Diploma in Pet Bereavement
The Blackford Centre
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Coping with Pet loss
Paying Tribute to Your Dog
Anyone who has ever bonded with a dog knows how hard the loss can be once the dog is no more.
The sad truth is that animals have a short life span and most owners outlive their beloved pets.
Dealing with the loss of a dog is harder since dogs are the ultimate companion and friends to humans. They share their owner’s joys and sorrows, and provide love and loyalty that is often unmatched by any human being.
Many people, including celebrities, have openly mourned the loss of their dog. Since dogs are so close to humans, it is only natural that the owners grieve and take their time in healing.
If you have lost a dog, you will sadly have to learn to ignore insensitive comments that demonstrate they think your animal’s the death is unimportant.
Research and studies worldwide have proven that a dog’s death can bring the same amount of sadness and grief a human death does, so you should learn to cope with the various stages of grief and come to terms with your loss gradually.
How to cope with the loss of your dog
- Connecting with and talking to people who understand your grief is a good way to deal with your dog’s death.
Holding a memorial service is another way to get closure and put the animal to rest with dignity. To honor the dog’s memory, a tribute can be given in the following ways:
- You should celebrate your dog’s life with pride and narrate stories about him to close family and friends. This will bring memories of joy and will help you forget your pain, at least for a while.
- Writing dog quotes on the burial place, putting up pictures of the pet around the house or writing poems and sharing them with friends are all a part of expressing grief and learning how to cope with loss. These small gestures also help you recall the good times spent with your dog.
- Most people like to donate the belongings of their pet to dog shelters or to charity. Even though you might have the urge to keep your dog’s bed, food dishes and toys close to you, donating them to a rescue centre where they might be of use to less fortunate dogs may help ease your pain.
- Creating a memory scrapbook or a photo album can help keep memories alive. You can keep and carefully decorate all the pictures you have of your dog and create a scrapbook with dates and quotes. This will keep you busy for a while and allow you to pour out your pain on paper. It will provide you with an outlet for the expression of your sadness.
- Helping other dogs in an animal shelter can give you a sense of purpose after your dog has passed away. Other dogs will benefit from your kindness and generosity. For example, you could take them for walks. Charities welcome volunteer walkers.
It takes time for anyone to get over the death of their dog. Getting a new animal is a major decision and should not be rushed into. Allow your grief to settle. Allow yourself to move to a calmer frame of mind before considering getting a new dog. Any new animal will require the same amount of loving and care.
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