How to Deal With Guilt After the Loss of Your Beloved Dog

Feeling guilty after the loss of a dog is more common than you think. Here’s how to deal with guilt after putting your dog down or somehow causing your beloved pet’s death. If you accidentally hurt your dog – or you put your dog to sleep and you regret it – you’ll find hope and healing here.

Dealing With Guilt After the Loss of Your Dog

Dealing With Guilt After the Loss of a Dog

I am so sorry for your loss. It’s heartbreaking to say goodbye to a dog; the grief and pain seems like it’ll consume and overwhelm you. I know how terrible it feels, especially when you were somehow involved with your dog’s death. But you are not alone. Read through the comments section below, and you will be comforted to see that you’re not alone. So many people are dealing with guilty feelings after their dog dies – and learning how to live without their best friends after pet loss. Writing about your experience can bring healing, and will help you process the grief and guilt you feel after the death of your beloved dog.

In this article, you’ll find a variety of practical and emotional ways to deal with guilty feelings after your dog dies. It’s not an “20 step process” – these are simply ideas to help you work through the guilt, grief, and pain you feel. The most important thing to remember is that you’re not alone! Read through the comments section below, and you’ll see that whatever part you played in your dog’s death was a tragic accident.

These tips for dealing with guilt after you caused your dog’s death are inspired by a reader who shared his guilty feelings about putting his dog to sleep. At the end of this article, I listed a few books on on coping with pet loss and dealing with guilty feelings about the loss of a dog.

Saying good-bye to your beloved dog is heartbreaking. It’s even worse if you feel guilty about your dog’s death. Your heart and home will never be the same; I am sorry for your loss. Make sure you allow yourself to grieve in healthy ways. Honor your dog’s death – read 8 Pet Sympathy Gifts to Ease the Pain of a Dog or Cat’s Death.

How to Deal With Guilt After the Loss of Your Dog

Some people accidentally kill their dog by accidentally leaving them in harm’s way. The most important thing to remember is that you did NOT purposely cause your pet’s death. When you are learning how to deal with guilty feelings after doing something that led to your dog dying, remember that you would have acted differently if you knew what was going to happen.

If your actions led to your pet’s death, you have to keep reminding yourself that you did not deliberately harm your dog. It was an accident, and you would have done things differently if you had know what would happen.

Learn the difference between guilt and shame

A healthy step towards dealing with guilty feelings after your dog dies is to learn the difference between guilt and shame.

Guilt – if you have forgiven yourself – can be a positive feeling. It can actually encourage you to have more empathy for others. Guilt can help you make amends, take corrective action, and improve yourself. But you have to learn self-forgiveness before you can turn guilt around after the loss of a dog.

Self-forgiveness is essential to enjoying your life and relationships because you will always have something you need to forgive yourself for! Whether it’s not protecting your dog, forgetting something important, or accidentally saying something hurtful…we constantly need to forgive ourselves because we are human. We are constantly making mistakes, poor choices, selfish decisions.

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And we cause accidents. Sometimes we accidentally hurt the dogs we love so much, and we feel guilty.

Guilt can make you a better person – more compassionate, kind, and tender-hearted

How to Deal With Guilt After the Loss of Your Dog

How to Deal With Guilt After the Loss of Your Dog

If you let it, guilt will become an unrelenting source of pain. You might believe that you should feel guilty and condemn yourself not once, but repeatedly. Guilt also may simmer in your unconscious. Either way, this kind of guilt is insidious and self-destructive and can destroy your life.

Shame is how you feel about yourself. Shame is hating who you are and feeling ashamed of what you did. Guilt is hating the decision you made, but accepting that you are human and you made a mistake or a poor choice.

Shame causes you to feel inferior, inadequate, or bad about who you are versus what you did. If you don’t learn how to deal with your guilty feelings and forgive yourself for not protecting your dog, your guilt will turn into shame. Shame is destructive, and has no positive effects.

When you feel guilty, you feel bad about something you did. Guilt can be empowering because it can motivate you to see others with compassion. Guilt – when it’s resolved – can make you a better, wiser, kinder, more loving person. Unresolved guilt and shame will lead to greater self-preoccupation, selfishness, and unhealthy relationships.

