After he started getting sick in November 2015, and multiple vets treating him, and special diets, and over $5000 in medical costs, he was too sick, so I let him go in February. I thought I was okay.
Everyone misses him, remembers him, asks about him. His ashes are up on that shelf, sitting there. He never sat, unless we were at work and then he sat and was so damn good. He kept my blood sugar from going low, he kept my blood sugar from going too high; he kept me sane.
He was my Herbert. The best service dog. Ever.
Why does it still hurt? Why do I still feel so heart-hurt? And worst of all – why isn’t it fucking getting better? Is it because he was only four fucking years old? Or is it because he died due to a stupid goddamned ridiculous grass barb embedding itself into his esophagus? Of course, we didn’t know that until the necropsy.
People who have lost a pet seem to think they understand, I have lost quite a few pets throughout my life and it hurts, and I grieved; but this feels so different. He was with me 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Now I feel alone.
So I’m 10, and recently my cat died. He was a beautiful cat. We got him when I was just 4. He was really fluffy and white. He had different black and brown shapes on his back, forming a circle. My parents thought it looked like the Zodiac, so his name became Zodiac.
Zodiac went through many problems, but none of them caused his death. He had an odd craving for foam and plastic. Whenever he got any into his mouth we were able to save him, but he became more cranky. Despite my sometimes being annoying to him, he treated me like he was my mother. I loved him. He loved me.
As you might know from a different story I put up, I’m not in the best of times at school. When I got home, he’d sometimes be in my bed. I’d cuddle up to him and talk to him, and cry into his fur. Late at night he would purr, and it just helped me feel safe.
One morning, my parents were sidetracked because they were going to travel to Canada. They were going to pick up my sister from college, for the start of her summer break. It was the 20th of April. Zodiac didn’t come for kibble in the morning, and my parents told me he just went to greet our neighbors. That’s NOT what happened. I went to school, worried.
I had Girl Scouts that day, so I didn’t come home until 5:00. I arrived, stepped out of my grandparents’ car, and my sister came outside.She thanked my grandmother. then, she grabbed me tight, and said, “There is something I need to tell you about Zodiac …he’s dead.” I burst into tears, and so did she.
Later, my sister told me what happened. “I decided to go looking in the woods for Zodiac, and I found him …on the ground, dead.” She explained there was blood around his neck. We concluded that Zodiac must have hunted a rabbit or something like that, and a coyote wanted the rabbit. All we know is that it came fast. His eyes were open.
He’s a cat to remember. My mom is working on getting us a dog. All we have left now is this other cat who is freaking scared of me. It doesn’t feel right. It’s not fair. He left way too soon. I want him back. I want to talk to him. I think he understood me. It’s a letter I can’t send. Is it stupid that I’m doing this?
I love you. I know you love me. I will remember you, and never will forget how your fur felt. Sleeping at night won’t be the same. Coming home won’t be the same. Weekend mornings won’t be the same. Our other cat wakes me up now. Why did you have to go? Why did you leave me? Why did the world do this to us?
A part of your family
I came home once to find one of my daughter’s most loved fish in the toilet. I was sad for her, and very worried the little fishy might accidentally come back up. I didn’t want that to be traumatic for the kids, so I flushed it again. The fishy wriggled ALIVE and went down with the water. I was horrified!
Abusive Husband was very angry, and demanded to know what the EFF my dumb ass was thinking. I asked, “But why was it in the toilet?” He said it looked like it was going to die, but the cold water must have revived it. He made big deal to my daughter about it, saying that I was careless and killed her pet.
I was so sad I just wanted to slip through the floorboards. I was so confused. I was always messing stuff up. I would never have hurt her.
Thankfully, my daughter doesn’t remember it at all, even though it was just a few years ago. It must have been so awful for her, that she has blocked the memory.
The other kids remember Abusive Husband putting beloved fish in the toilet as a threat to force them to do things, “or else”. Or, he would do it just to terrorize them into a panic, when he was bored while I was at work. I asked them, “Why didn’t you tell me? I would have gone toe to toe with him over one tiny mean comment to any of you kids!!”
“Exactly Mom, he was going to kill you if we told.”
I am a seventeen year old girl. For quite some time, I had been experiencing strange feelings. Around ten months ago, I had an illness that lasted for three months. No doctor could tell the exact reason. Some of them said it was related to some kind of mental disturbance. I thought about my life at that moment. Everything was fine, so I ignored it.
Six months later, I found myself having trouble sleeping, isolating myself from people, and having suicidal thoughts. Everything in my life was amazing then. I couldn’t figure out what was causing this, and because I failed to understand myself, everyone else did too. Three months later, during a chemistry test, I went blank and felt like a corpse.
