How To Handle Guilt When A Dog Accidentally Dies

What To Do When A Dog Dies

We choose almost everything when it comes to our beloved pets, but what are you to do when a dog dies? It’s the most indescribable lightning bolt feeling I’ve ever had the displeasure of experiencing. The moment a dog dies changes who you are.

When a dog dies, your world changes. As rational pet parents, we know we can control most things in our dog’s life. We control what they eat, when they see the veterinarian, which vet they visit, where they travel, what time they eat, and the list goes on. We can’t control the length of their lives, but we can help them live a healthy, happy life to the best of our abilities.

You’re reading this article because your dog recently died and you are devastated or perhaps your dog died a long time ago and you can’t seem to feel the way you once did. Grief becomes a part of your soul. We suffer so they don’t have to.

Saying goodbye is temporary, no matter what your faith or belief system is. If you feel there’s a heaven, then you’ll be joining your dog in that “place” when you die.

If you feel there is nothing beyond this earthly world, then your body will be in the same state of non-being as your deceased pet someday. Where you go is a belief. How you manage until you get there is a choice.

What Should You Do When A Dog Dies?

If your dog is fortunate to pass at a ripe older age, be grateful. There are many pet parents who lose their dog too soon or from a tragic accident. It is still hell on earth, and hearing, “Well, he was old and he lived a good life,” doesn’t soothe from well-intended people.

When a dog dies, it will be as a result of natural causes, assisted euthanasia, an accident, or some other tragedy. If your dog just recently died and you are reading this, breathe. Seriously take in a breath, exhale a breath, and hold my cyber hand. You are going to get through this. Your dog and what dogs embody would want you to get through this.

When a dog dies, you get through it, you don’t get over it. Ever. You will learn to live with the hole in your heart, and your dog’s legacy will become a part of it. Your dog’s physical presence is no longer with you, but the spirit, the memories, the way your dog affected your life: those things cannot die. Love never ends.

In her article on love, guilt, and putting dogs down, Patricia McConnell, PhD., writes:

I slowly began to notice how EVERYONE I talked to who loved their dog, like we all love ours, was guilty about something related to the dog’s death. It didn’t matter how or why they died: hundreds of owners, from professional trainers and behaviorists to the dog-loving public, found something to feel guilty about. “I should have seen the symptoms sooner,” or “How could I have not known that the lock on the door was faulty and allowed my dog to run out the door?” or “Surely I could somehow have prevented the bite if I just hadn’t…

How To Deal With Pet Loss Guilt

Guilt is a part of life and death. When my first dog died, I questioned myself. I felt guilty because I allowed her weakened, exhausted body to be euthanized. What kind of monster willingly allows a veterinarian to stop a beloved pet’s life? These thoughts consumed me. I killed my dog. I felt it, I lived it, I had to get help to move through it.

Nancy Carter is a loving dog mom from Buffalo, New York. On a seemingly ordinary day, Nancy and her son enjoyed a relaxing day together. As her son played guitar on the porch, Nancy went out to talk to her son for 10 minutes.

Her dogs, Sugar, Louise, and Sam (a Cocker Spaniel) were in the house alone during this 10-minute period of time.

Dog mom grieving the loss of her pet

“I came home from work, let the Sammy out of the crate, let them out,” Nancy recalls. “I made sure the three-foot gate to the kitchen was locked and placed a piece of plywood over the gate.  Sammy was obsessed with getting into the kitchen, so we bought a three-foot gate.  That didn’t stop him. He was able to hit the latch and unlock it.  If he couldn’t unlock it, he would just jump it. So, we would put a piece of plywood over the gate.  Not pretty but it had always worked.”

Nancy didn’t hear the dogs rustling about, so she went inside to check. Sugar and Louise sat staring at the gate to the kitchen. Sam, however, knocked the plywood down, jumped the three-foot gate, and got into the garbage. Once inside the garbage, the dog pulled out a box of Cheez-Its and got to the bag inside. He suffocated.

“He wasn’t breathing.  I screamed and my son came running, as Sammy was his buddy. We tried CPR for 10 minutes, called for my husband to come home from work and he tried CPR, with no luck.”

Nancy says it happened so fast, both she and her 18-year-old son were stunned. They wrapped Sam in a blanket and drove him to the pet funeral home.

Cocker Spaniel accidentally died from pet suffocation

Dealing With Guilt When Your Dog Dies Accidentally

Nancy remembers the unbelievable guilt she experienced. She replays the day over and over in her mind, remembering the precautions she took that fateful day. She checked the gate, blocked the gate, ensuring the lid was on the garbage.

For 30 minutes, Nancy’s husband performed CPR on Sam. Her son repeatedly asked for the vet to be called. Nancy knew nothing could be done, and she could not believe it was happening.

In her own words, Nancy says:

I shut it out and wouldn’t talk about it.  If I didn’t talk about maybe it didn’t happen?  I basically blocked it out. It took me two weeks to be able to tell my vet’s office. Sam was due for a teeth cleaning, and I had to cancel the appointment. I felt so guilty and was afraid to be judged as being a bad caregiver. I think it took me three months to tell my friend/breeder that he died.  My veterinarian said it happens often and people don’t speak about it for the same reasons.  Perfectly healthy, young dogs gone.  They didn’t judge me, they were great.  Both reassured me, but still I felt it was my fault.   

