up. And she didn’t. I thought maybe if I had stayed home from school that ONE day, she would have been fine. I’m still crying like crazy, I’m not even sure if I should leave the house or not, I’m so upset.

  214. its been 13 years now. My brothers cat dissapeared for like two weeks. We searched n searched al over but nothing. Then he came back out of nowhere. He was stinky, and so very weak, and it hadnt had any food in a while. He just fell down n started making soft moaning noises. I could tel he was in pain n dehydrated. We phoned the spca to come pick him up. I picked him up gently n placed him on the bed, i sat next to him, i stayed n waited, i left the room for about 10 seconds but it was too late. He was dead. I cant forgive myself. If only i stayed he wouldnt have died alone. I cant take that image out of my head. I feel its my fault.

  215. My cat died when he was only 1 year old. He deserved to live longer, and I am still grieving for him. He was the sweetest little BIG Siamese ever and no cat will ever replace him!

  216. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for sharing your experiences with guilty feelings after your pet died. Pet loss guilt is so consuming…I have a dog, and feel guilty when I give her heck for being bad! I dread the day that I’ll lose her, but try to focus on the love and fun we have now.

    Wishing you all sympathy and blessings,

  217. My cat died 3 weeks ago, and I’m still devastated. He was 7 years old and very healthy, he should have lived at least another decade but now he’s gone. It was a tragic accident, mostly due to incredibly bad luck, but I can’t stop crying, and feeling guilty.

    I’m struggling with feelings of guilt and grief because of how tragically he died. I was on my balcony, with my feet up on a little patio table. But this table was a death trap waiting to happen. The inside of the base was hollow, which I forgot, and when my leg tilted the table onto its edge, my cat must have crawled under and inside (he was always very curious). I even felt him brush past me when he went under the table, but since I forgot that it was hollow I didn’t realize he was still inside it when I left the balcony. He was stuck inside a very tight space, and it was nearly 10 hours before I realized he was missing. When I lifted the table, I found his dead body. It was such a traumatic shock. He was healthy and so alive just earlier that day, and suddenly he was gone.

    I can’t stop thinking about all the “what if’s”. Why did I have such a stupid, dangerous hollow table? Why did I put my feet up on it, tilting it on its edge? Why didn’t I realize he was stuck inside it? Why didn’t I realize he was missing earlier? Why didn’t I hear him struggling to get out? And how much did he suffer? (His muzzle had some blood on it, from trying to bite through the wood). All I can hope is that he passed out fairly quickly, when he was running out of air, and did not suffer too much… but I’ll never know.

    Everyone that knew him agreed he was the coolest cat they’d ever met (extremely intelligent, affectionate, gentle, and well behaved). He was with me through some of the hardest times in my life, and he cuddled with me every night. He gave me so much love and companionship. I want to remember the good times, not dwell on the tragedy of his death, but it’s hard. I know it wasn’t technically my fault, but sometimes I think it was. He was such an important part of my life, I’d hoped he’d live another ten years, and I miss his presence SO MUCH. I’ve adopted another kitten to keep my other cat company, and they seem to be getting along… but it’s not the same. The cat who died was my favourite, and the first animal I ever adopted on my own.

  218. Dear All,

    So glad to have found this site for sharing in guilt as related to pet loss. One week ago (day after Hurricane Irene) I received a knock at my front door from a young couple that lived a few blocks away. They said my cat was “hit” and that “she’s on your deck.” They were callous, did not offer their names or any detail on how the incident happened. They left without further adieu. It was broad daylight on a quiet suburban road around 4pm.

    After being lucky with little to no storm damage, I saw my 1 1/2 year old cat “Kaia” alive but broken and in shock. Since it was Sunday, all the town vets were closed and my regular animal emergency hospital was flooded and therefore closed. I finally located one that was open 30 minutes away with my friend’s assistance. We got her there alive and they confirmed she had a broken pelvis, but would probably make it. The attending vet sent me home with pain medicine and said I should take Kaia to the vet first thing in the morning. I obliged.
    Kaia died that evening in my daughter’s arms.

    I am struggling daily with guilt over this. First, Kaia was a rescue, most likely feral. She was gorgeous and beloved by the neighbors. My buddy. A spiritual connection we had. Kaia lived and loved to be outside. She was a classic indoor/outdoor cat who mostly stayed on or near her property. She always came when she was called, no issues. I feel badly that I let her out, despite her nature. I also feel guilty that I took her home from the Animal Hospital in such fragile condition. Maybe she would have had a chance for recovery and I would have spared my 14 year old daughter watching her beloved cat die, screaming in pain (even with pain medicine). It was a wrenching sound that tore right through us.

  219. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    The last few days, hours, or moments of your dog or cat’s death are miniscule in comparison to the years of love, life, and experiences you shared together! It’s awful when our pets’ lives end in pain or tragedy…but I think it’s important to focus on the Big Picture, especially if you feel guilty about how your pet died.

    I think our dogs and cats remember the most important part of their lives: how much we loved and cherished them. They won’t take the last painful parts of their lives with them…they’ll take our love, compassion, and devotion.


  220. Last Tuesday, August 23, 2011, my beloved 16 years old, Corgi/German shepperd mix had put down to sleep. I have never thought I would be in this terrible pain and guilt. I can’t stop crying. I miss her so much and feel so guilty. But what I am really guilty about is that she was so in pain on her last days, esp. the last hours of her death. Th vet told me a day before she died that she had a very bad back and her bladder was full and that I needed to press her stomach to get the urine out to relieve her because the bladder was not functioning well. So I did and every time I pushed her stomach she would scream and I continued to do it hoping to make her feel better. The condition worsen the next day and she was panting hard and crying. I decided to take her to the vet again only to find out that she did not have a bladder issue it was a tumor in her stomach and is a size of a basketball. I was so devastated and Sunshine was non-stop crying in the room where they performed a scan. I requested the nurse to bring Sunshine to me and she did but Sunshine was already sedated and half asleep. i could not even say goodbye to her when she’s fully awake. My family and friends said their goodbyes to her but she was so drugged up. I hope she recognnized us. She was in my arms until her heart stopped. Now the house is so quite and empty and I am so mad of my husband and myself for not giving Sunshine our best especially during her last days. But most of all I am angry at myself for keep hoping she would get better, instead she suffered from extreme pain hours before she died . Also, I am so mad with the vet guy for giving me wrong diagnoses, when he said it was the bladder when it was really a tumor. If I had known she had a tumor I could have put her down days before. Thank you for the support.

  221. Hi all

    Its so hard losing a pet… Doesn’t matter if you have been with them short or long. It just sucks. I lost my Fox Terrier Cross ” Buffy” 3 days ago. I went on late night shopping as my partner was on night shift. As i entered the back yard… Buffy bolt out to the street and As i am 7 months pregnant I couldn’t stop her. she never crosses the street and out street is a quiet street and i started calling her.. she started running towards me but a car came full speed and run over her.. i was in shock she kept screeming and she couldn’t move her back legs.. i ran to her and picked her up … I was screeming. the neighbours came out. I called the vet but it was too late.. she lifted her head twice but i was so in shock i couldn’t even say goodbye to her and comfort her… she died right infront of me and I couldn’t do anything for her… she was only 8 months old … we had her for only 3 months.. she was in Pond and we saved her.. she slept with us in out room … hang out with us inside and she was our baby… me and my partner are devastated i have never experienced something like this before… she was bleeding from her nose and mouth… I keep blaming myself for what happened to her. wish i could go back and change things… the house is so empty … i see her at each corner of the house… we burried her on our front yard so she can be with us… I so wanted her to meet our baby but her life was short… I thought she will be with me for long… I miss her so bad… I hope she forgives me… and I hope i see her again on the otherside… u are always with me Buffy… love ya

  222. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for sharing your memories of your beloved pets. You are not alone if you feel guilty because of how your dog or cat died. I think most pet owners do, even if they didn’t do anything to cause their pet’s death.

    Keep your pet’s memory alive by sharing your stories as often as you can. It’ll help you heal and cope with your feelings of loss.


  223. Hi,
    I just had to put my 8 year old border collie down. i was away for school for 3 months and my fiance was looking after him. i was home for 4 days when he started to act weird and not be himself. I took him to the vet and he had cancer on his spleen that ruptured and caused it to bleed into his stomach. He was my best friend and i had the worst feeling of guilt for a couple days. I’m going to miss him so much, and all the things that he did for me was just amazing. The trust that he had in me and the never stop attitude he had when we went for runs or played catch. this site was very helpful. thank you. RIP Czar (Feb 1, 2003-Aug 4, 2011)

  224. Just lost my 15 yr old Lhasa, this is my third Lhasa and 4th dog, 1st was a Bassett, Rags died at 10 yrs , I blamed myself, and it took 3 yrs before I could accept another dog in my life. Chin Lee was a beautiful female Lhasa Apso, and after 2yrs she had 7 pups which we delivered and kept 2 males,Winston died at 7, Chin lee died at 10 and Jet died recently at 15yrs old. It is real hard on both my wife and I, but I am 100 % positive we covered every avenue to save him, and in the end when the decision was made, we decided not address our heartstrings, but address Jet’s needs and let him pass in peace. We both cry alot, got his ashes back at the end of the week and walk him around the house and place him on the foot of the bed where he liked to sleep. It is hard, and we will never get over his loss, but he will always remain in our hearts as will all of the others before him.

