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How do you cope with the loss of a pet? I dread losing any of my pets and everytime they age a year, I get a little sad.

Both when my cat Abby and my dog Shamrock died, I found the saddest songs I could find and listened to them over and over. I helped express my feelings.

Two that come to my mind are My Immortal by Evanescence, yeah I know kind of cliche but I think the song is beautiful and really expresses loss well.

The other was from the movie the Fox and the Hound called Goodbye May Seem Forever. It's mostly a poem but it makes me cry just thinking about and really describes the loss of a pet very well. The words of it are here:

Goodbye may seem forever Lyrics from Disney's The Fox and the Hound -Disney Song Lyrics
 

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That song has really moving lyrics, thanks for sharing it.

I wish I could tell you there's some wonderful way I've found to cope, but there isn't.

I dread losing my pets, too. I haven't lost a pet in over ten years - at least, not a pet that has lived in the same household as me, there have been close family member pets I've known well put to sleep, but those didn't have as strong an impact, I've been upset about their death but not depressed. There's only been two pet deaths in my life that have really upset me. In both, it depended on the situation for how I handled them.

When my first cat was put to sleep we knew it was coming, he had been sick for a few weeks and was in pain, he was also only three - if that can make any difference. It was hard, I cried a lot as soon as he was gone, and honestly him being put to sleep is the strongest memory I have of him because I was only eight years old at the time. I do know I was very upset, but knowing that he was no longer in pain helped and within six months, we got another cat. He didn't replace my old cat, but it helped.

The second pet loss I had was a family dog. My dad was surprised how well I took it when he broke the news but really, I was numb. I accepted it at face value and didn't examine what that meant. I was really upset that my family member hadn't told me she was going to put the dog to sleep even though I knew it had been the right thing to do. The dog was mostly blind and deaf, she was staring at walls all day, even though she was otherwise healthy she didn't have a quility of life any longer. Yet it's still something of a sore point that I never got to say goodbye. I think it took about two weeks until I cried about her being gone forever. The crying helped, that and time. I still have one of her unfinished chew sticks around the house that I stashed away but looking at it now doesn't upset me. When we talk about her, we talk about what a great dog she was and her funny personality. We look back at her life instead of her death, now. Again, in about six months, we got another dog.

Six months isn't a magic number but the answer for how I coped is time. Back then it wasn't as easy to listen to music, I didn't listen to much of any music back then. Other pets helped me cope, and when we felt ready, a new addition to the family helped, too.
 

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I understand the dread, I am constantly worried about them passing. Especially Cloud. I know I am on borrowed time with him. I know I will find him dead, it's a matter of time. And I know I won't deal well with it. I love him way too much...

I got my first cat a year before Kent. It was a tiny little kitten. I only got to have her a week, but she wiggled her way so deeply into my heart that I will never forget her. The day I took her home I spent 3 hours picking fleas off of her. I've never seen a flea infestation so bad. She just laid there and purred and purred. From that moment she didn't leave my side. She died exactly one week from when I got her from feline leukemia. I was overwhelmed and blamed myself. The vet knew how devastated I was and sent me cards and checked in on me for 3 months. They begged me to get another cat and that they would do the FELV/FIV test and vaccination for free. I just couldn't do it. I was destroyed. It was a year before I even semi entertained the idea of another cat. I once had her story posted here on an account I can't even remember how to access, but I can't find it anywhere.

I'm not sure I coped well with it. I was suffering severely with depression at this time, and at the time she had given me a source of happiness. She made me feel loved and needed. Then she was gone. I got her tag and put it on a chain. I wore it every day under my clothes, close to my heart. I was so scared of her memory fading, like I would lose her. I only got 3 pictures of her and a small video. I would look at them constantly and apologize to her, that I didn't find her sooner and get her help sooner. The vet sent me the poem of the Rainbow Bridge. I taped it up in my living room and clung to it's words. I couldn't bare to see her stuff or the room I set up all for her. I cleared everything out and threw it away, then shut the door to that room and didn't go back in (we moved 3 months later). I don't think I coped well. I remember just crying and crying.

I still think of her. She was gentle and sweet. Sometimes I wonder if she knew her time was short. We had so many incredibly sweet and loving moments in that one week. The vet said that he didn't know how she survived that week, that the condition she was in she should have died before I got to her. She needed me like I needed her. I often wonder what she would look be like now, how she would behave, would she like my other kitties? I miss my sweet princess and still feel a degree of pain when I think of her. Nothing will ever erase her from my heart. I only wish I had more time with her.

