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Hello,

My name is Vicente and I am writing from Mexico because my beautiful seven-year-old French Poodle died last Friday, Juanuary 9 and I feel terrible and guilty.
I really need help since I don't know how I am going to get over this situation.
I try to rescue stray dogs to then find them a happy home and I have tried to find a home for a Golden Retriever for 6 months. He has been in a pet care for months and every two days I went with my French Poodle to pick him up and take them for a walk.
That Friday, I was outside a Vet with my little French Poodle, The Golden and a little Cocker my brother rescued. Everything was ok and I have them with their own leash. Suddenly, my little dog growled at the Golden and jump over him to attack him. The golden just put his body above my dog and I separated them almost immediately. The problem is that my dog fell unconscious with his tongue outside the muzzle. The Vet tried to save him, gave him a shot, reanimated him and nothing. He died.
I feel terrible. Guyton was my best friend, my partner and my life. I feel I could have prevented this from happening and this makes me feel guilty and misserable.
My little dog was 7 years old and had lung and heart failure that made him snore, have breathing attacks and get tired easily after running. I don't know if it was a combination of all these problems and if he wasn't going to be able to life fro many more years and these problems caused his heart attack. One of his ex Vets told me today that due to his health condition, his life expectancy wasn't very optimistic and that dogs like him life 40% less than healthy dogs. In spite of this, I just can't rest and I feel that I took 10 years of his life away from him and that I also took y dad's dog away from him since Guyton was very important to him too and he is very sad. Seeing him like this makes me feel very bad and worsens everything.
I feel terrible and I can't belive how everything seemed to have aligned to cause this tragedy. The owner of the Pet care couldn't take the Cocker to get vaccinated and this ius why I took her with us that day. Then, I was about to leave the Vet's office to walk the dogs while the doctor finished bathing a cat, when I decided to come back to grab a t-shirt that I have put on The Golden Retriever for months that says "Adopt me" because I thought: Who knows? Maybe a possible adoptant shows up during this little walk. And when I came back this tragedy took place. It's unbelievable and I feel terrible and guilty.