18 Ideas for Forgiving Yourself After the Loss of Your Dog

In How Do You Forgive Yourself, Darlene Lancer shares 18 steps to forgiving yourself.  I revised and adapted her tips to fit our experience of dealing with guilty feelings after causing a dog’s death:

  1. Take responsibility for your actions. “Okay, I did this. My actions  led to my dog’s death, and I feel like dying because of the guilt, grief, and pain.”
  2. Write a story about what happened to your dog, including how you felt about yourself and others involved before, during, and after the loss of your dog. You can share your experience below, in the comments section. Read through the comments – you will see that you are not alone.
  3. Consider what your needs were at that time, and whether they were being met. If not, why not? This will help you see why you acted the way you did. For example, if you accidentally left your dog in a hot car you will see that you needed to do x, y, and z. That is what motivated you to forget your dog.
  4. What were your motives for the decision you made? What or who was the catalyst for your behavior?
  5. How were your feelings and mistakes handled when you were growing up? Were they forgiven, judged, or punished? Who was hard on you? Were you made to feel ashamed? It’s harder for us to forgive ourselves and deal with guilty feelings after a dog’s death when we haven’t learned forgiveness as children.
  6. Evaluate the standards by which you’re judging yourself. Are you struggling with guilt because of values that you haven’t chosen to adopt? Maybe you’re living by your parents’, your friends’, or your spouse’s values.
  7. How did your actions affect you and others? Whom did you hurt? Include yourself on the list. Acknowledge that you are in more pain than your dog is.
  8. Write your dog a letter.  Here’s something surprising but worth trying: write a letter of apology to your dead dog. Yes, I am serious! Clear 30 minutes in your schedule, sit down in a private spot where you can write and weep, and tell your dog what happened. This will help you process and deal with your guilty feelings about your dog’s death.
  9. Relive the experience, with the benefit of knowing what the future holds. Looking back, what healthier beliefs, thoughts, feelings, and actions would have prevented your dog’s death? It’s possible that you made the decision to put your dog to sleep. It’s also very possible that you would make that same decision today, even though you feel guilty about the loss of a dog.
  10. Have you struggled with perfectionism in the past? Has this improved your overall well-being? Perfection is illusory and a manifestation of underlying shame.
  11. Would you forgive someone else for doing what you did? Is it true that what you did was unforgivable?
  12. How does it benefit you to continue to punish yourself for accidentally causing your dog’s death?
  13. Write yourself an empathic letter of understanding, appreciation, and forgiveness. If you had a forgiving mom, compassionate teacher, or wise counselor, pretend you are her. Write from her perspective. Tell her how your dog died, and ask her to help you deal with guilty feelings surrounding the loss of your dog.
  14. Write a letter from your dog’s perspective. On second thought, this might be too painful. I don’t know. Consider it; if you think it may help you deal with guilty feelings about your dog’s death, then try it.
  15. Everyday, repeat the words of kindness and forgiveness from one of your letters, such as, “I’m innocent,” “I forgive myself,” and “I love myself.” Remember that healthy remorse can lead to humility, compassion, love, and love in your life.
  16. Share honestly with others what you did – but don’t share with those who might judge you. You are welcome to write about what happened to your dog in the comments section below. You will never be judged or shamed here, no matter how your dog died or what you did. Remember that keeping secrets prolongs guilt and shame.

It is entirely possible to forgive yourself and still believe you were at fault, just as you might forgive someone else even though you think the person was in the wrong. Learning how to deal with guilty feelings after the loss of a dog is about acceptance and growth, but not self-condemnation and shame.

You can have regret for what you did yet accept that you’re human and made mistakes. You did your best given your circumstances, awareness, maturity, and experience at the time. This is a healthy, humble attitude.

Do you feel like it’s impossible to forgive yourself? It may be helpful to talk to a grief counselor. Consider seeing one who specializes in pet loss or animal therapy. And, remember the difference between guilt and shame. If you’re suffering from shame, you will be struggling with self-loathing, guilt, and feeling bad about yourself. This can be healed in therapy.

If you aren’t ready to work through your guilty feelings, read Words of Comfort When Your Heart is Broken.

