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Ben 12-11-2013 12:33 PM

Dog Died. What next?
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I'm a pretty stable person and a mature adult. Two weeks ago, our dog Marley got hit by a car and died. My 20-y.o. daughter was with him so my wife and I came home to carry him to the vet and cremation. I don't think I'll spend money on counseling, but I'm considering it. Our family and mostly I did everything with this dog. Kids grew up with him, so it's a shock and a milestone of sorts. He was 8. I'm focusing on work and home projects, but from time to time, I get paralyzed about his loss. Wondering about my kids as well.

Thinking about another dog in the future, but feel as though it's way too early, and even more so, the eight years of emotional time in Marley is too valued to think about inserting a "replacement player".

Don't mean to do a tear-jerker post, but curious how others have dealt with the loss of a furry friend.
The other thing is he was an awesome boat, water, and marina dog. So this stings on a few levels.

Definitely not running out to get the next pet, but I am wondering how others worked through the void that goes with the loss of a great dog?


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CPseudonym 12-11-2013 01:22 PM

Sorry for your loss Ben. Our situation is different as we rescue and rehabilitate dogs mostly to be adopted by others. We've lost several through the years though and it does sting every time, maybe a little more so when they are our pets.

I suppose what keeps us going is knowing that there never is a shortage of abused dogs needing rehab, unfortunately.

BaltimoreLurker 12-11-2013 01:51 PM

Sorry to hear about your loss, Ben. I don't know how to handle this either but got a glimpse of what's to come just 2 days ago. I was awoken at 4 AM by the dog in obvious and serious (to me) respiratory distress. The night before I noticed her muzzle & jowls were swollen. I had done a Google search and got a zillion possible causes and concerns. One that stood out was that if the dog has trouble breathing, get her to the vet immediately - her throat is swollen shut and she can't breath.

So, it's now 4 AM and I'm looking for a 24 hr vet hospital, an ice storm is due in the area at 5:45 AM and I'm in a panic. 80 MPH to a vet 30 miles away. It took them all of 15 seconds to say, "Oh, it's just reverse sneezing. Not uncommon and no big deal. She's OK. Just make sure her gums and lips stay a nice healthy pink."

Well, F me! Reverse sneezing? Google it.

Anyhow, this is the first dog I've had and I'm utterly amazed at the way and to the depth she has weaseled her way into my life. So I can very much understand the pain you feel due to the loss of your friend.

RT Firefly 12-11-2013 02:25 PM

Mr. Ben. Condolences. I feel your pain. We had to put the predecessor (Rufus) to Cruiser (our current) down two years ago. VERY traumatic to be sure. About 2 months later, the first mate said she missed the dog and should we get another? I figured it was too soon so we waited for a bit. 2 months later we rescued Cruiser. He's NOT Rufus but he's part of the family now and I'm sure when it's time for him to go chasing squirrels in the sky we'll be torn up as well. Enjoy them for what and who they are for the time you share with them. We're both really here for each other aren't we?

N4712 12-11-2013 02:47 PM

I'm so sorry to hear that, My Condolences are with you Ben.

SomeSailor 12-11-2013 03:08 PM

I've always the only thing that cures the pain of losing a dog is puppy breath. It always helps. My condolences in your loss. They can get so damned close to us. :(

Moonstruck 12-11-2013 03:31 PM

Ben, a great dog can sure leave a whole in your heart. When is it too early for another dog? I don't know, but I do know that the right dog will pick you. So sorry for your loss. At least you can cherish the memories.

Steve 12-11-2013 05:04 PM

Condolences to you they leave a big hole that takes a long time to fill. We lost our Coco at 13 about 3 years ago I still miss him. I think we'll be without a dog from now on.

Tom.B 12-11-2013 05:14 PM


Originally Posted by Ben (Post 198181)
I'm a pretty stable person and a mature adult.

May I take issue with this my friend? ;-) (so you guys all know... Ben and I are off-board friends)

There is nothing that I can say that we haven't already, Ben, but wanted to repeat the most pressing point for the group. It does, by any measure, take a great deal of time, but it WILL start to hurt less. I know it doesn't feel like it now, most especially because we both lost our buddies quite suddenly, but in time, it will start to reduce to the essence of his spirit he left behind. This is part of what we signed up for. We all know, no matter how much we don't want to believe it, our pets death is something we will have to face. Whether we expect it or not... It's going to happen.

It's three weeks from the anniversary of us losing TiVo and I STILL am sad every day that he's gone. We are just now getting to the point where we will even consider a new dog. However, it makes you feel better and helps you now, Marley was one of THE BIGGEST CONTRIBUTORS to helping us get over TiVo's death. So with all that he gave your family, sleep well knowing that he did more than you may have realized to help ours!

He was one big goofy palooka and Bess and I will never, ever, ever, forget him. Thank you from the bottom of our heart for letting Marley touch our lives. Stay as strong as you can and let your emotions go when you have to (like now... Like I am) and you will get through it.

I will continue to belch his name in his honor. *sips beer again*

Besslb 12-11-2013 05:15 PM

Baltimore Lurker - me too. I about had a heart attack myself the first time TiVo did that. Who knew? I thought he was choking!!

Ben - You know we loved Marley too....I still have no good words of sympathy or advice. Think of the funny stuff. Like when we were in the boat yard, and you brought Sand Castle in, and we carried you and Debbie and Marley back to your car in our truck......and how Marley tried so hard to get his head out the window from the back seat squishing me completely and making us all laugh hysterically....Or how one Friday night we got to the boat late and you were inside watching TV and Marley came over to hang out on our boat like we had better snack food. Or how he would jump off the boat as soon as you dropped the anchor to go swimming.

