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'Get Over It'

Posted by: LucyBarton Posts: 2 - Joined: Fri Jun 24th, 2011 03:06 pm

#9 - by LucyBarton >> Fri Jun 24th, 2011 03:38 pm

After losing my dog, Albert-Jack my heart broke and at the time I felt I had lost my reason for living. Suddenly my baby boy, my best friend was no longer with me. Some days I wouldn't even get dressed as there was no point - I had no need to leave the house now I no longer had 'walkies' to attend to. I was very lucky as a Veterinary Nurse, to be surrounded by lots of like-minded individuals who fully appreciated my loss and knew just how much our pets mean to us. Not 'just a dog' but a valued and adored member of the family.

However, I came across a number of individuals who didn't understand this concept. To them, Albert was simply a dog and I was expected to 'get over it' and I was 'making myself ill'. And the number of people who responded with 'when are you getting another one?' when they found out about my loss. That in particular really irritated me - in the same way you couldn't replace a human member of the family for example a parent, partner, sibling etc, you cannot simply buy another pet to fill the void. Yet a lot of people seem to view this phrase as acceptable.

This site is a wonderful idea - and so needed. Especially for those who are grieving and have people who expect them to cry for a day or so and then move on. People need somewhere welcoming and informative to come to to discuss their feelings - but more importantly to know that grieving for their beloved pet as they would any other member of the family, is in fact normal. It is not something that they should be made to feel ashamed of, nor should they feel rushed into getting over it quicker than they are ready for. Indeed, losing a beloved pet is sometimes harder than losing a relative - because your pet is a constant in your daily routine and your life and their loss is so much more instantly noticeable. Having a site such as this where like-minded people can communicate and help each other is invaluable in the grieving process - especially for those who do not have such an understanding support network in their daily lives.

It's a brilliant idea and I have no doubt it will be a welcome source of support for many.
Lucy
Posted by: Admin Posts: 60 - Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011 01:05 am

#20 - by Admin >> Mon Aug 1st, 2011 04:50 pm

Some posts on our Facebook page about this topic:

"I have been in the same situation...trying to explain to people that it was not 'just a cat or a dog' they are far more than that,they are your companion,your friend and your family,in my case more family than some of my siblings"

"With both my late dog and my current dog, I feel that they are the family I got to choose; and for this reason it kind of makes them my best friends too :) I have loads of sympathy and empathy for anyone that has to go through the loss of a relative, regardless of their species."

"I was devastated last year after losing two 14yr old cats (Mo & Oscar) within 10 weeks of each other. I really struggled with Oscars death due to the relationship we had. I was referred to Cruse bereavement but found I was unable to go to a meeting because I thought people would look down on me if they were there for the deaths of children or parents. I didnt go in the end, I just tried not to think about him. Does anyone else feel like this, that its not as important as the death of a person and people will think just pull yourself together xx"

"I was lucky when I had my beloved Jessie put to sleep 6 weeks ago. I had loads of 'cat' people to talk to on Facebook about it. It helped me over my grief. People who don't like animals don't understand those of us who do."

"I found it easier to come to terms with my dad's death than any of the cat's i have lost,one year i lost 3 cats within 6 months of each other and then 2 years i lost 2 cats within 5 days of each other and i have never felt so devestated, it is very hard to bet some to understand just what they mean to us,i recently in june lost another one of my beloved fur babies and i dread knowing i have to face the loss of any of the 13 cats i have now,lucky over the last year i have come to know so many cat lovers on facebook that i know there is always someone i can talk to on here and i feel so blessed to know that,my heart goes out to anyone that feels the loss of their pet and feels they have no one to talk to ."

