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Is It Too Long to Still Be Grieving Our Dog?

We had to put our dog to sleep nearly 3 months ago. We had him for 13 years, and he was one of those dogs that really gets into your heart (more than our other dogs have). At the time, I wasn't as upset as I expected to be. But now, all of a sudden, I am devastated. Our 3 YO talks about him all the time, and maybe that is making it worse. But the other night after kids were in bed I just broke down crying. I went to my husband for a hug, but instead of a hug he looked at me funny and said, "It has been a long time!" Am I crazy? 3 months doesn't seem that long after losing a family member we had for 13 years.

What can I do next?

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No hon, 3 months is no time at all. My dog died almost 2 years ago, and I still grieve , from time to time. It comes in waves. I got this dog, Onyx, when my now 20 year old, was 2 . He lived longer than I expected him to. But when he died , I was crushed. I still miss him, still find it hard to believe, and still , some times, expect to see him. 3 months is no time at all. And no one can put a time limit on how long you should grieve. Some grieve longer than others. That is perfectly normal. So go ahead and grieve. I truly understand where you are at right now. Take care.

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No you're not crazy. My mom lost her favorite dog and the next day she was sent home from work because she couldn't stop crying. People thought she lost a relative! Everyone grieves differently. It will get better and don't feel weird for how you feel.

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Everyone grieves differently. You may need longer than he does. That doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with you.
Over twenty years ago, I rescued a sick kitten, bottle-fed her, and had her for 16 years before I had to have her put down. She's been gone for 12 years now, and I still miss that cat.

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Every one grieves in their own time. Perhaps you did not let yourself feel the sadness right away to be strong for your child. Now that you have had time to process and your child has accepted the reality it is sinking in for you too. Pet's are a very valuable part of our lives and their passing hurts too. It's okay to be sad now 3 months later, you just did not let yourself feel the sadness sooner. Grieve so that you can move on. Also realize that some people do not understand grief and how it can effect you. You are not crazy, feel what you need to feel, the dog was a member of your family for a long time.

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I had to put my down 20 year old cat that I raised from 6 weeks old. That was 3 years ago and I still have occasional moments. Just because we lose a pet doesn't mean we stop loving or missing them. Your husband is being insensitive.

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People look at dogs differently. We lost one our dogs when he was 18mo it was horrible, I got the call when my son and I were boarding a plane to attend my friend's wedding, I had the flight to be sad but after that I had to be wedding minded - it did not help that three weeks earlier we lost my grand mother. When I got home iwth the family I was more able to be upset, however life did not allow a big mourning process. I think it's coming up now because you may not have allowed yourself to deal with it right away. I would take a day and just get it out, if that does not do the trick there may be something else there that you are seeing as mourning for your dog.

3 moms found this helpful

i'm so sorry for your loss. no, 3 months is NOT too long to grieve, especially if you've been holding it in for all this time. i know i'm still in that "daze" stage, we put our nearly 16 year old min pin down 2.5 weeks ago, and i know i haven't gotten it all out yet. i remember we put our 9 year old female min pin down about 5.5 years ago, and the first several months were very tough... we still have the puppy they had together, and he's 11 years old and not in the best of health, it's gonna be REALLY tough when we lose him - having him is almost like still having a piece of the other two. since we've been married, we've had five dogs, now we're down to 3. the one that passed two weeks ago was the one my husband was most attached to, our doberman is the one that has my heart - i really don't know how i'll feel when she's gone, but it's gonna be bad. that's not to say i don't love my other dogs, but you know what i mean. be patient with yourself, and don't be too mad at your husband, we all grieve differently - and he probably just didn't know what to say.

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No. Grief happens for however long it needs to. You are not obsessive about it, you are just in pain. The dog was a part of your family for 13 years, always there. You don't lose something like that, and just feel OK right away. I'm sorry for your loss. I hope time makes it a little better.

