Are You Punishing Yourself for Your Pet’s Death?

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We are quick to blame ourselves when a pet dies

It is not uncommon to blame ourselves for our pet’s death even if they died from natural causes. Grief brings about all kinds of painful thoughts of what we could have done or should have done to prevent their death. Our thoughts surface immediately and point the blame directly at us.

  • – I should have sensed something was wrong
  • – I should have been more diligent with their medicine
  • – I should have taken them to the vet sooner
  • – I could have been a better caretaker

When Accidents Happen…

Our ego wants to control that which we have no control over especially when accidents happen. We punish ourselves relentlessly and run the fateful scenario through our minds for days, weeks, or longer. Each time the pain goes deeper like a dagger plunging into your heart.

You may experience physical symptoms, insomnia, and depression.
It is a challenging and difficult time that none of us want to endure.

The key to releasing the stabbing pain of guilt is to practice releasing your ego

To understand how to release ego we have to have a clear understanding of what ego is. There are many definitions in the psychological arena and in the spiritual sense but here is an example:

Your ego is often defined as whatever comes to your mind when you think of yourself
The psychological definition includes your ideas about yourself, your beliefs, ideologies, social affiliations, desires, fears, and much more.
The spiritual definition includes a veil of thought that separates you from who you really are.
You are more than your body, more than your beliefs, more than your image.
You are a mighty and powerful spiritual being capable of anything you set your intention on accomplishing.

Am I normal to feel this way?

We instinctively search for answers or judge our actions when a pet dies. We are their caretakers and it is our job to make sure they are healthy and safe at all times. When something tragic happens we make ourselves the focus of everything that we feel went wrong. We start the cycle of guilt and we regret everything we did or didn’t do on the day of the incident. Our anger, pain, or blame can also be directed at the veterinarian, our loved ones, or even the pet that died.

Ego takes over our thoughts and we start a cycle of self-punishment

  • – We think, “I am guilty so therefore I should suffer…”
  • – Suffering gives us control (ego again)  over a situation we feel is out of control.
  • – We can’t get our pet back but we can continue to punish ourselves.

Is your ego in control of your thoughts?

To determine if your ego is in control ask yourself these questions:

  • Did you set out that day to harm your pet?
  • Did you intentionally set the stage for events to happen as they did?
  • Did you do everything in your power to end your pet’s life?
  • Did you willingly kill them either by your hand or by some other object?

If the answer is no then you are not responsible for their death.
Even if you knew in the back of your mind that you shouldn’t have done what you did that is ego trying to stay in the driver’s seat of your thoughts.
You are a victim of unfortunate circumstances brought about by an unplanned series of events.

You are no more responsible for your pet’s death then you are their birth

You spend your entire life caring for your pet. You have fed, bathed, clipped, medicated, hugged, loved, and snuggled with that pet and done everything in your power to give them a wonderful and loving home.

You are not an evil person deserving of punishment…

Ego is driving your guilt so it can stay in control of your life. When you release your ego, you release all the guilt associated with events that are unintentional.
You never intended to harm your pet nor did you wake up that day and decide to unlatch the gate which they escaped from.
You didn’t place them in front of the vehicle that hit them, nor did you place the poison/toxin in their mouth to ingest.

The more appropriate expression of your feelings may sound like this:

  • – I am angry at myself for leaving the gate unlatched.
  • – I am angry at myself for not taking my pet to the vet sooner.
  • – I am angry at myself for letting my pet off-leash or out of my sight
  • – I am sad and lonely and I miss the life we shared

When you place the blame on yourself you place yourself in a state of eternal punishment and nothing will convince you that you are not guilty.
This endless circle of blame envelopes every thought and paralyzes your happiness.
You continually feel bad about the incident and the circle of devastation continues.

What can I do to release ego and pain?

You can start by saying these three simple words:
“I forgive myself.”

Feeling guilty does not serve you or your departed pet.

You can change your path of self-punishment

Positive affirmations allow you to shift your perspective and begin the journey into healing.
Say them often and say them out loud.
Be patient. It takes time to work through grief.
Post little notes around your home or in your car.

Only you can change your thoughts and stop punishing yourself…

If you aren’t ready to say these words out loud, ‘I am not guilty for the death of my pet,’ then it may be time to seek professional help from a certified grief counselor.
Be gentle with yourself.
If an accident happened you are a victim of unfortunate circumstances
You suffered a loss
You deserve love

Don’t allow your guilt to extinguish your life – You deserve to live a full and happy life

After conducting thousands of afterlife sessions with departed pets not one time has a pet told me that their human caretaker was responsible for their death. Nor have they said their life was ended too soon. The majority of pets say they were ready to go sooner than later as we tend to keep them here longer for our own sake.
Our self-punishment is completely unnecessary and only fuels our ego to continue to torture our soul.

You are a wonderful, caring, loving pet parent and your pet loves you and knows you would never harm them.
Start your journey into healing now…Say these words, “I forgive myself…and set myself free.”

If you can relate to this topic or have a story you’d like to share please comment below.

I read every post and appreciate the time you take to share your experience with me.
Please SHARE this post with others who are in a cycle of guilt. 
With love and light,

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Karen is an award-winning animal communicator and best-selling author who specializes in pet loss and the afterlife. She has documented her journey with her heartwarming and inspirational books, The Pet I Can’t Forget, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals and Hear All Creatures.
She also offers a free app and animal communication coaching programs for all skill levels as well as loving support and guidance for those struggling with the loss of a beloved companion.
Karen is the CEO and founder of Painted Rain Ranch Animal Sanctuary a non-profit charity that serves as a final refuge for elderly, special needs, and abandoned companion animals. Karen saves the pets no one else wants on her 30-acre farm in the Inland Pacific Northwest. Proceeds from Karen’s books and coaching benefit the animals at the sanctuary.
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  1. Linda says:

    Thank you for this email, Karen. Even though we’ve reached out to my beloved cat, Shady, and he seems so happy, I still beat myself up about his passing. I could definitely relate to the “what if’s”: I sought too aggressive treatment for him; I had noticed sooner he was off; my anxiety about his sudden illness contributed to his demise and on and on and on. I will take your advice to heart and follow your suggestions so that I can resolve this blame game or at least begin the long road to doing so. Thank you for your advice, Karen, it is invaluable. <3

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I’ve done the same thing, Linda. Before I found out how it never crosses our pet’s minds nor do they mention it during a session. They just don’t see it the same way we do. Thank you for sharing and I’m so sorry for your loss. I’m sure Shady knows you love him to the moon and beyond and would have done anything to keep him healthy and here on Earth longer. xoxo

  2. Allyson Scarna says:

    Thank you for this insightful article. I have been beating myself up since June 19, 2018, when, into our 2nd day of vacation our housesitter calls and says something is very wrong with our seemingly very healthy 8-year old golden retriever, Sammie Jo.
    Long story short she died unexpectedly that day.
    I couldn’t catch my breath. My heart physically hurt so much I thought it was going to explode. I was with several other people on a houseboat and tried so hard to suppress how I really felt as I didn’t want to bum everyone else out. Holding back my pain had a really bad effect on me and when I was alone I would sob endlessly.
    When we got home it was worse and I continued like that for over one year. I became depressed. Thought I could work through it but realized that it was bigger than I was. So I sought professional help – first time in my otherwise very happy life – but I guess it helped validate hearing from a trained professional that what I was feeling was not all that uncommon.
    My puppy’s death had become a trigger for me. Having to suppress my emotions like I did helped no one. I’m happy to say I’m doing 50% better, I still have my days, but I am strong and I will beat this eventually … hopefully sooner than later. Thanks for reading!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I’m so sorry Allyson…I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you. A loss can affect us physically as I have also suffered from ‘Broken Heart Syndrome’. I thought I was having a heart attack and it was diagnosed as grief-induced stress from a loss. I have also felt the weight of the world crush me and literally make it hard to breathe, impossible to sleep or concentrate. We torture ourselves needlessly when we suffer a loss. Our pets know inherently that we love them completely and would do anything we could for them. They sense that we are trying to do our best on their behalf. My saving grace was hearing from literally thousands of departed pets (and my own too) that they do not hold us responsible when accidents happen or death occurs. They will often take responsibility for their own actions if it led to their passing. I’m so glad you sought help for your depression. It is very validating to know we are allowed to grieve and that it is normal to feel physically ill from a loss. My very best of healing hugs to you sweet lady.

    • Cheli Sierra says:

      I really needed this thank you. My girl Spunky has been gone over 3 weeks now she was over 14 yrs old. She got out of the yard when lawn guy left gate open she chased him out then wondered off. She tried coming home got disoriented maybe due to heat and her age. She ended up at a neighbors a good distance away which was strange due to her having a bad hip. I’m thinking their big dog killed her and they dumped her in the field behind his house. They called saying they found her only because we had a large reward for her and happened to give them a flyer. She had been dead for days 😞. So many strange things happened in between that threw us off track to find her. I blamed myself completely 😞

      • Karen Anderson says:

        I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet girl, Spunky. I cannot imagine how devastated you must be. It is so hard not to place blame on yourself when horrible things happen. My deepest condolences. I would offer this insight to you….Spunky would likely never mention her ordeal or what happened in a session. Most animals do not carry that experience in their energy. She would focus on her wonderful life with you and precious memories you share.

        Those final moments no longer serve either of you and shifting to celebrate her life can actually help her on her journey in the afterlife.

        Trust she is alive and well in spirit and doesn’t want you to feel responsible. You never placed her in harm’s way and she knows that.

        I hope you have my books, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, Hear All Creatures, and the new one that is just about ready to publish: The Pet I Can’t Forget.

        All of these books can help ease the pain.

        Sending love and healing

  3. Lillia Salinas says:

    Thank you, for these words. I know that my dog, Bear, was at his time to cross over the rainbow bridge. I had a hard time thinking if and what I could have done or that I should have seen it coming. Bear left so fast, so I question myself did I miss something? It’s been a couple of months now and I tell myself each day it is a circle of life. But for whatever reason I didn’t accept it. When he passed, I read your book The Amazing Afterlife Of the Animals. the book filled my heart, I know Bear is happy. So now I tell myself every day I was the best Mommy and I loved Bear to the end and forever. Thank you.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss Lillia. It is devastating when they leave so quickly. We are often left feeling empty and not fit to be a pet parent. It is so important to celebrate the time you shared with Bear and make his life more important than his death. Imagine how much it means to him so see you smiling, happy, and living your life to the fullest. That is exactly what he would want. You are honoring him by stating those positive affirmations of love! Sending love and healing to you

  4. Laurence says:

    Hi Karen, thank you for this article. It has been exactly 14 months since my sweet Caramel passed away. I relate so much to that topic especially the part where it says « you didn’t put your pet in front of the vehicle » « I would never intentionally hurt my baby » but I can’t forgive myself for not being more careful. I asked her for forgiveness but I can’t forgive myself even though I know she forgave me because she sent some some signs.
    For example, since her death I was grieving so badly that I could only wear dark colors and I could listen to music for at least 4 months. One day, I realized that I was really in a bad shape and decided to make an effort. That day, while driving, radio off, I started talking to her, I told her that I wasn’t well and that I needed to survive, told her how much I loved her and that even if I started to laugh again or to sing again it wouldn’t mean that I had forgotten about her. I told her that I would alway love her.
    So right after my talk with her I turned on the radio and there was a beautiful music, I liked it so much that I wanted to know who the artist was so I activated SoundHound and the name of the song showed up it was “I love you”. I am sure it was her.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I’m so sorry for your loss, Laurence. I know Caramel means everything to you and I can’t imagine how devastated you must be without her. I’m so glad that you found validation within this blog post. Every little bit helps you move closer to healing. It is so hard to forgive ourselves and I hope someday you will find that you can use shift all the energy you focused on grief into powerful, positive, loving thoughts and affirmations. I’m sure Caramel would love that too! The signs she gave you were amazing! I’m sure she is right by your side patiently waiting for you to heal. Keep asking her for signs and remember to thank her when she sends them! Sending healing hugs xoxo

  5. Danielle says:

    This is a strange place in my head as logic battles with social expectations and emotional control.
    I talk to my boy, Argyle every day and logically know he’s with me every moment, but I can’t allow myself to do that in public. I keep myself distracted and detached most of my days, even when a customer is telling me how the death of his son has affected his life and why this car means so much to him because it was his son’s car…. while my heart is crying out, “I lost my son too!!”
    But one isn’t supposed to compare the loss of an animal to a human, no matter what scientists say. My dad died a few months before Argyle and I try to tell my mom that he’s there with you, just like Argyle is with me, but she shuts my comforting words down with religious righteousness and I am at a loss of what to say.
    I try to avoid places and activities that remind me too much of Argyle unless I’m alone in case I can’t control my tears. But when I am alone, I talk to him and reminisce about our many adventures.
    I swing this wild ride between peace and contentment with feelings of longing and guilt… not of really anything I did, but more how my life has changed without him being the center of my everyday. Did he have to go because he knew my new life couldn’t have both?
    Karen, you make me feel less crazy and your words remind me to try to be patient with this life lesson I’m trying to figure out.
    I am struggling to find words to convey how vital you are…, how grateful I am…. so many swirling thoughts and emotions.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Danielle, I am so very sorry for the loss of your amazing boy, Argyle. He is truly the most amazing boy! I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you and to hear you share the pain, sadness, and utter sense of loss is heartbreaking. They are like children to us. I don’t have any human children so they are children to me. I totally get that. It is a crazy roller coaster ride as we navigate through the feelings of grief. Something will trigger us and it all feels so raw again. Just remember, when you are ready, this is your journey…Argyle will be so happy when you move into healing. That energy serves you both much better than the pain, sorrow, and sadness. Sending big healing hugs xoxo

  6. Claire says:

    Thank you for this Karen I can really relate to this.
    I recently lost my dog Benny and questioned myself for not doing enough for him as he had a heart condition. I also lost a dog called Freddie who passed along time ago and blamed myself and husband for not doing enough to save him (he was hit by a car). Time has helped heal and I agree you have to forgive yourself and I know in my heart that my dogs felt truly loved whilst on this earth.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet boys, Freddie and Benny. It doesn’t matter how much time goes by. They leave such an imprint upon our hearts and souls. I’m so glad you are able to move into healing and focus on the goodness, the memories, and use that energy in a positive way. Thank you for sharing sweet lady. xoxo

  7. Tina says:

    Karen thank you for this article. I read it at 5 am after work and I now know a bit more of what I’ve been going through for almost two years….while reading this article and all of the comments I just cried uncontrollably…. I lost my Sunshine, my center, my life, my love, my light almost 2 years ago. My life and identity revolved around her for so long!!
    She is my everything!! She was by my side day and night through so much of life for so long…..There is not a day that goes bye that I don’t feel guilt and regret. I think about how I should’ve spent more time with her, why didn’t I do this or that and on and on…..just all of the little things. A rip myself up about it every day. I feel that I let her down and that I should have been better.
    I hope that she felt loved. I would have done anything in my power to make her better, to heal her. I constantly feel that the vet missed something, I missed something. She was at the vet’s twice in one week before she passed and there was nothing to be found that was wrong. It happened so quickly, it went from 0 to 100 miles two minutes. I feel her with me always….❤️❤️❤️

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Tina, I am so sorry for the loss of your Sunshine. There are few words to ease your pain. Sometimes we don’t know where to start because all we feel is sadness, guilt, and pain. Tears are cleansing and I recommend letting your emotions go where they need to go. That nagging feeling that something was overlooked is likely connected to the ego side of the brain. Try not to fuel it. I’m sure she knows you love her more than life itself and she is likely right there with you as I type this. Just imagine her with you, gently nudging you, letting you know she is alive and well in spirit and feeling very loved by you.
      This is your journey so take each step when you are ready. Be gentle and kind to yourself. You have lost the love of your life and you are entitled to feel all the emotions that are surfacing. Deep grief is a reflection of deep love so when you are ready to shift into a healing space, Sunshine will be so happy and ready to see you smile again. Sending love and healing xoxo

  8. Carolyn Goodrich says:

    I rather unexpectantly lost my boy Copper from illness. He was a rescue off the streets and I think we adopted each other. I don’t know anything about his life before us, but I suspect it wasn’t good. Copper had several surgeries for illness but he was so strong and just pulled through each day so strongly. So when he got sick, I just thought it was his medicine or he was being stubborn. It’s unbearable not having him with me. We went to the vet just to get checked out but he did not return with me. I feel so guilty and I wanted to bring him home. I have your book and it has helped so much. I have also joined a pet grieving group but my heart aches so much each day. It will be 4 months soon. I also feel like he is mad at me!! I know he is sending me signs but I just wish I knew for sure that’s he’s ok. He was such a sweet soul. I miss us.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of Copper. I am so glad that my book has helped make your journey a little easier. He will never be mad at you for he knows that you love him and did all you could. Those thoughts are generated from the ego side of the brain to maintain control over painful and difficult situations. Be gentle and kind to yourself and know you are and always will be the most important person in the world to him.