  225. Last Night 7/13/2011 I lost a best friend a wonderful listener. My Jack Russell Taz Also Know to me as “Poochie Baby” He held on all day while i was at work he wanted to spend his last hours with me… He died in my arms when I was rushing him to the vet… He threw up on me and then crawled up to my chest and looked at me one last time and went limp…. I never cryed so hard in my life… I loved that dog with all my heart…. He was always there when I came home from work after having a bad day none of that even mattered when I saw those big brown eyes greeting me at the door. When I was sick I will miss him coming to check on me not wanting to leave my bedside until he knew I was okay… All the good times with the family Like once we had a cook out and you know how it’s all dog’s dream to have that steak right off the grill well let’s just say Taz got that dream…. My little cuz left his steak on the table and Taz jumped up and got the steak and well let’s just say he did not need dinner that night lol…. Taz loved the snow once I remember tying to get shovel the side walk and he was all in the way running up and down the side walk… We also have a cat too once the cat thought it was a great idea to take a nap in Taz’s bed and Taz did not think so. Taz watched him for a little while and then started jumping up and down and hitting the side of the bed with his paw like saying “hey get up this is my bed you are sleeping in” it was so funny. Here I go cryin again. Just thinking about the happy times makes me cry because I realized just how much apart of my life he was and Poochie Baby you will be missed… I love you R.I.P.

  226. Hi, i just lost my 2 years old dog, Molly. i’ve lost my closest dog before and twiggy was the first dog that made me feel i could love any dogs again. last night i had figure it out that something wrong with her pregnancy. she kept lying in the yard so we took her inside with a sheet. i cried and i cried but i didnt call the vet because of our family condition. i just only pray hope that would be a miracle for her. she looked me with suffering to see me cried. i can see a tears in her eyes. suddenly she woke up and walked through the back fence. i though that she already got strange and able to labor. since it was late i just let her go. but my heart was not calm at all. i can sleep. the next morning i looked for her. i found a death fetus on bushes, my heart thumb..i found her inside bushes with her stomach still big. the babies could’nt came out. just about 30 minutes after, she died… leave in the big grief and guilty. the guilty that i can bare. this is totally my fault and i don’t how to deal with..i was very closed to her, how can i recognized that something was happened to her. i keep saying sorry but i don’t know that she can hear me or not. i keep pretending that she’s still around. lying in the some her favorite spots inside the house. on the the corner of my room or the spot in my bed where she used to lie.. i even open the door ask her to inside before i go to sleep…gosh i miss her so bad..i know and i relized that this is God will and if He wanted Molly alive, and she would be.. but still the pain and the guilt is weighing me so much..


  228. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear hoai an,

    Thank you for sharing about your cat, and I’m so sorry to hear that she died. It’s amazing how quickly we fall in love with our animals, isn’t it?

    You had a wonderful year with her, and you gave her the love and affection she desperately needed. I hope you can remember her with love, peace, and happiness — no guilt or regret. It’ll take time to mourn her because you loved her, but soon you will remember her with joy.

    Will you get another cat? Here’s an article I wrote, to help pet lovers decide:

    Should I Get Another Dog After My Dog Died?

    It says “dogs”, but it applies to cat lovers as well.

    In sympathy,

  229. today i lost the cat i love. i found her 1 year ago she lost an eye i guessed no one will take her so i did i cant believe she would die 1 year after. i regret i couldnt stay with her at the end. for seventeen year since i can remember i hadnt cry much but now i am crying like a baby thinking back about her good times and bad times and times we fight and looking at the scars…darn my eyes are filling up again
    after reading this i still wonder where will she go maybe can i she her again in my dream or she will come back.
    sr for my E im vietnamese and for this(i just lonely)

  230. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Jayne,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Brina…how sad, and heartbreaking. She loved you, and loved her life with you. It ended so quickly, which can make grieving even more sad when your dog dies. It’s so painful, and my heart goes out to you.

    I hope you’re able to resolve your feelings of guilt. You would have stayed with her – and taken her to the veterinarian – if you’d known that she was sick! You had no idea what was to happen, so you couldn’t have done anything differently.

    You didn’t do anything wrong, my friend. I totally understand how guilty you feel that she died…but it wasn’t your fault.

    I hope you’re doing well, and that the intense pain of your dog’s death has eased up a bit.

    In sympathy,

  231. My beautiful Brina a Staffy died at 2.30/3.00am on 4th June 2011. She was 13yrs old and the love of my life my companion my beloved friend.
    Its agony going in the house and she’s not there to greet me and at night she’s not there to sit by my side as always. The day she died she seemed fine got up as normal down the stairs let her out back as normal I’d have my breakfast and she’d sit with me and watch for me to finish.
    I would then finish getting ready for work. She always used to jump on the chair in the lounge so she could look out the window, she’d not done this for a while as she struggled with her legs. But this day I came down ready for work and there she was on the chair and looking out the window.But when I go work I had to keep her in the back room, its very big and she had a big settie to sit on and her basket if she chose to use it. When I got home form work she seemed ok I put her food out, my husband had been home most of the afternoon and said she’d been out in the garden and seemed ok. I feel so so guilty as I was rushing to get ready as had a function to go to. Normally dont go out on a friday its was normally me and her chilling and cuddling on the sette. I got home around 6ish so had to be out the house by 7 and so never had time to give her my attention as would normally. My husband returned home around 10.30ish and I got home at 11.30pm. Our friends were staying over that night . She was on the sette in back room and was breathing fast. I got her to go out to go for her wee wee but when she came back in I noticed she was wobbling on her legs once inside she flopped to the floor and wouldn’t move. My friend carried her up to our bedroom placed her on our bed. As I lay there she had her head on my arm and was close to me still breathing fast. She moved to the bottom of our bed I could hear her for a while my husband said she was just hot but if no better in the morning we’ll take her vets. But she passed away. I feel so guilty that I didn’t do more and that we never spent that evening together. Why oh why was I not there I feel guilty I can’t cope without her can’t stop crying, can’t eat, having panic attacks and can’t breath . My husband and son are at home and I no they must feel the pain as well. I just want her back I can’t bear it without her, not hearing her walking on the wooden floor or barking to be let in the back door or just sitting with me and giving me all her love and a kiss. Waiting for us to finish eating as she new we would always leave her some. She always slept on our bed in between us and not feeling her there is breaking my heart. My heart aches so much for my Brina xxxxxxx

  232. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Marcy,

    I’m so sorry to hear about Midnight…that’s heartbreaking. I don’t think there is a quick fix or way to get over the intense pain. I think it takes time to heal, mourn, and grieve.

    It’s shocking that the veterinarian would just put him down without talking to you first. You didn’t get a chance to say good-bye or even discuss the options. That makes it more painful, I’m sure.

    Please remember that you didn’t take his life away! It wasn’t your fault — you did the best you could. You went to the animal shelter as soon as you could, and you certainly didn’t make the decision to put him down.

    I hope it helps to know that you aren’t responsible for his death.

    My heart goes out to you, and I hope your heart heals as you move forward without Midnight.


  233. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Liza,

    I’m so sorry to hear how your cat died. The pain and guilt you are feeling is very real and normal, and no sympathy or platitudes will help.

    I think you need to just grieve your cat’s death. Maybe it’s too soon to try to start feeling better, or try to start healing. Maybe it’s time to cry, mourn, and express your feelings of grief and guilt.

    Different people take different amounts of time to heal…I still feel sad and heartbroken over my cat’s death. She had a similar experience: she broke her leg, and came crawling across our lawn to me. The vet couldn’t save her leg, and I couldn’t afford to spend $1,000 on amputation surgery. So I let him put her to sleep.

    I still feel absolutely awful about my cat, and that was more than 10 years ago! I just don’t think there’s any way to heal fast. Your cat will always be a part of you, will always have a piece of your life and heart.

    But, your pain will become less intense…and one day you’ll remember your cat with love and fondness instead of pain and guilt.

    In Letting Go of an Animal You Love, I interviewed pet loss grief experts, veterinarians, and people who were devastated after losing their pets. They share dozens of helpful, inspiring, strength-building, and sometimes surprising tips for coping with pet loss – none of which are here on Quips and Tips.

    I hope it helps a bit to know you’re not alone.

    In sympathy,

  234. Hi, I hope someone can help me here, I’m feeling so broken of my cats death. He was 11 years old at the prime of his life with no health problems and the enrgy of a kitten. He has refused to stay inside at night(would scratch and cry at the door literally all night if put inside) He was desexed but he seemed determined to sit just outside the house and guard it. You could go out any time of the night and he would crawl out from a warm spot. Two weeks ago I saw him on my back deck as usual,closed the door and went to bed.I remember hearing my dog barking sometime in the early hours but yelled at her to stop(she barks at everything so though it was the usual false alarm) I was up before 7am and nothing seemed out of place. When Butch didnt show for lunch I was worried but though he might be sleeping somewhere else. He wasnt there for dinner and I was worried but had heard so many stories of cats disappearing for a day or two so tried not to panic. When he wasnt there the next morning I went searching and calling and put flyers in letterboxes. I thought I heard a faint reply but it could have been one of my other cats(I have 4 more) I did search far and wide and wracked my brains about where he could be. This Saturday I got the phonecall I didnt want. A person living a few blocks away had found his body hanging from a broken foot(stuck between palings) He wasnt there during the week and so didnt notice earlier(mind you, this was 10 days after he went missing so he somehow didnt see him the previous weekend??) The body was starting to smell and decompose so it would seem Btuch had died pretty early. Now, I am tortured-wondering how long he had been alive,why hadnt anyone heard him? Why didnt I hear him as I stood in front of each house on the street cupping my ears and listening. My dog didnt seem to notice either. I cant find peace over this. I feel that something is just not right and I dont know how to find closure over this. I keep picturing his poor smashed up leg and hanging there so helplessly. Why didnt he not struggle or even snap that leg off to get free-like animals do in traps? I want not to feel guilty but I have a dark cloud over me all the time. I feel so horribly alone even when surrounded by my other babies or talking to my friends. How do I move forward without just sprouting happy sounding platitudes and kidding myself? Help please-anyone!