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You are not crazy at all. My cat died suddenly of a seizure at 8 yrs old about 2 yrs ago and I still get teary eyed sometimes. He too was just one of those animals that stole your heart and when he was still with us, the little bugger knew he was never allowed on top of our big screen TV so when he died and we had him cremated we put him on top of the TV with a picture of him and thats where he stays. Im so sorry for your loss and greiving is a process. Don' let anyone tell you when the pain should stop or when you need to stop crying about it. He was obviously a part of the family and sounds like he was a great dog

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No, you're not crazy. I still grieve over my beloved cat that I had for 11 yrs who died back in 2008. I cannot look at her photo or think about her w/o breaking down. She was my child...my baby. I think that with time, no matter how long that takes, the pain & loss will lessen but for me, it still hurts BAD. We have a new cat now & she keeps us occupied & entertained but I just don't feel the same love & affection that I did for my 'baby'. I guess b/c I had her for so long, I'm not sure but people do get very attached to their pets & they DO become family. I'd say, take your time in getting over the loss. Don't let your husband make you feel discouraged or unimportant. It's VERY important to have that time to grieve over the loss, no matter how long it takes. I think you may feel it for a VERY long time as I have but you can allow yourself or not allow yourself after a while to feel the pain of loss, you just have to press on & get past it at some point. Hope this helps & encourages you. Best wishes!

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It will be a year in August that we put our pup down. She was with us for sixteen years. I'm trying not to cry just thinking about it!! My younger daughter still misses her and cries occasionally...she made a picture at school of our dog and wrote "Bye Cootie, love you, miss you" My husband and I both almost lost it when we saw it.

Bottom line, you are not crazy! You are grieving...everyone does it differently. Pets are such an important, fulfilling part of our lives. It is very hard when they are gone. Especially those "special' ones. We have two dogs now...who I love, but they didn't wiggle as deep in my heart as Cootie.

God Bless! It'll be ok!

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I'm so sorry for the loss of your dog. I was a veterinary technician until 6 months ago. We had many clients that, years later, would still become teary when talking about a pet they had lost. Every person is different and grieves in their own way.
I don't think 3 months is that long ago.
Hugs to you.

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Three months isn't really that long.

Let your three-year-old talk about your late friend - that's a way of getting over the loss. You talk about him, too. Get out pictures of your dog, and encourage your child to draw pictures of him if he/she is so inclined. You can cry if you want to. When a dog is not "just" a pet but also a member of the family, there's a big hole in your heart when he is gone.

In my part of the country, there are even support groups for people who have trouble dealing with the deaths of their pets.

Your husband may be able to handle it better and move on to other things, but you're not grieving "too long." You'll know when you are - when it's habit instead of hurt.

We've always been a pet-loving family and I've had to go through this time after time.

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Everyone grieves differently. No 3 months isn't a long time at all. I'm sending you a hug right now. You are not crazy, your grief is your grief. What helps me is remembering the good times, not allowing myself to be overwhelmed by the grief, to allow myself to be okay with feeling how I'm feeling, and to have someone to talk my feelings out with.

I'm so sorry for your loss.

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Grief is grief. There's no time limit on it. Dogs aren't just pets but they're also family members. My brother treats his dog like a it's a child and is as invested in Riley as if he really were a human child. I feel the same way about my cats and I do have children.

Some people don't feel that way, though. Not everyone connects the same way with animals or with certain animals. It's not wrong, just different. You're not crazy, you're grieving and you have every right to grieve for your lost family member.

I'm very sorry for your loss.

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No, you are not crazy. My daughter and I picked her out of a litter at the pound one hot July day in 1994. I lost my dog about six years ago after an illness and she is always in my thoughts. I used to say she was the two kids I never had with the antics that she did. My husband used to complain that I loved that dog more than him but he was on the road as a trucker and this was my companion in a sense. She went through some very bad health issues with me and a lot of hugs.

We had her cremated and she and another dog reside on a shelf in my sewing room with a littler memorial picture of each.