  9. Mary W. says:

    Thank you for this very timely email, Karen. I lost my Sundance about 5 weeks ago. I keep wondering if I missed something (he had bone cancer) and then chastising myself for potentially putting him down too soon. He was in a lot of pain – and my friend Ron Sohler saw a red dog meet him when he crossed the rainbow bridge. That red dog (Ron never met him) was Dusty. Ron said the two were running together and that’s what Sundance liked to do – run. Sundance has “appeared” by my bed at night a few times. And he may have thrown a tennis ball at me. I miss him terribly – it’s so different without him. But I’m so grateful for him. He brought me so much love and happiness. We (Bandit and I) are trying to find a new normal. Bandit grew up with Sundance and they are literally brothers from another mother – just so different. Sundance was the alpha – probably over me too. Bandit is coming into his own gradually. It’s just super quiet here. Your email was really helpful – thank you!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Mary. I can’t imagine how difficult it must be for you not only losing Sundance but questioning your decision. From my own experience, it feels like we ended their lives too soon and should have sought other options or waited longer. The crazy part is if we kept them here longer then we would feel like we kept them alive too long! We just can’t win with our own conscience!
      I loved reading about Dusty and how Ron saw them running together. I am not surprised as Ron is very talented even though he says he isn’t.
      I’m so glad this article has helped you feel a little more at ease and hopefully, you and Bandit will find your ‘new normal’ soon.

  10. Rhiannon Wright says:

    Hi Karen,
    Thank you so much for this article. Reading this has really helped me. We recently lost our beautiful girl, Dorothy. She was a foster care rescue – she had been ill for a long time and was struggling with a large tumor on her mammary gland. We made the decision to have her put to sleep as she was in pain and had stopped eating. But the day she died she had temporarily been more upbeat than normal and I cannot get the feeling out of my head that I failed her. That we made the decision too soon. That she doesn’t know how much I loved her and that I let her down.
    I know now reading this that I have to forgive myself.
    All of the veterinary professionals told me I was doing the right thing, so she wasn’t in pain anymore. Had we waited her death could have been much more painful and traumatic for her I just miss her more than I can put into words. I’d give absolutely anything to give her one last cuddle and tell her I love her.
    Thank you for this article. It means more to me than you’ll ever know.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved girl, Dorothy.
      You made an impossible decision but one I’m sure was made with love and the best of intentions. Dorothy knows this and I’m sure she is very grateful that you helped her make her transition calmly and smoothly.
      I want to acknowledge something you mentioned. You said she was more upbeat than normal on the day she died. This is something that I refer to as a ‘healing crisis’. A healing crisis is when a pet is gravely ill, lethargic, in pain or discomfort then suddenly just before they pass they bounce back, act young again, and seem to magically recover from whatever was ailing them. Typically, they aren’t here very long after a healing crisis but it can make us question our decision to euthanize.
      When a healing crisis occurs it is a natural and normal event. It doesn’t happen all the time but when it does it is just as you described it. What happens is Mother Nature sends them a blast of ‘life-force’ energy as they sense the end of life is near. Remember, in nature, there is a very strong survival instinct that all animals have. This can wreak havoc with us as we are trying to determine when is the best time to euthanize. This ‘healing crisis’ will cause us to doubt our decision as we think that somehow they will recover from their illness or health issues.
      The healing crisis does not last long, maybe just a few hours or days. Then we are right back in crisis mode trying to help our pets when they are in a downward spiral.
      In my opinion, based on what animals tell me, it is much easier for pets to make their transition to the Other Side when all involved are balanced and emotionally calm. If we wait until they are crashing, spiraling downward, is not the ideal time to euthanize. It is much easier on the pet if we help them leave peacefully and in a relaxed environment.
      I hope you can find it in your heart to forgive yourself. It sounds like you made all the right decisions on Dorothy’s behalf and they were all made with love.
      Remember to make her life more important than her death and know she is right there by your side as there is nowhere else she would rather be.

  11. Dina Amadril says:

    OMG – I am so happy I ended up here reading your blog post Karen. My Tiny girl died on Sunday and I have been doing the what if’s to myself like crazy. It all happened so fast, and now that I know what she was suffering from there were several decisions I made about her care that were incorrect. I miss my girl so badly it takes my breath throughout the day. I’m going to reread this post many times so I can release the ego and get to the celebration of her life and our time together. She was the cutest little monster in the world and I want to hold her preciousness close to me. I love you Tiny girl!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Dina, I am so sorry for the loss of your Tiny girl. My heart breaks for you. She will be so happy that you are celebrating her life and making that more important than her passing.
      It must be so difficult for you to face each new day without her there but her energy will always be near.
      Say her name often and say it out loud!
      Sending love and healing xoxo

  12. Michelle Barbaro says:

    I just put my baby boy Rocky down 10 days ago. Apparently he had Respiratory Heart Failure and I somewhat knew but thought he had Cushions Disease because of his enlarged belly. What kills me is he has signs and would cough and it progressively got worse but not enough to where I was concerned.
    One day, I gave him a treat and meant to only give him part of it. When I looked over, he had eaten the entire stick and knew he would throw up that night. I was awoken at 4:00 am on Monday morning to him throwing up. This time it was different. His breathing wasn’t consistent and it sounded like he was struggling. I monitored him for an hour before I realized he needed to go to Emergency. They rushed him to the back room where they put him in on oxygen. I was faced with a decision to TRY to hospitalize him for days and see if it helps or put him down. I decided to allow him to not suffer anymore. However, I’m feeling the guilt of, was he even that bad? Is he mad at me? Did I spend enough time with him before I said goodbye?
    Your book is inspiring and I will continue to read it over and over again and look for more signs from my baby. I know he’s still with me, just want to hold him once more.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss Michelle. Losing Rocky must be devastating for you and I can’t image how difficult this has been for you.
      They take a piece of our hearts with them when they go but only because one day, a long time from now when we are reunited with them, our hearts will once again be whole.
      You made the most difficult decision a pet parent must make. Rocky knows it was one made from love and help him on his next adventure.
      Sending love and healing hugs to you both xoxo

  13. My name is Don Naffziger and I’m 60 years old and when I was in my late teens I had a Russian Blue Cat and her name was Quantity. I was living temporarily with my mother in her apartment. One morning I took Quantity down stairs and I was looking in my car trunk for something and I looked up to where my baby was and she had wandered into the street so I headed straight toward her to get her because that was a busy street and when I was almost to her a car ran over her and it seemed that the person driving the car did it on purpose and they didn’t even slow down or stop. Meanwhile I watched her flop around a few times before she died. It was the most horrible thing. I have never forgiven myself for that and have begged her to please forgive me and of course I don’t know if she has. I took her to my grandmother’s home and buried her in her backyard and said a prayer for her. I have never had another pet of my own since. Only in the last couple of years my mother had a cat Grazee I’ve told you about. I watched your recent afterlife replay and I like how you said that our pets and even people from our past are all connected so I hope she is here with my Angel Cat Grazee and all my childhood pets. It’s just been a year now since my Grazee passed away.
    It’s so hard for me to let go of the pain and the image of her when she was run over.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Hi Don, thank you for this note and yes, I remember you sharing with Grazee’s story me. Even after many years, the pain is still just under the surface. While the pain is immeasurable, so too are the memories. I have no doubt Grazee is there with you even as we speak as there is nowhere else she would rather be.

  14. John L says:

    I recently lost my boy dog, Barrow. I am overly cautious when driving in the yard but somehow after 13 years I didn’t see him and ran over him with the truck. His nickname is Mr. Happy cuz he was always in a good mood and never growled or barked at anyone. Unfortunately, this just makes the guilt even worse. Besides the guilt the event just keeps playing over and over in my head; the sounds and sensations, he was such a sweet dog. That seems to be the hardest part. I can virtually hear him saying, “it’s not your fault papa, stop feeling guilty”.
    When I sense this it does make me feel a little better, so one step at a time one day at a time. I guess you just have to work at it to finally push through to the other side. I have a dear friend and dog lover who knew Barrow since he was a pup, and she said something that really helped, she said: ” When I die I want to come back as one of your pets”. I know things will get better but until then it sure as hell hurts.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      John, I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your boy, Barrow. I cannot imagine how devastated you must be. It is hard enough to lose them unexpectedly let alone have an accident like this happen. Please accept my heartfelt sympathies for your loss. It must be a difficult road for you and I will hold a sacred space for you and Barrow in my heart. I’m sure he is right there by your side as there is nowhere else he would rather be. If you have read my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, you know that they never hold us responsible even when accidents happen. While the pain is immeasurable so are the memories. Sending love and healing.

  15. Kristine says:

    When my Shih Tzu, Molly passed of cancer last Sept. I felt so guilty because I thought maybe if I had gotten an x-ray for her sooner than I did that I could have possibly saved or at least lengthened her life. I’ve been very depressed since she passed as we were together for 11 yrs and went everywhere together. Reading your email on not blaming myself or feel responsible for the passing of my pet has really made me look at it from a different perspective. The positive affirmations are great as well. Thank you Karen for helping me through my grief with your book as well as your emails.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      My heart breaks for you Kristine, and I am so sorry for the loss of Molly. Letting go of the blame and self-punishment is a huge step in your healing journey and I am so happy that you have a new perspective on what happened. While your pain may be immeasurable, so are the memories of your sweet girl. May you continue to fill the cracks of your broken heart with loving thoughts of Molly.

  16. Katie Marcucci says:

    I have played the blame anger game now for a couple of weeks since my girl passed. It wasn’t that I didn’t know something was wrong, it was that I thought it had been getting better. The vet even made it sound like she was better and then suddenly she backslides and her lungs filled before anything could be done.
    I don’t blame myself for that. I do blame myself for taking her home to be euthanized at home, not knowing COVID would not allow that anymore.
    I was told to give her strong meds instead and she would pass peacefully.
    That’s where my blame game comes in.
    I knew pretty quickly she wouldn’t let go if she was home, but I delayed in taking her back to the emergency room vet to let her go because I wanted her to go at home. Instead, my selfishness resulted in her near asphyxiation before we got back to the vet as I realized she would never let go at home around all of us who love her. I feel pain thinking I drew out her suffering. The anger comes in with her life before me. It was a bad life and with me she only got a wonderful, everything I could give, do for her only for 20 months. I feel like she was done an injustice. She finally found home and her body failed her.
    I’m struggling to let that go. I alternate between acceptance and guilt and anger. I desperately want to let go of it.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry, Katie. No matter what we do as their parent and caretaker it always seems like we should have done more or done a better job. It is so hard not to feel guilty about how things ended for her. It is normal to blame yourself. I have done so many times in the past.
      What brings me through it is that no matter what I think, they see it or experience it at a different level.
      You wanted her to be home with you and on the highest level, she knows this. I’m sure if asked she would not hold you responsible nor would she blame you for the way things ended. Most pets will share that their body failed them, not their humans.
      Grief and all the emotions that go with it are painful and it takes time to move through all the layers.
      Be kind and gentle with yourself. I’m sure she is watching over you and hoping you move into healing as soon as possible.

  17. Delilah (Dee) Vohnoutka says:

    OUr baby, Tia, our cav. female had been diagnosed with a heart murmur at age 4, we did 2 ultrasounds every yr. and we saw a cardiologist vet and she was on so many meds by age 9, I would have done anything to prolong her life, I loved her so much, she was in congestive heart failure, and her trachea was compressed from her enlarged heart, a few months before she passed. and, then, she was diagnosed with diabetes 5 days before she passed, I had to learn how to give her insulin injections twice a day, 5 days later, she developed ketoacidosis, in urgent care, the doc that called us, said your dog is very ill, she needs to be moved to a hospital, but, she may not live during the drive there,….as soon as she was off the oxygen, she turned blue, they said, (her palate, etc.)
    We had to make the decision to let her go, the vet was adamant we had an appt. 8 days after the diabetes diagnosis to have her at our vets, for 8 hours, so, they could monitor her blood sugar spikes……..I should have insisted that that should have happened sooner, maybe, then, she wouldn’t have developed the ketoacidosis.
    Tia and I had a really close relationship, she would put her paw up around my neck, on one side, like she was giving me a hug when I petter her or snuggled her
    It’s 3 months today, some days I think it’s better, but then again, it’s not…………I cry every day, whether I want to or not….she never ate on her own, I fed her off a spoon, she was like that ever since we got her at the age of 4 months……..

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Dee, I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Tia. My heart breaks for you. I hope you have read my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help you through this difficult time. It sounds like you did your very best to care for her and she knows that. Animals don’t hold us responsible when their body fails them. They understand it is their time to go. They just want us to love them as if they are still here. It takes time to heal. Be patient and kind to yourself and know that she is always near as there is nowhere else she would rather be. Sending love and healing to you.

  18. Dee Vohnoutka says:

    I was so happy to hear from you, and thank you so much for your kind answer and your wisdom, I have just finished reading your book, and have ordered your other book, and I look forward to reading it and gaining understanding.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Thanks so much, Dee! I’m so glad you enjoyed my book. I’ll never get tired of hearing that! And thanks for ordering my other book too!

  19. Ann says:

    Thanks for this article. I needed it.
    We lost our cat on June 24th this year. We just moved to a different location because we travel with work and he kept running out. My kids and I went to our rental and did some last-minute packing and he got outside when my husband was working on our door. He never came back in. When my husband got home from work that evening George was dead. He had been licking his side so much that he coughed up hairballs. I can’t help but blame myself. Had I not went to pack I could have found him when he ran out.
    Did he suffer?
    Did he try and get back in the house if something was attacking him and no one was here to save him.
    My mind is flooded.
    I feel as we let him down. I still don’t know what happened to my baby boy.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I’m so sorry to hear about the loss of your sweet angel, George. I can’t imagine how devastated you must be. It is so hard to lose a member of the family. It may feel like you did everything wrong when something like this happens. Second-guessing every action, every decision, every moment thinking that if only you had done something differently this may not have happened. It is impossible to not feel responsible in some way for his passing. What I have learned is quite the opposite is true. I wrote about it in my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. I hope you have a copy. If not, go to the home page and opt-in for discounts.
      We are no more responsible for their passing than we are their birth. We are part of their lives to experience love at the highest level. Part of that love is the loss. For the purpose of our souls’ growth, we expand our hearts with grief and pain. I’m sure George selected you to be his parents because you are the very best mom and dad. Sending healing and love to all.

  20. Carrie says:

    I left am empty cereal box next to my trashcan on the floor. When I returned 45 min later I found my baby girl Lexi with the liner over her head. She suffocated. I am in a very dark place and cannot get past the guilt. I saw your chat session from May, Karen. You mentioned being with your pet when they transision. How important it is for them. What about when something sudden. Unexpected. Tragic accident happens. How do I cope with not being their in addition to the guilt that caused it to happen? Oh please help me. I am so lost in grief. And guilt.

