Loss Of A Pet Can Be Unbearable

Losing A Pet Hurts Like Losing A Best Friend

Losing pets can feel heart-breaking; they're our companions, our babies, our best friends.

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Growing up, my family always had a dog. As a bunch of animal lovers, this was and still is important to us. Recently, we lost our dog, Lizzy, of ten years, and dealing with the loss has been especially hard.

Pets really become a part of the family and provide immeasurable amounts of love and companionship. You get used to their greeting at the door when you come home, so excited to see you after a long day away. You take care of them; feed them, walk them, bathe them. They become a staple in your everyday life and you look forward to them being there.

That is how my family was with Lizzy. She was such a sweet dog, but she was getting old. We noticed her struggling to get up, being unbalanced on her feet, and crying when she was in pain. However, without fail, she was always there for us. She always forced her body up to come and give us kisses and say hello.

She would even have spurts of "puppy" energy, in which she would play with my dad and run back and forth. Granted, she would slump right down and fall asleep right after, but that love for life was still there. She was still trying.

Somehow, I had a feeling something was going to happen to her when I was away at school. All summer I was afraid she was going to die when I was away. And then I got the fateful call.

Lizzy could no longer walk or even hold herself up. She took a tumble down the stairs and was really hurting. The big tumor on her side, which started as fatty tissue, could have easily turned into something more dangerous. She was in pain all the time and no longer acting like herself. That's when my family made the decision to put an end to her suffering.

I immediately got on the train and was taken to the vet where they were keeping her. My heart flooded with sadness, I didn't think she was going to recognize me or even acknowledge me when I walked into the room. However, they brought her into the exam room and she came right up to me and licked my face. I smile to myself knowing I got that compassionate goodbye from my puppy.

My whole family cried gallons of tears that day. Now, our house is oddly empty without her. Even my cat is wondering where she is and is laying in Lizzy's usual spots. After having a dog in our house since I was born, it feels strange not having that energy there.

I'm sure plenty can relate, and all pet-owners know how much these animals mean to us as humans. Losing a dog, cat, hamster, or fish can hurt pretty badly. Lizzy will always be in my heart, even when she leaves my everyday thoughts. Our pets are still with us after they pass on, even when it feels like there's something missing.

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5 Ways Impulsively Getting A Dog Saved My Mental Health

Those four paws are good for a lot more than just face kisses.

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Shortly before my husband and I officially moved out onto our own, he surprised me with a puppy in hand on the morning of our anniversary. Moving out, tackling college, and everything in between, I thought another huge responsibility was the last thing I needed. However, in reality, Oakley, the lab/Australian shepard/collie mix, was exactly what I needed to get back to "me."


He provides emotional support

One of the most obvious reasons is how much emotional support dogs, (and other respective animals) can provide. His paws have been accidentally stepped on, and he certainly isn't a fan of the forced flea/tick medication doses, but less than 30 seconds later, he is without fail immediately by my side again, tail wagging and ready for more kisses. Although he is not trained or certified as an ESA, it's without a doubt he has effectively (and unconsciously) combated random anxiety attacks or feelings of being alone.

He requires being cared for

You'll heavily judge every crazy fur mama, as did, I until you become one. Getting Oakley immediately got me consistently back on my feet and forced me to ask myself, "What does he need today?"Even simple, easy tasks like taking him out to run/go to the bathroom had me excited and forced me to find a motive in the day to day activities. I loved no longer having even the mere choice to be unproductive. Don't want to start your day? Well, Oakley needs his day started, so let's get moving.

He serves as protection

It's no surprise how far a dog's loyalty will go to protect their owner. For decades, specially trained dogs have had life-saving responsibilities assigned to them. Even being married, my husband and I's schedules vary significantly to where it is not uncommon for me to be alone. The slightest sound or shadow from outside our door immediately initiates barking. In the bathroom taking a shower? He's there. Knowing that Oakley is looking out, even when I get carried away with tasks like cooking dinner, always calms my nerves.