" i feel the same way....my cat died a year ago this week. He was 14 yrs old and got sick quite quickly...was diagnosed with cancer and died a week later....i completely went to pieces. It was so hard and i still get very tearful even thinking about him....he was my best bud for so long. I also, feel that people dont understand how much they become a part of your life....they just say its only an animal....but they are so much more than that. xx"
The Ralph Site Admin
Posted by: Admin Posts: 60 - Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011 01:05 am

#70 - by Admin >> Fri Dec 16th, 2011 10:49 pm

From our Facebook page:

"I heard this today from a vet nurse who has told bereaved pet carers about the Ralph site: "The most common feedback I've had is that it just helps to see that what they're feeling is perfectly normal and that most owners in that position feel very similar emotions, despite what other "friends" and work colleagues all too often seem to say, "It's only a dog/cat" etc!". We have discussed this before on this page and its terrible to think of people grieving for their pets in isolation, thinking that they are being unreasonable or silly. Please do what you can to reach out to anyone you know who has suffered pet loss or is going to soon. This is even more important at this time of the year; first Christmas without their furry friend for some people and in some cases their pet was all the family they had at Christmas. Thanks, Shailen."
The Ralph Site Admin
Posted by: schrodingers cat Posts: 10 - Joined: Thu Nov 17th, 2011 06:10 pm

#106 - by schrodingers cat >> Sun Jan 8th, 2012 12:02 pm

I completely understand. I`m about to lose my best friend Claude. Some people have said to me "My friend has got a dog you can have" Like he`s just an ornament that can be replaced by a similar one. Its done in good faith. Pity these people they have gone through life not knowing how special the relationship you can have with a dog is. My life would have been empty without the contribution Claude, his now deceased mother and sister have made to it. Saying that we are a special type of dog owner and i`ve no doubt that not far from you there will be a rescue center full of these special beings in dire need of good owners. Of course you`ll never replace your friend, although friend is too smaller word for them. Dont try but when the time comes there`s no harm in getting a new friend, they wont be the same but one day they`ll become as special and until they make that transition your providing a nice loving home for them to live in :)
Posted by: Anne Marie Sweeney Posts: 1 - Joined: Fri Mar 2nd, 2012 08:44 am

#238 - by Anne Marie Sweeney >> Wed May 9th, 2012 10:50 am

I have had my dog for 11 years and 3 months. I had her mum so I was there as she was born. She is a great age for her breed (neo/english mastiff) but now I am crying daily as I am sure she will not be with me much longer. I think you just know. I don't want to feel like this! I should be enjoying our lives together and would boot my own behind if I could. Does anyone else feel like this? She is still healthy and eats well but is sleeping probably 19 hours a day and the old back legs are going. Unfortunately, we have to climb 10 stairs to get into the house and after a (short) walk, I am now having to use a towel under her to give her some help up the stairs. Should I stop walking her? Will I know when it's time up? One thing I do know is that when the time comes, I will be there with her talking to her and loving her the way I always have. She will only be a breath away and I will have this site to help me x
annemarie sweeney
Posted by: Gabrielle Ball Posts: 1 - Joined: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 03:53 pm

#254 - by Gabrielle Ball >> Thu Jun 14th, 2012 04:08 pm

I lost my little girl dog in April, after 11 wonderful years. She came to me as a rescue dog, and am finding it so hard to deal with. I miss her so much every day. And yes after reading other posts, it amazes me how many people think you should just get over it! However, I have been quite lucky in that many of my colleagues who are none animal lovers have allowed me to cry and talk about her and have showed empathy. I guess not everyone is as narrow and single minded as some! This is a wonderful site I have just stumbled across, it does make it easier knowing I am not the only person to grieve for a beloved pet and friend who have gone before. Thank you. x
Posted by: Diane Bishop Leathley Posts: 1 - Joined: Thu Jun 14th, 2012 07:57 pm

