View Full Version : dealing with death

02-13-2001, 09:05 PM
Isn't it sad when a pet dies? I think if you are really attached to a pet it can be just as hard to say goodbye as it is with a human person. I know when my guinea pig died I was sad for a few days because even when you are down pets make everything a little better.

02-14-2001, 03:07 PM
Thats very true doglover05, it seems we give unconditional love to our pets, no strings attached. It's very hard to lose them and we tuck them in a corner of our heart to be remembered forever.

[This message has been edited by jackiesdaisy1935 (edited February 14, 2001).]

02-14-2001, 04:39 PM
I am a nurse and have had to deal with death on a regular basis. I have known the loss of patients, of a parent and of friends. Losing any of our pets is just as hard and sometimes more so, in way. They cannot speak, let their needs or wishes be known. They look to us for all decisions; for help. They are vulnerable in a way that us humans are not. It is an awesome responsibility and the ultimate selfless love; the love of a pet. I am so sorry you lost your little friend. But their memories remain with us forever. They never leave us. My thoughts are with you, and for certain you are not alone in your pain. Love to you

4 feline house
02-14-2001, 10:38 PM
Doglover, I am so sorry you lost your little piggie.

Losing a pet is very hard. Sometimes I think I will never get over it. I still weep over kitties that have been gone many years. It is just as hard as losing a human loved one, only different. I still weep over the loss of my sister and that was over twenty years ago. The hurt gets better, but never goes away. It is the same with all our beloved pets at the rainbow bridge. One big difference is, when my sister passed, there was a funeral, notices in the papers, cards, flowers, phone calls, visitors, lots of hugs, love and support. The significance of the trauma was validated in our friend's and society's response. This in turn validated my sister's worth. When our pets pass, it's "oh". It's almost like we are made to think we are crazy because we think the loss of a pet is so traumatic, and that our pets were worthless.

Almost two years ago, I lost all three of my cats in a very tragic, very preventable (by me) accident. The devastation I felt was almost overwhelming. It was made even more unbearable by the fact that no one was interested in letting me cry on their shoulder. At best I was offered a short "oh, how sad" before the subject was quickly changed. At worst I was made to feel like it wasn't even a subject worth mentioning. Only one close friend, who was a dog lover who had lost her favorite dog in a similar accident, showed any sympathy.

I guess it's part of the same attitudes that allow so many pets to be abused, abandoned, and unneutered.

Thank goodness for this wonderful site, where we know we can turn when we need someone to understand the depth of our loss.

02-15-2001, 05:24 AM
Doglover05.....Your recent loss brought back to mind the loss of my son's piggie, Gretel. One warm sunny day I put Gretel's cage outside on the back deck to get some nice sunshine and fresh air. A couple of hours later she was dead. Apparently they can't tolerate direct sunlight and the sun had moved right overhead. It was so hard for me that day when my son got off the bus to tell him that Gretel had died and I had been responsible. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif He was a sweetie though and didn't blame me although he grieved.

4 Feline House....I wish Pet Talk had existed at the time of your loss. This site is filled with wonderful people and is a real source of encouragement and love from the most caring group of strangers whom I have come to regard as friends. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

[This message has been edited by Pam (edited February 15, 2001).]

02-15-2001, 10:38 AM
I agree with you 4 feline house. People who have not experienced the love a pet gives you do not understand the grief you feel over the loss of a pet. When one of my cats died someone even told me that it was only a cat after all... That made me so mad, my cat was with me for 18 wonderful years, I believe that is normal to be upset after you lose someone who shared your life for such a long time.

Luckily my immediate familiy understands and, when it will happen again I know that I can turn to this board as well.

