Stages of Grief:
–   The first stage is denial or shock, whenever anyone gets bad news, it’s hard to believe. I’d say that all of us have experienced that one when we first find out our dogs have ME.

–   The second stage is anger. Blame can also go with this. We’re angry about what happened, and the anger can be focused on ourselves or others. It’s natural to feel angry at the vets too and to question their decisions, although we’ve learned that we do need to question our vets if they aren’t that experienced in dealing with ME. We feel guilty and question what we did even though there may not have been anything we could do.

–   The third stage is bargaining. This can mean asking God to take this pain away if we will do something in return.

–   The fourth stage is depression, while anger and sadness may also remain underneath.

–   The fifth stage is acceptance. We finally accept the reality of the loss. Obviously it can take a long time to get to this stage.

People go through the stages at different amounts of time. I think we can go back and forth through the stages before finally getting to acceptance as well. We start the grieving process as soon as we find out the bad news, not after the loss. I don’t want to diminish anything you’re feeling and going through right now. It is so difficult to euthanize an animal that you’ve loved and protected, especially after doing so much to save that animal, so this is  just as a reminder to everyone for some compassion and understanding.

“It is not that your guilt is comforting to me, but it is knowing you care.”

“You can be a hero to all of us. Lecture. Teach. Write. Maybe you’ll be the one who puts a stop to this terrible disease. xxxxx’s death is not a waste, as terribly tragic as it is. Maybe this can be your cause.”

If megaesophagus were more commonly seen, and more positive management techniques discussed in schools, journal articles and seminars, there would be a lot more knowledge. That is what this forum is about. On VIN I preach about vertical feeding, nebulizer tx of AP, etc. etc. It has only been in the last few months that the specialists (Alice Wolfe, Sherri Wilson, etc.) have actually been admitting that these techniques work, and they refer posters to the “megae is not a doom and gloom disorder” post I submitted about a year ago.”

Animal love and loss network
Association for pet loss and bereavement
Pet loss grief support website
Lightning strike pet loss support

Goodbye Friend by Gary Kowalski
My Personal Remembrance Journal by Enid Samuel Traisman and Herbert Nieburg
Coping with Sorrow on the Loss of your Pet by Moira Anderson
The fall of Freddy the Leaf by Leo Buscaglia
Joy in a Wooly Coat by Julie Adams Church
Losing your Dog by Mickie Gustafson
A Snowflake in my Hand by Samantha Moody
When a Pet Dies, Fred Rogers
The loss of a pet by Wallace Sife
Men and Grief by Carol Staudacher
The Tenth Good Thing About Barney by Judith Viorst
I’ll Always Love You, by Hans Wilhelm
For Every Dog/Cat an Angel by Christine Davis

Local pet loss support groups in your area:
This is only 1 of many links. Many local humane societies and shelters offer support so check your local areas.\

Poem called The Eulogy:
Look not where I was
For I am not there
My spirit is free
I am everywhere

In the air that you breathe
In the sounds that you hear
don’t cry for me
My spirit is near

I’ll watch for you
From the other side
I’ll be the one running
New friends by my side

Smile at my memory
Remember in your heart
This isn’t the end
It’s a brand new start

~ by Carol Kaufner