#255 - by Diane Bishop Leathley >> Thu Jun 14th, 2012 08:06 pm

I have never understood how anyone cannot grasp the grief over a pets death. All the pets I have loved right from a child to now are in my heart and I can conjure up their faces and their little ways and 'see' them in my mind. They are a huge part of my life and have given me comfort through all my growing up stages. Been there when cried over being bullied at school as a young child ( dog sandy) through boyfriends ( cat Timmy) through my Mums death ( cat Molly, who died a month later herself). Now I have Poppy the cat...terror and all round mad cat..LOL...she is helping me through my eldest daughters long term illness... All precious and all loved forever whether here or not....
I think there are more like us around who understand the depth of relationships we have with our pets than those who don't.
I too think this is a great site and gives so much support and comfort x
Posted by: Penny Hudson Posts: 155 - Joined: Tue Mar 13th, 2012 03:35 pm

#256 - by Penny Hudson >> Thu Jun 14th, 2012 09:14 pm

I understand how you feel Gabrielle - I lost my cat Toffee in December, and am finding it very difficult to deal with. I miss her so much, and feel heartbroken. I have photos all around and even a couple of her little nails. We have her buried under the garden seat, which has a little plaque on it, and her grave is planted with pink and white flowers. I have several friends who have lost their precious pets in the last few months, and we all have supported one another. There is no "getting over" it for me at this moment in time - each day all sorts of occurences bring back the little things she used to do, and the darling little companion and baby she was to us.

I am thinking of you Gabrielle and share you sorrow. Bless you. xx
Posted by: Penny Hudson Posts: 155 - Joined: Tue Mar 13th, 2012 03:35 pm

#257 - by Penny Hudson >> Thu Jun 14th, 2012 09:25 pm

Diane - I agree with you that there are more of us who understand the depth of relationships we have with our pets than those who don't. The unconditional love they give us far exceeds the love that people often give to one another, and they rely on us totally. I have had 2 precious cats and the love I have received from them and the companionship at times when I have lived alone has been so precious. Toffee died in December and the last 6 months I have been so sad, and the grief has caused me to be quite unwell. This is a great site and I have felt a lot of comfort and care from it. Bless you Diane and I hope that your daughter soon recovers from her illness. Poppy sounds adorable xxx
Posted by: Admin Posts: 60 - Joined: Wed Jun 8th, 2011 01:05 am

#263 - by Admin >> Sat Jun 16th, 2012 10:55 am

From Facebook:

"The whole 'get over it, it's only an animal' thing really does my head in!!

The day that I lost my Mollycat, I had to go in and do a presentation at uni- needless to say I didn't do very well- when I explained about Molly dying, one of the examiners literally laughed in my face and said 'oh well, you can get another one'. It still hurts- it was just so horribly insensitive, as I was utterly devastated. That cat had had been a part of my life since I was 6 years old, and she left a huge hole when she left...

I now have two rabbits, who I adore! People just don't 'get it', especially when I push rabbit welfare and the whole 'a hutch is not enough' concept- I often get 'it's only a rabbit'.

It's such a shame that a) they won't open their minds and b) that they've never held an animal close to their hearts. It's their loss at the end of the day! ;)" (Jordan)

"I totally agree with you Jordan and this sort of attitude both angers and saddens me. My 14 year old dog had to be pts three weeks ago and my 17 year old cat same thing last August. I found people to be generally sympathetic but I also hate the comment "well, they had a good innings" - as though my boys were some sort of a bizarre cricket match. People can be so clumsy at times. As you say, it is their loss not to have experienced such an important part of life. I have such happy memories that such people cannot possibly imagine. Their lack." (Annie)
The Ralph Site Admin
Posted by: Anne Bond Posts: 15 - Joined: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 08:52 am

