Pet Bereavement – Coping With The Death Of Your Labrador


Pet bereavement is horrific.

When we take a Labrador into our lives, we know at the back of our minds that they won’t be with us forever. When they are young and full of energy, it’s easy to ignore this feeling. But if they fall ill, or just get older, the reality becomes more prominent in our minds. Especially when we have to ask ourselves difficult questions.

Whilst pet bereavement is sadly an inevitable part of life with any animal, this doesn’t mean that it isn’t devastating to lose someone.

Pet burial or cremation

When you have lost your dog, the aching truth is that the first thing you will need to do is make a decision. Do you leave him with the vet, do you bury him in the garden or do you take him to a pet cemetery? There is absolutely no right or wrong decision here. You need to choose the option which you think will make it easiest for you and your family to cope. If you want to keep him near to you, then burying him in your garden could be the best choice. If that is your chosen path, think about whether you want to do this yourself, or have a friend with less emotional attachment do it for you.

Labrador vision eyesight

Would you prefer to be alone, or to invite others to give you support. If you want to say a few words, then that’s okay too. How you manage your grief is your business alone, and a lot of people feel better for voicing their feelings out loud.

Pet Cemeteries also take dogs for burial or cremation. It is also not possible for many people to bury their dog at home, due to a lack of space, garden, or simply being in rented accommodation. Using a cemetery can also add a formality to the affair, which some people find comforting.

Wherever you choose for your Labrador to lay to rest, you can mark their memory in a physical way. From memoriums at gravesides to trinkets at home, often having a marker to visit or look at can help you to express your feelings and display your love for your dog after they have gone.

Coping with pet bereavement

Losing someone we love is terribly upsetting. And yet for some reason we often beat ourselves up for ‘over-reacting’ to this upset. You tell yourself you are being silly, because ‘it’s only a dog’, but you know as well as I do that no dog is ‘only a dog’.

A dog is a huge commitment and an enormous investment of your love, dedication, time, money and hopes for the future. Your dog is tied to your lifestyle, as well as your heart. Any member of the family, no matter how small and furry, is a part of your mental image of your life. How it is now, and how you want it to be in the future. It is completely understandable to grieve the loss of this image. An aspect of these feelings of grief that is common to most pet owners is guilt.

Pet bereavement and guilt

Whilst a dog is a friend to you, they are also a pet, and as such they are your responsibility. This means that when they get old or ill, we are burdened with being the one to make decisions about their welfare. For some people this will be increased because they have had to make a decision regarding euthanising.

Knowing when to let go of an adored pet is not something that comes easily to anyone. I have spoken to numerous people who have felt guilty for a long time after putting down their dog. Not because they put him down, but because they let him suffer whilst they took time to make up their minds. Whilst this is a very upsetting situation to have been in, it is now one that is in the past. All you can do is learn from the experience and resolve to let this influence how you behave in future.

Reassure yourself that while you may have waited too long in hindsight, perhaps this was what you needed to do to be sure you were doing the right thing. Even if your dog died naturally of old age, this can still be tinged with guilt for you as an owner. Questions of whether you should have seen signs, or visited the vets, or even searched for other opinions are perfectly natural. Hindsight is 20/20, as they say. There are no psychics in real life, and there is no way for you to know how things could have gone differently if you had behaved in another way.

‘What if…’ is a very tempting thing to ask yourself, but not a very useful one. All these feelings of guilt and doubt can tell us for certain, is that you are the kind of person who cares. Having these feelings is a reassuring sign that you did do the best that you could have done in your situation. Talking about these feelings and listening to the reassurances and condolences of others is an important part of the healing process.

It’s good to talk

After your Labrador is gone, it will take a while for the sadness to start to fade. It’s really important not to keep your emotions to yourself, but to communicate them to others. When you lose a pet, your friends and family can be a great support. Some of us are very lucky in the friend department. With people who will drop everything and rush to your support in a time of need. But  what do you do when you feel that you have talked the ears off your friends, but the pain is still with you?

We all feel at times that there is an unwritten expiry date on the sympathy of others, even if in reality there is not. And not everyone has friends close by, or caring family who really understands how important a pet was to us. So what do you do then? Or if you are simply not the type of person who finds it easy to share your feelings with those who know you.

Finding people who understand your feelings can be a real boost during a tough time. The rise of internet Forums, like The Labrador Forum, has made a big difference to people in difficulty. There is even a section on The Labrador Forum dedicated to memories of dogs who have passed away. Other posters in this section genuinely empathise with your feelings, and can offer condolences and honest support.

But what if this just isn’t enough? Luckily there are some support services available that can really help. The Blue Cross offers a very well received pet bereavement support service. You can anonymously call their helpline and speak to someone who can offer a sympathetic ear. It is staffed by trained volunteers, who are there just to give you emotional support and any information that you feel you need in the event of your pet dying. So you know where to go for support, but what about the people who rely on you?

Supporting your children through pet bereavement

If there is one thing guaranteed to add another dimension to any of life’s trying situations, it’s your kids. Depending on your child’s age, they will probably react in very different ways. Older children may feel very similarly to you, grieving over the loss of their pet. They may even be able to provide mutual support as you get through this tough time. But younger children can have very mixed reactions, and sometimes these can be quite upsetting for a parent to deal with as well.

If your child is very upset, then you know best how to comfort them. Lots of extra hugs and fun distracting activities can make a huge difference. However, little children can sometimes however have what appears at first to be a worrying reaction. They may just be curious, asking to see what your beloved dog looks like now they have passed away! I have known an otherwise entirely normal child happily ask if he could dig up a pet a few months later to see the bones!

Sometimes despite having loved your dog very much, a child may not appear be fussed at all that they have departed. Or else will at random inappropriate moments when you had managed to distract yourself from your upset, happily start talking about your lost Labrador. However they express themselves, try and keep calm and kind. It sounds obvious, but in times of high stress and upset this can be tricky to do. If you feel very upset by something they have said, give a quick kind answer and find an excuse to leave the room for a few moments whilst you compose yourself.

But what if it’s your child’s first experience of death?

First experiences of bereavement

Some children may not have come across death as a concept yet. There are very strong and widely varying opinions on how you should deal with addressing this. Some people believe that it’s best to tell the children that the dog has ‘gone away’ to live with someone else, usually in some kind of lovely farmyard setting.

Whilst this may provide a short term solution, your child will still ask about your dog. They will ask to see photos, and want to know whether they can visit and when they are going to see them again. Not to mention the minefield of potential trust issues when they find out you were lying. Personally, I feel that if a child is old enough to understand that something is gone and isn’t coming back, that they are old enough to be told the truth.

Death is not an avoidable part of life, and gradually being introduced to the concept on an animal rather than human level is likely to be easier to get their heads around. If your Labrador was old or very unwell, perhaps tell your child that they were uncomfortable and are much happier to be resting now. Make a big deal of how lucky you were to have your Labrador in their life, and reassure them that everyone lives on in the happy memories we carry around with us. Let them know that you will always be happy to talk about your Labrador and to spend time looking at photos and reliving fun memories, to keep them with you in your heads and hearts.

Once you have spoken with your family about the loss of your dog, it is inevitable that the question of a new companion will be raised.

Should you get a new dog after suffering pet bereavement?