Nancy hopes by sharing Sam’s story that people will realize bags should be cut open all the way when they are thrown out. She hopes to save other families from her suffering and loss. Any type of bag should be opened and slit down the side.

Sammy was a tri-color beautiful 3-1/2-year-old male Cocker Spaniel who she describes as loving, goofy, and he will be forever missed and loved.

At present, Nancy shares life with four dogs: Sugar, Louie, Jackson, and Henry.

More information about pet suffocation can be found at the end of this article.

Cocker spaniel died by accident

My Dog Was Hit By A Car

Sarah Wall is a creative graphic designer, is heavily involved in dog rescue, and shared life with a Cocker Spaniel named Baxter.

On July 14, 2014, Baxter, a tri-color Cocker Spaniel was hit and killed by a car while Sarah watched in horror. At her complex with a gated backyard and parking area, Sarah came home from work and began her usual routine with her pooch.

Dog mom with her beloved pet who died

“Baxter and I would always walk to the mailboxes in the gated area and then back to my apartment,” she remembers. “I went to talk to my neighbors, Baxter ran over to them to say hi, wiggling all the time. There was an entrance to get into that back area, but we never walked that far.”

In a heartbeat, Baxter walked right through that entrance. Sarah panicked because there is a busy street nearby. As she walked towards the dog, he was already at the sidewalk area. She yelled for him, but he saw a dog across the street. Baxter darted towards that dog at the exact moment a large SUV was coming. It hit the dog on his side.

The gentleman with the dog across the street tried to get to Baxter as did Sarah before the SUV struck Baxter, but it was too late.

In her own words:

I was screaming bloody murder and saying call 911!!!!! Of course, 911 said because he’s a dog, there is nothing they can do. My neighbors quickly ran into the street and got Baxter. He was still breathing, but he had been hit in the belly and it was starting to swell. I was in such a panic and didn’t know what to do. I couldn’t breathe, I threw up, ran to my house and grabbed the keys to my car.

A neighbor heard the screaming, drove me to the emergency clinic, but it was too late. I tried giving Baxter mouth-to-mouth and told him to hang on, please don’t leave me. You are my world and I am so sorry this happened! He passed in my arms on the way to the ER. The ER vet said even if I had got him there in time, he may have not made it due to internal bleeding.

For a long time, Sarah admits having a difficult time and self-medicating by drinking a lot of wine. She kept her emotions bottled up for the longest time. She is still dealing with the loss all these years later. She blamed herself even though it wasn’t her fault.

“I would never EVER have taken him out near a busy street without being on a leash,” she says. He was my world. It was just a freak accident.”

Sarah shares her life with two rescued Cocker Spaniels, DeeDee, and Sullivan. 

Cocker Spaniel who passed away

How To Cope When Your Dog Dies

Your identity as a loving dog parent evolves from the physical presence of a dog in your life to the eventual understanding, albeit it kicking and screaming, that the next time you will reunite with your dog is when you physically pass away.

We make a vow to our dogs when they enter our life, us dog lovers of the highest order. We promise to love them, we tell them we love them. We take them for vet visits, on trips, car rides, and all the things we do with and for dogs. And then when they need us the most, we sometimes cannot make it better. 

Sometimes the worst accidents happen to the best dog parents. I wish I had an answer as to why, but I know this much is true: whether you are religious or not, there are things that have no rhyme or reason. My spouse reminds me that everything happens for a reason, but I just don’t know.

The big “why me, why my dog” sometimes comes with no answer. This is when you must challenge yourself to carry your dog’s legacy on and live with love and forgiveness of self in your heart.

As a dog mom who will always be “with dog,” I’ve redefined my definition of letting go. It isn’t goodbye after all. You say goodbye when you know something is never coming back. The next journey is the one I will take to her and to all the dogs I love thereafter.

What a huge hello my heaven shall be. Hope is a glorious feeling. Even if you feel our life ends here on Earth when our bodies die, it is true then that you go to the same state of being as the pets you have loved and lost do. You are all simply done from this Earth.

Grief is not a one-size-fits-all process that every person experiences in the same way. Loss and the grief that follows is an individualized experience. There is no wrong way to grieve unless that way involves something that is beyond your control.

If you need help, talk to someone, or whatever works for you: Do it. Do not let a family member, co-worker, relative, friend, or neighbor make you feel that this is “only a dog.”

The Five Stages of Grief

You’ve probably heard of the five stages of grief: Denial, anger, bargaining, depression, and acceptance. This model theorizes that you have to experience each stage to work through grief.

I call bullshit.

I believe you will experience all of those emotions, but the grief timeline doesn’t exist. Yes, you want to be able to move forward. But you don’t hit each of these emotions, put a bow on it, and call your grief a done deal.

