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My turn to say goodbye to my dog

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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby TROJAN WARRIOR » Tue Mar 01, 2016 3:59 pm

My grief is starting to impact on how I relate to people. My Mum has taken it upon herself to use my most vulnerable time to come into my home(invited)and start trying to clear up, and where possible clear out things. I have made it crystal clear that none of the dog's stuff goes anywhere until I am ready to let it go. Clearing me up(I'm not known for my tidyness!)is my Mum's way of feeling useful, but it is also her way of showing she doesn't know how else to deal with my feelings.

I had an appointment booked at the GP surgery for 11.30 this morning, and gave myself half an hour to get myself ready and to get there. I had told my Mum what time I needed to leave so we would leave together. When it came time to leave home, I got my jacket on, got the car keys, got the door keys, and went out the front door - as did Mum.

Now, I have the type of back and front door that you have to lift the handle upwards and then lock the door with the key. I was going through the motions to lock the door, but something was stopping it from locking. I tried it two or three times, but it wasn't locking. By now, I was getting frustrated and started to release my frustration on the door verbally. Mum thought this was totally unnecessary, and couldn't deal with my reaction. She took over and looked at the door. It turned out I had left a key in the door on the inside, when I'd had an earlier visitor.

Then when I got to the doctors surgery, I went in, joined what I thought was the queue(people were standing around the reception area randomly waiting for the one receptionist at the desk to process their needs. There was a bloke at the reception desk, but he didn't appear to be actually dealing with the receptionist, so I approached the reception desk to sign in, only to get my head bitten off by this same bloke, who 'apparently' WAS being dealt with. I apologised, but then he proceeded to tke for ever to resolve his issues with the receptionist, as if to get his own back.

I'm drifting through life in my own little bubble at present, and if I say the wrong thing to people or do something that I wouldn't normally do, then it is because I'm not thinking straight at present. People around me don't know I'm grieving, and so they feel they have the right to bite my head off if I do something they see as wrong. The problem would not have arisen if the doctors surgery had a proper queueing area.

Having got into see the doctor, I told her what had happened and how I was feeling, and she said "it is normal to be feeling the way you are". She gave me a leaflet for what she said was a counselling service, and said "If you are still feeling like this in a month, ring these people". I need someone to talk to now! I got home and decided to ring the number. The woman I spoke to on the phone said if I decide to go ahead, they make me a 30 minute appointment to establish what they think I need, and then refer me to someone else. I was immeditately annoyed with this, as I know what I need. I do not need someone else to tell me what I need. I'm better off talking to the pet bereavement service on the phone!
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby naps » Tue Mar 01, 2016 11:35 pm

I would go through with the 30 minute appointment. Who knows? Maybe their idea of 'what you need' would be talk therapy. Maybe you can locate another pet bereavement service. Keep trying.

I know you're not keen on talking online about it, but I've seen some of the pet bereavement sites and they seem very supportive, lots of people in all kinds of similar and not-so similar situations. Maybe in the near future, as your grieving process continues, you may be more open to trying something like that out.

I can understand your brain mis-wiring. You've got more than you can handle on your mind. Has your mum been any help? Any friends of family members who knew your dog that you could talk to?

Years ago I he'd a friend who had a cat for 21 years. She totally lost it when he died. She'd call me up in the middle of the night, cry a bit, and just hang up. A few days after he passed, she went back to the vet clinic looking for him. So you're not alone. You may just be losing it a little.

If things continue this way, maybe you could re-visit or call the doctor and say your grief is atypical, more than you can handle. They may take you more seriously and be able to help.

I wish I had a solution for you. Even if I could snap my fingers and make it April or something, it wouldn't help. You have to work through your grief. That doesn't mean analyzing it and wallowing in your misery, your subconscious is doing that for you. Unfortunately either way, it's gonna continue to hurt. But that pain is also part of the healing process. I know that sounds cliche, but there's no other way to put it.

Feel free to PM me if you want. Sometimes my SPD keeps me from clicking on my mail, but I'll try to keep a lookout anyway.

Hang in there!
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby TROJAN WARRIOR » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:04 am

My Mum is not someone who I feel that close to, and when I get emotional, she can't cope. I do have friends who knew my dog and one in particular who has a dog of the same breed, and her dog and my dog were best mates for 11 years. They used to visit each other's homes, play together in the local parks, and parks further afield.

I have another friend who knew Buster and we used to go up and have a chat with her in her shop every wekkday morning. She used to give my dog biscuits(human and dog biscuits). We used to go and visit her at home and my dog would be allowed to roam round her garden.

He was well known in the local supermarket. I was given permission to take him in on my mobility scooter. He was known by loads of people in the village I live in.

The main problem I'm dealing with now is the change of life-style. Before, my days were almost full, looking after the dogs needs, and now that is gone, I'm kind of lost. Even worse, in 3 days time, it would have been his birthday, and the friend who has the dog which is the same breed as mine was, shares the same birthday as my dog, so I told her I was going to send her birthday card early, so that
I don't have to register the date, although I'm not confident my plan will work.
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby naps » Wed Mar 02, 2016 10:53 pm

I would guess it would all come down to distraction; distraction from your grief and the empty holes in your life. But that's a double edged sword because I'm sure you aren't really motivated to do much socially or recreationally in your state of mind. I'm tempted to echo some of the previous posters' advice about volunteering at a shelter, but would being around other dogs make it worse? Only you can answer that.