After the loss of a dog, a lot of families have to address the idea of whether they should get a new pet straight away. It is widely agreed that jumping straight in the car and heading out to get a new dog is not the best course of action. When the wounds are still fresh, your temptation might be to try and replace the Labrador you have lost. But dogs, just like people, are not replaceable.

When you have come to terms with the loss of your old dog, take time to consider whether you want to invite a brand new one into your life. Don’t just go out looking for a dog who looks like your old one, or who displays the same characteristics. Make sure that you are ready to pick a dog who fits with your family on their own merits.

The Labrador Handbook by Pippa Mattinson(paid link)

Raise the same questions you did the first time you decided if you wanted to live with a Labrador. The answers might not be the same this time around. Do you want a rescue dog, or would a puppy be more appropriate for you? What are the most important characteristics of a Labrador to you, is it temperament or trainability? It’s also important to remember that although your old dog was probably so comfortable in your home that he was like a part of the furniture. A new dog will certainly need an increased amount of time to be spent on training.

Whatever you decide, just remember that you are not replacing your old dog. You are finding a new one to share your life and join you as you move on to the next exciting chapter.

 Pet Bereavement - Coping with the death of your Labrador.Moving on from pet bereavement

If you have lost the Labrador in your life, my heart goes out to you. I hope that the above is of some help in coping at this difficult time. If you would like to share your experiences with us, or give reassurance to other Labrador owners experiencing loss, then why not let us know in the comments box below:

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Pippa Mattinson is the best selling author of The Happy Puppy Handbook, the Labrador Handbook, Choosing The Perfect Puppy, and Total Recall.

She is also the founder of the Gundog Trust and the Dogsnet Online Training Program 

Pippa's online training courses were launched in 2019 and you can find the latest course dates on the Dogsnet website


  1. I don’t know if anyone will read this, but reading the other comments has made me want to pay homage to my dearest Bertie, who was a yellow Labrador. I’m 27 and we got Bertie after I had just turned 13.

    In many ways, I feel extremely blessed. Bertie was put to rest at 14.5 years old and didn’t have cancer or anything of the like. He simply was a very old boy and his legs were just completely knackered. He couldn’t stand up on his own and he was incontinent for a while before we laid him to rest. He was terrified of walking down the step outside and just kept falling over. Our dedicated vet assessed him and conceded that the time had come.

    We gave him the best life possible. He went on amazing walks, spent years of his life as a working gundog chasing after pheasants, and had untold numbers of delicious meals. My family are very affectionate and he was constantly being kissed and hugged.

    The main thing I’m struggling with is regret over being impatient with him when he was an old boy, such as getting annoyed at him walking slowly and his incontinence. I wish I had been more compassionate, as Bertie would have been with me if the roles were reversed. I feel I have failed Bertie.

    I loved the dog with all my heart and felt angry about what age did to him. He and I were gazing into each other’s eyes and never looked away from one another, with his head in my hand as he passed in the boot of my mum’s car. As his head began to slump, I put my head against his and told him to ‘be at peace’ and kissed him on his forehead. This will haunt me forever, but it couldn’t have been a more beautiful ending. I was with Bertie until his final breath, as I had promised him when he first came into my life.

    To anyone reading this page and this comment, just know that there is a 27 year old English chap who knows exactly how you feel. When you’re sat somewhere and thinking about your most loyal companion and desperately trying to bring a new memory to the forefront of your mind to reminisce upon them – I can relate to a painful extent.

    If it helps, please imagine all of us in this comments section being together. We are all around this world and all on this journey together. The dogs were blessed to have fabulous homes with us and we were blessed to have their presence. That love you feel in your heart now, that is the greatest and most powerful of all human emotion – it conquers all and unites us, for both friends past, present and future. It is that same capacity of love that is embodied by dogs – it is unbreakable.

    If you’re struggling to sleep, your dog would want you to rest. If you’re struggling to eat, your dog would want you to be nourished. If you’re struggling to feel anything but darkness, let your dog continue to be the light in your heart – that light is permanent and never goes out…do not forget that.

    Bertie and I wish you all love and I’m sending you the warmest of hugs.

    George x

    • Hi George l had to put my beautiful 11 year oil lab down on Christmas Eve 4 months earlier he had a tumour on his spleen l went ahead and he had surgery it was a massive one it had been slow growing so he never showed any symptoms things were very up and down he stayed in a top class vets in Marlow for a week he wasn’t insured so l spent thousands on him because l loved him and wanted to give him a chance the tumour was benign happily and omg he came home and was back his old self then about a month ago he started going downhill again the same swelling in his tummy pale gums l knew but l couldn’t believe it was happening again l fought so hard to keep him only to have to say goodbye again l am totally broken l don’t understand why it came back as it as benign 😞Amanda

  2. My heart is just broken. I am wiping away tears as I write this. Two days ago Dexter, my black lab, was put to sleep at the vets office. We spent 15 1/2 wonderful years together and I will always have great memories of us together. Dexter was my closest friend, my constant companion, and the love of my life. It was a wrenching decision and I was so devastated and distraught that I couldn’t hold it together at the vets and left immediately after saying good by. I feel guilty that I wasn’t right there consoling him as he passed. He has always been there for me through everything. He was so tuned in and considerate that if I was in a bad mood or angry he would come over to me, put his head on my knee, look up at me with those big brown expressive eyes, and wag his tail to calm me down. Then he would climb up in my lap, even though he was 65 lbs. The last few months he began to slowly get weaker from old age. First he started walking very slowly. Then he couldn’t get up without help. Finally, he couldn’t walk at all. Last week I came home from work and saw that he had been incontinent and struggling to get up all day. He was exhausted, and his eyes looked defeated. I was so sad for him but managed to cheer him up a little. I knew I couldn’t let him suffer any longer. I picked up his dog hair from the floor and saved it in a bag. I also left his food bowl with food still in it exactly as he left it. I can’t wipe off his nose marks from the window. I miss him so much.

  3. One week ago I lost the love of my
    Life- my darling black Labrador Shadow. He was only 6 1/2 years old and still a baby. Tragically he died suddenly due to septic peritonitis and we didn’t know that he had ingested 2 plastic toy squeakers months ago. He had been vomiting for months and very test short of surgery did not catch them. They the vomiting stopped and he was healthy and happy for almost 2 months before out of the blue he got sick and died. We had him cremated and just buried him in his favorite spot in the garden yesterday and the kids and us said our good byes. Bringing him home to us was the most important thing for me and maybe now we will have some closure and can accept our loss. He was like my 4th child- I raised him and my 3 human ones together and they were inseparable. We are so lost at home without him- it is like time does not pass, and nothing is the same anymore. He was such an integral part of our lives, our every move, decision- conscious or unconscious, was intertwined with him and every moment is heart breaking when u catch your self realizing he is not there. He is now our invisible buddy- still here, always will be here….. we can still talk to him, share stuff with him, just not see or touch him. He will remain in our hearts and home forever.