The woman who created these stages, the late Dr. Elisabeth Kübler-Ross, was often asked “When will my grief be over.” Kubler replied very gently each time with, “How long is this person going to be dead.”

“Because if the person is going to be dead for a long time, you’re going to grieve for a long time. It doesn’t mean you will always grieve with pain. To me, the goal of grief work is to eventually remember the person with more love than pain.”

E. Kubler Ross

If you feel guilt because your dog died, like perhaps you could have done more or somehow prevented it, you aren’t alone. Some say grief is love with no place to go. I disagree. Grief is love that never ends. Death cannot steal love. The love doesn’t die when your pet does.

Remorse or guilt makes us feel we should have done better or somehow prevented the inevitable. Your dog knows you did your best. You would never willingly harm your dog. If your dog was euthanized, it may feel like you failed him. You did not fail your dog. I know this. I’ve been in your shoes and still struggle to this day.

I remind myself of the good things I did for my dog, the life we lived together, the memories created, and ultimately I took on pain so she didn’t suffer. I had a hard time with that, but the alternative was to dishonor her and everything she taught me.

Give yourself grace. Give yourself time. Own your grief but don’t stop living. Dogs have a short time on earth. They live each moment without wondering if it’s their last.

Your dog’s legacy should be that you carry on with him or her. You move forward and never forget. You carry what they taught you until your dying day. The heavens gained an angel but you feel like hell on earth. I feel you.

I’ve written extensively on the topic of pet loss. I encourage you to read the articles below. We are also posting some of our favorite dog memorial products to honor your beloved pet.

Disclosure: Some of the links in this article are affiliate links (Amazon Associate or other programs we participate in). As an affiliate, I earn a small commission from qualifying purchases.

Products To Memorialize Your Dog

I take great solace in keeping my dog’s memory alive through photos, memorial items, and more. We are often asked to share some of our favorite products to memorialize your dog, so we compiled this list with love.

Paw Print Dog Memorial Stone: This unique design is heart-shaped and features a poem with a frame for your dog’s photo. Made of high-quality resin that will not easily damage or fade. Can be used indoors, as a grave marker, in your backyard, patio, or lawn.

Rainbow Bridge Memorial Bead Bracelet: This very affordable and extremely beautiful keepsake bracelet features seven rainbow beads to represent the rainbow bridge along with a heart and pawprint.

Willow Tree Sculpted Hand-Painted Keepsake Box: This 3″ x 2″ square-shaped box is perfect for holding your dog’s tags, any special items, or mementos from a life well-lived. The design is impeccable and features a dog mom and her dog. I’ve gifted this countless times.

Signs from Pets in the Afterlife: This book is of great comfort. This book is a must-read for anyone who has loved a pet and is grieving their passing.

Rainbow Bridge Story Plaque: A square-shaped plaque that is vintage-looking and features the beautiful Rainbow Bridge poem. Can be placed next to a deceased dog’s urn or any place to find comfort in your grief.

Memorial Pet Frame: This frame has five different mats for display to feature the special moments shared with your dog throughout his or her life.

Remembrance Angel: The angel’s skirt is carved with pawprints, and flameless LED tea lights glow through her skirt. Made of sandstone, more durable than most resin materials.

More On Dealing With The Loss Of A Dog

Anatomy of a Grieving Dog Mom

How to Cope with the Fear of My Dog Dying

How to Stop Dog Grief

How To Get Over the Death of a Dog

The Miracle of Dog Mountain and Dog Chapel

Beyond the Rainbow Bridge: Dogs Who Communicate

Preventing Pet Suffocation

Visit the Prevent Pet Suffocation page to learn more about food packaging and how it poses a serious suffocation risk to your pets.  

Your Turn

How have you dealt with the death of a beloved pet? Share in the comments below. 

What do do when my dog dies


  1. Oh my gosh, both of these stories are heartbreaking, but Sarah’s really hits close to home. When I was a freshman in high school I left our basement door open by accident and our dog slipped out and was killed by a car. Rusty was a dog who despite lots of training was always a little wild and an open door was something he couldn’t resist. He went running and I went running after him. He crossed a very busy street and then turned around and saw me running towards him. I yelled stay, but he saw me and his face lit up and he ran towards me right into traffic and was struck and killed instantly. I went into shock and just stood there. Another car stopped (not the one who hit him) and a nice college age guy picked him up and helped me carry him home.

    The look on Rusty’s face when he turned around and saw me and then ran back into traffic, haunts me to this day. Had I been more careful and checked the door, it wouldn’t have happened.

    35 years later I am insane about closing doors, locking doors, closing windows, etc. for fear of one of my pets getting out and something horrible happening. I recheck and recheck everything. When I travel (like last week) I drive my family and pet-sitters crazy because I constantly call and text reminding them to double check the doors and windows when they come and go. I could go on …this is one of those things that will haunt me forever.