I had figured it out, I had been raped.
It had started when I was nine years old. My mother had been transferred to a different state than where my father lived. We were living with my uncle and his family. I was very innocent, and was irritated and let down by my cousins who constantly mocked at me for everything I did.
One day, while my mom was at work, one of my male cousins came into my room and locked the door. He asked me to play with him. I was glad someone wanted to play with me. He wanted to play house, so he played the role of my husband. As the time to sleep came, he lay next to me and felt me all over, making me uncomfortable. He groped my tiny breasts and kissed me repeatedly. I felt so bad, I asked him to leave. I didn’t really know what all was happening, but I knew it wasn’t right. From then on, I avoided being with him alone. Time passed, we moved back in with my dad, and the incident was soon forgotten.
When I was twelve, I was at another uncle’s house. My mom went out for sometime, and I was alone with my uncle. He sat beside me and hugged me. Then, he started touching me everywhere, and slid his hands inside my shirt. I ran away and stayed in the bathroom until my mom returned. I thought about telling her, but I was worried she wouldn’t believe me, so I didn’t say anything.
The next year, we stayed at my grandfather’s house, without our parents. One night, my aunt’s husband woke me up in the middle of the night by running his fingers up and down my legs. I was horrified and ran to the bathroom. My younger sister was sleeping in the same room, so I went back to the room, praying he wouldn’t still be there. I didn’t want to shout because my sister would wake up, and she was too young to witness this. He kept trying to feel my body under my clothes, so I kicked him very hard. I warned him to back off or else I would shout.
The next day, when I was combing my hair, he grabbed my breasts from behind and kissed my neck and back. I was bewildered. I stayed quiet because I was afraid my mom would not believe me and our family would fall apart. I was relieved when my parents came back.
Two months later, my aunt invited us to her place. My mother went out with my aunt to shop, and my father was busy with some work. I was on the computer with my back to the door, my aunt’s husbad came in and locked the door. Before I could think of an escape, he made me lie on the couch and kissed my lips. He French kissed me and touched every part of my body. I shouted, but nobody seemed to hear. I was saved when the doorbell suddenly rang. I felt like telling my mom about it, but just couldn’t. I told a trusted cousin about it, and the problem stopped.
When I was 15, I had a boyfriend. I was falling for him and thought I could trust him. One day, we had gone on a drive when he turned into a deserted street and stopped the car. I asked him what was wrong, and he started to kiss me. I kissed him back. He went further and took off my shirt. I was shocked and asked him to stop, but he got on top of me, unbuttoned both of our pants, and stuck out his penis. I told him I was on my period, and I begged him not to do it. He got off me.
I punched him and shouted for help, but no one listened. He asked me to blow him. I didn’t know what that meant. He grabbed me by the throat, and pushed his penis inside my mouth. I understood then and punched his chest. He became violent, and he started to choke me. I knew I had to cooperate to stay safe. I begged him to stop. When I didn’t give in, he made me rub and stroke his penis. Finally he ejaculated, then he drove me home, without saying a word.
I came back home only to discover my mom had read my diary and knew I was with my boyfriend instead of at my friend’s house. I was shattered. My parents are completely against teenagers dating, so my mom acted like I had betrayed her. I didn’t have the courage then to tell her what had happened.
I opened my phone to call up my best friend, but discovered I had a text from her that said she was diagnosed with blood cancer. I was breaking down.
After ignoring his calls, I finally decided I needed to meet with my boyfriend to tell him I was done. But when we met, he took me to a corner, and without wasting any time, he shoved his finger up my vagina. I was shocked, and I ran back home.
The next day, my dog died.
I was falling into a pit, and it seemed impossible to come out. With no one to talk to about this, I decided to just shove it in some corner of my heart. That resulted in bad health and emotional problems.
This September, I finally contacted a helpline and went to a counselor who changed my life. I told my parents about everything. They listened and stood by me, without blaming me. I am making a new start with the help of my loved ones.
You hear about people losing homes to fires all the time on the news, but you never hear about how the people are doing afterward.
I lost my home December 3rd, 2013, and I feel as if my whole life has been stolen from me. I’m having a hard time carrying on. This can’t be my life. I sleep maybe four or five hours a night, then I wake with the worst feeling of despair, thinking about the things we lost.
The fire took my 10 cats, that I loved dearly. Two may be missing – I go back to the property and search every evening, but have had no luck. Our home was in a rural area, and I have posters hung on poles nearby, but there are just farmers and some homes in the area, miles away from any vets or pet stores.
