Can't Get Over the Loss - German Shepherd Dog Forums
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post #1 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 03:20 PM Thread Starter
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Can't Get Over the Loss

I am having a very difficult time coping with and recovering from the sudden death of my nearly-three-year-old German Shepherd, Koby. On Dec. 21, 2014, for some reason he went to the end of our property (something he had never done before) and got struck by a car. His body was flung 20 feet and landed at the base of our driveway. I was inside the house when this happened while my husband witnessed the entire thing. I can still remember his shrill voice calling my name. When I reached the love of my life at the base of the driveway, his skull between his eyes was missing and he was barely clinging to life. I held him in my arms, repeatedly told him I loved him and that he had to leave me so that he wouldn't suffer any more. He died in my arms that freezing, dark night at 6:38 p.m.

People in our immediate circle have been wonderfully supportive and of course just keep telling me that time will heal my wounds, but time is not healing my wounds. Koby was more than "just a dog." I was stripped of being a mother when I was younger and Koby was the first "thing" I had ever raised from a baby. He made me a mother, and he was my baby in every way. Though my husband was there, Koby only cared about me - my husband was a secondary entity. We slept together, cuddled together, walked together and had conversations that seemed almost human. I have never felt love in my life for some"thing" the way that I have for Koby. I have dealt with death in my life, even of my unborn child, but never something that feels to have rocked my very core as this has.

Now that he is gone I enjoy looking at his pictures, but I cannot get rid of the mental image of his cracked skull bleeding all over the macadam on our property. We quickly got another German Shepherd puppy, Bear, who has a completely different coloring and personality, and is now 18 weeks old, but it has been so difficult. Some may say we got Bear too fast, but we needed him in the house to hear the patter of feet and the squeak of toys. But now my husband and I have been thrust back into puppy mode (nearly forgetting how horrible and tiring it is with a GSD), plus are still grieving. I fear that Bear won't love me like Koby did, that I can't be a good mother again and that Koby was my only chance. I fear that I will be devastated if Bear doesn't cling to me like Koby did. I know I am unfairly and unhealthily trying to recreate in Bear what is gone, and I am trying so hard not to compare the two because they are so different, but I can't stop myself from doing it at this point. I am afraid to tell Bear that I love him and really let myself fall in love with him.

My friends and coworkers have noticed a significant change in me since Koby got killed and I feel like I am just not fun anymore. I feel alone, like I lost my best friend, and just don't know how to get through it. I don't let myself cry about him because I am afraid if I start I will never stop, and I don't like saying I'm still sad about him because I'm sick of people telling me time will make it better. I know time will make it better, and Bear really is a wonderful puppy who makes me laugh and smile, but I am so desperately sad without Koby and just don't know how to cope. So I turned to you.......

Last edited by krisfed; 03-10-2015 at 03:29 PM.
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post #2 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 03:35 PM
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Ohhhhh... most of us here have been where you're at. It is never, never easy. The pain takes a long, long time when you lose what we call a "heart dog." You love them all, but there are individuals that just grab you. I lost my first heart dog to cancer. Have loved and lost so many times, but none like him. And now, the boy I have now, a rescue boy, I think has wrapped himself around my heart just as tightly as Shadow, my first heart dog. I am already dreading something that I hope is at least 8-10 years away, but you never know.

That said, I wouldn't give up one second that I have shared with all the dogs I've had in the past 6+ decades.

Also, I am one who strongly believes in bringing another one, either puppy or rescue, into the home as fast as possible. You are not being disloyal, but you need the distraction to help you get past it, especially the trauma of the loss you suffered. Don't be afraid to love this baby, he needs you now, as much as you need him.

Many hugs,
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post #3 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 03:49 PM
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You have been through a traumatic situation not only losing your pup but witnessing the brutal aftermath of the impact, give yourself some time to heal and don't put so many expectations on yourself to "get over it". I lost my boxer of 8 years to a semi-truck (I am assuming from what was left) my son and I found him and it took me over a year to be able to move on and get another dog so I understand how devistating it can be. Incidentally that was the loneliest year and I dreaded going home to an empty house. Whether you moved too soon in getting another pup or not you have one now and he needs you to love him as much as you need to love again. I can tell you eventually you will be able to bond with your new pup but it will be a different love, as it should be.

