Coping with Loss of a Pet

On Friday December 7th we said good bye to our beloved, feisty Morkie, Charlie aka “Chuck”.  It was something we had not anticipated, and I guess you never can.  We have a house full of pets and yes you could say they are all seniors, but Charlie was the youngest and the feistiest, so we’d thought he’d be with us for a few more years.  This has been a challenging year for Charlie as he was diagnosed with an enlarged heart and a heart murmur. Medication was helping him a little bit. He then tore his ACL a month ago and walked on 3 legs but managed quite well. It did slow him down a bit and our walks subsided.  Friday he tore his other ACL and I knew at that moment his quality of life has seized to what Charlie would have wanted. Even before Friday, we saw the frustration in his eyes as he could not be the dog he knew deep inside that he was. Chasing squirrels, playing with the kids, long walks in the reservoir, chasing whoever he felt like and barking up a storm. Any of you that had met Charlie knew he was a spark and could always bring a smile to those he came in contact with.

RIP Charlie, you’ll always be in our heart and your spirit lives in those you touched.

We are coping and for those of you that have lost pets, you know the pain you experience because of the deep love and companionship our pets provide.

Thank you for the support and kindness we so appreciate it.


What pets offer us and why we love them so much?

Pets provide us with unconditional love that some do not ever receive from humans.  They are there to love and support us. It’s their job.  They do not care about how we look or smell, what our bank accounts look like or what we do for a living.  We are always wonderful in their eyes.

Pets know our secrets and listen to us always.  They see us at our best and our worse. They are so keen and perceptive and we are always our true self in front of them.

Pets depend on us and to some, like me they are our “furry children”.  Our pets look to us for food, shelter, affection and fun like human children do. Their bond with us does not change as they get older and they remain with us until the end. We are their entire world and to some they are ours. When we lose them it’s very traumatic as a void is left in our hearts.

If you are struggling with a loss of a pet here are some points, I’d like to make that are reminders to me right now and advice I give to my clients:

  1. Your grief is valid. As a pet parent your loss is real just like when you lose a human. Some do not understand that bond that a pet and owner have.  Connecting with others that can understand your pain is important during this time. The rainbow bridge(rainbowbridge.com) is a great resource for those grieving the loss of your pet.
  2. Avoid comparing your grief to anyone else’s as it is yours. What is important is your loss and you have to cope with it in your own way. If others don’t respect that it’s their issue not yours.
  3. Guilt may pop up and realize it is a normal part of the bereavement process. You may feel “what if’s” and think of things you could have done. STOP as a pet parent you did all you could as you loved your pet.
  4. Time will heal your heart, but the memories can stay with you forever and should. Think of a way you can honour your pet and how you can remember their spirit. We received a gift card to plant a tree or shrub where our beloved Charlie went and we know the perfect spot. A photobook or special picture is a great keep sake too.
  5. If you have other animals give them your love now. If you don’t take time to heal and when you are ready open your home and heart to another as it can be a way to honour your past pet. There are many out there that need love and affection.

Thank you all for you support during this time!

 

 

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