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Loss of young pet

Vicki nishida

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Vicki nishida

We lost our 4 year old Chihuahua two days ago. She was the most fun, energetic ,loving pup. She became ill suddenly, misdiagnosed at emergency, and died in my arms. Apparently severe autoimmune problem.

I’m crushed and don’t think I will ever get over this. We have lost pets before, but now that we are older, we thought she would survive us. I have never had loss affect me so deeply.



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I am so sorry, it seems all the harder when they're so young and you feel gypped of their life, also sudden and no time to prepare yourself, but honestly, there really isn't any "preparing oneself."  Death hits hard and final whenever it comes.  What a horrid experience though!

Comfort for Grieving Animal Lovers



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On 11/27/2022 at 8:44 AM, Vicki nishida said:

I have never had loss affect me so deeply.

Welcome.  I'm so very sorry you have a reason to be here with us.  Most of the members here understand completely how it is when we lose that one most special animal companion.  My family and I have loved all our pets, of course.  Yet for my husband and myself, there was one who was precious above all others.  For me, it was our Keeshond Charlie Bear and for husband John, his beloved tabby Persian Penny (the petite nose kind, not the squished nose kind).  I can only imagine how hard it is to bear the loss of your sweet pup at such a young age and so suddenly.

You're right that life will never be quite the same for you now, but this deep, crushing grief does not stay the same either.  Over time and with support (such as from the members here), it evolves as we learn to carry it with us.  It becomes part of who we are and part of life's journey, rather than the all-and-everything it is at first.

For now, all you can do is know you loved her as she loved you.  She was taken from you far too young.  There's no getting around how hard that is to comprehend.  But it's clear you did everything you could for her and that she left for the Rainbow Bridge surrounded by the love you shared with her every day.  That means so much.  I have faith that the Rainbow Bridge exists (though I'm sure it's not how our minds envision it) and that our loves are there, healthy, warm, and comforted as they wait for us to join them.  Someday, when it's my time, I hope so much that my John will be there waiting with our Charlie and Penny to be reunited forever.  At first, that thought was almost the only thing that kept me getting out of bed after I lost John.  I imagine the three of them together in the world and life beyond this one, and it gives me a measure of comfort.

For now, please know you are not alone.  The cliche of "one day at a time" is a cliche because it is true.  Please keep coming here to write and read, knowing that we understand in ways some others cannot or will not.((HUGS))

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I have a tips article I wrote ten years after the death of my husband, written with that loss in mind.  I've discovered loss is loss, be it pet or sister or what.  My Arlie was my soulmate in a dog, I got him 3 1/2 years after the death of my husband (17 1/2 years ago).  He was my sweet, wonderful, loving, goofy companion for 10 1/2 years, I got him just before his first birthday.  The house felt so empty after he was gone (cancer), no purpose, no love, no nothing.  He was my protector and best friend!  I thought it interesting that one of my "tips" was to get a dog...what do you do when you lost the one thing in the world that helped you in life!  It was hard.  I walked a neighbor's dog...then he damaged my hands so bad I have continual pain and numbness (worse after botched surgery), down to 10% strength.  Now he too has passed and my son brought me a puppy.  He saved my life.  He's my service dog, my emotional support.

Grief Process

This is not a one-size-fits-all, what strikes us one day will be different a few months/years from now, so please save/print this for reference!

I want to share an article I wrote of the things I've found helpful over the years, in the hopes something will be of help to you either now or on down the road.


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 its 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 or www.crisis textline.org or US and Canada: text 741741 UK: text 85258 | Ireland: text 50808
  • 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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