Pets Mourn too

My Mr. Snitch and Me

As I warmed up the car yesterday morning, it was a time to reflect on all things good in our very warm and caring relationship.  The night before I had noticed that my Mr. Snitch’s bone cancer had gotten to the point of no return and his foot was starting to die and become more painful.  I knew it was time, time for me to let go and say goodbye.

I scooped him up (all 70 pounds of him) and laid him down in the bed next to me and I held him and hugged him and cried and kissed his fur.  I know he patiently waited for me to drift off to sleep that night, he always hated laying in the bed and so when morning came he greeted me from his dog bed, his usual spot.

The pain had gotten bad but his thrill for eating could never be decreased so I let him share one more meal with his siblings and then we were off to Bojangles © for their famous chicken biscuits.  I have never been one to feed my dog human food, but I always make a special accommodation on their last day.

I was really proud of myself, I held it together while I ordered our breakfast knowing it would be our last meal together, until I got to the window and the young girl asked if my dog would like a treat.  With tears streaming down my face I thanked her and knew Mr. Snitch would never look a doggy biscuit in the eye either!

You should have seen the look of shock and wonder on his face as I unwrapped his chicken biscuit and handed it to him, I liken it to a child seeing Disney World for the first time.  He grinned from ear to ear and there was a spark in his eyes, one that I hadn’t seen in a while.  We shared a bite or two of mine together before I decided to just let him have biscuit number 2 as well, this time there was no hesitation on his part his whole mouth encompassed the remainder of my sandwich and with a tear in my eye I kissed his head.

I took him to a very kind and caring veterinarian who was as compassionate as could be, they discussed the process and even let me share some memories and they encouraged me to stay or go whatever was best for me.  I personally, as hard as it is to say goodbye, could never not be there for my animals in their last moments.  So I held him and whispered in his ears and told him how much I loved him and how lucky of a mom I had been for 8 wonderful years.

Euthanasia is always hard, it never gets easier.  Our pets are our family and provide us with a level of unconditional love that is impossible to be matched.  As I grieved for myself on the way home, I didn’t really even take into account the mourning my other animals were about to face.

Nix is almost 11, on February 26 he will reach the milestone of being 11 years old!  He too, has spent the last 8 and a half years cherishing the love and relationship that he had with Mr. Snitch.  They were not only brothers of a sort, they were best friends sharing everything from food, to affection, to toys and memories and now I had come home without his best friend and he knew it right away.

I don’t know how animals know, I don’t profess to even come close to understanding their abilities to view us and the world, but I know he knew.  He pounced past my fiancée, in the bed and sniffed my shirt before throwing himself down in my arms and spooning and mourning with me.  He then proceeded to lay on all of Snitch’s beds.

I am writing this, not only because it is cathartic for me to write and share my memories and my stories, but also so that I might help others who are mourning and their mourning pets.

Pets mourn too, even the cat shows a marked sadness that Snitch is gone, and it is my job as their mom to try and lessen it to the best of my abilities and to recognize that they too have needs during this time of trial for all of us.

I took both my other dogs for a walk last night to help get their minds off the fact that someone was missing and to help make them tired.  This was important to their psyches to get out and away from the house for a bit.  I personally just want to lay in bed at this point and feel sorry for myself, but I owe it to my other critters to help them get accustomed to our new living arrangements.

He was Truly a Beauty Inside and Out

Still today they are searching the house and the yard for Snitch, hoping to find him and so I have been accompanying them when they go outside to help comfort them.

At 4 a.m. this morning Nix wanted to go out so we all went out together and after he was done searching, he came back in and sat on my lap and curled up so I could hold him.

It is vital for him and for myself that we give ourselves time to mourn, time to be sad, while still trying to stick to the life schedule that my dogs have always known.  I try and make sure that feeding time and everything else that we do around here goes off without a hitch, and I will try to devote some extra time to taking them on some walks and some rides to get their minds off of it and so we can all get away for a while together.

It is important to realize that our other pets mourn and go through feelings of sadness, it is our job to be there for each other embrace each other and hopefully let time and love heal some wounds!

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Comments

  1. Crazy Eddie says:

    What a powerful story! It brought tears to my eyes. You are so right about how even pets mourn. I had a dog and a cat who lived together for 15 years. I called them the sisters. They truly loved each other. When the dog died the cat definitely went through a mourning period. Before, the dog had her place to sleep and the cat had her place. After the dog died, the cat from then on always slept where the dog used to. Also, the cat suddenly needed a whole lot more affection from me after her doggie sister died. We mourned together and that’s why I can totally relate to your story. Bless you for sharing!

    Animal Joy Zone

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    debbie Reply:

    Hi i just lost my dog rocky of 9yrs feb 20, 2011. My other dog silver wont eat until i eat. I just hope she wont stop because i cant lose 2 dogs in a small time frame.

    The 4 cats are mourning too but not as much as silver is.
    It is very empty without him.

