The bonds we form with our animal companions can be deeper than bonds we form with others. The loss of your animal companion can cause such emptiness, sadness and intense emotional pain.
Most people, unfortunately, do not understand and do not provide the support and compassion after such a loss. You may hear why don’t you just get another one? Why are you still upset by this? It was just a pet. This can leave one feeling embarrassed, alone and isolated in the grieving process. Because of this stigma a loss of a pet companion remains unresolved and can have lasting impact on emotional health for years to come.
Some issues I can help with:
Death of a Pet
The loss of your companion is a devastating one. The bond between a human and their animal companion is unique and like no other. When we lose a relationship that we hold dear to our hearts it can affect us deeply. Grief can impact our ability to function in the world. It can affect our relationships leaving us feeling isolated and misunderstood especially if the grief is disregarded or mocked.
My childhood dog was my best friend. For many children, the family pet, whether it is a cat, dog, guinea pig, hamster or fish is their first introduction to a special friendship. Their companion will sit with them without judgement when they are upset. And they will make children giggle with delight. This may be the child’s first experience with understanding unconditional love. Maybe the child is an only child and sees their animal companion as a sibling. That loss can be very powerful.
Unresolved emotional losses
This loss may have triggered other unresolved issues from your past that need to be addressed. My grandmothers dog was the last gift she received from my grandfather before he passed away. She had that dog for 17 years. He was her last connection to her husband. Her dog became her life companion. When her dog passed, she was devastated.
When to euthanize
No one wants to see our companions suffer. When our pet becomes sick we may be faced with the decision of what is the next step? That decision is probably one of the hardest we have to make. I am here to help you work through the heart wrenching decision of whether or when to euthanize your sick companion
Adopting A new companion
When we have lost the beloved companion in our life when do we know if we are ready to bring another companion in? If it is too soon, some are left feeling resentful or have a difficult time bonding because they are not the animal we lost. Honor your grief and take as much time to process the loss.
Have you lost custody due to a break up?
Breakups or divorces are never an easy experience but what if there is a shared animal companion? It is not unheard of for couples separating to fight for custody of their animals. Not only are you dealing with the anger and hurt of a failed relationship but also the disheartening loss or shared custody of your furry loved one with someone you want nothing more to do with.
A missing or stolen animal
Time does not heal loss. We never just “get over” losing a loved one. But when someone’s companion goes missing or is stolen it creates a whole other level of grief called unresolved grief. The pain one experiences when a furry companion goes missing is excruciating and is even more painful than when one’s companion passes away. There is no sense of closure because you are left with the heart wrenching reality that your furry loved one could still be alive. That makes it incredibly difficult to “move on”.