Identify “inappropriate” guilt about the loss of your dog

Not recognizing that your Yorkie, Doberman, or terrier was ill doesn’t mean that you weren’t paying attention or taking good care of him or her! This is imagined guilt. Dogs can’t always communicate their physical health; pet owners can’t see inside their bodies and brains.

Another type of inappropriate guilt is if you’ve accidentally caused your dog’s death by letting him out, keeping him in, or losing track of his whereabouts. If you did not deliberately set out to harm your pet, then you have nothing to feel guilty about. I know this is easier said than done – and it takes effort to forgive yourself.

If you’re dealing with inappropriate guilt because of your dog’s death, remember that sometimes illness or disease overcomes our dogs and other beloved pets…and there’s nothing we can do. This loss of control is a very painful — but real — part of life.

Remember that it’s normal to feel guilty when your dog dies

Whether your guilt is real or imagined, know that it is a normal grief reaction. Even the most “innocent” pet owners feel guilt over a pet’s death. For instance, I now cringe when I recall how angry I was at my beloved cat, Zoey, for scratching the basement door (I didn’t realize the door to her litter box was shut tight, and she couldn’t get in). That was over 12 years ago, and I still feel guilty! Healing after you had to put your dog down often requires forgiving yourself.

dealing with guilt pet lossGoodbye, Friend: Healing Wisdom for Anyone Who Has Ever Lost a Pet by Gary Kowalski s the number one bestselling book on pet loss and grief on Amazon. I love the book because it offers both heartwarming stories and practical guidance on grieving the loss of a pet. It’ll help you deal with guilt when you caused your pet’s death and forgive yourself for whatever role you played.

From the moment your dog entered your life, you knew the day would arrive that you would have to say farewell. Still, few of us are emotionally prepared to deal with guilt and grief after the loss of a dog. 

In Goodbye, Friend, Gary Kowalski takes you on a journey of healing, offering warmth and sound advice on how to cope with the death of your dog. Filled with heartwarming stories and practical guidance on such matters as taking care of yourself while mourning, creating rituals to honor your dog’s memory, and talking to children about death, Goodbye, Friend is a beautiful and comforting book for anyone grieving the loss of a dog.

Identify “appropriate” guilt about your dog’s death

Real guilt may spring from your feelings that you neglected your dog annual vaccinations, daily food intake, exercise habits, and “quality time” with you. If you’re struggling with real guilt, remember that you had reasons for doing what you did. The stress of money, work, kids, marriage, and daily life may have taken precedence over how you treated your beloved dog. Maybe you didn’t make the best choices.

Healing after the loss of a dog involves accepting that you wish you would’ve done things differently — and talking this through with your family, friends, or loved ones.

Remember what you did right — because you did a lot right

Your dog loved you unconditionally, beyond all reason – so you must have done something right. How did you love and take care of your dog? Balance your real guilt with the real ways you loved your dog. You took good care of your dog in so many ways for so many years. Acknowledge the love you shared, not just the end that came too soon.

Do you feel like you caused your dog’s death? I encourage you to share your experience in the comments section below. Talking and writing about it is healthier than ignoring it, and can help you process your grief. I can’t offer advice on what to do about accidentally causing your dog’s death, but it may help you to share what happened. Sometimes writing brings clarity and insight.

Forgive yourself after the loss of your dog

You may find How to Forgive Yourself for Not Protecting Your Dog helpful, especially if you feel like you’ll never experience the peace of self-forgiveness.

May you forgive yourself after your dog’s death. Know that your dog has forgiven you, and your dog knows it was an accident! You would never have hurt your dog if you knew what was going to happen. Your dog is free and happy now, and resting in peace. May God give you peace, heal your soul, and help you open your heart to love another dog.

“If there is a heaven, it’s certain our animals are to be there,” says Pam Brown. “Their lives become so interwoven with our own, it would take more than an archangel to detangle them.”

Pet Loss and Grief Help After the Loss of a Dog

how to heal after losing your petIn How to Heal Your Heart After Losing a Pet: 75 Ways to Cope With Grief and Guilt When Your Dog or Cat DiesI share a variety of different and healing ways to cope with pet loss. Grief is painful when faced in big chunks; my tips are designed to be “bite-sized”, which means you won’t have to sit and read through a huge amount of difficult information about healing after a pet dies.

