Over a year.. - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 03:25 PM Thread Starter
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Over a year..

I just joined today, and find myself in the "In Loving Memory" thread.

It has been over a year since my big goofy boy has passed, and being completely honest, I am holding back tears as I type this. It is still very hard for me to deal with. I had wanted him since I was 5 years old, he was my whole life, my pride and joy, and my family's protector. He was taken very suddenly; while chasing a stray off our property he was struck by a car and the car kept going. I have a lot of guilt, I feel like I did not give him enough love and attention the day prior, and these feeling have kept me from moving forward with another GSD. I am hoping that by telling how I feel it will help me move on, never forgetting but at least forgiving myself. I love him so much and always will. He lived up to every expectation I had, and I could not have ask for a better companion.

Tank (Blk Lab) 10/23/07
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post #2 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 10:32 PM
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It was an accident. You loved Ruger - you gave him a good home. He would want you to move on to another gsd and be happy.

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post #3 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 10:46 PM
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I see my now passed boy Ike, in my new puppy Nix. We all have regrets. I wish I had spent more time with Ike, I wish I had come home right from work the day he passed, I wished he was still with me.

I cry to this day if I think about him. It just shows the love you had for your boy. I am sorry you lost him so suddenly and tragically. But he would want you to give the same love to another dog.

Remember him, honor him, and take comfort in knowing he loved you. With everything he had.

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post #4 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-25-2013, 10:59 PM
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Don't let an uncontrollable accident stop you from loving another dog. You can tell by reading your story how much you loved your dog. It does hurt a lot losing them, and sometimes makes you feel that you do not want this kind of heartbreak again. Do not think of the bad times you had, think of all the good things and pass them onto another.... I am sorry for your loss I hope your heart mends over this loss and you can open up to another German Shepherd, or what ever lucky dog you may choose to get.

"A House Is Not A Home Without A German Shepherd"
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post #5 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 02:33 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all so much.. I do feel like just letting it out has helped me already. I never really talked about it, because I felt like no ones else understood the realtionship I had with him, but all of you do! Shepherds are special, they create this amazing bond with their person, and I know now that I need to get that back!

Thank you!

Tank (Blk Lab) 10/23/07
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post #6 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 03:10 PM
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I am sorry. You cannot replace a German Shepherd, they are all individuals, but you can love another one, and have an awesome bond with another one.

Guilt is a funny thing. Funny is not a good word, strange maybe. It can eat us up. It can be helpful initially. I mean, by looking at what we did or didn't do in any situation, we can make changes so that something of that sort never happens again. But beyond that, guilt can really be unproductive and even unhealthy.

You can manage guilt, by accepting what responsibility you have in a situation and then promise yourself that you will never put a critter in that situation again, and then move on. Sometimes it is helpful to do something positive to kind of make ammends for what had happened. For some people, that might mean donating cash or products to a local shelter in your dog's memory. Other people find it more meaninful to work with their hands so to speak, like volunteering at a shelter and cleaning runs or walking dogs. It could mean something related to what happened to your dog, like adopting a dog that has had an accident and needs some medical care. I don't think we work off guilt, but by helping other critters in need it does help us feel better.

The biggest problem with GSDs is that they generally don't outlive us. We know going into it, that we are going to have to deal with the loss of our furry friend. When we get a puppy, age 12 or 14 seems so far in the distance that we don't worry so much about it. As our dog ages, there comes a time, barring accident or sudden illness that we start accepting the inevitable. When they go suddenly, it is so hard, especially when they are young and healthy.

I think it would be a very sad thing indeed if you, who are capable of forming a special bond with a GSD, will not get another dog. Losing them does rip us up, but is it not better to have experienced such a bond? I think that if losing the dog was so terrible that it completely wiped out what a wonderful thing having the dog was, than that is even sadder.

You have given yourself time to grieve for your lost dog. The grieving process has steps in it, and some of those steps involve experiencing the guilt, and loss, and the whole range of emotions. But on the other side is acceptance, and hopefully the understanding that you have a lot of love that is being wasted right now, that another dog could really benefit from.

You cannot replace your lost one, but that doesn't mean you will not love another one just as much, that you will not experience another bond similar to the one you had with him. It does not mean that your pup may not remind you of him in some ways, but be his own person in many others.

I hope that you can get over the guilt and loss you feel about your dog. Lots of people get a new dog right away to help them past the pain, and I think that can be a mistake for some people. But there is no doubt that a new dog can help you, and open you up to another canine/human world.

I have a bunch of dogs. I lost Arwen 3 years ago. I think of her in some way every day. She was that special. At this point, I do not think of how she went much. I think of the things we have done together, the good things, everything, but not much of her passing.

I am sorry that you lost your dog, and the way you lost him. I hope you come to the place where when you think of him, you can think of what a great boy he was.

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post #7 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 03:46 PM
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No dog will ever take the place of Ruger in your life and in your heart, but another dog will help to fill the void that he left. I lost my 12-1/2 year old Shelby to cancer last summer and I still miss her, but I now have 5-month-old Maggie who keeps me busy and gives me something to focus on besides grieving for Shelby. As frustrating as she can be at times, I love Maggie dearly, and all it takes is one puppy kiss to put a smile on my face. You obviously loved Ruger very much, and you can love another dog just as much. You have absolutely nothing to feel guilty about, although it's human nature to second-guess everything whenever you lose a loved one.
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post #8 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 07:54 PM
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Accidents happen and you can't blame yourself. I am hyper vigilant--over protective even and yesterday both my dogs got loose and ran into the street. I was lucky that I got them both back but that's all it was--luck that a car wasn't there. luck that the UPS guy helped me herd the terrified pitbull back home.

Somewhere there is a dog who deserves a wonderful owner like you.
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post #9 of 9 (permalink) Old 04-26-2013, 08:21 PM
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So sorry for your loss of Ruger. I lost my Cody back in sept, he was 11 1/2. I have his brother Clipper still, he is now 12. It is very hard, I miss him and wished you could turn back the clock, done something different,. The day we helped him over the bridge was not planned. I knew in my heart that when I took him to the vet that last time that this was probably it, but not planned. I wish I would have brought him home, loved and spoiled him with hamburgers, chicken, roast whatever, taken a few more days to say goodbye. But I know too he would have been in pain and I don't know if I could have made an "appointment" and put him back in the car to take him either. Clipper has been a loving buddy and brother to Cody all these years and it has helped having him here. He is not Cody, my heart, he doesn't do the things Cody did, but I love him and have grown closer to him for himself and his ways. I know time is getting shorter with Clipper,the onset Of illness and rapid decline of Cody was a brutal shock. The one thing I can do for Cody now is to make sure that as Clipper is in his "golden" days, that I spoil Clipper with all those extra treats and love that I wish I could have taken Cody home one last time and lavished upon him.
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