I still miss you and love you sweet Snickers!
 

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That is so sad Nicole :(.

I dread the loss of my babies. In fact, SO and I were talking about it today (his dad's girlfriend's cat is having a hard time and she is very upset) and the only way I could get out of the conversation is by saying they are immortal, because I can't even handle the discussion.

.....As I typed that they knocked over my boyfriend's tv, Wii and stand of games....Krissy, Marie, still want them?
 

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It is very very hard. When my dog was put to sleep I was absolutely devastated. I knew for a long time it was coming. She was 16 and had been incontinent and unhappy for a while. She could barely walk, she was deaf and she was almost blind. If you didn't watch her every second when she was outside she'd wander off and get lost. There was one night my ex husband took her out and lost her...when I found her hours later she was a few miles from home and she was whining so hard it sounded like she was screaming. She just shook and shook when I held her to try and calm her on the drive home.

It was a few months after that she was unable to get up any longer. I had to help her stand and put a scarf under her belly and use it to carry her to help her walk. I knew it was time. When I looked in her eyes she wasn't there anymore..... she just had this blank stare that wasn't her any more. I held her close and told her how much i loved her while she drifted away. I still dream about her almost every night and cry whenever I think about those last days and that was about 8 (?) years ago.... The years have softened it a bit however. Now I can remember the good times and laugh. Playing hide and seek with her and spending HOURS on horseback with her trotting next to me. Exploring the woods with her and her being the lookout in our secret hiding place (she was a lousy lookout, she always fell asleep). Having a terrible nightmare and being comforted by her next to me under the covers.... they are all wonderful memories that really ease the hurt.

I know that loosing MowMOw will be just as hard if not harder and I too dread that day. Just try to enjoy the small moments. Each time MowMow's laying on me or snuzzles closer to me I try to take a mental picture. I want to remember those moments clearly a long time from now when he's long gone. I want to be able to think back and laugh at him chasing the lazer light and feel comforted when I remember sleeping on his warm little side.
 

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.....As I typed that they knocked over my boyfriend's tv, Wii and stand of games....Krissy, Marie, still want them?
Trade you for Gigi! :grin:

Next week will be a year since Cinderella walked across the Bridge. Last night I was watching a little video of her. It makes me smile and reminds me of happier times, when she was the Diva ruling the house. And my heart.
 

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I tend to go out and adopt another pet pretty soon afterwards. I need something to pour my energy into, otherwise I think I'd go crazy.
When the rescue contacted me two months later about Gigi, I thought, no way. Then I met her in person....
 

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That is so sad Nicole :(.

I dread the loss of my babies. In fact, SO and I were talking about it today (his dad's girlfriend's cat is having a hard time and she is very upset) and the only way I could get out of the conversation is by saying they are immortal, because I can't even handle the discussion.

.....As I typed that they knocked over my boyfriend's tv, Wii and stand of games....Krissy, Marie, still want them?
I know this wouldn't apply to all people, but I know for me and a lot of people I have talked to the thing I longed for was someone willing to just let me talk about my Snickers. Not necessarily about losing her, but just about her and everything she was. It's comforting to look back on the happy times and someone be genuinely interesting in reliving those memories with me. I've only talk to a couple people when they were grieving the loss of their cat but they seemed to appreciate being able to do this.

I hope your dad's girlfriend's cat gets well soon :(

MowMow your dog sounds like she was so special. I can tell you miss her and loved her very much. Her story brought a tear to my eye.
 

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Thanks Nicole. The girlfriend actually called me tonight because she knew I would understand the grief she was in and the indecisiveness in making a decision to move forward. It was so nice that she thought of me as someone she could come to to talk with.
 

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When we lost our first dog(who we had all my life), I cried for a few days.Then I realized how I wasn't really ever close to him. In his later years, he didn't really seem to like me and my brother as much. And a few months later we got another dog which helped get over his loss(didn't help that we kept calling him Titan instead of Woody).