To write this ebook – which you can have immediate access to – I interviewed veterinarians, grief counselors, and pet experts for the best ways to survive the death of a beloved dog, and I included stories from real pet owners who coped with guilt and grief in sometimes surprising ways.

How to Cope With Guilt After Your Cat or Dog DiesIn Going Home: Finding Peace When Pets Die, Jon Katz addresses the difficult but necessary topic of saying goodbye to a beloved pet. Accidentally causing your dog’s death or pain is an extremely difficult experience, but you don’t have to go through it alone. Jon draws on personal experiences, stories from fellow pet owners, and philosophical reflections to help pet owners grieve the loss of their dogs. He gently asks readers to consider if they gave their dogs good lives and if they used their best judgment in the end. In dealing with these issues, you will deal with guilt about your dog’s death, and let go of the pain.

I welcome your thoughts on dealing with guilty feelings after the loss of a dog. I can’t offer advice our counselling, but you may find it helpful to share your experience. Writing is one of the best ways to process grief and guilt after your dog dies, and can help you resolve your feelings.

Dealing with guilt after the loss of a dog isn’t just about grieving; it’s about cherishing the best parts of your life with your dog. If you feel like you’ll never be happy again, read How to Recover From Loss and Survive Grief.

And, please do read through the comments below. You’ll see that you’re not alone. No matter what caused a dog’s death, we always feel guilty after. We always feel like we could have and should have done more. But we need to accept our loss, and let our dogs to rest in peace.


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460 thoughts on “How to Deal With Guilt After the Loss of Your Beloved Dog

  • Troels

    I want to tell the whole story of my much beloved dog, who was the only one ever, that I loved unconditionally and who loved me the same way (I think), so this might end up quite long.
    Almost 11 years ago my mother encountered, through her work, a family that owned a beautiful female golden retriever who just had puppies. My mother who since her childhood had dreamed of having a golden retriever lost her heart to the sweet puppies right on the spot and decided to get one of them. There were six puppies in all, four males and two females, and all of them except for one had already found prospective owners. The last one, a small, rather quiet but unusually pretty female become our dog and after a lot of thinking and discussing she was named Selma. While waiting for her to reach the age at which we could take her home, we visited her and the other dogs once, and I remember her, spontaneously jumping into my sisters lap. A month later she was ready to become our dog. At first my sister was very eager to be around her and I felt “pushed away” to a certain degree. Furthermore at first Selma seemed to connect more to everybody else in the family or at least that’s how I felt. But my parents were not young anymore and my sister had a lot of other things on her mind, so slowly but steady Selma and I connected more and more deeply. I cared for her, played with her, took her for walks (we lived in a very nice and peaceful area) and saw her grow into a big, beautiful adult dog. She wasn’t that big as a puppy but she grew into a rather big, stocky and strong dog, who weighed almost 100 lbs and had beautiful, shiny fur. Six years went by quickly, in hindsight they seemed like six years in paradise, but of course at the time I allowed a lot of petty annoyances and worries to spoil my bliss, but Selma and I and the rest of the family had a lot of fun and shared a lot of happy moments. Then my mother became ill, it was cancer and after a short battle it took her life. A lot of bad stuff happened in a short time, my father was also ill and we lost our home, in which we had lived for more than thirty years.This is probably the right place to explain, that the reason for me to live with my parents so long was mental illness, which has been one of the “curses”, I’ve had to deal with for most of my life. Well, mental illness or not, I had to do something, so I found a new place to live and took Selma along with me. At first I was a bit reluctant about the whole situation as the responsibilty for Selma now was mine entirely, but I decided to try to look the circumstances straight into the eyes. So we moved to an old, not especially nice flat out in the country, but again it was a beautiful area and very tranquil and quiet, and thus very suitable for long walks. Selma and I walked for several hours every day and together we explored the fields, plains and woods in the area, we had moved to. Almost exactly one year after my mother died, Selma got ill with pyometra. I remember my fear of loosing my wonderful dog, and I remember, that I knew I had to act quickly – and I did. I spent all the money I had on the operation at the local vet. I have never been happier, than the day she came back from the vet. The years went by and Selma and I just became closer. Many afternoons we would sit on a bench(I did, she was on the ground beside me) by the village church and look at people and experience how the seasons changed, and how beautifully and differently each season dressed the surroundings. Selma loved these afternoons, always curious, eager and beaming with joy, I was so happy and proud of her, she was the joy of my life. Throughout her life she always had a certain nervousness, for which I don’t know the reason, but even that started to disappear as she got older. The only problem was my own inner demons. All of this time I was struggling financially as well as battleling with my mental problems. In the end after almost five years, close to Selma’s 11th birthday I gave up. For quite some time, I had tried to ask the few friends I have for help, because the pressure of my mental as well as financial problems seemed to much for me, but I didn’t find any help. So in the end I betrayed the best friend, I ever had. I was mentally broken and exhausted(still am, not that I care much right now), and I was quite certain Selma wouldn’t adapt to a new owner (part of it was probably selfishness, not being able to let her go, but at the same time not being able to keep her) so I took this terrible decision to have her put down by the vet. Thinking about it now, all I can say is, that all the things I’ve been through in my life in the end was to much, but to me that’s not an excuse for my decision. I’m so, so, so sorry, I want you to know that my dear Selma. For a long time I prayed that some kind of help would reach us and improve the situation, unfortunately that didn’t happen. I can’t express with words what a beautiful and pure ceature you were. I still put food and water in your feeding bolws everyday, and I pray everyday, that you can forgive me and that we’ll meet again someday. I will never forget you. You were the light, the love and happyness in my life and I let you down. Please forgive me and I hope you are well wherever you are. Of course even though I have tried my best to remember all the most important things, I have without doubt skipped a lot of important stuff. In the hardest times of our lives, words always seems to fall short…
    Troels, your (stupid) owner, who miss you so very much