  21. Nahid says:

    1 week ago, my cat Paca gave her first birth to 2 little kittens. She gave birth into big chunk of charcoal. 1 kitten almost died because she was stuck into charcoal. I saved them fastly, 3 days later 1 kitten disappeared. I never saw it again. 1 was left. My cat Paca couldnt properly fed the last kitten, other bigger kittens from another cat, which are 1 month old, they were drinking milk from cat Paca. I tried to fed newborn kitten, but she didn’t want it. I didn’t know how to deal with newborn kittens. Cat Paca, her mother, didnt feed little kitten properly because of other bigger kittens. I constantly moved little kitten to mother, and take away bigger ones, so she can be fed. 2 days later, I came to visit them in basement. I tried to feed newborn kitten again, but she still didn’t want it. Milk was on her mouth a little bit. 30 minutes later I came back to visit them, when I stepped into basement, I was paralyzed, bigger kitten started to eat newborn kitten. I quickly rushed, and separated them. Muscle on newborn kittens jaw was a little bit eaten. I immediately start beating myself up because of it. Did I cause this? I took a bike and drove towards vet with bloody newborn kitten. My mind was self attacking me because of this. It took me 40 minutes with bike to come to vet. I came to vet, but they were closed. I saw vets phone number on door. But I forgot my phone. I thinked about leaving the injured kitten in front of his door in box. And I will fastly go home, call him to come to treat her. But that was a mistake. When I came back home, I immediately grabbed the phone and called him. He said to me, that I shouldnt done that because cat could get cold and die. I searched on the internet, and I saw that I made a mistake. Newborn kittens rely on mother when it comes to temperature of the body. Vet came to vet station and took her. He said when she found the kitten, it looked like shes dead. But he saved her. I was happy. He fed her and warmed her up. He told me to come immidiately tomorrow morning to pick her up. I came with my bike again, so happy. He said she was healthy. And I should fastly find her mother, and hide them from other cats. I took the little kitten which was in the box, I opened up, she was alive, walking with little bit injury on her jaw. I was happy. While I was walking towards my home I was thinking in my head, how are we going to become best friends, and we will play together, will be together wherever we go. I came home. I opened the box and I was looking at her so happy. 1 hour later I took a look again, and she wasn’t moving. I thought she was sleeping. I pet her, and called her. No signs. I was so scared. I immediately wanted to give her help. I tried CPR for 5 minutes. I couldn’t believe that she died. I refused to believe it for 3 hours straight. I tried to wake her up. Until I realized It was over. I cant stop crying. Im beating myself up. I feel so sad. I cant stop thinking about how she cried when I was driving it to pet. The thought how I said to her that we will be best friends when she becomes healthy again, is getting me sadder and sadder. Was It my fault? What if I didn’t leave her at the vet station for 2 hours outside until vet picked her up. What If I caused it because the bigger kitten smelled the milk on her mouth, and tries to ear her. Does she blame me for hers death? I tried my best. Im feeling very sad and depressed. Is it possible to move on? How to move on? Im trying to move on, but my mind says that I shouldnt because maybe Im responsible for this. I love my newborn kitten out of everything in this World. I want to let her know that, and I tried everything to help her. I know that I couldve done better, but I didnt. I tried to bury her, for 1 hour, but I couldnt let her go, I couldnt stop looking at her, kissing her, and calling her to wake up. In the end with very hard decision I burried her. How to move on, please help me? Is this my fault? Does she blame me? I wish I could go to past and save her. Thanks everyone for reading this, please help me.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. It breaks my heart to hear this. Please get a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help you understand the animal’s perspective and their experience is much different than ours. Sending love and healing.

  22. Carrie says:

    Hi Karen. This is Carrie again from the comment just above. I told you how my Lexi crossed over. The tragic accident. I have been able to say the words that I forgive myself and set myself free. It took a bit to be able to do that. I’m still struggling. I had a dream about Lexi. It was not a good dream. I dreamt that she fell from like an elevator shaft or something similar and the fall was long and she hit hard. All she did in the dream is lay where she fell. She listened to me when I said “Lexi, stay where you are. Dont get up”. I knew she was hurt bad so I didn’t want her to injure herself more by tryimg to get up and walk. She stayed there while I fumbled with an old rotary phone trying to call a vet and a family member that is a vet tech. I remember geting so upset because I was wasting all of this time not knowing how badly she was hurt. I felt so much anxiety about trying to call for help but not getting anywhere. At one point, Lexi was getting up. I made her stay again. I again began to try to call for help, but for some reason,my call was not getting through. Then I woke up. I remember a sick smell throughout the dream. Just like a rotten smell. The dream really bothers me still. I want to have vivid dreams of her visiting me. Not something like this. Can you help me understand this?

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I’m so sorry you had such a disturbing dream. There are so many things this could mean and I have to leave the interpretations up to you. A dream analyst I am not but I do know that our subconscious mind does all kinds of crazy things that do not necessarily make sense. My suggestion is to put a note under your pillow and ask Lexi to come to you as a beautiful spirit angel in your dreams. Invite only her. Hopefully, that will be a better experience for you.

  23. Stacey says:

    Thank you so much for these words. I am working so hard on forgiving myself and this helps so much.

  24. Jinger says:

    Needed to hear this very insightful.
    I do not blame myself in any way my girl’s time was near and I did absolutely everything I could for her.
    I have difficulty connecting with my guides or anything else. I believe that is my ego.
    I miss my Boo so much I literally hurts.
    I believe The Amazing Afterlife of Animals was sent to me for this reason and has been so enlightening.
    Thank you, Karen, for what you do❣️

    • Karen Anderson says:

      My heart goes out to you during this difficult time. It is likely that you are just not quite ready yet to meet your guides. It will happen exactly when it is supposed to happen and not a moment sooner. I learned a long time ago things don’t go according to our plan and what we want. The Universe and our guides know what is best and that is the time it happens. Let them know you would like to meet them when you are ready and ask for signs. Keep reaching out to them, those invisible beings that support you each day. Meditation, automatic writing, and just continuing down your spiritual path will allow you to ‘meet’ them when the time is right. Sending love and blessings

  25. Hasini says:

    My 5yr old rabbit Lucky passed away on Sunday and it’s been 2 days now but I’m unable to accept this.
    She had abscess & her vet prescribed some antibiotics but I noticed that she wasn’t recovering so I took her to another vet. Then I was informed that her liver was damaged, from then I took care of her diet, I spent most of the time with her. Even at nights I wake up and check on her, she too was recovering, she ate all the food & roam around the house. I felt happy seeing her, I thought she will be completely fine in some days.
    On Sunday we left her alone for hardly 3 hours, when I came back, I noticed she ate very little, I took her to vet to get her regular shot.
    I tried to feed her when I came back home but she refused. I was scared and I tried to contact the vet but he was not available. I checked up on her till midnight and went to sleep. Then at 3 am I woke up at the sound of her teeth grinding, I immediately took her in my lap and I made her drink some water, and when I thought she was okay I kept her in her place and went to sleep. This was the worst mistake. When my mum woke up at 6 am, she was just laying down in pain, my mum took her on her lap, in a few minutes she screamed and breathed her last.
    I’m still unable to believe this, I shouldn’t have gone to sleep, I should have stayed by her side, I should have comforted her, I should have told her how much she means to me and how much I love her. I hate myself for letting her in pain, for leaving her alone in those last hours. I miss her so much, I want to ask her for forgiveness for letting her down, I want to say her that I love her so much.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Hasini, I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how devastated you must be. My heart breaks for you. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals so I can help you through this difficult time. It is overwhelmingly painful to watch a beloved companion as their life nears the end. Those images are hard to get out of your mind and the guilt and remorse consume your thoughts. You probably feel as though you let her down as her caretaker or that you are to blame for what happened and how her life ended. Those thoughts are only natural and I have gone through this many times. In Lucky’s mind, she most likely experienced things differently. I’m sure she sees you as the perfect parent, doing all you can to help her and give her the best life. She sees you as the love of her life and when her body failed she knew she was very loved. Not being with her may be very painful for you but the animals tell me they will sometimes choose a time we are away to leave their body. They do this for many reasons but mainly they don’t want to upset us. As much as we would like to be in control of the events around our pet’s final moments, the bottom line is that it is beyond our control. Our spiritual growth is the main reason. We are here to experience everything with our pets that includes the end of their life and the grief that goes with it. It is part of the package. Please read this post to help you understand more about this. The best thing you can do for your sweet angel, Lucky is to honor the time you shared. Make her life more important than her death. While the pain is immeasurable, so are the memories. Only you can decide which is more important. Focus on that. Sending love and healing

  26. Holly says:

    Thank you so much for this article, Karen!
    Our little dog Rio was tragically snatched by a wild animal in our tree-lined backyard the other night. This was a routine thing, I let him out to go before we all went to bed and heard him squeal from fear and being taken into the woods by an animal I couldn’t see. It happened so fast! We searched the woods as much as we could for him. Our big dog, Stella, was normally out there with him and she’s extremely protective and scares off anything she senses, but she wasn’t outside at this time.
    Although this type of thing has been a fear in the back of my mind, I just didn’t think it would actually happen. Rio was my 17-year-old son’s best friend and companion. He keeps picturing Rio suffering and feels a level of guilt for not being able to save him. I’ve tried assuring him that Rio’s soul was taken instantly and that he doesn’t need to carry that burden of guilt…I wish I could take my own advice.
    I am overwhelmed with guilt for not being more careful when I let him outside and feel like a terrible owner. The sound of him being taken away resonates with me and I feel like I completely let him down as his caretaker and dog mom. Stella has been looking for him and I feel even more guilt that everyone is so affected by my negligence. This article helped me to understand that he isn’t upset with me and sadly, it may have been his time, however, the brutality of it haunts us all.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear this, Holly. I can’t imagine how devastated you all must be. It is a horrible accident and a terrible loss. I’m so glad this article has helped you understand that the animals don’t experience things the way we think. They don’t carry the memory and most of all they don’t hold you responsible. It was an accident. No one is to blame. Had you intentionally put him in harm’s way that is a different story but you didn’t. You just followed your routine and it was just being at the wrong place at the wrong time. I promise there is no suffering when this happens. Only for those of us who run the scenario through our minds. I hope you can find peace and replace any horrific images with the love, honor, and dignity that Rio deserves. Some day we will understand why things like this happen. Until then, sending you lots of love and healing energy.

  27. Jessica K says:

    Hi Karen,
    I just recently lost my best friend on August 11. She was a 13-year-old Jack Russell mix that we adopted from the SPCA when she was a puppy. Her name was Annie. In March she was diagnosed with bladder cancer. She could not hold in her pee anymore so she stayed living with my father who had doggy doors so she could let herself out as needed.
    The last few years of her life I wasn’t around much because I went to an out of state college and then got a full-time job after graduation where I’m gone 4 and sometimes 5 days a week. The cancer slowed her down but definitely didn’t stop her from being her happy self. At the beginning of August, however, her face started swelling up and the veterinarian determined she had an infected tooth that would need to be pulled. They gave her medication that temporarily made the sweeping go down and my father scheduled the surgery for the 11th. I had off that day for once and volunteered to take her to help my dad out. She used to always sleep in bed with me when I came home but since she couldn’t control her bladder anymore, we kept her downstairs at night. In the morning I took her to her 7 am appt and she peed in my car on the way to the vet. I got upset with her even though I knew she couldn’t help it. Due to COVID, the vet tech had to come out to get her. I tried walking her to the front door but she knew where she was and didn’t want to go. I picked her up and said “oh come on Annie I’ll see you in a little bit” and handed her to the vet tech and left.
    I’ll never forget the way she looked at me before she went inside. I never realized that that would be the last time I would ever see her alive again. She made it through the surgery but somehow during recovery when they removed the oxygen she stopped breathing and could not be brought back. I don’t know if the vet screwed up and I don’t want to know at this point.
    I’m still filled with so much guilt for getting angry with her for peeing in my car when I knew she couldn’t help it. I feel guilty for not giving her a hug and a kiss before she went into surgery. I feel guilty for not letting her sleep with me in bed the night before. I feel guilty for not being around as much as I should have been in her old age. I’m so worried that she’s upset with me because I have not gotten any signs from her since she passed. She was my best friend since I was 11-years-old and this has been the hardest thing I’ve ever had to go through.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Jessica, my heart breaks for you and I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Annie. It is only natural to blame yourself about how things ended and all the decisions you made. I struggle with the same things but what you must realize is that Annie does not blame you. Only you blame you. I’m sure she loves you completely and wouldn’t even mention anything about how things ended. Please read through my other post about Are you Punishing Yourself for Your Pet’s Death?
      Please get a copy of my book, if you haven’t yet, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, it will help you navigate through the grief.
      It is so hard to lose a dear and devoted friend and I’m sure she has only love for you in her heart.
      Sending love and healing

  28. Charlotte Dennington says:

    I was so glad and comforted to read your article about blaming oneself for pet loss. Tragically we lost our beautiful Black and Tan show cocker Freddie, aged 13, just over 2 weeks ago, 12th September. We had just finished celebrating my twins 3rd birthday party, it was a beautiful sunny warm day, picture perfect. The last friends were leaving and were taking some time to pile the children into the car, so I stupidly left them to it and waved my goodbyes. Very unfortunately and accidentally my friend reversed over my poor darling Freddie, on our driveway. We live in a beautiful country house, far from the dangers of main roads but yet here on our very own driveway my darling Freddie took his last breath. I know I should be thankful that he appeared to die on impact, and that he looked intact, at least on the outside but regardless, I cannot stop replaying this awful scene and to know that I could’ve, should’ve been watching out for him, as he did for me every single day of his life, he had lost his hearing and his vision was poor, he needed me more than ever and I was stupidly choosing to clear plates when I should’ve been checking on his whereabouts and safety. I feel utterly shattered to see him die in this way. I feel huge waves of sadness daily which is a huge improvement even from a week ago, I know time will help me but I just cannot let go of this guilt. He brought me nothing but happiness throughout his life, he was my best friend.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Freddie. I cannot imagine how devastated you must be. It is especially painful when accidents happen. The replaying of this moment must hurt so much. I hope you have a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help you understand the animals’ perspective which is very different than ours. I promise you Freddie does not replay that moment in fact, most pets won’t mention an event like that. It is not part of their memory. Much like when humans survive a catastrophic accident they have no memory of the actual impact. Using your energy to focus on the love, not the loss is how you can move through that pain. Trust that Freddie is alive and well in the afterlife, right by your side, and wants you to move into healing as soon as you can. Sending love and healing

  29. Charlotte Dennington says:

    Thank you so much for responding, that is so lovely of you. I have downloaded your book on my audible app and will begin listening tomorrow morning.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Thanks so much, Charlotte! I know you will love it and may each chapter bring you closer to healing. Sending love

  30. Larisa says:

    My beautiful cat died because I let her with my other kittens outside in a fence built outside because it wasn’t secure. I let her there all the summer. My other kittens came alone on our yard, they were used to sitting outside. My Luna was not, I fond her in the city I work, and I adopt her and brought hey to the country because with this pandemic I worked from home. Luna was a fluffy beautiful black cat, was so lovely… I feel guilt because I decide to let her outside in that fence built for the other kittens. She escaped 2-3 times and I ignore the danger…. So, many months she stayed there day and night and nothing happened…Suddenly one evening she got out and came out of the yard … I didn’t realize she was out the fence built I heared some dogs… but I still didn’t realize she is out… short time my father ask me if she is in the fence … but she wasn’t …and tell me she was hit by a car.
    I think she run away from the dogs on the street and … and run right in front of the car… I had another cat from 8 years in the house and she is so calm.. but Luna was not calm at all… that is the reason I let her in that fence built outside… I adopt her and she was not used to the yard.. and I regret I don’t realise the danger.. I blame myself for her death… I want to protect them all, this is the reason I built that fence outside… I can’t keep them all inside… I heve that one from 8 years… and Luna was the second one… I feel so guilty because I think I decide to keep her whend I found her.. and think maybe she deserve a better, more loving and patient people to care for her…I made a very bad decision when I let her outside on the summer… because the other kittens know how to take care of them, but she didn’t… I regret because she need to stay like my other cat only on the house.
    I regret my bad decision… I want to protect them all… but seems difficult.. I now realise I need to build another fence … is difficult to find someone to build… and now I’ll try to by one better online… but my guilt is killing me… I only think on the others.. that I really can’t keep in the house becuse they don’t know how to use litter.. I tried on the winter but they don’t get used to it… I feel guilty because I don’t have the power to really protect them.. and the guilt for Luna.. because with her I really mess up.. is my fault her death… I think I don’t deserve her… she was so beautiful… so lovely… and two cats in the house every day is ok… and even in the summer I had to keep her indoor… like my other cat.
    I think I will never forgive myself for her death… and I will never have another special cat like this one.. from all my cats she was the most loving cat I ever seen in my life… I regret her short life for my bad decision… if I can go back in time I will never think again to let her in that fence on the summer again… I think she didn’t even feel loved enough.. I was the worst people that found and adopt her…

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss and I can’t imagine how devastated you must be. It is a terrible tragedy. It is very common to blame yourself when accidents happen. I’ve done this in the past. We replay the event and our decisions over and over in our minds thinking about all the ways we could have done something differently. I’m sure your angel would not hold you responsible for her death. She will only hold love and gratitude for you. My book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, can help you during this difficult time. I hope you get a copy so I can help you through this horrible loss. Sending love and healing.

