I was checking my Facebook page this afternoon and noticed that a good friend had posted a status update that made me shed a tear or two. Their pet Spaniel had passed away and this was after a long and painful illness. I was surprised to see that over 50 people had also commented and it made me think about the way that we love our pets so much. I’ve got a beautiful West Highland Terrier and when the sad day finally rears its head, there won’t be a dry eye in this household for at least a few weeks. It kind of makes you wonder why we go through this heartache, especially when our pets seldom live past one decade. Hey, I also keep tarantulas and although I do feel sad when they die, some of these can live for well over 20 years. I’ve made a little list that I know will help me when that fateful day appears, please take a few minutes read these and I really hope it can bring you some comfort one day:
- Dealing with the pain – Just remember that it is only natural, you hurt so much because you care so much about your beloved pet. Never let anyone dictate how you should be feeling and let the grief leave your body at its own pace.
- Getting help – Not all of us are comfortable grieving alone and sometimes it really does help to share your feelings. Your friends and family will be happy to lend you a shoulder and if they knew your pet half as well as you did, they’ll also be feeling glum.
- Is it time to let go? – If your pet is suffering and it is clear that there is no way back, don’t feel guilty about having it euthanised. If the quality of their life has dramatically reduced, they will not be happy with struggling through every day.
- What happens next? – It may take a week, a month or even longer before you have fully mourned for your beloved pet. There are no timelines and one day, you may decide that you would quite like a new dog, cat or whatever pet you choose. This is not paying any disservice to the feelings that you still have for your lost darling, so never feel guilty because your new pet will be a very lucky little guy or girl.
- Never Forget – Lovers of the famous poem, Rainbow Bridge, will look forward to that day when they are reunited once more. Whatever happens, until we cross that bridge, these memories are a great comfort and they will never fade away.
Phil Hall is a dog lover who also has some 8-legged buddies in his life. You can read more about his other hobbies on www.bags-n-aprons.co.uk and on his Facebook page – https://www.facebook.com/BagsnAprons