  • bayu pontiagust

    horrible accident just happened today with me and i lost my dog forever. i never thought this day would come this fast. My dog was only 4 years old very sweet her name was Nutella and she’s my everything like other dogs are to their owner. My dog was a red toy poodle with 3.5 kg weight. The accidents started when i was in a dog park with fences, when i got out while holding and carrying my dog with my hand there was another dog ran over the fence and run fast going to the main road, i automatically chased the dog until i bumped really hard with the position carrying my dog in my hand. it was a rough crash and i did realised my dog was in font me and her neck bump the road really hard and my heart instantly said “i might loose her without even seeing her condition” and when i saw and hold her she was no longer there without a single pain bark. i saw her eyes changed and blood started to spill out over he nose and mouth on that moment i knew she was no longer with me. i was in a shock couldn’t say anything and carried the body of my dog home. I kept instantly calling my dog to wake up while she was on my lap but no tears out from my eyes until i got home and started to cry. then it was the moment i knew and accept my baby girl was gone. It was a traumatic and a horrible accident that i i had to gone through. i never even thought of loosing my dog with that way, it just a split second and she’s gone. i tried to remain calm and thought about what happened i didn’t blamed the other dog’s owner or even the dog that caused this because it happened so fast. i want to share my story because i need to release this and keep remain positive that life goes on and i need to accept and forgive my self because i feel responsible of my dog’s death. hopefully there are no dog owners will have the same experience like i did. 4 years i was living with my Nutella and i hope i can have more but destiny brought us to a different path. Rest in peace my dear nutella i hope i’ll see you again on our next life.