    1. My 6 year old dog annie ,bull terrier lab mix died the day after Thanksgiving what happened was shocking and fast. I live in a rural area with low speed limit dirt roads I watched annie like a hawk in the yard on account it is not fenced in and she liked to run she was tied to a post while I was working in the yard she had on a new collar that I thought was secure enough. It was the holidays and I had a sense of well being. And wasn’t watching annie close enough even though she was only 15 away behind the shed. She doesn’t chase cars but does not like the ups truck which I heard coming in advance. I immediately proceeded to go to annie to calm her down and she already had broken the new collar in one second. I didn’t move fast enough on account I felt secure she was tied up. I yelled loudly no and annie to try to stop her from chasing I ran around the shed to see and pursue her and all I saw was ups going by and on the ground halfway on the road was my dog laying . I couldn’t believe the driver didn’t slow down or stop. It was surreal. I ran to help her and she briefly tried to breathe and the seem to expire. I tried to save her with mouth to mouth resuscitation but it failed to revive her. I couldn’t believe God would take her in that fashion when I loved her so much and was right there trying to stop it. I don’t understand why she didn’t stop soon enough. Annie was my sweet heart and my companion since a puppy I can’t believe she is gone so fast. I’m having trouble coping with her death and replaying the course of events over and over in my mind. If only she was in the house she would still be alive or had a stronger harness on. I tracked the driver down and she claims she never hit my dog and wasn’t speeding. The ups corporation has failed to admit anything happened with their truck which is making me not able to find closure and grieve properly I’m suffering from guilt and I feel I failed to protect my dog annie was young and full of life I am sorry for your loss. It is sad looking at beautiful dogs that died tragically. Why didn’t God help somehow. I still believe these tragedies can be avoided if the drivers are aware of their surroundings and use proper caution. May we all be reunited with our pets someday.

  2. I am crying reading this. Remembering my cocker Magoo. Carol I don’t think I ever told you this cause I still never talk about it but I lost my first cocker Magoo. He had free run of the yard since we are 250 ft from the road. He never left the yard but one my son (who was devastated) was coming up the driveway and ran to the car. My son stopped watched him run back to the woods and started driving again. Just then Magoo ran to the car. He earn right into the car and broke his neck and died instantly. I was not home. Josh called crying so hard and told me what had happened. He was so stresssd out. I usher home and then set on the front lawn cradling Magoo and crying. He was such a special loving dog. The next day was my son’s high school graduation and it was a very tuff weekend. I think of him often but do not talk about it cause I blame myself for not blocking off access to the driveway. Now my backyard is fenced in and the dogs do not have access to the driveway unless on leash. This was many years ago, my son is 40 and has 2 kids and 2 dogs of his own. Every time I see yards where dogs have free access to the driveway I think of Magoo. Still miss him. He was my jogging buddy and loved to jogging with me. Never left my side. As I said I still miss to this day.

  3. My beautiful, wonderful Andy, therapy dog, helper dog in my dog training work has been to an ER three times for eating, oh, a firestarter log, turkey carcass, and possibly an Aleve from the floor. He is bright., loving, loves me, etc. but I may not be the best mom some day and he may die. And I may have to make my peace with that which would be devastating. I am so thankful for your posts!! Because I trust Carol so much, I will post, because I am a dog professional; no pressure here.

  4. Oh my! What a powerful, heart-stopping article, Carol. With tears in my eyes I find myself speechless. Guilt is such a powerful, awful emotion. I’ve beat myself up all weekend with guilt because Poppy had to go to the vet with problems I felt I should have caught sooner. She has an ear infection in on ear and a ruptured sebaceous cyst in her ear flap of the other ear. It has broken open twice now, oozing blood, hardening in her long ear hair. I know it may seem like no big deal to people, since Cockers are prone to ear issues. But guilt is a nasty little worm that takes over your brain function.

    Thanks to Nancy and Sarah for sharing your powerful stories. Love to you both and your beautiful Cocker angels at the Rainbow Bridge.

  5. The one and only time I ever closed my bedroom door so I could get some sleep. A huge crash happened upstairs, and then my dog, Hobie, was at my bedroom door barking like crazy. When I opened the door, there was our other dog, Hector on the floor, having a massive seizure. Hobie was barking to notify me! Hector has never had any problems before. He was only 9 years old. As in your blog post, I called 911. They informed me they can’t help with a pet. The vet’s office was closed because it was only 6 am. Hector came out of the seizure but it seemed to take forever. At 8:00 I called the vet & they said bring him in right away. Due to a language barrier between me & the vet, and my being “too polite” the fact that a huge crash was heard (I think hector fell down the stairs) was overlooked. The vet said Hector was “old” and probably had a brain tumor. He said that with a dog this age, getting a CT scan or whatever at the university would be too costly The thing is, we had plenty of money at the time! I did not press the fact that it was a sudden accident (which I did not witness) that caused the seizure. I did not argue about the money issue . I just “took it on authority” always being the nice little girl who doesn’t argue with authority figures. For the next three months, Hector had multiple seizures daily and was on all kinds of medicine. Medicine that would do nothing because he had an injury, not a disease. In August, hurricane Irene barreled in to town. Hector wouldn’t come inside the house. I remember dragging him by the collar. He had been running in the yard and my spouse insisted I get him inside because the hurricane was coming. He wouldn’t budge, so I dragged him. I got him into the basement and he laid down and wouldn’t get up. I again called the same vet. I said Hector’s paws and mouth were cold to the touch and he had vomited. One minute he was running and playing, the next he was incapacitated! He told me to give him Pepcid AC. I went to the store and got it — in a hurricane! Hector died that night — just 4 days before his 10th birthday. After I notified the vet of Hector’s death, one of the vet techs said Hector probably had an aneurysm and swelling of the brain. How I wish I had talked to her instead of her boss. I’ve never gotten over the guilt of this series of stupid mistakes that cost the life, and quality of the last three months of his life, of my beloved dog. Who by the way wasn’t “old” at age 9!! Thanks for listening.

