My Pet Died In My Arms - Social Anxiety Forum
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post #1 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:16 AM Thread Starter
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My Pet Died In My Arms


It happened yesterday. I found him bloated with his eyes closed and his tongue sticking out but still alive. Deep inside I knew that he was dying and that he was not going to make it to the vet. Medical care at this point was futile. So I took him in my arms and tried to give him comfort. At one point I thought that he was gone but suddenly his lungs inflated and gasped for air as if responding to my voice calling his name. I would like to think of this as his last goodbye. He always responded to my voice and leaped into my arms... but alas that is not going to happen anymore .

I am distraught! I have lost my ability to cry but I can feel myself engulfed by sadness and a deep feeling of loss.

This is going to sound extremely stupid to most people. For it seems that humans have crafted a hierarchy of living organisms: some animals are important while others are not. Humans place a lot more value on dogs, cats, horses, monkeys and dolphins than on other species that are perceived as less cute or sentient... so go ahead and laugh at me if you want. But my feelings are sincere.

My Leon was a chameleon (panther), a cold blooded reptile. Most people would scoff and laugh at the idea of reptiles being able to form bonds with humans... but let me tell you this one did. I got him during a dark time in my life... just a few months after I was released from the psychiatric ward. I was still under heavy medication and feeling slow. Too slow in fact. I needed things to slow down. Leon moved at the same pace as me. He observed his environment and moved cautiously just like me. He didn't talk or make sounds, but chameleons change colors to reflect their emotions and mood (not to blend in with the environment as commonly believed). And in a way that is how I express my feelings. I don't express my inward thoughts verbally, but my feelings come out in more subtle ways that are quite apparent to those who observe. As egocentric and selfish as it may sound, I saw myself reflected in Leon. I don't think that this would been possible with a dog or a cat. Maybe I am cold blooded...who knows?

Leon helped me through a very dark time in my life, and God knows that I've still had plenty of problems ever since, but Leon was there to accompany me. And thanks to him I gained a sense of structure that I was seriously lacking. But most importantly I grew as a person and learned to appreciate "little things" that in other times I would have dismissed as trivial and unimportant.

So thank you Leon for all these years that we shared together! May you rest in peace.

"Existence well what does it matter?
I exist on the best terms I can
The past is now part of my future,
The present is well out of hand"

― Ian Curtis
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post #2 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 09:36 AM
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Sorry for your loss. Losing pets is just like losing family to me as well.
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post #3 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 10:00 AM
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Any pet that you have become attached to, it's going to hurt.

/WYSD
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post #4 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 10:02 AM
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Losing a pet is so hard! We had to put my dog down back in 2009. I still miss him. I still think about him a lot. He was so sweet. He was my best friend growing up.

Honestly, I'm happy to hear you were with him when it happened. When we put my dog down, I wanted to be w/ him when they did it, but my dad didn't want to, so they did it in the back.

I don't fault you at all for loving him so much because he was a lizard. He was different from a cat or dog, & that's what made him special.

The world is quiet here.
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post #5 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 10:05 AM
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That is rough. People don't understand that losing pets is hard too and also creates grief.

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post #6 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 11:59 AM
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Tears in my eyes. You don't sound stupid. I've seen a couple of videos that show lizards can express understanding toward us like a cat or dog.

It's good you were there with him at the end.

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post #7 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 12:43 PM
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That's horrible. Sorry to hear that.
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post #8 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 01:22 PM
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It sounds like Leon was very loved and lived a great life, thanks to you.
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post #9 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 02:11 PM
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It doesn't sound silly to me. I've never had that same kind of bond and we didn't have many pets when I was growing up either, but I like spiders because everyone hates them, and stopped eating fish for a long time because I had pet fish and most people don't care about fish.

Lucy's bitten
Neck is bleeding bad
The teeth have long departed
Yet the desire burns strong
On in desire for destruction
One on which she'll depend
One that ceases to deepen
Too near bitter end


Black through the mountains
She turns her loosening ring
Guardian angel sings
"I think you've lost your wings, but you're still yours
You're still yours, you're still yours"

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post #10 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 03:57 PM
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I'm sorry for your loss. My childhood friend was my pet cat. I mourned his death for years afterwards.

