Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 46 total)
  • Dog down, coping strategies for kids (and adults)…
  • Premier Icon rockhopper70
    Free Member

    I still can’t quite believe this has happened but on Saturday night our wonderful little dog Flo, suddenly passed away. She died in our arms, in her bed in the kitchen it was so quick. She was 10 and a bit, spritely with no health issues we knew of. And she was so, so part of our family it has left a gaping hole.

    We have three kids, girls 21, 19 and a boy just turned 16. She she been part of their lives for a significant proportion, particularly the lad who has lived with her since he was 5. We have been looking through the photos we have, and obviously in this modern era there are hundreds to go at and it just reminded us how much a member of the family she was. Even daft stuff at the time you don’t think about, like always looking for dog friendly accommodation when we holiday’d so she could come with us. We have some great videos of Flo playing in the surf with the three kids, pictures of her sleeping on top of the kids when they were snoozing on the carpet. She also kept me company when I was home alone working, and we’d often go out for a lunchtime power walk to the local coffee van and she would get a snack from the seller.

    Daft stuff, the toaster slots are too small for a normal loaf so she would always run to her bed from wherever she was in the house when she heard the bread bin lid coming off, hoping to get the trimmed off edge that would make the slice fit. I didn’t want to open the bread bin today…

    It’s recent, it’s raw and it hurts like heckers. WFH again today for the first time, the house will soon be empty of humans and she won’t be here, snoozing in my eyeline, then waking and reminding me to break off and get a brew (and give her a biscuit).

    Such a great dog, and if you don’t have dogs you don’t get the hurt. And everyone thinks their dog is the best, I get that.

    I am sorting out the cremation, and the older two girls are thinking of getting some jewellery with the ashes incorporated. The lad is being a tough nut, but I’ve taken him to school today for his second GCSE maths paper! I’ve told the teacher about the loss. He put a montage of photos of him and Flo on his Instagram account with the message “rest easy”.

    We got a paw print when we took her to the emergency vet to look after her until arrangements are made and I have told the kids to choose a special photo and we’ll get a nice frame for their rooms. We are already trying to have conversations about the funny things she did. They don’t want her bed and clutter taking away yet, she had a toy box in the lounge she rummaged through when she wanted to play, bells hanging on the door handle she’d ring when needing a pee.

    The inevitable conversation with Mrs R has already taken place, do we get another dog? I can’t see another dog “replacing” her, and it’s not on the radar at all. I just wanted Flo for another 4-5 years, I’m hoping to retire in three years or so and we planned to give Flo a marvellous twilight to her life, going to the beach and steady walks and spending our days with her. When she passed in good time, then we didn’t plan on getting another dog and hoped to be a bit more adventurous in retirement but those first few years were going to be about Flo, properly pay her back for being such a good companion and looking after our children.

    Maybe I was looking for advice here, or maybe I just wanted to vent, I get time heals, but we didn’t have time to prepare our brace ourselves. She’d gone just way too soon. Do we need to know what happened? An autopsy, but it’s not going to bring her back. I keep wondering did we miss something but she wasn’t long ago at the vet for a anal glands thing. There were no red flags. we didn’t have time to get her to a vet on Saturday night, she just went.

    I can’t think of a suitable last sentence so I’ll stop now.

    Premier Icon duncancallum
    Full Member

    It’s the real shit sides to having pets lost my patterdale terrier Ruby earlier this year.

    I’ve never been as upset.

    After a couple of months we ended up getting Geoff from the rescue centre as I missed having a dog so much.

    He’s not a replacement he’s a dog in his own right. Still miss Ruby terribly however.

    Premier Icon RoterStern
    Free Member

    Sorry for your loss. Dogs do become an integral part of a family. I would suggest getting another dog ASAP. Just like having children a new dog will never replace the part of your heart you old dog had but you soon build a new relationship with the new member of the household.

    Premier Icon zippykona
    Free Member

    Nothing heals like a new puppy.