  4. A couple of days ago we lost our sweet baby boy. He was our world, our child! He was only 2 and half years old, way too young! His passing was so sudden and unexpected. I just cant wrap myself around why or how this could have happened. I feel so loat without him like a mother looking for her lost child. I look everywhere for him, I cant bring myself to wipe up his nose prints in the window, I cry every morning when I wake up. The pain is so inmense. I thought by posting this i could find some comfort! But more important shared experiences of losing a baby so soon. If anyone can help me process this it would be greatly appreciated! Life seems so unfair right now 😭💔

    • I’m a 34-yo bearded guy, and I’ve been crying my eyes out for the entire week. My chocolate Labrador passed away this Tuesday after falling sick on Sunday. We don’t know what caused it, but his liver, stomach and kidneys stopped working. He was only 5 years old and I’m absolutely devastated. I don’t know how to cope with this loss, and force myself to smile for my two children.
      I knew this would be hard, but never imagined anything this hurtful.

  5. Hiya, I got terrible news 2 days ago that my 12 year old Golden Lab Poppy has a tumor on her spleen, she was horribly sick at the weekend all of the sudden and I brought her to my vet thinking it was gastro problems or something she drank as she was vomiting and before dehydrated. I was devastated when the vet called me to tell me she had a tumor and that it had ruptured and bled. I collected her yesterday and brought her home to be with her and her half sister Molly my brown Lab also nearing 12. My head is in the clouds as I’m waiting on results whether it is operable or not. I don’t want her in pain and I don’t want to lose her as we have traveled everywhere together in our camper and spent every hour together when possible. I am dreading making a decision about putting her to sleep and I know I will find it very difficult to move on and will also worry about Molly. I was going through a very difficult part of my life when I got her and then her half sister 6 months later. She knows me inside out and has helped me live a better life, walking, playing with her and cleaning up after her. Any advice would be appreciated as to how to proceed. Thanks

  6. Sunday we made a decision to put down our beautiful Black Lab Betty. She was 9 and had a rare stomach cancer that was gradually taking over. She was losing weight and struggling to keep her food down albeit the appetite was still there. The guilt is overwhelming as we spent the last day with her while watching the clock waiting for the time to come around. She seemed so bright for much of the day which made the decision even harder. We still question whether we went too early even though we knew how sick was and that there was not going to be a happy ending.
    We loved her so much and she was such a big part of our lives.
    I feel so silly but I know we should be grateful that we had 9 years of a loving, naughty, hungry, tired, inquisitive, sweet natured, giving, beautiful dog. We miss her so much

  7. I lost my beautiful chocolate lab, Bailey yesterday, only 8 years old. Kidney failure took her life unexpectedly, and my heart is broken. Not enough time on earth for that angel, but I am truly blessed to have had her in our family’s life for that time. I will be going home from work for the first time without her their. I miss her, and I am so lonely. Always in my heart, my Bailey Sue.

    • So sad to hear ; i lost my nine year old black lab bodie in august and i am still grieving as if it happened yesterday ; i know how you feel . Bodie dug a hole in my heart and it seems i cant climb out

  8. We had to put our 8 year old yellow Labrador, Angus, down on Saturday January 25, 2020, due to bone cancer. I have never had to make this kind of decision before and it’s been the most painful and sad situation I can imagine. I am a single mom, my daughter is in college now, but Angus was a major part of our small family. The most painful part of all this is how much we miss him. His charming, loving, lively (even through his pain) self. We love and miss you Angus.

    • I am very sorry about your loss of Angus. My black lab also passed away on January 25, 2020 due to liver failure. Her name was Shady and she was 11 years old. I tried everything to save her life, from steroids to full IV hospitalization but it was not enough and after 4 months of a along hard battle she passed away. It has been 4 months since she passed and I still feel like I lost her yesterday. People say it gets easier as time moves on but I have not found that to be true. I miss her everyday and I am not sure how to move on from this.

      • Lost my wonderful funny quirky loving tender hearted affectionate loyal and constant companion nine year black lab bodie to cancer on August 6 Th 2020 ;and i am still really struggling with the loss and it seems my family doesnt get it ..

  9. My heart is very heavy, but my family and I are truly blessed to have had our sweet Daisy for nearly 14-years. The last couple of months have been hard as we have watched her rapidly slow down, yet she her tail still wagged and there wasn’t a stranger she didn’t want to greet and love.

    A little more than 12-hours ago, I was awoken by the sound of her paws scratching on the hardwood floor. Lying on her side, she was clearly having a seizure. I was able to calm her down and return her to her bed, only to be awoken an hour later with another seizure. My wife and I took her to the emergency vet hospital where she was cared for in the most loving way. Over the course of the next 4 hours, 3 more seizures occurred and it was clear that her time with us was done. She was euthanized peacefully with both my wife and I loving her.

    Everyone has the right to claim the best dog in the world and I’m proud to say I’ve had two of them…both labs who have provided my our family with the joy one could only pray for.

    Fair winds and following seas, sweet Daisy. Time will heal our pain but will it will also forever carry your memories.

    • OMG – I am so very sorry for the loss of Daisy. She was as you say a sweet and special girl.
      They all are – we lost our 16 year old lab boy the same way. He was incontinent (did not bother us) and could not get up on his back legs. He started having seizures and we knew we had to take care of him and put him down from his misery,
      He was the absolute sweetest animal on earth. This was 3/15/19 and I have not stopped crying and never will.
      I hope you adjust from your great loss. I am still trying.

  10. My best friend Hoyt was put to sleep yesterday 1/16/19 at 5:45. His brown head was in my lap and my wife was by his side. he was 8. He had played with me all day outside Saturday and Sunday(he loved the snow). Monday he became sick and the Vet diagnosed him with AIHA a disease where his body attacks his red blood cells. We began treating him with meds but by Tuesday he was to weak to walk and getting jaundice. On Wednesday he couldn’t move. We drove him to the Vet knowing what we had to do. I cried all the way there and all the home and I am still in pain. I miss him more than i could have imagined. Today was the first day I came home from work and didn’t hear him barking by the door, I fell apart. I do have lots of support and have had other pets die but my chocolate lab was like no other. We were blessed to have him for eight years and the time I grieve is worth the love and companionship he gave us. Right now it feels like my heart is broken in two and there is a huge hole in our life.

    • I am so so very sorry for the loss of your chocolate lab. He was taken too early because of an unusual disease.
      I lost my 16 year old lab a few weeks ago – he was declining in health and mobility. Slept 20 hours – could not get up w/o us even to eat had seizures convulsions involuntary bowel movements.
      I will never get over what a sweet wonderful gift from God he was. I cried for days. He was so mellow and docile. We got him from Lab Rescue 12 years ago. A blessed goofy fun loving baby he was.
      The hole in my heart for him will never close but I am learning to thank God for him instead of crying all the time.

      I hope you all heal from your loss.

      Joan in Florida

  11. I knew this day would come but it is far worse the last time. Duke was a gift from a friend who had one too many dogs due to his son bringing home one unannounced from college. I knew him since he was a pup and took him on when he was 5. He was put to sleep at 15 and 3 months, a long life for my friend who became just more to me than a pet and companion. I am a veteran and have an adult child with with addiction issues. I realized after he was gone the other night, that I was so distraught I could not even cry like I did for my last buddy. I came to realization that he had become my emotional support. I am having a terrible time and so badly need him and he is gone. I need the support that is unique to a dog that no human can provide. I am lost, I am suffering and I know time will heal me to some extent but time has become my enemy, and I go through bouts of near tears and can’t seem to see a light yet. I know I find another Lab and move on at some point but the pain is so unbearable.