  6. I just feel like I should have done something more when Emma suddenly was not herself, but it all happened so fast. No one thought she would pass away. An afternoon of fluids, getting her vitals stable, they would do more tests and fix my dog. The vet said she would probably spend the night and then go home. When they called to say she was not going to make it I could not believe it. I rushed back to the hospital and held her as she took her last breaths. She was my world. I love Bailie and Madison to death, but Emma was with me for 12 years, was always healthy. Emma was my dog, by baby, my teammate, counselor, and business partner. I was not prepared to lose her. It’s coming up on four months already and I still cry daily, a lot, especially when I’m driving or other times when my mind wanders for things to think about. It doesn’t matter that she sends me signs, or one day we will be together again. I want to hug her now. All her fans miss her, I want to share everything with her like I always did. The pain is something I can’t get over. I’ve lost many pets but the suddenness of this has really killed me, but I do my best to move forward. We just posted about pet loss a week ago too. It is such a hard thing. The only thing that could be worse for me would be not having a dog at all. After I left Emma, I could not wait to get back to Bailie and Madison, hug, and cuddle them and just be with them.

  7. The death of a longtime pet can often mean more to its owner than the death of a human family member. This may be shocking to say but it is true. Many non animal lovers do not seem to understand what the death of a beloved pet can mean to its owner and the extent of the grief that may be involved, especially if the death was accidental or the owner had contributed in some way to the animal’s demise. A year or so ago a dog died who I knew from walking in the neighbourhood. A week later its owner died and his partner committed suicide a week after. The timing of these events may all have been coincidental but we fellow dog walkers all knew how what that dog meant to its owner and how that death may have affected them. Deaths of our pets can also happen at the hands of the professionals we entrust them to and that can also be a cause of grief and guilt for the owner involved.

  8. Omg! I feel all of these stories…. I am a huge pet
    lover and yesterday the worst thing imaginable happened.. I was running some errands for my mom, going down a street I go down all the time.. I saw a man chasing his puppy in their yard, the next thing I know the puppy darted out in the street and I tried to stop, but I didn’t stop in time and I hit the puppy… I threw my car in park and went to check on him. It was the worst feeling I have ever had. I couldn’t even stand. I just kept yelling I was sorry. I cant even explain how devastated I am, I cant stop crying and replaying it over and over in my head.. and everyone around me thinks I am stupid for feeling this way. The saddest thing was when I was telling the puppy I was sorry he just laid his head down like he knew he was going to die. I dont know if I will ever forgive myself for this.

  9. I recently lost my dog to an accidental drowning. I let my 15 year old corgi out to pee before bed , she has cataracts and deaf – and a little nerve issue in her back legs that acted up occasional – but she was spunky and doing very well despite all that ,She led an active life – we always left the porch lights on at night so she could./had navigated the yard perfectly for years. around our pool.

    Annie avoids the pool because she hates water and can’t swim – we tried over the years but she would just roll sideways and sinks.

    On this particular night , after I let her out I got distracted, my husband thinking I let her in already came downstairs and turned off the yard lights… about 30 min later I realized Annie was not in house and opened the back door to get her in – she always waited at back door after her business… she wasn’t there – stupidly I called to her – realizing she probably was disoriented in back of yard I went to look for her – it was so dark I returned for a flashlight – went back out and without knowing why I glanced to Far end of pool – and saw a dark shape – I thought was leaves Collecting at that end…. I realized we had cleaned pool yesterday that many lea rd couldn’t have dropped – with sick feeling I knew immediately it was her… she wasn’t moving no struggling as if she just fell in . My heart sank . I pulled her out screaming my lungs out . We couldn’t resuscitate her – she had been gone too long . That was 2 weeks ago. The guilt we both feel is horrendous. We both feel contributed to her death . Me for not standing out there waiting for her to finish her business , and my husband for turning off the lights. We are beating ourselves up over this.

    She must have been scared . Falling in – not being able to see and worse not knowing what direction to swim if she could at all to the stairs…
    We never heard her bark – we were in the living room not more that 25 feet from that pool. Never heard a splash .