  31. Joy says:

    My 15 year old dog had problems with a disconnect between her brain and her back legs due to spinal issues for 6 months and the vet had put her on prednisone which caused labored breathing at times and she had also been on a liver med for several years. She gradually got worse in the last month and I carried her outside and helped her stand so she could do her business and I carried her anytime she wanted to go into another room. She could scoot herself across the floor at times and could stand and walk on her own a little. Friday morning at 5 am she woke me up and I picked her up to go out and she had an accident so, I bathed her, dried her with the hair dryer and put her back to bed and then got her food ready which she ate. She layed in the floor next to me while I worked and she wanted up so, I took her outside and she folded and was like a bag of potatoes so, I knew her time was coming but, she was eating and drinking so, I made an appointment for Saturday morning to take her to the vet thinking let’s just have this one day. I spent the day loving on her and carrying her wherever she needed to be and she stood for me a few times and I thought this is good. Later in the evening, I took her outside and she was unable to stand alone and noticed she was breathing heavy while trying to stand and she kept falling head first so I brought her in and sat with her on the couch. I went to bed around 9:30 and she woke me up whining about an hour later so, I turned her and layed back down and she complained again 30 minutes later, I moved her from place to place and changed her position all night, putting her in bed with me several times and noticed she had labored breathing and thought it was due to the prednisone and maybe the bed was too soft so I decided to lay her kennel. I layed back down at 4 am and at this time I had been awake for 23 hours straight and I was exhausted. I heard her once and told her to go to sleep and when my alarm went off at 6:20, and I hit my snooze and I heard her bark at me once and I dozed back off and 20 minutes later, I woke up and found her deceased in her bed. She was still warm so, it had just happened. I feel such guilt and shame that I did not get up and hold her when I heard her. I am so riddled with guilt worried that she was suffering and I was too stupid to realize it and I didn’t realize she was dying. I am beyond sad and feel like a horrible person to let my baby go through that.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Joy, I am so sorry for the loss of your angel. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help you during this difficult time. It is so hard not to blame ourselves when things don’t go the way we would have hoped. It is only normal to run the events through our minds over and over as we try to process our feelings. I’m sure your angel has only wonderful memories of you and does not hold you responsible for how things ended. That is a human-induced concept that we project onto our pets as we struggle with a loss and the grief we feel. When you are ready, try to focus on the positive years you shared together and all the memories you have shared together. I promise you that is what she would want. She loves you and knows her body was failing. Sending love and healing

  32. Charmi says:

    Dear Karen,
    I lost my pet this morning and it’s getting tough. Ronnie was abandoned from her home and also thrown out of the society she was staying in. Ronnie was an amazing dog, harmless, loving and didn’t even bark at anyone. My warrior. I rescued her and shifted to a foster. Her Kidney Values were high and therefore initially I had put her on Hills (food for kidney patients). Initially, she used to happily eat the food and gradually she stopped eating the vet suggested food. She enjoyed eating chicken rice and so I continued feeding her what she liked. She suffered a lot in the last few days of her and I am feeling extremely guilty that I should have continued with the Hills food. I feel it’s a big mistake I made by thinking that she is enjoying chicken-rice so let her relish that. Her proteins level shot, her creatinine levels were high…It’s tough to forgive myself. I feel I made a mistake of not continuing with the Hill food. I love her deeply, she is my sunshine…

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. It is so devastating when we think we had some part how things ended. I promise you that is not how your angel feels. They hold nothing against us even in the worst cases of abuse I have never had one animal tell me it was their human’s fault. Blaming yourself is a normal reaction but I’m sure you did everything you could to keep her safe, happy, and healthy. That is what matters the most and what your angel will remember about you. Sending love…and healing

  33. Deborah Owens says:

    Dear Karen, I have read your book ” The Amazing Afterlife of Animals” and learned so much.
    I would like to tell you about my Sweet Sadie. She is a 15yr4mo black Dachshund. She passed on August 11 202o. She had endured much in her life. She had immune-related rhinitis and was on 2 meds for this. Along with this she had an eye disease in both eyes also controlled by meds.
    Last fall she was diagnosed with a tumor in her chest. The vet said lymphoma. She was put on prednisone and on antibiotics. Sadie fought hard sometimes with no appetite but mostly did ok. In July I knew she was having some bad days.
    On the night before she passed, she ate a big meal so I thought that was a good sign. The next day I passed her and I just remember her eyes looking at me. She seemed to be a little congested. I gave her a medication prescribed for this a couple of years ago. Also, l gave her a pain pill also that had been prescribed in case she had arthritis. That night she got up twice I held her awhile and put her on her blankets.
    This is where she wanted to always lay by my chair. This was about 2 am. I fell asleep woke up 15 minutes later. She was 5 feet away from me on the carpet. I got to her as she took her last breath. I can’t deal with and understand why I wasn’t holding her. I keep rehashing the last couple of hours of her life, was it the medicine or whatever.
    All my vet says is she was living on borrowed time. I don’t seem to be able to forgive myself for not having her in my arms. The only thing that sustains me is I know Sadie is with God now.
    I miss my Sadie so much and just hope she knows how much I love her.
    I didn’t get to say goodbye.
    I am lost.
    Thank you for listening.

  34. Brian says:

    I am so very deeply sad about the sudden death of Rumi the cat. He’s a beautiful gray cat, I believe the Korat breed, with greenish blue eyes and a sweetly insistent, enthusiastic, and loving disposition. My wife and I raised Rumi from when he was a kitten who turned up outside our business office door alongside Ozzie, his black furred brother. He was barely four years old and died from what appears to have been a ruptured bladder and severe toxicity caused by a blockage in his urethra. He’s back at home now and we will be burying him today. The expression on Rumi’s face looks like he was suffering from terrible pain when he passed away at the Vet’s center. He had been doing well at first, after the Vet applied a catheter to clear the blockage, but then he took a bad turn and passed in the evening. He had been taken to the Vet this past Saturday morning (11/14/20) and was gone by that Saturday night. It’s still so shocking and heartbreaking. Rumi is leaving his brother Ozzie behind. I feel terrible in so many ways. It feels like this is truly my fault. I wasn’t noticing or acknowledging what turned out to be warning signs – signs that may have been going on for weeks or even more. It never occurred to me that something was wrong, until it was so painfully obvious – and clearly too late – on Saturday morning. Rumi’s death is my failure. I let Rumi down. I wish I could let Rumi know how sorry I am. Ozzie seems to be sad in his way. I let him see Rumi’s body for some kind of closure, so Ozzie wouldn’t be left with only the memory of Rumi simply being carried off to the Vet in front of him and disappearing. My emotions are all over the place. The regret and the misgivings and the guilt are horrible. I dug the grave for Rumi in our yard a little while ago and he will soon be placed in the ground and I will never see him or touch him again. I don’t know how to comfort my own mind. I could go on for days over this and not feel better. It really seems like I could have done more and been more attentive and aware. Rumi was trying to tell us he wasn’t well. I didn’t pay attention. I didn’t recognize the severity of his problem until he was limp and moaning in a way that he never had before. I hope Rumi will forgive my insensitive human ignorance and stupidity. I know I have to try so much harder with Ozzie now. I miss Rumi’s kind and outgoing friendly nature. I love you Rumi. I am so sorry. I hope I made your short life pleasant and happy. Rest in Peace, Sweet Rumi. Rest In Peace.
    Thank You for Your Time,

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved, Rumi. It is so hard not to think back on all the decisions we made. I’ve done it myself. Forgiveness is a human concept…not animal. They do not see things as we do and once you are able to forgive yourself, hopefully, you can move through the pain of your grief. I will hold a sacred space for you for healing.

  35. Casey says:

    On Nov 10 this year, my 2yo budgie, Trinket, died in the morning, and I am so so overwhelmed with regret and remorse.
    Starting in November last year, he had undigested seed in his droppings and was lethargic. He was diagnosed with avian gastric yeast, and it was a long period of treatment through February or March this year before we got it completely under control. After that time of two different avian medications on & off, the last run of treatment then was a month of apple cider doses daily in his water.
    He showed no symptoms through the summer, then in late September he was showing relatedly unusual droppings but no lethargy so I put him back on the apple cider vinegar through October without consulting my vet, and the symptoms mostly went away.
    Early November they came back again though and on the 7th I put him back on the apple cider vinegar, and he had fluffed posture and some lethargy then, but so did his bonded pair mate, Yoshi. They were both molting, and Trinket has always gotten a little fluffed and lethargic while molting. On the 10th, he regurgitated some seed when I uncovered him in the morning, did a clumsy lap around the room, and collapsed for a moment on one of his play-mats. I was distraught, gathered him up gently and he was able to sit back up on my finger. He sat there while I called the vet, I set him back on a perch in his cage to go out and get the travel carrier, and he was already gone when I got back inside. I buried him out front with one of his favorite bells; next to my previous budgie, Junior, who made it to the honorable old age of 10 before being euthanized for painful age-related health complications.
    I knew he had a rough history with the gastric yeast, I knew it was hard to get rid of. But when he got sick again in October and then into November, I didn’t take him to the vet, I didn’t think it was as serious as it was. I didn’t get an additional second opinion on the droppings, I thought I knew what I was dealing with, but I’ve looked them up since and they’re consistent with liver problems & eating less which is consistent with gastric yeast complications, and the suggestion is immediate vet care and I don’t know if I can ever forgive myself for not looking it up again or not going to the vet sooner.
    For almost two weeks I was consistently nauseous with grief and guilt. I kept looking around for him while going about my daily routine. I felt like, if I was sad enough, and sorry enough, he would come back; I couldn’t get to missing him because I felt Worried about him, and then would get upset at feeling worried because I missed that opportunity by far and it cost Trinket his rest of his little life.
    It’s easier for me now to, logically, accept that he’s gone. I miss him viciously, and I am still grieving, but the instinct to look for him in the house is gone, as much as I want him to still be here.
    I fluctuate between accepting that I at no point made decisions with the deliberate intention to do harm to Trinket, and just absolutely drowning with the knowledge that my indecision and inaction ended in his death. I can look back now and see other warning signs I should have caught and that should have worried me at the time.
    I loved him so, so, so much. I had raised him from a baby; he was so smart, he could say his name, and Yoshi’s name, and a host of other short phrases, “little baby bird,” “what’chu doin’?” “Come here” ; he would sing little songs to himself and to my sister. He had so much love stored in his tiny little body, and loved unconditionally.
    I’m so overwhelmed with remorse, and it still slips into guilt sometimes. I miss him like nothing else but I find it hard to let myself experience pure grief because I’m so caught up in the things I should have done, the warning signs I should have seen or taken more seriously or interpreted correctly. I feel like I neglected him, like I ignored the signs. Do I have a right to that grief? I’m sorrier for him than I am for myself, my little bitty baby bird, Trinket. I feel like I let him down.
    I feel like if I stop feeling bad for him, or start feeling bad for myself instead, that I would be betraying him. Like my remorse and guilt are penance, though I know he’s gone and punishing myself won’t bring him back. But in my good moments when I have let go on my guilt and accepted my remorse, I feel guilty for not thinking about him all the time. I feel like forgiving myself is almost a betrayal to Trinket.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your beloved angel, Trinket. It is so hard to say goodbye and no matter how hard we try to do the right thing for them we are quick to second guess every decision we made. When you do your best and your decision comes from your heart your angel will know that. They never hold us responsible when things don’t end as hoped. Try to realize that all that really matters is the deep love, wonderful memories, and cherished moments. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help ease your painful journey through grief. Sending love and healing.

  36. Athena Justus says:

    That just helped me so much. My 7 yr old shitzu died 3 weeks ago. I only thought that he had a upset stomach he died within 24 hrs. I never thought I wouldn’t bring him back home. It has wrecked my world. First thing when I wake up is awful, I can’t sleep in my bed the room feels like it closes in. I lay on the couch for hours at night crying, guilting myself to death, missing him saying his name. I can’t sleep, and the rest of my family is doing better but not me. Sometimes I feel rushed into moving on and I know it’s not just me still working at it and not really knowing when or if it will end or get better.
    Much Love 💕

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet angel. I can’t imagine how devastated you must be. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help ease your grief on this painful journey. Losing someone you love so much unexpectedly is so painful. Sending love and healing

  37. Mel says:

    I am in such agony right now I can’t even convey. I lost my 11 year old cane corso in December when we rushed him to the emergency room due to a bleeding tumor on the spleen. He was in bad shape by the time we got there and we chose to let him go. The problem is…we knew he had the tumor and we consciously made the decision not to operate on him. We made the decision based on his age, the probability it was cancerous and what his perceived quality of life would be post surgery. Most people don’t get this opportunity. They don’t even know they have a tumor until they need to be rushed to the emergency room. Looking back now, I don’t know what I was thinking. Why didn’t we at least give him the operation to see if it was cancerous. It could have been benign and he would have been fine after the surgery. I hate myself.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear the pain you are feeling and the loss of your angel. It is impossible to not feel responsible when things don’t go as we hoped. I’ve questioned decisions I’ve made in the past so many times. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals which will help you navigate through this difficult time. Sending love and healing.

  38. Melody Hetrick says:

    This message is for Mel. I also recently lost my best pal diagnosed with a suspected cancer (hemangiosarcoma) showing up as a tumor behind the spleen. I also refused the surgery for him, because of his advanced age (14) as well as the poor prognosis if a biopsy confirmed that. I initially went through intense grief, as he was the 6th old friend leaving me in under 6 years. My grief had been killing me slowly. Somehow I chanced onto one of Karen’s books, and then the other. You know the app that reads aloud to you? That’s what i did, because I couldn’t concentrate long enough to read. I can’t put into words, hearing how it is for them when they pass gave my mind the freedom to DECIDE to spend the days we had left making more memories and treasuring every day. I knew full-well that the tumor could rupture at any time. I’m sure he knew, too, that something wasn’t right inside his belly. Still, we walked slowly in the fall leaves, and snuggled and he knew my love, right to his last breath. Don’t get me wrong, it’s still very painful. I miss him dreadfully! But the energy is better spent feeling happy about them when they’ve passed. Squash that guilt with bigger love! If you haven’t yet, get the books—to hear or to read, whichever works for you. I was woken gently this morning, early, in a dream about my boy… I was drawn to this one of Karen’s pages, and to the last entry, this one. Maybe by design? I hope this helps.

  39. Lisa Singleton says:

    On Friday, my 12 year old Cane Corso was laid to rest. He had been sick since right before Christmas and looking back it was a little longer. During the holidays we gave him medication and changed his diet to make him comfortable. For roughly 3 weeks he seemed to improve. However he was restless. He was not sleeping well at night, he couldn’t get comfortable and had no energy. He started sleeping in odd areas of the house. During this time, I had gone into the vet to pick up medication and saw one of the techs. She asked how he was doing and I said better but he is old and slow. I started to cry and asked her how do I know when is the right time and she said you will know. I thought about that all day Friday as I watched him barely moving, not wanting to go outside and struggling to get up. He looked tired and sad. I made an appointment and took him to the vet. Not planning on making the decision that I did. While we waiting and while I watched him struggle to stand and he did not want to be there, I decided to do what I thought was right and humane. I sit here today asking myself as I think back to his last breaths, did I do the right thing. I have cried all weekend, asking him to forgive me if I had made a mistake. I can’t get it out of my head. One part of me says he is in no pain and the other part of me says he should be sitting here in his dog bed with medication that could have made him better. I just wish I knew if I really made the right choice.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel. I can’t imagine how devastated you must be. It is so hard to lose someone you love so much. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. Just opt-in on the HOME page for VIP Book Offers. It will help you during this painful time. You will discover how different their perspective is from our own. We question every decision we make and are quick to blame ourselves when things do go as we hoped. I am so sorry. I’m sure your angel knows you love him with your heart and soul and made that impossible decision with love in your heart. Sending love and healing…

  40. Sandy Patterson says:

    I found this site yesterday and read through every comment, including the one you posted about the loss of your beautiful boy. For some reason, all comments aren’t showing up today. You made a comment a few times about the day our pet passed being out of our hands. If I interpreted it wrong, I apologize. I’m searching and can’t find it. I lost my sweet Maci almost a month ago and I’m struggling to move forward.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I’m so sorry for you the loss of your angel, Maci. I have no doubt you were guided here to for support and healing. There are hundreds of posts so I am not sure which one you are looking for but my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, goes into detail about this painful topic. We often feel responsible for their passing or question the decisions we made. It is hard not to think…”If only I would have done this or that differently…”. Our pets know that we love them and they never hold us responsible for their passing. Sending love and healing…

  41. Nikki says:

    Hi, Karen. I just discovered your page, and it has been a great comfort. My little poodle mix, Pedro, passed away over the weekend. I feel tremendously guilty for allowing him to die at home without euthanasia. I had rescued Pedro 3 years ago, at which time he was already well into his senior years and with congestive heart failure. My goal was to give him the best remaining life as possible as it appeared he had been through some rough times before I adopted him. Pedro started to decline 3 weeks ago, at which time I brought him to the vet. Over the next few weeks, he started to eat less and lose weight, then refused food altogether. I was planning on euthanizing him as I knew he was getting close to the end. However, early Sunday morning (about 3 AM), he took a sudden turn for the worse, became disoriented but restless, and would walk around then collapse after a few steps. He let out a few yelps. I wrapped him in a blanket and laid him on the bed with me. He was restless for a little while longer until he just laid there with his heart beating fast. He died about an hour later, lying next to me. I didn’t rush him to the emergency vet to be euthanized, and I feel tremendously guilty about this. I feel terrible for letting him die in pain. I never wanted him to suffer. He was such a sweet, loving boy.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss, Nikki. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. Just opt-in on my HOME page to get VIP Book Offers. I cannot stress how much it will help you during this difficult time. Within the chapters, you will find the answers and insight to help you move through the pain. Your angel, Pedro loves you so much I am sure he is right by your side even as we speak. It is easy to blame yourself but I assure you, Pedro has a different perspective. One filled with only love and gratitude. Sending love and healing…

