It’s been two days since Buddy died. Wednesday I was in shock. My Fitbit notified me I walked 10,000 steps that day, and almost all of them were from walking around here not knowing what to do.
Thursday was a fog. I worked my regular job and even delivered some groceries, mostly to keep myself busy and focused.
Today I have that dull ache in my chest. True, Buddy was only with me two months, but in those two months we developed patterns. I got up with the alarm clock and had set break times because I knew Buddy would need to go outside and potty. We walked around the block to check his pee-mails. Each night he expected a Greenies dog chew; I called it brushing his teeth. Now I catch myself headed to do those things and realize one more time that he’s not here.
Picking up Buddy’s ashes today at the vet clinic was awful. Two days after his death I walked into the last place I saw him alive and tried to keep it together while everyone around me was happy. No one offered condolences. Actually, the chirpy little twit at the front desk told me to have a nice day. I really wanted to say “fuck you too bitch” but I didn’t.
I don’t think I’ll be going back to that vet clinic anytime soon. No, I don’t blame them for Buddy’s death. And no, I don’t think the vet who saw him the day before he died was negligent. But Buddy bit a vet tech on her forearm and I was told she might need stitches, yet when I asked about it I was told not to worry. Of course I worry. Would that tech or another employee hold an unconscious bias against one of my cats or another dog when I get one? Would I know if that happened? And yeah, if I’m being honest I am upset that I spent $1,000 over two days at that place and all I have to show for it is a wooden box with what’s left of my dog inside and three bottles of meds my dog will never take. It’s not rational, I know, but it’s how I feel.
Along with the wooden box of ashes came a printout of the “Rainbow Bridge” poem and a velour bag embroidered with a quote from that same poem covering the wooden box . Why does everything have to cater to believers? Why are the values of non-believers never taken into consideration? Y’all look, I’m an atheist, so I don’t believe in all that Rainbow Bridge stuff. I don’t say that often because when I’m depressed I don’t want to make waves and when I’m not depressed I don’t feel it’s worth getting into it about, but all I believe happened was Buddy died and he will live on only in my memory and the memories of those who knew him. My beliefs are just as valid as anyone else’s, and I wish they were treated as such, especially at times when I’m hurting.
Same is true with people who offer me prayers and thoughts of comfort that I will see Buddy again. Nope, none of that helps. Pray if it makes you feel better, but it does nothing for me. I won’t see Buddy again, except in photos and in my thoughts.
Neither does it comfort me that Buddy had two good months with me. This is not rational either, but I am mad as hell at Buddy. We were still getting to know each other but I thought we had a good thing going. I felt safe when he was here. I felt loved. Now all I feel is empty. I’m mad that he left me. I’m mad that he didn’t warn me he had to go. And I’m mad that if he did try to warn me I didn’t notice.
I’m not sure yet about getting another dog. It took me two years after Rumpy’s death to take on Buddy. Part of me wants to go ahead and start looking but another part of me isn’t ready. Then there’s the accountant part of me that says I need to replenish my savings that I spent on Buddy before I even think about getting another dog.
So what to do with the meds and the food in this time of COVID? I’m not sure. I have most of a 30 lb bag of Royal Canin Sensitive Skin Care kibble and meds for hyperthyroidism, lick granulomas and pain management. I have poop bags and flea and tick preventative. I have six bottles of RestoraPet Supplements I was sent to try but never could get Buddy to take. What the hell do I do with all that? Give it away? Trash it? Let it sit on the counter forever while I decide?
Some of you have been there and understand at least some of what I’ve written. Some of you won’t get it and will write me off as a nutjob. After all, Buddy was just a dog and I didn’t even have him that long. I should get over it, adopt another dog and move on. It’s true I am pretty flaky sometimes, but I have to grieve, and this is how it’s going down this time.
Maybe putting my thoughts to blog post will help someone somewhere down the line. Maybe not. But this is where I’m at today. To pretend otherwise won’t change anything.
27 thoughts on “After My Dog Died…”
You grieve in your own way! You are as entitled to your feelings and beliefs as anyone else…not that we seem to treat things that way anymore. I don’t hold the same beliefs but that doesn’t make yours wrong or mine right!! Its very personal. I can suggest a shelter might be able to take the meds cant hurt to try.
every word is true and sadly i can attest to each word. just lived through this heinous experience myself….i shall always keep this incredible poem you wrote close by somewhere. beautiful sad. true. i love you because you are a real person i have yet to meet but i understand who you are. you are another me!
When my cat Oscar died of CKD in June, I took all his special food and nonRx meds (like phosphorous binder) back to the shelter I got him from. I would have had him for 1o years next month, and he was not a kitten when I got him. But they had saved him – literally – and I felt that was a way of paying it back – or forward. I have a lot of those wooden boxes sitting around too…I hope we will be reunited again,(my Dad died 63 years ago, so I’ve had a long time to formulate my beliefs) but even if that is not for you, you and Buddy are still linked for what passes as forever to your beliefs. You certainly enriched his life, and that should bring you a measure of comfort. And maybe in time it will That’s the hard part too – waiting for the time to pass.
We all need to grieve in our own ways, there may be those who experience things differently but their ways are theirs and your ways are yours. Hugs and purrs.