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  2. jerrilyn auld says:

    That is so sad…how do u get your pet to listen and on the pad for bathroom?

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  3. dawn Lane says:

    Yes! the remaining pets in a household definitely do mourn the death of a companion. I have had many dogs over the years. Some have died naturally and others have had to be euthanised but I have always marvelled at how the sick dog knows of its impending passing and the live ones go quiet and pensive. When death actually comes, the remaining dogs will sniff around for a while, spend 24 hours gazing at you with sad eyes and then they seem to shake themselves and go back to being lively and energetic. Also being realists, surviving dogs will then focus on becoming the centre of your Universe and making you happy.

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  4. Hi Minette:

    Your article touched me deeply. As an animal rescuer and lifelong dog lover, I have had to experience the loss of a beloved family pet too many times.

    We usually take in the palliative ones who were saved from the horrific and brutal conditions experienced after a lifetime of abuse in a puppy mill. Our last two little yorkies each only lived six months when we had to have them euthanized. It never gets any easier.

    Just before our dog, Rusty, a 12 1/2 year old red miniature poodle, was euthanized, our little bichon laid beside him with her back touching his before we took him to the vet, like she knew she would not be seeing him again. It might be a mystery to us, but they just seem to know.

    Even when the little fosters died, the rest of the pack continues to look for them and you can feel their grief and wonderment at why they did not return from the vet this time.

    I too, feel I owe it to our fur babies to stay with them as they breathe their last. It’s the least we can do, even though it hurts so much. I do try desperately not to let them know how overcome with grief I am feeling, but somehow they probably do sense it anyway. Our vets are wonderful, always make special arrangements and allow us to talk with them and stay with our pets as long as we like.

    Time always lessens the grief, but we all need to go through the process. I have a wall unit where I keep all the ashes, pictures and mementos of each dog, including our fosters, because each and every one of them touches our lives in a unique and special way.

    Mr. Snitch was a beautiful dog and will always have a special place in your heart. My thoughts are with you at this time.

    Carol Johnston
    Kitchener, Ontario, Canada

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  5. Karen Staton says:

    I agree that when we lose one of our family members (pets), the other members also mourn. It is our responsibility to be there for them, to comfort them, and help them through this sad time. My animals mean the world to myself and my family and the loss of any of our 3 dogs or 2 cats will be devastating.

    Your story was beautiful and right on in every aspect. thank you for sharing.

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    sandee Brock Reply:

    MY DEAR MINETTE, Tears rolling down on my keyboard,i shall try to express my deepest sympathy for you and MR SNITCH. ON FEB, 24TH 2014,MY DEAR departed ESMERALDA, 16 yr old AUSSIE SHEPPARD WAS ALSO PUT to rest with anal cancer,she was such a fighter, she was/is sweet.smart,loyal,loving & majestic dog,AND GOD gave me these special yrs with her. My story is sad too not like yours,however i don’t want to make u sad,however this is how mean and in compassionate PEOPLE ARE..MY ROSCOE,A FULL SWEET,SMART,GENTLE PIT BULL ALONG WITH ESMERALDA,WAS EVICTED IN 3 DAYS by my landlord ,saying h e was enforcing a no pet policy last Oct,i m in a state of shock to this day,just because he had it out for me,gave him no right,they were therapy dogs also and medically needed..H e scoffed,never enforced a no pet policy.thankfully ROSCOE P COULTRAIN HAS A FOREVER HOME HERE, MY SICK ESSIE WAS DIAGNOSED WITH CANCER IN DEC,I PLEADED WITH HIM TO LET HER COME HOME,INSTEAD OF HER FOSTER MOM, keeping her,he said NO IT WOULD MAKE HIM LOOK BAD!!Had i known what i didn’t know then i would have fought harder.To sum this up i m very sorry for u and SNITCH, AS well as others know this pain,,,,on the bright side u may like to know i m going back to court and i will not give up till this is over,and he will not do it again to others,i won last week, however its just a beginning,at present i m moving,,have a blessed, and jolly good day,sandee

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  6. Maggi says:

    Hi Minette, I was sorry to read about the loss of your Mr Snitch. I know how important it is for other dogs in the family to have time to mourn their lost companion. Like you, I have always when possible, stayed with my beloved dogs when the time has come to be euthanised. In 2005 my GSD Dorcha, died at the vets, and I wasn’t with her, which broke my heart even more that she was alone. At the time I also had a Deerhound, Fraoch, and that morning that she had died he spent time searching for her. I brought her body home to bury her in the garden, and after Fraoch saw her and had a sniff he calmed down. It seemed important that he was able to see her and he was there when we buried her. Last year I had to have Fraoch put to sleep and I had the Vet come to the house to do it, as I wanted him to be in a familiar place. I had got another GSD, Solas, and she was there with him, and also when we buried him in the garden too. I believe that it made it easier for her to be there when it happened. She too, was sad and missed him, as he had been there all of her young life, and she had to adjust to being without him.I know you’ll be sad for a long time, I still miss Fraoch and it’s been over a year now, but he, like all my dogs, still has a place in my heart, and that will always be the case. Take care, Maggi.

