Losing pets


Got a heavy old heart today…some good friends have lost their beautiful dog last night in a freak accident. She was a beautiful girl, loved by all who knew her and she will be deeply missed by her family. Even though we just knew this dog from visiting and seeing her around the village, I’ve been so sad today. Heaven knows how the people who loved her and raised her are feeling.

We had a dog when I was a young girl. While the dog was around us for many years, I must say that I never had a real connection with her. She was a dog that belonged to my Mum, and I suppose all her love and attention came from her. Rob had a beautiful Jack Russell called Emily when he was growing up. She slept in or at the end of his bed for years and he said he was a mess when she eventually died. The girls are DESPERATE to get a dog. And I know that we will…eventually. The walking and feeding and cleaning will eventually come to me and I guess I’m holding off on the responsibility for as long as I can get away with. My little sister got their beautiful dog Kevin Bacon not long after my brother in law was recovering from his terrible accident 18 months ago. He is a child for them – such an important and loved member of their family. Animals can give so much can’t they? Unconditional love. Companionship. Understanding. Just being there…always so happy and ready to remind us of the simple things in life that actually matter.

It’s hard to get over a sudden death of a pet I’m sure. Same goes for a pet that you’ve had for a long time. Any loss really. I know one day we will have to face it with our own dog when we eventually get one as we so often outlive our furry friends. For any of you that have lost your best friend, and for my friends that have lost their beautiful girl, I’m so sorry. Dogs and cats and animals bring so much joy and love into peoples lives…thank goodness we have them. They are missed and never forgotten x

Have you lost a dear pet?
Did people understand your loss or did you feel a pressure to move on because it was just an animal?
Got any practical suggestions for dealing with the loss?


  1. Louisa Kenneday says

    When I first emigrated here, when I was 18, the first thing I did was get a puppy.
    She was spotty, ( kelpie cross something spotty) so I called here “Smartie”.( like the chocolates)
    She was my only friend while I settled in this new country.
    Unfortunately she had a birth defect and only lived for 3 years.
    She was a crazy girl and I loved her so much.
    I listened to kasey chambers on repeat.
    Made it worse I think( no offence).
    What did come out of it was: my mum never liked dogs until Smartie melted her heart. Now she loves them! We talk about her often. I will post a photo under the status 🙂 pets bring so much joy.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Oh Smartie! I just know that as soon as I let one into my heart I will be sold on them for life! Thanks for sharing x

  2. Bree Di Mattina says

    We lost one dog when I was about 11 and that was very hard. Mum and Dad had him longer than they’d had me. We got another pup about 6 months later and he lasted til I was about 25. When he died although I had 2 dogs of my own by then I was a mess. I stopped short of having the day off work but did break down in the office several times. Thankfully my boss and Co workers were also animal lovers so they didn’t think I was a total freak. Our 2 boys are 9 this year and I’m very much not looking forward to when they go. Our kids will be about the same age I was when our first dog died…. so the cycle continues. But I wouldn’t be without them…

  3. I lost my second boy only two weeks ago and the gaping hole it has left is killing me, I have not been alone in my own house for 13 years and I am already looking for rescue dogs.. Miss my gorgeous boys oh so much x

  4. Oh, sad news Beth, a heavy heart indeed. We are dog people, mainly because of working dogs on the farm, but I grew up with a gorgeous golden cocker spaniel, Penny. She was essentially my sisters dog, but of course we all loved her and she was a true family member for most of our childhoods, a great companion to my mum after we all grew and left home and my parents separated. Then one day Penny couldn’t breathe, or stand up, she was elderly and had had a few breast cancers removed. The vet told us the news that we knew anyway – she would die in her sleep that night or he could put her down. My mum couldn’t stay in the room, my sister was living in London at the time, I stayed with Penny as she closed her eyes and her little chest stopped moving. I’ve buried friends, young people, family members, but the grief I felt in losing Penny was just the same, that all-consuming, can’t breathe, HEAVING sobbing grief. That phone call to my sister in London is still the hardest I’ve had to make. Then, 18 months ago when we were on our around-Australia honeymoon my sister called ME – and I literally dropped to the ground in the main street of Kununurra and sobbed and cried liked a banshee sitting in the gutter. Our horse Midnight who I can’t remember not being around, had to be put down, my sisters were making the journey home to be there when they did it, having a champagne and toasting our beautiful girl. I felt so, so, so far away. The same all-consuming heaving grief hit me, it’s a very funny business grieving and loss and dealing with it all, whether it’s the human or animal variety.