    • I’m so sorry Pat. Duke was blessed to have you as a best friend, and you him. I hope you find comfort in the good times you shared. I can tell you loved him unconditionally.

  12. My heart aches for the loss of by boy Harley christmas eve 2018. Miss him more than any loss so far. Funny thing is when he was only bout 3 i looked at him n wondered how i woyld ho on without him when day came. Well its here. I know ill survive. But damn it hurts.

  13. Had on put my sweet Daisy down on 11/2/18. She was 12 years old. My heart is broken and I can’t stop crying. I miss her immensely and don’t know if I can get over this. She collapsed, took her to the vet and was told a tumor on her spleen ruptured causing internal bleeding. I know she was in a lot of pain and would not survive surgery. The sadness hurts.

    • Hello Betty,
      I too lost my black Labrador Beau on 7/11/18. He was nearly 11. He too became ill within hours. And was diagnosed with a tumour on his spleen, which ruptured and caused internal bleeding. It all seemed to happen so quickly. Having to make that decision to let him go was one of the hardest things I’ve ever had to go through. I held him to the end. He was my best friend…I’m broken. I feel your pain…xx

  14. I lost my best friend Gracie in June the pain is still very raw she had arthritis and in the last few days diabities.
    I felt that I had let her down by not getting it diagnosed sooner even though the vet said I couldn’t have done anything to prevent it.
    I had her cremated and her ashes where made into art and has pride of place on our wall along with a cast of her paw and a picture.
    There isn’t a day goes by when I don’t wish she wasn’t with us and don’t feel like I could welcome another dog into our home, we still have her sister with us but she is equally poorly with arthritis. I’m dreading the day I have to make the decision.
    Grace gave my family so much love she is with us in our hearts and one day I will be reunited with her

    • I’m so sorry for your loss on your furbaby.. We lost ours to Lymphoma Cancer on Monday. She was only 3 years old. My heart is broken.

  15. Had our handsome Bailey put to sleep today. Feel immense sadness and guilt that I put an end to his life. He was 15 1/2years and was blind, deaf and very unstable on his legs but he was still as greedy, mischievous and loving to the end. Heartbroken, can’t imagine our lives without him in it, house feels so empty. I so badly want to have another cuddle and to stroke his silky ears. RIP my loyal Mr Bay.

    • Hi Sal, We just lost our 10 y/o yellow friend-the best dog I have ever owned. Not sure how it happened but he seemed to have eaten a penny and had zinc poisoning. Putting him down was the hardest decision we had ever made for him. My 3 teenagers are having quite the time dealing with the loss. My youngest asked me a question I did not know how to answer: When the pain goes away do we simply forget about the dog? My thoughts are so clouded by my own sorrow… Any advice would be appreciated. Hearing about others experiences seems to help with our pain.

  16. i lost my 5 year old baby lab today. He was so beautiful that i have to share how he made everyday for me an adventure. I’ve never seen a dog quite like him. In these past 5 yrs not once have i seen him growl or remotely unpleasant with anyone. And trust me there were a few i wouldve treated him for biting, as they dont treat animals like they have emotions. everyday he would wake up with my mom dad, actively jumped around interrupting their yoga, and once done there, he would carry on to his next mission of waking me up. i loved snuggling him every morning. he was my teddy bear. even he would hit snooze for 30 mins with me 😀 .
    he was loved by all, in a family where difference of opinion divides, he united us with love. he was my dads leg pillow, my moms fat kid, my teddy bear and my brothers workout partner.
    he had this horoundous snoring and kicking problem that could make u feel your under attack. everynight i warned him before sleeping in my room dont wake me up in the middle of the night. he would then go under my bed and sleep. thinking he understood i would proceed to my beauty land only to be woken up to a shaking bed with snores that could deaf you. weirdly i cant sleep without them snores for even a night. i would tell my bf i need him to snore 😀
    i love my lab so much that it aches everywhere knowing hes not gonna kick the bed or wake me up anymore.
    i lost him with no knowledge of his ailment. from last one week all weve been doing is visiting the vet seeing him fall ill. finally today his heart gave up, and i wasnt there to bid him goodbye. i was with him all morning in the hospital while he was given drips. he seemed to be doing better so me and my father decided to drive home quickly to eat and get mother along, leaving him behind with dads PA and the hospital staff.
    as soon as we entered the house we got a call that he’s fading away. we rushed back. but it was too late. his body just laid there without moving. i couldnt believe it so i pushed and i thumped but he didnt wake up.
    i lost my heart. seeing him so cold and still.
    now i keep wondering if i hadnt gone home. why did he give up. why did he leave us so early, he was just a baby. our youngest.
    even the doc couldnt figure out what was exactly the problem as all the tests were normal. i dont know where i went wrong. i just need to tell him once i love him and hell always live in my heart as my 1st kid.
    i thought he stick around long enough to see me get married and have kids.
    To my lab , Aces, i miss you.
    Aces i hope your happy and snoring wherever you are. RIP baby. i wish i could kiss u and tell u one last time that i love you. we love you.

    • I lost Alfie my 10 year old chocolate lab in the same day as yourself. Still hurts very much but Alfie was a massive part of our lives and has taught us a life is better with a fur baby. Dogs give so much in their short lives . Hope your pain is easier x

    • I lost my 3 year old baby girl Shiloh yesterday she was put to sleep I’m heartbroken I feel so lonely she was my hot water bottle and always by my side I don’t know what I’m gonna do without her she was so gentle and loyal never barked only unless. She was in the garden and the door accidentally shut and she couldn’t get back in I miss talking to her cuddling her and are walks together I love her so much I can’t believe she is gone she had and has still got the most beautiful face and I’m missing looking into her beautiful adorable eyes

  17. I lost my beautiful girl Millie to cancer on February 8th 2017 . A golden lab , my first dog . She had only turned six and to say I’m devastated is such an understatement . We were tied at the hip from she was 6 weeks old and every day was an adventure .
    I feel so guilty . She was my girl and I should have known how ill she was . The vet treated her for kennel cough for around 4 weeks , then she suddenly went blind . The vet thought it was SARDS , we then got an MRI scan only to reveal an inoperable nose tumour . The next day I made the hardest decision of my life . I feel so guilty .
    I thank God every day that she had been on pain killers . Her spirit, intelligence and loving nature won so many hearts . The day before the vet was due at the house to put her to sleep she had umpteen visitors saying there good byes . Everyone broken hearted .
    I’m still crying daily and miss her awfully . She’ll be waiting for her dad at the Rainbow Bridge .

    • I miss my Millie sharing a digestive biscuit with me in the morning , paws up on the kitchen worktop as I made coffee , sniffing my clothes as I got dressed ( making sure I was putting on the walking gear ),waiting for me at the top of the garden , excitedly meeting all our new dog walking friends ( she loved the people more than the dogs ) , she loved seeing Alison , Colin with Charlie , Anne and Derek with Inca , Jane with Joe . She wasn’t keen on spaniels , apart from Baillie and Beagles apart from Bella . She didn’t like Craig’s big German Shephard Kaie and always gave him the hair dryer treatment if he was aggressive with her . Craig loved her for that .
      She was never keen on getting washed when we came back from our walk . Her avoiding me and me chasing her with a soapy sponge turned into a game . She loved a Bonio for lunch and an afternoon nap . She loved being at my wife’s feet as she cooked and spent the evening visiting my grown up daughters bedrooms , then came to me for her last walk of the day . She loved Derek, Julie , Anne and Diane when they visited . She loved everyone , including our postman , who has 4 dogs himself.
      She loved going up to Canada Wood with my wife . She new a treat was in store in the cafe .
      She loved our vet’s and always stole a treat from their counter . They all were heartbroken when she left us .
      Most of all she loved me , I hope she knew how much I loved her .

