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Discussion Starter #1 (Edited)
It hasn't been a month and I'm getting the talk. Time to move on, snap out of it, stop the crying. But I can't. Not yet.

He's not unsympathetic. He loved Watson as much as I did, but he wasn't his dog. He was mine. Our bond was so strong...he was my spirit dog. I cry every night.

Me blurting out last night that I wanted to get a tattoo didn't help. I didn't have to explain what kind, or where. It's understood, not accepted.

I wear his dog tags on a cord around my neck. It comforts me to hear the jingle. It's like he's right behind me.

When I ride my bike, I feel him on my back, with his puppy paws on my shoulders, the breeze flapping his ears as we sail along. Alone. Just us. I talk to him, tell him how I wished we had a bike back then.

I know I can't allow my grief to divide us. He was, after all, a dog and not a human. But I need to take my time with this grief. For the first time, I opened the baggie with his fur in it, and thought I would drop to my knees with the smell of him, the muskiness, the wet-dog aroma that never quite went away. It was powerful.

I know it gets better, but dealing with the humans around me is difficult. I mostly hide my tears. It's easier that way.

For anyone in my footsteps, it's a journey. Another one, where we go on without them. I've never done it, so if I find anything that helps I will share.
 

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Discussion Starter #2
Just fyi, not looking for attention, just wanting to share where I am in my grief. I'm a pretty strong woman, but this is really hard. I just want to help others by sharing how devastating this can be
 

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Kate
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When I lost my Jacks - the best thing was the fact I had 2 babies still to comfort me. And then I brought home a third one a year later and they all dried my tears. I won't say I didn't cry more than I have ever cried in my life. I cried every night for almost 2 years. My heart was absolutely broken and it hurt. But the other dogs helped me heal.

Some of the things you describe - I never did, because I had other dogs to love, to hug, to hold, and to take comfort in.

When my sister lost her heart dog (our Sammy) shortly before Christmas back in 2007.... she fell into a very dark place. Depression. Grief. And it was far worse than what I went through because she had nothing. I mean she had her family (husband and daughter), but there was that part of her life that was completely gone.

Sammy lived with us as my sister and her husband both worked and lived in an apartment for a few years after marrying - but my sister had continued to come over every day to be with him to spend her days here with him, to take him for walks, etc. So even though she had left him with us, he was still always her dog.

She grieved for over a month, getting worse and worse....

And it got to a point where I was considering just giving her the puppy that I was bringing home in Feb (this was my Jacks, fwiw). She refused because she did not want another golden ever. I'm not going to try to get into the psychology of that. So that is why I searched online and found a very special rough collie who was losing his home (owners moving) and needed a home.

This collie was the one that brought my sister back to life. All the more so because when my sister went to see him and meet him the first time.... he chose her. This was a collie who wanted nothing to do with 2 prior families that had come to meet him. My sister walked in through the front door of the foster - and the collie went up, jumped up on her and nosed her face. My sister and niece visited a number of times before finally bringing him home in January - and each time, he spent all his time watching over my niece and attending to my sister. The foster could plainly see that he had chosen my sister - and told my sister that. Which is something my sister needed to hear. That collie brought my sister out of that dark place she was in.

That dog has since passed away from old age.... and my sister brought a rough collie pup home not long after. The collie pup she has now, he does many things that remind her all the time of Sammy. Different breed. But it's a case where if you love a dog very much, you will find him again.

All of the above is my way of reminding you to not think too badly of your family if they are telling you it is time. It's not them being callous or not understanding. It's wanting to help you.
 

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I think sometimes people give us "the talk" because they don't want to see us hurting, and they don't know how to help. So to make themselves more comfortable, they ask us to stop showing that we're hurting. JMO.
I still cry about Toby, and he's gone over 8 years.


It hasn't been a month and I'm getting the talk. Time to move on, snap out of it, stop the crying. But I can't. Not yet.

He's not unsympathetic. He loved Watson as much as I did, but he wasn't his dog. He was mine. Our bond was so strong...he was my spirit dog. I cry every night.

Me blurting out last night that I wanted to get a tattoo didn't help. I didn't have to explain what kind, or where. It's understood, not accepted.

I wear his dog tags on a cord around my neck. It comforts me to hear the jingle. It's like he's right behind me.

When I ride my bike, I feel him on my back, with his puppy paws on my shoulders, the breeze flapping his ears as we sail along. Alone. Just us. I talk to him, tell him how I wished we had a bike back then.

I know I can't allow my grief to divide us. He was, after all, a dog and not a human. But I need to take my time with this grief. For the first time, I opened the baggie with his fur in it, and thought I would drop to my knees with the smell of him, the muskiness, the wet-dog aroma that never quite went away. It was powerful.

I know it gets better, but dealing with the humans around me is difficult. I mostly hide my tears. It's easier that way.

For anyone in my footsteps, it's a journey. Another one, where we go on without them. I've never done it, so if I find anything that helps I will share.
 

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Kate
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I think sometimes people give us "the talk" because they don't want to see us hurting, and they don't know how to help. So to make themselves more comfortable, they ask us to stop showing that we're hurting. JMO.
I still cry about Toby, and he's gone over 8 years.
That sure makes people sound selfish.... when in reality they can be very worried about a loved one.
 

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Discussion Starter #6
Thank you for sharing Megora, that was a long story to write, but I loved hearing it. It's how we each deal with our pain. I'm glad your sister found a way to go on without her Sammy. I know another dog is not in the cards for me.

hotel4dogs, I agree, our grief is upsetting and they just want to help. I understand, but still hard not to cry. I hope you have wonderful memories of your Toby.
 

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I really am sorry family is not as supportive. The depth of grief often measures the depth of the love. You grieve at your own pace, no one should tell you it's time to stop missing them. I will never stop missing mine, they passed within months of each other in 2016, I'm not over it, and don't expect I ever will be. There are others in my life now, and I love them dearly. I sincerely hope you will allow yourself that at some point. In the meantime, there's too many of us here that are intimately, and tragically, familiar with what you are experiencing. The grief is real, it really does cause pain, and we understand.
 

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Discussion Starter #8 (Edited)
thank you mylissyk, the support here has been a tremendous help. I'm sharing this because I'm sure there will be others who don't get the support they need at home. I know not everyone has such intense love for a dog. And that's okay too.

And it's not that SO isn't caring. He loved Watson so very much, and sobbed along with me at the very end, but he grieves differently. My crying upsets him because he doesn't know how to help me. He really just doesn't want to see me crying because it makes him feel helpless.

I know that my grief is selfish. I miss my wonderful dog. I dredge up those times where I could have done more or wasn't there for him when he needed me, and I wallow around in my self pity. It's weird, because it's a good pain, in a sort of scab-picking way. In time I will stop with the coulda-shoulda-woulda and truly 'move on' to another level of grief.

Writing Watson's Story has been a wonderful stroll down Memory Lane, but also very bittersweet. It sets me off crying every time I sit down to write. When I have finished his story, I think I will be able to turn off the tears a bit.
 

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In 74 we had a black lab that was our first heart dog. To this day, there's one picture of him that will bring tears to our eyes. Watson was your 'spirit' dog and he was a big part of your life. Your heart is broken right now and the others who loved him and miss him do not understand the your grief. They care about you and they are trying to be helpful. Many of us understand the depth of your grief so please continue to share with us. We are there for each other through the good and bad times. Sending hugs.
 
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