Coping with Pet Bereavement

By Carrie Ball

Dogs have long been referred to as ‘man’s best friend’ dependable, loyal. A bond like no other, they seem to just fit in with our lives and to a lot of people, they become family.

Dogs do not judge you; they love you and they are always pleased to see you and want to be with you. They live in the moment, no dwelling on yesterday or pining for tomorrow, they show us how to be present and enjoy the day as it is.

When we have dogs or any pet for that matter, we are aware that we are now responsible for their wellbeing. We are the ones who look out for them and get them the support they need from the vets or behaviourists.

We develop a bond that is stronger than some friendships we have with other people. Here is something that is dependent on you and thinks the world of you.

So when that bond is broken, whether it is an accident, illness or age, there will come a time when we have to make a decision and then we have to live with the burden of making that decision or of taking care of their remains.

You may be feeling confused, hurt, angry, lost. You may not know how you will ever get over this. That the pain is too much, and it consumes you and takes over every waking minute.

You cannot sleep, or you sleep too much because sleep brings flashbacks, or being asleep means, you are reunited in dreams.

You start to stop eating or eat too much, control of what is eaten or just not caring for it. Maybe you eat to soothe yourself and it is the only constant that you can rely on.

You may find you feel angry, at anyone who you see as being responsible for losing your companion. You may turn that anger inward and blame yourself for situations out of your or anyone’s control.

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