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Q: How do you cope with the loss of a pet?

March 16, 2008 | By Lauren S. | 10 answers | Expired: 2315 days ago

How do you cope with the loss of a pet?

I had been fostering a favorite shelter dog of mine about three weeks ago. She was old and having many health problems. After a short time, it was plain to see that it was time to let go of Sheba, having lost control of her bowls, etc. I loved that dog and became very attached to her. The first few days, I was a hysterical wreck. The intense pain has eased, but I am still grieving. Certain things will trigger memories of her, and I just miss her terribly. I suppose there isn't anything to take away the heartache, although time heals some. I did find comfort in the "rainbow bridge" poem. How do you guys cope with the loss of a pet? Any suggestions?

Readers' Answers (10)
Michele Z.
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Mar 16, 2008

Losing a pet is very difficult and it sounds like you could benefit from a Pet Loss Support Group, which you may find at your local Humane Society. It helps to know that other people are just as devastated over losing their pets/companions.

Instead of focusing on the loss, try focusing on all the good you did for this pet while she was alive. Realize that the YOU made it possible for this dog to have the best possible life while in your care. Was she all alone in a cage with no one to pet or hold her? No--you were there and gave all that you could. Be proud of what you did for this dog and celebrate her life; she is now in peace and has YOU to thank.



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Theranddav
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Mar 16, 2008

Losing a pet is no different than losing a human best friend or a family member. Your greiving process is going to be the same. The initial shock of the loss is first. Then comes the ache so deep it feels like it will never go away! Sometimes you might just feel numb. The best suggestion I can give is for you to cry. Cry as much as you want. Stay away from people who think crying over a pet is wrong. If you have photos look at them often. If there is a funny one or one that stimulates a funny memory laugh. If the photo makes you want to cry do so. At first is will be VERY difficult. It is absolutly ok to feel guilty, mad, sad, and happy. It is going to be ok for you to eventually smile again. Another person here says to look for a Pet Loss Group. This is a great idea. These are the people that will ALL understand. If you ever want to just email me thoughts I would love to talk to you more. Sometimes just talking about all the great and bad things helps me. I am soooo sorry for your loss.

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Jacksmum
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Mar 16, 2008

When I lost my beloved terrier Peppy I felt like the world was ending for me. I think the worst was no longer having someone who depended on me for everything. Not long after that Jack came into my life and when I look back on her death I can't help think that her death allowed Jack to have a chance at life. Jack had many behavioral problems as a puppy because he was tied up outside by himself during the critical puppy development period. He was taken from the previous owners and I found him in the shelter at 12 weeks old. To say it was very difficult raising Jack would be quite an understatement. Having worked in a shelter I know that Jack was the kind of dog that would be adopted out over and over again had I not adopted him. He was VERY difficult, but I also fell in love with him at first site. I still occasionally think about my Peppy with fondness, even 9 years after her death, but had the timing been different I would never have had the chance to have Jack in my life. So I guess the way I like to remember my Peppy's death is by thinking she gave it so Jack could be saved.

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