I’m grieving my cats, but also my home. All of my things are gone. People tell you it’s just material things, and you can get new, but I don’t want new. I was happy with my old things. I can’t get back the afghan my grandma made me, or the yearbooks that were signed by my best school friend, who died last January.
I’m stuck in a rental home until we get our land cleared and a new home. I’m surrounded by unfamiliar people, things, even different clothes. We even have a different car now because our car is what started the fire. It caught fire under the hood and spread to the garage door. I ask myself questions like, “Where did my life go?” or just “Why?” or “How are all my cats gone all at once?”
Our house looks as if it were hit with a bomb. I didn’t know the metal in your windows could melt and twist like that. Firefighters put a huge hole in our bedroom window. The things I had hanging on the wall there are gone. Even the pot of chili I had on the stove is gone. Papers my son brought home from school that I had on the fridge aren’t there now. My son’s toys and the toy box just melted all together.
I’ve had my piano since I was 7 and began taking lessons. The top has been taken off. The varnish looks like it melted. Some keys are sticking up. I’ll probably need a new one.
All the ceiling has been torn off. A lot is just hanging down. The study above the garage is just a burnt black room with no roof. It rains and snows in my study. Pages from my books burnt and laying in the yard. All my music melted.
Only one of the arms and the metal bed springs are left of the wooden daybed where the cats loved to lay. My telescope that I put together myself is gone – it was mostly plastic and wood. The whole place is beyond repair. It has to be knocked down. That brings up another whole set of emotions. Ten years of life there turned to rubble and going to be discarded in a dump.
I was having panic attacks. Self-talk is helping, but I don’t know how I’m going to get through this. I’ve never been so depressed and anxious in my life. I used to love my life. Just five days before it happened, I had a wonderful Thanksgiving with family. I felt so blessed to be surrounded by all I loved, and in abundance. It was all taken from me in 3 hours. It still feels like a strange dream. I wonder if I will ever feel happy again, if I’ll ever even smile.
The days are long. I always used to be busy, so they used to speed by, but now I plod through the day at this rental home doing a little cleaning just to get the day over with.
I’m not myself. I don’t feel like interacting with anyone. I can’t afford counseling. I try to journal and read self-help books, but I still feel so dead inside.
One thing I’ve learned from this already is who is on my side and who’s not. My relations to various people have changed. I’ve had to distance myself from some family members who were hurtful or whose words just make me feel worse. Many people don’t seem to understand just how huge this loss is. It’s loss at multiple levels, pet loss, home loss, things that were special, my daily routine is gone. It’s a huge change.
To say it’s all unreal is an understatement. I don’t know what the future holds. We’ve picked out a double wide home already and have much of the paper work done to get it. We just have to wait on the destruction of our old house. We’re having a hard time finding a local company to do that. And as much as I hate it, it has to be done. I will take my sister’s cat and am thinking about a kitten to keep it company, but in my heart right now I’m just wanting the ones I lost back. I don’t think anything would give me any happiness now but to get my two missing cats back.
For now, I’m just trying to get through each day, one day at a time. I don’t know how I’m going to pick myself up from this, but I have to move on somehow. Each day is a day further away in time, and hopefully a day closer to getting my life back together again.
Losing a pet can be as hard as losing a family member.
This is Gracie’s story:
We’re putting our dog down today, later, hopefully after I take a nap. Her cancer spread so fast… we had just weeks from finding out she was dying to having to make that final, awful decision.
Our kids are heartbroken. Our three-year old completely broke down when she figured out what we were trying to tell her. Gracie won’t ever be coming home again. No more Gracie. Just gone. Our daughter has grown up with this dog; she doesn’t have a memory in which Gracie wasn’t around. Then just suddenly she won’t be coming home.
It isn’t fair.
I bond better with animals than humans. I loved Gracie before I loved her owner, my partner. I had an instant connection with this dog, this wonderful personality in a big, furry, cuddle butt body. Now my furry buddy is going to be missing from my life. I don’t think I’ve cried this hard since my mom died.
We made her a headstone with her paw print, and another stone with her tags for us. Another for the kids to decorate in honor of their first dog. But it isn’t the same. I think I understand now why some people put away all the pictures of someone who died – it’s too painful to be reminded.
I don’t know if I can bear to see her leash hanging up when I come in the door from taking her to that awful last vet visit. She’ll never use it again.
It just isn’t fair.
I just want her to be there when I walk in the door. Lay next to the couch while I watch TV. Get excited at dinner time. But life just isn’t fair, and now my whole family is sad.
So fucking sad…