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Miss Me But Let Me Go

by Dr Megan Alderson on 2013-06-29 12:07:16

miss-me-but-let-me-go

Some people just don’t get it when it comes to the love of animals.

I have long suffered from derogatory comments regarding having a round shaped dog. Now old and round, inconceivable suggestions from non doggie (but admittedly well meaning) friends and family members have become increasingly upsetting.

One of my friend’s mums recently asked me if I got a new puppy because the old one was getting passed her used by date. Would she ask this about my human child?

I swallowed my growly retort but couldn’t help feeling hurt that she was so far away from understanding my relationship with Sydney, my companion for over 11 years now, and what her inevitable loss will mean to me.

My reality, like many of my clients, is that a pet’s life span is short-way too short- and preparing for such loss is a daunting task. Writing this article, for me, is a start.

Let me explain to those of you who don’t understand. The relationship between pet and owner is deeply personal. Interestingly; much more so than with other close family members or friends. It shouldn’t be so surprising then that the grief which follows the death of a pet hits owners incredibly hard yet often - due to the popular belief ‘it was only a pet and you can get another one’ – it remains tightly locked away.

We know grief properly expressed is grief we can live with; grief that is suppressed is grief that will rise up and haunt us, surprise us and shape our lives in ways we cannot control. That said it is of the utmost importance to grieve for our four legged friends properly and this takes help, support and understanding from our nearest and dearest in order to help us, the one left behind, move on with life.

I am profoundly moved by every death I am a part of-I remain nonjudgmental, compassionate and connected to the experience unfolding however, like with the death of a child, it is vital for the bereaved  to grieve to then go on to heal.

Pets don’t worry about dying but that doesn’t mean their dying shouldn’t happen without dignity and grace. In many cultures ceremonies around death are a cathartic way of openly acknowledging a relationship. From 7 to 100 days (and in some cultures more) of mourning ensue a death where family and friends surround the survivor in order to help them during this very difficult time. Why should this be so different with our pets?

 ‘The Art Of Dying’ at The Strand Veterinarian recognises the importance of our relationship with our pets and has information on services which may help. We would love to hear your comments and thoughts on what helped you through this difficult time.


Doggle.TV Talking About Loss of Your Animal Companion



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