As they say, there is no right or wrong way to mourn the loss of a family member whether they have two or four legs or wings or fins.

The best you both.

The other S.

PS I think of her when I hear "You've got a Friend" 'When you call I my name and I come runnin'.'

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No you are not crazy!!!!! My dog died more than a year ago and there are still times when I think about him and cry. I miss him. And I will always miss and remember him. They become part of your family. So don't pay attention to your husband, it's perfectly normal. :)

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Totally not crazy. We had to put a beloved cat down about 8 years ago and I STILL miss him! Time does make it easier, but some furry family members stay in our hearts forever. Give yourself time to grieve... there's no magical amount of time when you should be done with that.

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Three months is not too long at all! I have had dogs all my life and I've never gotten over it in 3 months. I still cry about one very, very special dog and it has been 7 years. After she died (at age 17), I had too much grief to get another dog. I went 4 years without a dog because I could not imagine I could love another dog as much as her. She was my best friend. There are Pet Grief lines you can call - one is through the University of Colorado vet school. Try that if your husband doesn't understand what you are going through. (Some people really don't understand, but to me they are friends, they are family members.) I am so very sorry for your loss and hope you find some healing.

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I'm a huggy person too. When each of my dogs died I felt really bad, like mourning.

What helped me was to go out and get another dog. Each dog helped me to get over the loss of my previous dog. I always picked out a dog that really loved my kids. My kids would select their top picks and I got to make the choice of the "winner". With 8 kids, there was never a dog that all 8 liked the best.

Each dog was a real good dog to help me get over my loss. BTW, my last two dogs came from the pound/animal shelter. They were both about a year old and the animal shelter had them about 90% house broken. Doing the last 10% was easy. It sure beats having to clean up after a puppy. I've also found that my animal shelter dogs were much more intelligent and had fewer health problems than my AKC dogs.

Good luck to you and yours.

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No. I had a dog that died suddenly 3 years ago & we didnt have her nearly as long as you had your dog. Everytime I see a dog that looks like her it makes me think of her and sometimes It makes me sad. I dont think you every really get over losing someone you love. ( Even if it was a pet)

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We had to put our sweet pup down two years ago. She was our first "baby" and we adored her. I cried my heart out for weeks and weeks over it. Our whole family still feels the loss, including our 6 yo. When we see a picture of her, we all say, "Ohhhhhh, there she is!" and we talk about seeing her up in heaven some day. It takes time. I'm sorry for your loss.

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We had to put our 2 year old golden down about a year and a half. I still get teary eyed thinking about him. My daughter (5) still tells me that she misses her Charlie dog.

We have since gotten another one who has yet to get out of the puppy stage and likes to chew up the kids Barbies, trucks, etc when he gets mad at them for ignoring him. My daughter keeps telling me "Charlie never chewed up my toys". Yes, honey he did chew a couple of them, but you were too young to remember. And if you would put your toys away, he wouldn't be able to would he?

I don't think 3 months is a "long time". Hugs in your direction. It makes it tougher when the kids still bring it up regularly.

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You are fine to still grieve! We had to find our dog of four years a new home after our babies were born. It's been two years and I'll still get a little sad or shed a tear when I think about him (and, obviously, we didn't have to put him down). He was my baby! Hugs to you. It's a hard thing to go through.

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I don't even want to think about what its gonna be like when we loose our Brooks. I LOVE my dog! I have already told my husband that I am going to be a mess guaranteed! I just look at him and think to myself how awesome he is...all the time! He listen to me like no other and loves us all so much, he is a fantastic guard dog and goes with me everywhere. He is THE best dog I have ever owned...EVER!

~IMHO, there is no time frame on feelings. I think your husband needs to be a bit more sensitive maybe? I know that not everyone are 'dog people' ....but some of us are and loosing a favorite dog/pet can be very hard.