Remember the fun times. It will make you smile...and cry....and smile again. Then go look at puppy pictures, because they just make us happy.

Everyone else, hug your dogs an extra time today for those of us who are missing our dog-mates.

Xsbank 12-11-2013 05:20 PM

Except they don't look (much) like us, they become one of the family and much more than "dog" or "pet." Sometimes the time spent with "the dog" is better time than that spent with one of the real family. I also think they were very carefully designed to give us a dry run through life - their birth, growing up, sometimes having their own kids, their dotage and their eventual death teaches us to be better humans and sometimes, sadly, as CPseudonym has found, to absorb the abuse some of our crippled members might inflict on other humans.

We love "our" dog, he is family. He is expected to live 12 years, not nearly long enough.

I'm sorry for your loss and I anticipate your pain.

Ben 12-11-2013 06:31 PM

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Thanks Everyone!

It's really pretty deep how Marley the dog was tied in with the boat. I mean man! He loved water and greeting and exploring. Tom and Bess, thanks especially because I know he loved you guys too. He knew you all are dog people. He used to just hop on your boat and greet TiVo and annoy him and then check your cabin for missing treats! :blush:

It's also a transition point because we got Marley when our girls were 7 and 12, so he grew up with them. That's why we keep thinking we can't ever replace him because we have all those growing up memories and he was a bonding focus in our family. My wife who fusses regularly over the shed hair would almost secretly love him when no one was looking.

He definitely loved the boat.

Ben 12-11-2013 06:39 PM

Sorry. Probably overdoing it on the dog pictures. Coincidentally, we named Marley about 6 months before we were aware of the book "Marley and Me". Same logic though. Name the dog after a musician. The prior dog we had was "Elvis". Maybe the next one will be "Muddy Waters". :lol:

CPseudonym 12-11-2013 07:01 PM

I always thought Garth(Brooks) would be a good dog name, definitely easy to call.

We have another forum member who lost a German Sheppard recently that I've been privately hinting needs to let a new friend find him. It's too soon for you right now Ben but pretty soon another four legged friend will find their way into your heart. You can't help it, no dog lover can. They won't fill the hole left by Marley but will kinda patch it over more than you think.

Easy for me to say because I've fostered so many but every one just leaves me desiring another. Kinda like cocaine, only legal. :)

Off Duty 12-11-2013 08:44 PM


Originally Posted by Moonstruck (Post 198202)
Ben, a great dog can sure leave a whole in your heart. When is it too early for another dog? I don't know, but I do know that the right dog will pick you. So sorry for your loss. At least you can cherish the memories.

I agree my friend. Having lost both dogs and cats, I know it's hard.
Even the most hardened, "macho" among us will shed a tear over the loss.

I agree with moonstruck though. You can't really "replace" your friend, so don't try, and don't go looking. The right one will find you:smitten:(BTDT).

My condolences as well.

Besslb 12-11-2013 08:57 PM

You can never replace someone who has your heart. But after time, a little extra space is made available for new love and new goofiness. Tom and I are there now. After the holidays, I am going to stand in the middle of the SPCA and just say "FIND ME".....and then life will renew itself.

Craig - thank you and your family for rescuing and rehoming. The work you do is so important.

Off Duty 12-12-2013 05:30 AM


As an addition to my earlier comment, maybe to clarify a bit, I've had a couple of times in my life where I've been in your deck shoes.

When I was younger, we lost a family dog that we'd had as long as I could remember. I was devastated.

Swearing never to get another dog, I didn't look, didn't go to the pound, didn't read the classifieds, nothing!! Didn't want to revisit the matter at all!

Then one morning, this old raggedly German Sheppard showed up at my back door. He was just laying in the yard, peacefully asleep. I tried to shoo it off, but he came back. After a couple of days, I actually took a moment to get out of myself, and look at hi face. His eyes said "I'm here because I Need love, and you need me..."

No tag, no collar, and no one in the area knew who he belonged to.
I started feeding him, took him to the vet, and after that, "SARGE" became a new member of the family. One of the best furry friends I've ever had. Great natured, loving, intuitive, and protective.
That was a long time ago, but something I'll never forget, or regret.
I felt like we saved each other.

As everyone has said, they'll find you.
Besslb's idea is great. Just go, and see what finds you.:thumb::D

All the best my friend.

FF 12-12-2013 06:43 AM

Just go, and see what finds you.:thumb::D

The best pets CHOSE their companions!!

You will know AFTER the dog does,

Ben 12-12-2013 07:52 AM

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OD, Craig,

Thanks, that is so true about the dog picking you. On the day we got Marley, my oldest daughter and I coaxed/dragged my wife to the SPCA. She is a sworn "little dog" person, feeling that the bigger dogs are too clunky.

Well, there we are in the pet-greeting room with "Mahon" (Marley's SPCA name), who is at this point about 16 weeks old. He we are petting him, my daughter and I, and my wife is sitting down in the chair and he walks over and sits at her feet and looks up at her. Nothing like those sincere Labrador eyes staring at you. Pretty much the same look he always gave for eight years when you had food in your hand! :)

Bess, Hannah still volunteers at the SPCA when her semester is not too busy, so if you all are looking, when she is over there, she can be on the look out. We're not ready now, obviously, but know you've been thinking...:blush:

"The look" below. Pretty much sold it to my wife... :angel:

Off Duty 12-12-2013 08:20 AM


...and he walks over and sits at her feet and looks up at her...
Yep, that's it right there. That's the way they choose us:) :thumb:

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