  18. It became clear early last week that Hazel’s hip dysplasia and arthritis in her hips was getting much worse. By Thursday, it was cause for great concern. The new medication the vet hat put her on 10 days prior provided some short lived improvement but suddenly things were getting much worse. She was struggling to walk and was obviously in pain which was heartbreaking for both of us to observe. I made an appointment with Dr. John at the Animal Clinic who had taken care of Hazel since she was a puppy 14 long years ago.

    The visit with Dr. John confirmed our worst fears that the dysplasia had progressed and there was no going back. They could provide daily injections to prolong her life. I asked him if this would be for Hazel’s benefit or for ours. He was honest and said it would be for us. We decided in that moment that it was time for us to make the decision we had always dreaded. Hazel was a wreck, she was shaking with fear and terror and I absolutely refused to consent to do it at that moment. I asked if they did “house calls” and surprisingly he said yes. The house visit was scheduled for Saturday (yesterday) at 11:00 am.

    We got home around 10;30 am on Friday and the next 24 hours were both beautiful and heartbreaking. From noon until 8:00 pm Hazel held court in our living room. Seated on her thrown (our sofa) she had a parade of her closest and most loving admirers (4 in total) stop by the house to give her special treats, shower her with love and affection and say goodbye. By 8:00 pm it was just Derrick, Hazel and me. We all crashed in the same bed that night with Hazel sandwiched between us; surrounded by love.

    When I woke up yesterday morning, Hazel was already awake and she was staring at me with those beautiful eyes. For the next 30 minutes I spoke to her telling her how much I loved her, how grateful I was for everything she had brought to my life, how much I would miss her and how I would think of her everyday for the rest of my life. She just stared and listened and gave me the occasional lick. It was a true gift to have this time with her.

    When the doctor arrived at 11:00 am, Derrick was holding her and I had her head in my hands and I was staring deep into her eyes. Derrick was telling her repeatedly how much we loved her and I sang the song I had always sang to her “All I can do is Love you to Pieces” and before we knew it she was gone. I actually felt her slip away from us. It was an experience I will never forget…incredibly beautiful but intensely painful. I believe it is the closest I will ever experience to what it must be like to lose a child. I take great comfort knowing we were able to do this at home, where she was most comfortable and surrounded by the two that loved her most.

    I may be somewhat biased, but in my mind Hazel was perfection. She never barked or was aggressive in any way. I trusted her completely to interact with anyone in a loving and friendly manner. She was the most beautiful soul and I loved her with my whole heart. She was the center of our lives for 14 years, she was dependent on us for everything but I now realize how much I was dependent on her. I feel like there is an enormous hole in my heart and the grieving process is agonizing.

    Since then both Derrick and I have been completely overwhelmed by our sense of grief and sorrow. The house feels so empty without her and we both miss her intensely. We have been taking walks at the time we would usually walk her and I swear I can feel her walking with us. I am truly, truly grateful for the three things that Hazel brought into our lives…love, joy and happiness. The 14 years we had with Hazel were completely worth this period of pain. I would do it over again in a heartbeat. I look forward to the day when the pain has subsided and when I think of her it is with great joy and love and with a smile on my face, In my mind, Hazel truly was perfection and the last 14 years with her, one of the greatest gifts of my life.

    Realizing our grief, a close friend introduced us to the Rainbow Bridge that has brought great comfort. The story tells of a lush green meadow located just this side of Heaven, at the point just before one enters heaven.
    According to the story, when a pet dies, it goes to the meadow, restored to perfect health and free of any injuries. The pet runs and plays all day with the others, there is always fresh food and water, and the sun is always shining. However, it is said that while the pet is at peace and happy, they also miss their owner whom they left behind on Earth.

    When their owner dies, they too arrive at the meadow, and that is when the pet stops playing, turns, sniffs at the air and looks into the distance where they see their beloved owner. Excited, they run as fast as they can until they are one jump away from their owner’s arms. The pet licks its owners in joy while the human looks into the soft eyes of their pet — who might have been absent on Earth, but never absent in their heart. Then side by side, they cross the Rainbow Bridge together into Heaven, never again to be separated.

    Until we meet again my little Hazelnut, please wait for me in the meadow, just on the other side of the Rainbow Bridge.

  19. Hello,we made the heart wrenching decision to put our golden Labrador retriever to sleep on Friday 10th march 2017,the grief is soul destroying,our home is so sad without him.he was 12 1/2 years old,what a beautiful faithful friend he was to us all.the hard part is moving all his stuff away,there is so much empty space in our home.our young son keeps talking about wanting a puppy,I’ve told him yes….all in good time as we want to respect sandy for a while,Im longing for his ashes to come to feel close to him again I think it’s safe to say we will get him a puppy lab for his Christmas,our chests ache with sadness,it’s so very hard when you love so much.this website has been a god send to me,its become my bed time reading,night time is the hardest I find.we bought our son a large golden lab from ikea at Christmas,this has been a great comfort to him and me which seems odd for me as an adult but not for our young son.i keep finding little love heart dry dog food pieces in certain areas of our home,it’s comforting.we are going to visit his doggy wife and son soon,their son is so like our beloved sandy,the genes are so strong it’s amazing,we are going to have him for a weekend when I feel ready,sandy was the best birthday present ever from my husband.thanks for reading,may all you who are greiving find great comfort like I have through this website.

  20. My last two labs have been cremated and they are scattered around a climbing rambling rose in the garden, I lost Caffrey 3 years ago and Delaney back last September both at the ages of 12 and a half. For the past 2 years the rose has bloomed like never before and I’m sure will be a picture this year as the new shoots and foliage are amazing already. It’s a lovely reminder of my boys and I can sit quietly underneath it. To me they are still in the garden with me which is such a comfort and perhaps in a year or two I may be cuddling a black lab puppy on seat beneath it ????????

  21. Losing a furry family member is a very difficult thing, the author is correct, when they are a puppy you do not think about when the time comes to let them go…..watching them age brings that closer and closer to a reality that we must all face. Our first dog died with my husband and I sitting by her side in our bedroom. She had been sick for a while but was not in pain so we kept her with us. Took a while to bring another dog into our family, but after a year it was time. Soon we had two dogs as we also inherited my Mom’s dog. We had promised that we would care for him when she could not. Did not take long to form an attachment to him as well. He was fine in the morning and all of a sudden went down in severe pain at the are of 10 years – 10 days in ICU, thought they had it and replased…had to put him down. Hard to do as it was the last connection to my Mom. Helped to still have another dog, but she too was aging. We brought another puppy into the house 9 months later. Our older girl, at 10 developed diabetus and was started on insulin. Then one day she too went down just like my Mom’s dog…3 days in ICU before they discovered cause, same as my Mom’s dog; shooting blood clots and in severe pain. We had to say good-bye yet again. Was so difficult to let her go, she was such a loving dog. Now our “puppy” is going to be 5 in Feb and we have a 5 month old. Watch them play, hug them, cuddle them and know that their lives are shorter than ours, but want to make sure that they have the best life possible while here.
    They all take a piece of our hearts with them when they leave us, but also leave us a part of their hearts so that they live on within us. Each has their own personality and little quirks that make them unique and loved even more. Will forever miss those that have crossed the Rainbow Bridge and those that will make that journey one day. The grieving process for each dog differed, one no more or less effective.

