|When you have lost a pet, it is important to remember that your feelings of sorrow are
normal and each person in the pet's family will handle it differently. Common emotions
felt are those of shock, anger, guilt, grief and loneliness. Any of these feelings either
alone or in combination are a natural response and healthy to have. It is a process that
we must all go through as we start on our journey to the road to healing. There is no set
time period and varies from person to person.
It is so important to acknowledge and express your feelings to others. The connection
that we have formed with our pets is so powerful that we can be as overwhelmed with
grief as with our human counterparts. Be aware that you may come across some
individuals who do not understand or are not able to console you. As animal lovers, we
have heard the "it's only a dog or it's only a cat" statement. While that may be true for
them, it is not for you. After all, this is YOUR pet. One that you have loved and have
been loved by. Should you get this type of response, ask that they recognize your
feelings and try to prevent any further discussion with that person. It will only serve as a
means to further upset you.
There are other things you can do to help you in your grief as you are ready. You can
write a journal about your pet. This can not only be therapeutic in healing but also help
as a tool to remember all the special times you have spent with your pet. A photo album
or scrapbook will do the same. Talk with family and friends who can provide support. They
know you and will most likely have known your pet. Another option are support groups.
There are many wonderful groups online and in different areas of the United States. Most
major veterinary universities and clinics offer these services to their clients. There are
also many wonderful online support groups to choose from as well.