#275 - by Anne Bond >> Sun Jul 15th, 2012 09:17 am

I have just lost my beloved cat Cleo at the guesstimated age of 20. We brought her and her two babies home Feb 3rd 1994 from the RSPCA and we were told she was about 18 months old then. We tragically lost her son Bubbles when he was only 9, and then Poppy her daughter at 16. Both of these were wonderful cats, and Poppy in particular was very special to me, a feisty little cat who knew she owned the world and me in particular!. I fell apart when she died two years ago. However, her mum Cleo was the most gentle loving cat I've ever had the privilege of knowing, especially considering she'd been mistreated. The first time we came home she spent 3 hours behind the sofa until I went down on my hands and knees and gently persuaded her to come out over another 30 minutes. She was beautiful, elegant and nutty all at the same time, and polite; none of the three of them would miaow for food, simply sit by the empty dish and patiently wait. For the last few months she had various problems including very painful legs and kidney misfunction, all of which just continued to get worse. She didn't distance herself from us as some pets do when they're failing, and she continued to be very loving towards us. She would still purr and "kiss" me by gently placing her nose on my eyelid. On Thursday I held her in my arms and lovingly said goodbye as Vicky our wonderful vet gently and calmly put her to sleep. Cleo's free of all pain and disease now, buried with her son and daughter, and my friends and family have been so kind. Yes, no doubt there will be crass comments from people that don't understand but I'll get through it with help. The house is now too quiet, and it is the small things that you notice that make you miss her the most. It would have been unkind to keep her with us any longer and I have to keep that in my heart which is breaking with the loss. We miss her dreadfully and will always love her and Bubbles and Poppy too. The price you pay for having pets is the inevitable loss, but I willingly pay it and wouldn't swap a single moment.
Anne Bond
Posted by: Shailen Posts: 100 - Joined:

#276 - by Shailen >> Sun Jul 15th, 2012 10:27 pm

Bless you Anne, reading your post I was obviously very sad to hear about Cleo and Bubbles and Poppy but it also made me smile too as you can feel the love and affection you had for them all jumping off the screen. And I am so glad that at this difficult time you still feel that it is better to have loved and lost them than never to have shared those times together. Sounds like they all had a very wonderful person taking care of them - lucky kitties! And lucky you for having them in your life too.

Take care.
Shailen (The Ralph Site founder)
Posted by: Anne Bond Posts: 15 - Joined: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 08:52 am

#277 - by Anne Bond >> Mon Jul 16th, 2012 03:39 pm

Thanks Shailen for taking the time to write such a kind message. It does help to have the good wishes of nice people like yourself, and you're right, I was very, very lucky to have all three of them in my life. Given the opportunity I would do it all over again at the drop of a hat - we had our lives enriched and have so many wonderful memories. Thanks again.
Anne Bond
Posted by: Julie Laws Posts: 6 - Joined: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 10:13 am

#319 - by Julie Laws >> Fri Aug 31st, 2012 03:30 pm

I lost my best friend Basil on 15th August 2012, he was nearly 15 he was a Jack Russell who we got from a rescue centre when he was 5 months old. I am really struggling to come to terms with his death, we were so close and never apart although i had gone away for 3 days with my mum but couldn't settle i wanted to come home as i felt there was something wrong with Basil, i came home on the Friday and to my relief he was there wagging his tail with our 2 other dogs, he was fine. The next night i noticed he was breathing heaving and coughing a bit so i booked him into see vet on Monday, he was to have an x-ray the next day but that night he got worse so took him to emergency vets who said he had temp and chest infection, took him for x-ray next day but his chest was congested so they couldn't see if there was anything else that could cause his breathlesness. To cut a long story short after seconf x-ray they found his heart was enlarged and put him on hear tablets, water tablets anti-inflamatories to try to improve his heart,for two weeks i nursed him carried down steps to go to toilet as he couldn't walk with other dogs, gave him his meds fed him best food and loved him but the dreaded time when i knew it was his time and we took him to emergency vets to be put to sleep. I was so distraught, i hyperventilated and as i have MS my legs went and my lovely husband had to carry me in, i've cried every day for the last two weeks, i've lost dogs before but this has floored me. I found this site and had a good cry reading other peoples sad losses so i thought i would post on here as nobody undestands my grief apart from my husband, so thank you for listening to me x
Julie Laws
Posted by: Anne Bond Posts: 15 - Joined: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 08:52 am