  235. after reading these i feel a little better. I just put our family cat who was nearly 18yrs old to sleep this week due to a VERY serious leg/hip injury!!
    the guilt im feeling is TERRIABLE and i miss him soo much!!! i keep thinking maybe i should have waited and seen if he was going to get better? maybe i should have done more for him.Its just i thought with his age him slowly not eating or drinking water him going from not being able to walk to JUST laying there for days living on pain meds for days was not fair to him.i thought it was the right thing to do for him! but now im greif stricken and heartbroken not to mention the feeling of quilt is awful!!!

  236. Marcy Fitzgerald

    Hello, my family of three and two labs had moved on May 1st to my sisters home. One day according to my nephew he bend down to pet my black lab midnight and suddenly midnight bit him on the cheeck slashing him and needing stitches to his face, however during the time of the drama in the house they all kept screaming to take midnight away and put him out, during this tense moment I ran to my husband and told him to take midnight away and so he did, the place closed an hour later after dropping him off but later that evening I was thinking why did we take him out so quick?? And when we called they said it was already closed until Tuesday morning. So on Tuesday morning before they opened we rushed over to the animal shelter to go get him and we got the worse news that he had been put out on Saturday before they closed. After this news I screamed and cried and feel so much guilt for putting my 7yr old closest friend to me, out. Midnight was extremely playful and friendly never bit anyone and sometimes roamed through the neighborhood even people new him very well and can’t believe midnight would attack over someone just petting him but anyways I can’t seem to forgive myself for taking his life away when he licked me for taking him to a car ride over to animal control. How do I overcome the intense pain of putting him out??

  237. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Thank you for your comments, and for sharing your stories of your beloved pets. Coping with guilty feelings or pet loss guilt really does make grieving harder…and I know our pets wouldn’t want us to feel so bad about their lives.


  238. My beautiful boy rella died one week today. He was just 7 years old and had been diagnosed with an enlarged heart.This last week has been one of the worst of my life-the tears the guilt-the emptyness. I feel i want to die and be with him. He was my life-the reason to get up-to come home-I have never loved anyone the way i love him. From a kitten i hand reared him-We had such a strong bond-he was always at my side.
    His mother phoebe is mourning now with me-we miss him so so much. My darling rella i will love u always…..
    Hugs and kisses to all others who have lost their friends- I hope time will make things just a little better xxx

  239. Hi Laurie,

    Thank you for this site. I had to put my cat to sleep about two weeks ago. He had constipation and I brought him to the animal hospital and agreed to all the tests and procedures they had to do thinking he’d get better but it went downhill from day one. He had two enemas and on the first one his lung collapsed due to the anesthesia. I had to make the painful decision after 5 days in hospital because I couldn’t bear seeing him in pain any longer. I still cannot forgive myself because I feel like I brought him there to die a painful death.

    I am stuck in my grief and nothing can seem to console me. I nearly adopted a rescue cat but held off at the last minute.

    I’ve lost pets before but this boy was different. He was the sweetest most beautiful cat who loved my family unconditionally. We’ve only had him for a year, having adopted him from the previous occupant of our house. He purred and ‘talked’ like he understood us and took away all our aches and cares at the end of every day. Coming home was always a pleasure knowing he’d be there at his favorite perch near the garage waiting for me.

    Now there’s just this huge void in my life that I can’t get my head around. I’ve been told ‘it’s just a cat’. No, he wasn’t just a cat. He was my baby boy.

    I should be consoled by the thought that I am not alone in this kind of grief. My prayers go out to everyone who has lost a pet.


  240. my 9year old cat sooty was attacked by a dog a few weeks ago. sadley one of his legs was severly ingured and he would of lost it, my mum said it wouldn’t be fair on him considering he was a roamer and went every-wherr, if we did choose to have his leg taken off it would of cost well over £1000 and my mum&dad said she couldn’t afford it, sadley we had him put down and u feel really guilty about him being put down beofre his time was up and angrey at the dog and its owner for not being on a lead!

  241. My bulldog passed away today while walking with my daughter and while I was away doing errands. My daughter told me that she was walking her and on her way back home my bulldog Precious (1 year old 2 months) stopped and did not want to move. I told my daughter that it is natural for her to do that when she was tired and to give her time to recover. Later she called that she was going to sleep and I told her to let her rest and try pulling her in order to make her walk back home. A few minutes later I received the dreaded call that my babygirl Precious was dead. I could not believe it and did not want to believe it. I rushed home to find her on my lawn with her blue tongue out of her mouth and not moving. I wanted to believe she was resting but the truth was that she was dead. Why? “If I had only”…I blamed god for taking her away from me. I had recently purchased another Bulldog puppy to give company to Precious. Both Precious and Twinkie were inseparable and they would constantly play and bite each other in a playful way and I was happy to see Precious happy with Twinkie. When I would take them for walks, Twinkie would always want to be besides Precious and did not want any distance between them. Now I am afraid that Twinkie is missing Precious wondering why is she not around. I feel like I have to give Twinkie away since she is going to be lonely and there is nothing I can do about it. As I write this, I still can’t believe that Precious is no longer with me and is buried in my backyard. I feel like I was not there for her and that I failed Precious. I pampered Precious tremendously and gave her a birthday cake for her first birthday and took her to a pet care on her special day in order to celebrate her day. I love my dogs to death and now I’m not sure I should keep Twinkie. I am in so much pain and even my daughter tell me that it was not my fault or anyones but if I had not let her take her for a walk today she would still be alive. This pain is too much to bare and I don’t know how to stop this pain I feel inside.

  242. Thank you for this article. It has been almost a week since I’ve lost my 10 yr old lab. I can’t seem to get over the guilty feelings and miss him so much. Late last Thursday night he started making vomiting noises and I brushed it off as too much chewing on his bone and took it away for the night. In the morning his stomach was so swollen and he was drooling and breathing really heavy. I brought him to the Vet ER to find that his stomach had flipped and the only the solution was surgery. At his age and the amount of recovery we had to make the decision to put him down. My heart breaks everyday over our choice. I’m so thankful to have spent such a wonderful time with him and its helpful though to read how other people are going through similar feelings.

  243. Hi There,
    Its coming up to almost 2 weeks since I put my beautiful cat Milo to sleep. He was 13 years old and he had kidney failure so I had made the hardest decision I had ever made. I still miss him alot. last week I went to the SPCA to look at cats and one cat stood out from the rest. I ended up adopting her she is 11 months old, she was rescued by the SPCA and had alot of trust issues. She can never replace my beloved Milo but I feel that I have enough love to share so that she feels safe and happy and is able to trust people. Some of things she does is similar to what Milo used to do.

  244. Thank you. I am so glad I found this wonderful site altough I have not have time to read too much through it yet, I will when I get back from church.
    My Husky died last Friday morning. Two months ago he had kidney failure, but after being in the animal hospital for three days he recovered. He is estimated to be 11 years and 9 months old (he is a rescued dog). I had his final blood panel done Thursday the 31st and it came out excellant. At the time he also had two immunizations. On the Sunday following, he was more tired than usual I noticed and had, had an accident in the house (which is unusual for him). His appetite was down and drinking down, but he seemed to perk up later. Then he started pacing around in circles. Then he would seem normal again. I thought he was getting better. The kidney treatment was expensive and my mother had to help pay for it. Even so, I should have taken my dog in immediately to see if this was happening again. I know kidney failure is progressive, but I should have at least seen if there was a chance for him to live comfortably or not. On Thursday night before he died, he took his walk very slowly. I knew then that something was very wrong. On Friday I was going to take him back into the vet, but it was too late. I woke up to find him dead in the living room. I had to be to work two hours later. I feel I have failed him. I hope that animals will go to heaven and have been looking into this, but guess I will have to accept this if they don’t. This is the worse thing I have ever done in my life. My apathy may have cost my dogs life. I am in a hard place financially, but money can always be replaced later. I hope God can forgive me if I deserve it. Thank you.

  245. Dear Cindy
    Thank you for writing about your feelings for Samantha your lab. I do hope that the pain of your loss has softened. We just had to put our Lab Sophie to sleep yesterday. She was only 8 and a half years old and she had lung cancer. We only found out the day before so she must have been in a lot of pain for some time. We don’t smoke so that’s made it worse. I’m so glad you wrote about your feelings, as they are what I am feeling now, and I thought it was just me. I am full of deep regret and guilt for all the things I should have done for her during her life but didn’t. She was the perfect dog for us and I so wish we hadn’t taken her for granted. Don’t know how I’m going to get over this – I miss her heaps. I’m glad we were all with her when she was put to sleep, giving her hugs and kisses and I held her paw. She was a beautiful, loving and patient dog and I am so heartbroken. At least now she is not suffering and is in peace.

  246. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Megan,

    I’m so sorry to hear that your dog may be nearing the end of his life. Saying goodbye to a pet you love is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do, I’m sorry to say.

    Keep letting yourself cry — because your tears are healing and healthy. They help you cope, they help you feel better about what’s happening. I know you don’t really feel good when you cry, but your tears are good for you.

    I also encourage you to talk about your dog’s life with your parents, brothers or sisters, friends, and people you love and trust.

    Remember that even after your dog isn’t part of your life here on earth, he’ll always be in your heart. You’ll never, ever forget him. He’ll go to Heaven, and wait for you. He’ll be watching out for you and loving you, and be enjoying his new young body. He’ll be running free and happy, without the constraints of old age!