Daisy's Mom
02-15-2001, 05:12 PM
Daisy is my first dog. In the past I had many fish, 8 hermit crabs, a hamster, and two budgies. The deaths of my fish and hermit crabs weren't very traumatizing, and I had to give my birds away because they were frighteningly vicious. However, Ritz my hamster was the first pet I had been attached to. I have this posted in another place, so sorry for those of you who have to read it twice, but it does help to talk about it. One day Ritz started acting sick. My mom took me out of school early to take him to the only vet we found who would care for hamsters, over an hour away. The vet gave him a shot and some medicine for me to give him each morning. It was in all $70. That money gave him one more day of life. The next morning, I took him out of his large cage and started to fill his mouth with medicine from my medicine dropper, when he started having convulsions, and he died in my hands. To a little sixth grader who had never before experienced death, it was bad. I couldn't go to school and I cried for over five hours straight. My father took me outside to bury him that cold January day only to find the ground was frozen... we can laugh at it now, when my mom tells of the two of us standing un the backyard uner the apple tree, me holding Ritz in a box, bawling, my father splitting the ground with a pic axe. We gave up and had to bury him under our porch. I still bring clover (his favorite food) and flowers I pick to his grave on his birthday, August 5, and I sprinkle some of the bird seed he loved so much on the anniversary of his death, January 17. The worst part of my hamster dying was how much people made fun of me. "He's just a HAMSTER! A little rodent! You can buy another one." No one understood! Yes he was a hamster, but not JUST a hamster. He was my pet and I loved him! I agree with Gio, it's very comforting to know that the next time I have to experience the death of a pet, I have all of you here to understand and help me through.

02-15-2001, 09:55 PM
Daisy's Mom,
I feel your pain! I'm a 38 year old mother now, but I remember the death of every pet I have ever had (maybe with the exception of certain fish).
Now I relive those awful feelings everytime we lose one here. Last year, our little Rusty, a hamster we had for over two years, died. Poor Helen fell apart. I held Rusty for over three hours while he died. It was the saddest thing. I didn't handle the death of our Cocker Spaniel almost two years ago very well either. As a mom, I have to be the strong one as I have a very sensitive little girl to deal with. But it is HARD! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif
And you're right, it never gets any easier.
Isn't it great to have wonderful "internet" friends who understand? http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

4 feline house
02-17-2001, 06:56 PM
Since my current crew is so young yet, hopefully it will be a long time before I suffer another loss, but, yes, it is nice to know that everyone is here to help when the time comes. Daisy's mom, I'm glad you, and everyone else, can post on the board to make you feel better. Even the little "rodents" can be a big part of someone's life. I was petsitting a friend's menagerie when her little guinea pig died. She had warned me that he was old and she wasn't sure he would make it through her trip. Not being familiar with guinea pigs, I saw nothing wrong with him and fell in love with him the first day. I played with him, petted him, and hand fed him. The second day he was listless and refusing food. The third day he suffered a siezure and died. I took it harder than my friend! Those little guys are just as special, even if they can't wag a tail or purr!

02-18-2001, 04:31 PM
To all of you who have lost a pet, you are not alone nor misunderstood here. It does help to talk about it and I personally want to thank those who have listened to me on a number of occasions talk about losing my Bailey and Tizzie. These were not even recent deaths, yet my friends here were so generous in their understanding. Don't ever hesitate to let out your feelings about your love and loss on this board. I feel bad for those who can't comprehend. They are the ones who have not known the intense relationship with a pet.

Spencer, I worry about what you are referring to. I don't even want to take a planned trip with my husband because this issue has not been resolved in our household.

02-18-2001, 05:15 PM
Having your pet outlive you is very hard to think about. We are so close to our pets, in the past we traveled far and wide, now we travel close to home and with Daisy and Perry. Since we are in our mid sixties and early seventies this issue hits close to home. We have discussed this with our son and his family who said they would be more than happy to take Daisy and Perry should
something like this occur. We have all the confidence in the world they would be well cared for and feel free to enjoy them at this place in time.

02-18-2001, 10:55 PM
I posted this response last night on another topic. Fits better here.I must admit that I don't worry constantly, but have done the "what if" thing. I know my daughter would be well taken care of by her dad if something happened to me, but what about the rest of them? Oh, Spencer, why did I read your post when I was just about to call it a night and go to sleep? Wouldn't it be great to have someone just step into your place and take over where you left off? Every one of my pets is so easy to love, that I can only hope that they would have happy homes. I have a friend that I know would take Honey and Mimi in a heartbeat, but the rest of them...I don't know. You have given me the "push" to think about all of them and what would happen if I weren't able to care for them, or God forbid, I was gone. What an awful thing to think about..........

