The Grieving Place

Here is where we can discuss canine cancers and treatment options to create a support system for those dealing with the disease.

Postby HappyChick » November 19th, 2009, 10:34 pm

I was going through a rough moment tonight, thinking and crying over Vinny. Afterward, it occurred to me that maybe I needed a place where I could really share the inner most feelings of my grief, but not feel judged or feel like anyone was reading something they would rather not read when reading our original thread. Grief emotions are difficult for many people and difficult to share with others. This place would be non-judgemental where each person can say whatever they want about losing a beloved part of their family. It doesn't matter if it's been a day or a decade since they left you, or if you know their departure is near. Tell how much it sucks to lose someone you love, tell about what you feel as you go through all the stages of grief, tell what makes you hopeful that you will be with them again. Does this sound like a good idea to anyone else? If so, then know that this thread is a soft place to land in your grief.

Love to all who walk the cancer path.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby ArtGypsy » November 19th, 2009, 10:36 pm

I understand..............((((((((((((((((((HUG))))))))))))))

YOu DO need a 'safe' place to vent, to rage, to cry, to write about nightmares.

You can always, always write me, Angie.........No matter what.... :neutral: :)
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage.
Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby HappyChick » November 19th, 2009, 11:08 pm

Thank you, sweet Jody. No worries here, this place is not just for me and I know you understand my grief.

Here's the kind of thing I'm talking about.

I want to talk about Reno grieving. Monday night, Reno was up on the sofa with me, something that seldom happens. He started crying. No tears, but this soft, throaty noise. I knew he was crying for Vinny and I comforted him. Reno has also been laying around a lot more. He didn't want to go out to potty yesterday morning, but I made him go. This morning, there wasn't even any "making" him go. He didn't even get up. Reno is always up and running every morning, but not right now.

G, on the other hand, has seen death before and it doesn't concern him. I think he knows death is just a transition. At least that is what I choose to think.

I have not talked with anybody about Reno grieving until now. I'm sure plenty would think I'm nuts.

Has anyone else here experienced this kind of dog grief?
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby TheRedQueen » November 19th, 2009, 11:16 pm

HappyChick wrote:I want to talk about Reno grieving. Monday night, Reno was up on the sofa with me, something that seldom happens. He started crying. No tears, but this soft, throaty noise. I knew he was crying for Vinny and I comforted him. Reno has also been laying around a lot more. He didn't want to go out to potty yesterday morning, but I made him go. This morning, there wasn't even any "making" him go. He didn't even get up. Reno is always up and running every morning, but not right now.

G, on the other hand, has seen death before and it doesn't concern him. I think he knows death is just a transition. At least that is what I choose to think.

I have not talked with anybody about Reno grieving until now. I'm sure plenty would think I'm nuts.

Has anyone else here experienced this kind of dog grief?


My last two dogs died at home, and the other dogs all got a chance to say their goodbyes, and sniff the bodies...I think this definitely helped them understand better. Some of them just sniffed and walked away, others really lingered. None of them had any major grieving problems...I don't know whether I helped, or if it would have been that way anyway.

I lost my last two years ago, but some days it's still fresh...and I'll find myself crying over some memory. So yeah, I understand...and I like this thread already...:hug3:
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Postby plebayo » November 19th, 2009, 11:23 pm

Has anyone else here experienced this kind of dog grief?


I haven't seen it first hand in dogs as mine have not gone through a loss yet. However when my cat passed away my remaining cat [Napolean] would constantly meow. He would always check the shower as if he thought Pause might be hiding and at night he would have these meowing/yowling fits. I didn't think a lot of it at the time, but he doesn't do it anymore and I definitely think he was looking for him. After Pause passed away he became much more affectionate and I like to believe that he knew Pause's time was limited here, so when Pause was around he gave him and I space so we could spend time together because he knew Pause would not be around for very long.

I found this online:
The American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals
conducted a Companion Animal Mourning Project in 1996. The study found that 36 percent of dogs ate less than usual after the death of another canine companion. About 11 percent actually stopped eating completely. About 63 percent of dogs vocalized more than normal or became more quiet. Study respondents indicated that surviving dogs changed the quantity and location of sleep. More than half the surviving pets became more affectionate and clingy with their caregivers. Overall, the study revealed that 66 percent of dogs exhibited four or more behavioral changes after losing a pet companion.
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Postby Marinepits » November 20th, 2009, 1:03 pm

I saw this story on Good Morning America back around Hallowe'en and it has stayed with me since then -- the photo alone is too much for words.

http://blogs.ngm.com/blog_central/2009/ ... himps.html
The November issue of National Geographic magazine features a moving photograph of chimpanzees watching as one of their own is wheeled to her burial. Since it was published, the picture and story have gone viral, turning up on websites and TV shows and in newspapers around the world. For readers who’d like to know more, here’s what I learned when I interviewed the photographer, Monica Szczupider.