    I let her down. And the guilt is unending.
    If only.. I did things differently that night , if only

    1. Hi Paula, I hope you are no longer in such anguish. I understand because my 15 year old chihuahua disappeared last Saturday. We live on a lake and think she fell off the dock and into the water. I am beside myself. My husband was sitting on the patio. She was there and 5 minutes later she was not. He heard no struggle or whimper. I feel so guilty because I was out to dinner with a friend. I always stood outside to make sure she did not go on the dock at night. If only I had stayed home.

    2. I feel exactly what you are feeling. My chihuahua Shawn got left outside in the cold temps accidentally forgotten. I feel guilt for forgetting to check on him. When I found him he was passed. I tried to bring him back but it was too late. If only I had not let him outside that cold day. He was 16 and still full of so much life. Even though I meant him no harm I feel guilty that I caused his death. The pain he must have felt from being so cold and eventually dying.

      1. I’m feeling guilt, sadness, anger, and lots of other emotions at the moment. My black lab mix Lilah, who would have turned 10 years old this month, was left outside with her proximity collar on while we were out of town for 4th of July. Neighborhood fireworks and strong storms must have scared her out of the yard one night; she ran a mile down the busy road and we guess she was hit (as a black dog not being able to be seen in the dark) and went to lie down in someone’s yard. They called us that morning after they found her body. If only we had taken her with us. If only we had asked the neighbors to keep an eye on her. There’s lots of “if only’s” I can think of. But I also think, well if she had lived to be old, she may have suffered more, or, if we had taken her with us she might have had an accident there, etc. I can be thankful for having her during the best years of her life, and for the good dog she was. Perhaps there will be another opportunity in the future to raise a dog like Lilah, and I’m glad she blessed our lives with her exuberance. Rest in peace, Lilah Bug. I love you.

  10. My little JAZZ was 3 years old. He weighed 6 lbs. It seems his sole purpose in life was to love me, observe everything I did, and never let me out of his sight. I had spinal surgery a year ago. I’m sleep on a hospital bed. The bed also serves as my recliner and sofa. When JAZZ did fall asleep on bed, he lay vertically or horizontally on my legs. I couldn’t move without him knowing. Having no family, few friends, and not able to drive, limited my world. JAZZ more than made up. We weren’t lonely. I spoke with him as if he was a person. When I got a plate for a meal, JAZZ got a saucer of the same pattern. He was only given very small portions. It’s rude to eat in front of someone! ;-). His only bad habit was destroying toilet tissue. JAZZ was so well behaved, that when we went for our 1/3 mile walk, off leash, he waited at the curb until I said “ok,” then crossed the driveway. He would walk a few feet ahead of me, always came when I called him. I was lulled into a false sense of security. For over a year, I could let him outside alone to go to the bathroom. On 1/9/2020, a 130 lb dog attacked him, rupturing vital organs. He screamed during the attack, but never made a sound afterwards. I heard him and ran to him. He came out of hiding, running to me. I thought only a leg was injured. As he lay on my chest, I felt his warm blood soak through my shirt. The small puncture wound was very deep and dripping bright red blood. I actually believed he’d come home with me after a few stitches. I received several updates, and after an hour or so of treatment, a vet rushed to me. He was crashing. I ran to the treatment room to see a vet giving chest compressions. I told him not to repeat if he crashed again. JAZZ died quietly in my arms. I held his lifeless body for over an hour, thanking him for the love and joy he brought. It’s only been 10 days, but I’m forever changed. I had one job; to love and protect JAZZ. I failed. Miserably. I see young, healthy, head-tilting JAZZ when I think of him. The sound of his screams are fading. Bedtime I mornings are the worst. He slept nestled at my neck. I’m so aware of his absence. I still expect him just around the corner. I’m broken and devastated. Thanks for listening. Debbie

  11. Going through tough situation Left bag of ibuprofen and my dog ate the whole lot, Fearing now I could loose my beloved dog. Got careless and now fear. could loose her Fearing a pets death is scairy as well as loosing a pet, You realise what is so important in life and what love is when you love your pet. Time is precious and dogs always teach is things May we never forget what they teach is they are lovely valuable.

  12. six months ago I unintentionally poisoned my sweet, 120 mellow-marshmallow, adored by everyone we encountered, my horse’s best friend and protector, adopted Anatolian Shepherd dog, “Stanley” with a topical fly spay designed for horses. Presently, I am dealing with immense grief and guilt on a daily basis,

    I had been under immense stress and constant fatigue due to constant domestic unrest in the home from an unemployed, alcoholic, abusive partner, having just been informed my horse of 30 years was facing end of life issues and extreme outside stresses I had to manage alone due to a non-functioning husband.

    The day I initiated Stanley’s demise, I acted impulsively in response to a sudden flea infestation he aquired after lying by the horse for the day in his pasture. The fleas were everywhere and Stanley was miserable.. I grabbed the horse fly spray, pulled back his thick fur, and coated him with the product directly onto his skin.

    Stanley had recovered well from routine dental and lipoma removal surgery just five days earlier during wich time the Vet informed us she was very pleased to inform me his Kidney failure that began two years earlier was not worsening from the strict Kidney friendly diet I managed carefully since his diagnosis of renal failure two years earlier. We were on the right track, Stanley was good, and I needed to focus on the horse now.