  42. Dada says:

    Hi my cat died 2 days ago , he was healthy before had an aortic thromboembolism which is a blood clot that left suddenly his rear legs paralyzed . Took him to vet and gave him blood thinner and other med . Next day took him again for meds as he was refusing to eat or drink , came back home , I wrapped him and put him to sleep with me but he managed to go down and hide under my bed .. I did not want to upset him as he was chocked and depressed from being paralyzed . The next day took him to the clinic there were 2 vets none of them suggested he should be hospitalyzed : they gave him medicines and ask me to force him serum by seringe so I did .. next day he woke up very tired no energy , called the vet told me continue to give serum if he vomits take him to emergency .. I did and did not vomit for about 4 ohiurs , when I tried to give him some soup at 1.30 he vomited and half an hour later started to breathe abnormally , called emergency they said not available till 4 , called 2 vets it was sun and they could not make it so I waited til 4 and took him to emergency clinic I know .. but it was too late .. the vet gave him some serum and medicines and told me he may not survive tonight , take him home .. but did not try to put oxygen for him as he said if u want him to die with you take him home better , I agreed and brought him back but he died in the car on our way back ., I was 2 mn away from the vet I returned back but told me his heart stopped we can’t do anything I shouted do reanimation he said it won’t work .. I was in chock and crying so I took him home . The thing is : I know that after a saddle thrombus chances for my cat to survive are low , I know he had an enlarged heart , and a liver that is kind of damaged .. but I was hoping he’ll survive .. I feel guilty for letting him breath hardly from 1.30 til 4 as I did not find anyone to help , I feel guilty for not trying cpr or forcing vet to reanimate him , I feel guilty for accepting such treatment that was harsh to his heart .. I blame myself and don’t like the way he died from shortening of breath .. my poor cat .. please help me

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear of your devastating loss. There are few words to ease your pain but I recommend starting first with my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. Once you understand what happens after your pet leaves this Earth you can better understand the journey through grief is meaningful and a reflection of the deep love you share. Feeling guilty is normal and so many of us have felt waves of guilt and remorse after a loss. I’m sure you did the best you could and your angel knows that. We aren’t perfect and they don’t expect us to be. You loved him and love is all that matters. I invite you to opt in as a VIP on my HOME page so I can continue to provide you with the love and support you need. Sending love and healing

  43. Susan says:

    Dear Karen and all of us who love & grieve animals.
    My Bronco, a 12.5-year-old chocolate is resting at the vets from a torn ACL. In the past year, he deteriorated greatly from arthritis, spine issues, & muscle loss. Thankfully, I worked remotely all in 2020 now & so far in 2021 so we were together. We had a good routine down here in my condo which I downsized to after my husband passed away in 2012. But I understood from his vets we still needed to try and walk some.
    For several months now we have only taken one short walk ago, at his barking urging after years of 3 long walks daily. Due to a weird chain of events involving non-maskers I wanted to avoid, we ended up on a plot of grass. My Bronco has already had “poopie” mouth 😊 and I turned his sling to get him away from something he would have eaten but he could not follow me and fell from the ruptured ALC. He is extremely strong and hard for me to handle at times but I feel guilty over not doing the move more slowly and forgetting to put on little supports before we walked that day.
    Thankfully, a male neighbor was home who helped me get him into the car which was getting even more difficult before the injury. I know in mind with all my best friend’s troubles, it was probably a matter of time before he could no longer walk but prior to this, he was happy, eating, etc. We are doing some conservative treatment at the vet but I know he is likely suffering and life will not ever be the same. He also risks a tear in his other leg, Even if he could get home, my dilemma is getting him to the vet.
    I am heartbroken blaming myself yet I have been told that he has survived potential kidney issues and real 3-4 mast cell surgeries because I was always on top of things and had him in an annual wellness program. But I could not stop the degeneration in his muscular-skeletal system.
    He & I have been through so much since Wm passed away including my recovery from a broken femur neck. On that am, I walked on my broken leg to our unit to dress & drive him to our wonderful vet boarder to ensure he would be safe (separation anxiety). He boarded there for 2 months while I underwent PT and then we used to walk with my walker. I hoped my hero could pass in his sleep at home but will not be. I will be able to be with him at the vets. No way will he leave without me at his side.
    I am heartbroken and will get your book. Every pet loss has been devastating wracked with guilt no matter how illogical but this one will be worse in some respects as I relieve so much and how my Bronco kept me sane during the lows. I will be buying your book & gifting it to others.
    Thank you from the bottom of my heart 💜 for this forum.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. It is so hard to see our beloved pets struggle with health issues or medical challenges. We do our best as a pet parent and sometimes it is hard to know the right decisions. I’m so glad you are getting my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. It will help you navigate through the difficult times and ease your pain. Thank you for sharing and for gifting my book to others. Sending love and healing…

  44. leah says:

    Hello Ms. Karen
    Good evening, I hope you are okay. I am Leah from the Philippines and I am 27 years old. I searched the internet for how to cope up with the death of my pet because I am so hurt, devastated, guilty. I just lost my pet cat today at 8 pm Philippine time, she was 4 years, I started adopted her 2019 when she introduced me to her 3 mos old kitty. She’s a stray, she usually comes to our backyard asking for food. We adopted both her and her baby but she likes to stay outside more than inside, so we will call her only during breakfast lunch, and dinner and sometimes let her stay inside the house but she always escapes and if all is lock she will cry and shout, so will let her out.. so our everyday routine I’m feeding same as feeding time with other cats I only need to call her and she’ll come in. Today I just fed her and after I just saw her outside of our house sitting on a wooden chair after dinner. I heard she got hit by a car and died. Ms. Karen, I just went to church today during mass and one of my prayers is that may God take care of those strays outside and that people won’t hit them. Now this suddenly happened,
    since she got older she acts different, that would make a human feel more pity for her and love her more, and that’s what I did every day. I can hug her kiss her cuddle with her and when I call her name from outside she’ll run fast.. but still she loves to stay outside, now I am so hurt.
    Ms. Karen please enlighten me..😭

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so very sorry to hear of your loss. My heart breaks for you. You are going through terrible pain right now and I’m sure it is very hard for you. It is normal to blame yourself for her tragic death. We will often think about all the decisions we made before we lose someone. It is normal to feel this way. One thing to remember is you set out to love her, help her, feed her and take care of her. You cannot control her decisions or the accident that happened. You did the best you could and sometimes that is all we can do. I would like to know if you can get a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. Your English is good enough that you can read it and find out many answers about this. Hopefully, you can find my book on Amazon in your area or you can order the ebook from me. I know it will help you heal from your loss. You are such a wonderful person to help this kitty and her baby. You did the best you could. To order my ebook go to my home page and opt-in as a VIP. Sending love and healing.

  45. Monica says:

    After Ollie was diagnosed with lymphoma, I had 3 months to say my goodbyes. The one thing I had always promised him, even before then, was that if he ever had to be put to sleep I would be there with him, holding him, telling him how he was my soul mate, my best friend…how much I loved him and how thankful I was for my time with him. When the time came I wasn’t allowed to be with him because of his vet’s covid-19 rules.
    So you see, I broke my promise. Ollie died alone, without me, and I will never forgive myself and I can only pray that he has forgiven me. I talk to him every day, all day. I believe he’s given me signs he’s okay, but it doesn’t lessen the guilt at all. He’s been gone for 2 months now and I still cry all the time throughout the day. He was 13 and doted on like a child. The grief and guilt just have me so broken right now…

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Ollie. Losing someone you love is so hard but not being able to be with him must be beyond devastating. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you through this painful time. Here are some suggestions for you:
      You can tell him how you feel right now. He will hear you. He will sense the love you have for him. That moment in time was just a flash in his life and rarely do they ever mention it or focus on it as we do. Trust that love is all that matters, whether you could be there with him or not, your love will override that moment. The more you focus on it the more you bring it to his awareness so do your best to make your peace with it. Ollie most likely wants you to be happy in your heart and not be so sad when you think about him.
      Start by ending on a positive memory if those thoughts sneak back in.
      Sit down and write him a letter and tell him why you could not be there.
      Have a peaceful ceremony and read it to him then let it go. He is likely right by your side and hasn’t given it another thought.
      Sending love and healing

  46. Stella Marie Yamada says:

    My beloved handsome cat Milo of more than 10 years passed away almost a week ago because of cancer and it’s just too painful for me and my son (my son was his most favorite person)
    I always cry because I missed everything about him, his smell, his playfulness, and being bossy all the time, he doesn’t like cuddles and sitting on my lap but he’s sweet to me sometimes, he does that to his human brother, but since my son moved to another place, we spent lots of time together. Whenever my son calls, and he can sense it and comes running so I have to turn the speaker on and video and whenever he hears and sees my son’s video and voice, he would collapse with sweetness like having catnip overload.
    Whenever I think about him, I sometimes blame myself for why he’s not here with us/me, is it because I just missed him so much?

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Milo. It hurts so deeply to lose someone you love so much. Your feelings are perfectly normal and it is common to blame ourselves for everything that happened. It just means you are a good momma, a loving momma, and your angel meant the world to you. It’s okay to feel this way but trust that you are not to blame. Your angel will never blame you for what happened. Take time to grieve. Yes, it hurts but that is because your love is so deep. Please get a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you through this difficult time. Just go to my HOME page and opt in for book info. Or you can order on AMAZON. Sending love and healing

  47. Susan says:

    sounds like me..sought too aggressive treatment led to demise. im devastated and feel guilty.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. It is heartwrenching when we try so hard and it seems as if we failed them. I’m sure your angel knows you love them so much. I hope you have a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, to help ease your pain. Sending love and healing

  48. VEI-6 Vesuvius says:

    Not guilty anymore.
    But I still miss my beloved black cat, Goku, a large female who was born with the scottish fold gene (rare for a moggy), so she had tiny ears.
    She was my first cat. Her mum was a feral cat, but Goku grew up to be very sociable. When I took her, 20 years ago, i hoped for her living at least 20 years.
    She had a nasty cancer at the age of 8. However she was able to beat the monster.
    She died last year, 8 months and 14 day before her 20th birthday.
    She was killed by age related kidney disease (diagnosed when she was about 17, with creatinine that was 1.8) She survived two years and half with the disease.
    When she died, I though it was my fault that she got sick and she died before her 20th birthday.
    Then I did some researches, and I found that geriatric cats easily get kidney disease. Also, the oldest cats are those that survive less, it doesn’t matter what.
    Goku wasn’t senile, she always understood everything. She lived a fairly normal life until the end.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Goku. Kidney disease is common in elderly cats. I’ve lost quite a few of my own to kidney disease. I’m so glad you have so many precious memories to celebrate her life with. Sending love and healing

  49. Clair Elizabeth says:

    Hi Karen, I stumbled upon your page and bought your book after having been absolutely gutted since the death of my beloved dog Danica last Friday. She was the best dog, most loyal, loving friend, and although I sensed she was slowing down, her passing came so suddenly and I have been riddled with guilt because: (1) her death appears to be heart related and I senselessly allowed her to gain excess weight (20 lbs.) her last year by taking her off senior dog food and routinely giving her table food; (2) she suffered extreme nausea the day before her passing (likely from heart issues) and I ignored it (despite my 8-year old daughter telling me she was sick), instead I chocked it up to her eating too much grass as she was apt to do, and continued to tap away on my computer. When I finally came around to look at Danica she had thrown up multiple times and was in horrid shape; (3) I took her to her vet and then to a 24-hour emergency vet for an overnight stay without appreciating that was the last time I would see my beloved girl of 10 years. Instead of giving her a proper goodbye, I simply petted her a few times and let a vet tech carry her away scared into the unfamiliar emergency vet never to see me again; (4) when I awoke Friday morning and received a call from the vet advising that she was not improving and she was having continued heart troubles, I did not rush to the vet or ask for them to put the phone on speaker like I could have; (5) only after the vet called again saying he was concerned she was passing did I finally leave to go see her only to be called on my way to be told she passed after letting out a cry and bleeding from her mouth and nose. I look forward to reading your book because I am paralyzed in self hate for failing Danica. I SHOULD have been there to be the last face she saw when she passed. She was always at my side, always looking for me around the house, she helped me raise my two girls, raced to greet me with excitement every time I came home. I hope she knew she was loved. I wish I had done more for her. I would give anything for one more day with her. The timing of her passing is especially hard because we literally just got a new puppy 5 days before she died with hopes she would help us train it for at least the next few years. I fear she felt she was being replaced.
    I’m sorry, Danica. I loved you so.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so very sorry to hear of the loss of your angel, Danica. It is excruciatingly painful to lose someone you love so much. There are many of us who have thought ‘If only I had done things differently…’ after we lose someone we love. We do the best we can and that is what it really comes down to. We didn’t set out to be indifferent, or uncaring. Had you known that was the last time you would see her alive you would have responded differently. She will sense that and know you love her no matter what. We cannot foresee emergencies, we cannot predict the end of our pet’s lives, so we do the best we can. As much as you feel the need to punish yourself Danica will never place blame or feel abandoned or replaced. Those are your human thoughts and pets have a completely different perspective. I speak from experience as I have tortured myself for mistakes and decisions that were made in the past. But no longer do I waste my precious energy on those negative thoughts. I focus on the love, the life, the joy, and the beauty of each pet and how much richer my life has been because of them. You have a choice with your thoughts which are basically energetic messages. Choose wisely how you wish to send out those energetic messages to your angel. My book will help you understand how pets see things from an entirely different viewpoint and how you can honor your feelings of grief and move forward into healing. I hope you have opted in as a VIP member on my HOME page so I can continue to provide you with the loving support your deserve during this difficult time. Sending love and healing

  50. Tara says:

    Hi Karen,
    I had a cat thirty years ago who was the love of my life. That sweet boy got me through some seriously difficult times. Fast forward a few years and my son is born. He ends up having “asthmatic” issues, bronchiolitis at five months old and is hospitalized. Obviously I was told I’d have to find a home for my cat due to my son’s severe allergies or children’s services would get involved.
    I asked my mother if she’d take Sparky and she was
    happy to. My mother and I aren’t particularly close but I wanted him to be still in my life as much as possible. Shortly after Sparky went to live with her, my mother experienced a tragic loss in her personal life. My mom was too grief stricken to deal with anything at all and in her grief she decided she couldn’t handle keeping my cat any longer but instead of asking me to take him back or find him a new home, she had him euthanized. She didn’t tell me until he was gone. I already felt terrible guilt for re- homing him because he must have been confused, saddened and felt abandoned. Once when I came to visit him, he basically ignored me and my heart broke. Sparky snd I were best buds and now he acted like he didn’t know me. I’ve never been able to let my guilt go for handing him over to someone I thought would take care of him but instead she killed him. For thirty years I’ve cried over this. I’ve written letters to Sparky many times, explaining that I had no idea she would do that and how so so sorry I am for abandoning him. My heart can’t heal. I can’t forgive myself for hurting him, betraying him and ultimately being responsible for his death. I need to know that he understands why I had to do what I did. I didn’t want to re home him. I loved him so much. I want him to know how sorry am and that I love him eternally. Does he know? 🙏😖

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear this, Tara. I cannot imagine the horrible guilt you feel over this very sad situation.
      I would find it hard to let go of the pain, stop blaming myself, and forgive the decision your mom made. It must be incredible painful for you and I am so very sorry it happened.
      I wish I had the answer to help you feel better and perhaps my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals is a good place to start. Knowing what really happens when an animal dies can help you shift your perspective to a brighter horizon.
      My area of expertise is the afterlife of animals and what happens when a pet dies, how they exist in the afterlife, and how they continue to love us and stay connected to us in spirit.
      Grief counseling helps some move through the pain and a licensed specialist can guide you through the process of forgiveness and healing. Those areas are best left to the experts in those fields.
      Resolving grief is a daily decision, an action, a choice. It is a process to manage all of those emotions.
      Perhaps a session with Sparky would help alleviate some of your pain. Messages can be so healing. You can view my directory for practitioners who can help you today.
      After being in law enforcement, I realized that I will never understand why people do the things they do. Only they hold the answer to that. Trying to understand their thought processes is like adding fuel to fire and I’d rather spend my precious energy on something positive.
      I doubt that Sparky would even mention the trauma and turmoil of this situation. Once an animal leaves their body, they shed Earthly pain, fear, and stress. Their souls glow with the brilliance of a billion stars and they rarely ever bring up the situations that humans agonize over.
      When you are ready, calm, and balanced, when it feels right, schedule a session so you can hear Sparky’s messages. You can tell him right now how you feel. He will hear your words and most likely he is far beyond that moment in time.
      Sending love and healing to you all…

  51. Tara says:

    Karen thank you for your kindness and understanding. I will consider a session I know I need help to heal this pain and am starting some counselling.
    Your book sounds very healing and the reviews say that too. What a gift you have, to know that they are back to being that amazing love and light they are. Animals are my friends, earthly fur angels. I admire their ability to love so purely. They are so much wiser than humans in countless ways.
    Anyways, thank you again.🤗❤️✌🏻
    Many blessings to you and yours.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      It is an honor to help you on your journey. May you find the peace of mind and healing you deserve.
      Sending love and healing

  52. Lisa says:

    I just tragically lost my cat. Nova was sitting in my 12 year old son’s lap and he got frightened and jumped to his death. I am devastated, like can’t stop crying, I am not sure if my son saw him go over, it’s all a blur. My son seems okay, I don’t wanna press him, but I’m absorbing pain for all of us. I’m deeply devastated and am not coping well. Help!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so very sorry to hear about your loss and extend my heartfelt sympathies. When accidents happen we often blame ourselves and wish we could turn the clocks back and do things differently. I hope you have a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you during this difficult time. I also invite you to opt-in as a VIP member on my website to receive the ongoing loving support you deserve during this difficult time. I hope you and your son find the peace you need to heal.

