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Being Traumatized


MilliesMom
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It's been 4 months since we've lost Millie, and still, everytime I watch Animal Planet and hear a dog scream or see one that's sick or injured or one that might be fine but not physically perfect, I find myself just shaking inside. (I don't go for Emergency Vets or anything, but this just happens to come up every once-in-awhile in their usual shows.) Just seeing dogs is therapeutic, but the night before we had to have Millie put to sleep, she started screaming at the top of her lungs and wouldn't stop. It was just awful. When my son and I got her into the car for the emergency vet's, she'd emit these blood-curdling screams, and she'd only quiet down for a few minutes. My 17-year-old son was sobbing as he held her in the backseat and pleaded with her to stop.

We had her for over 13 years, and I would think that by now, I wouldn't be so affected, but that's not what's happened at all. On one hand, I like playing with other people's dogs and reading other people's posts and looking at greys available for adoption, but if I were to get one soon and something happened, I don't know how I'd react. Had Milllie not had such a traumatic couple of hours before she was on an IV for pain, it wouldn't have be so bad since I've lost about a dozen pets before. I've never felt so helpless with one of my furkids.

Any advice?

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Guest Angie626

I'm so sorry to hear about your unsettling time. We went through something similar with my cat. On his last night he would just cry out in pain and we felt so devastated and helpless.

Just know that you did the best you could for her...she knows how much you loved her. You gave her the help she needed in the end.

Don't put yourself on a time limit of when you should feel better...it's different with every pet.

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Millie's mom - You might feel the same if she had collapsed and died quickly...which is what happened to me...and, I can empathize with you, because I am still haunted by this. There was NO time to say goodbye and nothing I could do. I still worry very much that this will happen to Howie all though I know that it is a neurotic and irrational worry at this point in his healthy life. I don't have any good advice about how to get over your fears except to take one day at a time. Sometimes SPCAs have Pet Loss support groups that meet once a month. You might want to check for one in your local area. Talking to others face-to-face about these difficult times can help.

ATASCOSITA DIAZ - MY WONDER DOG!
Missing our Raisin: 9/9/94 - 7/20/08, our Super Bea: 2003 - 12/16/09, our Howie: 9/17/97 - 4/9/11, our Bull: 8/7/00 - 1/17/13, our Wyatt Earp: 11/22/06 - 12/16/15, and our Cyclone 8/26/05 - 9/12/16

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She was lucky to have 13 wonderful years with you :) I know it still hurts though :grouphug

Major & Black Jack are the BEST Doggies in the WORLD

A Major Presence - MAJOR - March 10, 1999 - January 13, 2011

Little Joe - BLACK JACK - July 31, 1998 - February 8, 2011

 

"If you lead your life the right way, the karma will take care of itself. " - Randy Pausch

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Thank you for your kind words and sorry for your losses.

I know I'm fortunate because I got to say goodbye but to feel so helpless and have both "my kids" in such pain was nearly unbearable.

I think that perhaps I've been telling myself that I've got to have another dog now because I'm in pain emotionally without her. Maybe the thing to do is let nature take its course.

I'm okay for a few days, and then it floods back.

Having both your "kids" grow up at the same time and then have them "leave" about the same time (Millie die, Steven getting ready to go off to college) is empty nest, plain and simple. It just makes everything else more complicated.

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Guest mygracefulpooch

I truly understand your feelings. Please think of all the happy times you had with Millie and focus on those. I still see Grace shaking on the floor at the hospital and it makes me ill. But sometimes I think of all the goofy things she did that made me laugh. Those are what I think of instead.

Hugs to you for giving her 13 amazing years!!!

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I'm sorry about Grace.

I know you're right. It's kind of like thinking of my Aunt Pearl. She lived by herself until the month before her 96th birthday. Then she got sick and went downhill, came up a bit, and then passed away. I've tried not to think of the last few months and focused on her washing her own floor when she was 90+, but I think the big difference is that I never saw her in pain.

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I am so sorry for your loss. We had the same experience (screaming) with our Truffles and I thought it was going to kill us. I hope that some day you will be able to adopt a babe. While another babe will never replace Millie...it sure can help heal ones heart. God Bless...and gentle hugs to Millie waiting at the Bridge. :(

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Patti-Mommy of Lady Sophia 7-28-92 - 8-3-04... LaceyLaine 8-2-94-12-5-07...

Flash Gordon 7-14-99 - 8-29-09... BrookLynne...Pavé Maria... and 18 Bridge Kids.

WATCHING OVER US~SOPHIA~QUEENIE~LACEY LAINE~

CODY ANGELO~FLASH GORDON.