4 feline house
02-19-2001, 07:30 PM
Spencer, that is a subject that has weighed heavily on my mind the last year or so. I have been diabetic for about twenty years, and have had kidney disease for about 10 years now. Statistically speaking, I have about ten years left. Of course, that doesn't mean I can't stick around another thirty, but I could also drop dead tomorrow. I have been estranged from my family for years now, and even if I wasn't none of them would be acceptable - my mother lives on a very busy corner yet still keeps a cat door, and my sister lives in a strict apartment. I am not estranged from my brother and sister-in-law, but they live in South Carolina, have fewer financial resources than me, and are so into drugs that they often don't even know if they have cat food in the house or not. My only close friend that even likes cats already has a houseful and lives in an apartment. There would be no way she could take on four more. My son is 16, so if I go after he has left home there will be the chance that he may be able to take them. But a young man is usually either in college, has roommates, or lives in small quarters to save money, if not all three. So unless I far exceed the normal life expectancy of a diabetic with kindey failure, the chances are that he will also be unable to take them. I know the Dallas SPCA has a program just for pets that have survived their owners, but it is very expensive and I have four cats. Because of my health, I can only get limited life insurance coverage, even through employer life insurance plans (I can get none on my own, even to supplement and employer plan). So, yes, I am acutely aware of the fact that my cats may be euthanized in the event of my death. This is why, after my other cats died, I did not go out and adopt another. But then Peaches showed up, and she was pregnant, and six weeks is way too long to have little tubbie-bellied cutie baby cats in your house and not get way too attached to give them away. So now I find myself with four who may outlive me. All I can do is pray.

02-21-2001, 11:39 PM
4 feline house, you are so caring of your cats...so they must be loving and good house cats as a result. There are people who want to adopt older cats like that. This is just a thought...so feel free to not like it. What if you started to make friends now with a no-kill cat refuge or rescue group? There might be some support you could give that's reasonable for you in your circumstances. Then, when you are no longer able to take care of your lovely cats, these people might find other good homes for them. There's a wonderful animal refuge in Texas where no animal is turned away or put down (unless for medical reasons). Cats are specially loved there, too.
Go to http://www.utopiarescue.com
Especially go visit the page where Kinky Friedman, who founded Utopia Rescue, has written an epilogue on the loss of his cat, Cuddles. Kinky is also the author of a series of detective novels where the main characters are himself & this very cat, Cuddles.
Go to http://www.utopiarescue.com/epilogue.htm

[This message has been edited by Angels3 (edited February 22, 2001).]

02-22-2001, 07:34 AM
And don't forget, 4-feline house, that cats - pets in general, actually - are beneficial to your health. People with pets live longer than those without! And then there's Mr. Cat from a week ago http://CatoftheDay.com/archive/2001/February/15.html who alerts his diabetic owner - one of your kitties might do the same thing if it came down to that! So it is a good and happy thing that you have not one, but FOUR http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/eek.gif chances for your own health and life to be extended walking around your home and helpfully shedding on the furniture! http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif

4 feline house
02-23-2001, 10:49 PM
Thanks, Angels3 and Karen, for your words of encouragement.

Actually, the problem may be solved now. I started a new job Feb. 5th after having been laid off from my old job, and yesterday I went to the new employee orientation to learn about the benefits. Turns out, I am eligible to receive up to four times my salary in life insurance before having to submit evidence of insurability, which would be enough to get my kid through his next few years, and have my cats taken care of through the Dallas SPCA surviving pets program. By coincidence, yesterday I also got a mailing from the SPCA, so I'm signing them up!

02-23-2001, 11:28 PM
4 feline house, that is the most wonderful news about your new job & how it means you can provide for your cats in the long term. Isn't it great the way a difficult problem so quickly turned into something positive. You did say that you were going to pray about it. And those prayers have been answered. Best wishes in your new job.

02-24-2001, 07:40 AM
4 Feline House...
I've been thinking about you and praying for you too. Its hard to face all you've had to, and I admire your stamina and the fact that you are living life to its fullest. http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif
The rest of us probably wish for your wisdom and good attitude.
I think Karen is right. Our animals do help us to live healthier, happier lives. Yours is surely enriched by those four wonderful kitties.
Your son is lucky to have such a great, caring mom.
I'm so happy for you and your new job, plus the added insurance benefits that can give you some piece of mind.
Keep your chin up! And a long, healthy life to you and your family (including the 4 cats, of course).

