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I couldn't believe how much the passing of Trouble has affected me. It's always there. The 'joy' of anything is lost. How long does it take? (a common enough question on this board, though with something else entirely in mind)

Some of you have been around awhile. Can you please tell me how long this lasts? He was a dog. I know that. But for some reason, this is constantly revisiting my mind and really affecting my ordinary view of what's what.

I'm feeling kinda silly posting this to this board, but I feel better somehow for having done so.

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Brian, Trouble was a member of your family. You loved him. Give yourself permission to grieve. It will take a long time, longer yet if you try not to. It will be a slow process to get to a point where you accept that he is gone and rejoice in his life. At that time, perhaps you will be ready to share your love again and find another bundle of joy to fill a small part of the void that he left.

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Focus on some good memories of Trouble and it'll make it easier on your mind.

I've had one dog after another during my life and each one leaves their mark. I can still remember many of the dogs individually because I remember the good things. What I'm trying to say is don't try to forget Trouble. Just try to place his memory where you can think about him when you want to be happy.

Getting another dog isn't a bad idea. If Trouble was a part of your family, you should have a small place for a new pooch.

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Dear Brian,

I was truly disturbed to learn of the death of you dear little friend Troubles. I know by heart how singularly wretched such a loss feels, and how helpless and somehow unfinished you feel within that pain. I have always been extremely close to my animals, many of whom have lived very long long lives, and with each, as the end drew near I have always tried to ease them out of this world with my love and my presence, day and night, touching, stroking, and reassuring with my softest voice, because it has always seemed that they can never understand, as people might, - what is happening to them. How long does it last? We are all so different. I have had the ache in my throat and behind my eyes last for three months, I have been caught up in tears coming across a photograph years later. When I realize how you are suffering, I feel it all over again. There is nothing that can help you but time.

In the meanwhile, when other people can't see the dedicated vigil, or can't comprehend your grief in the aftermath, - perhaps because they don't feel that such a loss can hold measure with human loss, there are two quotations that are favourites of mine that might give you some comfort. One is from Henry Beston's "Outermost House" A truly beautiful book:

"We patronize them for their incompleteness, for the tragic fate of having taken form so far below ourselves. And therein we err, and greatly err. For the animal shall not be measured by man. In a world older and more complete than ours, they move finished and complete, gifted with extensions of the senses we have lost or never attained, living by voices we shall never hear. They are not brethren, they are not underlings, they are other nations, caught with ourselves in the net of life and time, fellow prisoners of the splendour and travail of the earth."

And the other from the Old Testament: Ecclesiastes 3-19:

"For that which befalleth the sons of men befalleth beasts; even one thing befalleth them: as the one dieth, so dieth the other; yea, they have all one breath; so that a man hath no preeminence above a beast: for all is vanity."

Hold tight, Brian.

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Thank you, thank you, thank you.

I'm very sorry to those who, understandably, might see this as horribly off topic. It undeniably is.

For me, this is the perfect place to offer my query. I can't ask others without breaking down and I'm not the type that likes to do that sort of thing in public. ALL of you who responded have given me what I sought, and I'm grateful.

I wanted to abstain from naming names because each reply was like a weight removed from my heart.

But I GOTTA name CAT!

Those were excellent quotes and I only WISH I could express myself half as well as that Henry Beston guy.

OK, that's the last post from me on the subject, but don't hesitate if any of you think of something else. If any of you kind souls have spent this last week thinking that you weren't very productive, let me change your mind. Remember I said that the 'joy' was taken out of everything? I've had that very thing in abundance from ALL your posts.

Trouble trusted me and even at the end seemed to think that I could make it all better. That's what gets me. I always had. Not this time.

Let's not go there.

Let's, instead, concentrate on the GOOD news. I have two other dogs and believe it or not, just accquired a third- a chihuahua. This one's a REAL chihuahua and he ain't no 'Trouble' by a long shot. But he takes the edge off, ya know? I'm surrounded by pics of Trouble (at home and at work) and have to wonder if I'm not just a bit looney for that, but it helps, ya know? Some of you know, and some don't I suppose.

But it does.

And so do all of you.

Once again- Thanks!

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Thanks for posting about your dog, it's tough to lose those little guys. They're so faithful and fearless, they have so many characteristics that we'd like to see in all of our friends (like short memories if you forget to feed them; they just...put it behind them. Always cheerful).

I miss my dogs too. Emily
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I realize I'm new to the board but I still felt bad for the loss of your doggie. We have 3 dogs (Labs) and one cat. Used to have a reptile (Newt) too. So I can relate to how you felt losing your dog, because I am an animal lover too.

I'm glad you have gotten another dog to help 'ease' the pain. Although your new dog could never replace trouble, he will help you and also end up with a special place in your heart as well.

Hope your days get easier.

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