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Pet Death

Discussion in 'Small Talk' started by Secad MS, Oct 4, 2010.

  1. Yesterday, my boy, my red-eyed white gerbil Semper died. It was a surprise, as I was out all day searching for suitable toilets and vacuum cleaners. Fun.

    However, if you have ever had pets, there is a good chance it has died. How did you handle it? I'm giving myself two days to grieve, one with no functioning and one with.
  2. Shiny Lyni

    Shiny Lyni 2016 Singles Football

    I once had a pair of ducks that laid 10 eggs; only six of the ten ever hatched. One of them was sooo close to hatching, but died before it could ever make a crack in the egg. I gave the duckling a proper burial and refused to eat the egg; the same applies to all the other unhatched eggs. However, since I never really raised these unborn ducklings, I never had any emotional attatchment to them so I didn't cry while burying them.

    About two months after these little ducks had hatched, we decided that the backyard was way too small of a place to raise them, so we set them free by the neighborhood pond. At first all was well; later, though, there would be a few less ducks every time we went to visit them. After one year, only four of the original eight (moma, papa, and children) were still there. I was sooo distressed that year that you could see my grades drop by a few points or so, and I the only way I could really cope was by either crying in bed or writing my feelings down on paper. Now, there's only the original papa duck left, Dragon, and I'm really afraid that he's going to die all alone without an heir. D:
  3. Magpie

    Magpie Feathered Overseer
    Staff Member Moderator

    Sorry to hear about Semper, Secad *Hugs* ♥

    My Gerbils are my babies, I'm not ashamed to admit it. I love them way to much, and so obviously when one of them dies I'm devastated. I've had Gerbils since I was little, so I've had quite a few over the years - Tickles and Tiptoe, Flint and Gizmo, Inca and Topaz, Squishy, Cairo and Nimbus, Barley and Moonshine, Sable (Boggle) and Neptune. Moonshine, Sable and Neptune are currently still with me. Sadly Moonshine's Brother, Barley, died a few months ago. I'm still not sure what he died of, and the vet didn't know either...

    I usually take a few days to get over it... and even then I can't talk about it. Sadly, a few of mine have had to be put to sleep do to tumours and the experience of taking them to the vets knowing full well that they aren't coming back is horrible. I didn't handle the death of one of my first two either... but that's because I came home from school to find that Tiptoe had passed away... and Tickles had eaten half of him <<;

    I usually spend the first day in bed, not really doing anything other than crying. I've had days of work due to their deaths, and while there are many out there that will say it's stupid to cry over a dead Gerbil (I've had many people say 'what's the problem? You can just replace it'), I love them dearly. They mean so much to me and like I've already said - they're my children. Fact is, they have personalities and quirks. They show affection, just like larger pets. I miss al Gerbils so very much and I always will.

    The death of the family dog last year, Guy, was a horrible time too. He was all old and acting funny, so I had to drive him to the vets with mum. It was so sad I had to drive home with the both of us crying our eyes out. I could barely see what I was doing ;____;

    I grieve in private. I retreat to my room until I feel able to return and act sociably. I'm not one to talk about to other people, because they rarely understand and because I find talking about it only upsets me further. I retreat into myself and those who know me have learnt to leave me to it.
    #3 Magpie, Oct 4, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  4. I had the hardest time when we had to put Bonzai, our awesome black lab mix, to sleep. I was rather depressed and my grades probably suffered. And I cried a lot. I had this hole in my heart for a long time, probably because I remember the day when we got him but not much before that.

    Then I got my first gerbil, Gerb-Gerb. With something new and cute to love, the hole in my heart was filled. He lived for about four or five years, and he died while my family was on vacation. It was the first day we were gone that he died, and the poor kid looking after him had to bury him in the yard. I came home to an empty cage, so I was seriously worried. Then I was told and I bawled for the longest time, the hole in my heart ripped open again.

    I waited a while, and with the money I had, I got a black gerbil named Vincent. He also lived about four years, and this summer he died. It was really weird, my brother's friends were over and I checked if he was okay or not and he wasn't. Instead of a small curled ball that he usually sleeps in, he was just sprawled out on the bottom of the cage. One of the guys there touched him saying that he was still warm. I had to get out of the basement and get some air, I felt like throwing up, not crying. I was already emotionally spent because I hadn't heard from my boyfriend for a long time and it was that time of the month. I made myself cry for him later though, because I knew if I didn't, I'd end up sick.

    The thing that I hate about pets dying is not being able to hear, see or touch them again, at least in this life.

    *Hugs for all*
  5. Yes, I had a pet one time too that died. He was a chiuaua, black and brown, and his name was Pepper. He was my friend ever since I got him. We played Hide and Seek (which he surprisingly learned quite fast how to play) and tag. He even learned how to climb the little baby gate so he could sleep on my bed.

