Getting over the death of a dog

Coping with the Loss of a Pet I Psych Central

Self-care, engaging in mourning practices, and talking to others who relate can help you through the process of grieving a pet.

Losing someone you love can feel devastating, and the same goes for the death of a cat, dog, or other types of pets.

I know because I’ve now experienced the loss of four beloved animals that were with me from the time they were babies until they took their last breaths.

The death of my cat, Marilyn, stands out the most. She was diagnosed with cancer in March 2017 and lived for several months under the treatment of a veterinary oncologist.

I often called Marilyn “adventure kitten.” I learned that there’s a community of adventure cats and their human companions. It’s a community Marilyn and I enjoyed being a part of.

She loved to go on trips and adventures. So she and I spent the remainder of her life hiking around Southern California.

When it was time to say goodbye, I just couldn’t take her back to the vet’s office. So I hired a mobile vet to come on one last hike with us. She passed peacefully in my arms while overlooking the city of Los Angeles.

Even though the vets assured me this was the right decision, it didn’t make it any less painful.

When I was reeling after the loss of Marilyn, a family member described the feeling of losing a pet as having the air sucked out of your home. That’s exactly how it felt for me.

“The specific reasons why it’s so painful to a particular person are unique to that person,” says Nadja Geipert, a marriage and family therapist at LA Family Therapy in Los Angeles. Geipert created her own pet grief toolbox to help clients.

“There are things you feel about this cat, this dog, this bird, that no one else feels, which is true for all grief,” She adds. “Your relationship is completely unique, and your pet is completely irreplaceable in its unique qualities.”

Each time I’ve loved and lost a pet, it’s felt like the end of a chapter in my life. Marilyn helped me cope with the loss of my childhood rabbit, Fluffy. She was also with me through my college years and the journey of starting my editorial career.

I found myself grieving Marilyn and the end of an era.


Geipert explains that attachment theory also plays a role in how we process grief.

Our attachment style develops in early childhood and is largely based on interactions with primary caregivers. What we learn during early development forms our worldview and shapes the way we connect and relate to others.

“If we spend enough time [around] anyone or anything and there’s a bond, when it goes away it’s like somebody took your limbs away,” she says. “At some point, our brain processes things as if they’re actually part of us, like if you’re a tennis player, at some point your brain stops distinguishing between the racket and the arm.”


When animals are older or very ill, we as caregivers are usually faced with the incredibly hard decision of when to say goodbye. This can lead to feelings of guilt. You might think “Did I make the right decision?” or “What if they had more time?”

If these feelings come up for you, it can be helpful to shift your mindset to view euthanasia under these circumstances as an act of compassion.

Remember that if your vet was recommending you say goodbye, your pet was most likely in a lot of pain, and it wasn’t going to get better.

Since we all feel and process grief in our own way, there’s no clear answer to how long these feelings will last for you.

You’ll probably notice more intense feelings immediately after the loss, but these generally lessen as time goes on.

“It’s going to take as long as it’s going to take,” says Geipert. It’s not a linear process, and that’s OK. Grief can come and go in waves.

During this time, it can help to find your own way of mourning and processing the death of a pet. Here are some tips.

Try to let yourself feel

You’ve experienced a loss, and it’s OK to let yourself feel all the feelings surrounding it.

“Cry whenever you feel like crying,” says Geipert. However, she recommends using your judgment on when and where that’s appropriate.

“Tears release stress hormones.” She adds that if you’re not a heavy crier, that’s OK too. “Everybody’s way is different.”

Try to practice self-compassion

Be good to yourself. Try to engage in some self-care activities as you’re going through the grieving process. You can do this by making some extra space for your regular self-care activities or trying something new that you think could feel restorative.

Take some time off from work if you need to.

Some self-care activities you can try at home are:

  • soaking in a warm bath
  • yoga
  • meditation
  • journaling
  • taking time for a hobby

Consider talking with someone who can relate

“Talking about exactly how you feel is incredibly helpful in grief, which is why it’s helpful for people to go to therapy or find a support group,” says Geipert.

She recommends finding a way to talk about what and how you’re feeling. You can do that with others who have lost a pet, a therapist, or supportive friends and family.

I belonged to a disabled rabbit community and an adventure cat community online. The members were extremely supportive when I posted about losing a pet.

