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    Distraught Over Death of First Pet
    An_247240 posted:
    In still overwhelming shock, I have received news a few days ago that my dog, a half Dachshund and half Beagle named Feist, died unexpectedly. She would have only been four years old in October and was one of the most genuinely delightful pets I have ever own. My parents gave Feist to me as an early Christmas present when I was sixteen after years of begging them for a dog, and I still withhold the clear memory of joyfully crying in disbelief as my father walked into our home cradling the cutest pup of just eight weeks young.
    Sadly, it was my father, the one who pride himself of finding me my sweet pet, that broke the story that Feist was no longer alive. I'm sickened with the image of my small, short-legged angel's lifeless body, with no emotion or wag in her tail. I don't understand this occurrence. I haven't experienced a death in a very long time with a loved one that I was truly close to and I can feel myself handling everything wrong. I am mad at the wrong people, I can't eat, I can't sleep, and I feel guilty lying to myself that everything will soon past. I know it will, but at this moment I can't contain my confusion.
    It all ended when my father noticed a slight difference in Feist's behavior and her unusual change in appetite about three days ago. With his internal instinct, he took her into our local veterinarians office that same night around 7pm and by 7:30pm she was dead. He told me on the drive to the vets she was completely noiseless in the backseat and had a look of exhaustion in her eyes. He got her to the vet within ten minutes and placed her onto the table after being immediately checked in. The vet did the normal routine of reassuring everything was working properly: no dehydration, no breathing problems, no odd symptoms that could reflect that she was ill or sick. Nothing. But clearly something was wrong because within the half hour time frame Feist's eyes rolled back and she died.
    The reason why I began this discussion is to gain some sort of assurance that horrific things like this happens. I feel like I have been living in the clouds, expecting nothing to ever change negatively. Then suddenly my best friend dies and my immediate response is mediocre at best as I can't even understand my own thoughts. And the worst part is...I wasn't even at my parents home when it happened. I couldn't say goodbye, or hug her, or feel sorry for her. All I could do is hear my dad balling his weak tears of guilt as he told me what happened and apologizing for not taking better care of Feist. My dad is so tender hearted, of course he would feel guilty. And I know he is only being a great father and taking larger sums of responsibility for his only daughter than he ought to, but I am upset. I wanted to be there for her. And at the same time, I want to completely forget this ever happened. I just don't want this to overshadow my collection of perspectives, but I am so mad because she didn't deserve to die.
    My father said this is the price that we pay for loving someone. I hate that he said that. Because now I wonder, why should we love anyone?
    BlueWilby22 responded:
    am so sorry to hear about your loss. i have unfortunately had a few in my lifetime and it never gets easier. my last was my ten year old chihuahua, Blue. In Nov 2010, I came home to find a protrusion coming from his rear end after he tried to go to the bathroom. I assumed maybe it was his anal glands, but rushed him to the 24hr emergency vet in town. It was there that they informed me that he was experiencing an anal prolapse (meaning the inside of his rectum was coming out). The vet put it back in and noticed a strange mass on the inside, which it what caused the prolapse due to him straining to use the bathroom. They wanted to keep him and run tests on him, bloodwork and ultrasounds. I agreed. The next day I was back in there to see the results. His bloodwork was absolutely 150% perfect but the ultrasound showed more masses in his colon and intestines. They did a needle aspiration (where they extract fluid from the masses to test) and they came back somewhat normal. It showed reactive lymphnode something or another but no cancer. Noone knew what was going on and since he had a stage 5 heart murmur they were all afraid to touch him for an actual biopsy. He hung on until July 28, 2011 when he finally stopped eating and I had to make the toughest decision of my life. He was my best friend who was there for me through all of the trials and tribulations that i dealt with. I was heartbroken and like you i cried for days and days. I swore off of dogs forever. My parents, as yours did, told me that it is a sad unfortunate part of pet ownership but that the fun and good times far outweigh the hard times. Honestly, sweetie, they are right. A week later I was handed a dog that my coworker no longer wanted, a jack russell that was 1.5 years old and I lost it just started crying uncontrollably, but I couldnt let him take him to the shelter so I took him home. The point of this story is that while its still hard for me to deal with Blue not being here anymore, my new addition has helped me in so many ways! You can love again! And if you look at it as dogs are here to make us humans happy, then even in death they want us happy. They dont want to look down upon us from doggie heaven and see us miserable, they want to see another dog being as loved as they were and making us as happy as they did. It will get better with time, trust me, and since you sound like a "dog person" you need to go find another that will bring that joy back into your life! Just know that it doesnt mean you have to forget the good times you had, you can just have many many more!