  53. Katie says:

    Hello I have read through your article and all the comments and responses you have given and already feel more at peace than I did. I am going to look to get your book too and it seems like it has helped a lot of people.
    However, I am still completely torn over my own recent experience of my beautiful cat Widget being put to sleep on Wednesday. Of course I am sad and I miss him but I understand all that I am just riddled with guilt having made my decision to have Widget euthanised only hours after I found out how poorly he was doing. I have seen comments about people regretting their decision to prolong their pet life or comments about doing your best but I didn’t do either. I cut it short, even if only a day.
    Widget would have been so much happier coming home with all the smells and noises he knew instead of being in the vets all day being stressed. What a way to spend your last day. I feel awful.
    The vet even asked me if I was ready to do it that day and I wasn’t but instead of saying that I said well he’s going to go in the next few days so it might as well be now. That is such a disgusting thing to say and not how I felt. I felt pressure from the vets to do it.
    Widget and I had the best relationship. We loved and understood each other so much. So for him to have heard me say thing must have broken his heart, like I didn’t care anymore. I hate myself if saying this and not giving him that one extra day to live a happy life. I don’t even think he was in that much pain, just weak and tired. I don’t even want to forgive myself, I don’t deserve it. I really let him down after him given me a lifetime of love and happiness. I feel so sad I did this to him

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so very sorry for the loss of your angel, Widget. There are few words to ease your pain or take away the thoughts that run through your mind. I have had many situations I would have like to have handled differently too. We are sometimes not prepared for those decisions. I truly doubt he would even mention it. They rarely take those thoughts with them. His experience is likely much different than you realize and I truly hope you get my book and opt-in as a VIP member on my HOME page so I can continue to provide the loving support you deserve during this difficult time. Sending love and healing

  54. Kylie says:

    My beautiful little Jack Russell Daisy died 7 days ago, she was only 22 months old. Daisy was our first family dog and we got her as an 8 week old puppy. She was the last of the litter to be chosen, but she must have been waiting for us because she was perfect. We were all so totally in love with her, so proud to show her off to friends and family and loved it when people stopped us in the street to stroke her. She loved us more than anything too, she was always at the door to greet us, wagging not just her tail, but her whole little body and. Then jumping up to be patted and stroked whilst she licked our hands and faces. Daisy followed us around the house, always at our feet, our constant companion. She kept me company, when my husband was out at work and my teenage children had shut themselves in their bedrooms. Daisy would snuggle. With me on the sofa, squeezing into the smallest gap between me and the arm or she would prop one paw on our leg and watch TV with us, barking every time another animal came on the screen. She got to know the music for the adverts with animals in and would bark as soon as one came on. She learned how to shake paws and high five, sit, lie down and roll over and when we arrived with a treat she would do all of this without us asking her too.
    Daisy was brilliant on walks, when she wanted to go she would stand in front of me giving me a look which I knew meant “Mum, it’s time for a walk” and as soon as she knew we were taking her she would jump up excitedly. She walked beautifully and sat at the curb until we said it was safe to cross.
    Daisy got sickness and diarrhoea, she had had this before a few times, but was always better by the next day. This time she got worse and started to be sick every ten minutes. I got her to the vets as soon as I could. I wrapped her in a towel and placed her in the footwell of the car, she would normally be sitting on the passenger seat, trying to look out of the window, but this time she just lay curled up and didn’t even look up when I called her name. In the vets she lay in my arms with her head back looking at me until they called us through. I thought the vet would say “She will be fine, just keep her off her food for today” but instead she said she had pancreatitis and would need to have a drip and antibiotics, I would have to leave her for around 3 hours. I kissed her soft head and said goodbye, drove home in shock and tried not to believe anything bad could happen. After 2 hours the vet phoned and said she had gotten really bad, could we tell her what she had eaten. I explained we had been to a family party a few. Days before and people had given her things off their plates, even though my son had told them not to. My son frantically phoned people asking them what they gave her, but they said they didn’t give her anything. My son knew they did and tried to remember everything that was at the party. The vet called back a sort time after and said that we should come and see her because she was not responding. My husband had come home from work to drive me there, I was so distraught. She was in a coma and had tubes coming out of her. I begged them to do everything they could and they tried, I held Daisy’s paw and begged her to fight, but my poor baby’s
    heart just stopped beating. The vet said she had been poisoned, but when we got home we discovered the awful truth. I looked up pancreatitis and realised that we were the ones who had been poisoning her by giving her treats from our dinner plates everyday. We loved her so much that we wanted her to have little tasty bites, but we were killing her. Oh Daisy, we are so desperately sorry, we would never have done this if we knew that this could happen. Our lives are so empty without you and we miss you so much. You were so young and should have had many more happy years with us. We always had you in mind and I was so looking forward to taking you to work with me when the builders start work on our house. Even this was with you in mind, we were going to create a special place for you to sleep and have your own little bath and shower. It all seems pointless now, I can’t stand coming in the house knowing that you are no longer there to greet us, everywhere I look I see your beautiful little face looking at me adoringly, whilst I know that I killed you. We have kept your bed and put all your toys in it for you, I moved them to the edge so that you can still get in, I have been leaving the cupboard lights on for you like we always did, I don’t want you to be scared in the dark. But I sent you into the darkness. I pray that you have found my dad, he never met you because he died before, but he would have loved you as much as we did and I try to picture you together. I think you have given me some signs that you are ok, a squirrel has appeared in our garden, we never saw one there in 16 years, you did love to spot a squirrel, when I didn’t want to go in the garden because of remembering you being so sick there, white feathers appeared all over the grass and a one about things getting easier from one of the adverts you liked keeps popping into my head at times. At auntie Angela’s house, just after I told her about the feathers, one floated down in front of me and landed on the table. Rose and I have kept it and put it in the treat jar that says Daisy on it. Poor Rose, you were her best friend and would curl up on her bed whether she was there or not. You would kiss her face when she was feeling sad and now you can’t do it anymore. Rose loves you so much and felt that you were her dog. Poor William, it took him longer to love you, but you kept into his teenage boy heart and he too is broken hearted. Daddy has cried and cried, he can’t believe you are not there in the morning and ready with licks and kisses when he gets home from work. Daisy, we are so so sorry, we would do anything to change what happened and have you with us again. I have hardly eaten since you went, I can’t bear that I am eating the things that killed you. When I walk into or out of a room I turn quickly hoping to catch a glimpse of you, when I lie in bed at night I pray that you will jump up and lie with me, or that Rose will say she has felt you in her bed. Every morning we wake with fresh pain hoping it has all been a bad dream and you will be sitting outside the bedroom door.
    We loved you so much Daisy, thank you for coming into our lives, we wanted you to stay forever. I am so, so sorry xxxx

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your angel, Daisy. It is so hard to lose someone you love so much. It is even harder when we feel that we are responsible for things going wrong. I’ve done it myself. Just know that your beloved angel will never blame you and knows only how much you love her and miss her. It always comes back to our bonds of love which never die. I hope you will get a copy of my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you on your healing journey. I’d be honored to be a positive part of your journey. Sending love…

  55. Maya says:

    I rescued a little squirrel on the road named Milo. After a week or 2 i fell asleep with him on my chest and he snuggled into the blankets and suffocated. Its been 3 years and I still feel guilty.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear about your little squirrel. I cannot imagine how devastated you must be. When accidents happen we are so quick to blame ourselves and it is hard not to think about this horrible incident. My heart breaks for you. I’m sure this little angel has only love and gratitude for your kindness. Their experience is much different than ours and while we blame ourselves, they usually do not. I will hold a sacred space for your healing and may you find the peace you need to move forward through this difficult time.

  56. Don Naffziger says:

    I adopted my two sister cats Quantity and Boots in 1976 from my Driver’s Training instructor at school. About a year or two later I was living with my mother and for some reason early in the morning I went down to my car in my mother’s apartment parking lot and I took QUANTITY with me. While I was looking in my car for something I looked over to see where QUANTITY was and saw that she was in the the street smelling something and I went to get her and a car came so fast and ran right over her and I watched her flop around a couple of times before she died and I was devastated, I ran upstairs to my mother balling and told her what happened and we went down and my mother picked her up and she was started over to the dumpster and was going to toss her in the garbage and I screamed no at her and we put her in the trunk of my car and I told my mother I was going to take her to my grandmother’s house and bury her. I have never forgiven myself for that and sometimes at night I would ask her to please forgive me and I cried. I’m 61 years old now and it still hurts. You know Grazee my cat that passed away horribly, she came to me 2 months to the date of her passing to let me know she’s okay and not to be sad. She’s so beautiful in her new spirit form, a white glowing little orb. I believe that she found a way to do that because I really didn’t think that I could live without her and I was thinking about suicide. How do you like that for a real Angel Cat? That was the best day of my life! Thank you

    • Karen Anderson says:

      That must be horrifying and I am so sorry you had to experience that. Something similar happened to me as a child. I carried that with me for decades. I was finally able to reconnect with that kitty that I saw get hit by a car. Those messages healed my broken heart. I’m sure Quantity would want the same for you. To let you know that all is well and their experience is not like what we think. It doesn’t take away those images we reply in our minds but it can soften those emotions. Your Grazee is one special kitty. How did you come up with that name, Grazee? I think it is beautiful.

  57. Brian says:

    We lost our 8.5 year old dog, Lacey, to liver failure brought on from an unknown cause on October 10th. Yesterday, we learned from the autopsy that her liver was necrotic and that is why her liver numbers were going up Friday -> Sunday, when we finally put her down. We spent that entire weekend not knowing what was going on with our pup and moved from Purdue’s local emergency clinic to their main clinic at the college in West Lafayette. I felt guilty leaving her, because I knew she had some separation anxiety (and I never boarded her for that reason). However, on Sunday, after her liver scan, there was so much downstream issues that we knew we were making the right choice. I felt like we experienced one of those “healing crises” – as she perked up slightly as she saw my wife and I (and even tried to get up from the cart that they wheeled her in on). We stayed with her, pet her, and said our goodbyes. I hope she knows that we did that right thing and I feel so bad for what happened to her (and how she spent the last days of her young life). I miss her immensely and notice her absence. I feel like the other day, her cat brother Jack, was starting to feel a bit down, even with us playing with him. Right now, we are still trying to find the cause and as of yesterday, Purdue indicated that it was a toxin. She was so good, she never got into anything, and I was so careful with her – and I couldn’t help but think that I so blatantly missed something. It’s like I want something to blame (that’s not myself). We are still waiting on the pathology report, which will read us to a toxicology report. The tests also showed negative for leptospirosis, cancers, and an infectious disease. Unfortunately, each time, this rips the wound open again, but also brings us a bit closer to closure.
    My wife commented the other day that why should we bring another dog in the house if we couldn’t care for the one we had.
    Everyone is just so sad – it impacted my parents, my wife’s parents, my wife’s sister, us. Each day gets better – and I’m trying to release the guilt. I can appreciate it being an unfortunate circumstance.
    I knew that it would hurt, but I never thought that it would hurt this much. I feel so numb. Lacey was such a nice girl. Every dog had their flaws, but she barely gave us any trouble, and she just wanted to be with us. She didn’t care what it was. I’m going to miss her tremendously and I want to focus on the good 8.5 years she had, instead of the fixation of the last couple days of her life.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      Brian, I am so very sorry to hear of the devastating loss of your angel, Lacey. It is overwhelmingly devastating to lose someone you love so much. It sounds like you did the very best for her and I’m sure that is all that matters to her. The love shared supersedes every negative moment and they rarely mention those moments. I hope the test results bring peace of mind and closure to your broken heart. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to guide you through the pain. There is so much you will discover about their experience to help you heal. I would also like to invite you to opt in as a VIP so I can continue to provide you with the loving support you deserve. Thank you for sharing your experience and I’m so glad you were guided to me. Sending love and healing

  58. Kylie says:

    It is now two months since my beautiful little Daisy died. The pain isn’t getting any easier and I cannot let go of the guilt. The truth is that I don’t want to let go of the guilt because why should I feel ok when she is dead? Why should I be allowed to laugh and smile and enjoy life when hers was taken because of me? I have had a message from a medium who says she is in a happy place with my dad which is some comfort. I am continually reading and watching things about life after death trying to believe that I will see her again, but what if she doesn’t want to see me? I am trying to believe that everything happens for a reason, but although I am so grateful that I was able to know her, I cannot see what good Daisy’s death has done for anyone. I lie in bed at night thinking of her, apologising to her and praying that she will come to me in my dreams, but this has only happened twice. I got to hug her and say I was sorry. I miss her so much and everywhere I look in the house and garden reminds me of her. I try to think of all the happy memories, but they are just so painful as I know that they will never happen again because we caused her death. I see daisies everywhere and I try to think of them as messages from her, but why would they be? Why would she want to send me messages when she is dead because of me? I don’t feel that I can ever forgive myself. I am so sorry Daisy, I love you so much and never wanted to cause you any pain.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Daisy. My heart breaks for you. I cannot imagine the pain and devastation you feel for her passing. Your grief is a reflection of the love you share. It will hurt and it will be painful and no one can diminish that pain any more than one could diminish the love you feel for her. Blaming yourself is normal and common. I’ve done it many times. It is part of our experience as we move through the emotional roller coaster of grief. You may not be ready to move forward into healing. That’s okay. Honor where you are on your path. If you have been fortunate enough to receive two dream visitations that is more than most people experience. If it were me I would be overjoyed and thankful for those visits. Invite her to visit again and know that some will and some won’t. Judging her feelings about you based on dream visits can create turmoil and make it harder for her to connect with you. Daisy would likely not mention anything other than the love she feels for you. Her experience is much different than what you may perceive. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you understand more about what happens on the Other Side. I’m sure she wants you to heal as soon as you are ready. I invite you to opt in as a VIP so I can provide the loving support you deserve during this difficult time. Sending love and healing…

  59. Damian says:

    “Did you intentionally set the stage for events to happen as they did?
    Did you do everything in your power to end your pet’s life?”
    “If the answer is no then you are not responsible for their death.”
    What if the answer to these questions is “I don’t know”? I decided to put him down because he couldn’t stand up and I thought that he suffered. I feel like I just gave up on him. A week before we put him down, my father asked me if I take him to a vet so he can get another injection for a disease he had, but I refused because it barely helped for a day.
    I am just not sure if I refused intentionally.
    Two days ago my sister told me about this neurologist vet, who served some 100 kilometers from my town, who treated dogs with similar diseases, and I have doubts again.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. It is an impossible decision and one we must make for their highest and best good. We do the best we can with the information we have at that time. Hindsight, doubts, remorse, our own fears, and insecurities all play a role. It sounds like you made the best choice based on what happened. It is hard not to second guess decisions such as this one but I believe your heart meant no harm. Sending love and healing.