    However, as he got older, he started to resent me for some reason. When we got a girl dog named Cenemon (or however the hell you spell it). He just loved her apparently. However, mother wanted our other male, Shadow the poodle, to get her pregnant. When he did, Pepper took care of those puppies when Shadow never did. I was touched.

    Then, 4 years into his life, something happened. He was losing blood when he did his business, and that's when we knew the poor chap was dying. For the first time in years, he let me hold him. I held him until he stopped breathing, and then I was devastated. It's been 4 years since his death, and we've now got two new dogs, but Pepper still remains in my heart as one I could really call my friend. Rest in Peace man.
  6. Well, my family had a cat named Sassy, who was a nice cat, but never got along with the dogs. then, some time in December, she disappeared, and we freaked out. Everyone kept telling me "She'll be back, she always comes back." And it was true. Sassy returned in late January. But she wasn't well. She was having kidney failure. We assume she ate a poinsettia (Cuz we really don't know what happened.). So then, we had her, erm, put to sleep, because she'd only be in pain for the short time she'd be living. And we missed her so~~

    About eight years ago, we got a dog named Sammy. He was a pure-bred black chihuahua, and we all loved him. He resented me a bit, because i teased him with a treat once (I didn't know any better! I was five!), and he accidentally bit my lip. He lived to a full seven years, and one day, in late July, my mother went into the garage, and found him... dead... Of a heat stroke. I was asleep, so I didn't know until after she'd called my uncle, and they had buried him in the backyard. I didn't cry much, only because I was too much in shock. It was so sad~~

    After Sammy died, our last pet, Dalilah, went into mild depression. We were very worried about her, but then she returned to her old self. Shortly after, she started having these seizures, or something of the sort. We got her these pills to give her after a seizure, and they started coming less. Eventually, we took her to the vet. W found out she had heart worms, and they died and broke apart, clogging her heart valves. i don't know how, but that caused the seizures. So, we decided we loved her too much to let her be in pain. My dad came, and me, my mom, and my cousin Emily left, all but Emily crying. I had to dig a hole in the backyard, because buried her next to Sammy. I cried the most about her, because she was my favorite.~~

    I grieve while no one is around. I'll usually be in bed, and start thinking about my pets, and then I probably cry myself to sleep. I never ever cry in front of people, and if I have to, I make up a lame excuse, like a fractured ankle or something. And we still do get pets around here, like my sister's dog, and my aunt's dog. And, unfortunately, my mom's getting puppy fever. I have to talk her out of getting dogs when she thinks about getting one. We just can't take losing another...~~
  7. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    *Hugs Secad* I'm sorry for your loss. If you need to limit yourself to two days then do so, but know nobody would judge you if you need longer. :(

    Anyways, I feel it all depends on the person and level of attachment. To me, pets aren't simply "the pets". They're family. I've grieved differently over family members who have died depending on how much they impacted my life, and my pets have been no different. The only real difference between them and humans is their incredibly shorter life-span. It's not fair, but... that's just how it is, and there's nothing we can do about it. =/

    I find if you have another pet still living when one dies, it's easier. You don't always have time to grieve the same way, and a part of you knows you need to keep going for their sake. This is why, as much extra work as it can be, I feel people should always own at least two pets. May it be two dogs, a dog and a cat, two or more rodents or birds, etc. don't just own one. Mind you, it all depends on the level of attachment you feel towards pets and various other factors, but if you're someone who builds strong attachments... A petless home after its been filled with their presence for so many years is stifling.

    I'm like Magpie in this regard. I don't tend to grieve openly because I generally don't know how to express myself, don't care for empty words, and don't enjoy being told to "get over it". The quickest way for me to shut you out is to tell me some ignorant crap like that. You never "get over" a death, pet deaths included. You adapt to them not being in your life, because you have to.

    The majority of my pet deaths I've handled okay (and there's definitely been a lot of 'em) but, to be perfectly honest, I can't really remember how I reacted to most of 'em. Sometimes I could accept their deaths through the knowledge that they were old and it was inevitable. It hurt like hell, but they lived on in my memories and I was happy for the time we'd spent together. When logic didn't work, I'd tend to feel completely numb until finding a way to bury the emotions. Usually worked quite well. However, that was the past. I didn't really handle my most recent pet death well. I wouldn't say I handled it well at all.
  8. I'm not nearly an animal person like everyone else in this thread, but I have experienced a traumatizing pet death before. When I was young, my cousin and I each had a pet kitten who I adored just watching because they were so adorable. Our neighbors had these huge dogs and one day they came into our yard and killed my kitten. My cousin's miraculously escaped by climbing up a really tall tree. I remember being absolutely devastated. I'm pretty sure my former dislike of dogs partly came from this incident (the other part came from my mother's own fear of dogs); I've only recently begun to get over that dislike of dogs now. Even now I hesitate when I go to a friend's house if they have a large dog.