02-24-2001, 05:55 PM
Just started reading this post today and it is certainly is a tough one to get through. I just want to say that 4 Feline House, I'm thinking of you, and so happy for you, hearing of the great news about your job. What a wonderful, caring, thoughtful furmom you are to plan ahead so lovingly for your babies! But, as a nurse, I have to say, I don't like hearing you talk about how much time you have left!!!!!!! We all, in life, have no guarantees, but neither is any prognosis written in stone. With your wonderful loving spirit, and the incredible healing love of your furkids, AND modern medicine, anything is possible. Think DECADES!! As for "animal love." I read a post recently on this forum where the member stated, "I'm not one of those who loves their pets more than their children." I have several friends who think like this. That such love for an animal is wierd. They say things like "You can't compare it to the love for a child." Well, I do not have human children, so perhaps my perspecitve is different from those who do. She's right. I cannot compare it. But I do not believe that complete and total love and devotion for a beloved family pet and total unconditional love for a child, are NOT mutually exclusive. They are different, perhaps, but still very real. My furchildren, along with my husband, ARE my family, and I do not apologize to anyone for that. Like so many of you have posted, so often with the loss of a pet, people, even friends, cannot understand the depth of my grief. The usual platitudes, niceities, then, "get over it". I know how deep and real the love I feel for my kids who have passed is. Years later, sometimes when I am alone, or at night, I think of them and cry; a lot. I think of them all...every day, and still miss them. To my thinking, to deny that this type of deep love for animals is not valid, is to take a very narrow view of the human experience. We all come to this life with our own individual life experiences. I have known many senior citizens and persons suffering from illnesses for whom the love given to, and received from, a furkid, made the difference between dying, merely surviving and thriving.!! This forum is so great because it's members respect one another other in our need to love and be loved in our own unique ways! I know this is the place I will turn to for comfort and support should one of my kids' pass. And all the sad stories of the loss of the poor little guinea pigs!! Squeekie is my latest addition (a piggie) and now I'm already anticipating losing him! Loving is hard.

Daisy's Mom
02-24-2001, 10:28 PM
This doesn't have to do with pets but I just had to post... I live in a small town and go to a school where everyone pretty much knows everyone else... this morning at 1 AM, one of the nicest kids you could ever meet slipped on black ice and hit a tree and died. He was only 18 and he was so nice. I just want to ask for your thoughts and prayers for him tonight. His family was very close, to make it worse. Everyone is very shook up and upset. Thank you for understanding, you guys are the best.

02-25-2001, 04:40 AM
Daisy's Mom, I am so sorry about the tragic loss of such a lovely young person. Our thoughts & prayers go out to you, his family, & friends in your town. It is hard to accept that a young man of only 18 years should be taken. Here's a lovely poem that was read out at the funeral of a young man which we went to recently.

'I'll lend you for a little while a friend of mine, God said,
For you to love the while he lives, & mourn for when he's dead.
He'll bring his charms to gladden you, & though his stay be brief,
You'll always have his memories as a solace
to your grief.'

02-25-2001, 02:30 PM
My heart goes out to you Daisy' Mom. How tragic that such a fine young person so needlessly lost his life. I will keep you, him and his family in my heart and prayers today. I truly am so sorry. Life is so fragile and fleeting. A reminder to us all to hold tight to those we love.

02-25-2001, 03:51 PM
Daisy'sMom, life is so unfair!! my thoughts and prayers are with you and his family at this time. How sad.

02-25-2001, 04:03 PM
It is so sad when we lose one of our young people whose life is just beginning. Our love and prayers go out to you and his family.