  22. It’s nearly 18 months ago since our beloved Kimba (the white Lion) left us. He was 1 week off 16 years old.
    He struggled in the end, his body was finally giving up. He was starting to suffer. It was a beautiful sunny afternoon so we lay outside on a blanket and our fantastic Vets came around to our house & gave him the injection so he could not suffer anymore. We decided to have him cremated so they took his body away for us. It was our 4th Lab.
    Still miss him every day.

  23. We lost our black lab on 1st April last year. She had fought cancer at the age of 6 she was the most amazing, gentle loving dog I will ever own. She was 16 years old which is fantastic for a lab but still too soon for me, she had been there for me many of times with wet ears from tears I cried and she just listened and licked me which always made me feel better.
    She was my best friend I miss her so much, she started to find it hard to walk and bumping into things and pretended to be deaf when it suited or you rustled a packet lol.
    We had to make the hardest decision of my life to help her to rainbow bridge, the vets were lovely but it’s an experience I never want to have again ever, I begged the vet to bring her back once she’d gone but she said that we’d done the right thing. Some days I think we have others I’m not so sure. Devastated isn’t the word I’m truly heartbroken to lose something so beautiful so loving. I’m sat crying as I write this, we had her cremated she’s in a gorgeous carved wooden box with her name on it in my living room I speak to her all the time. If only I could kiss her soft floppy ears again I’d do anything for that. RIP Kaynine forever in my heart ❤️ xxx

  24. I lost my best friend on the 27th December 2016 and I am just a crying mess whenever I am alone! The hardest thing for me to process is that she had been absolutely fine until that day. Christmas day she was her usual excitable self ripping open her presents and rolling around in wrapping paper. Although she was 11 years old she acted half her age and I was constantly told by other dog walkers on our daily walk and the vet how youthful she was. Myself, my mum and Jazz settled down to watch a film on the night of the 27th when Jazz suddenly took ill. She jumped on the couch to lie on me and then suddenly began having a seizure. It was like she knew that it was her time and had decided to be in my arms. After ringing an emergency vet and travelling over 40 minutes in the car she appeared to perk up wagging her tail as I stroked her and told her I loved her and she would be fine. Arriving at the vets I received the shocking and heartbreaking news that she had a tumour that had burst and she was bleeding internally and wouldn’t last the night. Obviously the kindest thing to do was to put her to sleep before she continued to deteriorate anymore.

    I feel so much guilt that I should have noticed that she was unwell. I took her to the vets for regular checkups and I was always told that she was clinically a very healthy dog for her age. I almost feel angry with my vet for not knowing that she had a tumour, but as I said there was no signs at all that anything had changed.

    What makes it harder is that I am epileptic and although we did not get Jazz for this purpose, she was able to indicate to myself and my parents when I would be about to have a seizure and she would always be by my side until I woke up and was feeling better. I am now 20 and still have regular seizures which have become worse since her death as we no longer have an indicator of when it may happen (she would even go to the extent of lying on top of me and almost pinning me down to stop me from getting up and injuring myself when a seizure was due). I apologise for the length of this comment, I just feel that I needed to fully explain what an amazing dog Jazz was and how much of a massive hole I now have in my life.

    • This happened to me on Monday. My darling boy Max had gone off his usual food on Thursday. He has always suffered with his tummy and was dairy intolerant. I gave him chicken on Friday which he loved and same Saturday but Sunday he wouldn’t touch it which was very odd. He had been playing ball with us and seemed okay apart from not eating. I came downstairs on Monday morning to take him for his walk, but he wouldn’t get off his bed, not even when I said Walkies. I called my husband and that’s when the horror started, he suddenly started bleeding from his bottom, I rang the vets but it was too late, my daughter, my husband and I sat with him as he passed away and there was nothing we could do, I am totally heartbroken, I just cannot think of life without him. He was just 8 years old.

      • Hi Tracy. I lost Diesel last thursday. He was a redfox lab. He was only 8 like Max. Diesel was doing fine that day and suddenly he shut down like Max and was bleeding from behind too and died about 15 minutes later. I don’t think I will ever get over it. Heartbroken I can relate to. Just wanted to let you know I know what you went through. Andy.

  25. I lost my sweet black lab, Bella, on Oct. 15th from cancer. She was my CHILD as I have no children of human nature. Today is 1/12/17 and I am still grieving so hard. I cry non-stop when I come home to an empty house. I wail for my Bella because my life is so empty now. I turned to drinking to numb the pain, but of course it only made it worse. I just don’t know HOW to move on from the devastation of losing my child. I hate CANCER! It took my mother from me and now my baby. I am literally beside myself. I loved her so much and she always made any bad day GREAT when I returned home to many wags and licks. I’m just heartbroken.

    • I’m so sorry for your loss Eddie, I’ve just lost my Ben three weeks ago and I know the pain is indescribable. There are good days and bad ones but you will get through it – I’ve found exercise really helps !! I know it is probably the last thing you feel like doing but, trust me, its benefits far outweigh alcohol ! Hope you are ok. Sally

  26. When I was younger, My dad’s friend had a black lab. It amazed me. Sure, My family had pets! Dogs cats, all beautiful for growing up. 15- 20 yrs later. Now ,on my own. I want my own dog . Never forgot the Lab I met 20 yrs ago. 2-25-03 , I Found “WOODY”! Chapter 1 of many begin.
    A rainy day in Las Vegas, My Sis,bro-in law,and I went to a pet store. Found a beautiful Chocolate lab.It just wasn’t the one. Told store clerk ,I really want a Black lab? She made some calls and found one! She said, you have 30minutes to get there. With time to spare, we made it. Walking through the door looking around , there He was.In a playpen, front paws up just bearly peeking his head out, our eyes locked!! That’s the one! Well a Dad and kidwas interested too.
    I picked the pup up, immediately, he and I connected!!!! I’ll take him! Long story short , best investment I ever made!!! Well, like I said, One of many chapters. I plan on writing my My story of , “My Best Friend and I.” When finished, I will mail a copy for All Labour lovers to read!!! Bless you all! Andy. “WOODY” Nov 18,2002- Dec 21,2016.

  27. I lost my lab dog today, he have a bad cough.
    It’s so hard to accept that our Max has gone..
    He’s playful and a good dog..
    We just bury him in our backyard garden.
    My friend offered me a puppy because her dog is pregnant and she can’t take care of new puppies anymore, but i have to think about it.
    I can’t replace my Max, he mean so much to me, it really breaks my heart.

