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by Abigail Van Buren

Guilt Intensifies Grief Over Dog's Death

DEAR ABBY: I lost my schnauzer to diabetes five months ago. He was my best and, really, only friend. I can't get over the guilt for having to euthanize him. I hate myself. I have cried every day since because I feel like I let him down. I have never had to go through this before. It was so traumatic I just can't get over it. Why is this so hard? -- BEYOND GRIEF IN UTAH

DEAR BEYOND GRIEF: You have my sympathy. If your dog was suffering and your veterinarian told you the time had come for him to go, you did the right thing. Our beloved pets should run and play rather than suffer. This is so painful because you loved your cherished family member and feel you should have saved him, which, of course, was beyond your power.

Every pet owner faces what you are experiencing when they leave their pet at the Rainbow Bridge. In time, your pain should lessen. But if it persists to the point that it interferes with the rest of your life, consult your veterinarian about joining a grief support group.

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