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SAYING GOODBYE TO A PET

dogs
Juggle RIP my best friend - 15/05/1994-12/08/ 2009

For many people our pet is our best friend and we all know how hard it is to say good bye to a best friend.

Some pet owners may feel embarrassed to reveal their grief when their pet dies, fearing that their friends will tell them to pull themselves together as "it was only a dog or cat". Dogs and cats give us years of unconditional love and companionship, so when they die it is not surprising that many people report that they feel a much higher than expected sense of loss and grief. Pet owners should not feel ashamed of feeling so strongly about an animal; crying, loneliness and depression are all natural reactions to death - including the death of a pet"


dogs
Mango RIP - 1997-2002

Research into grief and loss has shown that there is a pattern to the way most people grieve, and grief for the loss of a pet follows exactly the same pattern as grief for the loss of a human companion.

First comes numbness, shock and disbelief which help protect us from the full impact of the loss. Within a few hours after the loss of a pet an owner usually begins to experience intense sadness and often uncontrolled crying. However, grief usually peaks within 14 days and recovery can begin.

Some people feel a sense of anger. This anger can be directed at the veterinary surgeon who treated the animal or even the owner of the pet and can be accompanied by a sense of what 'should' have been done to save the pet.

People can even become quite depressed at the loss of a pet, which can last anywhere from days through to months.

The important thing for anyone dealing with the death of their own pet, or supporting someone else is that grieving, is that it is natural to feel a sense of loss.  Grief is also a personal thing and everyone does it differently but accepting that it is natural to feel loneliness and emptiness will help the recovery process.  Remembering the good times shared with the pet will help you to focus on positive memories and accept that the pet has gone.


dogs
Buddy RIP 1994-2006

And don't forget, if you feel like you need help in getting over the death of a pet, there are counsellors available who can assist you.

Eventually the sorrow and grief will disappear and only love and good memories remain and the fact that the pet lived becomes more important than the fact that the pet died.

Owners often use the phrase "we could never replace our pet" and it is important to remember that no loved pet is ever "replaced".  Being ready to welcome another pet into your family may take time, but a new puppy or kitten will help to remind you of all the good things about your previous pet, while giving you the companionship and unconditional love that only our four legged friends can.





Petcare Information and Advisory Service

Last Update: 13/08/09 11:42 Views: 7615

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