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Dog Bereavement

Mourning the loss of a companion is something most dog owners will or have suffered and there is little to be said or done to make this period of mourning any less painful, but we hope that our articles in the DOG BEREAVEMENT category will help you cope with this inevitable heartache.  Our first article, 'Is it wrong to grieve for a dog?' is below, along with a bereavement support contact underneath.  Further articles on this subject can be entered through clicking the titles highlighted in orange above. 

Our sincere condolences to anyone who has lost their companion recently.  We know that this is a difficult time and hope it won't be too long before the pain lessens and you will be left with memories of the happiest moments you spent with your beloved pet.

If you would like your pet to be remembered in a special way, we would be very pleased to put a photo and your chosen words in the London Dog Forum 'In Memorium' section.

Please send details to info@londondogforum


Is It Wrong To Grieve For A Dog?

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Anyone that has lost a much loved pet will know the feeling of coming home and having no one to greet you at the door, of going for a walk and being alone, of putting a hand out to stroke a soft, trusting head and there is nothing there.  But the pain of losing a dog can be much more than the feeling that something is missing.  It can be like losing a close friend or relative, after all, isn’t that exactly what your dog was? - A friend, a family member, someone you nurtured over many years and who gave unconditional love in return.   Yet there remains a stigma against grieving for a pet.  “Why get yourself in a state? After all, it’s only an animal. You can get another one.” How those comments hurt!   Of course, there are many dog lovers that do understand; even so, those bitter remarks stick in the back of your mind until you start believing it is wrong to grieve for your pet.

Mourning the loss of a dog is absolutely normal.  When a love tie has ended, there is a natural process of emotion that follows which applies to both the loss of another human and the loss of a pet.  Dog owners should be allowed to grieve for their pets and, most importantly, they must allow themselves to grieve.  Everyone has a different way of dealing with emotion but the phases associated with mourning are the same.  The initial feeling is one of numbness and shock and sometimes relief, particularly when death follows a debilitating illness.  Then there is period of disorganisation when it is difficult to concentrate and to get things done.  Depression often takes hold, as the death becomes a reality.  Guilt is commonly associated with the bereavement period.  “Could I have done more?”  “Did I let him suffer too long?” “ Was I being selfish in allowing euthanasia?”  These are questions that run through most people’s minds after their dog has died.  Occasionally an owner might feel angry with themselves, with veterinary staff or with other family members. Finally, although there are still moments of sadness, there is the point of acceptance when things are put into perspective and life can carry on.  This is the time when the bereaved and his supporters have given their permission for the period of mourning to end. 

Pet bereavement support

Many people work their way through bereavement by talking to family members and caring friends but for some this may not be possible.  The Blue Cross in conjunction with SCAS (Society of Companion Animal Studies) have a service run by trained volunteers to give support and practical advice to anyone is suffering bereavement or who is anticipating the death of a pet through illness or has had a pet stolen. 
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Telephone and email befrienders The Pet Bereavement Support Service (PBSS) offers support and understanding to bereaved pet owners through a national network of trained volunteer telephone and...
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Pet Bereavement Blue Cross
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