A community of peers created by the Soaring Spirits Loss Foundation
I know that some might think that pets are not appropriate as subjects after losing our spouses but I think they are. After Don died I was helped so much by having a very loving kitty, Proto, who slept with me, loved me, followed me all over, made me laugh with his silliness and made it easier for me to be alone.
Today Proto was dx with Hypertrophic Cardiomyopathy. Next week he will have Ultrasound to see how much his heart has thickened. No matter what, he will need daily medication in order to have a
"normal" life for months or a couple of years. It breaks my heart and I will do whatever is needed to keep him comfortable.
If it was not for our dog Cagney and two cats Bruin and McNugget I don't think I would be able to get out of bed. I lost my husband Joe August 29, 11 and my babies have been such a support to me. One night I was crying hysterically and Cagney climbed into bed laid down next to me and put her paw on my hand, it was so comforting. The cats were by Joe's side through his last days, they were always with him in bed I know that they knew he was sick. Still to this day Cagney will come home and run around the house looking for Joe, sometimes she acts like someone is in the house with us and even though there is no one I swear its Joe's spirit she can sense. The babies keep me active and get me out of the house, I constantly take Cagney to the dog park where I can socialize with other people and get out of the house for a little bit. I would honestly be lost without my pets, I thank God for them every day.
Pets have been a huge source of comfort for me and my daughter. We lost our dog Riley 6 months aftermy husband died but we still had his dog Jake. My husband always wanted a black coat retreiver and we found Jake in Ohio through their prison dog program. Jake had huge problems when Keith died, luckily my very understanding boss let me bring him to work during that first summer and it seemed to help We then got a siberian husky puppy Nika. Jake was not happy. His old problems came back. We did everything we could spending as much time with him and even putting him on medication. He became very aggressive attacking Nika and our 3 cats. After he lunged at me and my daughter we agreed he had to put him down. That was so hard to do as he was Keiths dog and it was like our last living link to him. I miss Jake as he would sleep with me and keep me company. We have since added another husky to our family Skyler. Having these 2 puppies have kept me laughing with their antics and that is a good thing.
After losing my husband Oct. 21, '11 I don't know what I would have done without my dog. I don't have children, but she's like a child to me. She's my reason to keep going because I know that no matter how low I get, I still have to take care of her every day. She's 11 years old, but I'm sure hoping to have her a number of more years. She snuggles with me every night and is my constant companion all day. Plus she is extremely protective of me (and large!) and I'm not afraid to be here without my husband with her around.
I have two little furballs named Rufus and Oscar, who are an amazing help. It was a lot of work to get them back to the US from London (airlines don't take Shih Tzus, at least not on transatlantic flights, so I had to take a boat) but there was no way I could leave them behind. I've been kind of antisocial since my husband died in August, and they're wonderful company - very affectionate and playful. They curl up with me in bed, which saves me from having to sleep alone. And as some others have mentioned, no matter how bad I'm feeling I have to feed, walk and groom them. It's good to have someone to care for, someone who needs me and is always excited to see me. And it's nice to remember how much Lineu (who had never been a dog person previously) loved and enjoyed them (see attached photo).
She is cute! I'm such a big dog lover, oh hell if it breaths I love it! lol My husband and I both had our own dogs, now I have them both all 180 lb. between them. Copper my husbands dog will put his head right up next to mine and I swear he's trying to get me to read his mind, it's strange how they just know we need them. I'm glad you have yours.
That is such a sweet story, Cyndi!
Cindy, my husband and I had a beautiful Weimaraner. She was 5 and she was my husbands dog. I used to say in the pecking order it was her then me. When Jim got sick and passed in less then a month she mourned him. Within six months she passed. I was devastated. I felt like pieces of Jim were being taken away. Everyone told me to not get another dog since it was easier for me to travel or go see the grandkids or whatever. One day I woke up and thought "it isn't about them it is about me and I want a dog." I tried every Weim rescue in Calif. but no one would let me have one since my yard is so small. Finally my sister said try other states not too far away and sure enough 2 months ago today Vegas Weim rescue called me and I got a 11 month old girl. Miss Bella Bean. She is precious. One of the only decisions I have made that was perfect. Thanks for sharing your story so I could share mine.
Thank you for posting this, I couldn't have gone though all of this, without my kitten Barney, now 1 yr old.
They are so comforting , cuddling and lovable, all the things we missed so much as widows.
Over a year ago, my husband and son came to my place of work with this border collie mix puppy. I had been wanting a basset hound, but in they come with this little black and white puppy with a fat bellie, SO cute! Then my husband gives me a look and says "It's up to you." Right! He knew if he brought it in a public place with everyone ohhing and ahhing over a little puppy, how could I say no and look like the bad guy? Oh, my husband LOVED that dog from the get go. We named him Gulliver. I hadn't seen my husband that happy since his mom died several years earlier, this dog gave him life again. I used to call Gulliver "The Brat." We have 2 other dogs (3 total, yes, I finally got my basset as a fluke through a rescue, didn't want a 3rd dog after Gulliver, but that just happened). Gulliver LOVED my husband, he knew he could do no wrong in my husband's eyes. After my husband first died, it was SO hard for me to even look into Gulliver's eyes. I swear I could see sorrow and pain there and longing to have his buddy back. I know he is still looking for Steve, I can tell. Even though I didn't have a close bond with Gulliver, I am determined to now and to spoil him rotten. No way could I get rid of that dog. Our lab/mix, Maggie, is 12 years old. Steve and I got her together, someone giving away free puppies in front of Walmart. Then our basset, Daisy, who, my son calls "A whole bunch of sweetness held together by fat." lol
We have a cat and a guinea pig too. I have been thinking of getting a kitten. I mentioned this to my son and he is so excited, he can't wait to go to the humane society to look for a black cat or kitten, we decided we're going to get a black one. I don't know why, just something we decided. I'm going to wait a week or so just to make sure it's what I want to do. I know I'm trying to fill the void in our hearts through another animal, but whatever helps I suppose.
Two? ROFL! Yeah, that's why we are going to get a black one. Our Humane Society here won't adopt out black ones in the month of October. If you want a black one then, you have to come back after Halloween and get it. My son is thinking the same "Salem" for it, and said we should call it "Lucky." But we'll wait and see if we even do this.
I had no idea this "thread" was still going on after all of this time. Yes, our pets are very important to us.
My kitty, Proto, is now 11 years old and still okay with his heart issues and all. He has a prescription diet, heart pill every day and every goodie I can think of.
Proto is a black cat and I would not have thought about black cats being hard to find homes for but I guess the superstition angle makes sense. When Don and I spent months at the beach where we had a house there were always so many feral cats around and we were often guilty of feeding them. Almost all of them were black - or black with a little white. Who knew? We just felt awful because they were all abandoned before renters left the beach . One year there were 70 feral cats on the island . So sad and they were too defensive to come right up to you..........
I also love the "whole lotta love held together by fat" !! So sweet!
If it weren't for my dogs, I wouldn't have gotten out of bed. Since my husband died my dogs have gone through 4 or more surgeries, and they always keep me on my toes. But to come home to that kind of love every day makes it worth it, also I get tons of snuggles every night with them. People keep asking me when I am going to give them up, esp since moving with them is proving to be incredibly difficult. Never. They make me want to continue living.