The Classic Brunette: What To Do When You Lose A Pet

Monday, August 29, 2016

What To Do When You Lose A Pet


Last Tuesday my family had to put down my little sweetheart Baby due to kidney disease. This isn't my first time losing one of my cats though. In middle school and high school I lost the two cats I had had since birth, two other tough losses. Baby's passing, however feels different somehow. I think it's because I was here from the start of him and his brother Tux's introduction into our family, whereas with my old cats they were already older than I was, and my parents had raised them from kittens to 20+ years old. Obviously I loved them dearly, but I feel I've taken Baby's death much harder than theirs. Baby was one of my best friends, and will forever be a part of me.  

I was having a rough time these past few days, and decided to google what others have said about the loss of a pet, but didn't really find anything. So I decided to write a post of my own to maybe help someone out there if they unfortunately have to go what I'm going through now. This is just what has personally worked for me in helping, at least a little in Baby's passing. Hopefully this advice will help someone else as well.

1. Don't Be Selfish

We had known for a few years that Baby had kidney disease. He was getting by and was happy as can be, but the weekend before his passing he was suddenly not himself. He wasn't eating or drinking, and spent all of his time on the floor and trying to hide from us. It was clear that something was wrong, but we all, myself especially, wanted to pretend that it wasn't as bad as it was. If your pet isn't acting like themselves, especially if they aren't eating or drinking, take them to the vet to see what's happening. Hopefully it's just a cold, but if it is something more serious, I urge you to think about how your pet wants to spend his/her last days. If they will be suffering in any way and aren't going to be able to live "their best life" then consider putting them out of their suffering. For Baby, he had gone into liver failure, and there's nothing we could have done, unless we wanted to give him fluids to keep him for another few days, which would have been completely unfair to do to him. I made this my first piece of advice because it was so hard for me to see that it was my cat's time to go, since I didn't want my time with him to end. Please please please don't be selfish with your pet's time.

2. Allow Yourself To Grieve

I've been crying all week. I cried when I thought he was just sick and might get better, I cried when my mom said we should make an appointment with the vet, and I cried when he took his final breath in my arms. I cried and cried and cried, and I'm still crying. If you're like me, your pets are your best friends. They've been with you for years, you can talk with them about anything, and they are your family. Losing a pet is a huge loss, and it will take a lot of time, so let yourself grieve as long as you need to.

3. Let Your Other Pets Grieve

Baby's brother Tux is still with us and we were worried how he was going to take Baby's passing. We normally have a vet come to our home, but unfortunately she was booked that day, so we took Baby to a pet hospital, but then brought him home for our regular vet to pick him up that night. Our vet said it was important to let Tux see Baby's body, so we let him come up to him, smell him, and notice that he wasn't reacting to him anymore. It's an important step in your other pet's grieving process so they have some understanding that he/she is gone and that they weren't taken somewhere and never came back. Tux still searches for Baby in the house, which is 100% normal. It's very sad to watch, but eventually they will come to understand. Pets can grieve just like humans, especially if your pets knew each other for many many years. Try your best to give them some extra love during this time, it's hard for them too.

4. Always Remember The Good Times

Try your best not to remember your pet as sick or in pain, they wouldn't want you to have that as your last memories of them. It helps me to remember all the cute little things that were just so "Baby." Things like how he liked to sharpen his claws on walls, even though he didn't have any. If you focus on the happy times, it will hopefully bring you happiness instead of sadness. Do I still think of all the cute things he used to do and cry about it because I miss him? Of course I do. But I want to remind myself of these happy memories of him so that I will always have them in my mind when I think of him in the future.

Sorry this post was a little different and more personal than normal, but I really felt like I needed to write this, even if it was just to help myself in this process. Hopefully this will reach someone who needs it.

Dedicated to Baby, AKA: My sweet little prince, Buhbee, Babel, Signature prime Baby, Mr.Baby, Pretty boy. I hope you gained your claws over the Rainbow Bridge.

52 comments:

  1. I've gone through losing my only 3-year-old cat to kidney failure... gosh that was a difficult time for me. He was my cuddly boy and passed too young.

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    1. Oh no that must have been horrible. I can't even imagine losing my cat that young, I'm so sorry.

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  2. I never had a pet but this grief is real. I think many will relate to this!

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  3. Aw I am so sorry to hear this. My cat passed of the same thing a couple years ago. Great tips, especially #3. You are in my thoughts.

    xo,
    Sara Kate Styling

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    1. Thank you :) I'm sorry for your cat as well, it's such a hard thing to go through.

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  4. I am so sorry you had to go through losing your cat! I am always a wreck when I lose an animal. The Rainbow Bridge poem is one of my favourites!

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    1. I love that poem too. My vet always sends it out a few days after, never fails to make me tear up!

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  5. This is my greatest fear. Thank you for sharing this. Sending you good vibes. Xo

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    1. I hope you don't have to go through this anytime soon! Thank you :)

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  6. Sorry to hear about your cat. Our animals can be great friends.

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    1. Thank you, they really are a special part of the family.

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  7. We lost our cat of 10 years last November and it was really hard for my kids and husband who have never had to deal with a loss of a pet before. It was a very emotional few months. Everyone is finally at the point where they remember the good and don't start crying when they think about him.

