Coping with the loss of our furry friends

Two years ago, on 6th December 2010, our beautiful Border Collie,  Lady gave up on life.  She just lay down in the kitchen & had no more strength to carry on.

Lady

Lady

She looked so sorry for herself and that look in her eyes said so many things to me.  The main thing she said to me was let me rest now please.  So we did.  We wrapped her in her blanket and carried her out to the works van.  I lay in the back with her giving her cuddles and as much love as I could on that fateful journey to the vets.  We said our goodbyes in the surgery and she fell asleep in my arms.  She was 17 years old and after 2 years it still brings tears to my eyes when I think of that day.  I coped with her loss mainly because we still had her big buddy Jake (our German Shepherd) and I poured all my love and affection into him.  He kept me company in the day while I worked in the home office and although he was getting old himself he was always there for a cuddle when I felt sad.

Jake

Jake

Last year became a bit of a struggle for the old boy as his hind quarters succumbed to the usual complaint for these big dogs.  He slowed down and spent more time in the house lying outside the office door, creeping in & settling down behind my chair when he thought I wasn’t looking!  I cursed him many times as he was prone to quite a lot of flatulence in his old age but it didn’t stop me loving him 😉 As the year progressed, his legs & hips got worse. He never winced with pain but bravely took each day slowly walked a little slower and eventually needed help getting up from a lying position.  I’d been giving him medication to help with his joints for a few years but they didn’t seem to be doing much good anymore and his muscles were now almost non-existent and in December 2012 his struggle got worse still.  He was losing all the strength in his legs and could only walk a few yards before collapsing in a heap 😦

Suffice to say, I had stern words with him, saying that there was no way I was losing another ‘family member’ during December.  Dad, Nan, Uncles, Aunts, Lady and in 2009 my Mum topped the lot by passing away on Christmas Day so another December loss was not going to be acceptable to me!

He kept going through December and through the Christmas festivities, but on New Year’s Day his body said enough was enough.  He was still obviously trying to keep going but the frustration got the better of him on 1st January 2013.  It could be seen in his eyes which asked ‘why can’t I get up anymore?’. It was different to Lady, she wanted to give up, Jake wanted to get up!  We helped him as best we could, with Andy supporting his hind quarters while he moved round the kitchen in ‘wheel barrow’ mode but he could no longer go outside to do his basic functions and was trying to be such a good dog by not doing it in the house :S  He stopped eating and needed his bowl of water brought to him to drink.  This would be no life anymore 😦  so on Wednesday 2nd January, the vet came to the house and we said goodbye to our big boy.  Jake would have been 14 at the end of January – a brilliant age for such a dog!

He and Lady are now laying side by side at one side of the garden just as they used to in life.  They were the best of friends and were my best friends too.

People tend to understand the loss of a loved one and give so much sympathy.  You don’t expect it when you lose a pet, but the comfort I received from friends & family alike has been wonderful.  Losing a pet is like losing the best friend you ever had.  I will miss them so much.

Don’t be put off having a dog as a pet.  Yes, it’s hard when you lose them but they love you irrespective of your actions unlike most humans.  A dog is the most loyal friend you could ever have.

We will get another dog, maybe even 2, but in a while and not just yet.  I’ll let you know when we do.  There’s sure to be some interesting stories when we have puppies in the house 😉

If you’ve lost a pet or have an old or infirm pet at home I recommend the following to help you cope with whatever has happened or may happen soon. Just click on the button below.

Ten Tips on Coping with Pet Loss

Ten Tips on Coping with Pet Loss

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5 Comments (+add yours?)

  1. Belinda
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 11:41:54

    So, so sorry to hear about the loss of your dogs, bless Jake holding on past December, it sounds like you’ve had enough of December grief! I totally understand your sadness but so many people struggle to comprehend pet bereavement. I know it’s too early for you to think of this but when you do get another dog (or 2!) please do consider rescues (I’m sure you have already), there are so many out there needing the type of loving home you clearly provide xx

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  2. Julie Cook
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 11:52:08

    Sending love n hugs, they are part of the family and grief is natural. You will know when its time to get pups/rescue dogs and I look forward to the tales!

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  3. Cris
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 11:52:58

    I feel very sorry for your lost.Big hug.

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  4. The Nest at John Richards
    Jan 09, 2013 @ 11:54:55

    Thank you Belinda – it was a very hard blog to write but I thought it would help me grieve. I am n ow in bits & blubbing like a baby but I know it’s good to let your feelings out. We will certainly be looking at the rescue dogs but our minds are also open on breeds – we will not be looking to replace Lady & Jake – that would never be possible. We will see in a few months who wants us to be their humans 😉

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  5. セイコ ー スピリット ソーラー
    Aug 20, 2013 @ 03:35:56

    Very nice post. I just stumbled upon your blog and wished to
    say that I have truly enjoyed browsing your blog posts.
    After all I’ll be subscribing to your rss feed and I hope you write again very soon!

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