Try a mourning process

Societies and cultures throughout human history have engaged in mourning rituals to cope with emotional pain after a loss. Trying a ritual could also help you grieve after the death of a pet. You might try something familiar, such as having a memorial, or you could create your own practice.

I still light a yahrzeit candle (a Jewish tradition for honoring the anniversary of a loved one’s passing) on the anniversary of Marilyn’s death.

Geipert says she did an exercise that really helped after losing her cat. She wrote to him.

It’s an exercise she also recommends to clients.

“Write a thank-you card to your deceased pet,” Geipert says. “Talk about everything you’ll miss and what you’re most grateful for. Talk about what you regret. Say everything you want to say.”

Remove items at your own pace

Some people may want to get rid of their pet’s things quickly after a loss, and others may need to do it more gradually.

If it feels challenging to let go of your pet’s items, let yourself do it at a pace that feels good for you.

Remember that there’s no right or wrong way. This is your process.

Consider finding a way to memorialize your pet

A good way to honor the love you felt for your pet is to memorialize them. If you like to create, try writing, making a photo collage, or arranging a resting place for them inside or outside of your home.

If you’re not artistically inclined, there are online services that make art from a photo of your pet. You can also find beautiful ways to keep their remains (if you want to display them or wear them in a memorable piece of jewelry).

I have photos of Marilyn’s adventures around my apartment, and I talk about her often. Her adventure Instagram account is still live as a tribute to her journey.

I also had a large canvas print of Marilyn made for her oncologist’s office. Her doctor was very kind and told me she’d share Marilyn’s story with others; it was oddly comforting.

It’s never easy to lose a pet, but it is possible to find peace after loss and joy in the memories that live in your heart.

“If you’ve lost your [pet] and you’re completely heartbroken, know that that’s a sign of how mentally healthy you are,” says Geipert. “You have the capacity for deep love; it’s a good thing.”

She recommends reaching out to a therapist if you feel unable to process the pain after a loss.

“If you’re really getting stuck in something you’re feeling, going to therapy can help you get unstuck.”

You can also try online therapy or an online grief support group, if that’s a better fit for you.

Coping with Losing a Pet

grief & loss

It’s natural to feel devastated by feelings of grief and sadness when a beloved dog, cat, or other pet dies.

These tips can help you cope.

Why does the loss of a pet hurt so much?

Many of us share an intense love and bond with our animal companions. For us, a pet is not “just a dog” or “just a cat,” but rather a beloved member of our family, bringing companionship, fun, and joy to our lives. A pet can add structure to your day, keep you active and social, help you to overcome setbacks and challenges in life, and even provide a sense of meaning or purpose. So, when a cherished pet dies, it’s normal to feel racked by grief and loss.

The pain of loss can often feel overwhelming and trigger all sorts of painful and difficult emotions. While some people may not understand the depth of feeling you had for your pet, you should never feel guilty or ashamed about grieving for an animal friend.

While we all respond to loss differently, the level of grief you experience will often depend on factors such as your age and personality, the age of your pet, and the circumstances of their death. Generally, the more significant your pet was to you, the more intense the emotional pain you’ll feel.

The role the animal played in your life can also have an impact. For example, if your pet was a working dog, service animal, or therapy animal, you’ll not only be grieving the loss of a companion but also the loss of a coworker, the loss of your independence, or the loss of emotional support. If you lived alone and the pet was your only companion, coming to terms with their loss can be even harder. And if you were unable to afford expensive veterinary treatment to prolong your pet’s life, you may even feel a profound sense of guilt.

While experiencing loss is an inevitable part of owning a pet, there are healthy ways to cope with the pain, come to terms with your grief, and when the time is right, perhaps even open your heart to another animal companion.

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The grieving process after the loss of a pet

Grieving is a highly individual experience. Some people find grief following the loss of a pet comes in stages, where they experience different feelings such as denial, anger, guilt, depression, and eventually acceptance and resolution. Others find that their grief is more cyclical, coming in waves, or a series of highs and lows. The lows are likely to be deeper and longer at the beginning and then gradually become shorter and less intense as time goes by. Still, even years after a loss, a sight, a sound, or a special anniversary can spark memories that trigger a strong sense of grief.

The grieving process happens only gradually. It can't be forced or hurried—and there is no “normal” timetable for grieving. Some people start to feel better in weeks or months. For others, the grieving process is measured in years. Whatever your grief experience, it's important to be patient with yourself and allow the process to naturally unfold.