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    1. I'm glad you all are finally at a good point. I'm sorry for your loss!

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  8. The first one is hard for me. My dog Peanut suffered for a bit but was still spunky so I didn't want to put her down. In the end she died at the house in pain. It was a selfish move I won't make again. I had no idea that it's important for the other pets to see the body of a deceased animal. It makes sense though and I'll do that from now on even though it will be hard for me. Unfortunately my mom lost her dog Gizmo recently to a chicken hawk and we never saw him again. My baby Scrappy always looks for him when we go to moms for a visit because they were close. It would've been nice to give him some closure :(

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    1. I know, it was very hard for me and my family as well. I think we had the right timing for Baby as it didn't seem like he was in any actual pain, just definitely not himself and he knew something was wrong. It's such a hard decision to make. I'm so sorry for your and your mom's loss.

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  9. I'm so sorry for your loss. I love my pets like members of the family, so I cannot even imagine. Great tips.

    Coffee Beans and Bobby Pins

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    1. Thank you, it's very difficult. I hope you don't have to go through this anytime soon.

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  10. I'm so very sorry to hear of your loss. It can be so difficult when they become a true member of your family.

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    1. Thank you, it's difficult because you don't think they're going to pass so suddenly either.

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  11. I'm so sorry for your loss. It's amazing how pets can really become a member of the family and I can't imagine losing my dog. Thinking of you in this hard time. XO, Nicole // www.empirestyles.com

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    1. Thank you so much, I hope you don't have to go through this for a long time with your dog!

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  12. I am so sorry to hear this, Sami! I've had my sweet puppy for ten years now and can't image life without her!

    xoxo,
    Katie
    chicincarolina.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you, hope you get many many many extra years with your pup!

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  13. Oh Sami, I just want to give you a hug! You're such a strong girl! I know how hard it is to lose a pet, especially one you were close to. These are all VITAL parts to getting past the grief!

    Xo,
    Tiffani

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    1. Thanks Tiffani, it means so much! It's so tough to lose the furry family members in our lives.

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  14. I actually dealt with this a couple months ago when my puppy passed. My heart still hurts. So sorry for your loss :(

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    1. Oh no I'm so sorry, I hope you can move on to the happy memories quickly.

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  15. I am so sorry for your loss, sweet girl. Sending you virtual hugs, love, and prayers during this difficult time.

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  16. I'm sorry for your loss! Losing a member of the family (pets included) is devastating. Thank you for this, I know my girl is starting to age a bit and I'm not ready for her to go.

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    1. I hope you get many more years with your sweet girl, thank you for your words! :)

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  17. Losing a pet is devastating. I miss my cat every day. I am so sorry that you had to say goodbye to your cat but I'm glad he's out of pain.

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    1. Thank you, it's been a difficult time, but knowing that he's in a happy pain-free place makes it a little better.

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  18. I am so very sorry to hear about Baby, losing a pet is like losing a life long best friend, it really is awful. You will get through it. <3

    La Belle Sirene

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  19. Sorry to hear about your pet. Great tips! I went through this years ago, and you're right, remembering the good times is always a plus

    Fatima
    Publisher | Motherhood Through My Eyes
    http://motherhoodthroughmyeyes.com

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    1. Thank you, sorry about your own pet even if it was a few years ago. Hope there's only happy memories!

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  20. Oh this just absolutely crushes my heart. I am so sorry for your loss <3
    XO Amanda | www.glitterandspice.com

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  21. Our first dog passed when I was young and I was so sad but did't really understand it all. I can't image the day my sweet girl now will have to go. I am so sorry but the best memories help to work though it

    http://styledbys.ca

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    1. I feel like that's how it was with my cats as well. I loved them so much, but wasn't fully aware of things. I feel it just gets more difficult as you get older too.

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  22. I'm so sorry to hear about your loss. This must have been really hard to write, so thank you for sharing these tips.

    -Kim :)
    www.simplybeingkim.wordpress.com

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    1. Thank you, Kim. I'm hoping in writing this someone else will have an easier time than I've had.

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  23. I'm so sorry to hear about your cat. /: I haven't had to go through losing a pet, but I can imagine that it would be very difficult.
    xoxo
    Amy | Pastel N Pink

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    1. Thanks Amy. I hope you don't have to go through it!

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  24. I am so sorry for your loss. I think that #1 is such an important tip because you need to try to do what's best for you pet even if it's hard on you, which is a really difficult position to be in.

    Kristin
    The Blush Blonde

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    1. Thank you :) It really is the most difficult part of everything that's happened.

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  25. So sorry for your loss. Losing a family pet is tragic!

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  26. I am so sorry to hear about your loss. I know exactly what you are going through. I lost my very special Maine Coon in February just a few days before his 10th birthday. I cried an ocean of tears for days before and after. I still cry every time I look at his picture. His brother was depressed for 3 months. He lost weight and just walked around the house crying. It will take a long time but part of my heart went with him. I totally get how you are feeling.

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    1. Thank you Gloria. I'm so sorry about your kitties. It can be so stressful on the other pets in the household. I know part of my heart went with Baby as well. Hope there are better times ahead for you :)

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