    Premier Icon rockhopper70
    Free Member

    I don’t think the new puppy think is what we want, I didn’t want to get a dog that might with us for another 15 years, I’d be approaching 70 and too many people I know haven’t made it to that and I wouldn’t want to get a dog only to keep putting it in a kennel or leaving it at home alone when we went off, enjoying our retirement. Flo was going to be with us until she got old and ditty, and passed in good time, then we would head off.

    Just spoke to vet, preps in order for cremation.

    Premier Icon uponthedowns
    Free Member

    Old age finally caught up with our dog Oscar a couple of months ago just short of him reaching 19 and he had to pay his final visit to the vet. I’d known him longer than I’ve known most humans. I said to the vet that I reckoned he must have seen more grown men cry than any doctor. As the OP said if you don’t have a dog you don’t get the hurt but the grief from a dog dying can come close to losing a close family member. OP you are doing the right things. Just realise you got 10 good years with Flo, gave her a good life and from your post it seems she didn’t have to suffer with long term old age health issues. There’s no right or wrong way to grieve so do what’s necessary to get through the next days.

    As for getting another dog. Give it time and you’ll know if you want another. The longest we’ve ever gone without a dog is 6 months and that was too long so Oscar’s successor Benny the labradoodle puppy arrived a month ago and is currently sleeping between my feet as a type this.

    Premier Icon PJay
    Free Member

    It’s hugely difficult when we lose a loved pet. When our precious old lady Tigger went some years ago, someone on here kindly posted up The Cat’s Will, which really moved me and helped; it still tears me up and the sentiments are perfect for a Dog’s Will too.

    We now have 3 mad rescue cats and love Them all to bits!

    A new dog is the way to go, when the times right, but that’s for you all to decide ‘as and when’.

    Take Care.

    The Cats’ Will

    When humans die they make a Will
    To leave their homes and all they have
    To those they love.

    I too, would make a Will if I could write.
    To some poor, wistful, lonely stray
    I leave my happy home.
    My dish, my cosy bed, my cushioned chair, my toy.
    The well loved lap, the gentle stroking hand, the loving voice
    The place I made on someone’s heart.
    The love that at the last
    Could help me to a peaceful, painless end,
    Held in loving arms.

    If I should die
    Oh, do not say
    ”No more a cat I’ll have
    To grieve me by its loss”
    Seek out a lonely, unloved cat
    And give my place to him.
    This is my legacy.
    The love I leave behind.
    T’is all I have to give.

    Premier Icon ernielynch
    Free Member

    I can’t see another dog “replacing” her, and it’s not on the radar at all.

    I know how devastating the loss is and no getting another dog won’t “replace” Flo, but if there a possibility of you eventually getting another canine companion I would recommend that you do it now rather than later.

    Especially if you get a rescue dog as it will give you the solace of knowing that Flo’s passing however sad it might be has provided the opportunity of a home for another dog which desperately needed one.

    It will also provide a massive distraction and fill the inevitable emptiness. I can’t see the purpose of leaving it for a while when now would be the most helpful.

    Whatever you decide you will have the sympathy and understanding of all those who know that the crushing emptiness and sadness is the final price that we all pay, for the years of loyal companionship that our nonhuman friends give us.

    Premier Icon blokeuptheroad
    Full Member

    PJay that’s ace. I properly welled up reading that! OP, my condolences, they leave a huge hole in our lives when they go. It sounds like you are handling it very well as regards the kids. Another dog will not replace her, but will probably be just as much of a character and part of your lives in a different way.

    Premier Icon plus-one
    Free Member

    I’m dreading the day I have to let one of my 3 go 🙁

    They really are mans best friend

    Premier Icon iainc
    Free Member

    so sad to read, our is not 2 yet and this is something I worry about too ! Hoping to have him well into our retirement as currently in our mid 50’s. It’s too easy to take our canine companions for granted and they really aren’t here that long..

    Premier Icon irc
    Free Member

    Whenever anyone loses a dog I think if some of Steve Sanderson’s ghost dog images. You might a new dog but old one is always there.

    Premier Icon Sandwich
    Full Member

    Don’t rush at the new dog thing, allow time to grieve for Flo and you’ll all know when the time is right for the new dog.