When Casie died I was really distraught. When I found out I cried and then I discussed what kind of cat I wanted to get with one of our employees. Then I spent the rest of the day looking at cat shelters in the area. And by the next day we had already sent in a form to the shelter for an appointment. And 2 weeks after Casie died, we got Cherry. She's helped, but not the same way Woody helped with Titan's death.
 

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I've not lost a pet, and my cats are only 6 years old, but week long illness with one last year got me thinking about such mortality issues. I concluded two things after a lot of soul searching. One is that I would always give my cats the best care I could afford the time and money to provide, which I'm certain will extend their years and quality of life beyond what a typical pet giver may provide. Two is if I lost one cat, I would definitely get another to replace it as soon as possible. I know the new cat will not have the personality and relationship I had with the decedent, but I think filling that hole in your life quickly goes a long way to mitigate the loss to you and your still surviving cat, and does a service to the pet population out there waiting to find a loving forever home.
 

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I tend to go out and adopt another pet pretty soon afterwards. I need something to pour my energy into, otherwise I think I'd go crazy.
Yes! When my previous kitty died, I was devastated--it was, seriously, the worst day of my life. She had been with me for over 10 years.

I swore that I was never going to get another cat because I didn't want to go through that again.

Then I started to watch cat videos on youtube, and came here to read posts, and I realized that the only thing that was going to get me out of my depression was getting another cat to lavish my affection on.

I was certainly right about that! Artemisia has improved my life so much, it's really remarkable.
 

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I absolutely dread the day I have to say goodbye to one of my girls. They are only 1 and 2 years old, but when we first adopted Evie on New Years Day we had to take her to the vet the following day as she got very ill very quickly. I was distraught, I cried right infront of the vet (and my boyfriend)... The vet said to me that as Evie clearly already had this illness when we adopted her, she would write us a letter and we could "take Evie back and get a refund". I remember feeling such a rush of love for the little bundle of fluff- TAKE HER BACK?! She's not some sort of jumper, why would I even consider for a second taking her back to someone clearly incapable of looking after her... and ask for a REFUND! A refund on a cat... What a truly awful suggestion, Evie isn't a commodity, I didn't buy her as an accessory on a whim. When we adopted her it's for life- no matter what. We paid a lot in the first two weeks to make her healthy again, and every single penny is worth it. I have SUCH a bond with her now as I know she needed me just as much as I needed (and still need) her.

When our first dog died I was so upset, I was 12 at the time and we had him since I was about 3. He was the most gorgeous, obedient, loving Border Collie called Zac. He adored my Mum and wouldn't so much as go anywhere without her by his side. We adopted him from my Mum's cousin who shows Collies, he was a Champion but had to retire when he chipped his tooth on a frisby! He had a stroke when he was 12 and quickly went down hill. He had to be put to sleep a week later. The whole family went down to the vet, and even now I remember vividly sitting in the waiting room reading a poem about him I had written. I'll always love that dog.

Following the passing of Zac we waited a year to get another pet. My parents couldn't face getting another dog, so we went for cats! Well, I was supposed to "just get one cat as a birthday present" for my 13th birthday. But, of course, we went to the Cats Protection (rescue centre in the UK) and I fell head over heels for a gorgeous black and white tuxedo girl and her orange brother. They were 6 months old and they had my heart right there, right then. Dad tried to persuade me to look round as he only wanted one cat, and preferably an older cat... But Mum let me put my hand into the cage (?) to give them a cuddle, Ginger ran off outside and Tammy stayed and started purring- then Mr Gingy came back in an hid behind his sister- such a brave boy! When we brought them home the tables turned and Ginger became the boss. He was so lovely- always into mischief, he got stuck in several trees and was forever jumping out of windows! We tried to keep him indoors, but he was strong willed. I'll never forget the day he went missing... one year after we adopted him. I came home from school and Mum told me she hadn't seen him all day. We all went out trawling the streets for him, put posters and advertisements everywhere, went round to all the houses in the neighbourhood. But we never saw him again, he took a piece of my heart with him when he went missing. I tear up now thinking of him. To this day I refuse to adopt another orange boy, even though I love them, as Ginger will always have that part of me. We still have his lovely sister, Tammy now. She's 10 years old and a gorgeous little madam! She rules the roost, the Big Boss of our second Border Collie (my parents relented after 5 years and found the love to adopt another dog) who is a soft little sausage.

So yes, my heart will break if anything happens to any of my 3 girls... They are so precious.
 
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