Feeling sad, shocked, or lonely is a normal reaction to the loss of a beloved pet. Exhibiting these feelings doesn't mean you are weak or your feelings are somehow misplaced. It just means that you're mourning the loss of an animal you loved, so you shouldn't feel ashamed.

Trying to ignore your pain or keep it from surfacing will only make it worse in the long run. For real healing, it is necessary to face your grief and actively deal with it. By expressing your grief, you'll likely need less time to heal than if you withhold or “bottle up” your feelings. Write about your feelings and talk about them with others who are sympathetic to your loss.

Coping with the grief of pet loss

Sorrow and grief are normal and natural responses to death. Like grief for our friends and loved ones, grief for our animal companions can only be dealt with over time, but there are healthy ways to cope with the pain. Here are some suggestions:

Don't let anyone tell you how to feel, and don't tell yourself how to feel either. Your grief is your own, and no one else can tell you when it's time to “move on” or “get over it.” Let yourself feel whatever you feel without embarrassment or judgment. It's okay to be angry, to cry or not to cry. It's also okay to laugh, to find moments of joy, and to let go when you're ready.

Reach out to others who have lost pets. Check out online message boards, pet loss hotlines, and pet loss support groups—see the Resources section below for details. If your own friends and family members are not sympathetic about pet loss, find someone who is. Often, another person who has also experienced the loss of a beloved pet may better understand what you're going through.

Rituals can help healing.  A funeral can help you and your family members openly express your feelings. Ignore people who think it's inappropriate to hold a funeral for a pet, and do what feels right for you.

Create a legacy. Preparing a memorial, planting a tree in memory of your pet, compiling a photo album or scrapbook, or otherwise sharing the memories you enjoyed with your pet, can create a legacy to celebrate the life of your animal companion. Remembering the fun and love you shared with your pet can help you to eventually move on.

Look after yourself. The stress of losing a pet can quickly deplete your energy and emotional reserves. Looking after your physical and emotional needs will help you get through this difficult time. Spend time face to face with people who care about you, eat a healthy diet, get plenty of sleep, and exercise regularly to release endorphins and help boost your mood.

If you have other pets, try to maintain your normal routine.  Surviving pets can also experience loss when a pet dies, or they may become distressed by your sorrow. Maintaining their daily routines, or even increasing exercise and play times, will not only benefit the surviving pets but can also help to elevate your mood and outlook, too.

Seek professional help if you need it. If your grief is persistent and interferes with your ability to function, your doctor or a mental health professional can evaluate you for depression.

Tips for seniors grieving the death of a pet

As we age, we experience an increasing number of major life changes, including the loss of beloved friends, family members, and pets. The death of a pet can hit retired seniors even harder than younger adults who may be able to draw on the comfort of a close family, or distract themselves with the routine of work. If you're an older adult living alone, your pet was probably your sole companion, and taking care of the animal provided you with a sense of purpose and self-worth.

Stay connected with friends. Pets, dogs especially, can help seniors meet new people or regularly connect with friends and neighbors while out on a walk or in the dog park. Having lost your pet, it's important that you don't now spend day after day alone. Try to spend time with at least one person every day. Regular face-to-face contact can help you ward off depression and stay positive. Call up an old friend or neighbor for a lunch date or join a club.

Boost your vitality with exercise. Pets help many older adults stay active and playful, which can boost your immune system and increase your energy. It's important to keep up your activity levels after the loss of your pet. Check with your doctor before starting an exercise program and then find an activity that you enjoy. Exercising in a group—by playing a sport such as tennis or golf, or taking an exercise or swimming class—can also help you connect with others.

Try to find new meaning and joy in life.  Caring for a pet previously occupied your time and boosted your morale and optimism. Try to fill that time by volunteering, picking up a long-neglected hobby, taking a class, helping friends, rescue groups, or homeless shelters care for their animals, or even by getting another pet when the time feels right.


Helping children grieve the loss of a pet

The loss of a pet may be your child's first experience of death—and your first opportunity to teach them about coping with the grief and pain that inevitably accompanies the joy of loving another living creature. Losing a pet can be a traumatic experience for any child. Many kids love their pets very deeply and some may not even remember a time in their life when the pet wasn't around. A child may feel angry and blame themselves—or you—for the pet's death. A child may feel scared that other people or animals they love may also leave them. How you handle the grieving process can determine whether the experience has a positive or negative effect on your child's personal development.

