We speak a lot about life joys, but very little about our sad times. Missing our beloved pets can be a hard time. The truth is, we would like to avoid this time, but it is part of the natural life cycle. Here we are talking about our everyday faithful companions.” He is so cute”,” the joy of the house”,” he has such beautiful puppy eyes…” many words to describe how they are our loved ones. Dogs and cats can live with us for many years, being part of the family. My own pets became seniors. My much-loved cat turned 21years old and my dog passed when she was 11. That`s a lot of our journey of life together. Being myself a pet lover and working for so many years with pets and their owners has given me some experience with this delicate topic. Losing a pet has a unique meaning. How should we deal with this sad time? Our journey of mourning will not follow a basic recipe, because everyone has their own story. During the period when you are actively mourning your loss, it may help to consider some consolations. Accept the pain of the loss. Experiencing these emotional feelings about the death of a pet is difficult, but important and necessary. A healthier grief journey may come from taking time to work through the feelings rather than trying to push them away. I think it is important to teach our kids too. It is not easy, of course - many of us would like to protect our kids from feeling sad, but it is part of the natural life cycle. Acknowledging the reality of your loss may take some time - weeks or months but will be done in a time that is right for each person. Be kind to yourselves while preparing for the “new life routine” without our beloved pets. Just as it took time to build a relationship with your pet, it will take time to get used to him or her not being there. Your memories allow your pets to live in you. For example, take some time to look at past photos. Talking with other pet owners who have experienced the death of a pet can be helpful support. The experience of loss is different for everyone and can present unique challenges. When a pet dies, it’s natural to question the meaning of pets in your life. Remember taking care of an animal is about generosity. Studies have shown that human kindness makes them happier so don't let this good feeling die inside your heart. Continue to love and take good care of your other pets, if you have them, or help with the neighbor`s dog, take care of your garden or be a shelter volunteer. This is an opportunity for emotional growth. We can be thankful about the time that we shared with our pets. Recognize our own and the veterinary medicine limits. If the time to say goodbye arrives, feel peace in your heart about doing what you should do, and be sure that your pet knows it, he or she can feel it. You will always have it inside your heart.
Gisela Novaes - Holistic Veterinarian - Canine Massage Therapist