 

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Guest 6hounds4Iggies

Losing your son to college and Millie at the same time is tough but many of us have gone through this. It seems we get pets for our families and then suddenly they are all gone at once. I just lost my son's twelve year old Boxer as he is turning 21 and finishing school. I wasnot coping too well either, grumpy, crying, not sleeping well, and all the dogs sensed this as well as a reordering of our pack taking place that is never fun. I'm still not over it and it has been about a month. My husband did get us a new 14 wk old IG pup that has soothed my soul some. He felt I needed to refocus on an energetic living thing which Zoie is....non stop. I won't forget Tootsie but I can at least laugh and smile and know she is approving of a new pup. She loved puppies...so it will be my job to housebreak and teach manners now that she is gone. I will not fail her... Perhaps Millie would want you to have companionship too...think about it...it is time to move on, not forget...just move on. From one grieving Mom to another we will make it.

 

Debbie

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Millie's Mom - Everyone grieves in their own way and for some recovery is a much longer road to travel. Even when we come to terms with the loss of a beloved companion the pain still lingers whether we have had this pet for one year or 10 years. It would be easier (maybe) if we could all be assured that our 4-legged companions would simply pass quietly when their time comes...at an old age. Our 1st greyhound died of mesenteric twist, not related to bloat, just the twisting of the mesenteric artery. My poor husband was still in VA when this happened and I was here in NH. Ginger all of a sudden started showing signs of being dizzy and a little out of it. He called me and we both figured she might have an ear infection as she was prone to ear problems. Later that night he called the vet and after providing the limited symptoms she came to the same conclusion. The next morning my husband let Ginger into the yard to do her business and on her way back in she collapsed, almost comatose. He carried her to the car, rushed her to the vets and within 10 minutes was told she must be euthanized. Ginger's mesenteric artery had twisted blocking the flow of blood. When this happens the artery ruptures quickly and bleed out into the abdomen occurs. She had been bleeding so badly there was nothing the vets could do but ease her suffering. There were no real signs of this and the vet said that when you finally discover that there is an emergency with twist, it is too late. There is no treatment and they still do not know what actually causes this to occur. My husband still feels the pain of guilt for not having know Ginger was suffering for so long. He also understands that no matter how long we have these beloved creatures with us that the pain of a loss will be the same. We did adopt another within a month to help him with his grief...plus we offered another greyhound a forever home. We have found ourselves worrying continuously about the welfare of our current pack after the losses of last year. I don't that this story will ease your feelings in any way but we all need to find a way to come to terms with a loss and know that we provided love and comfort for a much deserving creature. We have learned to overcome the fear of the pain of grief by understanding the need for love. This past year and a half has been a tough road to travel but we have found a way...and never forgotten our 4-legged angels. Only my cat died peacefully last year. Don't look for the fear of pain just look for the love. :colgate

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Willow & Trace

Butch (11/94 - 7/16/08) Hayley (11/96 - 1/13/09) Merlin (11/12/95 - 5/29/09)

GPA - Central New Hampshire

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4hounds3Iggies and Houndmom

 

Thank you for your kind words and sorry for your losses. A beautiful male in Dallas has caught my eye. We're in Phoenix, and we wanted a girl, but just looking at his pix and talking to his foster mom has been very therapeutic. I really love his coloring (white and brindle, like Millie.)

When I began putting the Xmas things away, I looked at the couch and just new another grey would be there next year, and it no longer would be Millie's couch.

BTW: If either of you know of a home with a female dog and they're looking for a super male, and they're in Texas, please have them go to look at Xpress on the Greyhounds Unlimited site. The guy was found wandering in a parking lot and really needs a forever home.

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Even though it is hard to cope with a loss sometimes you need to sit down and think of happy times. Birthdays, gotcha days and so on. It truely does help. After I lost Winnie I thought the world was going to end. She helped me through so much she was me and I was her we were inseperable when I wasn't at school or work. One day my mom came home the same time I did and told me there was bad news. Winnie had been put to sleep that day. She had a stroke and my mom rushed home and then the vet where they said there was no time for me to come it needed to be done. SO there I was standing at the door to a house where my heart and soul was no more. I walked in and there was a silence. I heard Strider jingle but that was it. I cried, hey I still cry but in those times I think of the time we had and how happy we were and it fills some of those spots, you know the guilt of not saying goodbye...Someday I'll be able to think of her and smile not cry because shes alive. I read a book that said No one truely stops living so no one should cry at the funeral. Everyone lives on in the past, present , and future. The past is a time that can not be erased so in the past they are immortal.

So they wait, at the bridge waiting to see your face to dry your tears, so their hearts will be whole again too.

Dallas came into my life and he's my new boy. I love him. He will never replace her but he will mend the broken pieces of my heart.

It will be ok...

