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 I am so very sorry about the loss of your Zeppelin and the tragedies you have suffered. I strongly suggest you seek professional help for the trauma and loss you are dealing with. 

There are many people here who feel similar to you and have experienced some of the struggles. They may be able to offer your encouragement and support. 


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On 28 March 2016 at 5:19 AM, Zepp said:

On February 5th, 2016 life forever changed. What a fickle thing, life. One minute you’re certain where life is headed, the next you find yourself very lost.

Life has always been a struggle for me. There are moments the sun shines through…my biggest ray of light was an Italian greyhound I named Zeppelin. He almost ended up being named Fleetwood, and I am quite happy I changed my mind. Zeppelin and I met June 27, 2009. He came into the shelter beat up, scared and timid. As they were microchipping him I instantly fell in love with his sweet face and frightened eyes. I knew it would be a gift to give this little guy the love he had yet to experience in his first 3 years. On the drive home I stopped at a gas station and bought Zepp a hotdog. This was the moment he knew he could trust me. Yes, how silly to have a bonding moment in a gas station parking lot but it remains one of my favorite memories. At that precise minute Zeppelin became mine and I became his.

From then on Zeppelin and I were inseparable. The dog trusted no one else and wanted nothing but to be by my side. We spent days at the pool, days on the couch watching TV, days putting him in ugly sweaters. Every second spent with Zeppelin was precious and it would not dawn on me until nearly 7 years later the magnitude of our bond.

As a child I knew our family was different. My mother was often angry and we never had nice things. My father passed away just over a month after I came into the world. He was a drunk and suffered with anger, depression and alcoholism. He passed out, alone, at his father’s house after lighting a candle – probably to mask the smell of the vomit on him. The curtains next to the candle caught fire. Rick died in a helicopter on his way to the hospital. He was not burnt that I know of, he passed away from smoke inhalation. He left behind his wife, his newborn and his 1 year old. My entire childhood my mother told my sister and I horror stories about our father and made him out to be a monster. To this day I do not know what to believe. I don’t know much about my father. There are no pictures of him and I together. In fact, I can count on one hand the number of pictures I have of him.

So our family was different. We were poor and we were without a father. My mother was an emotional disaster who also struggled with intense depression. From a very young age I remember being terrified of her. She flew into rages and ensured my sister and I that we were the cause of all her problems. Her favorite line (and probably the most hurtful thing anyone has ever said to me) was that she wished we had never been born. I grew up thinking I was worthless because that is what I was told. When she was not terrorizing us with words she terrorized us with beatings. I became so accustomed to flinching away from her that I would automatically do so when she walked by. It was not all bad, but it was not very happy either.

Early on I learned life was a struggle. I was not given the love and support that most people get in their formative years. I had no man to look up to in my life. I valued myself very little and found comfort in self-mutilation. I went off to college, had some boyfriends and eventually found cocaine. What a fantastic drug. I spent a small fortune in student loans on my habit and was either drunk or high or both the majority of 2008. How I ended up graduating college is a miracle.

Towards the end of 2008 I met Miles. The next 4 years spent with him would not be kind years. He ended up being emotionally abusive. Many times I heard the same words I heard so many times as a child – that I was worthless. I cried many a tear over Miles. He ripped my heart out of my chest and stomped on it. He destroyed many of my personal belongings including a music magazine that had been my dad’s. He took Zeppelin from me one night and texted me that he kicked Zeppelin for every time I disappointed him. Years later he would confess to actually kicking him. I’m glad he came clean because that was the day I found the strength to leave him. Zeppelin was my child and I made him a promise in 2008 that I would always protect him. I intended to keep my promise. We both came from broken beginnings – together we were whole.

The struggle of Miles ended and I spent a lot of the next year sleeping around and drinking too much. I missed so much work from hangovers. Life continued to be difficult for me and occasionally I thought of ending it. Then I would look into Zeppelin’s big brown eyes. His adoration and need for me kept me going during very dark times. His light always shone for me. No one could have felt more loved than I did by Zepp. He kept me warm at night, always curled up right next to me. Coming home from work to Zeppelin’s happy dance made my world smile.

Then I met a guy. A special guy. I met Seth. I didn’t think I would ever find my soulmate or even anyone who could put up with my baggage. But Seth did and we fell hard for each other. Soon we were living together. Even sooner we found out I was pregnant. What a roller coaster. I had quit my job. Unemployed, insuranceless I felt my only option was to terminate the pregnancy. So that’s what we did after begging my sister for a loan. Somehow we got through that difficult decision and very painful time. The next year was not easy – we were broke and I was depressed. But I still had my Zeppelin, my little buddy. He brought me much comfort and caught many a tear.

Life improved. I got a better job. Seth started school. We got a better apartment. Things were looking up and for the first time in a long time I felt the struggle fading away.