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    Stephanie Reply:

    Last November I took Nicholas my eight year old cat to the vet. He was going to stay overnight for some test. That night I had a dream that Nicholas was gone. I frantically kept calling the Vet’s office; this was a Sunday morning but no one answered. I finally found the cell number of the vet and called him. His assistant told him Nicholas was fine and he was on the way to the clinic. I called him again 45 minutes later and he told me he was sorry but Nicholas didn’t make it Nicholas went into kidney failure. I have been devastated and angry because his assistant didn’t call me to let me know Nicholas was in distress. I have always been with my furry angels comforting them until they took their last breath. Not being with Nichols and the thought of him dying alone in a cage is something I haven’t been able to get passed. I have since learned that the assistant was not at the clinic watching after the animals and I have concerns she was doing drugs that day. I have been grieving for the past few months but I am ready to take action against the assistant and get her fired. That is the least I can do for Nicholas now and for the other animals that are kept at the clinic.

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  7. Jeremy Campbell says:

    I have 3 dogs and 1 cat. the oldest dog is Josie, she is 13. The next in age is Sandy, he is 12. The youngest is Maggie she is 3. Sandy has a couple of stage 3 cancer tumors. We don’t know how long we have but we are cherishing ever moment. He has been my best friend since he was a puppy and a great family pet. The youngest one looks up to him and is all antsy when he is not around. I am afraid when Sandy is gone that she will never be the same. I am sure Josie will miss him too but not like Maggie. I will try some of these ideas and just comfort her as she comforts me. All the years of love, from him, is worth the pain of losing him.

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  8. mel says:

    An old proverb

    Do not grieve that he is gone – be grateful that he was

    How lucky you were to have him

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  9. Linda says:

    As I wipe away the tears that were streaming down my own cheeks after reading this, I’d like to make a suggestion that can apparently help quite a bit. When your pet’s time comes, try looking online for a vet that will come to your home and do in-home euthanasia. It’s becoming more and more popular. It saves your ailing pet from having to spend his last hours and minutes in the sterile environment of the vet’s office (which may be full of bad memories for him, anyway), it keeps you from having to leave there with nothing more than an empty collar in your hand and then try to safely drive home while tears stream down your face, but it also provides that closure for the rest of the family, both the two- and four-legged members. Can very much help with the grieving process for you and your surviving pets alike.
    A vet here in Tucson actually does hospice care as well, including helping you thru that often difficult decision-making process of trying to figure out exactly when is the time to let go, when the suffering has gotten to the point that it’s selfish of you to let it continue on. That can sometimes be one of the hardest parts emotionally.
    Hope this helps some of you when “the time” comes for you and your furry family members. May that not be for many, many happy years from now….

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    Moira Reply:

    We had the vet come to put down our 11 year old doberman who had cancer and as hard as it was, it was much easier. She was buried in the garden under a tree, so much more peaceful.

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  10. Dear Mimette. I was touched and saddened by your article. Saddened because we own a sweet little Shish Tsu dog,only one and a half years old named “Tia”. I’ve never owned a dog before so I never knew just how much a human could love a pet. Both my Husband and I would be absolutley lost if our little sweetheart would have to be euthanized. Now I know why people cry when thier pet is gone.

    Elaine Leatherdale
    Estevan, Sask.

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  11. Martha Moe says:

    I am 86 years old and up until I moved in with my daughter and son-in-law I had never been used to being around dogs. I inherited 14 year old Cocker, named Candy, a 4 year old , beautiful, well behaved 71 pound dog. Then 3 years ago my daughter bought me a beautiful little Bichon Frise. Very unexpectedly, on Saturday, my son-in-law noticed that the 71 pounder was limping. Hubert immediately took Rusty to the Vet Hospital. After X Rays we learned that Rusty had a paralized disk, and it was suggested that on Monday he be put to sleep. As others have said, it could not have been any worse if Rusty had been a human being. All week end we all cried. We would take turns going over to Rusty , putting our arms around him , telling him how much we loved him , of what a wonderful beautiful dog he was and of how much love and joy he had given us. I would sing to him ” You are muy Sunshine” and ” I love you a bushel and a beck, a bushel and a peck and a hug around the neck.”
    Monday morning came, but Rusty would not let Hubert pick him up to take him to the Vet. Finally, we switched to a Vet who would come to the house and do what no one wanted but what was necessary. As the Vet left our home, he shook hands with a weeping 86 year old lady who now knows what it is to love a dog – to relly love a dog. How would we cope. Beverly made sure that Hubert’s Monday schedule was full. They took in a movie and went shopping. The following weekend she made sure that Hubert’s schedule was full. I stayed home and made sure our other two dogs had plenty of love. We went for a walk, and they were sung to. It was so evident that 5 humans and two dogs had loved Rusty dearly , and Rusty would continue to be misssd.

