I Dread My Dog Dying and He Isn't Even Sick.

I’ve had dogs before and I have three dogs now. I’ve never had a special dog before. Honestly, I am not even a dog person. I purchased Maxwell from a breeder in 2006 for my daughter and some how, he just bonded with me.

This little guy doesn’t like and barely tolerates another living soul. He won’t leave my side from the minute I get home until I leave in the morning other than to do his business outside. He even waits outside the bathroom door.

I’ve been told he waits at the door the entire day until I get home and will not be distracted by little things such as walks or treats.

And heaven forbid I give one of the other dogs anything but a quick pat. He butts his nose right in as if saying “You’re obviously confused and are petting the wrong puppy, here let me help you correct this error.”

Maxwell is overprotective and I have a “beware of dog” sign on my door to warn people walking in that he has and will bite if you are a stranger and not let in by me. (When I am not around he couldn’t care less who comes and goes.)

With all this unconditional love and devotion, he has won a special place in my heart that I know another animal will never ever be able to replace. He is getting older and I worry all the time about when the day will come that he will leave me. The thought of it literally brings tears to my eyes. I consider myself so lucky that I was blessed with such a faithful companion. I’d love to hear about other people’s once in a lifetime pets.

As a current owner of 2 dogs, and previous owner of many other pets, I can say I empathize. A bond with an animal is something that you just can’t get with anything else. It truly is something special. Just cherish that time. They aren’t worried about it right now, they just want your lovin’.

It’s why I don’t have dogs. The deaths of my childhood dogs was so upsetting I knew I didn’t want to feel that way again.

Forget the whole 'Tis better to have loved and lost"…

My baby girl is 11, going on 12 this April. I think about it all the time, and I tear up. Almost every day now since my grandpa died in 2013 and I had a hard time with that.

As with anyone we love, we must remember to cherish them while they are here with us.

Our dog was one month shy of 16 years when we had her put down last fall. I spent the last two years knowing that she was living on borrowed time and dreading the day she would be gone. I hyper-analyzed her bahavior looking for signs that she may be sick. Oddly a lot of the anxiety was from not knowing how she was going to die. Would it be in her sleep? Would she get sick in the middle of the night and have to be taken to the ER (she eventually did)?

It’s been four months and I still can’t believe she is gone. Our place feels so empty now. I would give almost anything to have another day with her. As it was we were very lucky to have had such an awesome dog for so long. I miss her more than I’ve ever missed anything.

So my advice is to try try try to stop worrying about losing your pet. It diminishes the time you have with her now. I know its hard to do but just focus on the moment.

I feel the same way about one of my cats. He was 7 years old when I adopted him. Nobody else wanted a 7-year-old cat. He’s solid black with bright blue-green eyes, and he’s also the smartest cat I’ve ever had. He always greets me at the door, and does his amazing happy dance. He’s 12 now, and I dread the day when he’s gone. I’ve had other cats and dogs that had to be put down, but this one’s going to hit me hard. I can bring on tears, just thinking about it.

I have another cat who’s special in her own way, and I love her too. But it’s just not the same.

Mr. Bennett: “Well, then my dear, let us not dwell on such things. Let us flatter ourselves that I might outlive you.”

A quotation applicable to every such quandary, unfortunately.

That’s how I felt with my cat. I know it’s not the same loyalty as a dog, but she loved me and only me, and we lived alone together for so many years that it was the hardest thing just thinking of her dying. Sometimes I would talk to her about how I was glad she was still around and I would be so sad when she left me. It seemed so silly and she had no idea why I was all upset but I felt better for it.

When the time comes, take the advice of Dr. Seuss (I think) - “Don’t cry because it’s over; smile because it happened.”

I know just how you feel. I’ve had too many great dogs to favor one over another, but Brewster, who is currently my only dog, is coming up on his ninth birthday. I hope he stays healthy and happy for at least another five years, but he is definitely middle-aged. He’s still energetic and happy to be alive, but I know the day when I will have to put him down may come sooner than later.

I think this is great advice.

I’ve had my heart broken by having to put down a very much beloved dog, made even worse by the fact that it was the first time I’d had to make that decision for an animal. As awful as it was, the only way I could have avoided it is to never have brought a pet into my life in the first place. He was an older dog when I got him, and we spent 4 great years together. Wouldn’t trade that just because of the hard part that came at the end.

I also think that what makes this so hard is the fact that a pet is always there with us, day in and day out, which means there’s a pretty big hole in our daily lives when they are gone. There’s also a lot of guilt that can go with making a decision to let a pet go, especially one that shows a great deal of devotion.

Unfortunately all of life is a series of goodbyes and having to let go and we just gotta do it. As folks have said in previous posts, worrying about what will happen in the future shouldn’t ruin what you’ve got now - let THAT go! and enjoy what’s here today. Resolve instead to make every day the best it can be, and give your buddy the best life you can manage. In the end, that’s really all we can do.

I’ve loved several cats over the years, but there was never one quite like Toby. Grey with black highlights, he had circles on both sides that looked like targets, hence his nickname of “Target Cat”, riffing off the Target Dog mast of the department store.

Anyway. Whenever I was at work, Toby had an eerie sense of when my shift was about to end. And he’d start bitching to my mother to go pick me up. “Go get my brother. NOW!” Toby was an absolute sweetheart who got along with all our other cats, and everyone in the family, but he and I had an especially strong bond. Perhaps it was because on the first day we got him (literally the very same day we were fixing to move), we had to put him in a closet; I didn’t want him to be lonely so I quite frequently went in there and held him.

In 2011, the Year From Hell, we were evicted from our apartment. We knew that we’d be homeless for awhile, so we had to turn in our cats to the animal shelter. It still hurts. I can’t help but wonder if Toby thought he’d done something wrong. Not to sound callous, but that’s one of those moments when you’re thankful you’re not talking about human beings. Human beings actually would psychoanalyze themselves and the person who’d left them behind. Animals are more prone to living in the moment.

That is a heartbreaking story. I don’t know what I would do in that situation. I’ve heard of people choosing to be homeless rather than give up a beloved pet and I could see how that might seem like a reasonable choice.