Take Care of Yourself:
Finding ways to feel normal again is an important step. Develop new routines and make adjustments that define your life moving forward.
Losing someone we love can be draining emotionally and physically.
Keep breathing, eating, and getting enough sleep. Treat yourself to some comfort food, you deserve it.
When your dog passes away, it is normal to question the purpose of pets in your life. It is so important to come to terms with this question and help you through your grief.
Don’t be discouraged if you don’t find the most stable answers. It is healthy to keep asking questions.
The grieving process will happen gradually over time. It can’t be hurried along or rushed.
Keep this in mind, there is no time limit on grief.
It is yours alone, not someone else’s. Be patient with yourself and allow the process to run its course naturally.
I learned that feeling upset, shocked, and alone are totally normal reactions to the loss of a pet. Never feel ashamed.
You are not alone and You will be OK.
Allowing yourself to show your feelings is not a sign of weakness. This is a part of healing to help you be able to move on.
Ignoring your pain or bottling it up inside will only make things worse.
Hardening your heart will only end up Hardening You.
It is necessary to face your grief head-on. No one feels comfortable doing it. It is something that needs to be done.
Other Living Pets:
If you have other pets at home, try to continue your normal daily routines for a little while, for their sake. Your other pets can also experience loss when a pet dies. Giving them more affection, making special play times, or having more walks can help them feel loved and lift up your mood as well.
Guilt is, unfortunately, a common feeling after losing a dog. Instead of reminiscing about all of the love and care you gave to your companion, you find yourself asking the “What If’s”:
- “What if I had done things differently… “
- “What if I had taken him to the vet sooner…”
The things you should be remembering is how much you really loved your dog. The proof is in the pain you are feeling following their loss.
The initial sad feelings will lessen over time. Our love for our dog doesn’t end when they pass away.
Some owners hold a grudge against themselves and worry that if they let go of their grief, they are letting go of the bond they had with their dog. That is not true.
After we mourn, there will be a time of peace and you will remember the many good times together that will never be forgotten.
Keep Talking About Them:
Growing up in my house, we didn’t really talk about our loved ones who had passed away. It was like it was forbidden and too sad to bring up. That is so wrong!
Talking about Reno with my husband and my kids is part of the healing we need as a family. I want my children to ask me questions, even when it is hard to answer.
I want them to know it is ok to laugh about the funny times we had with our Reno. We also had funny songs we would sing to Reno.
We still sing them and we still talk about him. We will always miss him, but never forget him or shut him out.
Reach Out For Help
Seek out support from your close friends and family members – who are Pet Loving People. If there is any time you need them, it definitely would be now.
Talking with other pet owners who have experienced the death of a pet can be helpful with the grieving process as well.
Attend some social events, join exercise classes, or do some volunteering. Getting out of the house can help give you and your mind a break from everything. Try not to dwell on the pain all day, every day.
Take time out of your day for grieving, but still allow yourself time to keep living.
Don’t shy away from talking to people who care about you. They can offer genuine sympathy. My sister invited me to come visit her a few days after I lost Reno.
We talked and cried together for several hours. It isn’t easy for me to talk and cry it out with others, but when I did, I felt a sense of relief.
Some more weight had been lifted after I had that long talk with my sister about Reno. I will always be grateful to her for lending an ear.
If it helps to talk about your dog’s death with a loved one or even a counselor, then you should do it.