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Dealing With The Loss Of A Pet

Discussion in 'Emotional Support' started by SBTlove, Dec 10, 2010.

  1. SBTlove

    SBTlove Good Dog

    Losing a pet is something all pet owners have to face at somepoint in their life. Its also one of the hardest things a petowner ever has to experience. When you lose a pet you tend to feel a whole bunch of different emotions in the grieving process. Sometimes you feel them all at once, sometimes you feel them one at a time, and sometimes they go back and forth. It can be overwhelming at times.

    Lets take a moment to look at the grieving process. There are 5 main stages of grief and those are Denial, Anger, Bargaining, Depression, and Acceptance. Not everyone experiences these stages in order and not everyone experiences all the stages listed.

    When you lose your pet you may feel denial as in "This can't be happening". You may detach from the situation completely. Such as "I'm fine". You may appear for all intents and purposes fine and dandy on the outside but on the inside you could be so torn apart. During the Denial stage, you may refuse to acknowledge the loss and the trauma that has occured from losing your beloved pet.

    Anger: During this stage you may be dealing with anger, maybe some level of anxiety, possibly even a level of guilt. You may be angry with the world. You may be angry with your pet for leaving you. You may be angry with yourself. Unfortunately during this process you could even lash out at those you love or lose your cool under what would normally be something silly and not worth losing your temper over. If you had a sick dog or an old dog that had to be Euthanized or a sick dog that just couldn't be saved, or your dog was hit by a car or killed by another animal you may be feeling guilty. You may feel like you killed your best friend. You may feel like it was all your fault that your friend is dead. In this stage no matter how much people tell you it wasn't your fault, it doesn't sink in. But it does get better.

    Bargaining: Your pet is gone, you may have delt with denial and anger or you may be dealing with them currently. You find yourself saying "If I could just go back and have one more day I would do this or that different". In my honest opinion this can be the shortest phase or the longest phase depending on the person. During this phase the person is more reminicint. During this phase the person tends to focus more on the good times, but the loss is still a very big part of their life. This phase can also be the very first phase of the grieving process because if you found out your pet is ill or dying, you may find yourself just praying, "Look I know he is dying but just give us more time together." In a way you begin accept the situation but you aren't quite there.

    Depression: The hardest phase. This phase is also what I would consider the Healing phase, depending on how the person handles it. Not everyone can come out of this phase without a little outside unbiased help and you should never feel ashamed in confiding in a counseler or a therapist who has the tools to help if the need arises. In less severe situations, it also helps to sit down with a trusted family member or friend. Believe it or not talking is a good healer. In my honest opinon Depression and Anger tend to go hand and hand. You may feel the world is against you, you may feel that things are never going to get better. You may feel that the world is better off without you, which is so untrue. In a state of depression, its hard to understand unless you've been there. Its a dark place but there is always a light at the end of the tunnel. And in time, sometimes requiring a little help, other times not the depression does end. How do you know if your depression is something that needs to be addressed, if it starts affecting your everyday life, its probably time to seek out a little extra help.

    Acceptance: The final Stage of Grief. This is the stage where
    the bad memories start to fade away. You are able to function again. You are able to start to move forward with your life. You are no longer stuck in that moment where you lost your friend. You will still miss your buddy. You may still cry at times, but its getting easier. You start to smile again. You have some normalcy again in your every day life. This is the moment where you realize you did all you could do and everything happens as it is supposed. This is the point where you become a much stronger person. This is the point where your life begins again.

    The stages of grief can last a few weeks, to a few months, to years. It just depends on the person and how the person handles the situation and grieving process. Even though its hard to lose a pet, and the feeling of sadness and pain seem to want to linger forever that pain does eventually heal. If you are dealing with the loss of a pet, have no fear the pain does not last forever. When the dark stormy clouds finally roll away, we are left with smiles and memories of happier times.

    Our furry friends come into our lives and teach us so much about life and love and loyalty and when they leave us they leave their permanent pawprints on our hearts.

    Last edited by a moderator: Dec 10, 2010
  2. Sabrina

    Sabrina Moderator

    Great job, SBTlove.
    Someone sticky this!