    If you don’t want a younger dog there are lots of older dogs that families ignore because they want a long term best friend. You will be like Manna from heaven to a rescue place.

    It hurts like a bitch when your dog has to go my condolences to you all.

    Premier Icon The-Beard
    Free Member

    We lost our 6 year old GSP last year to a very rare and aggressive form of cancer.  She went downhill over a 6 month period and we eventually were faced with the decision of trying more and more therapies and invasive procedures or letting her go.  She died, very peacefully, lying in my lap (which was no mean feat considering her size) and it was utterly heartbreaking.  That dog was my best friend, my shadow and I can barely type this without getting misty eyed.  Not long after, my wife found this article which I found helped:

    We did, thankfully, already have another GSP, who is currently keeping my feet warm, so we at least weren’t in an empty house, but her loss was felt everywhere for a long while.  At the start of this year, the rest of the family felt ready for a new puppy so we got another dog and went through the whole puppy thing again.

    The puppy really helped, he filled the hole left in the house and I was starting to feel better.  Then exactly three weeks ago today my wife was walking the dogs down by a local river.  They got wind of something – don’t know what and bolted off, ending up on the road.  They were hit by a van and the puppy died at the scene.  It was a freak accident, no-one’s fault, just cruel and senseless.  The older dog survived and is well on his way to 100% recovery but my wife and I are distraught.  To lose another so soon and one that was healing the hurt from before is devastating, especially in such a brutal fashion.  I don’t know how we’re coping, or if we even are to be honest.  The kids have taken it better, they bounce back faster I think.  There will be other dogs, I know there will, they’re a huge part of my life.  But it hurts like nothing else when they go.

    Premier Icon malv173
    Full Member

    Sad news, that. Not gone through this personally, but our oldest greyhound, Jez, is nearly 11, so it won’t be many years away.

    Your plans sound really nice. Not sure what we will do.

    Have you thought about rescuing an older dog? One that definitely won’tbe with you until your 70, but just needs love for the last few years.

    Premier Icon GolfChick
    Free Member

    Completely share the pain you’re going through. Last two dogs went with very little notice, the first young at 6 and the next last year at aged 10. At least with the 10 year old for a large breed dog you start to expect it.

    Everybody copes differently to the loss of a dog and nobody is right or wrong. I leave the gap at least 12 months to allow myself to grieve and to allow their lives with me to be properly commemorated. I think you’ll very much know when you’re ready and as others have said there are hundreds of older dogs in rescue who would love the opportunity to live out their lives with you, if you can stand the pain again. Our next one is due on Sat and even though it’s been more than 12 months I still feel guilty that her slot is going to be filled by another dog.

    Premier Icon jhinwxm
    Free Member

    We lost our dog last year. He was 17, a real character and had the patience that I’ve not witnessed in a dog before. Our children (when they were very young) all played with him in ways which you could forgive any dog for not tolerating but he just took it all in his stride and never ever bit, growled or got aggressive.

    Still not got over it and not sure I ever will. Even typing this I feel like crying. Taking him to be put to sleep was far and away the hardest thing I’ve ever had to do.

    At first I wanted another dog but as the months have gone by I’ve completely changed my mind. So my advice would be not to rush into anything.
    My view right now is that he cannot be replaced so we shouldn’t even attempt to.

    You have my sincere and deepest condolences.

    Premier Icon rockhopper70
    Free Member

    Thank you all for the replies, I knew I wasn’t being a flake being upset, but its good to hear others have felt that same initial desperate sadness.

    A rescue would be a possibility, maybe a dog at the older end. But time enough for that.

    Premier Icon franksinatra
    Free Member

    I’m going to give my dog a hug now after reading your post. I think you have nailed what all dog owners have been through / fear going through in the future.

    10 years old is too young but..

    She died in our arms, in her bed in the kitchen it was so quick

    I don’t think Flo would have wanted it any other way.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Free Member

    Dusty in here.

    Not sure as I’ve much to add that hasn’t already been said. Allow yourselves time to grieve, consider another when the time is right. Everyone wants a puppy, there’s plenty of older unloved rescues to be found. You don’t have to rush into a ‘replacement’ and you don’t have to commit to twenty years.