02-25-2001, 06:18 PM
Did he slip and fall or did he slip on ice in a car?
no matter is is really sad

Daisy's Mom
02-25-2001, 07:23 PM
I'm sorry if I wasn't clear, I was crying when I typed that! He slipped on ice driving on the way home from his girlfriend's house. He was going fast so that he could make his curfew. Thank you for your kind words, thoughts, and prayers, everyone, and Angels3, your poem was beautiful. He was just such a nice kid... I know that's what everyone says when something like this happens but it's true. He was one of those all-around great people: friends with simply everybody, a member of National Honor Society, captain of the Varsity basketball team, he played varsity tennis and soccer, and was ranked 7th academically in the class. It's heartwrenching. This is a very hard time for everyone here. It's good to come here and take my mind off everything by blabbing about Daisy http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif Thanks for being there for me.

02-25-2001, 09:33 PM
Lesson for every parent of a teen, and especially and teen or new drivers: your life is more important than any curfew. Ice forms on roads that you cannot see, especially at night. Even rain can make going "a little fast" fatal. If you think you might be late, stop and call, then drive home as slowly as it takes to be safe.
Off my soapbox now. Daisy's Mom, just hug Daisy, look in those droopy brown eyes, and know that though it is a dreadful way to learn, maybe people will drive a little more carefully, at least for a while. Hug your pup, even if she thinks you're being all wierd with you face leaking and all that - she will love you anyway, and probably do something so goofy you laugh despite it all! (Go, Daisy!)

02-25-2001, 10:51 PM
Daisy's Mom, You never cease to amaze me with what a compassionate, caring and sensitive person you are. I'm so sorry that you have to experience these kinds of sad events at such a young age. I wish we could put our arms around you and give you a hug. I shall include extra prayer for this young man's family and friends and you tonight.

Daisy's Mom
02-26-2001, 09:50 PM
Thanks for being there everyone! Went to my first wake ever tonight... it was so tough. He and his younger brother Glenn were best friends, and I am very close with Glenn. One look at his face and I lost it and sobbed uncontrollably for an hour straight... and the casket was so small, it's just not fair. At least Dan was so loved: we got to the the place early and still waited in a 2 hour line. When we left, the line had extended out of the house, through the garage, and down the road. School was awful, they held classes but said those of us who knew Dan could go to the auditorium and be there for each other. Half of the school sat in there, crying and hugging. I have never been through anything so awful. Sorry to be talking about it so much, especially since it has nothing to do with pets, but I just have to share it as a lesson to everyone. Yes, we are definitely learning the hard way. The funeral is tomorrow morning. I get the day off from school but I don't even care. Usually that would thrill me. It's just not the same now. Well, I should go to bed now... RIP Dan, we love you http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/frown.gif Thanks again to all of you who care so much. I love you guys!

4 feline house
02-26-2001, 10:45 PM
Daisy's mom-

I haven't logged on for a few days, so my symathies are being extended belatedly.

When something this dreadful happens to one of our Pet of the Day friends, we don't care that it's off subject.

I know you are hurting now, and nothing me or anyone else can say to you will make that go away.

I know you are not old enough to have kids, but as a mother of a teenage boy, I can tell you, that hearing this type of thing just knocks the wind out of you, even if you never knew the child who died. Death is never easy, but the loss of such a promising youth, with his whole life still ahead of him, is a cruelty none of us will never understand. Everyone keeps saying "if only". If only he had slowed down, if only he had watched the time closer, if only he had taken another road. If only he hadn't died. But it's so final, that's the cruelest thing about our friends, families, and pets dying.

My thoughts and prayers are with you, and I wish I could be there to hug you, too.

4 feline house
02-26-2001, 10:46 PM
Angel, Logan & Tats-

Thanks! Y'all are so sweet! And yes, prayer is a powerful thing, isn't it?

02-27-2001, 06:21 AM
Daisy's Mom, we sending you big warm hugs across the distance. Dan must have been a wonderful person to be loved so much. That means he'll live on in your hearts forever. I'm so glad his brother has a friend like you. Take care.

02-27-2001, 10:28 AM
4 feline house,

You've said it all in your answer to Daisy'sMom!! Hang in there. Our thoughts and prayers are with you and Dan's family.

[This message has been edited by Sudilar (edited February 27, 2001).]

02-27-2001, 11:11 AM
Our Standard Poodle died recently.
Our six-year-old son is very depressed because of this.

We are seeking anyone who knows of Tennessee
based (or near Tennessee/Southeast) breeders
who may have some puppies available.