    Maybe it’s time to start letting him go, Megan. He’s had a good long life, and it’s time for him to leave.

    Again, I’m so sorry for you, and I hope you come back and tell me how you’re doing.


  247. i am 11 years old. my dog has not died yet but he is very old and likely to die any month now. whenever i think about it i start to cry really really really REALLY hard. if i’m at school i ask to go to the bathroom and if i’m at home i go on a walk to cry in peace. how can i stop from thinking such bad thoughts? even though your site yelped me understand what i should do when rusty does die i’m still sure i won’t be able to handle it

  248. Hi. My lab Samantha who was 9 and 1/2 years old just passed away Thursday night. It’s been 3 days but I am so sick to my stomach and I can’t stop crying. I have another dog, a shepherd named Maverick who is also mourning. I am trying to stay busy and to keep his life as normal as possible but I just break down throughout the day. The house is so quiet without her and EVERYTHING I do reminds me of her. I know that with time it will get better because I’ve lost other dogs previously but just when I think I’m going to be ok, another memory comes along and I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach again. I’ve been reading online about how to grieve and get over the loss of a pet and I think it will help. I just wanted to share my story for others who may be feeling the same thing. It is the hardest thing ever to lose a beloved family pet.

  249. I had to put my 16 yr old dog`ben` to sleep in Nov 2010.He had Myelopathy,arthritis a heart murmor and was urine incontinent at times.I feel so guilty and lonely without him and live alone,so it seems even worse.He was still eating and this confuses me as I feel as if he still wanted to go on,but he was falling on his haunches and walking with upturned rear paw.I know there is no magic answer,but I am soooo!!! down I can`t believe it.Mike .p

  250. Timothy and Shereen Hall

    Thank you Laurie !
    We wish also to thank all of the folks who have helped through sharing their own experiences of sharing their homes with needy friends. We have DOLLY now, a beautiful gray and chocolate tiger tabby.
    Loving your pets and giving them the best care
    we can is sometimes hard work, but as equally
    rewarding. And true… that letting them die
    peacefully is difficult, albeit a correct and
    humane thing we can do for our “best friends”
    We press on as did SAARPA move on and our
    new addition DOLLY with us ! We are fortunate
    to have found some resolve. That is our wish
    for you out there, also ! Our best wishes to
    all whom have lost, survive, and live to love
    another wonderful, needy pet !
    Thank You !
    Timothy and Shereen Hall

  251. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Timothy and Shereen,

    My condolences on your cat’s passing — and I’m sorry it took so long for me to reply.

    I hope you no longer feel guilty for opening your home to another cat, because making room in your life for a new animal who needs love and care isn’t a betrayal of the cat you lost! Loving a new cat doesn’t mean you loved SAARPA less…it just means you’re ready to spread the care and compassion you have around, to include another animal. This is a good thing, very healthy and helpful.

    Please enjoy your new “job”, taking care of a new cat…I know that creature is grateful for you!


  252. I am grateful for this site and the insight it has gave me. My beloved cat of fifteen years left us Wednesday. Saarpa was a wonderful friend for so long, it hurts so terribly bad, worse than bad. We didn’t know she was so ill, and when we got her help, she still died… respitory failure secondary to cancer and medication. We even feel guilty that she died because we were trying to help her. We resolve through the hurt by telling ourselves that she was suffering more than we knew. She is now at rest. We decided to open our home… and our hearts to another cat. I felt guilty that I am betraying SAARPA in some way as soon as we decided to get another addition to our family. Your stories and responses have helped me to better understand why I feel as I do, that it is perfectly normal and she would want us to be happy. I get this pet now with no expectations, and will love this new pet on her terms, not my own. I will always love SAARPA, will never forget her, and now that our work is finished with SAARPA, we have another job, to give a wonderful pet a good, warm home, a full belly, and our hearts. I hope I have made the correct decision. Please help us in knowing we’re at least heading in the right directions for the right reasons. Thank You ! Timothy and Shereen Hall

  253. I too have had to put down a beloved pet today. My cat of 11 years was suffering and we think it was cancer. It is hard but it had to be done. I feel tremendous guilt but after reading your advice I feel relieved.

  254. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Margaret,

    I’m sorry to hear you’re still struggling with your dog’s death, after three years! That’s heartbreaking.

    My suggestion is to talk to a counselor or grief loss expert. You need to talk through your grief and guilt, and learn better ways to cope. It’s time to heal, my friend.

    In Letting Go of an Animal You Love, I describe five reasons that pet loss is so difficult to survive, and five reasons that grief gets “stuck” (plus 65 more tips for healing from pet loss!). It souonds like you may be stuck in your grief…and you need help climbing out.

    A pet loss grief support group would also be helpful…is there one in your area?


  255. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Enza, I’m glad you found strength here, and I gratefully accept your huge cuddle :-)

    Also – in Letting Go of an Animal You Love, I interviewed pet loss grief experts, veterinarians, and people who really, really struggled after losing their pets. They share dozens of helpful, inspiring, strength-building, and sometimes surprising tips for coping with pet loss – none of which are here on Quips and Tips.


  256. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Sharan,

    I’m sorry it took me so long to respond — and I’m really sorry for what you went through when your dog died! My heart goes out to you.

    I wrote an article for you:

    Should I Get Another Dog After My Dog Died?

    Of course I can’t tell you if you should get another dog, but I can FOR SURE say that you shouldn’t feel guilty for wanting to adopt another dog! There’s nothing wrong with wanting to share your life with an animal, for giving him a home and love and food and walks and all that good stuff. You’re not betraying your dog by opening your heart to another dog.

    I hope you read the article, and that it helps you make your decision. If you’ve already adopted another dog, I’d love to hear how it’s going!

    All good things,

  257. Hi all, I lost my 7 month old puppy less than a week ago and feel so sad. My puppy somehow got out of the fence and was missing for the night. The next morning, my boyfriend found her in the neighbors yard covered in blood. I rushed home from work and took her a bath to clean her and rushed her to the vet. She sustained injuries to her head from an unknown source. The vet treated her for shock and with antibiotics and said she may be prone to seizures. I monitored her during the week and she seemed to be getting better. Approx a week later she had a seizure and stopped breathing. She died and I miss her so much, I fee empty, guilty and upset. I came across this site and wanted to share this poem I wrote for her: A small creature with such lovely features, comes at such a time to help ease the mind. Full of grace helped increase the pace, if we only knew what we were to face. A silent echo in this place that was once a safe space. She is free and we must understand that this is how it was meant to be. Memories will pass, but we must not forgot too fast. What we thought was clear, was now what we begin to fear. Understand what began, was so close to man. We remember that Cashmere was so dear and now we must let go of the fear. Moving on to become strong, and start to sing the song we knew all year long…

  258. I just lost my 8yr old (F)Boxer, the doctor thinks that she had a tumor on her brain along with a very mild case of valley fever. I feel guilty becuase I didn’t have enough money to see if there was anything that I could do for her. I feel like I gave up on her. It may have eventually turned out that I would have still had to put her down, but it still hurts. I can’t shake the image out of my head of her last breath. I hear sounds in the house, I expect to see her walk arund the corner. My heart hurts so bad!

  259. Hey i need some advice… i lost my 9 month old boxer puppy today to a seizure..and ive been feeling really guilty about it..and as much as i feel i could have done something theres really nothing i could do about it. he died in my arms this morning and i cant stop thinking about him. I really want another dog but im feeling really guilty about getting another dog as i loved my boxer with all my heart and i feel very guilty about loving another dog that isnt him. At the same time i want a dog really badly after the wonderful times ive had with my boxer. Do you think that i sould really get another dog?
    Thanks in advance

  260. my dog died 3 years ago ever since then i feel like its my fault the gate was left open my dog got out i think she ate something but the vets said it was her liver she was fine a day before it happend and ever since it happened i get mad at people when i see them with there pet i feel like there trying to get me jealous cant take it my heart hurts my tummy hurts dont want to be with people who have pets

  261. Thank you Laurie
    this site has really given me strength… i can not thank you enough!!!! i am sending a huge cuddle…

  262. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Enza,

    I am SO sorry to hear about your poor sweet puppy. How tragic and heartbreaking for you, and for him. I wish I could say the magic words to take your pain away, but I’m afraid there aren’t any such words.

    You did what you could to protect your puppy. He just got away from you — it wasn’t your fault! That’s what puppies do: they run their little legs off. For some reason, your puppy wasn’t meant to grow up.

    Enza, you didn’t do anything wrong. It was an accident that your dog died. Dealing with guilty feelings is for people who did the wrong thing.

    You loved your puppy, fed him, took him to the vet when he needed it – you would have done anything for your him! Write down all the good times you had together, all the wonderful ways you took care of him. Carry this list around with you, and read it whenever those guilty feelings creep in.

    Would your puppy want you to stay in pain 24 hours a day? No. Is letting go of the grief a betrayal of your puppy? No! He would want you to remember him with love, joy, and happiness.

    I hope this helps and wish you all the best.