On September 23, 2008, Dorothy, a female chimpanzee in her late 40s, died of congestive heart failure. A maternal and beloved figure, Dorothy had spent eight years at Cameroon’s Sanaga-Yong Chimpanzee Rescue Center, which houses and rehabilitates chimps victimized by habitat loss and the illegal African bushmeat trade.


After a hunter killed her mother, Dorothy was sold as a “mascot” to an amusement park in Cameroon. For the next 25 years she was tethered to the ground by a chain around her neck, taunted, teased, and taught to drink beer and smoke cigarettes for sport. In May 2000 Dorothy—obese from poor diet and lack of exercise—was rescued and relocated along with ten other primates. As her health improved, her deep kindness surfaced. She mothered an orphaned chimp named Bouboule and became a close friend to many others, including Jacky, the group’s alpha male, and Nama, another amusement-park refugee.

Szczupider, who had been a volunteer at the center, told me: “Her presence, and loss, was palpable, and resonated throughout the group. The management at Sanaga-Yong opted to let Dorothy's chimpanzee family witness her burial, so that perhaps they would understand, in their own capacity, that Dorothy would not return. Some chimps displayed aggression while others barked in frustration. But perhaps the most stunning reaction was a recurring, almost tangible silence. If one knows chimpanzees, then one knows that [they] are not [usually] silent creatures."

Sanaga-Yong was founded in 1999 by veterinarian Sheri Speede (pictured at right, cradling Dorothy’s head; at left is center employee Assou Felix). Operated by IDA-Africa, an NGO, it’s home to 62 chimps who reside in spacious, forested enclosures.

Szczupider submitted the photograph to Your Shot, a magazine feature that encourages readers to send in pictures they've taken. The best are published on the website and in the magazine.

—Jeremy Berlin


Image

The GMA story also said that Bouboule was sitting on the ground holding his head and rocking back and forth, and that he was inconsolable. The alpha male, Jacky, paced back and forth behind the group, smacking his chest and shaking his head. I wish I could find the actual video they used, but google is not my friend today.
Never make someone a priority in your life when that someone treats you like an option.
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Postby HappyChick » November 20th, 2009, 5:31 pm

TheRedQueen wrote:My last two dogs died at home, and the other dogs all got a chance to say their goodbyes, and sniff the bodies...I think this definitely helped them understand better. Some of them just sniffed and walked away, others really lingered. None of them had any major grieving problems...I don't know whether I helped, or if it would have been that way anyway.


I let Reno and Guido be there too when Vinny left his ailing body. G sniffed him a little, but Reno sniffed him a lot and went back to him a few times. I read later, somewhere online, that the other dogs should be allowed to sniff the body because it is supposed to help them understand.

I washed Vinny's comforter, the one he slept on all the time, dried it and put it down in the living room last night. Reno's nose went crazy! He smelled it so much I thought he was gonna suck it into his nose lol. G smelled it too. It must still have some of Vinny's scent on it, I wish I had as good a smeller as the dogs so I could smell my boy again too. Oh well I'm sure it would just make me cry. Anyway, they laid down on it for a long time and Guido was still on it this morning.

TheRedQueen wrote: I lost my last two years ago, but some days it's still fresh...and I'll find myself crying over some memory.


I know my grief is still very fresh, but that's how it is for me. I'm fine one minute, working and taking care of business, then I think of Vinny and tears flow. I have a feeling this will be going on for some time.