That all changed the morning of February 5, 2016. It was a Friday. I got up and got ready for work. Zeppelin and Seth were still under the covers but I gave Zeppelin’s feet a scratch and told him I loved him. I petted our other dog, Raja, on the head and told her I loved her too. I told Seth the same and I was out the door. My phone rang around 11:15am. It was Seth. He said the apartment complex called and told him our apartment was on fire. My stomach dropped as I gathered my things and rushed to my car. I remember saying “How on fire is it?” He did not know and was on his way home. The 30 minute drive home was the worst 30 minutes of my life. I prayed over and over “Please let them be okay, please let them be okay, please let them be okay.” As I exited off the interstate I saw the smoke coming from my apartment complex. I knew it was going to be bad. I parked as close as I could and ran to my building. For a fleeting second I thought the burned up black hole was the apartment adjacent to ours. But it wasn’t. My apartment was smoking and filled with firefighters. News vans were everywhere. People were standing around watching. I instantly knew Zeppelin was gone. I sat on the curb and began sobbing. Seth found me. He told me no one had any information on our dogs. But I knew they were gone. The hours passed and the dogs were found, dead from smoke inhalation. Just 3 days before the 31st anniversary of my father’s death from the same. I held Zeppelin’s lifeless, cold, wet body and cried over and over again “Little buddy, little buddy, little buddy, no.” My angels were cremated and now sit on the mantle. I kiss them every day and tell them I love them.

The days since then have been the most difficult of my 31 years. I would not wish this pain on my worst enemy. Not only was my best friend gone, so were my belongings and my home. As a private and introverted person, home was my heaven. Having it ripped away from me has affected me in ways I never thought possible. Finding out that Seth caused the fire nearly destroyed me. He carelessly disposed of a cigarette on our patio and it smoldered on the outside couch until eventually catching fire. The worst part? He promised me 2 weeks prior that he was done smoking and was going to be a better boyfriend. My mind could not wrap around everything I knew and loved being taken away, including Seth. He was my rock, my protector, my best friend. Now what was he?

I did my best to continue living and going to work. I made it 2 weeks before I cracked completely. I stopped going to work. I stopped bathing and did not brush my teeth. I didn’t eat. My steady diet of vodka for 4 days straight put me in the hospital with a .4 blood alcohol content. My drunken blathering that I did not care if I lived or died put me in a psychiatric unit for the next 3 days. It would seem I would never escape the traumas of life, and I was in a very dark place. Except this time, I had no Zeppelin to lean on and my best friend was the cause. I was in every sense of the word, a mess.

I returned to work (barely) after 2 more weeks. I tried to feel like a functioning human again but I was just going through the motions. I actually felt very little besides numb. Once back at work I thought things would improve. They did but it was short lived. The anger started building in me until it boiled over into pure rage. Seth became the target of my rage. I blamed him for all my sorrow. I called him a murderer on social media. I probably texted him 100 times that he was a murderer. I told him I wished he had died instead of the dogs.

Seth left town to return home for Easter and for his cousin’s wedding. I pictured him having fun and being a well functioning part of society and I saw red. I got back on the vodka. The more he ignored me the angrier I became. I wanted to show him I was serious. I got the knife out of the kitchen drawer and set it on the counter. I decided to sharpen it first. I hesitated and gave myself a scratch. It didn’t hurt as bad as I thought so I did a very quick and hard swipe and to my surprise and horror my arm opened up like a filet. I saw muscle and yellow fat and panicked. It was not bleeding very much as I had missed any important veins. I called Seth in a terror and he told me my sister was on her way. I panicked thinking that I would be sent back to the loony bin (it was not a good experience for me and left me more traumatized than I had been before I went in). I left the apartment and drove around for a few minutes. I held a cloth on my wounded arm and cried seeing the blood drip onto my steering wheel. This was not supposed to happen; this was not what I intended. I began to picture my sister standing in my apartment and knew she would see the knife and the blood in the sink…so I drove home. I calmly entered the apartment. I showed her the cut and she panicked. I convinced her and her husband to please drive me to the hospital and to swear that it was an accident.

The struggle continued as I received 10 stitches. I kept my composure and a few mints hid my vodka breath. The doctor and nurses probably had their suspicions that I had done it to myself but my story that I had done it while sharpening a knife passed and I was free to go.

That was 2 days ago. I am at a crossroads. The path I am on will surely lead to my death. Today I have convinced myself to get help and to do better. I want to live again. I want to love again. The pain and suffering I have experienced at the hands of others is impossibly difficult to overcome but the self pity ends here. I will forgive Seth and I will be happy again. Even if I have to tell myself that a hundred times a day before I believe it, I will get there. I will be that happy girl again. I will allow myself a future that does not include Zeppelin. I will forgive myself for not protecting him. The struggle is real and it hurts but Zeppelin would want me to be happy again. He would sit next to me and contentedly sigh and I would know he was giving me his ok to move on.

I find myself feeling extremely alone in all this so I thought maybe I would find some comfort here.

Hi there, I can really understand how you feel. I lost my my baby doggie last year and he saw me through thick and thin, from my financial struggles to my Mom committing suicide. I am so sorry to hear about your loss.

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