PET LOSS COUNSELLING

The loss of a pet can be an extremely difficult and painful experience. This is situation is not helped by the fact that often the loss is not acknowledged as being a very important event. Many people try to minimize the loss by saying, "It's only a cat", or "It's only a dog." To say this is to fail to understand the bond between  pet owners and their pets. Today's pet owner considers their animal to be a family member, and misses their pet nearly as much or just as much as any human family member when the pet dies. Our pets provide us comfort, companionship, and unconditional love. When that is gone, it is an occasion to mourn.

Grief is a normal response to any important loss in life. It occurs regardless of whether death followed a prolonged illness, or a sudden accident. Grieving people experience both physical and emotional traumas as they try to adapt to the upheaval in their lives brought about by the loss.

The death of a pet means the loss of a non-judgmental love source. There is no longer anything for the pet owner to nurture and care for. Furthermore, the owner looses his or her contact with "the natural world." These feelings can be particularly intense for the elderly, single people and childless couples,( for whom the pet also is a child substitute).  

Grief is probably the most confusing, frustrating and emotional thing that a person can experience. It is even more so for pet owners. Society in general does not give bereaved pet owners "permission" to grieve openly. Consequently, pet owners often feel isolated and alone. Luckily, more and more resources are becoming available to help the bereaved pet owner realize that they are NOT alone and that what they are feeling is entirely normal.

 

 

THE STAGES OF GRIEF

PET LOSS AND CHILDREN

DO PETS GRIEVE?

HEALING

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