    An_246695 responded:
    im sorry about your pup on jan. 18th 2009 I lost one of my best friends i was the last one to give her water and i had to bring it up to her mouth because she couldnt even drink it i had her since i was about 8 til i was 18 her birthday was on september 9th 1998 she was born in a shelter her name was missy she was a pit bull and a german shepard the tumor in her chest exploded the vet we had taken her to a few years before that said they couldnt remove it that dog stopped me from killing myself so many times I hate myself for not getting her put down it would have saved her the pain Im still not completely over it im never going to be neither are you its going to get better over time i promise but you are still going to miss her everyday and we love someone weather it be animal or human because its in our nature you see a puppy even if you spend 5 mins with it you love it for those 5 mins if its a gift you love it in a instant he/shes yours and your his/hers thats how it works
    An_247240 replied to BlueWilby22's response:
    Thank you so much for the reply! I've been able to talk about Feist with a few more outside friends and coworkers and the encouragement is really settling the situation. Especially words that are so close to yours and the experiences others have endured with losing a pet.
    I'm so sorry about Blue's health problems and it must have been hard watching your best friend go through any sort of pain, especially when you can't do anything about it. Even when we are given a warning of some kind when a pet becomes ill, I suppose we can never prepare or overcome the idea of losing them. But I have realized over the past few days that sad things like this happens, and although I don't feel like it was fair that I lost her so quickly in her young life, at least I know I loved her and treated her as an essential part of my family. I don't know if I will be ready any time soon to take on another dog or pet, but I know that I loved her greatly and she will be happy no matter where she is. And although I wish I could be with her, I know she was a happy dog and that motivates me to begin my acceptance with her death.
    brianajustine replied to An_246695's response:
    Thank you for your sympathy! I could only imagine how difficult losing your best friend of ten years could have been! But it is so great that you cared and loved for Missy for that long, and I'm sure she had a great life. It's so upsetting hearing about an innocent animals health problems, but it just proves the close resemblance pets have with us humans and how any moment we can become sick. I completely understand your position of not putting her down sooner, because I don't know anyone who would actually want to do that! It just shows your unconditional love for her and is just our way of wanting them that much closer, and longer.
    The only thing I really do wish is that Feist could of lived a much longer life, such as Missy's, and allowed a larger collection of memories for me to save. But unfortunately, unexpected things like this is just the pace of life. I'm still so upset about her and I think about her when I'm alone and can't help but cry! And I'm sure you're right about not being able to completely overcome her death, but I have noticed that I don't cry as long or as hard as I did when I first heard the news. I suppose this is what it means by forgetting it more and more as each day goes by.
    rohvannyn replied to brianajustine's response:
    You will never forget about Feist, but in the end the memory of her love will enrich your life more than the pain of loss hurt you. You have my every sympathy. Knowing the pain of loss will also help you understand others better. It's terrible when you can't be there when your friend passes beyond this mortal realm, because you feel you can't truly say goodbye... did you have a memorial ceremony? If you didn't that may help give you some closure. Confusion and pain and anger are normal, but the storms will pass. Take plenty of time to mourn. Feist was worth it.

    I lost a beloved friend a few years ago. He was the best, most awesome cat I've ever met and he was my friend for almost eight years. He was still comparatively young when he died of Valley Fever and I couldn't even get him to a vet to save his life. I felt that I failed him and I had to watch him die. He taught me so much during his life though. In his death, he taught me one more thing- he's still not gone. I hold his memory within me. Sometimes, late at night, I feel him lying down beside me or feel his fur against my leg. My spouse senses him more often than I do but he's still very much a presence in our lives. He lives, so long as we honor his memory. It hurts to remember him but I am grateful for the short years we did have together.

    Your love for Feist is still there, so in a way you are still together.

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