I really need some advice and support because this dog was the best thing in my life. I have OCD and my life has been horrible for years and this little dog gave me moments of great happyness. My mental condition makes this tragedy tougher and I don't know what to do. This was just the last straw to complete my misserable life. I wasted my twenties since I stopped going to school regularly at the age of 19 to avoid seeing my friends and having anxiety problems. I got this idea that I couldn't talk about anything and I made it happen, which made my life misserable in the University, which I hated by the way, and in social events. I finished a law degree going to school only on Saturdays, but I didn't like this degree either and I have practically been outside a normal twenty-something guy's social life all these years.
I had many dreams. I wanted to go to Canada or to a great US city like New York and have a new life with a nice job, friends, a nice appartment and a healthy state of mind. I was very interested in having a life like the one that you could see on Friends, Seinfeld and other 90s sitcoms and movies. It is my favorite decade and I idealise this decade.
I spent years regretting I couldn't turn back time to the 90s and not having been born many years earlier to live my 20's in this decade. I always thought I was going to be able to fulfill this dream. I was too trusting and put my plans off several times thinking: I am just 25, I still have a few years before turning 30. The day will come. But my personal and family problems, my disease and indecision made these dreams fade away.
My routine these years has been waking up, taking a shower, having breakfast, watching tv, eating, watching tv again, surfing the net, having dinner and going to bed. My little dog changed it a little bit because I took him for a walk every day, but it has been pretty much the same ever since I was 19. I am about to turn 30 and I have no friends, no job, no life. Never had a girlfriend. I have never been able to flirt and have a relationship. It's hard for me to talk to girls and they just seem to find me unattractive, boring and disgusting. I feel they find being next to me or touch me gross and unpleasant. My dog was the creature that cared the most about me and loved me with all my problems unconditionally. He was my best and only friend. He was my life and the one that brightened my life.
I feel lonely and I am alone despite I live with my brother and my mom. I just miss walking him, seeing him on my bed, knowing he is behind my bathroom door waiting for me to get out and take him for a walk, seeing how happy he got when he saw his necklace, hear his little bell and saw his leash. I miss him in my car because he went almost everywhere with me. He was my best friend and my life partner. And the fact of knowing these things won't happen anymore and that the life plans I had with him are death is horrible. He was going to be my only companion and now I don't know what is going to happen with my life.
I go over the tragical event over and over again and it's overwhelming and makes me feel misserable many times.
This dog was extremely special for me me because my parents separated last May and the previous years there were many fights in my house and this little dog gave us great moments of joy, hope and he even brought the family together and even delayed my parents' separation. My little Guyton reached this level of importance and power. The situation became unbearable and my parents finally split up. I was very worried for him because he was extremely attached to my dad and the fact of seeing him waiting for my dad to get home on the stairs looking at the living room window and knowing my dad was no longer come back home made me feel terrible. The first days were very tough, but fortunately my dad and I managed a way to make Guyton spend time with him and we developed a routine centered around him. Every day My dad and I met between 7 and 9pm whether in a department store, a café or my uncle's house to give Guyton to him so that he could spend time with my dad and continue sleeping with him just how he used to do it when my dad still lived with us, and then, my dad gave Guyton back to me in the morning and he spent the whole day with me. This is also something that I am having trouble realizing it's not part of my routine anymore and makes this tragedy harder to deal with. Everyday I got back home with Guyton in the morning and he jumped to my bed and usually kissed me. Then, I took a swower and he either waited for me outside the bathroom or on my bed. We had several customs like these and it's terrible to know this doesn't happen anymore and have to readjust my life. I took him for a walk in the morning and in the afternoon every day. He waited for me on my bed or outside my bathroom with a lot of excitement for knowing it was his walk time. Sometimes he followed me with his eyes or everywhere to let me know he wanted to go out and he was looking forward to it. He got very happy. He cried, yelled, kissed me, sneezed and jumped over me when I showed him his necklace, he heard the little bell I put on it and when he saw his leash.
I don't know what I am going to do. I hate today's world. I find it so gray, lame, superficiel, plastic, so full of technological devices I don't like and make it even more shallow and with less personality and attractive. I hate today's era. I don't fit in and I am not looking forward to the next years. Music sucks, movies suck, new generations make me feel hopeless and it's just horrible. Going abroad is no longer interesting and attractive to me because I lost the best years when I should have done it, which were between 2004 and 2012 when I was younger and still had dreams and a lot of nostalgia for the 90's. which was a great impulse to live in The US, Canada or The UK. These ambitions are gone. I don't feel like studying a Masters, looking for a great job or discovering new things anymore. I wasted my 20s in a terrible depressing way. The years that for most people are the best in life. The years where you go to college, have great experiences, have fun, relationships, when you explore and discover things, when you grow up, start working as a young adult. The years where many people live life at its fullest, go out, find their independence, their path and the girl of their dreams. I didn't have any of these things and you have no idea how sad, depressing and impotent it is to realize you will never be able to turn back time and that these years are gone for good. Now I am under medication, fluvoxamine, which makes these feelings be like asleep. It's like being sedated. I still feel them and I still know they are deep inside of me, but I am druggy enough to forget a little bit about them, something I am not comfortable with because the medicine is not curing me and will never do it, it just confuses you a little bit and you don't feel good, complete and satisfied. When I stop taking them, I usually start getting my nostalgia and regrets back fast, something that belive it or not, makes me feel good and alive. The problem is that the crisis become harder to manage. For example, I haven't taken this medicine the last days and I don't know if this was the reason why my dog's loss became even more painful this weekend. this morning I really wanted to die. I was desperate. I wanted to disconnect myself to avoid the great pain I felt.
Sometimes I feel like giving up and killing myself to go with my little dog. Sometimes I feel it's unbelievable and ridiculous that I haven't committed suicide after all the years of pain, sorrow, loneliness, deceptions, problems, mental suffering and sadness. What am I going to do? If only I could know what he is thinking, where he is and get guided by him. The death of my beautiful little Guyton was the last straw to make me go to pieces and the last element to complete a decade of horrible 20s.