Some parents feel they should try to shield their children from the sadness of losing a pet by either not talking about the pet's death, or by not being honest about what's happened. Pretending the animal ran away, or “went to sleep,” for example, can leave a child feeling even more confused, frightened, and betrayed when they finally learn the truth. It's far better to be honest with children and allow them the opportunity to grieve in their own way.

Let your child see you express your own grief at the loss of the pet. If you don't experience the same sense of loss as your child, respect their grief and let them express their feelings openly, without making them feel ashamed or guilty. Children should feel proud that they have so much compassion and care deeply about their animal companions.

Reassure your child that they weren't responsible for the pet's death. The death of a pet can raise a lot of questions and fears in a child. You may need to reassure your child that you, their parents, are not also likely to die. It's important to talk about all their feelings and concerns.

Involve your child in the dying process. If you've chosen euthanasia for your pet, be honest with your child. Explain why the choice is necessary and give the child chance to spend some special time with the pet and say goodbye in their own way.

If possible, give the child an opportunity to create a memento of the pet. This could be a special photograph, or a plaster cast of the animal's paw print, for example.

Allow the child to be involved in any memorial service, if they desire. Holding a funeral or creating a memorial for the pet can help your child express their feelings openly and help process the loss.

Do not rush out to get the child a “replacement pet” before they've had a chance to grieve the loss they feel. Your child may feel disloyal, or you could send the message that the grief and sadness felt when something dies can simply be overcome by buying a replacement.

Making the decision to put a pet to sleep

Deciding to put your animal companion to sleep is one of the most difficult decisions you will ever have to make for your pet. As a loving pet owner, though, the time may come when you need to help your pet make the transition from life to death, with the help of your veterinarian, in as painless and peaceful a way as possible.

Knowing when it's time to put a pet to sleep

Euthanasia for a beloved pet is highly personal decision and usually comes after a diagnosis of a terminal illness and with the knowledge that the animal is suffering badly. Your choices for your pet should be informed by the care and love you feel for the animal. Important things to consider include:

Activity level. Does your pet still enjoy previously loved activities or are they able to be active at all?

Response to care and affection. Does your pet still interact and respond to love and care in the usual ways?

Amount of pain and suffering.  Is your pet experiencing pain and suffering which outweigh any pleasure and enjoyment in life?

Terminal illness or critical injury. Have illness or injury prohibited your pet from enjoying life? Is your pet facing certain death from the injury or illness?

Your family's feelings. Is your family unanimous in the decision? If not, and you still feel it is the best thing for your pet, can you live with the decision that you have to make?

If you do decide that ending the suffering is in your pet's best interest, take your time to create a process that is as peaceful as possible for you, your pet, and your family. You may want to have a last day at home with the pet in order to say goodbye, or to visit the pet at the animal hospital. You can also choose to be present during your pet's euthanasia, or to say goodbye beforehand and remain in the veterinary waiting room or at home. This is an individual decision for each member of the family.

What to expect when putting your pet to sleep

According to the American Veterinary Medical Association, euthanasia for a pet is most often achieved by injection of a death-inducing drug. The veterinarian may administer a tranquilizer first to relax your pet. Following the injection of the euthanasia drug, your pet will immediately become unconscious. Death is quick and painless. Your pet may move its legs or breathe deeply several times after the drug is given, but these are reflexes and don't mean that your pet is in pain or is suffering.

Getting another dog or cat after pet loss

There are many wonderful reasons to once again share your life with a companion animal, but the decision of when to do so is a very personal one. It may be tempting to rush out and fill the void left by your pet's death by immediately getting another pet. In most cases, it's best to mourn the old pet first, and wait until you're emotionally ready to open your heart and your home to a new animal. You may want to start by volunteering at a shelter or rescue group. Spending time caring for pets in need is not only great for the animals, but can help you decide if you're ready to own a new pet.

Some retired seniors living alone may find it hardest to adjust to life without a pet. If taking care of an animal provided you with a sense of purpose and self-worth as well as companionship, you may want to consider getting another pet at an earlier stage. Of course, seniors also need to consider their own health and life expectancy when deciding on a new pet. Again, volunteering to help pets in need can be a good way to decide if you're ready to become a pet owner again.

Authors: Lawrence Robinson, Jeanne Segal, Ph.D., and Robert Segal, M.A.