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  12. Sandy says:

    My neighbor’s 3 shephards got out of their fence and killed my Yorkie (who was leashed in his own yard)a month ago. My other dog, Ben and my cat were so lonesome. I felt so sorry for them. Bringing Kilo’s toys to play with us and looking for him. The neighbors has to pay restitution and now we have another Yorkie, Louie who Ben and Kit Cat love.
    I have always believed that animals do mourn.

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  13. Tyb Monti says:

    It is never easy to lose a pet, but it helps to remember that though you may hurt like the devil, the pet will never hurt again.

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  14. Natalie, Brazos Valley, TX, USA says:

    Minette, I’m so sorry for your profound loss. Mr, Snitch was a beautiful animal with a beautiful heart, and the pictures you posted of the two of you are wonderful. He will be waiting for you at the Rainbow Bridge (you can find the poem online). I too stay with my beloved pet until past his/her last breath, and I commend you for doing the same. It is my voice, my touch, and my smell that is with them as they depart.

    Interestingly, I’ve had 4 parrots for over 25 yrs, and they too sense when a pet has passed…they never call that particular pet’s name again. These are talking parrots who normally call the dogs and cats to join them in their treats…throwing treats to each animal…any animal that doesn’t show up at the parrot cages gets called by name…until a particular animal passes and then that name is NEVER mentioned again. The parrots have also done this with the birds that we’ve had who have passed on…their names are never vocalized again.

    My heart goes out to you. Be at peace.

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  15. Sally Walker says:

    It is so true, we lost our wonderful dog today and our other dogs are missing her, each one is mourning in a different way, we have mourned 3 animals this year all had reached a good age and had hopefullu a full and happy life, our animals are rescues. the gap they leave behind never gets filled, but we try to keep life as normal as possible for those we still have.
    may we remember them withthe love they gave us, thank you for your words

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  16. Larry Keiper says:

    It has been over two years since I had to put down my Kasper. I also believe that the owner should be there, as hard as it is, to comfort their baby as they crossover. You see I belive in the other side and life everafter. I also believe that we will see our beloved pets again when we crossover. There is a beautiful poem called “The Rainbow Bridge” which can be found on the internet and worth reading.

    I also have Kasper’s litter brother, Midnight, at home and we knew he was missing his brother. When we recieved Kasper’s ashes from the vetrinarian, we let Midnight smell the box they were in to give him some closure.

    I look forward to seeing my beloved Kasper when it is my time.

    Larry Keiper
    Easton,PA

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  17. Babs says:

    My brother found 3 kittens in his garage. They seemed to have been abandoned. Now my sister-in-law used to feed this wild, outdoor cat that stopped appearing. We figured she was the kittens’ mother and something must have happened to her. Well, we adopted 2 of them. My Australian Shepherd cross wasn’t very maternal, but she would sleep by their bed quite protectively. My 1 cat Frizzy, would sneak nuzzles whenever he could. Anyway, many years went by and when my dog was 13 years old, she passed away from a stroke or something on our boat. It was devastating for me and I still miss her. The cats mourned for sure. The thing I wanted to say was that Frizzy, our long hair was the most affected. He was 15 pounds heavy when Pepper was alive. Well, when Pepper died or rather didn’t come back to the house, he lost 6 pounds over the 8 month period before we got another dog. My husband didn’t believe that mourning was the reason. When we got our new dog, it was amazing. Over a short period of time, he gained every ounce back. My husband now is a believer. It was awesome to see!

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  18. Judy in Hampton NB says:

    As I read your story, the tears were and are still dripping all over my keyboard. I lost my beautiful Newf Rescue, Misty, on Sept 28th from bloat(stomach torsion). She was gone within an hour of waking up in the morning. She had been fine the day before and there had been no signs at all that this was happening. I was so shocked and devastated at losing her. She was a ‘young’ ten years old and had been with me since she was eight weeks old. I was a basket case for a few weeks but time helps to take away some of the pain and now I can look at her photos without breaking down in tears. After Misty died, her brother Alex, my gorgeous nine year old Newf, was lost. Whenever I would put the two out in the back yard, Misty(being the alpha bitch) would go and squat for her pee and Alex would follow behind her and pee where she had already peed. After that they would each go and do ‘their’ thing. After Misty died and I put Alex out to go for a pee, he stood at the bottom of the stairs and didn’t know where to go or what to do. OMG, it broke my heart so I went out with him and walked around the back yard everytime he asked to go out. Inside the house, he never uttered a woof, nothing, for a week. It was like a mausoleum, so deathly quiet. I sent messages out to my Newf Dog friends asking for another Newf for Alex. On Dec 4th, we brought home 2 year old Port-a-Bella…..she is adorable and loveable.She and Alex have hit it off since Day One and finally there’s some life back in our house. I still miss my beautiful Misty Girl but know that I’ll see her again when I die and meet her at the Rainbow Bridge. My heart goes out to all of you who have lost your beloved pets…..’non’ dog lovers can never understand the unlimited love that we give to our dogs and that they give to us. Some people say that they will never get another dog because it was too painful when their first dog died. I say to them that yes, it is very painful, but I try to concentrate on all the happy times we shared together and it’s worth every second!!!

