Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Dealing with the Loss of Your Dog or Other Pet

Teddy ... 2003 - July 28, 2011
Anyone who's ever lost a beloved pet knows that the pain and grief can be overwhelming. And all too often, your friends or even family members don't seem to understand and may even belittle you for your feelings, or tell you to "just get over it.  It's just a dog" (or cat or bunny or any other critter).  But dealing with the loss of your pet is just as difficult as dealing with the loss of a human. Sometimes, it's even more difficult.  The depth of your grief for the animal you loved is real.  It is profound.  And it's normal.

Those of us who love our pets dearly often don't know how to deal with the loss.  Your employer may provide paid time off when a close human family member dies, and your friends and family members are quick to offer their love and support during your grief.  You can join a support group to talk about your feelings and there are counselors and doctors trained in helping you deal with such losses.

Brittany ... January 1989 - January 21, 2004
But when it comes to the death of your pet, you may feel completely alone and unable to cope. You're expected to go to work and to carry on with routine activities and responsibilities.  Too many people just don't get it.

I remember when I was very young ... only about 7-years-old ... my dad was waiting for me and my brother on the front step when we got home from school.  I could see he had been crying, which was the first time I'd ever seen my father in such a state.  He told my brother and I that our dog, Mugger, had gotten out of the back yard and wandered onto the busy road down the street.  Mugger had been hit by a car.  Her injuries were fatal and she had died shortly after my dad got her to the veterinarian's clinic.
Lacey ... March 1996 - October 1, 2012

Being so young, I'm not sure if I was more upset by my dad's reaction or the reality that our sweet Mugger was gone.  But the fact that it seemed okay for my dad to be so sad helped me better deal with the loss of our dog.

Mugger's passing was the first time I was faced with death. Since then, I've had to say goodbye to many other pets. Gerbils, turtles, hamsters, lizards, cats and dogs.  I loved them all.  The dogs, especially, but they were all special in their own way.

Ripley ... July 1999 - April 5, 2013

It never gets any easier to say goodbye.  I think it might be harder now that I'm older. The more I'm around animals, the more I learn how truly special they are.  Most recently, I've had to say goodbye to my Ripley.  She was an amazing being. Wicked smart and very funny. She looked at me like she could really "see" me.

She's been gone for almost a year now, but I still miss her so much.  Her loss is palpable. She was such a major presence in my life and it just doesn't feel the same without her here. 

So maybe you're reading this because you, too, have lost a pet that was dear to you.  Or maybe you're dealing with an ill or dying pet right now.  If you're feeling overwhelmed or like you just don't know how to cope, there is help for you.  There is comfort, and light ahead.  And there is nothing wrong with seeking help in moving forward.

"Not the least hard thing to bear when they go from us, these quiet friends, is that they carry away with them so many years of our own lives."   

~John Galsworthy

If you're not sure where to look, I'd like to offer two resources that can help.  Both of them are downloadable ebooks, so you can start reading right away.  

They are both great resources; one is geared toward people who are more spiritually oriented.  

The Pet Loss Spiritual Guide was written by healer BJ Burman. She has devoted herself to helping people deal positively with the loss of their beloved pet ... to not only deal with the emotions, thoughts and practical aspects, but very importantly, to deal with the spiritual aspects. Not in a religious or a secular way, but simply with acknowledgement to the world’s great wisdom traditions of both east and west.

Her guide is geared toward helping you deal with the loss of your pet both before and after he or she dies.  She includes some great bonuses with the book and there is a 60-day money back guarantee.  Two of the bonuses are in MP3 format and are truly wonderful.

If you'd like to learn more about her book and all the bonuses, just click here:  The Pet Loss Spiritual Guide.  If you're using a mobile device to read this, there's a scannable code to the right, if you prefer.  Both links will lead you to her page. The cost is $37.00.

The other ebook was written by Robin Jean Brown and titled 
How to ROAR: Pet Loss Grief Recovery.  In her guide, Brown will share with you her own experiences of loss and lead you gently through the stages of grief.  She includes steps you can take to ease the way, including detailed journaling questions to help you examine and work through all the feelings associated with the death of your pet, both before and after your beloved passes on.

If you'd like to learn more about her book, just click here:  
How to ROAR: Pet Loss Grief Recovery.  For mobile users, I've included a scannable code option to the left. Her book comes with a 60-day money back guarantee and it is only $17.00.

Whether you buy either guide, I hope you find comfort and peace along your journey.  Know that you're not alone in your feelings of loss and grief.  There are others who understand and care.  Don't be afraid of your feelings.  Someone told me once to just lean into them.  Acknowledge and embrace all of your emotions.  Not only will you be honoring your pet, by facing your deepest fears and most profound feelings, you'll soon find you can more easily move forward.

Please feel free to share in the comments section below.  

"Grief is like the ocean; it comes on waves ebbing and flowing. Sometimes the water is calm, and sometimes it is overwhelming. 
All we can do is learn to swim."
 ~Vicki Harrison
Disclosure: The links above are affiliate links, which means that I may get a commission if you decide to purchase anything. Thanks from me and my furry crew for all your support.  

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