Athena d.o.b. 02/01/2014
Eden d.o.b. 03/15/2014

There comes a time when you have to choose between turning the page or closing the book.
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post #4 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 03:50 PM
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I am so sorry. I can understand having that picture stuck. It is the worst way to lose a beloved furchild. I think its truamatic and recovery can be slow. When we got our first GSD ,Daisy she contracted Parvo and we nearly lost her twice. I had just lost a cousin who was like a sisiter about two months befor I got Daisy. She was my chilld. We had been trying to get pregnant and it was not going to happen and I bonded intensely.I think for having Koby met so many needs and then to lose him so suddenly would be devastating in terms of loss. I think the idea of another animal to love and cherish can be beneficial depending on how you feel. After I lost Daisy 5 months later we brought home twoGSD sisters . Never will anyone replace Daisy but they helped me get through. Take care

Daisy 11/26/99-7/25/12
Miss Chevy Cruz - 1/25/2013-1/29/15
Thunder -1/25/13 -7/25/15
Lucky-GSD -Rescue -2/16/03 - 03-21-16
Charlie- GSD-Rescue - 7-4-12
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post #5 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 04:23 PM
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People respond to loss differently. For me, your reaction to Koby's death is perfectly understandable. Please don't question your natural grieving, you love him and you will always love him. Give yourself the space to mourn. But while you ache for Koby, please don't forget your baby Bear. He also deserves the devoted attention that you certainly can give. For the record, four years after my dear Wolf died I have never spent a day without missing him. Mr. Mars joined us six weeks after Wolf left.

take care,
Mary Jane
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post #6 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 04:38 PM
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This is a horrible loss to be sure. When you have a connection like you apparently did with Koby the pain never stops.... never! I am so sorry that you went through that trumatic experience. Koby's pain is gone! Life throws us curves and one of these curves is how you press on from this. Make it positive and even though bear is not Koby my guess is he'll steal your heart in other ways, you just got to let him. My deepest sympathy!
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post #7 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 04:48 PM
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I know what you are going through, I think a lot of people on here can relate to losing their babies. Maybe not in the same manner... But still a great loss. Im really not sure what to say to make you feel better.

Sailor wasn't my dog, he was my son, and I too had him die in my arms. I waited 7 months to get a new dog and it was/is still too soon. That just goes to show, had you waited 1 month or 1 year, the pain would still be too great from losing him. On the flip side- The advantage of getting a new dog I have found is that they force you to function even if you just want to cry in bed all day, you have to get up and feed them and walk them. I hope that the image you have in your head can fade out eventually and be replaced with wonderful memories. I'm so sorry you went through this, and just know that we understand and are here to give support.
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post #8 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 05:34 PM
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If you feel like you cannot get on top of your grief, it may be helpful to seek out a grief counselor. What you have experienced is deep trauma and that can be difficult to overcome by yourself. Losing an old dog is horrific but you lost a youngster and witnessed something no one ever should have to witness. You were with him in the end. His body was broken but his soul was intact when he left.
I am aching for you and wish you all the strength you need.
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post #9 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 05:43 PM
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From Bear & Koby (in spirit):

Can't Get Over the Loss-paw-prints.jpg

He is your friend, your partner, your defender, your dog. You are his life, his love, his leader. He will be yours, faithful and true, to the last beat of his heart. You owe it to him to be worthy of such devotion. - Unknown
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post #10 of 25 (permalink) Old 03-10-2015, 05:49 PM
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Having lost 5 babies, and just as many dogs I can tell you that the pain does lessen. Your memories will be more about the joys that having them brought to your life and less about the pain of losing them. I have been fortunate that I was able to conceive after losing my babies and the ones that survived never replaced those that were lost but brought new joy and a different personality to the family. With my dogs I always felt like opening my heart to let in and love another was the best way that I could honor the one that passed. The strange thing is while they are all different it seems certain quirks have been passed on to each one to let me know they are being guided. Be kind to yourself it is not impossible to grieve for one while you expand your heart to love another.
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