#320 - by Anne Bond >> Fri Aug 31st, 2012 05:04 pm

I am so sorry for your loss Julie, I totally understand what you are saying. You are probably physically as well as emotionally drained as well at the moment. Try to make sure you look after yourself, Basil wouldn't want you to make yourself ill. Take heart that you did everything possible and that Basil knew how much you loved him and he loved you. Your two other dogs will be of comfort to you in your hours of need and you to them, as they will be missing him too. It's no shame to grieve over a lost familiy member, but there will come a time when you smile through the tears as the precious memories are always there. xx
Anne Bond
Posted by: Julie Laws Posts: 6 - Joined: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 10:13 am

#321 - by Julie Laws >> Fri Aug 31st, 2012 05:45 pm

Thank you Anne for your kind words, i cried yet again, it is nice to know there are people like yourself who have been through loss to share with, once again thank you Anne x
Julie Laws
Posted by: Anne Bond Posts: 15 - Joined: Sun Jul 15th, 2012 08:52 am

#322 - by Anne Bond >> Fri Aug 31st, 2012 06:03 pm

Julie, so many kind people helped me with my loss when our beloved Cleo passed. A facebook friend recommended this site to begin with and then I had so many caring responses to my postings. So I am passing it forward to you, and hope that eventually you will be able to help others with their loss. That's all we can do isn't it, be there for each other. We are blessed with our furry friends but know it comes at a price that's hard to pay. A quote from someone else on this site succinctly put it so:- "How lucky I am to have something that makes saying goodbye so hard." But oh, what a sad world it would be if we didn't have that wonderful time with them. Keep your chin up, it will get better with time. xx
Anne Bond
Posted by: Penny Hudson Posts: 155 - Joined: Tue Mar 13th, 2012 03:35 pm

#323 - by Penny Hudson >> Fri Aug 31st, 2012 08:08 pm

Julie, I understand your feelings and give you my love and sympathy. I lost my cat in December and cannot get over the loss; I have made myself quite ill and cry so much. As pet owners we understand the love and closeness we share with our pets, and I feel they give more love than often humans give to one another. Thinking of your precious Basil and sending you my love and hoping that time heals and we can look back with happiness at what we shared rather than the sadness we are feeling. Bless you Julie xx
Posted by: Julie Laws Posts: 6 - Joined: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 10:13 am

#324 - by Julie Laws >> Sat Sep 1st, 2012 10:38 am

Thank you yet again Anne, i am glad i found this site as most people do not understand the strength of love we feel for our pets and the strength of love they give back, it leaves such an empty feeling when they go, i know that with time its gets easier and the sadness diminishes, i think because i was finished from work through ill health i have too much time on my hands which allows you to re-live it over again. My other two dogs have been amazingly aware of my sadness and sit with me when i cry, my Daisy my other Jack Russell is sat with me now while Lottie my Doberman is asleep on my bed, they are a comfort x
To Penny, thank you for your kind words, i too was making myself ill with crying all the time, thank you for thinking about my precious Basil and sending me love it makes me feel less alone with my grief knowing that others too feel the same, our beloved pets enhanced our lives and we were blessed to have had their love for so long x
Julie Laws
Posted by: linda Posts: 1 - Joined: Sat Sep 1st, 2012 02:16 pm

#325 - by linda >> Sat Sep 1st, 2012 02:23 pm

Hi Julie,

My thought are with you I lost my gorgeous Jeremy over 10yrs ago and not a day goes by I dont think about him, he was my special boy and we had a special bond, people say it does get better with time but you never forget and that is quite true, my beautiful Pepper is always by my side she is a tabby cat and is just like a baby, so just remember there is always someone who is thinking of you and knows how you feel. love from Linda xx
Posted by: Julie Laws Posts: 6 - Joined: Fri Aug 31st, 2012 10:13 am

#326 - by Julie Laws >> Sat Sep 1st, 2012 06:49 pm

Thank you Linda, we are all connected by our loss and supporting each other x

Julie Laws

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