    • Hang in there Lynne, It’s not easy at all. There are ways to cope. I would walk WOODY 3+ times a day,depending on weather. Las vegas summer’s were rough. Anyway, I put his leash around my shoulders ,put a picture of him in my pocket and take a walk and try to remember little things he’d do that was funny. Yes , I do tear up! But It’s memories I never want to forget. Stay strong!!! It’s a week ago in about 2 hours. I’m gonna put that leash over my shoulders again, put my favorite picture in my pocket and walk to his favorite spot and talk to him out loud tell Him I love Him. Do it again tomorrow and the day after that and so on… Take a pen and paper with me and write whatever comes up??? Memories are all I have and so far it’s helping me out. Try it? May sound odd but hey , gotta find closure some how! And honestly , My friends and family , ain’t helping a whole lot!!! Doing it this way. Just me , His Spirit and the stars up above!!!

      • At this time exactly, One week ago,I was giving WOODY mouth to mouth!!! Crying like never before!!! So Intense!!! In my arms , His last gasp. I punched my wall and fell to my knees. I’d yell ,Wake up!!! Minutes later, I had to accept , He’s gone. I laid with Him and just lost it. 13 years. SNAP!!! To shorten this story. WOODY laid at my feet for 10 hours till pick up. I never lost a loved one before. This close anyways. Pick up came, I held Him and said goodbye the best I could. Next 5 days I worked had to. Just got drunk!!! Worked half day Xmas then continued getting drunk. Yesterday was the worst!! My first full day alone. I’m trying my best! I try to walk. I clean and fill His bowl with water and write memories, find pictures and find pages on internet like this. Anyways, friends don’t help. People on this site need each other!!! It’s not easy. l did go to park and talked out loud to WOODY. Helps a little??? Bless you all.

  28. I lost my beautiful boy Zeus on 25th march this year. To say I was and still am heartbroken is an understatement. However in June one of my clients (I am a dog walker) told me about her daughters friend who had two black lab puppies left from a litter and would I go and see them. The thought horrified me, how could I even think about getting a new puppy when my heart ached so much. My husband thought it was a good idea and so we went to see them. When we arrived we noticed it was right next door to where my Zeus had been cremated! It turned out that the breeders owned the pet crematorium and had recognised our name when we had phoned to make the appointment. Anyway to cut a long story short, the man who cremated my boy also gave me the most beautiful puppy who was born the day my boy died. Inka is amazing, beautiful, soft natured, cheeky little chap who has brought joy into my life again. I’m sure Zeus is telling him things and teaching him what to do and what not to do. Although I still hurt for Zeus and miss him so much Ink is a blessing and I love him just as much as I still do Zeus. I suppose the moral to this story is you might not think your ready but you probably are if the dog is right for you

  29. Lost my Labrador today with just a a weeks illness nerve damage

    Just 11 looked about 6 great great dog

    All family are very upset and I wish I could have her back for a little longer

    Walked great. Listened to me moan and moan and never talked back once

    Can’t believe how much I miss her but dam still smiling thinking about all the fun times demolished kitchen demolished garden furniture

    Rip bracken we miss you and will always love you the ferguson family

  30. We lost our black lab Buster Boy last week at age 11. We have had him since he was 8 weeks old. He had been fighting the arthritis battle and his knees were going out and he just could not get up and move anymore. Pain meds weren’t working and I couldn’t let him suffer. Letting him go was the hardest thing in the world and still am having a hard time dealing with it. He was our family’s pride and joy growing up with both of my kids.

  31. We made the difficult decision to euthanize our 5 month old lab pup today. We discovered a genetic disorder and made this decision based on what we felt was best for our family and our pup. I was with him until the end and made sure he was well loved throughout the process. We are so heartbroken. The house feels so empty without him. Ive been carrying his tags and collar around in my pocket all day. He turned our lives upside-down when he joined us at 8 weeks old. So not having him here feels strange and quiet. My 6 year old son is dealing with this in his own way, asking questions, grappling with the idea of death and such. Thinking we may plant a shrub in our backyard in our pup’s honour. Our vet is doing up a framed paw print cast that I think will be nice.

  32. We just put our Natcho (Lab/female/12) down this week after the vet discovered her lungs completely tumor covered. Even so, she hid all the symptoms till her final 3 weeks. At that time, she was diagnosed with glaucoma and was on pain killers, which we assumed was responsible for her lethargy and panting. After her symptoms continued, even after adjusting her meds after two more vet visits, we took her in Monday after her eating habits began declining, as well as co-ordination and confusion issues appeared. After performing xrays, we got the bad news. From my research, living to 12 is considered on par with an average lab lifespan, however I still feel some guilt over having not spayed her, as she had two separate mammary tumors surgeries over the last 18 months (both after having clean chest xrays), the last in May. Even the vet was shocked at how quickly and invasive the lung tumors developed. With my daughter (Registered Vet Tech student) and I by her side, we helped her cross the Rainbow Bridge, at the clinic my daughter is associated with. Tho I can’t say for certain having her spayed would have prevented any of this, I truly recommend doing so before a first heat, to greatly reduce mammary tumor risks. I truly believe the early bond between my daughter and Natcho motivated her to enter the Veterinary field where she can follow her passion to help other animals, which is a nice legacy for our Natcho to have left.

  33. I lost, 5 years ago now, my very much loved 13 year old lab who was my first dog as an adult. I was absolutely devastated. I had another dog, a rescue collie who was also devastated. I got another lab very quickly indeed (weeks not months) She is a lovely dog who I now also adore. However, I feel like I missed out on her puppy hood as all the excitement of getting a pup was tempered by the fact the grief was ongoing. I still cried everyday for my previous dog and it took some time for me to feel open to really loving her. (Don’t worry she now has just as special place in my heart as my old lab had!) I am now facing my collie growing old and slowing down. Knowing the devastation to come and wanting to avoid getting another dog when still grieving I have just brought a new puppy in now. The collie is still perky enough to cope with a pup and I can enjoy the pup without the experience being marred by grief. My other lab won’t be left an only dog. It has been wonderful enjoying the excitement of the new puppy without it being on the back of a death. I know though that it won’t make it any easier dealing with things when the day comes. The moral of my story is, I think, that you just have to work through the grief and the upset and a new puppy doesn’t actually make it any better even if you feel at the time that it will.

  34. We lost our beautful choc lab only 2 wks ago. Oscar was 7 yrs and 4 months. He suddenly became very ill with peretonitis, and we had to make the hardest decision of our lives to put him to sleep. He was the most adorable, living, spirited dog and we miss him so much, im still in shock. Oscar Will have a special Place in our Hearts forever and I cherish the time we had with him. Amazing, intelligent, loyal, beautiful oscar.

  35. I lost my 4yr old and 18mth old black labs yesterday. We got home to find our house on fire and both our boys had died due to smoke inhalation. We can replace our things but not our boys….I am just numb and devastated….