    Three days days after applying the fly spray I noticed changes in Stanley but had not associated it with the product I applied. The changes were initially subtle and as he was a very stoic dog by nature. I was attributing them to a response to my stresses and boredom with his bland food.. 7 days post-application, he was presented with more obvious signs and It hit me in in the middle of the night he was experiencing toxicity. I bathed and took him to the vet immediately and told them what I had done. I was instructed to bring him in for IV fluids if he stopped eating and drinking but but otherwise his body had to “wash it out”. on his own. There was no other immediate cure.

    On day 10, after daily visits to the vet for iv fluids, bloodwork monitoring, I awoke to Stanley in shock with pale gums and very cold paws. “His blood has no palettes” the Vet said., “It is very grim, he.s in” end stage kidney and liver failure” . We decided it was best for Stanley to end his suffering there. We said our goodbyes wearing face masks and having to be rushed out of the clinic due to Covid precautions.

    Although the Vet i(highly-considerately) insisted he was suffering from an underlying cause of diffuse liver cancer (he presented with free floating fluid in his abdomen the day he died she said toxicity would not cause), and to other factors such as multiple antibiotic treatments he was enduring for a UTI infection that was not resolving, it was likely the fly spray that tipped the scales and put his organs. into irreversible failure.

    I recently adopted another Anatolian who had an extremely traumatic start to her life. She is adorable and needs my strength and leadership to help her recover and become a healthy dog mentally and physically. Anatolians, especially, need a very, calm, strong and patient leader in order to develop into good companion dogs. She invites me daily to this task and it is helping me through sheer, raw grief over the death of Staley. I know in time the intense guilt will lesson as I bond with the new dog, bur for now it is very painful as I struggle to find a way to forgive myself..

  13. My Jazzy was a toy Papillion. She was 15 and her kidneys were failing. I thought our journey would be over when I would euthanize her.
    Jazzy was about four pounds. She was always underfoot and yesterday the worst happened. She tripped me up and I fell on her; she was gone. Blood everywhere.
    I took her to the vet and arranged for cremation.
    I don’t know how to move past this trauma. I feel horrible. And guilty. I don’t know how to forgive myself. She was the light of my life. There’s a lot of judgement about these things; I feel so horrified about it…I told my family I had to finally euthanize her–it’s the shame and guilt, How can I forgive myself??

    1. You have to think like your dog. You didn’t do this on purpose. Your dog loved you and always will. Your dog would want you to live a life of love and joy and not live with guilt. You didn’t do it on purpose. I wish you peace and forgiveness, as your dog would want you to be okay. Can you open your heart to another furbaby as I did?

      1. Yes, eventually. Dogs are the way I cope with anxiety. They give me emotional support. Which makes this accident all the worse for me. Thank you for your kind words.

  14. I killed my horse trainers dog with my car, it was a complete freak accident. He was his little shadow and I took that away.
    I drove to the stables like I do everytime but this time, someone had parked to the side around a corner, and I was trying to squeeze my SUV through and wasn’t sure if it would fit, I was so busy concentrating on that, that when I straightened up there was nothing in front when I looked. To me the coast was clear and it was a straight drive to the parking. To the left hand side -my blind spot were the horse lorries parked up and his dog shot from past the lorries straight under my car as I was moving forward. It was only when I parked up and got out that I heard yelping and I looked and my trainer was calling his name, I had no idea that his dog had fallen under my car.
    I rushed them to the vets but he was already dying in my car, the vets were waiting and rushed him in but it was too late, he died within minutes of arriving.
    It’s the most horrendous thing of my life, I loved that dog, he was my dogs friend and I don’t know how I will ever look my trainer or anyone in the eye again. Everyone keeps telling me it was a tragic accident as he had never run out and under a car before but it doesn’t help. I got to go home to my 2 dogs and he didn’t.
    I left my card with the vet to pay the bill but money won’t bring him back. I am so devastated as I used to walk him and hang out with him. I don’t know if this pain will ever go away, I can’t even begin to imagine how my trainer must feel.
    I keep getting messages and calls but if I hadn’t turned up when I did, he would still be alive.

  15. My 15yr old little dog was unsteady on his feet. For some reason I foregot to take him upstairs with me that night. He tried to get up the stairs and fell down some. He was alive but the shock was to much for his little body. Three days later i had to have him euthanised. He might have lived for a few months more, he was such a tough character. I cannot believe that I left the most precious soul in my life downstairs, an accident waiting to happen.. I feel for you all suffering this guilt.