  • Jaime

    I lost my Aleister Two days ago. He was my chicken wiggles. Barely just turned a year old. He was a rescued Chihuahua/Yorkie mix. We pretty much found each other in a parking lot. I put flyers out on the web but no one ever claimed him. We fell in love with him instantly and made him a big part of our family. It all started on March 31st. when I notice Aleister wasn’t able to go pee properly. He kept straining to pee every 5-10 mins and would only let a little bit out at a time. I called the vet and they couldn’t see me till Monday (they were closed for Easter Sunday). I explained my dogs condition and they said “as long as he can pee he should be okay to wait. But if he can’t “go” at all then I need to take him to emergency”. Meanwhile, I looked the symptoms up on-line and found that he may have been suffering from a UTI. I decided to look up natural remedies to help relieve the symptoms. I started giving him apple cider vinegar and probiotic yogurt with wet food. On Monday morning i noticed he had pee’d a lot on his wee wee pad. Then he pee’d a lot more at the vet clinic. I thought my remedies were working! But I was glad to be at the vets to get professional advice. They gave Aleister his exam and asked me questions. They recommended a Urinalysis, x-rays, catheter, and ultrasound which came out to be $325. I let money get in the way of the decision I decided to make for Aleister. I asked them if we could just start with a urinalysis first. I didn’t specify that if he needed X-rays I would be willing to do that if it was absolutely necessary. They came back with his results from the urinalysis and said it was definitely a UTI. They also found crystals and blood in his urine. After that they told me about the antibiotics they would be giving him. I failed to ask any questions about the crystals. I assumed the antibiotics were going to take care of that as well. When we got home I gave Aleister his pain meds and his first dose of antibiotics. He got sleepy fast so I wrapped him up in my sweater and laid him down in bed. He slept throughout the night. I thought the meds were working! I gave him his second dose in the morning but something seemed different. Now he wasn’t able to pee more then a drop here and there. I thought maybe he needs more time for the antibiotics to kick in. He was peeing so well the day before so I was surprise to see him struggling even more while on antibiotics. He remained like that throughout the day. At night I started to worry about him. He seemed uncomfortable. I gave him his second dose and thought maybe that would do the trick. Around 5am i woke up to Aleister whimpering. I checked on him and notice no pee on his wee wee pad. No pee on his blanket. No pee at all! I became frantic and started panicking. I got up and got ready to take him to emergency because my vet didn’t open till 7:30a. By this point it was 6am. Both my vet and the emergency vet were 40 mins away. I asked myself if maybe I should wait just to take him to my vet. I called emergency for advice, they said I could wait since it’s about the same distance anyway. I made it to my vet 30 mins early and waited for them to open. I told them all about Aleister’s condition and felt it was an emergency and that he needed to be drained. The receptionist looked over at her computer and moved her mouse around and told me they didn’t have anything untill 9 o’clock. I panicked and said that Aleister couldn’t wait till then. They told me I had to go to the emergency clinic (the one I was originally going to take him too). The emergency clinic was 38 mins away from there. I started crying and panicking as I walk to my car because I knew Aleister didn’t have much time! I rushed him to emergency as fast as I could. The vets there didn’t make the matter urgent as they had me fill out paper work. Then they had to do an exam before anything else. Then in order to use a catheter to drain his urine they had to do x-rays and ultrasound. Then they wanted to explain the x-rays and ultrasound to me. By the time they finally took Aleister to drain him, it was too late. Aleister collapsed and his little heart stopped. They called me in and said “I’m sorry. We did everything we could but we couldn’t revive him”. I had a panick attack instantly. I kept asking them to save him. I kept asking them over and over “he died?! “He’s gone!? Are you sure!?”. I cried so hard and kept telling myself “wake up…wake up!” But this wasn’t a bad dream. It was reality. I’m in so much pain. I feel so much guilt. What if I did the X-rays on Monday? What if I asked more questions about the crystals and what they were exactly or what they can do to him!? What if I took him in Tuesday when I notice he wasn’t able to pee?! What if I never called emergency and just drove there first?! What if I yelled at the vet to see him NOW because he’s running out of time?! What if I told the emergency vet to drain him first and then explain things to me after!? I hate myself and feel that I’m the cause to Aleister’s death. His little life was in my hands and I failed him. He didn’t deserve this and it’s all my fault. I’ve been trying so hard to forgive myself, but I can’t. I just keep replaying it over and over in my head. All the things I should have done but I didn’t think to do. In the end it cost me $600 and my dogs life. I wish I could go back to Monday and have the X-rays done. What was I thinking? I love him so much and miss him terribly. Will I ever forgive myself? This pain is eating me up inside.

