If you’re like me, somewhere along the way, you have shared an intense bond and love with an animal companion. For me, it’s dogs, and over the years, I’ve been overwhelmed with feelings of sadness and grief when a close buddy of mine crosses over the rainbow bridge.
It just hurts.
It’s tough, I know.
I know that feeling all too well.
Not everyone understands this love of a pet, so don’t feel ashamed of your feelings, as they’re natural and a part of life.
Why does losing a pet hurt so much?
Once, back in the day, I had a bundle of yellow Labrador joy named Scooter. I loved him to the moon and back, and for over a decade, he brought out the best in me. And following his passing, I was overcome with an acute sense of loss and grief.
You see, Scoot wasn’t a dog to me, he was a member of my household.
Oh, how I loved him so.
Everyone grieves loss differently, where factors such as age, personality, and significance of the animal in life matter. If your best friend was also an assistance animal, then you’re even likely mourning the passing of a co-worker. Did you live alone with the pet? Were you able to afford veterinary care? All these issues may come into play.
Don’t be ashamed of how you feel or grieve. As a good friend once told me, “work your own workout.”
Said a talented therapist to me, “there are those in life whose only experience with unconditional love is with their pet. Now imagine that going away.”
That statement gave me pause to consider and reflect on the substantial hardship those individuals must face dealing with that adversity.
Experiencing loss is part of pet ownership, so it’s important to learn healthy ways coming to terms with your pain, and when the time is right, you might even consider opening your heart to owning another animal companion.
Around here, when potential clients ask “where do I get an assistance animal,” I tell them that’s the best part of the whole process. Run, don’t walk to your local rescue or shelter, and save a life.