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  19. Donna says:

    A powerful story, and so sad. I am a lover of GSDs, and Snitch is gorgeous. My wonderful, loving, and constant companion of 9 years, Anna (my GSD) passed about 18 months ago. She had bloat. She’d bloated one other time, but I did the Heimlich maneuver on her, and (only God knows why) is helped her. I tried this on this second episode, with without success. I have COPD, and am on oxygen 24/7, and during the day on a concentrator, which doesn’t allow me to go but about 5′ outside. I walked out with her and watched her as she paced, and foamed, and paced some more for hours. Then we came inside. NOTE: The vet is about 45 minutes from here, so not enough time to get there to save her. She passed with part of her body on my feet. I still become extremely distressed even thinking about it. Anyway, all of my other pets (one dog and 2 cats) all came up to her and sniffed her before my husband buried her. They knew immediately that she was gone from us. They all mourned in their own way. My one special kitty had died about a month prior to this, and they all did the same with her. One of my other two cats (they grew up together) didn’t eat for several days. It’s so sad. Thank you for your story.

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  20. Jenny says:

    I found the most beautiful, happy, naughty, soulmate who stumbled into my life – she was a cross char-pei/staffie.

    She taught me the lesson of love and carding and friendship – not to mention naughty, strong willed and stubborn.

    Unfortunately, she contracted a severe kidney infection after a few short years of living with me which was not treatable and we had to euthanase her.

    I cried and cried for my “Chinese Noodle” but in my grief – did not think of or consider that the rest of the family (human and furry) may also have been grieving.

    This article has allowed me to finally really cry my heart out and has brought home the realisation that we need not grieve alone.

    Jen

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  21. Jan Rose says:

    What a beautiful share, Minette. You have our hearts and we all share your loss and feel the grief for all our dearly departed.

    My cherished Westie will be gone 5 years come 3/8. He was such a special spark of love to everyone who knew him. He was 16 and 1/2, and was just given a clean bill of health by 2 vets. Upon returning home from the 2nd vet’s visit, he collapsed, and long story and $3 K later, we had the vet come to the house to end his suffering. At his moment of him leaving his body, his sister cat let out a loud, whaling cry – a sound we never heard her make before, and we’ll never forget it. She knew, and she was indeed affected by his loss as much as any of us.

    Thank God, we have the blessing to know the unconditional love of these lovely companions. It took 3 weeks of deep grieving before I went to my local shelter and adopted my Cirrus, the first dog I saw there (he had been waiting for me), a week later. I love him – he’ll never replace Dugan, but then, no one will ever replace Cirrus’s presence and love.

    Nothing lasts forever, except the love we gain from beautiful experiences. There are few more real than the love we feel and share with our pets. After all, d-o-g and g-o-d ….

    Check out “God and Dog” FB page and watch the video link. It’s 2 minutes of Bliss! <3

    Thank you for sharing!

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  22. Loretta Docken says:

    I also believe that if at all possible we should be with our beloved pets when they leave us. Unfortunately that wasn’t possible with our wonderful 4-1/2 old black lab hunting dog, she got hit by a car … we did not know until later as the person that hit our sweet Nelli did not even contact us….we would of been able to hold her and tell her how much we loved her… if only.. How do I stop being so “mad” … I cannot tell the story without crying still. So thank you for your nice story.

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  23. Judi Baglier says:

    I lost my only child a son John Baglier 14 years ao, he was car hacked and murdered. I have had to reinvent a new life for myself since then and without going through a very long and sad story, I will tell you that I went bck to collee and got my certification in grief counseling. I am now on staff at a large animal clinic as a grief counselor for people who have to make the difficul decission to put their pets down. I also work for the local county prison. My first love is the aminal clinic. I have such compassion for peple who lose a pet or a child for that matter and as a person who has been there, I feel Iam able to give people the comfort they need and deserve. Judi Baglier

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  24. Hi Minette,

    It is so nice to know that there are many other people in the world who love their pets as I do. My 9 year old Maltese/Sydney Silky cross terrier “Mollie” was euthanised with pancreatic cancer. I did exactly as you, stayed with her, cuddled her and whispered how much mummy loves her. I was absolutely broken hearted.
    Her son “Bennie” will not leave my side since then, although I have 2 other mainly outdoor dogs.
    I have children and grandchildren whom I love very much, but my dogs are my life.
    God bless you.