    Premier Icon ditch_jockey
    Full Member

    You have my commiserations – we lost our 13 year old Collie very suddenly just three weeks ago. Took her to the vet at lunchtime as she had been a bit ‘off’, and at teatime, we got told she had advanced liver cancer and a 3 week life expectancy. Given she was under anaesthetic at the time, I took the decision to let the vet put her to sleep without waking her up. Went to see her at the vet when she was gone and wept into her fur for about 20mins. It felt far, far worse than when my mum and dad died, and the house still feels empty and ‘wrong’ without her.
    We’re fortunate in that we have another collie, who seems in reasonable health despite being 15, so at the moment we’ve at least got another furry wee chum to interact with, but I’m dreading her going as well.

    Premier Icon toby1
    Free Member

    Something I know I’ll face one day and had feared more than once that we’d be seeing the day sooner rather than later, 3 auto-immuno disease episodes/trips to the vets (all minimum 2 nights), 2 tennis balls swallowed and surgically removed and she’s only just over 2.

    The auto-immune problem means she’s on drugs till the end and they may shorten her life span, so we have no idea how long she’ll even be with us.

    The thought of this makes me well up, I’ve not cried this much since I was a toddler I don’t think.

    Dogs, have positive and negative sides I’d say and I can understand you must be gutted. Sounds like she had a great family and fantastic life and she didn’t suffer for a protracted period at least.

    Premier Icon swdan
    Free Member

    My deepest condolences. My Mum lost one of her Lurchers last week, that’s in a year where we also said goodbye to my Dad and Grandad. My mum is holding it together as far as I can tell but my girls are devastated

    Premier Icon dovebiker
    Free Member

    Had to say goodbye a number of times and our coping strategy is to have 2 dogs, so always having one around. We currently have a 4 year old Labrador who we rehomed at 14 months from the previous owner as she was simply too hyper. Last year we said goodbye to Watson after 14 years and we’re already planning our next dog – our seventh – after a planned Australia trip – hopefully it’ll see me into my 70’s, and there’s never a better reason to staying active than taking the dog out, regardless of the weather.

    Premier Icon grimep
    Free Member

    Our 1st family dog’s not even 2 yet and I’m already understanding how hard this will be one day. She understands scary amounts of English – knows each family member by name – always goes to the correct kid’s bedroom when you tell her to go see them. Say ‘mummy’s coming back now’ and she runs to the front door or looks out the window. Say fox if you want barking. Sneaks under our duvet at night, I often wake up with a sore leg as I haven’t been able to roll around while asleep. Wants to play all the time and teases us by stealing things and getting us to chase her. Does crazy running in long grass and throws herself into anything watery – the sea, puddles, cattle troughs, the bath. The usual family dog things. RIP Flo

    Premier Icon Futureboy77
    Free Member

    Nowt meaningful to add which hasn’t been said already, but RIP Flo. Dogs are ace.

    Premier Icon Drac
    Full Member

    Sorry to hear this.

    We lost Jake suddenly too a few months ago, just after we had been to look at a pup. The kids were absolutely devastated, as was I as he’d been my companion and little bud when I was in some dark times,

    We chatted about him, recalled funny things he did, naughty things, times we had with him on days away and just how great he was. We never let on that we had been successful in getting Oscar, the pup, the kids thought they’d all gone. I walked in with him and the tears of joy was immense. Oscar has helped heal a big hole in our hearts and lives.

    Premier Icon jamj1974
    Full Member

    I think if you love an animal as they deserve – you will always feel their loss like this. I was like this after 15 years with our cat boy Douglas.

    You never stop missing them but the grief gets less sharp. The best thing we did for us and our two 7 year olds and 10 year old was to take another cat into our home and love her. Ava is not a replacement but another being to love in her own right.

    Premier Icon malv173
    Full Member


    I honestly cannot begin to imagine what a shambles I’ll become when this loon goes. Sal totality melted my heart when we fostered her. Jez was my first dog, and I totally love him, but Sal has a quirkiness that sets her a little apart.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Free Member

    wept into her fur for about 20mins. It felt far, far worse than when my mum and dad died

    I “did the right thing” with my 18-year old cat we got in 1984. She was the dearest companion of a socially awkward geek from age 12 to 30. Twenty years on I still remember wailing “what have I done?!” as she slipped away in my arms. I’m leaking now typing this.