  36. A very good article 🙂 I lost my 11 yr black lab in March & my 10 yr chocolate lab last week, it’s the most heartbreaking feeling, but I am trying to focus on all the funny/happy times we had. I’m going to do scrapbooks of them with all the happy memories. I still have a 6 yr golden lab who is very sad, not eating etc, which I’m finding very hard, I know it’s early days yet though. I sit and cuddle him & tell him what has happened and reassure him that I will look after him, I’m not sure if he understands, I hope so. My thoughts go out to all who have lost their beloved lab ❤️

  37. Just lost my black lab Lexi girl on 7-30-16 having a hard time dealing with this. She died at home in her sleep, she was 12. I know I’ll get better with time, but it sure does hurt. I just wish I could of did more for her. We had some good times with her and with her family, she did her job, loving ,playing, and protecting the house, she wouldn’t bite a sole. Love and miss her so much. Sheri

  38. We lost our beloved Labrador on Thursday. He was only 5 years old. He went to hospital on the Tuesday as he was limping and unable to walk but we were told that he had multiple tumours and by Wednesday it was confirmed he had a very aggressive cancer. We decided there and then that the kindest thing to do was to have him euthanised. Our youngest daughter and I stay with him until his last breath. We missed him terrible, he always make me smile and he will motive me to get out of the house when I didn’t feel like it. Because we love him so much we knew we did the best for him. His death has hit me far more than I expected. He was our first pet and I am not sure if I can go through it again.

  39. We’ve had two wonderful Lab’s. Loosing them remains one of the worst experiences of my life. One suffered from blindness and diabetic neuropathy. The other contracted cancer. Even though they can’t speak to us, they always seemed to get their message across. In both cases, I saw a look that clearly said, “I’m old, I hurt and I don’t want to carry on like this.”

    The point I’d like to make is the author is quite right that there are many ways for people to deal the loss of their Lab. But one thing I’d advise, if possible, is having the Vet come to your home. Most will do it. If not, one can find a Vet who will. In both of our cases, they were in their own warm home, with their favorite blankets and toys. I played soft music and stayed by their side until the last moment. Their passing was peaceful but the grief was intense and still persists to a lesser degree 15 years later. I buried them on a quiet forest hillside and visit their graves whenever I can. Still recall the many pleasant moments we shared.

  40. Just lost my brother two days ago because of heatstroke. We were going to stay in US the coming week and for that we had to take our dog to Mumbai from Pune for authorisation letter. So the summer heat triggered the heatstroke and despite the treatment given by the vet he had neurological damage and it ultimately led to cardiac arrest.
    My heart has been broken and now we have to leave the country after two days without our angel.

  41. Just lost our boy, Jack this past week. He had kidney failure diagnosed nearly a year ago. We gave him the best quality life and when we could tell he was no longer enjoying life, we made the decision to put him down. We were not going to let him suffer, he deserved better than that. Such a hard decision, but, we knew it was the right thing. It’s only been 10 days, we have a strong circle of dog lover friends and family for support. We still have another that is pushing the 14 yr mark. She has her own issues, but, is a happy girl. Another lab? Absolutely. But, only when the right one comes along. I want to work with the breeding program of our favorite service dog program.

  42. Although it’s absolutely heartbreaking to lose a Lab and I’ve been through that six times during my life so far, the joy of owning one and sharing your life with them far outweighs the sadness you have to endure when they die.
    One thing I found useful after our last one died, was to list all her special characteristics and some of the special events we had shared with her, one example being her reaction when we first took her for a swim in the sea. It’s comforting to read through in the months following their death and it means you have a lasting way of remembering them with their own endearing characteristics which set them apart from every other Lab.

  43. My girl is only 10 months old so hopefully I have many happy years to enjoy her company!

    We lost one of our cats a couple of years ago and it was my children’s first experience of death (they were 3 and 5 at the time). I got a book called The Tenth Good Thing About Barney which really helped them deal with it. It’s about a cat but it could help children deal with the death of a dog too.

  44. I lost my black lab 5-27-2015, then had to let my yorkie go (kidney failure) on 5/28/2015 they were best of friends so i had them creamated and put together i have the urn on my mantle along with thier collars favorite toy and picture right above it. Of not for my labby i would never have gotten off drugs

  45. We had a black lab named Jet he was my baby last year he wasn’t eating much and his eyes were yellow colour took him to vets who said problem with his liver gave us tablets for him also antibiotics incase of any infection, he didn’t seem to pick up so took jet back again and changed his tablets, this would be the 3rd week now he’d been poorly, I went to work after seeing to Jet and made sure he was comfortable and had his tablet then I came from work after doing my 3 hour shift to find my Jet had passed away in his bed aged 7 I was in hysterics, he still felt warm and his eyes were open but all dark I was holding and hugging him for ages and ages,he broke my heart and still till this day I feel so so guilty for not being there with him and still have tears even as I’m typing this I miss him so much God bless him he was so good for us never deserved that

    • That must be very hard for you. I had a similar experience with my cat. I haven’t found anything to help with my guilt. We just have to try and be there for our future pets X

  46. I was blessed with a yellow male who was 10 weeks old. Love at first sight! Over the next 11 years he became my constant companion, devoted friend and basically my life. We lived at the beach and had to much fun, wether we were in the water, on the shore, or in a boat, my Doc, yes he was named after”Doc Holiday”, was always by my side. As a nurse I even took him to work sometimes, he made my patients so happy! I almost grieved myself to death when I had to put him down because of cancer. It took 5 years but I “accidentally” went to look at a litter! My new baby is Ms. Katherine Josephine Holiday, Kate for short. Yes I kept the “Tombstone” tradition and my Doc’s memory going. She is 8 mo. Old now and the joy in my life. And sometimes so much like my boy I can’t believe it. I know he is smiling down on us with love, and Kate and I will cherish every minute. Thank God for Labs, and thier intuitive powers to love and heal. God bless. And Thank You for listening.

    • your story sounds like mine with my Ellie Mae. She was 12 when I had to put her down 5/13/16. It was the hardest thing I EVER had to do and I miss her with all my heart. Still going thru the grieving process and can’t imagine getting another one yet. I hope someday I can because I was very happy having her and now I just feel so alone and can’ t feel joy anymore. It was always me and her and we did everything together. If I ever do decide to get another dog I’d really want another Yellow Lab….best dog I ever had!!!

  47. Having lost 3 Labs since 1999 I can say it is devastating. Two died from cancer at 10 & 8 yrs respectively. I still grieve my Jake who was hospitalized from bacterial endocarditis in ’07 which he miraculously survived but succumbed to cancer a year later. He was unique. His partner Gwen was devastated and we gifted her and us six weeks later with Zeke and Zeus, brothers. Sadly Gwen passed away last March after suffering a stroke at the age of 14 1/2. Our boys will be 7 in March and we hope they will have good, long lives like Gwen. The love,devotion and companionship of a Lab is unmatched and no matter how painful it is to lose them I can’t imagine not having one! All have been cremated and will be mixed with my ashes one day. Jake and Gwen are registered at the Rainbow Bridge which I recommend grieving owners to visit. It’s where we all share our grief over losing our furbabies. My mother often told me to make sure I have padding on as I will be overwhelmed by my babies when I pass! It is a comforting thought to see all of them again one day.

  48. Very informative and sadly necessary article . I would like to reiterate about the usefulness of the Blue Cross Pet Bereavement Support Service . I was a volunteer on this vital helpline for some considerable years , it really can help to talk to someone who is trained and willing to listen , to let you talk through all the emotions and release them . Their e mail service is also useful for those who feel unable to talk but need the support of those who understand . I would urge all those who feel the need of support and a listening ear to use this excellent free service ( on UK landlines ) , rather than battle on alone in the saddest of times .