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Are You Punishing Yourself for Your Pet’s Death?

  •    September 12, 2019
  •    Karen Anderson

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 Anderson is the CEO and founder of Animal Communication Planet, an intuitive and spiritual growth center for psychic development. She is also an award-winning Afterlife and Pet Loss Specialist with over 24 years of experience helping clients struggling with pet loss. She offers coaching programs for Animal Communication for all levels.  Karen is an award-winning and #1 national and international bestselling author of ‘The Amazing Afterlife of Animals’ and ‘Hear All Creatures’. Karen’s VIP Members enjoy many perks including discounts and special offers. She also offers a free private Facebook practice group open to all levels called Animal Communication Planet. Karen and her husband reside on a 30-acre farm in the Inland Pacific Northwest with the animals they love.
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  1. 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

    1. 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. 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!

    1. 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.

  3. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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….❤️❤️❤️

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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!

    1. 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. 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.


    1. 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. 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!

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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……..

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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?

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

  24. 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❣️

    1. Jinger,
      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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

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

  30. 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…

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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…

    1. 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. 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. 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,


    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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 💕

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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

    1. 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. 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.

    1. 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. 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..😭

    1. 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. 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…

    1. 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. Hi,
    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?

    1. 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

    1. 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

  47. 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.

    1. 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

  48. 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.

    1. 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

  49. 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? 🙏😖

    1. 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…

  50. 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.

    1. 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

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