  16. So yesterday 9/22/21 my poor baby girl was hit by a spending car outd our house..
    Beautiful 11 month old pug so sweet protective ❤ miss her so much…
    I was across the street with my mother talking to her in the car when I noticed my son 5 yr old opened the door she ran out and she never crossed the streets but she saw me on the other side and wanted to get to me and a big speeding suv hit her died instantly infornt of my eyes took 10 seconds for her to stop breathing no blood I believe she had internal bleeding 💔
    I feel so guilty 😔 if I never should of gone outside my son wouldn’t have opened the gate looking for me and oreo my precious puppy wouldn’t have crossed the street to go towards me hearbreaking my heart hurts
    I was just planning of makingherr an appt for her 1 yr check up at the vet.
    Worst feeling ever ppl say things happen for a reason……will always be missed 😪

  17. Our little Sushi passed away today in an accident. He was just two and a half years old, All our family are devastated, he was just the youngest member of the family, and I don’t know how I’ll get through. The house feels so empty without him. Our lives won’t be the same. Dear Sushi, look after us from heaven, we’ll remember you forever and keep in our hearts until we meet again. 🐾(●’◡’●)🐶

    1. I am so incredibly sorry for your loss. My very deepest condolences and may time help your heart fill with memories of love.

  18. Leave a comment…hello,its both nice and sad to read stories of others who have been thru the unfortunate tragic moments of the death of our closest friends. i only want to say to all those that have is i feel your pain. im totally lost and part of me died with the loss of my bro. bro was a half blue heeler half brendal pit bull..he was my boy. we were a pack. he got out of my sight for less than a minute, went under a bridge and up over the other side and was struck by a train.train passed. i called response.i run to my truck to getmy binoculors and then up to the high ground and look across the area thinking he was chasing a rabbit.all the way around twice.i see nothing.i drop the binoculars from my eyes and there my boy lies ten feet from me between the tracks.all i can say is its aweful to have to scoop up your animal of the tracks and just hold him until bleeds out and dies in your arms. i am truly heartbroken,filled with guilt,and just in shock and disbelief that the one thing i had left in this world after our home burned down 2 days before christmas was taken from me.he survived parvo and was neglected as a young puppy by my exgirlfriend and i eventually had to go fight a guy to get him.they had him locked in a closet.i never let him go again.i told my ex to pack her stuff but bro was staying with me.and that he my side 24/7 for 5 years. the bond we shared is so strong that its sad if everybody doesnt get a chance to experince it. the message bro left with me to pass on is simple “hug your dog” its not fair that an animal so full of love and happiness that brought nothing but good to this cruel world and was loved by so many people was taken in an heart goes out to all dog people who suffer this kind of loss. he wasnt just a dog.he was my boy. we were a pack. he was given the best life i could give him and layed to rest proper. thank you for this site and a place to help me tell bros story.

  19. Omgosh, all these stories are so heart breaking and I totally feel your pain. Our sweet farm dog Pepper was given to my husband on Father’s Day about 6 yrs ago as a puppy. She loved snuggling in my lap when she was a puppy and so became very protective of me. Whenever a family member would try to hug or kiss me she would make this funny little concerned whine. We would have to tell her you’re so silly they aren’t hurting me. There were a few people she didn’t care for and would nip in the butt but other than that she was very sweet and affectionate. She knew how to sit, shake with both paws and roll over. She wasn’t very well behaved and it was frustrating trying to coax her back into the house if we had to leave. She wouldn’t listen if we told her to stop chasing the neighbors horses and barking at them. We actually thought she would get kicked in the head before anything else would happen to her. She had a bad habit of chasing our cars when we would leave our driveway and would act like a cheetah trying to keep up until she finally got tired and gave up. She would run under the farmers barbed wire fence on the opposite side of the road and eventually make her way home to our yard. We live out in the country and have a 40 acre ranch so she had free reign of the place. We do have a dog yard but she would jump over the 5 foot thing like it wasn’t even there. One night when it was super dark she jumped out of a ditch from the opposite side of the road and I almost hit her but thankfully that time I was slowing down to turn into our driveway. Well 2 nights ago we came home from dinner and did our usual routine of letting the doggies into the dog yard to go potty but didn’t realize Pepper had run across the road the neighbors pasture again which she rarely ever does at night. I came out of the bathroom and heard my son wailing and sobbing something about Pepper being dead and was in shock and disbelief. I went outside onto our porch and our neighbor to the right was at our front door apologizing to my husband and asking what to do with her body?? I was like what? She can’t just be gone, we just let her out. I guess she did the same thing to him, jumped out of the ditch in front of him but he didn’t have time to stop and ended up hitting and killing her instantly. I couldn’t wrap my head around how she could be dead. Like there’s no hope of saving her, like maybe she is still breathing or just has a broken leg and we can rush her to the ER? She was just dead. Omg me and my son just held each other and sobbed. We are utterly devastated. She had such a funny personality and was very sweet and loving especially towards my son. He would always snuggle her on the couch every night and ask him for belly rubs. I would often hear him say I love you Pepper. It shatters my heart to see him so broken by this. It just happened so fast and was so final that we didn’t even get to kiss her and say goodbye. Now I can’t stop crying it just hurts so much. I feel almost like I’ve lost a child. She will be very missed and always loved even though she’s gone. I want to get a memorial pic done of her for my son so he can have her by his bed side. I wish we could have seen her live to be like 15 but I guess she earned her angel wings early.

      1. Thank you so much Carol. My husband wants to get a new puppy today but I am not sure if I am ready yet.

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