“I love hosting the group because we all share common, yet different ways of handling the loss of our family member,” says Schultz. “To be able to honor our pets through memories, laughter and yes, sometimes tears, allows participants to work their way through a difficult time. Grief is absolutely a normal reaction to the loss, and sometimes having someone other than their family listen is helpful.”more…
- You may be grieving the loss of an animal companion, which could have been days, weeks, or even years ago. We must remember to take care of ourselves in this fragile state
- Attending to your own cognitive, physical, emotional and spiritual health can help you through the mourning process
- Children of any age cannot be spared the painful feelings that accompany loss, but we can help them feel secure and foster the skills to help them be resilient throughout life’s ups and downs.
- Understand how children of different ages process and understand death, and learn how to support them through grief
- There are endless ways to honor the bond that we share with these amazing creatures who bless us with their unconditional love.
- Whatever you choose to do, what makes it special is that it is your choice. There’s no wrong way to remember your beloved friend, because it reflects your own story, experience, and values
Being an animal lover is often equated with owning a lot of animals. It should equally mean respecting the needs of those animals, and making a selfless choice to limit ourselves when necessary. It’s better to enjoy the bond I share with my pets to its fullest, support spay and neuter efforts with my time and money, and enjoy dog ownership vicariously by stealing a few cuddles and kisses from my patients. more…
Many have found comfort in these resources.
- Losing a beloved animal companion is heartbreaking. Nothing will make the grief disappear, but taking care of your emotional needs can help you heal.
- Talking with loved ones, finding outside support, and finding ways to honor and memorialize your friend are all good strategies for self care
I frequently counsel pet owners on end-of-life care for their ailing companions. Most of us, faced with this difficult transition, will at some point agonize over whether our pet is suffering, which procedures are worthwhile for the sake of extending life, how much money it is reasonable to spend, and most importantly, when to make that most difficult decision to choose euthanasia. The “right” answers are unique to each pet and their family; I try my best to merely help guide these choices. I made it remarkably far – at least a decade – into my veterinary career before having to face some of these decisions myself. With that experiencemore…
Our understanding of how animals think and feel is constantly evolving in the face of fascinating new evidence, but in the end it is very educated guesswork – a reality that daily haunts veterinarians and pet owners alike when we know something isn’t quite right.more…
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