  5. We lost our beautiful dog a couple of months ago. He was 12 and I can’t believe how devastated we have felt and what a hole it has left. Our children have never known a time he wasn’t here and we still miss him every day. The work required to look after a pet is hard but the benefits so outweigh all that. One good thing out of it all was the love and kindness we were shown by so many people – our beautiful vet sent an amazing card that had me in floods of tears at the letterbox. We had beautiful cards from friends, hugs at the school gate and lots of special messages – really made me realise what a part of a beautiful community we’ve become.

  6. I had my precious toy poodle, Brutus, put down a few years ago. He was 14 and the most loveable dog. He knew everything you did and said to the point that I had to spell w-a-l-k or h-o-l-i-d-a-y. He would stand in the hallway for the first couple of days just looking at the front door where I had left (my sister told me) with a hang dog expression on his face. I can’t bring myself to replace him.

  7. My sweet baby Toby is my photo, he brings us great joy… I can’t bear to think of when he might not be around. Friends of ours who live in Bundanoon have just started a Pet Cremation business. You could not meet kinder more understanding people. Their website (designed by my husband) has some good suggestion for coping with pet loss…especially for children. http://www.fittingfarewells.com.au

  8. Lisa Mckenzie says

    I feel sad for you too,it is so hard when you lose an animal they become part if the family and quite frankly can be nicer than people some times.they know when your sick sad or just need a cuddle ,big hugs to you and your friend Beth xx

  9. Anita Holmes says

    We had 2 cats. Our “son” was our sweetie baby. Loved being outside, he would literally bury his face in the grass & breathe. We named him Pippin after the character on Lord of the Rings. When gardening he would follow you around and flop on the spot you were working on so he could have a belly rub. He was our catdog. His tail would wag crazily & he’d meow long and loud when he saw you. He would follow us up the street to our neighbours & wait at the end of their drive for us to leave. We would then be escorted home with lots of “chatting” & tail wagging. He would have turned 11 last December but he didn’t make it that far. A friend of ours dropped their new rescue dog into our fenced back yard early one morning. I was still asleep. Fortunately hubby & daughter were away with our dog & the other cat was in the secured area downstairs. Pippin never went in the back garden because of our dog, but that day he must have thought he’d be ok as she wasn’t there. I never heard a thing. No barking, no cat yowling, nothing. I found him went I went to hang out the washing. I thought he was asleep on the grass & that the dog hadn’t found him. I was wrong. I cried so hard I couldn’t breathe, then rang our friend & told him & he cried, left work & drove straight over. Then I had to ring my husband and tell him his boy was gone. It’ll be a year next month that we buried our son in the front garden under the lavender & I still have a little cry every day. My poor sweetie baby didn’t deserve to go that way. He would have been so scared & that just breaks my heart.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Oh Anita! So sad. It’s terrible that you have those memories as his last…that he was scared. This just about broke my heart… 🙁

  10. Margaret Elvis says

    As you can imagine Beth, at our age we have tearfully farewelled many furry friends. Phil and I have bade goodbye to 3 much loved dogs and too many cats to almost remember, and yet we do remember all of them. We take them to our hearts with the knowledge, if we live out our three score years and ten (or beyond), that we will have to go through lots of heartbreaks saying farewell to loved pets.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Little Harper said to me yesterday “that even when they are gone they are in our hearts forever…” so true and wise for 4 years old!

  11. Today is my Lilli Labrador’s 11th birthday. I can’t believe she is that old already and totally dread the next couple of years as she ages. She is the most beautiful girl and is lying on the couch snoring her head off as I write this. To think that one day she won’t be here is devastating.
    I’ve been through the loss my beloved mate Maxy. He was 14 when he died. I will never ever forget the trip to the vet as I sobbed uncontrollably knowing what was ahead for him and that I wouldn’t be bringing him home. I had him cremated and to this day he sits in my lounge room next to his photo watching over us, sounds weird but it’s very comforting for us, he was and always will be part of our family. I had a week off work, lost my mojo for some time but thankfully had the love of Lilli and my then pup Daisy the Labradoodle to get me through.

    These pups demand very little and give back in spades. Their unconditional love and affection is unique and they are certainly very important members of our pack.

    Grieving for a pet is very real and the loss you feel can certainly take some time to heal.
    Even though I know how much it hurts when they are no longer with us it would never stop me having a dog in my life. The joy and happiness they bring into a home is addictive.

    I only wished they lived as long a elephants!