He's become something to look forward to

The nice thing about having Oakley is regardless of how my day goes, I know exactly how it is going to end. Whether I passed an exam with flying colors or got the lowest grade in the class, I know what waits for me when I open the door at home. After a long day, nothing resets my mood like walking into a face that is just as happy and excited to see me!

He encourages bonds with others

If you want your social interaction to sky rocket: get a puppy. No, I'm serious. You'll have people wanting to come over and visit "you" (let's be real… your puppy), like it's your last day on Earth. For me, this was exactly what I needed. Getting Oakley had family members constantly checking in to see how he was growing, learning, etc. Not only did this encourage more interactions with family and friends, but it also "livened" my husband and I's home life. Instead of the "normal" weekend nights consisting of Netflix and MarioKart, (which are enjoyable in their own respective ways), spending our nights playing Monkey in the Middle with our new four-legged friend has proven much more entertaining.

So ideally was it the right time to get a dog? Probably not. However, adding Oakley to my small little family combated anxiety and depression in ways I wouldn't have ever thought possible.

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10 Ways My Dog Cured My Loneliness And Became My Best Friend

I had puppies on the brain and I was determined to have a little sidekick.

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Growing up in a family of six left no room for being lonely. Always a sibling around to annoy me or a parent there to tell me to clean my room. All of that aside, it truly is the best thing in the world to have two sisters, one brother and two supporting parents constantly in my corner. Loneliness was never an option. You can imagine my excitement though when it came time to move into my own apartment. Peace and quiet, nobody to tell me to clean my room, finally some space! That was rather refreshing for the first three months out on my own. Then like a ton of bricks this new feeling in which I was very unfamiliar with set in. Coming home to nobody started to get disappointing. Cooking for just one and not six was difficult. Not getting the routine hugs goodnight from mom and dad was heartbreaking. Talking to myself was becoming a real issue. The solution; a puppy!

I was not much of an animal person and incredibly allergic to dogs. However, I had puppies on the brain, and I was determined to have a little sidekick as soon as possible. After weeks of googling hypoallergenic dog breeds and searching the humane association websites, craigslist, and tons of puppies for sale pages on Facebook. I found her; one out of eleven puppies left. A few weeks later my friend and I made the six-hour road trip to bring her home. Hands down the best impulsive decision I have ever made. I say impulsive because I had no idea what I was getting myself into I just knew it absolutely felt necessary. This beautiful Goldendoodle named Ember very easily became my best friend and instantly cured any sign of loneliness. Here is how.

1. She is always happy to see me

Coming home to the tail wagging excitement as soon as I walk in the house never gets old.

2. Leftovers never go to waste

Cooking for one is still difficult but she rarely has an issue with licking her food bowl clean.

3. She is the best cuddle buddy

Having her snuggled up next to me every night is the perfect replacement to missing my parent's goodnight hugs.

4. Talking to myself is a little less crazy

Because well she's kind of listening.

5. I still get a small dose of annoying siblings

It just comes from her instead and in the form of a headbutt to the face or stolen chicken off the counter.

6. She knows how to stop my tears

The paw on my shoulder or the gentle head nudge is exactly what I need whenever I am upset.

7. Laughter happens daily

Whether it be when she backs up into my bedroom or falls for the classic fake throw when playing fetch, she provides plenty of entertainment.

8. She is always right there

Hearing the gentle footsteps following me from bedroom to bathroom to living room to kitchen and knowing she will be right behind me when I turn around is the most comforting feeling ever.

9. Toys are everywhere

I am suddenly the one telling someone else to clean up knowing full well she never will. (I get it now Mom and Dad) Oddly enough though walking into a house with toys spread out across the floor makes it feel all the more full of life.

10. She always loves me

It doesn't matter how badly I failed at being human that day. She is the most forgiving and loving being I have ever known.

I was doubtful on that three-hour car ride back home with Ember in my lap. What did I just do? I can't raise a puppy on my own! The doubt faded though, as soon as the loneliness did.

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