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One of the most difficult things we must face is saying goodbye to a pet. Losing something we love so dearly and shared our love and life with is devastating.

Losing your dog is a lot like losing a child. It's something you loved, cared for and relied on for unconditional affection.

No matter what life throws our way, no matter how difficult a situation may appear, our beloved companions were there for us every step of the way.

We cherish and love our dogs. We spend years playing with them, talking to them and loving them.

Unfortunately, our dogs have a much shorter life span than we do and it's inevitable that we'll have to say goodbye to them one day. Grief is unavoidable and losing a dog we love is a profoundly painful experience.

We all experience the stages of grief when we experience a loss. Knowing what to expect may help make your transition easier.

The Stages

People do mourn in their own way and each experiences different levels of emotion, sometimes in varying order of stages. It's important to know that you're feelings during the grief process are normal.

Denial

In an attempt to escape the pain of their dog's death, people enter the denial stage. Some may hear their dog barking or hear them walking. You may feel him next to you. This is perfectly normal and it's your way of trying to have everything stay the same. A way of not having to say goodbye.

Denial is normal but if you linger too long with these feelings, you may become overwhelmed by extremely painful feelings of loss that you may not be prepared for.

Anger

Like denial, anger is your way of focusing your pain on something. When we're sad and hurt, we need to blame our loss on something.

We become angry at our dog for leaving us, or we direct that anger at ourselves or a friend, especially if we feel the death could have been avoided. Anger is a normal process of grief. No one is really at fault and we must work toward getting over it.

Guilt

We often blame ourselves when our dog dies. We wonder if there was something we could have done to save him. We ask ourselves if we made the right decision. We question the diet we fed him, we question whether or not we gave him enough exercise.

Remember that guilt won't do you any good and it doesn't change anything that's already happened.

It's better to focus on the wonderful moments you shared with your dog, accept the things you can't change, and move on with your life.

Depression

Losing your dog can cause you to feel lost and confused.

It is completely understandable and normal to withdraw and feel lost and confused at the death of a loved one.

Many people lose their appetite, can't eat and fall into a state of depression. Once these feelings take over, it's difficult to stop the downward slide.

For those of us who cherish our pets, our dog was the one thing we could count on no matter what. They offer us affection and unconditional love and when they die, that source of love and strength is gone.

Acceptance

Accepting the death of your dog will be the most difficult thing you can do. It's a long and painful road. Lean on others to help you through your journey to acceptance. It's important that you allow yourself time to mourn.

There are many people who can't understand why you can be so upset when your dog dies. What matters is that you focus on the happy moments and memories you and your dog shared. Cherish the good times.

Talk to loved ones who will offer you comfort, recall those special moments with your dog, share stories of your time together with your pet.

Coping With The Pain

There's nothing that will take away your sense of loss.

Time will help ease some of the pain you're feeling however. There are ways you can cope to help move you through the stages of grief so that you can finally reach a sense of acceptance.

Do what works best for you.

* If you had a specific routine that you and your dog followed, change the
schedule. Fill up the time

with another activity. Keep your mind occupied with things that interest you.

* Rearrange your furniture, especially if your dog had a favorite place
to lie or sleep in. It will help you relieve the stress of seeing or passing by
that spot.

* Write your dog a letter telling her how much you loved her. Tell her
all that you want her to know and how she changed your life. You can keep
the letter in a special place, or burn it to transform it to spirit.

Focus on beautiful memories, special times shared and know that you and your beloved dog will be together again.
 

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Jhazmyn is never gonna die. She is gonna go to the "farm".....I'm pretty sure that falls under "denial" but the thought of her dying is unbearable. So she goes to the "farm".
 
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