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      So true Mel. What they give to us in life they certainly are what’s hardest to miss in grief when they are gone x

  12. What a well timed post Beth, I lost my baby last Monday night. She was a gorgeous little Chihuahua, very loving, not snappy or evil like chihuahuas can be. My little Tinkerbell always believe she was human and as such refused to eat dog food. On the first day we got her she was cold and whimpering on the floor while we were eating tea, my husband picked her up to hold her while we eat (she was as big as your hand) next thing this feisty little dog lunged at his plate and grabbed a big mouthful of mash! Our lives changed for the better that day and she bought so much enjoyment to our lives. She slept with us and I taught her to kiss us good night, so each night before she ducked under the covers she would touch her nose to ours and down she’d go. Last Monday she started vomiting and in the space of 12 hours she was gone, it’s believe a tumour ruptured and flooded her body with red blood cells. Our family is devastated and I’ve struggled to function since. I have to say everyone has been super understanding, work colleagues have been great (I do work with animal lovers though)

  13. The hardest two pets to lose were our 20-year-old orange & white cat, Fletcher, who followed us everywhere and thought he was a dog. Our older son was 16 when Fletcher died.

    Next up was our very first dog raised from a puppy, Bear, a golden retriever, who made it to the vet’s examining room at age 13, laid down, turned his head to the wall and just stopped breathing. My thought was, I will never have these silken ears to pet anymore. We lasted two months of crying, and I finally said I can’t take this and went on the search for another golden (see avatar). Crosby’s now 6 and a smart, loving dog, although not as silly-acting as Bear. They are all unique. I’ve loved all our gazillion pets and can’t imagine life without a pet.

    Even now our 8-yr-old Cockatiel is sitting on my shoulder, nattering away. Pets bring such joy.

  14. I am a crazy cat lady from way back. I had a beautiful tabby cat who I got from my sister when I was 12 – she lived till I was 31. She would follow me to the bus stop for school, lick my tears off my face when I was crying and sat on my non cat person husband and all his belongings until he turned to love her too. It was very sad to lose her, she grew up with me. She had a great life and was only sick for two weeks before she died. I still half expect to see her in her garden spots at my parents house when I visit. I waited a year and felt so empty with no pet so we adopted Sasha ( in my pic) she is still a hyper kitten and very different personality to Winnie but I hope she too will be my friend for 20 years to come! Pets really complete a family.

  15. Losing a pet for me was harder than losing a relative. Pets love unconditionally. They are themselves at all times. And they are wonderful company. I had to bury two of my dogs and it was hard both times. Their dead weight was so so heavy. How often do we have to say goodbye and dig the grave of someone we love?
    My parents are such dog lovers but they won’t get another because of the heartbreak of losing their previous pets.
    Rest in peace Pepper, Meg, Curdy, Toby and Jazz.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      Beautiful Carly. And so true…we never have to do that for other people. No wonder it hurts so much. May they all rest in peace indeed x

  16. Mel Duker says

    I write my blog from the perspective of my dog over at http://www.1stworlddog.com
    Bodhi is an amazing member of our family. He teaches me SO much everyday. He has also helped me create a whole new group of friends as we have started competing in dog sports (this weekend we are pushing outside our comfort zone and competing in agility at Sydney’s Royal Easter Show…. OMG!!!! I am crazy!!!!). This furry little guy is also the big brother and best friend to my 3 year old. I can’t imagine life without him. But I know his life will be short and we are going to enjoy every moment of it. I read something recently about dogs…. ‘They might be a part of your life but you are their life’. If the Mac family choose to get a dog sometime in the future I hope you get a little soul that adds as much enjoyment to your family as my little man does to ours.

    • BabyMacBlogBeth says

      So beautiful Mel! And so true. This post has just made me closer to getting a dog. Such beautiful and caring words from everyone. OMG GOOD LUCK at the show!!!

      • Mel Duker says

        And don’t forget to consider a rescue dog…. When the time comes let me know if you need a hand getting in contact with people help with rescue dogs. While we don’t directly we train with heaps of people who do.
        Glass of bravery red wine finished so off to bed now for some sleep before a scary weekend.

  17. I watched Marley and Me last night. I love that film but it breaks my heart every time. The book is even more tear inducing. My mum lost her dog (who she weirdly named the same as me, only he was a boy,) last year. It was just like she lost a relative; he was her best friend, her son and her companion all in one. He totes thought he was a person and was treated like one. He left a massive hole in my mum’s heart. Her grief was crippling and I felt so bad for her, especially after a few months, people just thought she should buck up because “he was just a dog.” I don’t think she’ll ever get over it but she just got a new puppy. I’m so happy she’s got another dog to love. And she’s given him a different name to me which is always a bonus!

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