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Loss of pet cant move on


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I am having a hard time moving on. I just lost my pet on friday, she was everything to me, we did everything together. I am a older male living alone dont have any close friends, only a few I talk to occasionally say monthly and my closest family is my cousin who lives downstate about 2 hours away. My beloved Katie, I got her when she was 6 weeks old and had her for 15 years, outside of about 4 years (in which she lived with my mother at that time), she has been with me. We did everything together, she was my best friend, significant other, comforter, practically everywhere I went, she was with me, store, drives, etc. She was nervous around strangers especially if they went to pet her. As long as they didnt bother her, she was fine with it. I am not really a social person so alot of times it was just the two of us. Its hard to explain but its as if we became one. I would talk to her all the time just like I do with anyone else and I knew she understood me. She has seen me through multiple tough times such as, losing our livelhood, divorce, and my mother dying. I could not have made it through those and this far without her. She had been diagnosed with degenerative mylopthy and had arthritis in her spine and back legs. So, during the last few years she struggled to get up and walk at times, more so this last year. I always did blood test on her about every 6 months when we went to the vet in hopes of cacthing anything early. Her liver enzymes were always a little elevated but her last one in january they jumped quite a bit. The vet suggested staying on the drug regimen she was taking and doing another test the next time we came in. I noticed a couple weeks ago that she wasnt eating her dogfood but would still eat the treats I gave her. Looking back, I don't know why alarms bells didnt go off then and make a appt to get her back in. This proceeded for about a week then I noticed after a couple days, she wasnt eating treats either or drinking water. So I called the vet and couldnt get in to the next day. By this time it was close to 5 days of not eating and drinking very minimal water. I noticed she wouldnt open her mouth at all and when I tried to pry her mouth open it looked like her bottom eye lids would completely close her eyes and they would sink into her head the more I tried to open her mouth. I also noticed the day before I brought her in when she peed there was a little bit of blood in her urine. By this time she was really struggling to walk on her own, I had to guide her most of the time. I did get her a doggie wheelchair but was having trouble getting it adjusted right. Took her to the vet and couldnt be in their with her (because of the virus) but the vet came out and said that she had lost 13 lbs since last time she was in, she had alot of muscle atrophy which proably explained her getting to the point of not being able to walk on her own, said she was severly dehydrated, and at this point, was suffereing. She also said that when dogs are in kidney failure that there is a distinctive smell on their breath which she said she had. So, she recommended having her put to sleep to end her suffering. They did allow me in to see her and spend a little bit of time with her before. I cried and cried like I have never before. I didn't really want to be in there for that but felt like I should as I should be the last thing she sees. Even writing this I am breaking down in tears. Which brings me to today, I am in a wreck, havent eaten in since then and all I do is cry, dont want to do anything. I wish I could die. Now let me back up and tell you what else I am going through on top of this. Beginning of March I was let go because my boss lost some contracts and I was the least in senority. Back some 5 years ago I went to truck driving school and when finsihed could not find a local job due to no experience, could not, nor did i want to go over the road. It just so happened I was working at this factory as a sprinter driver and the next year they rented semis to haul some of the loads. They actually took a chance on hiring me as a truck driver with no experience so for the past 4 years thats what i was doing. I liked the job because it was the same 2-3 stops all the time, nothing more which is great because I get very nervous on going on routes, roads I do not know and so much so that have nightmares sometimes of something bad happening. It also was part time, I struggled to get by but that allowed me to spend more time with Katie and help her. Anyways this is just a little background, lost my job the beginning of march so since then have been going through very severe depression. The days after I lost my job, I had no will to do anything, then like I said this just happened with Katie just a few days ago and now I feel like this just might push me over the edge. I was already hanging on by a thread before, now that I lost Katie, I have no will, its a struggle to just roll myself out of bed let alone do anything else. Life has no meaning anymore, time seems to have stopped. I cant go on without Katie, she has been my rock to keep me going, without her, life just doesnt have any value anymore. Im in this house by myself and like I said the couple friends, or aquantices I do have, dont talk to them much and when I do its usually about superficial things. Katie was my everything, in this house all I see is memories of her (crying). I havent been abble to touch anything related to her, even her bowls are still there. I haven't been able to clean, pick up, do anything. I feel like Im just waiting to die. I have always been extra sensitive through life and dreaded the day, hoping it would never happen. So, on top of losing a job and not being able to find one like the same, and with Katie gone, nothing makes sense. I feel like I just wanna die. I dont know what to do, she was like a SO, best friend, comforter, supporter, etc all wrapped up into one. She was like a daughter to me. 

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I totally get it, that's how I felt about my Arlie.  I've had 10 dogs and 14 cats in my life but I called Arlie my "soulmate in a dog."  He was my life, my companion, best friend, entertainment, walking buddy, everything.  He was beautiful, sweet, a great watchdog, a gentle giant, and goofy wild-eyed boy.  I miss him more than anything and I know this grief knows no end.  When he died (cancer) it felt like when I lost my husband nearly 15 years ago.  My thread is Living with Loss and Memories of Arlie...I also have Memories of Kitty as I lost her just a few months later, she was 25 and also suffered kidney and liver failure.

