Losing a Pet Can Hurt More Than We Think

The loss of a pet can be devastating! I speak from experience. I am Sugar’s Mom. I have and always will love animals. I lost my little Sugar on October 2, 2008, just a month before her 12th birthday.. Sugar was a sweet lovable dog. We got her from a pet shop in 1997 at 6 weeks old. She stole my husband the first week! I stayed home with her for about a week to bond with her and to get her use to her new home. She adapted very quickly and was soon running the house…literally! Up and down the stairs, jumping on the couch and she loved to hide and jump out on you!

This little dog changed my whole life. When she was about 2 years old we decided to get her a companion, another shih-tuz. We got a handsome little black and white shih-tzu that we named Domino. They quickly bonded and became inseparable. As I sit and write, I can feel my emotions stirring up as I remember October 2, 2008.

In the months prior to her death Sugar was in and out of the animal hospital. She was coughing a lot and was on medication. I was very careful to give her the medication on time. Nothing seemed to work as she got sicker. She had been put in on oxygen for several hours and finally I was allowed to take her home. I could not sleep for 2 days. When I did sleep, I slept on the sofa with her and Domino’s little beds right beside me. I awakened to find her in Domino’s bed beside him. She had never done that before. The beds were only designed for one dog, but somehow she had managed to cuddle up with him. That’s when my heart began to sink and an overwhelming feeling of sadness consumed me. I knew that she was telling him goodbye. I gently picked her up and took her upstairs and placed her in my bed next to me. I can remember her eyes where sort of squinting and starring at me. I kissed her and told her that I love her and that she could go now. She had been in so much pain. Every time that she coughed her little body would shake all over.

Frightened I carried her downstairs and called to my son. Just as I sat her down all of her legs seemed to give away under her and she when flat on the floor. We rushed her to the animal hospital a few blocks away and waited while they stabilized her. They told me that she was very sick and needed treatment and it would cost approximately $2,000. Once home I can remember looking down at my wedding rings…yes, I was going to sell them if I could to get the money needed for her treatment.

My sister heard of Sugar’s illness rushed to my house. I can remember sitting at the table on the Internet trying to find somewhere to sell my wedding rings. When it happened…the phone rang. I saw the words P.G. Animal Hospital come across the phone. I hesitated and my sister kept telling me to answer the phone. I picked it up and a soft voice said, I am so sorry but Sugar has passed. I don’t remember what happened next because I collapsed, when I came too I was told that I had grabbed Domino and was squeezing him so tight that someone had to take him out of my arms.

I felt like I was going to die! The pain was one that I had never felt. I thought I was having a heart attack…but soon realized that it was my heartbreaking! I could not eat or sleep for several days. I felt guilty. Although, anyone that knows me would tell you that my dogs had a wonderful life. They had their own love seat that I purchased to put in front of a large window so that they could climb up on the window seal and look out, nice comfortable beds and never missed a vet or groomers appointment. I know that I took good care of Sugar, but I still felt that I should have done more.

The next few days where really hard. The first thing that I notice was there was no barking to go outside. Sugar was the leader and Domino was a follower. She is the one that would bark loud and come and get you if necessary when she wanted to go out. I had sugar cremated. I then turn to God. I asked him to take this pain away, and he did. I asked him to help me deal with this and he did. I went online and went into every blog or chat room I could find to talk with people who are going through a loss, and reading their stories, was a great help. I realized that I was not the only one who was grieving a pet.

You are reading this because you have lost a pet or you have a very ill pet. To comfort you let me just say, I am so sorry for your loss…and yes, I do know what you are going through. I am listing several things that have helped me through my grieving process, and hope that it will help you.

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