    In sympathy,

  263. Hey i need some advice… i lost my 9 month old boxer puppy today to a seizure..and ive been feeling really guilty about it..and as much as i feel i could have done something theres really nothing i could do about it. he died in my arms this morning and i cant stop thinking about him. I really want another dog but im feeling really guilty about getting another dog as i loved my boxer with all my heart and i feel very guilty about loving another dog that isnt him. At the same time i want a dog really badly after the wonderful times ive had with my boxer. Do you think that i sould really get another dog?
    Thanks in advance

  264. i need some advice…
    i lost my puppy of 11 months to a hit and run…. we were at the beach and he decided to run.. i called him, he stopped and then did another runner…. i called, yelled, screamed, looked and cried until i found him across the road on the pavement lying down. a kind man drove me home and ari died in my arms.. he took his last breath in my arms… iam not dealing with this… i was meant to protect him especially from roads and cars… i cant stop thinking about the scenrio and i cant stop blaming myself.. i shared this amazing puppy with my sister who was about to board an plane for a holiday…. i couldnt stop saying, ‘ iam sorry!! iam sorry!!! i still feel that way…… i brought him for the walk, ari didnt even wont to go as he ran away from me as soon as he saw the lead ( it was the thing he did when ever we went for a walk)(he would always love the walk at the end) please help me as i feel i have lost every thing…. ari taught me not to be selfish and to care for sum one other then myself…….. i feel that i didnt do my part- keeping him safe!!!

  265. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear BJ,

    I’m sorry to hear you lost your dog — and very sad to hear how guilty you feel!

    You have to remember that you did what you thought was right. For whatever reason, this was the way Suzy’s life had to unfold…you would never, ever have let her suffer or get sick if you had known her tumors were growing so fast. You didn’t deliberately harm her, so you have no reason to feel guilty over her death.

    It wasn’t your preoccupation that led to her becoming ill and dying…it was the cancer, my friend. Even if you had sought a second opinion, there may have been nothing the veterinarian could have done. Removing tumors doesn’t always get rid of the cancer — some animals have to undergo chemotherapy even after the tumors are gone. Chemo can be very unpleasant and painful for animals (and humans, of course) — so maybe this was a better way for Suzy to live out her life.

    I know your dog would not want you to feel so terribly guilty about her life. She would want you to remember her and her life with pure joy, happiness, and love — the way she is remembering you. I hope you can forgive yourself, and trust that this is the way her life was meant to unfold.

    In sympathy,

  266. I lost my dog Suzy in October from cancer – mast cell tumors. I am consumed by grief and guilt. I feel I did not get her the medical help she needed. I took her immediately to a vet who told me the small tumor was an abscess and she was treated for that for 3 weeks. The tumor got bigger and bigger – huge – and when I took her back the vet said it was a reactive cyst and she could take it out. I asked it there was a more conservative treatment and if there was any medical emergency to take it off. She said no and I treated her another 3 weeks. The tumor did not go away and so I took her to another vet who said he needed to remove it right away. I made an appointment for a week later. It was removed and was sent for a culture but it was not an infection and then was sent for a biopsy that showed cancer. The tumors came back and a more aggressive surgery was performed but it was too late and the cancer had metasized. This took two months. If I had sought a second opinion sooner Suzy might have recovered. I just watched it grow and grown and never once thought that was just not normal. I was preoccupied and that led to her becoming very ill and dying. I do not know how to forgive myself for that.


  267. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Chantelle, Sheila, Nessah,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your cats and dogs’ deaths…dealing with the guilty feelings and pain of loss is so difficult!

    I hope you’re doing better, and want you to know you’re not alone. We’re mourning with you.

    In sympathy,

  268. I lost my 1 year old baby on the cusp of Christmas and Boxing day.

    I saw him being frantic and running around outside in the street and thought nothing of it when I went to bed.

    In the morning I called for him and his sister and only his sister came. She was meowing and wanted me to follow her. I didn’t see where my poor TB was.

    Two days later. My mum found him in the gutter at the end of the street. He didn’t look like he was hit by a car, we have concluded he died from a heart attack. He wasn’t a well cat, sometimes he vomited on the floor. Yet he was full of energy and he would be wild and rampt.
    It hasn’t as yet hit home that he has passed away, yet I know we will meet again.

  269. My miniature Poodle died almost 5 months ago, on July 25th, exactly one week before his 16th birthday. I miss him immensely and wonder if I should have done some things differently. I don’t know where he is, but I find myself wishing that wherever he is, I was there too.

  270. My poor poor cat Tommy Cooper died on Monday, I miss him so much, I see him everywhere, the pain doesn’t go away it just gets worse. He was 17 and I had him since I was 5, he was the one consistent thing in my life, he sometimes slept in my bed. I don’t know how to live with out him, I feel so guilty for not spending more time with him and stroking him more and loving him more (I was always working, or at university.) I just wished he’d come back, just for a little while. My Dad buried him in the garden, and all I can think about is him being out there in the cold all alone, he liked the warm, he liked to sleep in my Mum’s wardrobe. It hurts so much.

  271. dear Laurie thank u ,reading what u had to say ,has helped me so much,lucy passed away 15 days now,it getting easier,i made her a coffin and put my jumper round her,and her ball and a picture of me and my children in ,i buried lucy out in my garden,its looks so pretty ,i light a candle every nite for her,i will grow roses there in spring.and i bought cold noses at pearly gate,and it makes me feel better that me and lucy will be together again some day,its a great book.thank u for caring so much laurie.godbless fiona

  272. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I found this poem today….

    My best friend closed his eyes last night,
    As his head was in my hand.
    The Doctors said he was in pain,
    And it was hard for him to stand.

    The thoughts that scurried through my head,
    As I cradled him in my arms.
    Were of his younger, puppy years,
    And OH…his many charms.

    Today, there was no gentle nudge
    With an intense “I love you gaze”,
    Only a heart thats filled with tears
    Remembering our joy filled days.

    But an Angel just appeared to me,
    And he said, “you should cry no more,
    GOD also loves our canine friends,
    He’s installed a “doggy-door”!

    by Jan Cooper

  273. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Tyler, Ken ~ I’m so sorry to hear about your dog’s death. It’s so very sad, whether you lose your dog slow through illness or fast through a quick death. I hope you’re feeling better now — and that you keep reminding yourself that you will be reunited one day! Your dog isn’t in pain anymore, and is happily watching you, and romping with his doggy friends, where ever he is…

    Carmine ~ I’m so sorry to hear how guilty you feel because your cat died. Please remember that it was an ACCIDENT — you didn’t mean to hurt him. You did what you thought was right at the time. It turned out to be a big mistake. But that doesn’t mean you did it on purpose, or that you should feel guilty for the rest of your life.

    I don’t know if you need help getting over it, but I encourage you to talk it through with someone in person. Call a distress line or a counseling service. There are some free counseling phone lines — and it’s SO helpful to talk to them about stuff like this.

    The better you cope with your guilt and sadness now, the less it’ll affect you in the long term. So, it’s important to get help in person. I’m so glad you told your story here, but I really think you should talk to someone in person.

    I don’t know if you’ll ever get over it. I’ve lost 2 cats I love, 10 years ago, and I’m still not over it! I still miss them so much. Part of losing a cat or dog you love is grieving for them forever. A small part of your heart will always be with them.

    I hope this helps, and invite you to come back and tell me how you’re doing.

    In sympathy,

  274. Help in healing guilt of a accidental death of a pet cat which I was the cause…I accidently gave Aleve to my pet cat and now his is dead…He had a sever limb I thought it would help him..
    But, it caused his death…How do you get over the guilt, sadness, and grief..Will this have a long effect on me, and will I ever get over it….Do I need help…
    What can I do to make me feel less guilty of his death..

  275. Last night, my family lost our beloved beagle Coco at the ripe age of 17. He was such a loyal dog and he was with us through so many changes in our lives. Unfortunately about two months ago, he was diagnosed with cancer and there was nothing we could do since he was already so old. It was the most heartbreaking thing of my life to watch him deteriorate before my eyes and get weaker–because he was such a fighter and had so much will til the very end. I watched him take his last breaths and even though I know he lived a long fulfilling life, it hurts so much to have seen him go through what he did. But he never showed pain and he never gave up. I just hope that he knows we all loved him so much and I pray that one day we’ll get to be with him again.

  276. We were goimg on vaction to visit my step dads parents and my mom decide to trust my cousins girlfriend……………..I knew that something would happen i wanted to stay but…………i let it go unfortnetly that was the worst mistake of my life.. We got a call 1 hour before we left to come home from vaction…. my mom said that our dog was not moving.So my mom sent a friend to check on him….we got a call about 30 min later sayig that our dog was stiff as a bored and has been at least dead for a few days.. i didnt know what was going on until i started to see my mom cry then i said i knew we made a mistake.Then i was crying and thinking of my dog (his name by the way was tucker) i was pissed.. we went to get an optostey.. the vet said he may have had a cesure because of dehydration…. thst meant that my cousins girlfriend never took care of the dog…my heart sank its been 4 days since his death and we are getting him creamated… if you dont get bored with this and read the hole thing i send my thanks to you….

  277. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Fiona,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dog…how heartbreaking. I wish I had the right words to help you out of your grief.

    You did everything right. You took her to the vet when she got sick, you followed the vet’s instructions, and you took her back to the vet early. You did everything you could for Lucy — you did nothing wrong.

    Some things are beyond our control, even though our beloved dogs think we can do anything! But we can’t do. We can’t save the lives of our sick animals. Feeling guilty because your dog died is understandable, but inappropriate. That is, you didn’t do anything to cause her death….you did everything you could for her.

    I hope you can let go of your feelings of guilt. Mourning her loss will take time; it’s important to feel and express your sadness and grief. And, it’s equally important to start focusing on live and moving forward — but only after you’ve mourned your loss.