    Animals are ace. People can **** off.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Free Member

    I just looked for photos and now I’m bawling again.

    Today we’ve got three kitties, the old girl who’s a grumpy shitbag and two “kittens” who are both headcases. I wouldn’t change them for the world. I’m going to be destroyed when they leave us, but the joy and love you get in the interim is totally worth it.

    Old girl Mollie is a rescue. The kittens are 18 month old siblings, I have no doubt that but for our (or someone’s) intervention one of them wouldn’t have survived.

    Furry little adorable heartbreaking bastards.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Free Member

    My first love.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Free Member


    Premier Icon Cougar
    Free Member

    The kittens.

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Free Member

    Right now,

    Premier Icon Cougar
    Free Member

    The special little ginger idiot, a couple of days ago.

    Beautiful girl, adorable, distinctive markings, totally loving, dotes on her sister, waits for me of a morning so she can be lap cat, absolutely no brains whatsoever.

    Premier Icon sandboy
    Full Member

    I feel your pain OP, Really sorry to read your post. We lost our Beardie last November, aged just 10, very suddenly without any kind of warning. Very aggressive cancer, we really didn’t have a clue, dogs are very good at hiding their pain.
    The family were devastated, loosing our best friend so suddenly was such a shock. The memories are what’s important and in time you will look back with a lot of happiness at the times you shared.
    My kids were broken by it which added to the loss but they have in their own way dealt with loosing their friend. My daughter has sketched a picture of her “hairy brother” and every time I look at it, I smile.

    Premier Icon fatbrad
    Free Member

    OP I know what you are going through. As has been said before by many others it’s the hardest thing to do. I had a grumpy old rescue cat who when I went to see her she hated everybody to the point everyone was scared to go near her. When I saw her she came out purring and let me fuss her. That was it I fell in love. She never changed either mellowed a little with my wife and tolerated the kids. 20 years later (last year) I had to have her put down my wife had to come and get me from the vets because I couldn’t stop crying. It was harder than saying goodbye to my Gran and Uncle. Before I met my wife Suzi used to follow me to the end of the road when I left the house for work and she would be sat there when I came back. I rescued another cat called Smudge and he’s also a Daddies boy will only sit on me for cuddles. Wakes me up in the mornings by rubbing his face on me and hitting me. I love him just as much but he’s not the grumpy old cowbag Suzi was.
    They’re all different in their own way and they help in so many ways.
    But Flo was loved and she would have know that. Take your time to grieve. Talk about her with everyone who will listen. One day you will wake up and it won’t hurt so much. Then you will want another.

    Premier Icon one_bad_mofo
    Free Member

    When our precious old lady Tigger went some years ago, someone on here kindly posted up The Cat’s Will, which really moved me and helped; it still tears me up and the sentiments are perfect for a Dog’s Will too.

    That was me, sorry. I’ve been reading it again lately as next week will be four years since I lost Bass cat, who is now immortalised by a tattoo on my leg.

    There’s not a day goes by without the two current furry boys in my life making me laugh. Cats are ace as are dogs, but people, meh.

    Premier Icon willard
    Free Member

    I starting reading this thread earlier, then had to stop and avoid it for a bit, sorry.

    I lost my boy, Ted (Springer Spaniel), two Christmases ago and it is still difficult to think about it in a rational way. He was such a big part of my life for such a long time that, when he left, there was a large part of my life that was just gone. I am lucky that I still have his brother Ralph (Cocker Spaniel) around, but he’s 13, deaf and slightly blind and I know that, at some point soon, I’m going to lose another huge part of my life.

    How did I cope after Ted? I don’t think I did really. I took him home from the vet and buried him in the garden where I thought he would be happy. I have to walk past it a lot, so the memory of him is still there. It is less painful now, the feeling of loss, but still there. I know it will keep fading.

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