I'm very sorry, TTRP, can totally empathize... losing a loved pet is a cruel pain. I read your post earlier today but couldn't post for the crying - God, it hurts too much.
A year and a half ago, one of my sweet cats was killed in our own yard by the new neighbor's dog. It took me months trying to get over that horror. Then along came a little gray kitty who needed me, and evidently I needed her more. (We live in the country and have recieved many of our pets by them being abandoned here - I guess it looks like a good place to dump unwanted pets.) I thought, oh no - I'm not ready yet, still mourning my other cat... but the gray miss won my heart in an instant. I think she was an excellent 'therapy cat' who helped me so much in getting past the pain and I loved her through and through. I couldn't keep her inside like I wanted, though - she demanded to go out. But every morning she was present and ready for breakfast. I was always a nervous wreck until she returned, anxious because of the neighbor's dogs - now not one, but 6 dogs. I even printed them out the state laws prohibiting dog owners from leaving their dogs run 'at large'... they made a few half-assed efforts, not nearly enough. I complained to them so much it was about all I had to talk to them about.
So it's been 3 weeks since I last saw my beautiful gray cat, and I don't know what happened, but I know she's not coming back. I'm a basket case. I feel those dogs are to blame - no evidence, just a gut feeling - past behavior = future behavior. I've talked to the neighbors several times - next time their dogs are out of their yard I'm calling the sherrif. I can barely believe the hurt they've caused us because of their total lack of responsibility as pet owners.
I'm trying to concentrate on the good times I've had with my pets - the free-for-all love we shared and their cute antics - their love was a real blessing. I'm consoled a little that I know I gave them the best lives and they always knew how much I loved and cared for them. How I wish they could've grown old with me. At least a natural death from old age is a kinder type of cruel pain than having them ripped away without rhyme or reason. I feel... broken. It's not fair. It's a horrible, helpless, feeling of loss. I do wonder if the joy of their presence outweighs the pain of losing them. When I'm not so overly sad - months from now - I'll be better able to weigh the difference objectively. But right now I can't stop crying for long - poor husband feels so bad for me and offered to shoot all those dogs, lol. But that wouldn't bring my dear kitties back.
We need time to heal, TTRP - then, maybe a new pet. One doesn't replace another, just adds to the long list of those we've loved... and those who've loved us in such a wonderfully complete way.
I mourn with you - my heart goes out to you