Marinepits wrote:Image


That picture says it all. Wow.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Brownies Mom » November 23rd, 2009, 11:39 pm

Regarding dogs grieving:
First we had Floyd (lab/pit mix), then we got Brownie (lab). It seems like Brownie didn't grieve much when Floyd passed. We got Remy (english setter mix) a couple of years ago, and he did grieve when Brownie passed this spring, but I have my suspicions that is was more over the cat (who passed one day before Brownie), than it was over Brownie. But it could have been that he went from being one of three, to the only child. I know that the routines had to obviously change, and that probably throws them off for awhile, too.
Regarding a soft place to land:
Yep, I need this. It has been 6.5 months, and it hurts more as time goes on, not less. It seems like it might be because every day, it's been that much longer since I saw him last. When I cry (and I do, almost every day), I often think of that song that goes "I don't want the world to see me, cause I don't think that they'd understand." I know dog people get it. But sometimes I feel like I can only say it so many times, and then I wonder if they're thinking "yeah, we know - you need to move on." I mean, I guess I am moving on, because we did adopt A-Jay and he is a great source of joy, and fills some of the time that I would have otherwise spent thinking about Brownie and missing him. When Brownie passed, someone wrote to me that "when you love with all of your heart, you grieve with all of your heart." That made sense. I loved him so much, he was my life. I never expected it would be easy, and I knew it was going to be a long grieving process, so it doesn't surprise me, it's just that I feel really alone with it sometimes.

Thanks for listening.
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Postby HappyChick » November 24th, 2009, 3:34 pm

Brownie's mom - please don't feel alone with your grief. You'll always have us and we understand.

This - "when you love with all of your heart, you grieve with all of your heart." is so true. You obviously love Brownie with all your heart. Just because he is physically gone from you, doesn't mean your love for him is anything less than it ever was. I say that kind of love transcends all boundaries.

Don't stand by my grave and weep,
For I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint of snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning, hush.
For I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circle flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.
- Author unknown
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
HappyChick
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Postby CinderDee » November 24th, 2009, 6:57 pm

HappyChick wrote:

Don't stand by my grave and weep,
For I am not there, I do not sleep.
I am a thousand winds that blow.
I am the diamond glint of snow.
I am the sunlight on ripened grain.
I am the gentle autumn's rain.
When you awaken in the morning, hush.
For I am the swift uplifting rush
Of quiet birds in circle flight.
I am the soft stars that shine at night.
Do not stand by my grave and cry.
I am not there, I did not die.
- Author unknown


I put that on my Mom's memorial cards. I love it.
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Postby HappyChick » November 25th, 2009, 4:22 pm

Today is a tough one. I really miss Vinny today. I find myself waiting for "the diamond glint of snow" to feel closer to him. Thank goodness my grandson is here today or I would be a total basket case. I try to hide it from Bayne and tell myself he doesn't need to see me so sad. He is napping now so I can let the tears fall. I had to go through some pictures of Vinny last night and today, and I guess I'm just not ready for that. I want to touch his velvety ears and look into his gentle brown eyes, but I can't. I want my healthy, beautiful, loving boy back. But he can't come back, not in that form.

I try to give Guido and Reno extra attention and love, but as good as they are, they are not Vinny. Bayne was playing with Reno today and Reno is more playful than Vinny was. I mean Vinny would let Bayne do anything to him and Vinny's only reaction would be a big ole grin, a wagging tail, and kisses. Reno, however, gets excited, animated, and wants to play. I had to explain to Bayne that Reno is not like Vinny, that Bayne needs to be a little more careful of what he is doing with Reno. This all just made me miss my gentle, patient Vinny even more.

Getting this off my chest makes me feel a little better. Time to stop crying for now. Thanks.
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Jenn » November 25th, 2009, 4:30 pm

:hug3:
I used to think I was indecisive, but now I'm not so sure....
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Postby amazincc » November 25th, 2009, 4:52 pm

Death is nothing at all
I have only slipped away into the next room
I am I, and you are you.
Whatever we were to each other
That we still are.

Call me by my old familiar name
Speak to me in the easy way which you always used
Wear no forced air of solemnity or sorrow.
Laugh as we always laughed at the little jokes
We enjoyed together.

Play, smile, think of me, pray for me,
Let my name be ever the household word that
It always was.
Let it be spoken without effort,
Without the trace of a shadow on it.

Life means all that it ever meant
It is the same as it ever was
There is absolutely unbroken continuity.

Why should I be out of mind because I am
Out of sight? I am but waiting for you
For an interval
Somewhere very near
Just around the corner .

All is well....

***************

Angie... :sad2:

:hug3:
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Postby iluvk9 » November 26th, 2009, 8:07 pm

Thank you for starting this thread, Angie. As I told you in a pm, I just wasn't ready to read the entire thing and post in it.

For me, the pain of losing Louie (Lab) Carlos Garcia (Lab/Chow) and Bearman ( Husky/Shep) has never gone away. It lingers like a small paper cut that just never heals and often reopens at the most unexpected moments. Like seeing the title of this thread. Or calling my dogs in and adding "Louie" to the mix.