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  25. Linda says:

    I can relate on your lost of Mr. Snitch. I have had the same experience with my boy a few years ago. I do have another but believe me he does not replace him but I do love his as much. It was the hardest thing for us to do as well and we have just past the third anniversary of losing him and it still hurts. Animals especially Dogs are incredible to have in your life.

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  26. lysa says:

    I lost the love of my life last april and I still cry about his passing. He just went to sleep and didn’t wake up. I was being discharged from the hospital that day and missed his last breath by an hour. He had been my soulmate for 9 and a half wonderful years. My other boxer guarded our bedroom for 2 hours without letting anyone in trying to protect gunther. He definately knew his best friend was gone even at the tender age of a year. After 3 days of not eating and sleeping on gunthers bed he finally started to come around. We held him and he held me. We now have a new addition to our family a very sweet boxer who graces our life but iknow he misses gunther as much as I do.

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  27. Pauline Schriver says:

    Minette.
    I feel for you and hope you are remembering all the wonderful things you did together.. In our 34 years of marriage we have had 3 dogs. The first one lived for 15 and a half years and for the last 6 months of her life spent the time training our new dog about our family. After she died, he would not go any where in the living room where she laid when tired even if one of his toys went there. He sat waiting for her after we came home without her. Shadow became very arthritic and we finally had to let him go. Each time we stayed with them. We have their ashes at home with their photos etc. From the Humane society we had a copy of the “rainbow Bridge” which kept me crying for a long time, but helped with the healing. We have another dog after a 2 year hiatus. My husband was not keen on having another dog as he said they did not live as long as us and he hated the thought of going through it again in the future. They all brought such joy to our lives, that he changed his mind.
    I feel for you and trust your other pets are taking care of you..

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  28. Debbie K. says:

    On Dec.4, 2008 I lost the love of my life, Bailey. Bailey was a rescue who was beaten by a man for the first year of his life. He was a snow white Bichon/Wheaten Terrier Mix. 32 pounds of love that hugged and kissed me every night before we went to bed. For some reason I always knew he would not be mine for long. I called him my four legged two yesr old. He always wanted to be on my lap and he would stay there as long as you had the strength to hold him.

    Dec. 4th Bailey woke me up at 3:00 am asking to go out. He did his business and then came back to bed. He sat up on the bed sniffing as though he was looking for air. My Husband and I knew in an instant something was wrong and had him at the animal hospital in 15 minutes. They wanted to keep him overnight of course and we authorized them to do what ever was needed for him. Traggically we will never know the true cause of his death. He died in an oxygen tent without me in 12 short hours. His blood was too coagulated for the lab to complete tests.

    As soon as they called to tell me he was gone I took our two other Bichons, Emma and Lily to see him. I needed them to know their brother was gone and would not be coming home. I didn’t want them to think he just disappeared. Emma climbed up on the table with him and sniffed him from head to toe. Lily wanted no part of it, as if Emma had already told her he was gone.

    Bailey loved his sisters but had always been an attention hog, a bit of a bully, thought he owned the neighborhood and all the toys of course were his. I know the girls mourned him but I never felt they missed him. I, on the other hand, cried every day for the next year and a half. I think the girls were enjoying the extra attention they were getting.

    Over the next year and a half we attempted ywice to rescue another boy. Neither worked out. Then we rescued our Howie. A 3 month old Bichon who had some health issues but were fixable with a little surgery. I call him Mini Me. He could be my Bailey’s son. He’s a bully, all the toys are his, but he loves his big sisters so much. He is so bad, but so cute. I ask him all the time if he knows how long I waited for him and how much I wanted him. Try to be good for Mommy, I say, I love you so much.

    No one will ever be my Bailey, but this little bugger had filled the hole in my heart so much that it is over flowing. And thankfully I have the feeling this little one will be with me for a long, long time.

    You’ll never regret saving a life. Do a Rescue.

    [Reply]

  29. Lenore says:

    We lost our 9 year old GS,Domi,to cancer on April 3 2008. She was sick one night,so the next morning we took her to our vet where they ran tests. They found a ruptured cancer that was too far gone to save her. We would have paid any amount of money to save her.It was such a shock to us because she was our baby. We had 15 year old GS cross Jake(girl) and 13 year old white GS Molly and never thought Domi(girl) would be the first to leave us. I could not stop crying. On the 19th of April, the same year, we lost our beloved Jake. I still say she died from a broken heart. The next weekend we brought home a 6 week old GS cross, we call Loki. Molly even tried to share her food with the new baby. In June, we brought home another GS pup who we named Tye. Molly passed away on November 15 of that same year. Just long enough to teach the pups good manners and bravery. 2008 was a sad year and a happy year at the same time. We have all 3 girls urns. We cherish every memory we had with them! I still cry when I look at their pictures. I’m happy to say we have a pack of 3 again, we have a 3 month old GS cross we call M-Ma.
    “Those who would say a dog has no soul, have never looked into the eyes of a German Shepherd.” Unknown

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  30. Beautifully written. I am so very sorry for your loss and hope you find strength and comfort in wonderful memories….. For they may be gone, but never forgotten!

