Saying Goodbye to Your Pet Companion when Chronically Ill

According to social-media-appropriateness mentioning your pet repeatedly is frowned upon, unless the account is only for your pet, so this will be my final post about my sweet Kaiser.

If you’ve been following along you know Kaiser was very sick, and if we’re also connected on Instagram you know my sweet boy was taken by cancer on the 24th of January. I had four days to lay by his side, beg him to eat and drink, to take his medicine, to try to roll the ball with him, to tell him how good he was, how he’d done the best job ever at protecting our home, how much love he brought to each of us, how my heart was breaking in a million f*****g pieces and there wasn’t anything I could do stop the cancer (*Hemangiosarcoma). At one point the day before he passed, with the little energy he had, he leaned his head over and kissed (licked) my arm a couple times, my final kisses goodbye, treasured forever.

Grief is washing over and over and over me. I thought we’d have more time. My house feels less like a home. My arms feel empty. My Buddy is gone. It’s too quiet. It’s too still. Life feels incredibly unfair. I’m trying to take my days one moment at a time as I’ve learned from previous grieving of my family. Yesterday the wheelchair arrived from Joey’s Paw that I feverishly tried to find for him when I thought it was only his ACL. We will be shipping it off to another foundation, Gunnar’s Wheels, for donation to another furbaby in need, but I can’t help but think that in that box was a hope, a wish, that even if his ACL was torn that he would still be able to get out, to feel the wind, to smell the bushes, to do his favorite things. He would be okay, he would adapt, we’d figure it out, we still had so much time…

I’m having a difficult time getting to the point of this blog today. People have been incredibly kind and supportive on social media (my social life as I’m housebound), which has made a huge difference. To know you aren’t alone is always comforting, even when the very thing that makes you feel that way is heartbreaking. I’m incredibly appreciative to have had that in my life but it’s left me with the following thought… When you have a chronic illness and you spend every moment of every day around your pet, when they show you unconditional love, no matter if you were able to comb your hair, shower, or brush your teeth, when all they want is just to be near you when nobody else does, when they become your best friend because they’re there when nobody else is, and then you lose them, it’s a grief that breaks your heart into too many pieces. So please if you know of anyone who is homebound, or disabled, and they lose a pet may I be bossy and suggest you don’t ask if they’re going to get another, that’s like asking us if we are going to get another parent. I know you mean well, that’s why I’m providing the tip. There’s a relationship that forms between a chronically ill person and a pet that is hard to explain and hard to understand, just know it’s very special and losing it can be very traumatic.

Thank you for stopping in today, next week I’ll resume my chitter chatter of trying to adult while being chronically ill, but in all fairness, that’s exactly what I’m trying to do here. Hoping today has been kind to you, and if you’re in the Midwest area of the US, hoping you have a warm, safe, cozy home to bundle up in for the next few days. And below one more photo of my sweet boy having so much fun playing in the snow years ago in our back yard, and my little doodles as I try to relax my mind a little each day.

*Please if you have a German Shepherd, or other large breed dog, look in to getting them checked for Hemangiosarcoma, a very common, but aggressive cancer in Shepherds. We’d never heard of it, he had no symptoms until he collapsed, and it took his life two and a half weeks later. 



44 thoughts on “Saying Goodbye to Your Pet Companion when Chronically Ill

  1. “There’s a relationship that forms between a chronically ill person and a pet that is hard to explain and hard to understand” – this is so true. When you are isolated from the rest of the world your pets are your world, your best friends. Thinking of you.

    Liked by 2 people

  2. I love this precious photo of your sweet furbaby, Kaiser. You two were meant to be together, and he was so happy to be a part of your family. You did the best for him, and I pray your memories of Kaiser will forever warm your heart. 💖

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Mishka, my heart breaks for you. I have no words of comfort as I know there are no words that will comfort you at this time. I know the importance of our fur babies for those of us who are ill and I so wish I could make this all better.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Sod social-media-appropriateness, this is your blog, your space, and your choice what you write. You talk about Kaiser as often and as much as you want. We care and we want to hear it, if you want to share it. When I lost my dog, the whole notion of getting another was awful. I’m still sad thinking of him now, and it’s been nearly 6 years. I totally agree with that tip to not ask such a question. Grief for your fur baby is painful, and I am so, so sorry. My heart aches for you and your loss, I cried reading this. Sending hugs and thinking of you Mishka  ♥
    Caz xxxxx

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you for your compassion💕 I’m sorry you too lost your pup. 💔 I wish nobody would know what it was like to walk in the shoes of a person with a chronic illness that spends their day with pets verses people, but that’s not reality. Reality is that there are so many of us. Hoping the weekend treats you kindly 🌸

      Liked by 1 person

  5. We lost our zoe jan 22 to a 2 year battle with cushings and our shepard mix in 2016 to what they suspected was brain cancer. I too suffer from auto immune disorders and have just found your blog. My deepest condolences and know others do know how how you feel, your not alone.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I’m so, so sorry for your loss. They say grief takes time but it feels too soon for that as it’s still coming in crushing waves. So I won’t say that to you. All I can say right now is what a blessing we had to share in their company and what lovely memories our hearts will forever hold. Hoping today is kind to you🌻

      Liked by 1 person

      1. I agree i have been keeping my mind busy best i can and making life normal for the other fur babies but when its to quite i cry, im preparing to have her ashea return to us this week and i know ill lose it..just like i did when we recieved or condolence card from thr vet a few days ago. We all need to grive however we need to ans its all ok

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I have been thinking about you and your family. I’m so sorry about Kaiser. Take the time to just be with your grief. Losing our beloved family members is one of the hardest things we ever go through.

    Liked by 1 person

  7. I know it’s a couple of weeks later now but thank you for sharing this. What a good (and very handsome!) boy Kaiser was! You already know this, but he will forever live on around you and has had the best life he could possibly have had! I hope you find comfort soon in the small things like memories and photos even if right now it seems impossible, and don’t feel guilty for taking time to grieve, it’s so necessary ❤️ sending lots of love xxx

    Liked by 1 person

  8. Oh Mishka, I’m so very sorry for your loss. I know Kaiser was well-loved and that he loved you unconditionally. I’m really sorry for the delay here — I hadn’t seen anything from you in my reader for a while so I wanted to pop over and check in on you. Please take the time you need to grieve this sweet, sweet soul who was so much company for you, and if you want to talk about him, don’t worry about what social media appropriateness says. Sending love and gentle hugs your way sweet friend.

    Liked by 1 person

  9. So sad for you. I had to put my golden to sleep as the back half of his body stopped working. That was 19 years ago when my first child was born. I still think about him. My whole family (some who only met him once) still talk about the legend he was. Dogs are G-day’s gift to anyone willing to care for them. In a chaotic world they demonstrate love and beauty… Never thought I could get another but now have a doodle and a lab rescue. They are not a replacement but it’s like loving more children. So many loving homes needed for rescues. Wishing you all the best

    Liked by 1 person

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