After my husband died I lost my job three times, it was during the recession.  I was an Office Mgr and Bookkeeper in my 50s and no one wanted to hire me...I applied to 350 jobs, any of which I could have done hands down!  It was the first time in my life I'd faced age discrimination.  I worried about losing my home.  The third time I gave up and retired, living off my savings for four years until I was broke and then filing for social security a year shy of reaching full retirement.  The penalty is for life so I tried my best to minimize it but they'd lost record for two years I'd worked full time and that cost me too.  Somehow I've always made it, you will too.  Keep looking!  Truck drivers should be high in demand right now and with a four year reference that will help.

I am VERY sorry for your loss of Katie.  It's the hardest thing in the world, I know.  I still have Arlie's coat hanging on the chair and I often hold it.  He's buried in the back yard  with Skye on one side and Kitty on the other.  His collar and leash still hang by the door, and there they will stay.  I know I will grieve him the rest of my life, he was my perfect dog, I love him more than life itself.  

One of the things  I learned in my early grief of my husband was to take one day at a time and don't look at the whole rest of your life, it's too much.  The intensity of pain will lessen with time, I know that seems unimaginable right now.  I wrote this article ten years after the loss of my husband of the things I've learned in my grief journey.  Although it addresses loss of spouse, much of it applies to this as well as I have learned.  I hope something in it helps you now and something else perhaps on down the road as our journey is ever-evolving.

Wishing you peace and comfort in the days ahead.


There's no way to sum up how to go on in a simple easy answer, but I encourage you to read the other threads here, little by little you will learn how to make your way through this.  I do want to give you some pointers though, of some things I've learned on my journey.

  • Take one day at a time.  The Bible says each day has enough trouble of it's own, I've found that to be true, so don't bite off more than you can chew.  It can be challenging enough just to tackle today.  I tell myself, I only have to get through today.  Then I get up tomorrow and do it all over again.  To think about the "rest of my life" invites anxiety.
  • Don't be afraid, grief may not end but it evolves.  The intensity lessens eventually.
  • Visit your doctor.  Tell them about your loss, any troubles sleeping, suicidal thoughts, anxiety attacks.  They need to know these things in order to help you through it...this is all part of grief.
  • Suicidal thoughts are common in early grief.  If they're reoccurring, call a suicide hotline.  I felt that way early on, but then realized it wasn't that I wanted to die so much as I didn't want to go through what I'd have to face if I lived.  Back to taking a day at a time.  Suicide Hotline - Call 1-800-273-8255
  • Give yourself permission to smile.  It is not our grief that binds us to them, but our love, and that continues still.
  • Try not to isolate too much.  
  • There's a balance to reach between taking time to process our grief, and avoiding it...it's good to find that balance for yourself.  We can't keep so busy as to avoid our grief, it has a way of haunting us, finding us, and demanding we pay attention to it!  Some people set aside time every day to grieve.  I didn't have to, it searched and found me!
  • Self-care is extremely important, more so than ever.  That person that would have cared for you is gone, now you're it...learn to be your own best friend, your own advocate, practice self-care.  You'll need it more than ever.
  • Recognize that your doctor isn't trained in grief, find a professional grief counselor that is.  We need help finding ourselves through this maze of grief, knowing where to start, etc.  They have not only the knowledge, but the resources.
  • In time, consider a grief support group.  If your friends have not been through it themselves, they may not understand what you're going through, it helps to find someone somewhere who DOES "get it". 
  • Be patient, give yourself time.  There's no hurry or timetable about cleaning out belongings, etc.  They can wait, you can take a year, ten years, or never deal with it.  It's okay, it's what YOU are comfortable with that matters.  
  • Know that what we are comfortable with may change from time to time.  That first couple of years I put his pictures up, took them down, up, down, depending on whether it made me feel better or worse.  Finally, they were up to stay.
  • Consider a pet.  Not everyone is a pet fan, but I've found that my dog helps immensely.  It's someone to love, someone to come home to, someone happy to see me, someone that gives me a purpose...I have to come home and feed him.  Besides, they're known to relieve stress.  Well maybe not in the puppy stage when they're chewing up everything, but there's older ones to adopt if you don't relish that stage.
  • Make yourself get out now and then.  You may not feel interest in anything, things that interested you before seem to feel flat now.  That's normal.  Push yourself out of your comfort zone just a wee bit now and then.  Eating out alone, going to a movie alone or church alone, all of these things are hard to do at first.  You may feel you flunked at it, cried throughout, that's okay, you did it, you tried, and eventually you get a little better at it.  If I waited until I had someone to do things with I'd be stuck at home a lot.
  • Keep coming here.  We've been through it and we're all going through this together.
  • Look for joy in every day.  It will be hard to find at first, but in practicing this, it will change your focus so you can embrace what IS rather than merely focusing on what ISN'T.  It teaches you to live in the present and appreciate fully.  You have lost your big joy in life, and all other small joys may seem insignificant in comparison, but rather than compare what used to be to what is, learn the ability to appreciate each and every small thing that comes your way...a rainbow, a phone call from a friend, unexpected money, a stranger smiling at you, whatever the small joy, embrace it.  It's an art that takes practice and is life changing if you continue it.
  • Eventually consider volunteering.  It helps us when we're outward focused, it's a win/win.

(((hugs))) Praying for you today.


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