The Loneliest Feeling

Losing a pet is hard.

I’ve gone through it before, but Doc’s death has been especially difficult.

A friend told me I shouldn’t “personify” my pets ….

But, I think most animal lovers do.

Our pets become a part of our families.

When they’re gone, there’s a big lonely hole in our lives.

I feel like I lost my best friend this week.

And, in fact, I probably have.

Mocha, my chocolate lab, is visibly moping without her pal – which makes my heart ache even more (if that’s possible).

I’ve been trying to navigate my way through a difficult life passage lately.

I suppose, that’s what life is ….

A series of passages we do our best to navigate through.

Doc’s death just adds more heartache to some (already difficult) transitions.

I know time will ease the sadness.

I know we were lucky to have him.

And, I know Doc was lucky to have a family who loved and cherished him.

I know all these things, but my heart still hurts.

This weekend, I’m scheduled to be shooting “up the coast” for a few days.

I think it will be good for me, especially now.

I haven’t wanted to pick up my camera since Doc became ill.

However, being “forced” to wander California’s coast to “capture” beauty is probably exactly what I need.

Time heals, right?

18 Responses to “The Loneliest Feeling”

  1. Michelle

    Our dog Cassie is ‘just a dog’, but I know that at 9 years old she is possibly more than halfway through her life (cocker spaniels can live up to 18 years, that’s what I’m believing for). I’m not looking forward to the day when she is no longer with us. Even at 9 she behaves like a puppy. Like me, she’s never grown up!

    • Suzanne

      They become our friends.
      I like most dogs more than I like most people.
      : )

  2. Denise

    Wandering the coast is so therapeutic. I am driving over there today as our temps are supposed to reach near 100. Life is like a chapter book and sometimes it’s hard to turn the page. But yes, time heals and the next chapter can prove to be very happy.

    • Suzanne

      You’re right, of course.
      I know you are.
      Yes, today is a hot one!
      Let’s hope the fire dies down …!

  3. Missy

    I thnk you may know my beloved Dexter died from a brain tumor this past January at only 5 years of age. My daughter told her clients he was the third child I never had, and truer words were never spoken. So the loss isn’t “just a pet” but of a close family member. He is still a tremendous loss in my life. In order for me to move forward I needed to adopt another dog to love and also for my other dog to have a playmate.It has definitely eased the pain and I love my new guy Jake. The healing time is different for everyone and is different with each pet, as you said. I just understand the depth of your pain and your news brought tears to my eyes.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you for being so understanding.
      I wish they could have lives as long as ours.
      It’s so hard to say good-bye.

  4. WebSavvyMom

    –>We lost our chocolate lab, Sydney, three years ago come Monday and I think about her every day. Our yellow lab, Sandy Paws, mourned along with us. Now we have a two-year old black lab named Tucker and it makes me sad he never knew Sydney. They are a part of the family and bring their own personalities along with them. Give Mocha a hug for me.

    (Here was the post three years ago – –


    • Suzanne

      Labs are such great dogs.
      I’m so glad we have Mocha here to ease the pain a little.
      She’s such a goofy dog … and I love her dearly too.

  5. Diane

    Pet owners who truly truly love their pets DO personify them. Don’t listen to that friend of yours. I have experienced total grief over losing pets in the past… because they are family and that’s just all there is to it.

    Enjoy your time up the coast. It should be healing for your loss. xox

    • Suzanne

      I think there are “dog people” and non-dog people.
      Dog people understand, and others never will.
      I’m a softy with all animals, but particularly with dogs.
      I get very attached – and they bring me a lot of joy.

  6. Cathy B

    Suzanne, I know the feeling too well and my heart aches for you. I hope it helps a little to know that your readers understand No matter how many pets you have it’s always heartbreaking to lose one.

  7. Erica

    Your friend is giving you very good advice about not personifying your pets, but it’s hard. It’s almost too hard. They do leave a hole when they’re not with you anymore and logic (or creating a hierarchy for sentient beings with loving personalities) doesn’t fill it. Time and other interests will help though. I wish you all the best.

    • Suzanne

      Thank you.
      I know it will get better in time.
      We were lucky to have such a great dog.

  8. Kathy

    A friend who tells you not to personify your dog when you’re grieving? Wow. Hope you meant she said that far before Doc passed. Otherwise…not helpful. Not supportive.

    And please don’t tell yourself what you should and shouldn’t do. You do need to grieve whether he was a person or not. He made a difference in your life and that loss is hard.

    Hope you have some support…

    • Erica

      I think it’s more like worrying that during a natural catastrophe some people will skip taking their children to a shelter if the family dog (another child?) can’t come along as well. It’s like worrying that if you equate the loss of a beloved pet to that of a person, then whatever loss you’re feeling is multiplied, almost infinitely, and any decisions you make are drenched by that sense of loss.

      The friend was probably trying to help minimize damage if there are other things going on in this blogger’s life. I don’t think it did much, but it may not have been as mean or as thoughtless as it sounds.

      I hope that makes sense.

      • Suzanne

        I have children.
        And I’ve had (and still have) dog/s.
        I know it is a different kind of love.
        Nonetheless, it IS love.
        I think people often try to make others feel better by minimizing whatever is hurting them. I know the comment wasn’t intended with malice. But, just like the people who tell me I’m lucky I still have a working left arm …. it isn’t really helpful.
        People just often don’t know what to say.

    • Suzanne

      In truth, he was a lot nice than most people in Orange County.
      : )

      My whole family misses him, so yes – I have support.
      Of course, given the nature of our family I spent the most time with him.
      It’s probably natural for me to miss him so much.


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