Kim, mom to Reno (Slatex Reno), sister to Daffy (Bally's Flack), Ashley and Sue (racing names unknown), and Bridge kids Strider (7/28/94-4/16/05), RW's Dallas (12/17/98- 06/26/2010), Odd Taylor (aka Lizzie), JC's Curfew (4/6/2005- 4/22/2010), Winnie(Pooh Bear)my heart dog, and Rocky the beagle

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Guest lisa73

Youll know when the time is right and one day there will be one that just cries out to you! Hold tight Millies memories and she will never leave, I know when you add another that you will seek solice in the comfort that they will offer!! Sending :grouphug and good thoughts to help you through this time!

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I think too often we expect grief to be a linear process, and it's just not. It kind of comes in unexpected waves, but in time those waves are farther apart and not so big. But it's never a calculable formula for when the waves will seem small or infrequent. I am sorry to read of your loss and your grief, and hope that it lessens soon, while the sweet memories do not.

 

Edited to add: The other thing I've found to be true, after a big series of losses, is that for me, grief is like a pool. So each time there is some new loss to grieve, it's also the opportunity to step into the grief pool and grieve what you hadn't finished grieving from other losses you've suffered. On the one hand, that makes it harder, but it also makes the healing multifaceted beyond what you'd expect. So sometimes when the grief feels especially big, you may not be grieving "just" the current loss. I hope this is helpful...

Edited by Dash
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Strider Sis and lisa73--

Your words touched me greatly. Thank you.

I've been doing much better since then because an angel did come into my life, but in a different way. I fell in love with a big boy with Millie's coloring (white and brindle) in Dallas. In fact, I posted his pix on another board as "A Face To Die For". It showed me that I actually could fall in love with another dog.

I had been keeping in touch with his foster mom and really had considered bringing him 2 states over, but I knew I wasn't quite ready yet, and we really preferred a little girl like Millie. Anyway, I heard today that his foster mom may have found him a perfect home with a family that lost a grey to cancer last week. They have another dog (a female Aussie who's been depressed since her pal's death) and a pair of cats, and I'm thrilled for him. Of course, I'm a bit sad he's not coming here, but I still have his picture on my desk. His face captured my heart the minute I saw him, and I know that my girl will, too.

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Guest 6hounds4Iggies

I have waited and watch what the rest of you have to say about grieving and I agree that it comes in waves. I will go a day or two and not feel that deep sense of loss and then a huge wave hits me and I can't hold back the tears. However, I think that is part of healing...it is like sealing that special memory into your heart just one more time. It was not hard for me to fall in love with our IG Zoie since she was not a Boxer....however, each of my hounds are so different that I think I could fall for one everytime I go on a haul or an adoption to another family which I also did this weekend. Placed my first hound into his forever home...now that lifted my heart. Do something for another hound....while keeping your eye out for that speical one. It may be tomorrow....or a year from now but it will happen.

 

Debbie

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Millie's mom,

I am so sorry to hear that you are ill. That must make things doubly hard. I hope for your recovery, and for any small comforts that may come to you along your way. -Nani (Ms. Dash!)

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Yep, Dash is a sweetie. They say girl dogs are sweet, but he's a big sweetieboy and loves me a ton! Being so shy, he's my "private dog." But when we are alone, he loves to play and snuggle. He even wakes me up every morning so I will come down to the couch to snuggle and snooze with him for a while before I get ready for work (sighing blissful sighs all the while!) He's intuitive and sensitive beyond anything I'd expected. Maybe there's a boy dog in your future, Millie's Mom!

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Half of my dogs have been boys, half have been girls. Nearly all my cats have been female. I think we're all weary of getting any more boys because of the leg-lifting thing. It's okay if they're mostly outside dogs, but of course, greyhounds are totally inside.

I heard boy greys are more the velcro-types. True?

Millie used to wake us up, too. She'd put her nose right next to ours and start to roo to wake us up.

It was hard getting a full night's sleep with her sometimes, though, even when she was younger. She'd be on a bunch of blankets next to me on the floor, and all of a sudden she'd startle and her claws would go onto the wallpaper and geez! What a noise! Then sometimes she'd go from room to room. I'd rubber band her tags together (her name/phone and rabies), but she'd still manage to make noise. One early morning, she shook, and one of her tags went flying across the room. As she got older, it got harder because she'd pant so loudly that I'd have to put a pillow over my head, and then she'd have to go out in the middle of the night, too. It was really hard on the two of us. People say it's hard to have puppies, but I think it's almost just as hard in another way to have an elderly dog with a health condition.

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It's so funny about the tags--Dash communicates with me by jingling his. That's his first move when he wants my attention--shakes his whole body so his tags will jingle! Then he does sort of a heavy footed tap dance, followed by insistent whining. jingle jingle, plop plop, mmm mmmm. It's not as funny at 3 a.m.! Dash is kind of a sissy guy--he's never marked and isn't a leg lifter! He's definitely Mr. Velcro outdoors, but less so in the house. He does usually move into whatever room I am in after a few minutes... I really don't mind it, though, since I like his company, too!

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