It is the light she longs to find,
When she delights in learning more.
Her world is learning; it defines
The destiny she’s reaching for

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post #11 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 05:01 PM
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I'm very, very sorry to hear that. One of my cats died in my arms. It's heartbreaking and still haunts me decades later. I know how painful it can be.

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post #12 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 05:10 PM
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Sorry to hear. Thank you for sharing also, I think reptiles and lizards understand the safety of their owner when they are held.

Don't let people treat you like dirt.
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post #13 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-15-2020, 06:52 PM
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I'm sorry to hear that, the loss of any pet is so difficult, regardless what kind of pet it is, there are those bonds we share with them. I hope the memories you had with him can tide you through, and maybe eventually you can get another pet.

Underneath the cold November sky, I wait for you... As the pages of my life roll by, I wait for you... I'm so desperate just to see your face, meet me in this broken place...

Be a little brave for a little bit of time.
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post #14 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 12:41 AM
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Sorry for read this. Condolences. My dog is in her senior years too. It always crosses my mind at how devastated I will be at well.

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post #15 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 01:49 AM
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My deepest condolence. I'm still crying when I think of my cat that died in 1997.

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post #16 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 06:08 AM
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I am really sorry to hear of the loss of your pet. I know that your colourful chameleon is in Heaven today. I hope that you feel better and know that you are not alone and no, you are not stupid at being sad because of the loss of your pet. You wrote this message in such a heartfelt way that I was nearly moved to tears. Feel better, sweetheart and cheer up, there will be new pets and new friends in your future! ❤❤❤ Let me know if you would ever like to talk.
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post #17 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 08:06 AM
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I'm glad you found a reflection in your pet chameleon. It's sad to see anything die. I've never owned a pet because I've never trusted myself to take care of one but I buy flowers from time to time and I know that something with life really brings out happiness in dark times. It must be so much more for an animal with a brain.

I've been to the psych ward 4 times in my life and I know that being diagnosed can make you feel subhuman at times.

I also understand what it's like to live a nonverbal life and hope people can take the time to dig through your body language to see how your feeling.

Just know that if you do not express your feelings with words, no one will ever know how you feel. People have a lot more on their hands than reading body language.

Words are absolutely necessary to express how you feel. You are not a chameleon. Perhaps this is a new stage in your recovery where you can reach out to other humans in the way you appreciated your chameleon. Know that humans out there care about how you feel and want you to feel good. Some humans will go out of their way just to make you feel better about yourself because it makes them feel better about themselves to have given you comfort.

If all hope fails. You can always trust the Lord. I know he can be a silent jerk, but he is always there for people who regard live for the people he loved: everyone.

Perhaps you can see reality in a now way. Know that you did a great thing for Leon, being his friend, feeding him, giving him companionship, identification, and love, and that he wants you to live on and be happy for all the good you did for him.

Thanks for taking care of Leon.

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post #18 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 02:04 PM
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I am so sorry to hear that, and rest in peace little Leon. It sounds like you gave him the best life he could ask for. Losing a pet is one of the worst things that can happen as they're like family, even more precious than family because they don't talk back and create grief. I still get sad when I think about my blessed tigger that died in 2012 <3


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post #19 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-16-2020, 02:22 PM
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Oh noooooo ;( I'm so sorry!
I've been in a similar situation, but I haven't read the whole death description because it reminds me of when my cat was dying. I feel like crying ;(

Also I think people think reptiles are indifferent cause they don't try to bond with them and as a result they don't bond. It's almost like with cats (except for cats being 2nd popular pets and furry and stuff). People think cats are there by themselves, they listen to stereotypes about cats ''owning'' you instead of you owning them like dogs so they treat them accordingly and they get the obvious result. And I don't think they're so much less expressive than dogs. You can read a lot of their body language and facial expressions if you make an effort to do so. I'm sure it's the same with other animals. I think I see myself in a turtle cause I had a dream about it and my therapist told me it could represent my schizoidness, some early childhood part of me so I understand you. In my teens people would mock me for being too slow and emotionless like a turtle.

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post #20 of 22 (permalink) Old 03-17-2020, 10:26 PM Thread Starter
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Thank you all for your support and words of comfort

"Existence well what does it matter?
I exist on the best terms I can
The past is now part of my future,
The present is well out of hand"

― Ian Curtis
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