Losing your pet is as devastating as losing your relative because pets are family members. The pain you feel is not easy to handle. Therefore, if you are having a hard time dealing with your dog’s passing, we at Ruff Hero are empathetic to your plight and our heartfelt condolences. Talking to others about your pet’s passing may help kick-start your journey to recovery.

This article details how you can cope with the mourning process.

Grief process

We have different methods of handling grief; while some have feelings of guilt, others stay in denial and anger. All these are normal reactions that happen due to shock, but once the reality sinks in, sadness overwhelms us. Such responses are almost like a defensive mechanism to protect a pet owner grieving his loss until he can face the truth. The grief process entails the following steps:

l Denial, sometimes accompanied by anger

l Guilt

l Sadness, maybe with grief

l Depression

l Acceptance.

How to deal with grief

Grief is a personal thing, but life has to go on. We must, therefore, learn how to put the sadness behind us and move on. Unfortunately, there is no specific period, and everyone takes a different time to get past the grief; some take weeks, others months or years. Whatever period suits, you will always have someone waiting for you once you are ready.

Facing death through the help of others

You can have willing family and friends to help you in your bereavement period, but you can have a more extensive support system through:

  • Pet-bereavement counseling
  • Pet-loss support hotlines
  • Online pet-loss support groups
  • Local pet-loss support forums

Sometimes having a one-on-one conversation with a counselor or gathering up the courage to attend support groups is very helpful. Fortunately, Tufts University Cummings School of Veterinary provides a grieving individual with a Pet Loss Support Hotline that is toll-free.

Facing death on your own

As much as other people offer you immense support in your grieving process, they cannot do it all for you so you must learn how to cope on your own. You can:

l Prepare a memorial service for your pet- sharing the highlight moments in your pet’s life and giving a proper send-off will enable you to have closure.

l Note down your feelings- you can have a journal where you put down whatever feelings you have about your pet. You can also submit an essay to Fido on the same.

l Volunteer in animal shelter-being around pets can revive old memories, so this method is best for later stages in the grief process. Helping animals can help you forget about your loss.

l Acknowledge the sadness- do not lock away your sorrow; instead embrace it, cry it out and express the pain in any way that suits you.

Coming to terms with Reality

The reality of whatever you are facing can be such a heavy weight to bear. Deciding whether to euthanize an aging or sick pet, or making burial arrangements can leave you overwhelmed and confused so it is highly recommended that you get support from family and friends during this difficult times.

Keeping memories alive

You should be grateful for the time, no matter how little, you had with your pet and let your memories dwell on those happy times.

Rainbow Bridge

By sharing your loss through telling how your dog crossed the Rainbow Bridge, you will be able to deal with your dog’s demise in a gentle manner.