    Feel free to come back anytime, let me know how things are going…


  278. help me i am so sad,my wee dog lucy i had for 11 years took sick on monday nite,i took her to the vet on tuesday morning,where they give her drugs and told me to bring her home and bring her back at 6,i took her back at 5 ,because she was so ill,they said she was realy ill,i new she was drying ,i no the vet new to ,he said he would put her on a drip,and to come back in morning,that gave me some hope .i hated the way he carried her,like she was nothing,she look at me when he took her away ,she looked so sad .that was the last time i seen her alive,she died a hour and half later,she was always with me 24 hours day,7 days a week,i wouldnt even go on hoilday ,because i didnt want to leave her,i know the vet new she was going die,her little face looking at me,she died alone without me ,the first time i left her alone ever,i would have took her home to died,but wasnt giving that choice,then she would have died happy.i cant get her little face out of my head ever when he took her away,i let her down,she should have died at home with family,i miss soooooo much,i am so sad,i cant cope and my heart broken.please help me

  279. Laurie:

    I just recently made the decision to put my dog to sleep and have been feeling that loss along with the “guilt” of making that choice for about the last week since that day. I know that I did the right thing as she was in a great deal of pain daily and it showed. She was 15 years old, was losing her eyesight, hearing, control of her bladder, the ability to eat on her own (I had to hold her bowl up to her for her to eat) and she slept all the time. At night when we were in the living area she would pace all night long and she also was experiencing dementia as she would stand around and just stare at nothing. When you’d go up to her to pet her she would jump as if you’d startled her. What made me decide is I took her into the vet due to the faxt she has dark blood in her stool and she was urinating in her bed. Her hips and back legs were hurting her to the degree that they would shake when she stood up. Not to mention it was a struggle just for her to get up. All that to say this, I feel as though I murdered my dog……is this a normal feeling?? She was with our family for 13 years and I really went above and beyond within my budget to give her the best care that I possibly could.

    Thank you for writing this as it makes me feel better knowing that I am not alone in my grief and guilt.


  280. yesterday at 5 30 i found my dog dead at the end of my drive way, i was inside watching tv and my mom let him out the back and normaly i go out side with him, but i didnt know she let him out, and im running around the house looking for him and i said mom if hes dead u owe me 5oo dolars for him and right after i said that she looked at me and said im sorry, she was able to see him in the road from the house, and i ran out there and it was true i went crazy i fel on the ground crying and i hit my head on the ground screeming i just couldnt believe it was tru, i know it seems silly to react so waierd and cyco over this but he was my best friend, iv been going threw alot of stress and issuse the past few months with my job and getting ready to take my ged test, and my daughter and coco got me threw all of it i lost my friends after caylee (daughter) and wheni started working more and the only one there to talk sing dance party have fun what ever i wanted coco was there every time, he went on every car ride with me we shared food bed my pillo my babe blanket he even took showers with me once a week, and now i feel like i have no side kick theres no one following me aroound or lay by me sit on my lap or even talk to, hes a chiwawa and my best friend, when i mowed the lawn he would even follow behind me the whole time, he was the only boy that never messed me up or pissed me off and now hes in hevan, and i hope he follows me the rest of my life

  281. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Sarah,

    My heart goes out to you — I understand your guilty feelings after your cat’s death! But you have to remember that you made the best decision for Keith. You did the right thing, because you have no idea what pain or suffering he could be in right now, if the vet tried different things on him.

    Now, your beloved cat is at rest and at peace. He would want you to remember him NOT with guilt, but with happiness, joy, and peace that you had a wonderful life together.

    You did the right thing — you made the best decision possible.

    In sympathy,

  282. I had my best friend of 16 years put to sleep yesterday, my little cat Keith. I feel so guilty about it as the vet was trying to persuade me not to but I insisted as I thought it was for the best. He had been off his food for the last few weeks and vomiting when he did manage to eat, hence him losing lots of weight. He still purred and responded to his name but he was very lethargic and not himself. The vet said she could give him an antibiotic injection and booster jab and see how he was in a months time but I felt it was time to let him go with dignity. I wish I had taken the vets advice and kept him longer and I feel so guilty for my decision. I stayed with him while he was given the final injection and cried when I said goodbye to my faithful companion. RIP my little Keith, Iiss you so much my friend.

  283. Many of you have had your cats (dogs) euthanized. I didn’t do that with my cat, it was an option if he had appeared to be in seriour destress. At the end of his 19 yr life he still purred and smiled when I took care of him, altho 3 of 4 legs didn’t work and I had to care for him like a newborn. While it was possible to keep him comfortable for those 3 weeks of paralysis at the end of his life, I think the last 12 hours were less so. Because of that, I too have some guilt. I too have the “what if” questions. I do wish the veterinarian had not so insisted I bring the cat to be seen (he hated riding in cars) and had just given me some pain killers or whatever to make him feel better it would have been best. But at each moment I kept asking ,myself “Am I doing the best thing I can?” and as the answer was “yes” its about as good for me now as it can be.

  284. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    I’m so sorry to hear about your dogs’ deaths. It’s a cliche, but time really does heal all wounds, and will help you deal with your guilty feelings.

    It’s hard to accept, but you have to remember that those terrible final moments aren’t the sum of your dog’s life. Your dog’s life is about all the wonderful stuff you did with your dog…..not about the final moments. I hope you can remember that — I know how hard it is, but I really hope you remember.

    In sympathy,

  285. i rationally know that i shouldn’t feel guilty over my dog’s death. there is no way i could have known what would happend from one day to the next but I can’t get over it. I made the decision to have her put down . she’s on pain meds but they weren’t giving her as much relief. on saturday she was having a nice, peaceful day so i decided i wanted one last weekend with her. i called and made the appointment to have a vet come on Monday. sunday night she was struggling a bit and i was running out of 1 of her pain meds. i got her to sleep and tried to get the vet to call in a new prescription. she couldn’t because she hadn’t seen the dog. i believe she would have come over to euthanize but my dog was sleeping and seemed fine. (this is the decision that’s killing me) the dog slept peacefully for 9 hours. and i assumed we’d have another nice day together. when she woke up she was a mess—teeth chattering, trembling etc…. i called the vet to come to get her put down and gave the dog 2 xanaxes and 2 narcotic paing relievers–hoping that would give her relief. it didn’t. the vet couldn’t come right away but i assumed the drugs would kick in. i then had to cradle and try to comfort a crying, whimpering, labored breathing dog for 3 hours straight. the worst time of my life. she finally settled down a bit after a little mroe than 3 hours and the vet came to euthanize her about an hour after. i am not at all strugging with the loss of my pet–I’m fine with it, it was her time. I CANNOT let myself off the hook for that horrible last day. I just wanted it to be peaceful and she was such a wreck and in such distress all because of my selfishness. after years of taking great care of her and catering to her every need, I completely let her down and our last day togehter. i jsut don’t think I’ll ever get over it even though i know i couldn’t have known.

  286. Our family dog cooper Died yesterday, he is a 5 year old german sheppard. he was the family favourite of all other dogs and got hit by a car. i feel guilt because i am home alone and i let my two dogs out, cooper and sadie(3 year old golden retriver) and didnt put there electric fence collars on and he went to far when chasing something under our deck a think and ran out of a bush and a car hit him. It wasnt the cars fault because the lane beside them were blocked from this police stopping. I though blaming cooper would work but i feel worse. and last time we seperated cooper and sadie apart for a week with a vacation (cooper was too big for our van, saide lost 25 pounds or so because of not eating and depression so im worried. im 16 with younger sisters and i cant help feel responsiable because of all the saddness. this info only talked about putting a dog down…so i wanted to know about dogs getting hit by a car.

    Thank-you for any responses-Zach

  287. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Jim,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your cat, and that you feel so guilty. You have to remember that you did the best you could — and if you had known differently, you would have done differently!

    You couldn’t have picked up on those little things that may have saved your cat — because if you could have, you would have. You didn’t do anything wrong; it was simply your cat’s time to go. It’s awful and painful, but it was time.

    Remember that guilty feelings are for when you did something wrong. If you directly caused your cat’s death by starving him or putting him in harm’s way, then you should feel guilty. But you didn’t harm her, so you shouldn’t feel bad.

    I hope you can remember your cat with love, happiness, and joy — not guilt or too much sorrow.

    In sympathy,

  288. I feel very guilty I just on Sept 27 2010 saw my cat have a seizure and and later he passed. The thing that I feel guilty about is the fact that a year and some months before we took him to the vet because of a loss of weight. The vet looked at him and did his exam and told us it was a part of aging and that he would out live our cat.So we took him home and we had him for about 14 months which was this last week when he started to change by breathing heavily and then get weaker so i did some research online about 20 year old siamese cats and the said the lack of taurine in the body could cause heart failure. I did everything I bought supplement of taurine and a little fish oil tried to get him to eat and he would eat liver so i thought maybe the medicine is working. the next day he lost his balance and it was like he knew he was going to die but i would not let him go and decided a little to late to get him to a different vet. But he had a seizure or heart attack but was till labored breathing I did not know and I fed him a couple pieces of liver and he ate it. A few hours later I heard nothing and when i touched his foot I knew he was gone. I just blame myself because I should have picked up on a few things and maybe he would still be alive. He never had to got to the vet only for his shots and he did not like going there at all. He was a stray that i brought home no one wanted and i gave him to my dad because he had lost his cat of 25yrs because of bowel problems. Ming was the best cat we ever had and it hurts me to look around the apartment and not ot see him anymore. I really loved my cat but because of his health and what our vet said I did not want to put him down or at his age have surgery and then who knows how long he would last. I do think it is terrible how much a vet charges just for blood test to find out if your pet has issues and that the only thing they will tell you is the cost of what they can try with no guarantee. Please if anyone can help me through this i would appreciate any comments good or bad because I know its my fault for not helping my baby. thank you.