I'm trying to think back to the times I've lost a pet but I honestly can't remember doing much other than trudging through it and enduring what I had to. I do remember being surprised at hearing myself laugh about something a few weeks after the last cat I lost. To me it was a sign that the sun is still behind all those clouds, but there's nothing I can do to clear them away. I would just wait for those rare but more and more frequent moments when a little light would shine through.
Unless you have a very busy life, there's probably little you can do to block out the pain. Are there any projects or undertaking that need to be done that you've been putting off? I ask this because I hate to do monotonous or unpleasant chores when I'm feeling good. Getting them out of the way when I'm feeling miserable is easier. Something that requires concentration may give you the illusion of relief, albeit for a very short time.

I'm basically just repeating myself here by suggesting distraction. There's just no getting around that mountain of grief, so perhaps driving straight through it is the best way to deal with it. Talk to your friend who has the shop you used to go to weekday mornings. Maybe visit the market where you and Buster used to go. Or would a lot of sympathy make you feel worse? Maybe writing something about your dog, his life story, what he meant to you and the people in your life.

Maybe just sleeping a lot. That's what I used to do. I wish I had more ideas for you.
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby TROJAN WARRIOR » Thu Mar 03, 2016 10:29 am

Thank you Marcus555 for your suggestions. I know it is hard to help someone who is grieving, but I do appreciate your help. Finding projects that need attention is not something I am in a physical state for as I am wheelchair bound. I leave those things to the family and friends I have.

I have spoken to a counsellor on the phone from a phone number my vets practice gave me yesterday, and that released some emotion. She also gave me the web address for a site for bereaved dog owners, but as yet, I haven't had the courage to sign up.

At least now, I am getting my appetite back a bit and I am sleeping better, but still tending to run away from the silence in the house.
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby naps » Fri Mar 04, 2016 12:41 am

Glad you're having some success. Will you be able to speak to that counsellor again? Maybe you can find another one...

Sigh up for the bereavement site when you're ready. (If they screen your first few posts there you may want to sign up sooner, just so you're able to post your heart out when you need to)

I have several of those sites bookmarked. Having 3 pets close in age is scary because I know I'll have to go through the same horrible process three times. Luckily, they're all doing very well.

Already some signs that you're progressing, that's great. You may have a way to go (or who knows--maybe not) but either way you're doing the right thing: grieving for your friend. Actually, it's all you can do. I like to think of it as doing the last good thing for the animal you loved
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby TROJAN WARRIOR » Fri Mar 04, 2016 10:17 am

I feel like I'm not only grieving for the loss of my dog,(the final good thing I did for him was to allow him to go), but I'm grieving for the loss of routine my life had, and knowing how to build a new routine when you haven't got the usual things like a job or a family to look after, is difficult. My Mum and her boyfriend are trying to keep me busy, but Mum's idea comes with an ulterior motive. She wants the house to be tidy.

I need to find a way through this that means something and as yet, I don't know what it is.
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby realityhere » Mon Mar 07, 2016 4:04 am

hi TROJAN,

So sorry you're going thru a lot of emptiness and lost-ness. I hope a counselor can help you thru what you're experiencing at this time.

Lost our dog suddenly, I was totally unprepared for her going the way she did. Vet said it's kinda funny with some dogs, they just don't want you to know how much pain they're in and tend to mask it a lot from their owners, so that their owners don't really know. My guess is, that she wanted to be with us as long as she could. :)

With my dad, family knew he had a year at the most with his cancer advancing, fought multiple myeloma for 10 years, and it was amazing that he was one of his hemotologist's longest living survivors with MM. But it was his last days when we learned we were also going to lose our beloved dog suddenly. That one was one I wasn't prepared for.

It was kinda strange when one day sometime after our dog had been gone and before we got our new puppy, that I was browsing in an antique store and was drawn to this porcelain dog figurine that looked so much like our dog with the best eyes but it was a small plant pot holder as well. The way it was molded you couldn't tell it had that feature. My husband also spied it separately as I went on to browse in the store and secretly bought it. When I spotted the figurine on our kitchen table, I put her collar and leash and her ashes inside the recess where it would normally hold a plant. It sits on a living room shelf waiting to be included with my husband's ashes, come that day. She was his favorite dog and represented my husband's best years and best memories of our family life before his parents became ill. When I look upon the figurine, I smile at the reminder that this dog brought us so many wonderful memories.

Hold on to what your friend gave you over those seventeen wonderful years, grief is a normal thing to experience after losing such a loving creature. I hope that you'll pay the love you both had for each other forward by adopting another great dog into your life some day. In the meantime, I understand how you feel, lost and alone without the companion that has been at your side for so many years. Take the time to grieve but also appreciate what your Buster did for you. Best to ya~
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby TROJAN WARRIOR » Mon Mar 07, 2016 9:54 am

Thank you for your post realityhere. It was very touching. I have started to feel a bit better in recent days, and have decided to carry Buster in my heart so he is always with me. So sorry to hear you had to lose your Father as well as your dog. That must have been really tough for you.

I didn't realise Buster was in pain until the vet nurse picked him up the last day. Mind you, I never could pick him up easily, and if I did he was never really happy about it in his last few years. Also, I think the fact he was on pain medication for arthritis may have masked things elsewhere.
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Re: My turn to say goodbye to my dog

Postby realityhere » Tue Mar 08, 2016 6:20 am

Thanks Trojan, for your thoughtfulness. Lost my father two weeks later after our dog was gone. I like to think they're both together for a reason, waiting for the rest of us to join them some day.

You'll always have a place in your heart for Buster, your dog took you for family the day you first took him in and knew what your emotional needs were. That's the thing about a loving dog, he just accepts and loves you for what you are and what you give back, unconditional with no strings attached. Sometimes it makes you wonder why we put up with humans. :wink:
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