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  31. Emma says:

    What beautiful stories I have just read.

    Two days ago on the evening of 23 Feb 11 I let my beautiful cat Max outside. It was the last time I saw him alive. Yesterday morning on the way to school my 14 year old daughter found Max on the footpath. You see Max was a feral kitten when I was blessed enough for my other cat Bruce to befriend him. It took a bit of perseverance (I wasn’t going to give up) but I managed to catch him. He didn’t hiss or bite, he just sat in my arms. I whispered and stroked his fur and said that I will tell him I love him everyday. It took two weeks for Max to trust me and in that time we both had a bond that only an animal lover would understand. Max was what I call a ‘mummy’s boy’ always on my lap for a snuggle or cuddling up to me in bed. I have four other surviving cats, all whom I love unconditionally, but with Max it was different. Maybe it was because he had a second chance. When my son had brought Max’s body home, I had made the decision to let the other cats see him. I think that may have helped with their mourning process, especially with Bruce as they were so close. Bruce had actually head butted and licked him. My kids and I are mourning his death. I think it will be a while before we get over him. My work colleagues have been great and I actually wrote on my face book page ‘I hate it when your pet dies it just rips out your soul’. RIP Max xxoo.

    I love you Max, thank you for being my BFF (bestest fur friend).
    So RIP Max

    [Reply]

  32. sylvia says:

    I have just lost my little darling just this week, he was only 18 months old, and we are still waiting to find out the reason, so these stories are even more upsetting for me at the moment, my other two are 13 years old and not too good, where do you go from here. I know I will go to a rescue center but not yet thank you to all the other letter writers, it is a comfort.

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  33. Lois Hansen says:

    We lost our 13 year old Great Dane last Feb. We were with her for her transition and I believe it was one of the most beautiful experiences in my life — my husband agrees.
    It’s our JOB to be with them through all stages of their lives, when we chose to bring them into our homes.

    Thank you so much for sharing this beautiful story with us. I have a dear friend who is in that position right now and has two dogs. I will now make sure that the younger one is considered during that time.

    Thank you again,
    Lois

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  34. Looking at the picture, I knew instantly that he was such a great dog. A real beauty indeed. It is such a waste loosing him but that is life. My condolences to you.

    Animals, like people do have feelings too and they too value companionship as much as we do. It is quite an experience to see your other pet mourned with the loss of his companion.

    You have a touching story, thanks for sharing it with us.

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  35. laura says:

    My wonderful Lab, Guy died got sick unexpectedly on Friday and died Saturday morning. He was almost 12. At least I brought him home from the vet so he died here with us. I can’t stop crying. He was my “Young Man”. He laid in bed with me and put his arms around me. We played in the pool and he was the “big brother” to my other 2 dogs and 2 cats.

    They are all acting so sad and it breaks my heart. My male schnauzer is taking it the worse. He used to hang onto Guy’s tail and they would run through the yard. He now goes out in the yard and looks all over for him. I took he and my Yorkie on a car ride to get them out of the house. When we got home, Bailey- my Schnauzer ran excitedly to the front door barking frantically, anxious too see his big brother. How long will this last? The house is so quiet, it feels like a morgue. I know I can never replsce my Guy Boy but wonder if my other pets need a new friend right away. He was the constant in our life and brought the excitement to our household. So gentle yet playful. The cats would lick him and the other dogs just loved him so much. We lost our 15 year old Schnauzer in December. I keep saying I will never get attached again. This just hurts so darn bad.

    It has to get better. I hope???

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    It does get better! I still have moments where I cry myself to sleep and just thinking about him or talking about him makes me teary. But, I realize that is OK. I miss him sooo much and nothing will ever fill that void.

    Give yourself time to mourn and don’t feel bad about it, it is natural and normal and you devoted your life to him and were best friends and family!

    Only you know when it is time to add a new furry child to your home, there is no wrong or right answer there.

    I just added a new pup to my pack and although I still hurt and mourn for my Snitch, it is nice to have a new baby and see the world through his eyes. He gives me a reason to get up early and get out train and exercise, when for awhile all I wanted to do was sleep and cry.

    My thoughts and prayers will be with you! There may be a local support group, contact your vet and ask, or there are lots of support groups online.

    I found that making a shadow box with pictures and Snitch’s favorite toys was cathartic for me.

    Let me know if you need anything, I understand your pain!

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    Laura Reply:

    Thank you so much for your kind words and suggestions. I actually went through some photo albums today and made and ordered 2 collage mugs of Guy, Lexy (our Schnauzer we lost in December) and an old lost first pet of mine, Amiga. I needed two to get all the pictures I wanted and this way my hubby will have one and so will I. I titled them “Our Four Legged Angels”. Can’t wait for them to get here. Will have awesome memories each morning with our coffee!