  289. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear David and Jean,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your loss. There’s nothing quite like the pain of losing an innocent pet, a beloved dog or cat, who is just like a member of the family.

    Please remember that pets don’t hold grudges! I remember feeling SO guilty for getting mad at my cat once for something that she didn’t even do…and it still slays me. But, I keep telling myself that she doesn’t remember that one incident. She remembers the big picture: how much we loved each other, how long we were together, and what a great life we had.

    Let go of the guilt, my friends. Instead, remember your beloved pet with feelings of love, warmth, and happiness…..because that’s what he or she would have wanted.


  290. My beloved Golden Retriever, Abby, died last Saturday morning, suddenly and unexpectedly. She was almost 10, and had endured mast cell cancer surgery two years ago, then developed diabetes and cataracts very suddenly last January, after being given an incorrect dose of prednisone by a vet when we were traveling with her (she had developed an ear hematoma). My guilt has been consuming me. I’ve felt guilty for taking her to a different vet while we were on vacation, as that ended up giving her diabetes and taking her sight away. Her regular vet actually missed the ear infection (she had a wellness exam with him a week earlie), and didn’t catch that the prednisone dose was too great and causing damage. When we took Abby back to him after suspecting she couldn’t see, he basically suggested we put her down, when her blood work showed she had diabetes. I was shocked at his attitude, and immediately found another vet who worked with us on learning how to treat her diabetes with insulin shots. My new vet also discovered Abby had a low thyroid (something her previous vet also missed), and after two months on thyroid meds, her coat was growing back, and her energy level had risen. Even though she was blind, she got along well outdoors, and we had many wonderful walks together. I talked to her all the time, letting her know what a “good girl” she was. She would sigh with contentment, and lay her head on my lap (I was usually on the floor with her by her dog bed). After doing so much better, she developed a hot spot on the old surgery site on her leg, then injured her eye somehow, developing an ulcer. Both of these required more medicines and vet visits, but her vet felt she was strong enough to heal. The day after her last vet visit (showing healing on her leg and eye), we were awakened abruptly in the morning by my cats, fighting and snarling, on my bed. I was yelling “stop” to the cats, and pulling Abby away from them (she was barking at them to stop), and took her to the kitchen. I was angry at the cats, but worry that Abby may have felt I was angry at her. Golden’s are very sensitive. Especially when I noticed a puddle of urine on the floor…I thought it was from the cats and started cleaning it up, still angry. Abby then laid down and started vomiting. I called the Vet and she said it may be an insulin reaction, so I started putting Kayro syrup on her gums. My husband did a glucose test on her, but her blood sugar was high, not low. I did her insulin shot, and she still wasn’t very responsive. I called the vet back, and while talking to her, Abby’s breath became labored and she had a small seizure. She then started gasping for air, so I held her head and told her I loved her, and to go to Heaven. She was gone in another minute. I realized after she died that the urine on the floor was hers, not the cats, so I’m thinking she may have had a seizure before the cat fight. But I still worry that she thought I was angry with her for having an accident in the house – something she never did. I realize we couldn’t have saved her – but it’s unbearable to think she thought I was angry with her when she died. She was my best friend, and my heart is broken.

  291. My beloved friend, Erin a Springer Spaniel passed away on 16 Aug just shy of her 12th birthday. Her death was so sudden and even today, it’s hard to believe she’s made the journey across the bridge. It’s been a devastating loss in my life and I’ve found life so unbearable. So many times I’ve wished we could have died together, it was our destiny. She was my life and embodied all I am and shall be.

    What if I never see her again? What if that’s the end of our time together? I have to believe she will wait on me so we will have eternity together. God can’t deny me the greatest friend I’ve ever had, if so I might as well end my life now.

    Considered getting another fur friend but feeling guilty about loving another so soon. Can’t help but feel as if I’m disrespecting Erin by moving on. I have no doubt this will hurt for a long time, just hope I’m strong enough to survive.

  292. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Kelly, thanks for sharing your experience with Elton with us…I’m so sorry for your loss. Poor Elton. I can’t imagine my cat dying in my arms.

    Thanks also for letting us know about animal first aid. I didn’t know such a thing existed, and I know pet lovers would benefit from taking a course like that!

    In symptahy,

  293. My 9.5 year old foreign white (siamese) died following a car accident a week ago. I am consumed with guilt for allowing it to happen, and for not doing the right thing at the time. He wasn’t run over, he had no broken bones or apparent external injuries, although I do believe there was some contact with a tire. There was a noticeable but not heavy tire mark on his side, and a witness told me that he initially stopped when he saw the car, but apparently reacted by running forward rather than backwards.

    I saw him run into the house out of the corner of my eye, which surprised as I didn’t realize he was outside. I had stepped out of my house, to find my neighbor standing there. She was coming to ask me for help translating some text she had written down, and I did not see him dart out. I looked into the house, and saw him lying at the base of the stairs, on his stomach with hair raised on tail and lower back. He appeared to be hyperextending his neck and moving his head a bit from side to side. I asked the witness, whose car was right there if he could take us the the veterinarian. (I think he may have been the driver, but didn’t say so – likely because I am 6’3″, am big and ugly and have a crew cut). He said ‘yes’, so I gently picked up my cat, cradled him in my arms, got in the car and we sped off. As we were getting in the car, my cat looked up at me and hissed, which he had never done before.

    After about a minute in the car, his body went limp, he stopped breathing and I couldn’t feel a pulse. I tried to resuscitate him, improperly and unsuccessfully. He died in my arms. It took about 10 minutes total to get to the vets, but it was too late.

    I was given a cardboard box, and I carried him home. I staggered through the city in shock. When I got home, I noticed that he had post-mortem nasal bleeding, although not an excessive amount. I don’t know that this necessarily means he had internal injuries.

    The tragic irony is that I was on the way to the vets to get the necessary health check document so he could fly with me to Texas to live on 100 acres of nature with my parents as I relocate to the US (I live in the Netherlands). I didn’t even need to take him to the vets, as he had been there a month earlier for shots, and they told me he was in perfect health, and didn’t need to see him again – “just come pick up the Certificate of Health”.

    I am consumed with guilt, as I wasn’t paying attention, and didn’t know he was out in front of the house (I was focused on the written text, and had the door open). But, I now wonder if he died of shock, rather than from injury. I think that if I had not moved him, he may have had a chance to recover. I also think that I might have been able to revive him, had I known proper cat CPR.

    I have since become an ‘expert’ on cat first aid. I should have done this 9 years ago. I have always been an animal lover, and considered myself a real animal friend. Now, I am thinking that I am responsible for my cat’s death. I am in pain for my loss, but mostly because I let my best friend down. After almost 10 wonderful years of loyal companionship, I allowed him to get into a dangerous situation, and then reacted badly.

    Please don’t feel sorry for ME. My purpose here is to ask/suggest that if you have a pet as a family member – to learn animal first aid, to have a plan, and to stay calm for your ‘baby’ who needs calm in a situation where he/she feels threatened, scared, and may be injured or literally scared to death. In the event that something happens, perhaps you will do the right thing, having thought about it ahead of time. I would give anything to be able to turn back the clock and do this.

    We both had a flight reservation, and I ended up taking his ashes in the overhead, rather than having him in my lap.

    Elton, I am so sorry, buddy. I would gladly change places with you.

  294. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Florence, Tabitha, Margherite,

    I’m so sorry to hear that you lost your beloved cats and dogs. I wish I had the right words to ease your guilty feelings.

    I just want to remind you that you did the best you could at the time. If you had known that your poor beloved pet would have run into that situation, then you would have done things differently!

    Feeling guilty is for people who have done wrong or bad things. You didn’t do anything wrong, and you didn’t deliberately hurt your pet.

    You made the best decision you could at the time. Keep telling yourself that, my friends. You didn’t do anything wrong…and though you miss your beloved pet more than you ever thought possible, it wasn’t your fault. Please don’t forget that.


  295. I lost my 10 y old dog yesterday, his name is Hachiko, he was a beautiful and strong akita, he got a lesion in his mouth that was resected before, and showed it was benign, it regrows again and I took the decision to authorize a new excision, seems it would be a simple procedure around his tooth, he got back home and suddenly start bleeding and vomited, the vet readmitted for possible gastritis , and the following day I was called to find he was dead , I could not believe it! I was on shock, I did not even know what cause his dead, we are waiting for reports of pathology, but this not going to bring him back, I feel so guilty for authorize that surgery, I wish I would wait or get a second opinion before pitting him under an stressful procedure, he was such a beautiful, strong and at the same time cute dog, I miss him so much.

  296. Hi
    I lost my beautiful young cat to an accident last week.He was only a baby and got killed in an accident, I put him out because he was fighting with our other cat who I was trying to keep in – he dissapears all the time (and has not been seen since). My baby was very loyal and sweet and a neighbour found him in the road the next day – totally my fault for putting him out when I should have been taking care of him – I will never, ever forgive myself. I have lost friends and relatives but this is worse.

  297. I just lost my dachshund 5yrs & 10months old,girbaud died last night July 28,2010 after battling with distemper for 3 weeks & feel guilty of not confining him.Don’t have that big money that’s why I just take him to a vet,the other week July 18 & had him checked & took him home.I bought medicines & vitamins too. I watched over him for almost 2 weeks & sometimes i don’t go to work just to watch over him.I see to it that every morning i gave him a sponge bath, give his milk through dropper & medicines & vitamins.Also when i arrived home at night.I also asked my mom to watch over him when I’m at work,but still lost him “maybe if i”,those are the words in my mind…I feel so empty…so sad…They said i already did my best,but for me it’s not yet enough…Pls help me overcome & move on.