    ---------- Post added at 12:37 PM ---------- Previous post was at 11:10 AM ----------

    I'm working on a "Deciding to PTS" sticky.

    (someone better sticky these :lol:)
  3. SBTlove

    SBTlove Good Dog

    I think that will be a very much needed and helpful sticky.
  4. Mollie's Nana

    Mollie's Nana Krypto Super Dog Staff Member Super Moderator

    Very good post SBTlove!
  5. PitBullHappeningsRescue

    PitBullHappeningsRescue Rescue Moderator Premium Member

    Yes, very good post!!

    One thing that helps me is having several dogs who I know depend on me... so, I don't really have any choice but to be Strong for the others. Where having the number of dogs I have, the odds are against me for something bad happening to one of them (as recently occurred) but my knowing and loving all my other dogs helped me through it.

    Of course, I'm also known to hold in my emotions anyways (get it from my dad) So, not too many ppl realized how torn up I was on the inside.. still am but thanks to my other dogs, plus the Rescue I'm doing fine :)

    RAZOR EDGE GIRL Little Dog

    This was a great post ! myself losing my best friend went threw all these stages and i do still cry time to time but, i know one day ill see her at rainbow bridge!

    thanks sbtlove
  7. i know how it feels also I lost my first pit to a nasty neighbor, armondy's dad. he was my life and then it felt like my soul was taken from me, but i got through it with armondy there to help me out as a boy!
  8. PatienceFlame

    PatienceFlame Good Dog

    spazz has been gone for 2 months and I am dealing wih insomnia/depression/anxiety as we speak... -.-
  9. SBTlove

    SBTlove Good Dog

    I went through all that when I lost Trouble. Its only been in the last month that I really have been able to move forward. I'm still dealing with a bit of depression over it, but I myself am still dealing with a lot of guilt. He was so young, I feel like i should have been able to save him.

    But life goes on, it just takes a while to get that normalcy back. And it takes some people longer than others. Trouble wasn't the first dog I've lost, heck he wasn't he first dog I've had to put down. But he was the hardest dog to lose.

    ---------- Post added at 12:09 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:04 PM ----------

    I still cry over the dog I lost 6 years ago from time to time. They take a part of us with them when they go. Sometimes I think they bring out the best part of us you know. But each dog we've loved, leaves thier paw print, deeply imprinted in our hearts. They have to leave our mark.

    I believe they are in our lives, even just for a short time, to teach us something. And usually they teach us something about ourselves. I think every dog out there has a purpose just as we do. My dog I lost 6 years ago, lived 2 lifetimes in one. She got her old owner to the other side. Got her through some painful years, until she finally passed away. She then at 10 years old came to my home and saved a troubled teens life. Me. She got me through the hardest years of my life.

    Trouble, he brought my grandfather back from the edge of death. He would not have survived if it weren't for him.

    I've had other dogs but those are the two that stand out the most. I think they all have a job to do. And I don't think we has humans realize how much we rely on them and how much Good they did until they are gone.

    ---------- Post added at 12:10 PM ---------- Previous post was at 12:09 PM ----------

    You know its amazing how animals help us through the hardest times.

    So sorry to hear about everyone loss. But its good we are here and we can help each other.

    They never leave us though. Because they live in our memories. They live as long as we allow them to live. If we never forget them, they never truely die.
  10. I need help getting through my greif, but counilers around here are "pit pregudice"
  11. SBTlove

    SBTlove Good Dog

    unfortunately we live in a world where there is strong predjudice against our breed . That being said a councilor or therapist won't let their bias interfere in your sessions. If you feel you need the help I encourage you to seek it. And we are here for you too. You can always lean on your PBC family as we too have lost our dear pets
  12. blackdog128

    blackdog128 Puppy

    hi all iam doing ok now it been a few weeks i lost my pup i had to come back in to say hi and iam still here don't have a pit anymore but its ok when the time is right i will get one again :)
  13. [​IMG] can any one tell me wot they think about my dog he 6 months old and I got him as a blue staff but ppl say he look pit or cross pit

    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk

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