  60. Amme says:

    My 16 year old cat died a few days ago and I am consumed with so much guilt and regret. She had hypothydroism for about a year and I blame myself not being dilligent enough with her medication, vet visits, acting upon signs I noticed etc. I believe that I could have prolonged her life if I had taken more care. The same day she died I saw her in the early afternoon and gave her food and water, I noticed she was drinking a lot of water. I was cooking and she sat beside me, nothing unusual and I went about my day. My dad let her inside the house at around 5pm that day and said she ate and then went under the table to sleep as usual, he checked on her about 4-5 hours later and she was lying there cold and rigid. One of my huge regrets is that I didn’t stroke her or cuddle her that day, I just focused on my own activities and didn’t stop to stroke her which I feel awful about. I loved my cat more than anything and your words did resonate with me a lot and I realise that I would never do anything to intentionally harm her. However the guilt of not stroking or cuddling her on her final day weighs upon me so heavily.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss and that things did not go as you would have liked. I think I would feel exactly the same way. That part hurts so much as you wish you could go back in time and make different choices. As much as we would like to be a part of their final moments and their transition out of their body that is not always what the animals want. It is far more common for them to go off by themselves when their time comes. It is a human concept to gather around someone who is taking their final breaths. Animals may prefer to be alone. As hard as it is perhaps you can think about this. If she wanted you to be with her she would have made a sound or come to you. Maybe this is exactly what she wanted. It is just her natural preference and it is not a reflection of being a bad pet parent at all. I’ll bet she wouldn’t even mention her final moments and would focus more on the 16 years you shared together. I invite you to opt in on the HOME page as a VIP member so I can continue to provide the loving support you deserve and I hope you have my books, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals and Hear All Creatures to help ease your pain. If you have them may each chapter bring healing closer to your broken heart.

  61. christine kisso says:

    the only part that stood out in the whole article was
    I deserve love

    • Karen Anderson says:

      You deserve love
      You deserve joy
      You deserve happiness
      You deserve to live without guilt or blame.
      Your angel will always be near.
      Sending love and healing

  62. Neil says:

    Hi, just lost Merlin my beautiful black cat. He was killed by a car 2 days ago. He unusually wanted to go out in the afternoon.
    Someone took him to the local vet but the vet was at another practice. I was called after Merlin’s chip was read and I rushed to be by his side. The nurse gave him pain relief and oxygen I was asked whether I wanted to relieve his discomfort completely but I wanted him to possibly have some chance with my own vet 15 minutes away down the motorway so I took him there but he was dead on arrival. Reading your guidance about not letting ego take over and forgiving myself for letting Merlin our in the busier daytime has really helped me but I miss him so much.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. I cannot imagine how devastated you must be. We do our best and sadly our pets make decisions that are out of our control. It is so painful and easy to blame ourselves but I’m sure you let him out never thinking any harm would come to him. Please be sure to Opt in on my home page if you haven’t yet done so. I’ll continue to provide you with the loving support you deserve during this difficult time. Sending love and healing to you.

  63. Nela says:

    I lost my angel bunny on 12/18/21. The previous day, I made arrangements to go on one day trip to a different city. On the morning of my travelling, I went to check her one last time before I left the house and she seemed as happy and healthy as ever. I left her with my mother and I knew she would take good care of her. That night before I went to sleep, my mother called my on video and as soon as I saw her I knew she wasn’t okay, but I didn’t know why and I couldn’t go back home since it was very late. Because she didn’t show any sign of illness I didn’t want to panic and told her to give her some water and hay and to call me in the morning. At around 5 am my phone rang and my heart sank, I knew something was wrong. My angel had passed away.
    I can’t stop blaming myself ever since, I should have known that something was wrong, I should have stayed by her side. I feel like I let her down. I keep asking her to forgive me because I would never abandon her intentionally. I have many questions in my head as to why did she die when I wasn’t home and why I didn’t notice any symptoms. All I want is to see her one more time and tell her that she meant everything to me. I am forever grateful because she changed me for better and gave me her unconditional love.
    I miss her so much. Rest in peace my angel. I will love you until the end of time.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel. It is devastating to lose someone you love so much. Her passing without you near is just another painful blow to your broken heart. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you understand what happens when things don’t go as you would have hoped. There is always a reason and even though we think we have control over these moments there are times when it is not up to us to determine how and when our beloved pets make their transition. Some animals prefer to leave their body when the pet parent is away to spare them the pain. Death is not a pretty sight and many times animals have told me they waited until their human was away. Trust that what happened was meant to be and if you were supposed to be with her then that would have happened. I hope you will opt in as a VIP on my HOME page so I can continue to provide you with the loving support you deserve. Sending love and healing…

  64. Dena says:

    Thank you so much for being there. I am utterly devastated right now at the sudden loss yesterday morning of my beautiful, treasured, much loved cocker spaniel Rosie. She was/is my right arm and I am so lost without her. She was 12 and lost her life in just 48 hours from an aggressive uterine infection. I feel so bad that I didn’t get her spayed as a puppy, that I didn’t realise how ill she was, that I didn’t get her to the vet fast enough, that I didn’t read the signs of serious illness until it was too late, that she was in terrible pain in those last hours. How could I not see what was happening? How did I not realise the pain she was in? How on earth did I manage to mistake a fatal uterine infection for a tummy upset that I thought would right itself in 24-48 hours? I thought she was ill from eating too much Christmas Day dinner. If I had got her to the vet sooner, there’s a chance she might have survived. I feel so terrible, that I killed her and let her down.
    We had twelve and a half wonderful years together and I still have her twin sister, who I know I must somehow be strong for. They’ve never been apart before and it’ll be tough for her too. I must support her sister, so I’m trying to take in your words, but it’s so hard at the moment.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so very sorry for the loss of your angel, Rosie. It is devastating to lose someone you love so much. I have felt the same way when something like this happened to me. I felt as though I was responsible for my angel’s death. What I have learned is this…Even if you had caught it sooner there would likely have been something else that happened that was out of your control. I write about this in my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. I hope you have a copy. I’m sure you have been a very good mom and your intention was to just get her through a tummy upset. Without advanced medical training it may have been difficult to diagnose that she was in danger. I have blamed myself too, which is why I wrote this blog. Yes, it feels like we let them down. It feels horrible but the animals tell me that we are no more responsible for their death than we are for their birth. Had you gotten up that day and said, ‘I’m going to end her life today’ and then set about doing so….then Yes, you are responsible. Making the decisions you made, doing the best you could in that moment, is being a good pet parent. We don’t always know they are in danger as they are masters at hiding things. I hope you get a copy of my book and opt in on my HOME page so I can continue to provide you with the loving support you deserve. Sending love and healing

  65. Catherine says:

    Thank you giving grieving pet parents a platform to share their hurt and pain after a loss of a fur baby. I’m completely heartbroken after losing my beloved dog Skyy so tragically to a hit and run. I blame myself everyday after it happened on 12/29/21. I let her go outside to potty and and allowed her to stay outside longer than expected and she ended up being ran over by a vehicle. I know I didn’t cause her death or put her in front of the vehicle but I feel like I failed her as her owner. Skyy was a miracle puppy when I first received her; defeating all odds and making it to see 12 months and now this. It doesn’t ease the pain any less because I was responsible for taking care of her and she ended up dying in my care. I miss her so much!!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear of the tragic accident and the loss of your angel, Skyy. It is devastating when we feel like we made decisions that led up to their passing. I’ve done it myself and it is excruciatingly painful. I can tell you that in all the sessions I have conducted over the last 25 years, not one animal shared that their human caused their death. Even in extreme abuse cases. They do not see things from the same perspective. Only humans focus that blame on ourselves. It is so hard to move through that pain so I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you on your journey. I’m sure your beloved Skyy is right there with you and holds only love in her heart for you. Please be sure to opt-in on my Home page as a VIP if you haven’t already done so. You’ll receive the ongoing love and support you deserve. Sending love and healing…

  66. Kenya Leach says:

    Sending my condolences to everyone on this blog. This is my first post. We lost my Sweet Baby Girl, “Autumn” on 12/30/21. Autumn was 12 and unable to climb our stairs. My hubby and I sacrificed as her parents to take her up & down our stairs 2 to 3 times a day if not more daily. It was my fault. My spouse reported she had not ate all day and I found feces on the floor upstairs on the carpet. I took her out one last time for the night. I picked her up fine but attempted to change my holding position quickly and she slipped out of my hands, hitting her head/neck on the counter and fell on the floor with my hands attempting to scramble to catch her. I knew it was not good & began to scream for my hubby and asking my son to stay upstairs. Autumn passed away quickly with me rubbing her, pleading that it was an accident and I am so Sorry. If I would have just held her in the one secure positions. I know she had health issues that had and had not been diagnosed. I am thankful that she did not suffering long and know she’s in Heaven with no more pain or sickness,, yet I am sad that I caused her to transition from an unintentional, yet careless stupid action. Father’s Will we have a 2nd child on the way so tending to my family and her health decline would have been hard. I know our Father knew what was going to occur on 12/31/21 it’s just hard knowing I was responsible as her advocate, Owner and person who Truly Loved her.. Autumn you will always be in our hearts & my 1st & only Baby Girl.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your angel, Autumn. It is so hard to lose someone you love and when accidents happen it seems to magnify the pain. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you through your loss. I’m sure she holds only love in her heart for you. Sending love and healing to you and your family

  67. Katie says:

    Hi my chihuahua Shawn passed away on 1/14/22 and I feel so much guilt as he got forgotten outside in the cold .. he was 16 years old and usually comes to the door and barks and won’t let you forget him. This time he didn’t and I remember I didn’t see him anywhere and thought he had come inside so I left for work.. and I feel like when I found him later lying in some leaves by the house I had caused his death. It was immense guilt that he could of died of freezing .. even though I did not mean to cause it and brought him in and did cpr for an hour before driving him to an emergency vet 2 h away I can’t shake that if I had just checked for him and found him I could of either saved him or known if he passed away prior and that’s why he didn’t come to the door. Katie.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your angel, Shawn. There are few words to ease your pain so please accept my heartfelt condolences. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you through this difficult time. It is impossible to not blame ourselves when things like this happen. I’m so glad you were guided to me and I invite you to opt-in on my HOME page to receive the ongoing love and support you deserve. Sending love and healing

  68. Fran says:

    I came across your page last night after crying with my daughter about the loss of our 9 year old Yorkie Zoey on 12/31/21. Zoey was my daughter’s ESA since my 18 year old has a chronic medical condition. I was finally coming to terms with and letting go of any guilt I felt for Zoey’s passing, but then my daughter told me she felt guilty (although I never told my daughter about my own guilt..she was guilty for the same reasons). I gave my daughter the reassurance everyone gave me about not being responsible and about hindsight and doing the best we can in the moment. I really hope I helped her feel better and try to move on, but I feel like I’m back to square 1 with my own guilt. We had taken Zoey to Florida to visit family for 2 weeks. Zoey had a lot of different health issues over the past 3 years..Addisons, GI issues (probable PLE) and oral tumor that spread to behind her eyes (she was only given 2-4 months to live, but luckily was had her for a year more..and it should have been longer if what I’m about to share didn’t happen!). She also “honked” a lot that was likely due to a collapsing trachea, but none of the vets seemed too concerned as it was a common thing in although the honking and her snoring were concerns sometimes, we did not worry too much about it. When we wanted to see our family in Florida the vet advised to do what would give her the least amount of stress..and we knew that meant taking her with us. We had always travelled with Zoey, but I was very nervous this time..and she did better than expected on the plane. We had a great week over Christmas and she seemed to be doing so well with family and other dogs she met. On 12/29 we went to visit another family member for a week, and Zoey was having a blast getting to know the house. There were younger people in this house and we kept her outside with us while we played the next day on 12/30, she chased lizards and we had a great day. The weather was warm, but not too hot and Zoey seemed to be doing good..although she probably had more activity than she’d had in a while. She was always hungry due to her many issues and being on steroids..after coming in for the day she wanted to eat. Even though I thought it was a little earlier than usual for her dinner I fed her at 6. Soon after she finished eating she was kind of coughing..although she did cough and honk from time to time for different reasons It just seemed odd and like it was different this time.I thought she may have irritated her throat while eating, or maybe was choking on a piece of food . I always worried about Zoey..sometimes overly and I knew it so I just figured this was one of those times and she’d be ok and it was just her regular coughing. About an hour later we were figuring what we should do for dinner and decided to go out (instead of ordering in). I was a bit concerned leaving Zoey in a strange house alone and she was still coughing some. Me and my daughter gave Zoey kisses and assurance, and we went out. We were gone for 2 hours and when we came back Zoey was more violently coughing. We tried to calm her, but she was visibly uncomfortable and in distress..she looked at me with those eyes and was asking for heart was breaking for her. Within an hour we were in our way to a 24 hour emergency vet where they grabbed her out of my arms and out her immediately in an oxygen chamber. They suspected it was likely a collapsed trachea blocking the flow of oxygen. Her gums were blue, but with the oxygen was was doing somewhat better and color was coming back although the medications they were giving were not calming her down. They wanted to get her stable enough for an X-ray to confirm their suspicions and to see if anything else was going on. We opted to keep her there for 12 hours with the hope that they could stabilize her and get her under control on oral medication and figure out the best intervention. Once we were back home we got a call within the hour telling us that Zoey vomited and they fear that she may have aspirated because she was in as much distress and her gums were blue again even with the help of oxygen. The vet told me that this would be the time she would think about putting Zoey down since even if they could stabilize her the chances of recovery were slim and that she was in distress. I was crushed. We went back, and after seeing how she was still gasping for air we made the decision to put her to sleep. I think Zoey was happy to see us..and although she was frightened about what was going on in her body making her gasp for air, she was not afraid when we were letting her go. We feel so guilty for leaving her to go out to eat. We are tearing ourselves apart thinking things may have been different if we stayed home that night and didn’t leave her in a strange house alone. Maybe she got so worked up being alone it exacerbated what was already going on. I thought about staying with her, but I just thought she’d relax some more when we left. I don’t know what I was thinking..she was a dog who had some separation anxiety and was in a new place for only 24 hours. I worried about her while we were at dinner and couldn’t wait to get why did I go at all? I never suspected she would end up as serious as she was and never imagined she’d die early the next morning..but still IF I’d only made a different choice she may have had a chance..maybe none of this would have happened or maybe we’d notice the distress sooner and taken her to vet sooner and it would have been manageable. All this hangs over my head. I talked myself out of the guilt not too long ago, but when my daughter told me she felt guilty for the same reasons it brought it all back. Knowing I could have spared my daughter the loss of her ESA so soon just kills me..and my own loss of Zoey is devastating on a personal level. I wish I knew that nothing I did differently would have made a difference in the outcome. I think about a spending the day active with her and not doing more about her honking and trachea long ago before it just ended her life..but those things don’t haunt me because I just didn’t know they could hurt her like they did and I’m at peace with that. But leaving her that night was in my control and I failed. How can we ever know if our one misstep cost our Zoey her life? Was she suffering the entire 2 hours we were gone? I want someone to tell me me that staying home would not have changed a thing..I feel if I knew that I could rest. I love Zoey, but feel most guilty that I could hade spared my daughter the pain of the sudden and tragic way Zoey died and having to come home from our family vacation without our dog. I knew Zoey was weakening even though outwardly she seemed ok most days..her death was going to happen sooner than we wanted..just not like this. Any words of comfort, forgiveness and understanding would sure help me right now. Thank you.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Zoey. There are few words to ease your pain or make your journey through grief any easier. I will recommend my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals to help you through this difficult time.
      It is hard not to blame yourself or hold yourself responsible when things did not go well. I do it myself. We are human, after all, and they are our fur ‘kids’ so to speak and we feel that strong sense of responsibility for them even after they are gone.
      What I can share is also in my book. After 22,000 pet communication sessions over the last 25 years, I have never had a single message come through that pointed blame at the pet’s human caretaker for how their life ended.
      Even in the worse cases of abuse where the human was obviously responsible, the animals just don’t see it that way.
      The animals focus on the love, the beautiful life they shared, and all the wonderful memories you created.
      As you begin each day, make a promise to Zoey you will celebrate her life and make it more important than her death. Honor how she lived not how she died. Take your first few steps toward healing and allow her beautiful light to shine down upon you and heal the broken pieces of your heart.
      How lucky she is to have you. How lucky you are to have her in your life. Sending love and healing…

  69. Angela Maxwell says:

    I feel guilty as I am thinking most of the latest cat friend to die is in my thoughts the most strongly and I am getting loads of white feathers and cat doors opening and closing as though he, Jake Blues is coming in and out as he used to do. BTW the cat doors work on microchips so only work for programmed cats, and when we look there is no cat visible at or near the cat doors so pretty sure it is Jake &/or his earlier departed brother Elwood Blues visiting us. How can I ensure that all the cats I have ever loved know I would like to connect with them? I think Whiskers sent the Whisker I found not long after I was thinking of her and how she used to wait for me every day at the top of the green lane for me when I was aged 5 walking home from primary school. Could the fact that the cat doors are being used so much be some or all of the other cats I have had as friends be visiting me even though I have moved house countless times?