  298. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Faye,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your poor cat…there’s nothing that breaks my heart worse than an animal who is suffering. It’s so sad, and so hard to deal with. But, she isn’t suffering anymore! She is free from this world, free from her illness and pain.

    And, I know that she would want you to be free from your guilty feelings, your pain, and your heartbreak. She would want you to remember her with joy and peace and warm feelings — just like your relationship with her was.

    It’s only been a week since she died; you’re still in the throes of the worst of the grief and pain. People grieve their pet’s death in different ways. And, some people grieve for years — I’ve lost two beloved cats, and my heart still twinges when I think of them.

    So, let yourself mourn your cat’s death. You should start to come out of it naturally (and if you’re still in deep grieving after a month, please get help in person! Talk to a counselor).

    Here are some suggestions for dealing with the death of your pet:

    Tips for Coping When Your Dog Dies

    And, remember how she would want to be remembered: with love, warmth, joy, and freedom. She would want you to be happy, and she wouldn’t want her memory to be tarnished with guilty feelings.

    What is done is done. She is no longer here, but she is in your heart — and not even death can take that away.


  299. On Wednesday I had to have my beautiful little cat, Emily, put to sleep… she suddenly got ill on Monday/Tuesday so we took her into the vets on Wednesday morning with it in mind that she probably had a bladder infection as she had the same symptoms as the last time she got one of those.
    She was such a good girl as we walked her to the surgery in her little basket and waited in the waiting room. When she was on the table the vet squeezed her tummy and lots of blood and wee came out, and when he let go she was howling in pain and then collapsed on the table and was unable to stand up. He asked me to put her back in the basket, so I moved her tiny limp body back in and had to watch helplessly while she was panting and vomiting in there, he said he wanted to open her up right away so we went had to go home expecting a phone call from him, and it was the worst news I could’ve expected. She had tumours in her bladder which had caused it to rupture so he said that he urged us to consider euthanasia as this was never going to be something he could heal properly. He turned up the anaesthetic while she was still on the operating table. I wasn’t even with her in her final moments.

    I am utterly heartbroken, it is so hard to try and accept that she will never greet me when I come home or come and shout at me in the mornings for her breakfast, or kiss away these tears away that are constantly streaming from my eyes. I have tried to get back into my routine of work because I can’t stand the thought of being here alone. I feel so guilty that I couldn’t be with her while she went under the anaesthetic, and I feel like she died being frightened and alone. I can’t cope with these feelings, I have been treating her box of ashes like she is still a real cat; i’ve been cuddling it at night, kissing it goodbye and carrying her around our home. I have never felt pain like this and I would really appreciate some help. I don’t have any proper friends and my relationship with my partner can be a bit iffy sometimes so she was always my rock, the one I spoke to about everything and endlessly chatted nonsense while she meowed back. It is so quiet here without her.

    I’m just really struggling to get through this, I am so disturbed that she was taken away and killed while she was in loads of pain and probably wondering where I was and why I’d abandoned her and left her with a strange man. I am overwhelmed with guilt.

    Any help would be greatly appreciated.
    RIP my little lady

  300. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear KM,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your cat…you’ve had such a long time with her, and it’s heartbreaking that she’s gone. Saying good-bye is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do…and being with her as she leaves this world is so heartwrenching!

    But, you have to remember that this was your final act of love towards her. Keeping her alive would be painful for her. This was her time to leave, after 17 years of happiness, comfort, and joy with you.

    How will you remember her? Some people find pet memorial stones very comforting, while others create photo albums or urns of ashes. Others make a collage of pictures for the wall. Memorializing her won’t take the pain away, but it could help you work through your grief. And, make sure you give yourself time to grieve. Losing a pet is like losing a member of your family, and the sadness and loss doesn’t just go away overnight.

    No matter how you choose to keep her memory alive — even if it’s just in your heart — remember that you did the right thing. You loved her all the way to the end, and that included letting her go.

    In sympathy,

  301. On Friday morning, I had my beloved 17-year-old cat put down. It’s killing me inside. I have had her since she was 2 months old. In the last 5 years, she developed IBD and despite medications and two hospitalizations, she was always tough. I started making her homemade cat food about two and a half years ago, and her response was nothing short of miraculous. I was able to take her completely off of her IBD meds and she was going strong and showing no symptoms.

    In the last few months, she was losing weight and getting arthritis, but still getting around well–and getting into everything! But last month, she had gotten down to 6.5 pounds and the vet was concerned because there was a mass in her belly and her white blood cell count was quite high. I didn’t want to put her through another surgery at her age, so we told the vet we didn’t want to have this checked out. The vet put her on antibiotics, and she seemed to respond well. Then all of a sudden, about a week ago, she wouldn’t eat too much. She was having a hard time going to the bathroom. By Tuesday, I knew in my heart she was dying. I also kind of intuitively felt that she was telling me she was ready to go and it was okay. Through all of her medical interventions in the past, I never felt that at all and never considered putting her down.

    Through it all, she always ate her cat treats that we got from the farmer’s market, even though she barely ate any of her food. On Friday morning, she even refused to eat that. I broke down because I knew if she wasn’t interested in her favorite treats–which she would normally about knock us over to get to them–that she was slipping away. We took her to the vet 9.30 Friday morning, to see if there was anything we could do to get her to eat. The vet said that given her history, there was nothing he could do to and that she would end up starving to death. He said if we wanted a few extra days with her, there were some quick fixes to help her stay hydrated. We talked about it and decided the best thing we could do for her is let her go. We stayed with her when she received the two shots and told her how dearly we loved her and we didn’t want her to suffer anymore.

    Intellectually, I know I did the right thing, but it’s just killing me inside. We are probably going to start throwing away her things soon, because I can’t walk by her little cat bed without breaking down. She was my best friend for 17 years. I feel like a part of me died on that table with her.

  302. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Denise,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your guilty feelings about your cat.

    You have to remember that you did the right thing! Sheba wasn’t healthy and she wasn’t enjoying her life. You gave her the final act of love — because sometimes saying good-bye is the best thing we can do for our pets. Prolonging her life would only be for your sake….it wouldn’t have helped her be happier or healthier.

    I hope you can focus on Elvis and, and remember that you did the right thing for Sheba. She was really old and unhealthy, and it was time for her to leave. Otherwise, she might have become very sickly and even in pain…which would have made her life worse.

    Let her go. She would NOT want you to be so unhappy and guilt-ridden. Give her the gift of peace, happiness, and a memory of joy and comfort. Stop remembering her with pain and guilt because you’re tarnishing her memory. It’s not fair to you, to her, or to Elvis.

    I wish you all the best as you mourn and move on.

    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post …Best Ways to Save Money on Summer Holidays – 7 Travel Tips =-.

  303. Denise Desaulniers

    We had to put our cat Sheba down on May 20. The guilt is eating me alive! I feel like I ended her life. She hadn’t eaten for a week, she began to hide in closets, and vomited often. She had a kidney problem for about 5 years-we managed to keep her that long–16 years old!!! I miss her so much and I feel terrible!!! I have another older cat,Elvis who is saving us!!But Sheba had her own personality. Please help me!!!

  304. I lost my beloved dog,Tai, a month ago. I feel horrible however I am finding this is all part of the grieving process. I was feeling so guilty however after reaching out to friends and reading about the guilt and I am now feeling much better. Tai, was such a large part of my life, it is no wonder I am lost. I have to literally rebuild my life. I am doing that and I do think that I will get another pet someday. Hang in there, we will get thru it with each other.

  305. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen

    Dear Melissa and Roka,

    Does it help to know you’re not alone? Almost everyone who has loved and lost a pet feels guilty, sad, and heartbroken. But, we need to take Sena’s advice, and set them free. And, we need to set ourselves free from guilty feelings when our dog or cat dies!

    Melissa, I encourage you to do what you can to make friends. Join a book club, hiking group, or travel club. I don’t know what groups are in your city — but please reach out and find people in person to spend time with.

    Like Sena said, you need to go on with your life….because the truth is that your beloved pet would want it that way.

    Sena…thanks for your comment, it was great to hear your advice.

    .-= Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen´s last blog post blog ..Pay Off Your Mortgage – 5 Ways to Make Mortgage Payments Go Away =-.

  306. i also lost a pet dog. i feel very guilty since he was run over by a bus. i cried for about a day or two. I have tried making friends to fill in. But, the best way is to forget and let them free and go on with YOUR life

  307. Im so sad, my cat is gone and i feel empty i have no one to talk to and i feel so alone i looked to see if i could get some kind of help with my guilt and loss but there no one to talk to , can anyone help me

  308. Thanks, Laurie. We did adopt another Siamese young adult and that is helping a bit. For those going through this painful decision, I did one other thing that helped me know it was time. When I gathered up the belongings and things I had used for Jasmyn after her passing, I counted up. There were exactly two toys and fifteen items relating to her long illness, such as: needles, syringes for feeding, towels, IV bags, pills, etc. And I realized how long it had been that the quality of her life consisted of more medical items than toys and pleasure. It was her time and I am trying daily to replace the vision of her last moment of suffering and fighting the last needle which gave her Release, with the vision of her Beauty and how she looked afterward. How could she look more beautiful in death/sleep? But it was true…and the sweet baby I loved was returned to me once more in Peace.

    I hope all who have lost their beloved pet or may have to finds the comfort they need. It is hard, but what you share can never be lost.

  309. Laurie Pawlik-Kienlen


    Thank you for sharing the memorial to your cat — it’s gorgeous! I’m sorry you lost her, but glad you were able to help her on her next Journey…and, it sounds like you know you did the right thing, especially since you saw those “before and after” photographs.

    Take care,