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Blaming yourself for losing a pet

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Home Forums Loss of a pet Blaming yourself for losing a pet

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  • #16028

    I lost my 6 year old blue heeler yesterday, I took him to the shops with me for a ride because he loves going on the Ute. When I got to the letterbox I let him off to run up the driveway as we live on a farm and he liked to run. I let him get a head start so I could see him before driving off, I then saw him to the right of the car so moved over even more to give him extra space to run, but he went under the wheel
    Without me seeing him. I rushed him to the emergency vet but he passed away on the ride in. I’m seeking advice on how I can cope with feeling the blame of loosing my beloved boy, and how to get the graphic incident out of my head. Anyone else had a similar experience to this?

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  • #16054

    Dear @Chagri, welcome to the forums. Our hearts go out to you on the tragic loss of your beloved blue heeler. Your story tells of someone who adored their dog – who treated him like a companion, taking him with you on your errands, giving him his best life by letting him do the things he loves – like riding in the ute and running up the driveway …everything you did was out of love for him.

    It is heartbreaking that for all your love and care this accident happened. And unfortunately, it is human nature for us to blame ourselves, but the reality is this terrible accident was completely unintentional.

    – So be kind to yourself. Talk to yourself the way you would talk to a friend if this happened to them. Surely you would not blame them. Show mercy and forgiveness to yourself just as you would others.

    – Know that you won’t always feel this way, over time the images in your head and the intense emotions will become much more manageable.

    – Try to replace the traumatic images in your mind with good memories or photos of him happy in your care.

    – Seek support from friends and family, have a chat with your GP, call the Griefline Helpline on 1300 845 745, or book in to see a Grief and Loss Counsellor. The grief caused by the loss of a pet is often equal to the grief of losing a beloved human so tap into all the support resources you can.

    – You can also take a look at our article on Losing a Pet And if you feel ready for it, our Smiling Minds meditation on the Mindfulness page is designed to calm an anxious mind or relieve tension in the body. You can access it here.

    We also invite others on the loss of a pet topic to share your thoughts and experiences – as so many of us battle with feelings of guilt when we lose our companion animals. You are not alone in this @Chagri. We are here for you. 🌸

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