1 mom found this helpful

My dog died 2 years ago, she was 12. My 5 y/o still brings her up about how he misses her. She was a wonderful dog and we all still grieve for her. It doesn't hurt now like it did before. When the pets are truly part of the family I think you grieve for them more or less in the same manner that you would when losing any other member of the family. It does get easier with time. I am sorry for your loss.

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No you're not crazy. My mom lost her favorite dog and the next day she was sent home from work because she couldn't stop crying. People thought she lost a relative! Everyone grieves differently. It will get better and don't feel weird for how you feel.

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I lost my dog on December 3rd. And i'm still crying just writing this. There is no time limit to personal grief (and that includes people who seem to get over things sooner than we think they should). I cry almost every day, more so when my 3 YO brings him up, too.

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It's been nearly a year and a half since our dog passed away (and we have a new dog, too) and I still get very sad and miss him sometimes.

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My dog passed away 2 1/2 yrs. ago and I still cry. I go onto petloss.com
where I wrote about her every now and then and sob. Oh how we loved
that dog. She was a beautiful English Springer Spaniel. 10 years old.
Cancer. So to answer your question three months is not a long time.
Still so raw. Our furry friends get into your heart and it cannot be explained.
Dog lovers get it. Others do not. Sorry for the loss of your loving dog.

Go onto petloss.com and write a tribute. It is free and stays on line forever.
If you go into tributes of 1999 and go to "C". Look for Callie 5/31/97-11/28/08
and you can read what I wrote. Then you can do your own tribute. I also
found someone on line who did a granite laser picture of her with the
Rainbow Bridge poem.

1 mom found this helpful

No sweetie, it is perfectly normal.

We all grieve in our own way, and in our own time.

I still think about and miss a beloved kitty that died a decade ago. And, just last month, we lost another kitty that we had had for over 10 years. My son and I are still grieving over them both. (and our little girl kitty that died in 2005).

Pets become an integral part of our lives and to have them not be there is hard. And, like all losses, can hit us at unexpected moments.

Tell you Hubby I said, with a smile on my face, to give you a hug now, dammit!!!

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Everyone is different. I don't think it's all "that" long.....if you think you need help getting through the grieving process...call a vet or animal hospital and they should be able to direct you to some resources--books, groups, etc. that might help.
I'm sorry about your dog. I had my last dog for nearly 16 years and they DO become art of the family, that's for sure.

1 mom found this helpful

No hon, 3 months is no time at all. My dog died almost 2 years ago, and I still grieve , from time to time. It comes in waves. I got this dog, Onyx, when my now 20 year old, was 2 . He lived longer than I expected him to. But when he died , I was crushed. I still miss him, still find it hard to believe, and still , some times, expect to see him. 3 months is no time at all. And no one can put a time limit on how long you should grieve. Some grieve longer than others. That is perfectly normal. So go ahead and grieve. I truly understand where you are at right now. Take care.

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My husband still grieves for his black lab we had when we were first married. He's been dead 11 years. Hubby doesn't outwardly cry but any black lab that crosses his path is loved on by him like there is no tomorrow. It's embarrassing at times to go to Petsmart with him.

You just lost a beloved family member. It's OK to still have moments.

And poopy on your hubby, no sex for him tonight!!

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I don't think there is a time limit for grief. If you are still feeling it then it hasn't been too long. I've lost cats and dogs some as much as 10 years ago. I still feel moments of sadness when I think about specific things that they did. Let yourself be sad and don't hold the feelings in. That is the worst thing you can do.

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no, you are not crazy. for a real pet lover, an animal is part of the family. i still choke up about pets that died years ago from time to time.

i dont think you are crazy, i think you really loved your dog.. and that is good bc that means he was really loved!

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No! I still get teary about putting my cat down about 20 years ago. I think you are normal. I have always felt in my heart that it had to happen as she was uncurable, but it wasn't a decision I wanted to make. I wanted her to go on her own. It's not an easy decision to make, go through or get over. It still bugs me. I'm sure when my 13 year old golden goes, I'll be a wreck. She was my first "baby" that I was totally responsible for on my own. Ok now I'm tearing up. Sending you (((hugs)))).