      • References

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        Zisook, S., & Shear, K. (2009). Grief and bereavement: What psychiatrists need to know. World Psychiatry, 8(2), 67–74.

        Stroebe, M., Schut, H., & Stroebe, W. (2007). Health outcomes of bereavement. The Lancet, 370(9603), 1960–1973.

        Simon, N. M., Wall, M. M., Keshaviah, A., Dryman, M. T., LeBlanc, N. J., & Shear, M. K. (2011). Informing the symptom profile of complicated grief. Depression and Anxiety, 28(2), 118–126.

        Corr, C. A. (1999). Enhancing the Concept of Disenfranchised Grief. OMEGA – Journal of Death and Dying, 38(1), 1–20.

        Cleary, Michelle, Sancia West, Deependra K. Thapa, Mark Westman, Kristina Vesk, and Rachel Kornhaber. “Grieving the Loss of a Pet: A Qualitative Systematic Review.” Death Studies 0, no. 0 (April 21, 2021): 1–12.

        Cordaro, Millie. “Pet Loss and Disenfranchised Grief: Implications for Mental Health Counseling Practice.” Journal of Mental Health Counseling 34, no. 4 (September 24, 2013): 283–94.

      Coping With Death of Pet – Understanding pet loss grief and how to cope with the pain and sadness. (

      End of Life Care – Coping with the impending loss of a pet. (ASPCA)

      Coping With the Death of Your Pet – Tips on how to cope when it's time to say goodbye to a beloved pet. (The Humane Society of the United States)

      Euthanasia of a Beloved Pet – Better understand and deal with euthanasia. (The Association for Pet Loss and Bereavement)

      How to Walk a Shelter Pet – Article about walking shelter dogs. Also offers a directory of shelters and rescue groups in the U.S. where you can volunteer to help care for cats and dogs. (Petfinder)

      Around the web

      Last updated: October 14, 2022

      How to survive the death of a dog

      Tips for adults and parents of toddlers

      Experienced dog owners know well the mixed feeling when a new puppy crosses the threshold of their house, because the old pet is gone. A fluffy lump rushes across the floor, and a “worm” of doubt quietly scratches in my soul, “Was it worth it? After all, a dog does not live so long. Tears of joy mix with a sore throat and diligent attempts to find at least something in common in the eyes of a new baby and an old friend. Living without letting go is painful and neither a new dog nor the upcoming joys of living together will save you.

      How to survive the death of a dog and get off the "dead point"? How to move forward, leaving warm and pleasant memories in your soul? How to see a new dog, and not the "echo" of an old friend?

      Who is to blame?

      The main problem that prevents people from experiencing grief is the search for the guilty. It doesn't matter what exactly happened, instinctively, a person is looking for those responsible for what he did, let it be God or evil fate, but the prosecution will find the defendant.

      It is much worse when the owner blames himself for the pet's death - "I didn't have time", "I didn't notice", "I made a mistake with the choice of a veterinarian". Finding the guilty refers to situations where a pet leaves due to illness or an accident.

      Naturally, you should not wait for the fateful hour, you need to take care of your friend while he is alive and well - proper nutrition, vaccinations, safety, care, regular veterinary examinations. The more responsible you are in your elementary duties, the faster the confidence will come that you did everything right when the time comes to survive the loss of a dog.

      A separate topic for discussion is euthanasia. Many owners refuse to humanely euthanize the animal, considering it to be murder. In fact, the dog is hopelessly ill and suffers only because the owner's inner selfish child cannot accept reality. If guilt gnaws at you, redeem it in any way you can. Contact an animal shelter, become a volunteer, pick up a kitten on the street, wash it and find it a home.

      Do good, save lives, a sense of significance will help you forgive your “mistakes”.

      How to let go of a dead pet

      Beautiful legends about the "Rainbow Bridge" and about a better world do not calm the soul, but make the loss more difficult. No one knows what lies on the "other side of death", and the vain hope of a meeting makes the pain stronger.

      Here are some tips from psychologists and dog owners who have outlived their friends.

      Take your time to forget

      Firstly, this is another reason to blame yourself, and secondly, a person's memory is out of control. Mourn the loss, cry, actively express emotions, but do not become depressed. Set aside time for mourning and give your pet the last honors.

      "Generally accepted" mourning after the death of a person lasts 1 year, this is how much time the psyche needs to go through all the stages of grief, the cause of psychological trauma is not so important.