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I’m so sorry for all of your losses. I have no doubt their spirit is with you and they are letting you know they are near by opening doors. Be excited when that happens and let them know you got the message. Invite them to do it again if you enjoy that. Your beloved angels know how much you love them. A simple invitation, calling to them by name, and inviting them to visit is all you need. Sending love and healing

  70. Piya Gupta says:

    Hi, In my home, my rabbit gave birth to her kids and me n my family was taking care of them. It is cold here and we were doing everything we can do but suddenly my 2 rabbits died and we still are in a dilemma of being them dead. But it seems like whatever it is, that was my mistake I could take care of them more perfectly. After reading your article it gave me some positiveness but i am still upset from me. In India, they say it is our sin when somebody u live with dies.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear of the loss of your little bunnies. I can’t imagine how devastated you must be. It is common to feel responsible for them as we are their caretakers. But I have found that sometimes no matter what we do it just wasn’t meant to be. What happens in nature is not up to us. We do the best we can and still it may not end up as we had hoped. I’m sure you had the best of intentions for those little bunnies and that is all that matters. I hope you have my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals, to help you through this difficult time. Also, please opt in on my HOME page so you can receive ongoing love and support. Sending love and healing.

  71. Marianne says:

    I am currently dealing with the guilt and the sadness but from a different perspective, I am a nurse and yesterday I lost a pet that was going to have a dental cleaning. Everything was standard, he had propofol, not all the dosage, just enough to relax and incubate, as soon as propofol was given he turned blue, I intubated, oxygen, he started moving, I gave more propofol so the tube wouldn’t come out, sevo, oxygen and no response, the downward spiral started, 2 Dr’s 3 nurses, and he passed right in front of our eyes, he never woke up and I can’t sleep I can’t think clearly, I’m just going Ober and over again what would I do differently, can’t deal with the memory of the the owners pain , crying and yelling with him in their arms. It’s a nightmare

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear this. I cannot imagine how devastated you must be. First, let me say thank you for being on the front lines and helping animals. In doing so, you also put yourself first in line for the heartbreak of losing a patient. It is so hard not to blame ourselves or question every decision when something like this happens. It shows your compassion, your kindness, and how you genuinely care about your patients. You are the exact person I would want to care for my pets in surgery. There are some things we may never understand. Why this angel left in your presence is a mystery but I find comfort in knowing he felt safe with you. Perhaps someday you’ll meet up again and know why things happened. Until then, trust that you set out to care for your patient the best you could and some things are just not in your control. My book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals can shed light on this and the ‘exit points’ in an animal’s life. I hope you get a copy to help you during this difficult time. Holding a sacred space for your healing

  72. Natali says:

    Thank you so much, it’s been hard, specially because I don’t feel like talking about it, barely expressed a little with the Dr who lived that moment also, out of work nobody knows I guess I’m still blaming myself and the same time trying my best to be compassionate with myself. But we’ll, thank you again. I’ll look for your book

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you. Holding a sacred space for you in my heart. Yes, please my book is on AMAZON, Audible or purchase it on my site. Sending love

  73. Rebecca Watts says:

    My beloved Pug Rocky passed away two days ago. He was 13, his birthday is next month. It happened so fast and he was in ICU for two days. The ultrasound showed his gall bladder was
    very inflamed and had impacted his pancreas and liver. He also had a uti that had gone into his kidneys. Even though I have other pets, Rocky was MY dog and was by my side every minute we were at home together. I know it just happened but I’m not sure I can go on living without him. The pain is so great I feel like I would rather not stay here without him. He was my everything. My rational mind knows he had a full wonderful life but somehow my heart thought our time together would never end. He was in pain and now he isn’t but my heart is shattered and I don’t know how to feel better. I’m not going to harm myself. I just can’t see how my life will go forward without him. I haven’t even told everyone. It’s too unreal and painful for me to talk about it. Everywhere I go here at home I look for him, then it hits me that he isn’t coming back. I keep reliving that realization that he is gone. Over and over. What a nightmare this is.
    Thank you for giving me this place to begin to heal.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. It is utterly devastating to lose someone you love so much. I hope you have loving support from family and friends. If not, please be sure you opt into my VIP family so I can help you through this difficult time. Just go to the HOME page . I can’t imagine how hard it must be for you to move through each day. My books can also help you so please order them if you haven’t already done so. Please know that you found a safe place to share your thoughts and if you need more help please reach out to a professional grief counselor to guide you. Your angel Rocky will always be with you as there is nowhere else he would rather be.

  74. Amy Johnson says:

    My name is Amy and I’m still struggling with the loss of my Yorkie Roxie. She was 13 years old and passed away last August. Her death was tragic. She was struggling to breathe and died from suffocation. My husband and I tried everything to save her, but she died in my husband’s arms. I have really struggled with her passing, blaming myself. I feel that I dropped something on the floor and she ingested it and the toxicity killed her. I’ll never really know what caused her death because she also had health issues including epilepsy, but the fact I was eating a bag of mixed nuts, I’m so worried I dropped one and that’s what caused this horrible event. How do I move on and forgive myself? I miss her so much my heart literally hurts. She was my best friend & baby, and of course I would never intentionally hurt her. I just pray she didn’t suffer too long and is now at peace free from all her pain. I also wish she would visit me in my dreams to let me know she’s okay, that I love her and that I will see her again someday. 💔🌈🐾🙏🏼

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry to hear about the loss of your angel, Roxie. I can’t imagine how devastated you must be. It is natural to blame yourself for all the things you did or didn’t do.
      But, as you said yourself, you would never intentionally harm her and she knows that. She knows only love with you. That is what matters. Not what happened to her. That is where you need to put your focus and energy…into all she was for you….all she brought to your life…and how much that special connection you had will live for eternity. Shifting your focus is the first step. I also recommend my books to help you during this difficult time if you haven’t already read them. Also, please opt in on my Home page for ongoing support and insight to help you move forward into healing. You must take those first few steps and move away from the tragedy. It is what you angel would want. She wants you to be happy and filled with love when you think of her not filled with heartache and blame. Sending love and healing

  75. Jeanine says:

    I love your website, your story and your love for animals. Your wise, insightful responses to your readers sharing their losses is heartfelt and helpful. I read your book, “The Afterlife of Animals last year, unaware that I would be going through the same now; it hurts and I loved and still love my whippet, Coco Chanel. Your words are a source of such comfort that ai re-read your book often. I have personal experience, which has been a tranquilizer for my intense grief. Thank God for you!!

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Coco Chanel. I’m sure she is so happy that you are on your healing path. I’m honored to be a part of your journey with my books and helping find a safe place to grieve and grow. I appreciate your kindness more than you know. Thank you for shining your beautiful light into my life. Sending love and healing

  76. Angie says:

    I just wanted to say thank you so much for this article, This helped me a lot.
    My cat passed away last night and I have never felt so devastated before. She was my best friend for several years but 3 months ago I traveled abroad to study, so my grandma was taking care of her in my home country. I never knew that she got sick with anemia and leukemia and she was going through all that pain. I blamed myself for leaving my cat and for not being there, and I know my family tried everything to save her but I blamed them too. I couldn’t do anything or say goodbye. Those were my thoughts all night and I wish things were different.
    Now I just want to think how much I love her, I smile for all our memories together and I’m glad she’s not suffering anymore.
    This is going to be a long journey.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. It is especially hard when we aren’t there for them when they go. My heart breaks for you. The one thing I am sure of is that your sweet kitty does not see things in the same light as you do. She will know only your love and kindness and the special memories you shared. I hope you have my books to help guide you and also be sure to opt in on my HOME page if you haven’t already done so for ongoing support that you deserve. Sending love and healing…

  77. Andrew Cottonwood says:

    Karen, thank you for being here and providing this service.

    It’s been 48 hours since my 3 year old pup Winnie was struck and killed by a car.
    She hated harnesses and wouldn’t walk with them. But she sometimes backed out of her collar.
    We were on a sidewalk and she must have felt overwhelmed. She backed out and ran a few feet into the street between two parked cars and was hit. I think she died instantly. I picked her up and held her as she bled out of her nose and ears. I’m sorry for sharing that detail. But that horrible scene is on rotation in my minds eye.

    As you mention in the article above, I keep analyzing the many things I could have done to avoid this. I could have left her in the car. I could have picked her up as we approached the busy restaurant we were heading too. I could have remembered that she backs out of collars sometimes or that we usually don’t find ourselves walking on a city sidewalk.

    But this accident happened, and we were on our way to my 53rd birthday party at the time with family.

    Winnie was my little partner. My wife and I are so sad. I’ve never had a small dog before. The grief and guilt are devastating.
    I’ve lost dogs to sudden illness, long term illness, a cat hit by a car, cats killed by dogs, and this time has been the worst. I am a canine massage therapist and have had the honor and grace to be present with client and friend’s dogs as they were eased into the afterlife. Your article is helping me today. Thank you! But it is waves of pain, as you know.

    I’ve used the services of an animal communicator many times in the past after I’ve lost my animals. Each time I come away with profound messages via the communicator. I look forward to next Tuesday and my phone call with another communicator. Maybe I’ll contact you too, and/or get your book. I’ve taken a few animal communication workshops and have an understanding of the morphic field, and the beauty of what you do in your craft. But I miss my Winnie, as I cry here now. I’m so sad and so sorry.

    Thank you for reading this long one.

    Peace to you and perseverance.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your precious angel. My heart goes out to you all. It is a terrible loop that plays over and over in our minds. I’ve done it many times. It is normal to question everything when something so tragic happens. There are few words to ease your pain but I am sure my books will help bring peace. With your experience in animal communication, you’ll find the stories enriching and uplifting. I hope you’ll opt-in as a VIP member on my HOME page so I may continue to provide you with the loving support you deserve. Thank you for your thoughtful comment and for reaching out to share your story. May your upcoming appointment bring beautiful messages of healing. Sending love and healing…

      • Andrew Cottonwood says:

        Thank you for your response. We just did order the “Amazing” book.

        • Karen Anderson says:

          Oh, I’m so happy to hear this…please circle back after you have read it. May each chapter bring healing to your heart.

  78. Karen says:

    Karen, thank you for this article, but what do you do when you honestly believe it is your fault? We adopted a dog on Saturday morning, were told he was good with all dogs; Sunday afternoon, before we were ready for a proper introduction period, my little old dog was bitten horribly by this new dog (long story – we knew better and tried to keep them separate but screwed up, 2 separate people thinking we were in different areas of the house). He is now in a lot of pain, and we are trying to nurse him through it, but I am afraid he is dying. We have returned the new dog. We feel horrible and are heartsick and blame ourselves completely. How do we get through this? We were already heartbroken because our 8-year-old Lab just died in February completely unexpectedly and very suddenly, from lymphosarcoma. We don’t know where to go from here.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your angel and now this new situation. I can’t imagine how devastated you must be. I have honestly felt it was my fault too. That is what we do. We blame ourselves for our decisions and for putting our beloved pets in harm’s way. The way to get through it is to be kind to yourselves. Realize that you did not set out to cause harm. Your pets know this and never blame you. Accidents happen. I wrote about this in my book, The Amazing Afterlife of Animals. I hope you have a copy. It will help you understand that animals see things in a different light than we do. Once you accept that you did not intend to cause harm you can move forward. Forgiveness is next. Forgive yourself. It isn’t easy but so necessary. We are all here to experience life and all the ups and downs that go along with it. Our pets are here for us too. To expand our hearts and souls and teach us valuable life lessons. I’m sure if you look back you will find that your hearts were in the right place. Intention is everything. Your heart was in the right place and things just didn’t go the way you wanted. I have been in that spot many times and it hurts. So give yourself time. Be patient and kind to yourself and to one another. It is no one’s fault. Just learn from this and as you go forward think of how you would do this differently in the future. I promise your pets do not hold you responsible. That is only in your mind. I’m so glad you are now part of my VIP family so I can continue to provide you with the loving support you deserve. Sending love and healing.

  79. Monica Siegle says:

    Hi Karen I found your book after doing some research. On March 28th I lost my Husband Jay, our two dogs Ike and Sammy and our four cats Abigail, Peanut, Tuffy, and Axel in a house fire. My husband tried to save them but lost his life. I carry so much guilt inside cause I couldn’t get them out. I hope and pray they did not suffer. I just need to know that they are with my husband and they are all with me now.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for your loss. Your pain must be overwhelming. Losing just one is devastating. I am so glad you have my book to help you during this difficult time. I would also like to invite you to opt-in as a VIP member on the HOME page so I can continue to provide you with the loving support you deserve. I can also share that what we make up in our minds is not necessarily what they experienced. The souls have shared many stories with me about their final moments and it is not what we imagine or have nightmares about. They will also try to connect with you to let you know they are near. Grief and trauma paralyze our senses and make it so hard to connect to our departed loved ones. It is the body’s way of protecting you. In time, when you are ready and emotionally balanced, you may want to find a practitioner to work with who can relay their messages. I’m sure they will be filled with only love, light, and happy memories. I hope you have a licensed therapist or counselor to guide you. Someone who specializes in grief counseling. Your loved ones are together and they will always be with you as there is nowhere else they would rather be. Trust that. Sending love and healing.

  80. Lenka says:


    my puppy Zoe died month ago. She was the most beautiful Cavalier King Charles. She was only two years old. Such a character. So cheeky, sweet, loving, kind, food-loving and overall amazing soul. Zoe loved water so much that every time we went somewhere where there was even a little stream she run towards it, occasionally jumped into the river (omg!) and enjoy the sea as well. I was planning for ages to bring her to the lake near where my parents live, so we can fool around in the water together. We did that and we were mostly playing by the shore. After couple of hours we went to chill on the blanket when I’ve noticed that she is drooling a lot and looks disoriented. Long story short.. she died 4 hours after that, it was probably her heart. We took her to our family friend who works at the vet as a nurse because at first we didn’t think it’s so serious. I wish I took her to the real emergency vet. I failed her. I failed my little baby.
    When she died I screamed like I have never screamed before. I was in such a shock I couldn’t even cry cause I didn’t believe she is really gone. Since then I cried a lot and I can’t stop blaming myself. I feel like I should have done more, or not take her to the lake. I would do anything for her. I feel guilty when I laugh, when I forget her for a minute, when I watch something funny on TV. My life was evolving around her. Zoe was always next to me, like my little shadow, and got me through some tough times, but now I feel so lost and lonely. Sometimes I think I should be dead instead of her because she didn’t deserved this. Pure soul. My baby Zoe.

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your sweet girl, Zoe. You must be devastated. It is so hard not to blame yourself but I promise you that she does not hold you responsible for what happened. My new book, The Pet I Can’t Forget, goes into detail about blame, guilt and remorse. Please order a copy on Amazon. It has just been released and may not be out yet on all storefronts. Here is the Kindle and Kindle Unlimited link. – Your angel will always be by your side and wants you let go of anything that no longer serves you. All that matters is your love. The bonds of love never die. Sending love and healing…

  81. Tracy O'Sullivan-Sentch says:

    I am torturing myself with the what ifs. I went to the vets early in spent thousands and then helped her to cross over by putting her to sleep. Now I am upset that I over heated her trying to keep her warm. Rabbits don’t like heat but she was losing her body heat. I wish I had put her to sleep. Beating myself up

    • Karen Anderson says:

      I am so sorry for the loss of your precious rabbit. They have sensitive systems and I’m sure she knows you were doing everything you could to help her. I have also beaten myself up for decisions I made. It is hard not to. But consider where that came from…your heart. Click for my new book, The Pet I Can’t Forget. My books provide guidance, afterlife insights, and healing on your journey. Read Chapter 4: Blame, Forgiveness, & Guilt is written for you. You will discover how to use that energy in a positive way for both you and your angel.

  82. Stefanie says:

    Hello to all! We are not alone in the vicious blame cycle. Which is what I have thought and felt the past 2 months after losing my sweet Max. He had awful aggressive cancer that took him fast! He was a big soul in a little body.

    All your stories give me hope, hope to move through every emotional turn and that again we are not alone in how we feel, at this very moment someone else is going through it, and hopefully they end up here, and will like me discover…it’s going to be ok, maybe not today, but someday. By continuing to share experiences and feelings, we just might help the next person who finds these stories. God bless to all!

    • I am so sorry for the loss of your angel, Max. It is devastating to lose someone you love so much. My heart breaks for you. I’m so glad that I have been a positive part of your journey. I applaud you for moving forward and finding the hope and healing you deserve.

  83. Anna Maria Pizzini says:

    No I didn’t directly cause her death, but I heard she was making very strange sounds , unusual, and I didn’t go and check. Yes I am guilty and responsible, how is ok that I don’t even check what is happening when I hear crazy sounds?????? I was in the taxy taking her in the hospital but I didn’t check whats was actually going on . I could have saver her from choking 100% if I did check

    • I am so sorry. I can’t imagine how devastated you must be. Many of us have done something similar. It is the worst feeling to think they would still be here if only we made a different choice. I wrote about this in my books. We carry that pain far too long as our beloved companions see things differently than we do. I hope you have copies of my books to ease your pain. Sending love, hope, and healing

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