Adopting a dog changes your life forever. Over the course of his life, your canine companion will leave paw prints all over your heart. You will make memories with him, and he will be there for you at times when you feel like no one else is. Dogs become our furry family members, and losing them is devastating. Like all the ones we love, it’s never easy saying goodbye to our canine companions. Sometimes it feels impossible to cope with the loss.
If someone has never owned a pet before, it’s likely that they won’t understand what you’re going through. These people may not be as sympathetic, as they don’t understand the attachment and bond that forms between a dog and his owner. Don’t let this upset you. Chances are, there will be many more people who will understand what you’re going through.
Talk to other pet parents who have been through the same situation. Leaning on someone who understands what you’re going through can make a world of difference. Grief is a long process, so don’t expect to feel better after only a few days. Everyone deals with grief differently, but it’s likely that you’ll be feeling the pain of your loss for a long time.
Sunday’s Recap: 7 Resources To Help You Deal With the Loss of A Pet
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1. Pet Loss Help
When a pet passes away, there is no “right way” to grieve. As I said, everyone deals with grief differently. Just because a friend or family member was able to adopt a new pet within days of losing their previous dog doesn’t mean you’ll feel comfortable enough to do the same.
Taking the time to properly mourn your loss and heal from it is the best thing you can do. If you try to fill the hole in your heart with a new pet too quickly it may reduce your ability to bond with your new fur baby. As this article from Pet Loss Help explains, everyone has a different grieving process and you need to do what feels right for you.
- Behavioral responses are widely varied and may include wanting to sleep with the departed companion’s toys or blankets, avoiding sleeping in the bed you shared with your pet, being unable to remove his possessions, continuing a routine as if your companion were still alive, a compulsion to memorialize your pet, or withdrawing from those who do not support your grief (or even those who do)…
2. The Humane Society of The United States
What you need to realize about your grief is that you don’t have to deal with it alone. Hopefully, you have a support system that will help you through this trying time. If you are feeling alone, The Humane Society has some great tips.
- While grief is a personal experience, you need not face your loss alone. Many forms of support are available, including pet-bereavement counseling services, pet-loss support hotlines, local or online pet-bereavement groups, books, videos, and magazine articles…
Many people who experience the death of a pet don’t understand why their emotions seem so scattered in the days and weeks following the tragedy. Of course you’ll be overcome with sadness, but you may also feel guilty or angry. It’s okay to feel this way.
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Pet-loss.net explains the emotions that you may feel and why it’s okay to feel this way. They also do a great job discussing why some of these feelings are unnecessary and may even make your grieving process more difficult. The key is to be honest with yourself and work through these emotions instead of bottling them up inside because you are ashamed or embarrassed.
- Different people experience grief in different ways. Besides your sorrow and loss, you may also experience the following emotions:
- Guilt may occur if you feel responsible for your pet’s death-the “if only I had been more careful” syndrome. It is pointless and often erroneous to burden yourself with guilt for the accident or illness that claimed your pet’s life, and only makes it more difficult to resolve your grief…