My Dog, Tally, Died

By Dr. Gloria Horsley

I was on my way to work on Friday when my son-in-law called to say the family dog, Tally, was hit and killed while chasing a squirrel across a busy highway. My son-in-law said he and my four grand-children needed me. I turned the car around and went back to the house. My daughter, son-in-law and the grand-kids were in tears. The kids were inconsolable. My twelve-year-old grandson felt angry because they had let the dog off leash.

Ok, I know that those of us who have lost family members get really upset if loss of a person is compared to loss of a pet. However, the family was very sad and I flashed back to my seven-teen year old son, Scott’s, death some years ago. I hated seeing John and Rebecca and the kids in so much pain! I was sad but being a pet lover it was not the first dog I had lost and probably won’t be the last.

?It has been three days now and they are recovering. Their eyes and noses are red and their nerves are frayed. Unlike loss of a person they are talking about replacing their pet. The children are involved in disagreement on what type of dog to get. All I can say is I know loss is part of life but losing still hurts.

My eight-year-old granddaughter said to her mother, “You talked about Uncle Scott but until now I didn’t know what it was like to lose something you loved. I guess this is what loss feels like.”

Heidi and I talk on the show about not comparing losses and respecting others losses and this week I saw a prime example.

Hit on comments and let me know what your thoughts are on pet loss and other losses.

Dr. Gloria

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  • Kim Hodne says:

    It took me 18 mos after losing Trevor to get a puppy. His dog he had for 15 yrs growing up, Maggie, had to be put to sleep when he was at college.. I grieved for her for a long time.
    I never thought my heart could open up again to care for a dog after Trevor died. But 2 yrs ago I decided to get a Cairn Terrier puppy (Mackenzie) and she has been a godsend to me. I contribute alot of my hearling to her feisty spirit and keen intelligence. I know if I lost her now I would be devastated once again. I do feel dogs have emotions and give unconditional love. I realize now that no, you can’t compare losses but the human heart and the animal heart are very close and the love of a pet can have a positive effect in one’s life. We even gave her a middle name Grace since by the grace of God, she started to heal our spirits.

  • So sorry to read about Tally on your blog … a wonderful example of how important it is to respect all grief! … it brought back lots of personal memories … the unconditional love from a pet is so special. Barb

  • Sunny says:

    My son died suddently six months ago and we have his dog. She is a wonderful pet but she is quite old. Everytime I look at her I feel the loss of my son all over because of her declining health. The last picture I took of my son was of both of them. She is looking up at him adoringly. Little did I know when I took that picture what the next few days would bring. My son really did not like his picture taken and it was such a surprise when he asked me to take a picture of the two of them. I’m so glad I did. Every time I hug that dog it’s such a warm bodied hug for my son also.
    In addition 3 months after my son died his sister lost her dog of 8 years. It was heartbreaking to get that call that her Akita had died.

    I don’t feel the loss of a pet can be compared to a person but it is a heartbreaking feeling. It is a big loss to those who love their pets.

  • Warren K. says:

    My dog “Buster” was hit and killed by a car a few houts ago. I feel hollowed out; complete emptiness. I will need a long time to feel better. I miss him. Thank-you all for your thoughts and wisdom.

  • Lucy W says:

    My cat Millie was killed by a car a few years ago, i could still remember the pain I felt then. I felt really guilty then because I didn’t lock the flap door up that night, and she got outside. Now I have a golden retriever, Ella, and she is a great comfort to me.