    Still having a tough time but my one dog isn’t going through the house and crying as much as he was. They are definitely staying closer to me but that’s okay, I need it.

    Thanks again. I sure appreciate you taking your time to reply to me and your heartfelt wishes.

    [Reply]

  36. Raja says:

    I am so sorry. I feel your pain, even i lost my two of my best dogs in the world. But i appreciate your effort in sharing things, but Mr.Snitch will always be taking care of you in some other way even though if he is not with you, he will always be with you in form of sibllings, and take care…. and never forget him ………….

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  37. Donna Huyett says:

    This past Tuesday (May 29,2012) my husband and I made the hard decision to put our beloved dog Bear down. Bear was a mix of newfy,collie and retriever and looked exactly like a black bear. We got him when he was around 8 weeks old and he has been the light in our home ever since. My husband is real adiment about people having dogs and just tying them outside and forgetting about them. So Bear lived inside and he was never tied. ever. Every night when we got home from work we loyally would walk him. He got so good at walking that we could take him without a leash and if we walked along a busy road he knew to stay off to the side of the road. But he did not like bicycles because when he was younger some people on bikes teased him and he never forgot any of it. so whenever he was outside and you heard him bark you knew there was a bike nearby, We would take Bear to our cabin in the mts and he loved it. It was his vacation. As years went by we noticed his back starting to sag and he started to drag his feet as he walked. He struggled to get up the steps at night and towards the end he had a very hard time laying down. We asked our vet when do you know when it is time to put your pet down and their answer was if he gets up from laying and there is a wet spot he is losing control of his bladder and he has nerve damage that is irriversable. Well we didn’t have bladder issues but he did struggle with his bowels. He used his front legs to get up and when he had to go he forced out what bile he wanted to get rid of. So we knew it was getting that time. So the day we took him he got right in the van and sat up between my husband and I. He looked happy like he did when we were driving to the mts. He got out and went right into the room they were going to do the procedure. They wanted to muzzel him and he snapped at the dr and at my husband so she suggested sedating him. When they gave him that injection he seemed to know what was coming and turned to the door like he wanted to get out and go home. Part of me wishes I would have brought him home. slowly the med took hold and he laid down with his head atmy husbanc’s feet. they picked him up and put him on the bed and we both stood over him crying as they closed his eyes for good. It is the worst thing I have ever encountered in my 57 years of life. When we finally decided to leave we went to the van where our 5 year old bulldog Jegsy was. Jegs and Bear grew close over those 5 years. and he knew something wasn’t right with Bear. He would lay close to him and he sniffed at him. And now when we got home he has not been the same and I am worried. He just lays around and sleeps alot. he still eats but he just seems to have lost all the play that he used to have in him. I started taking him away with me and I talk to him about Bear every day. I know it is gonna take me a long time to get over losing my best friend and i am sure it will take Jegsy a long time too. We are having Bear cremated so I hope when we bring his remains home it will help Jegsy . Your story was very moving and you have my sincere sympathies on your loss, Your dog was beautiful.
    Sincerely’
    Donna Huyett

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Thank you for your story!

    Dogs have a hard time understanding.

    I found that switching things up and taking my boy for rides, just me and him and getting ice cream 😉 (shhhh don’t tell my vet) to share and going for spur of the moment walks helped him to adjust.

    Good luck to both of you. Give yourself time. My heart still aches for the loss of my boy!

    [Reply]

  38. Natalie Widomski says:

    Minette,

    Tears stream down my face as I understand your pain. I lost my beloved Dakota more than 2 years ago when he was 15.5 , a ripe old age for a lab. I knew it was time when he couldn’t get up any more. We had a vet come to the house so it would be peaceful and he was surrounded by the other pups. I currently have 4 dogs and I do love them, but he was my boy. Trained him from 6 weeks , he was my best friend and saw me through a divorce and a couple of moves. It never gets easy and the holes in your heart really never go away. Bless your heart and one day we will reunite in Heaven with our precious children. Thank you for your transparency. I enjoy reading your articles. Love the pups you have like there is no tomorrow.

    God Bless
    Nat

    [Reply]

    Minette Reply:

    Thank you Nat 🙂

    I love my work and I miss my boys that I lost about 2 years ago 🙁 I still miss them every day.

    I have 3 dogs now and love them all, but we always miss those we lose no one can replace them.

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  39. Fred says:

    I never thought I would be as emotional as I was. We had Milo a GSD pup, a total of 4.5 weeks before he was diagnosed with a untreatable condition. It was heartbreaking to hold him as he was put down. Our other GSD, five years old, surprised us by her behavior. She wouldn’t touch one of Milo’s toys. Don’t know if she was waiting for him to come back but I think she knew he wasn’t going to. The breeder felt horrible and we were blessed with another GSD puppy a few months later. It took awhile but now these two get along amazingly, esp since they are both females. My dogs never cease to amaze.

    [Reply]

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