If you’ve shared your heart and home with a dog, you will no doubt feel a great sense of loss and sorrow when you lose him/her. No matter how old your dog was, how many years you had together, or how expected their death, the grief can be overwhelming.
- The first step to living through this time is simply to wait. Take some time to breathe, to calm yourself, Dogs are family members, and it’s entirely appropriate and expected that you would grieve the loss deeply.
- You will feel the entire spectrum of emotions. It is reasonable to expect that you will feel angry and betrayed, that you’ll be overwhelmed by sadness, or even that you’ll laugh when you have a funny memory of your pet. Whatever the feeling you’re having, accept it. Use a journal to write down your feelings.
- Once you’ve started to work through and accept your feelings, it’s time to remember your dog. First write about your pet: What memories do you have? Collect any pictures you have and think about the life you had with your dog.This celebration of your dog will help to remind you that above all he/she wanted you to be happy and that his/her happiest moments were spent being with and living with you. Respect your dog’s life by continuing to live yourself.
- One way to work through your grief is to arrange for some kind of memorial. Whether that means a headstone or planting a rose bush in your garden, a task that relates to your grief will make you feel better.
- Know that your dog is at peace and does not blame you for his/her death.
- Living through the death of a dog is not something that happens overnight. Know that you are not alone; your canine companion is always in your heart and always wants the best for you.