I really appreciate your help in advance and I really hope you can reply to me.

Regards
 

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I'm so sorry this happened. I don't know if there is anything like this available where you live, but there are several grief counseling hotlines in the US that are toll-free. I'm not sure how that works from Mexico, though. You should be able to do an internet search for any pet grief/loss counseling services where you are, though, usually they are free if they are available.

One thing I will say is that there is a difference between responsibility and blame. Yes, you know in hindsight that this situation could have been prevented. But at the time, you didn't have any ill intent. You were trying to help another dog and a horrible accident happened. You bear some responsibility, but not blame, does that make sense?

We humans like to blame ourselves for everything, so I know it's easy for me to say that and harder for you to feel it. Try to take whatever lessons you can from this and do things differently next time you find yourself in a similar situation. That's really all you can do, you can't undo the past. Try to be easy on yourself, and good luck.
 

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Hi,

I can see that you are in a very dark place at the moment. Your posting is very long and I could not deal with all the points you raise. One reason for this is that I am not qualified to comment on some of the aspects of your personal condition. However, I do have a lot of experience of dogs including the pain of losing them.

One thing, that is evident from your posting, is that you lavished a lot of time and love on your dog(s) and you probably gave them a much better quality of life than they would have had if they had not been taken on by you. This fact alone should reduce any feeling of guilt you may have. Concentrate on all the good times you gave your dog.

One other thing for you to think about is: Could you carry out any volunteer work with local rescue centres? This might give you something else to think about and occupy your time with something you can believe in.

I do not really know your personal circumstances but if you could find the time for this type of volunteer work it would help you as well giving the satisfaction of knowing you were doing something worthwhile.

At the end of last year I lost my faithful dog Greta to a terrible parallelising disease known as DM. She was 11 years old and we were able to give her a fabulous life but it still hurts so I (and most other dog owners) can feel your pain. You can see a photo of Greta, in a cart, about halfway down the page at:

http://www.dogtraining-tips.co.uk

Remember concentrate on what you can do to help other dogs (or even other people) and you will slowly learn to cope better.

I sincerely hope that none of what I have written seems insensitive or patronising to you. I do not mean it to be.

Wishing you good luck in the future,

David
 

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I'm so sorry for your loss... :( *Hugs*
You need time to grieve, and as time passes so will the pain of loss. You'll never forget your little dog - I had a cat whom I lost in 2009 and still think about regularly.
I wish you well, and I'm sure in time you'll find yourself able to open your heart to a new little dog - maybe even that Golden who needs a special home.
 

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I am so, so sorry for your loss. I know a bit about how you are feeling because two years ago, my beloved rescue dog Kona was killed by another dog. That little dog had saved my life by bringing some joy into it at a very dark time, and his loss was devastating to me. I didn't want to go on living. I had nightmares about his death (and I still do, but they are rare instead of frequent).

What helped me was to remember that my sweet dog would not have wanted me to give up. He would have wanted me to keep on working to rescue other dogs and to continue looking for the beautiful parts of life. After his death, I committed myself to helping other animals and people in his honor, the way that he helped me and I helped him.

Like you, my daily routine was the first step to emerging from the hopelessness that I felt. Every day, I told myself "You have to get up, you have to shower, you have to dry your hair, and you have to survive."

Today I volunteer with an animal rescue organization and am the mom to two wonderful dogs that were rescued from bad situations. I still miss my little guy, and at times like when I read your post I am again overwhelmed with the sadness. But I let myself cry, and then I start to feel better and I renew my energy to help other dogs.

You can get through this. If you have access to some mental health counseling, that will help a great deal I think. You just have to keep moving forward. Sometimes that's all you can do.
 
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