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My heart is broken

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Home Forums Loss of a pet My heart is broken

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  • #23832

    On the 18 Feb 2012 I met my beautiful girl. She was living in terrible conditions, she was flea ridden, food aggressive and had never played with toys or on grass. A new start with a new name Abbey. I promised her from that day she would never be hungry, cold or unloved. All I needed was for her to trust me, and she did. She became part of my heart and soul, a shadow who didn’t like to be parted from me. In the 10 years we shared we only had 3 nights apart, one night following surgery for her and recently when I spent 2 nights in hospital. Abbey had some minor surgeries and became suddenly blind which meant it was no longer safe for her to sleep in my bed so she had one right next to me. 3 years ago she was diagnosed with cancer that required her tail to be amputated and shortly after a toe, so many more surgeries followed as she also had another form of cancer. In 2020 I decided to not subject her to further treatment as I didn’t want to to endure the pain the surgery caused. At this time she was also suspected of having cushings disease but decided that since her life expectancy was limited treatment would not extend her life. Living with an elderly blind unwell dog had its challenges, many nights she would wander and become lost so I would get out of bed to help her find her way back, she also had incontinence problems so accidents became a daily occurrence. I had always expected we would have some final time once she was not enjoying life anymore. Sunday night she started vomiting and appeared very uncomfortable, took her to the vet as soon as it opened. They option was to treat the nausea and wait or undergo blood tests. I chose to run the tests immediately and they showed she was in a much worse condition then expected. Her liver levels were off the chart so she was admitted for fluids and an ultrasound with the expectation that she would spend a few days and maybe begin treatment if it was related to cushings. That night I received a devastating call, her liver was extremely enlarged, her stomach lining was thickened with signs of lesions and her gallbladder was in danger of imminent rupture. I bought her home on pain meds for one final night of love and a chance to say goodbye. My adult children came to say goodbye, my eldest son is currently working in NZ so was only able to face time. I’ve been living in anticipation of her passing for 3 years but the suddenness and finality of having to let her go has broken my heart. I kept my promise to never let her suffer but after having having spent so much time caring for her needs I feel so lost. The other pets are missing her too so its hard to help them live without their best friend.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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  • #23833
    VM- thanasis43

    Hi Sandy,

    Thank you for sharing your story with us. I can hear in it your incredible depths of love for her. Abbey is so lucky to have had you for the time that she did and I’m sure you feel the same about having had her in your life. It sounds like, in addition to being a loving pet owner, you were a carer too and adjusting to no longer occupying this role can also contribute to your sense of loss. I wonder if you have had a chance to read the Griefline resources on Losing a Pet ( It offers some helpful tips on how to handle your grief, and the grief of your other pets and family members after such a loss too. Dogs are such wonderful companions and I’m sure that after everything you went through with Abbey this loss is deep and significant. Be kind to yourself as you navigate your way through this loss and please do keep talking and feel free to share other memories of Abbey too.


    Hello Sandy,

    Thank you for sharing about your very beautiful and poignant journey with your Abbey. How very beautiful that, as you say, you provided her with a new start and a new name. It sounds like she found a real homecoming into your heart and life with you, and also with family members and the other pets you mention. I hope you can be gentle on yourself as you navigate these heart-breaking days after the loss and continue to reach out and share and/or find strength in whatever supports you. It can of course be so very hard to see other pets grieve, as they do. Perhaps something here might be of support for you – I’ve also just been reading a few sources about pets grieving and some suggestions include sticking to pets’ usual routines, distracting them with outings etc, giving them lots of affection and grooming, which can comfort both them and you. But you will know what can work best for them as you continue to love and look after them and yourself. Wishing you all the best in these tough times and thanks again for your inspiring story about everything you did to look after your Abbey.


    Hi Sandy,

    I shed a few tears, but also felt moments of joy in reading of the beautiful and loving bond you and Abbey shared. My take aways were the unique and enduring love that you shared with Abbey. You were both blessed to find each other and have 10 lovely years. Abbey’s illnesses were tragic, but you were there for her for every moment and did all that you possibly could. Fo 10 years, it sounds like you gave Abbey the best life she could ever have possibly dreamed of. And, at the end you ensured that you and Abbey had one final night of love and a chance to say goodbye. That is very beautiful and special. Your resilience shines through in helping your other animals to learn to live without your and their best friend in the midst of your own deep grief. That’s a big achievement. Most importantly you kept your promise to never let Abbey suffer and gave her a beautiful life. I hope you always hold on to that.

Viewing 3 replies - 1 through 3 (of 3 total)
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