I tell myself I will NEVER allow myself to get so attached to my animals because the pain of them leaving is just unbearable. But, alas, I know that is not possible because that is who I am. I give my all to my dogs because they give their all to me. And I wouldn't have it any other way.
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Postby ArtGypsy » November 26th, 2009, 8:26 pm

:groupHug: :itsOK: :groupHug: :itsOK:

I'm Holding You All So Close in My Thoughts...........
For Me, I'll Simply Offer my Silent Presence......know I Walk With You.....
“Hope has two beautiful daughters: their names are Anger and Courage.
Anger that things are the way they are.
Courage to make them the way they ought to be.”----Augustine
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Postby HappyChick » November 26th, 2009, 9:48 pm

iluvk9 wrote:I tell myself I will NEVER allow myself to get so attached to my animals because the pain of them leaving is just unbearable. But, alas, I know that is not possible because that is who I am. I give my all to my dogs because they give their all to me. And I wouldn't have it any other way.


Aw, Joyce - your dogs are very, very blessed to have you... :hug3:
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Brownies Mom » November 28th, 2009, 6:11 pm

iluvk9 wrote:I tell myself I will NEVER allow myself to get so attached to my animals because the pain of them leaving is just unbearable. But, alas, I know that is not possible because that is who I am. I give my all to my dogs because they give their all to me. And I wouldn't have it any other way.

I have struggled with that, too. I was so devastated after losing Brownie that I couldn't even fathom how I could ever set myself up for that kind of pain again by getting another dog. While I was grateful for having had Brownie in my life, it just didn't seem worth it to opt to do it again with another dog. Then, I would often look at Remy and think about how badly it was going to hurt when I lost him. :sad2: I used to work at an airport, and we had to clean up a fatal crash once. Afterward, we were all "debriefed" to help us cope with what we were going through. One of the things I remember learning is whenever you encounter something emotionally traumatic, your brain puts itself on "alert" and is just waiting for it to happen again. You can only get off of "alert" by the passing of time, because you have to experience that this doesn't happen every time, all the time. Some of the folks in the debriefing were pilots, and truly felt they never wanted to fly again (I got it. I never did like to fly. :crazy2: ). The counselor told them "you will. Don't push it, it will happen in time." It did. They all flew again. (Again, :crazy2: ). Here's the ironic part - it was the end of July, 2001. 6 weeks later, 9/11 happened. So the whole "passing of time" thing didn't happen for me - so it just reinforced my fear and opinion that flying was not a good idea!
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Postby Brownies Mom » November 28th, 2009, 6:13 pm

Hi Angie. How are you doing?
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Postby HappyChick » November 30th, 2009, 11:34 am

Brownies Mom wrote:Hi Angie. How are you doing?


Thank you for asking.

I'm still missing Vinny terribly. The only day so far that I haven't broken down crying was Thanksgiving. I think because I told myself I would celebrate and be thankful that day. The grief felt by everyone in our family has covered every inch of the house like a thick, black fog. There was simply no way of escaping it except to leave the house and then it still follows.

Like you, I also did not see or want to see how I could get attached to another dog after Vinny. No dog will ever take his place in my heart. I said I'd never get another pit bull that Vinny was my one and only, and probably never get any more dogs. I told myself that Reno and Guido were "it". Then a funny thing happened...I got a call from a guy on Saturday wanting to know if I would take their little pit bull girl. The family has six kids, three dogs, and were living in...well...bad conditions. I did hesitate and told him I'd need to give him a call back in a bit. I talked it over with my husband and we decided that I needed to go check out this little girl. I thought maybe I should at least foster her and get her out of that place. When I got there, I found out right away that she is a little sweetheart! I brought her home with me and she is not going anywhere. She (Leni) is a part of our family and a gift from Vinny. I believe he knew how much Leni needs us and we need her. These last two days with her there has been more happiness in our home than we've experienced in awhile.

My daughter said she knew I would have another pit bull someday. She said "What was the point of Vinny being in your life if you don't continue taking care of pit bulls?" I guess Leni is a part of Vinny's legacy.

So Brownie's Mom, how are YOU doing?
Angie & crew

http://www.epitome-dog-rescue.org

My beloved Vincenzo 07/22/05 - 11/16/09 forever in my heart. Cancer sucks.
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Postby Pit♥bull » November 30th, 2009, 11:39 am

WONDERFUL news :)

:confetti: :confetti:
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