By Karin Baltzell, Ph.d
Dear Karin: My little Jack Russell was killed 5-5-03 & I feel it was my fault as every morning, 5am I would let her out with me to run back & forth to my daughters, who is 4 houses away. Only this morning she looked directly at me & ran the other way into the busy street....at that time I hurriedly ran into the house for her leash only to come out the door & see her lying dead in the street. There was not one mark on her but my vet said she was probably hit in the head. I had to call my doctor for mediation & yet today I'm still grieving & cannot get past--#1. seeing her look directly at me & #2. seeing her white hair blowing in the wind as she lay dead.
Please Help ASAP. Thank You
Dear Reader: Thank you for your confidence in writing to Beyond Indigo for help. I'm sure this is a very difficult time for you. You have the loss of your little Jack Russell, and the guilt over her death. Our condolences to you.
Those last images of our pet in our mind do seem to linger, which in one way is a nice thing, as it gives us a sense of remembrance for our pet. When your mind tends to linger over the unpleasant images, try to replace those with the happy image you have of your sweet pet as she lay sleeping at your feet, or when she was running between your house and your daughter's house. Make a conscious effort to do so, each time the unpleasant or guilty thought comes to your mind. It really works, but as with all efforts, it will take a little time, so be patient with yourself.
Difficult as it may seem to remember now, your dog had her own will and her own thoughts. All the days before the accident she did the same behavior. There would be no reason for you to know or expect that she would change that behavior, and instead, run in the street. Perhaps it was time for your dog to leave you, and she looked at you because she knew that, and was saying "Goodbye. Forgive me. I have to go."
Karin is a staff writer and editor for Beyond Indigo. She holds her Ph.D in Psychology.