    • Stacey

      Omigosh, Jaime, my heart truly goes out to you. I know you think this was your fault, but you did the very best for Aleister with the information you had at the time. I would feel the same as you so I don’t take it lightly to tell you to please be kind to yourself because I KNOW it is easier said than done. I did the exact thing when my first dog passed – I listened to a regular vet & feel I should have taken her to emergency sooner – I didn’t know I didn’t need a referral any longer to go the vet school here – she passed after 5 days of hospitalization. That was nine years ago & though it’s gotten easier I still think of it. It WILL get easier. I can tell you this, it sounds as if it had only been a day that he had not urinated – I would consider this an emergency as you did but I wouldn’t have thought that he was at the point of that type of danger. And apparently the emergency staff didn’t either since they didn’t take him back right away. Don’t get me wrong, I would be furious with them as well – but I truly do believe that while an emergency no one saw it as life threatening just yet. You did everything right ti sounds like to me. I am so sincerely sorry for the loss of your friend. I recently lost another of my cats unexpectedly and no matter what happens I question every single thing I did. Just know you are not alone. And it will get easier, I promise. I hope you get this message and I truly hope each of us can find peace. Many blessings to you and Aleister.

      • Jamie

        Thank you for all your kind words and support. It has really been a struggle on so many levels. I have definitely sat with my pain and guilt of what I could have or should have done. It’s been a week today that Aleister passed away. I’ve processed a lot of what happened a week ago and made it a point to remind myself that Aleister felt so loved up to his last days here, and I continue to love him through the memories we had. He really did know how much i loved him and still do. I have some feelings of guilt, anger, and regret but I’m working through that because i know that I would have done all those things I regret differently if I only knew what the outcome would have been.

        The vets were not that informative or urgent with the situation. Now I know to always ask a million questions and to make sure I understand the situation better so I can then make the correct decision afterwards. And hopefully my story can help others. It’s so important to speak up for your furrbabies because they are unable to ask for themselves or tell you that they are sick. It was a hard lesson to learn, and I wish I didn’t have to lose Aleister in order to realize things.

        He will never be forgotten. And in time, my heart will heal. I’m so sorry for your loss. Sending you so much healing vibes 💓There is so much heartache when we lose our friends because they gave us so much unconditional love. Thank you again for reaching out. The support means so much. ❤️

  • Monique


    Toby was a wonderful 10 lb Jack Russell that was incredibly smart and fun. For me, I don’t feel any guilt for the way I treated him- he had a wonderful life. I feel guilty for putting him to sleep.

    Three years ago- I was gardening in the yard and a man was walking by. He kicked Toby unconscious. I freaked out. I thought he killed Toby. I was so upset, I didn’t even think to call 911. I blame myself for not having Toby tied up in the yard. Toby, before that time was the most trusting (aren’t they all) dog out there. My nieces would love to swim with Toby, dive, play tug of war- you name it- toby would play it. That day, things changed. His ribs and back became very sore. Even worse, Toby stopped trusting people. He would lash out at everyone. Well most people. He trusted me. But how could I have a dog like that? I tolerated it for a year and a half but what if it escalated? It did. A week before he died.
    Toby was an amazing traveller. He was my emotional support animal. He helped me through everything. Rehab, migraines, several bouts of anorexia. Toby was always there for me. Until he wasn’t. I remember very well the day he took a swipe at me. He was scared. He didn’t know what was happening. He was angry. He sounded like a Sabre tooth Tigre – except he wasn’t stopping. And then he stopped. And he acted perfectly fine. Except – I finally noticed. He wasn’t getting up in furniture most times unaided. He was sleeping most days.

    The day we put Toby to rest (did I?)- I took him for his favourite activity. Normally he would swim all summer long. He lasted not even 10 minutes. But why do I feel as though I murdered my dog?

    While the vet was placing the second needle into Toby- “what a wonderful world” began to play on the radio. It’s weird. That’s the song that played (and that exact version) at my Dad’s funeral 3 years back. I couldn’t help but think he came to get Toby.

    Why do I feel so much pain?

  • Becks

    I shouted at my dog in her last moments to not leave. To wait for my Friend to arrive with the car to send her to the vet. I shouted at her to wait instead of holding her. Hugging her. T.T I couldn’t bear to hold her. I kinda knew it was the end but I handled it terribly. I’m scared I have made her exit from this world a very painful one. I can’t help but think I’m evil. Help 🙁 I regret the way I handled everything..
    I was the only one at home to be with her yet I didn’t make it easy for her

    • Katarina

      I feel for you. I know your dog felt your love and that counts the most. I lost my dog yesterday dying at home and i kind of did the same. Kept saying its ok Ruthless, its ok Rutless while he was taking his last breathes.