You are absolutely entitled to your feelings. Everyone believes and grieves in their own way. I see my dearly departed kitties in my dreams. I feel like that is a “visit” from them. After losing three of my kitties, including my heart and soul Oliver, in four months this year, I totally get the immense grief and anger. Do not apologize for it. There might be a shelter near you that could use the food and meds. Do things in your time and way. It’s nobody’s business but your own!
It’s your grief and you can do it any way you wish. I loved you like there was no tomorrow and one day there wan’t one.
It’s not the quantity of time we have them but the quality of love. The incredible bond. It’s a big loss and sad time. I feel sad so can’t imagine how deep your pain is. Take good care.
No words. Just sending love, soft purring and tender hugs. Diana & RainbowCatsx13
My like is just a support tick. How can I like that you are grieving. I am so sorry Buddy has gone..animals become so close and important to us so quickly. Sending support 💜
It seemed like your time together was just beginning – that must be tough to come to terms with.
I’d be angry being given rainbow bridge stuff at the vet without having been asked.
You’re in my thoughts.
I’m so sorry for your loss and the experience you had. I lost my cat 2 days ago – he was the last of the three and it never gets any easier. I’m thinking of you.
This is a hard time and there is no way out except to feel the feelings. Expressing them does help. I can’t believe you lost him after two months. I hope in time you bring another friend into your home. Not only for you but because there are so many needy pups out there.
Having lost my heart and soul dog 8 months ago, I completely understand how you’re feeling. They are never ‘just a dog’ whether they were with us for two months or two decades. It’s never enough either way. Grieve in the way that makes you feel true to yourself and dear Buddy. As for the leftover supplies, perhaps you could donate them to a shelter or rescue?
I cannot ‘like’ because of the content Jen, but I feel your loss and appreciate and respect your post. Was it only two months? I knew it wasn’t long and you were just getting to know each other.
I hate people who refer to our lost pets as ‘Just a ……….’ They are not. They are family, loved, missed and grieved. I had never heard of Rainbow Bridge until 2005 when we lost Barney suddenly. We got Maggie 6 days later. Age is catching up with her and I have said I don’t want another dog when her time comes. My Mum said that too, and the next one they had lived to be over 17.
In respect of the medications, I am certain a rescue centre or animal shelter would appreciate them.
I truly believe that them giving you the Rainbow bridge stuff was a way of giving comfort, rather than just handing you the box with nothing that feels like hope. I don’t know if that makes sense. When someone expresses their belief to me, even if I don’t agree with it, I try to think of it as their way of caring and just wanting to help. I am sorry for your loss and understand that pain. You feel what you have to feel and if someone doesn’t understand, that is their problem and I feel sorry for them. I guess some people just aren’t equipped to love another creature and that is sad.
I know how hard it is living with that dog-shaped hole in your home and your heart – they leave a huge absence and a loud silence. I’m so sorry Buddy couldn’t have stayed longer.
(((hugs))) You grieve however you need to grieve. It’s an individual process and everyone is different in how they grieve. I know you don’t believe the same as some of us but everyone really is trying to offer hope and love. Basically we just want you to know we support and love you no matter what. BTW, being mad is part of grieving so it’s okay to mad at everything if it helps.
Dear Jen: I feel your sadness….I do…losing Purrince Siddhartha Henry was a kick on the gut….I remember coming out of Vet office & I started to go into a seizure! I leaned forward & I let out the loudest most agonizing scream I’ve EVER uttered! Poor Sheila came running to me but I pushed her away & sobbed uncontrollably for a good 5 minutes. No one bothered me….I’ve never been quite the same. All I will say is that it was FAR easier to put one of my beloved companions to sleep after 9 years or 18 years together. It was only having P SH for only 3 1/2 of his 4 years….it was NOT enough. I feel your pain & sadness….I thought you had Buddy 4 months; he just settled so well.
And you know I speak of Summerland or Pure Land but I was taught we all are born & live & die. The End. And our 4 leggeds live in our hearts & memories. Whatever we believe or do not believe, we are still Humans who grieve deeply over the loss of a beloved animal; an animal we should have had much more time with.
With respect & ((hugs)) Sherri-Ellen
The pain of loosing a animal in any matter is painful. Time doesn’t count for the bond that was created between you too. Enjoying life one moment and then having it change in the blink of an eye is truly devastating. I hope that you find the strength to get through this to better days.
Just know that we care, Jen. And we are sorry that you have to go through this pain. Sending you all good thoughts and gentle purrs.
its perfectly normal to feel the way you do,Buddy was your pal,hugs Rachel and Speedy
Disturbing that the clinic doesn’t recognize the trauma of loss.
People are weird.
Bet some rescue group/shelter would welcome the leftovers. Ask them to pick up from porch.
Oh, no. I’m still sad about Rumpy. And I’m a cat person. On the upside, I do like your “fuck you too bitch!” Not so cheery, H
I’m so sorry to hear about Buddy. I lost my three old boys over a 9 month period and it sucked with each one.
I’m glad he had a good home with you for the last two months. I’d say that helps, but not much will help for now.
Remember to take care of yourself.
Thanks, Nancy. Buddy and I hit it off so well that it hit me a lot harder than I expected.
I’m so sorry for you and for your doggy, I know how you feel. I experienced it with a goat, she was so special to me. She was everything we were so close together but sadly she died. I don’t know why, and I also still feel frustrated,sad,mad,and all other emotions. Thank you for sharing your experience with other people:)
I’m sorry for your loss. I hope her memory is a blessing to you.