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Grief is a very individual thing. You are not crazy. Too bad hubby couldn't just give you the hug you needed. Cry when you need to, continue to talk with your child about your dog........Take care. I don't look forward to the time when we have to say goodbye to our boy; he is 12 and slowing down....... God Bless. It will get easier.

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Everyone grieves differently. You may need longer than he does. That doesn't mean that there's anything wrong with you.
Over twenty years ago, I rescued a sick kitten, bottle-fed her, and had her for 16 years before I had to have her put down. She's been gone for 12 years now, and I still miss that cat.

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As long as you don't obsess on it, no. I still have occasional feelings of deep loss and mourning for my bird who died over a year ago.

Husbands can be a little callous on this issue. You should probably express your feelings to a friend, instead.

Thank you for so many responses on this topic. We had to put our lab mix who was seventeen down four weeks ago. My husband and I were never able to have children (ovarian cancer in early years-but survivor yeah) and we both love animals, and have always had two dogs at a time. We still have our chocolate lab who we rescued at her age of five, and we were her fifth home. The difficulty is our Katie was so smart (rejected due to elbow problem) we adopted her from the Leader Dog School for the Blind. She was with me for 8 major back surgeries, loss of parents, and stood with me during my stressful six years of inventing the Towel Tog for dogs (to dry them after rain, or swimming-sold business after sucessful launch to the FURminator). Anyway, I am not a crying type at all, but very much a bleeding heart. I cried for 3 weeks almost solid, but every day. Then the 4th week I thought I was over the worst. Now I am totally out of control again and just can not stand the pain my heart is aching from. Part of the problem is our Chocolate Lab (Bailey) is also depressed and missing her. Everyone that comes over can see it immediately. Due to Bailey having been around so many homes, she came here and got stability in her life, plus Katie was who she looked up to; Katie initiated breakfast and dinner time as going out for a swim in the lake, etc.
We had Katie cremated and have her cremains. She will be burried with me when I die. Any advice for how long another dog grieves and how we can help her? This has been the most difficult time in my life, even more than 8 major back surgeries. My best pal was always here...17 yrs. How can I help us heal??? Thank you!!

No you're not crazy. Your doggie was a beloved family member for 13 years. And it's only been a few months of grieving. Don't feel dumb or bad about it. Your heart has a hole in it and it will take a long time to heal.

I had to put down my beloved cat 5 years ago. He was so ill and we spent so much trying to save him, but in the end he was suffering so badly that putting him down was the best thing for him. I had him for 12 years. He was my first born baby. And I loved him so much. (Tears in my eyes now.) I still cry thinking about him. I was a wreck while he was sick and unmanageable after he died. I had to take a week of sick leave because I couldn't work. I was really bad.

So - don't feel bad. It will take a long time to heal, and you will still get teary eyed thinking about your beloved years from now.

Big HUG!!!

I lost my little fuzzy girl on November 18th of last year. I am continuing to mourn her still today.

No one can tell you how long, or how short to greive someone. Its different for everyone.

(((HUGS))) it is really hard.

A short answer is this - grieving takes as long as it takes. Men seem to push it out of their heads and stay busy so as not to think about it. We women grieve till we're done grieving and that's ok. This dog was a member of your family. Take your time and be sad. It'll be done when it's done. You're NOT nuts!

So sorry for your loss :(

Tell your husband that hugs are really important to women sometimes, so next time just a hug will do:-) That being said, when I had to put my cat of 16 years down, it was devastating. I didn't realize it would affect me so greatly. I could tear up (sometimes sobs) just thinking about it over the next year or more. It still hits me sometimes now and that was several years ago. Animals just become part of our history and lives and it's normal to grieve. I'm sure everyone else had said that, too.

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