      Put away your pet's belongings

      After a week or a month, when you're ready, on the same day, neatly fold all your dog's personal belongings and put them away where they won't be seen. You will be overcome by a feeling of betrayal, but it will pass, there is no other way out, you need to let go.

      1. Take care of your memory

      Make a memory book - pet photos and all the positive stories you can remember should be placed in one beautifully designed album. It is good if the book is compiled by all family members and everyone can add stories and a piece of memories from themselves.

      This step will help to push out negative memories and remember happy moments that fade into the background in moments of grief. Paint a picture, plant a tree, post an obituary, write a poem—do anything meaningful that will live on after the mourning is over.

      2. Fill the void

      Perhaps the biggest pain is emptiness. When you jump out of bed to take your pet for a walk, when your hand reaches for the leash on the nightstand, when out of habit you go to the pet store for snacks. All these "mechanical" events are accompanied by acute attacks of pain.

      Find a hobby for yourself - an activity that fascinates you will help redirect part of your thoughts in a positive direction. Taking your free time, you will not leave yourself a chance for self-flagellation.

      3. Do not forget who you were for the dog

      Evaluate your merits - you changed the world of this dog, you had all the worries about health and well-being on your shoulders, and after all, many dogs do not see even a hundredth of what your pet has known . Do not forget about how much you have done, praise yourself.

      Think about what would happen if your dog outlived you. Could your pet survive the loss? The human psyche is arranged in a special way - "do not feel sorry for yourself." So do not regret, be proud - you have already changed one fate, you took the blow on yourself and kept it!

      4. Don't rush to get another dog

      Don't get a new pet until the pain of the loss subsides. Many families, especially those in which a child suffers from the death of a dog, quickly get a new puppy, in the hope that "the wedge will break out with a wedge."

      As a result, the owners compare their new and departed pets all their lives, look for common features and live in the past. You can and should get a dog when, with memories of a departed dog, a smile appears on your face, not tears.

      5. Professional assistance after the death of a dog

      Grief is impossible to endure? Do you understand that you can't do it? No one to support you? Don't be shy and ask your doctor for help.
      No self-respecting psychotherapist will say "Yes, it's just a dog," but practitioners are well aware of how quickly a person destroys himself when depressed.

      How to help a child come to terms with the death of a dog

      An adult is able to “flagellate” himself and experience grief for a long time, but when a child falls into melancholy, parents panic. In fact, the child's psyche is more flexible and adaptable. Judge for yourself, a just broken knee fades into the background at the sight of a new toy, and this is physical pain that cannot be stopped by a forced smile.

      If we examine the argument “The child suffers” in detail, several conclusions arise:

      • And why, in fact, the child should not suffer? He lost a friend and longing is normal.
      • Life is given once and can end suddenly, again, if this fact is hidden from the child, it is worth thinking about his personal safety. Psychologists advise distracting children from negative emotions. Undoubtedly, it is necessary to switch attention, but the child must also experience the awareness of loss.
      • A teenager who can perceive the loss of an animal superficially also worries, although this is not visible from the outside. The reason for such a "cold" behavior is the fear of facing the most terrible death - the loss of parents.

      Child psychologists recommend preparing the child in advance for a possible loss. One method to soften the blow is to get a second dog when the pet is 8-9 years old. The youngest member of the family will have positive memories of both pets, who will spend 3-5 years together. When the time comes, the younger dog will take on some of the emotions and help the child deal with the loss more quickly.

      Alexey Klimov


      Quiet rustle — not in the ears, but in the heart.
      The gait of paws that are no longer there.
      Knock of claws, scratching at the door,
      Quiet cheekbones, anxious, unanswered.
      Nowhere to go and no hiding
      From these crazy sounds...
      And one desire - to get drunk,
      When you stretch your hand to the left out of habit...
      Why do they choose us?
      Why do they leave without a return?
      Why is their life fading so fast,
      And you can not return the year back?.
      Just let it into your heart - and say goodbye ...
      And drown in tears of guilt and grief . ...
      Forgetting how much happiness there was,
      After arguing with conscience for years...
      Freezing when you see something similar,
      And then crying into your pillow all night long...
      And quietly hating yourself,
      Buying a dryer out of habit...
      Offended by friends and relatives.
      Those who failed to realize the loss…
      And found bowls in the pantry
      Cry for a long time and whisper “I don’t believe…”

      From the Internet.
      Author unknown.