    Since then, \the closest I've come to getting attached to a pet was a goldfish we had. He was the biggest one and the only one that got a name--Bubba XD. He lived a good life for a goldfish, but one day we looked in the tank and saw that he wasn't swimming right and he died shortly after. Rather than flushing him in the toilet, we gave him a proper burial in the front yard. I haven't really had any pets since, but I'm pretty sure I'd get attached, albeit not attached enough to consider him or her family. You never know though; maybe I will some day.

    And on that note, I'd like to share a link because this story touched my heart when I read it.
  9. I actually consider pet deaths in the same realm as family deaths- probably somewhat due to the fact that my mom refers to them as "my brothers". So, I handle them the way I handle all forms of death- I compartmentalize. Outwardly, I show little to no signs of grief. It's not always the best way to deal with these sorts of things, though. I find that they always have a way of coming up when I need them the least.

    The death I remember most was the loss of our family's German Shepherd, Klaus. He was gigantic for his breed- weighed in at about 130 pounds, all of it muscle. He was fast, lean, and large. But that dog had a kindness to him, a gentle nature, and if he loved you, you would never see any form of a growl or bark. Unfortunately, larger dogs end up having a shorter lifespan- something about circulation errors as they grow older- and Klaus was no exception. As he got on in years, past the 10 year mark, signs of his age began to show through. You know, it's funny- I can't remember the year he died. It was recent, but it also seems faraway. Probably because my father wisely did not allow me or my mother to go with him to the vet for that last procedure. We said our last goodbyes at my house, where he had lived so many of his years. It's oddly comforting to know he went peacefully, in his sleep. So it goes.

    Our family always has at least two dogs at a time, often three. After Klaus passed on, we were left with Taz, still a rather hyper young dog then; and Mobius, who defies all explanation of a "normal" dog. We're kind of a one-breed family, except for Mobius, who has a mix of German Shepherd and Arceus-knows-what. Besides that, we've got a tank full of tropical fish, one of which is a puffer with teeth that never fails to amaze guests. I think it ate our damsels. So it goes.

    Heh. Sometimes, it still slips through. I'll be writing a post about pets here, and I'll find myself getting rather teary. I'll be at home, sorting through my desk, and I'll see a picture I still keep to this day, of when Klaus was still a tiny puppy. We had no idea how big he would get, but the picture should have been foreshadowing- he was this little thing, tugging at the corner of a giant bag of dog food. The bag was probably twice his size at that point XD I find it funny how I've kept that picture- it was always my favorite of him when he was still around.

    To me, grief is tailored to the person or animal that passed. If I was used to seeing them everyday, the compartmentalization is less stable than say, a relative I only saw once or twice a year. It's an adaption, not a simple display of sadness. The more you have to adapt, the harder it is for the passing- or, at least, that's my experience with death. I think I rambled a bit here. Sorry bout that.
    #9 SineCosineTangent, Oct 5, 2010
    Last edited by a moderator: Sep 19, 2013
  10. *laughs* My mother always referred to my animals (Othello the cavy, Semper the gerbil, Vinny the chihuahua, etc.) as our children, her grandchildren, or our siblings. :p

    Yes, I do agree, SCT. The more you see some relative that dies, the harder it hits because of the greater emotional attachment. When my grandmother died, it didn't have much impact on me because she was greatly suffering from a bone marrow disease for three years. However, my gerbil's death was way more sudden, and I did see him every day.
  11. Linkachu

    Linkachu Hero of Pizza
    Staff Member Administrator

    In our family, it all depends who bought the pet. My three rats are my children (my boys 8D), my puppy is my daughter (but I generally just call her my "baby"), and my mom's puppy is my sister... even though my puppy and hers are sisters.

    Yes. It sounds very wrong and confusing. :p
  12. Upon growing up I had a series of pet hamsters.
    Buster and Princess
    Sugar and Spice
    Gray and Nasume (or whatever Sephiroth's sword was named)
    That was it...
    Then we got 2 cats who are still around since Middle School named Malcav and Lucita, Malcav is a 100% tabby and all orange with darker orange stripes and lighter orange under fur. Lucita is half tabby and half caleco.

    Buster, Sugar, and Honey died from Wet Tail, Spice died from old age, Lucky choked (a friend of my sister's left a big plastic bag of food next to his cage and he tried to chew through, he died half way in the house, he wasn't bright but I loved him), Grey and Nasume fought pretty hard, Grey managed to bite wide open the throat of Nasume and then died from sustained injuries. The two died from when we were out of the house. Lucky died while we were home but left him for just 20 minutes. Buster and Spice were the smartest of the hamsters we had and like I said before... Lucky was probably the dumbest, but each one I was sad they passed.

    Lucita is the kind of cat that is just there, not quite part of the family.
    Malcav is definitely part of the family, he's the smartest pet we've ever had, he understands most of what we say to him and he has his own personality. He and I used to hang out like no tomorrow, but sadly I am working in an always changing career (temp) and I plan on visiting my family including the two cats when I go home for Christmas.

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