Jeff 615-741-5274 OR 615-444-1186
[email protected] (take the "XYZ" off before sending)

Daisy's Mom
02-27-2001, 08:46 PM
Okay I think this will be my last post about Dan. Today was the funeral and I am physically and emotionally drained. I cried the whole mass - an hour and 45 minutes - plus a half hour afterwards. I just sobbed uncontrollably, but I wasn't alone. After his uncle gave the eulogy, after his cousin played a song he'd written for him, after hearing his mother cry out when they wheeled the little casket away... I don't think there was one dry eye in the entire church. Actually it was two churches; because they expected so many people, the church across the street was wired so that people could sit there to hear and watch the funeral on TV. I was in the "real" church... wow was it hard. Anyway, I want to thank you all. Your kind words have really helped so much. It's amazing how people all over the world can comfort me from millions of miles away. I don't know what I would do without all of you and and all of my friends. I think our school and community has really pulled together to get through this. We are all closer now, like a big family. We've all learned some lessons and matured a little too. We are now trying to help out Dan's family. For example, tomorrow my boyfriend and some other good friends of Glenn's are taking him out to get his mind off everything. I know it will take time before everything is going to be okay again, but I know we can do it. Okay I won't talk any more about this non-pet related topic, but I want to thank you all again for EVERYTHING! I love you guys!

02-27-2001, 09:12 PM
Poodle lover I am so sorry to hear of your recent loss. I am also a poodle lover and have had 4, one being a standard. It has been almost 3 years since my last poodle died and we just yesterday adopted a female cream standard (she is only 5 lbs. right now). http://PetoftheDay.com/talk/smile.gif The death of a dog is a very hard thing to get over and we felt overwhelmed with the thoughts of a new dog for quite some time. I don't know of any breeders in your particular area, but to find my new little girl I just did a search on line and went from there. Good luck to you in finding that special little one. Let us know how you do.

02-28-2001, 07:38 AM
Thanks, Daisy's Mom, for telling us about the funeral mass. It did help with some closure of a tragic event. What warm & wise young people you are to have grown thro' your sadness to new understandings.

02-28-2001, 06:10 PM
Posted on the tibbie list this morning. I just had to share it.


Old dog in a locket
That lies next to my heart,
I will always love you
As I did from the start.
You were right beside me
Through the darkest of days
It was your kind and gentle nature
That made me want to stay.
As I held you in my arms
Your breath still warm against my hand,
Our hearts still beat together
So I was sure you'd understand.
Through the hours that I held you
Before the light left your soul,
I knew a way to keep you
Forever in my hold.
I snipped the hair from around your eyes
So I would always see
The beauty that surrounds me
Even in times of need.
I snipped the hair from around your ears
So I would always hear
Music in the distance
To quiet any fears.
I snipped the hair from across your back
To bring me strength in times of need
And the power of your essence
Would always be with me.
I snipped the hair from around your heart
That beats in time with mine
So I would know that love would find me
At some distant time.
And so, your life slipped out of mine
On a quiet, spring-like day
But I knew that part of you
Was always here to stay.
Old dog in a locket
That lays next to my heart
I will always love you
Even though we had to part.



[This message has been edited by Angels3 (edited February 28, 2001).]

02-28-2001, 08:27 PM
That is the most beautiful poem. I think I will do that too when the time comes

02-28-2001, 09:12 PM
Angels3 that is one of the most beautiful poems I have ever read, it touched me deeply. Thank you so much for sharing it with us.

03-24-2001, 11:03 AM
I think its also hard to hear abut animals that have been abused. Just last week there was a story on the news about a puppy who had been tied to a tree by a shoelace around his neck. He wasn't doing so good at first but then suddnely made a full recovery. Why would anyone do that to one of God's beautiful creatures?

04-22-2001, 12:57 PM
Originally posted by doglover05:
Isn't it sad when a pet dies? I think if you are really attached to a pet it can be just as hard to say goodbye as it is with a human person. I know when my guinea pig died I was sad for a few days because even when you are down pets make everything a little better.

sorry about your pet i once had a calico kittem named pumpkin i loved her so much but 1 day someone stopped and stole her like they did my puppy max! but i am very sorry about your g. pig! :(