      How to survive the death of a dog: Councils of psychologists

      Content of Article

      • “We are responsible for those we tamed”
      • He was my friend
      • I feel not at plate
      • How to go through grief

      Having taken a puppy into the house, a person after a short time begins to understand that he has become an equal member of the family. He has his favorite place, a bowl, a bone, a leash ...

      “We are responsible for those we have tamed”

      or later, the owner will have to endure the death of a pet.

      Such trials do not always go smoothly and painlessly for the owner and his family.

      He was my friend

      People, having lost their beloved dog, which had a serious age or suffered from an extremely serious illness, experience various negative emotions. In one case, they are “killed”, because it seems to them that life is over, they begin to torment themselves with thoughts about where they made a mistake, why they did not choose the time to visit the veterinary clinic.

      In another, suffering from the loss and realizing that they are missing a pet painfully, they understand that they have done everything in their power, but age or illness did not give a chance for a successful outcome. However, they understand that this ended the severe suffering of the pet.

      Both described types of behavior are united by a sense of loss and a bad state of a person. Everyone understands that it must somehow survive, but do not know how. In fact, everything is not so simple . ..

      I feel out of place

      The loss of a pet is especially difficult for single people. All day long they had a schedule that included walking the dog, buying food, eating, socializing. A difficult life period in the event of the loss of a pet is complicated for the owner by the fact that his environment does not share the experiences, considers them exaggerated.

      Inseparability of grief aggravates suffering, a person feels out of place, nothing makes him happy, he wants nothing. He is completely immersed in memories and feels sadness, longing, even despair.

      How to get through grief

      Psychologists divide the time to overcome the tragedy into five phases that every dog ​​owner goes through with the only difference in emotional intensity depending on the person’s character:

      • Phase 1. Stressful situation.

      The loss of a beloved pet is certainly stressful, even, to some extent, a shock for the owner. But no one canceled the ritual duties, because everything falls on the shoulders of the owner of the dog. At a difficult moment, organizing a funeral will require a person to switch and help to distract from longing.

      To resolve funeral issues, it is better to contact a specialized service, whose contacts can be easily clarified through a veterinary clinic.

      To be guided by common sense, in a stressful situation one should not fuss, panic. It is enough to listen to yourself, count to ten and just breathe calmly for a while.

      Now you can focus and solve the problems of burying and continuing life after the dog leaves.

      When you return home, you should try to occupy yourself with everyday activities - wash the dishes, vacuum the carpet, clean up, or just read a book. If necessary, take a mild sedative. This is necessary in order to dull the attacks of mental pain that come in waves.

      • Phase 2. Intolerance with loss.

      The feeling that you need to rush home from work and take a walk with the dog does not leave the person. At home there are things that have become unnecessary - bowls, a leash, toys. All this resonates with severe pain in the heart, because the need to take care of someone has formed, and now there is emptiness nearby. There is still no mood for acquiring a new pet, and it is still too early not only to talk about it, but also to think about it.

      In this case, it is better to visit a shelter with stray dogs, give them food, some of the pet's things. This will save you from the minute-by-minute reminder of the departed pet and help block the heartache. There will be a bright feeling of joy from helping other dogs.

      • Phase 3. Guilt.

      Human consciousness is such that it can replay several times the same moments of a dog's illness or other details of its last days of life. This leads to self-flagellation, to depression: “Why didn’t I take her to the veterinary clinic right away, why did I look at changes in behavior? Now, if I had reacted in time, she would have been alive.

      This is a dangerous path leading to neurosis and severe depression. It is necessary to accept what happened and tell yourself that everything has already happened and nothing could be changed either then or now.

      It is better to share your suffering with those who have also experienced the loss of a pet, even if it was not a dog, but, for example, a hamster or a cat. Communication will help not withdraw into yourself and distract from annoying thoughts about your guilt.

      • Phase 4. Lifestyle change.

      Lifestyle changes are stressful for a person: there are no usual duties, no need to follow a daily routine for walking with a dog or feeding it. It is urgent to fill this void with something, to find a new occupation. But getting another pet is not yet recommended - a person will unwittingly compare it with a departed friend, and it is unlikely that a new dog will be satisfied with the comparison.

      A good option is to visit a homeless animal nursery to help.

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