How do you get over the death of a dear pet?

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  1. Maddie Ruud profile image71
    Maddie Ruudposted 12 years ago

    How do you get over the death of a dear pet?

  2. badegg profile image80
    badeggposted 12 years ago

    That's a tough one. Your best way is to have some sort of closure. This is easier if you have had the pet until it was too old to keep going and died peacefully. If your beloved pet died suddenly it is hard to have closure. Having a small pet funeral or memorial usually  helps. I have had a lot of dogs and other pets over the years, and when one of them passed on, I buried him or her myself. This is especially helpful with children.

  3. Dubuquedogtrainer profile image60
    Dubuquedogtrainerposted 12 years ago

    I think time is the only healer. It is very individual and for most of us pet lovers it is devastating. You could look for a pet support group in your area, write a letter to your deceased pet, make a memory book, make a charitable donation in your pet's memory...but really, just time. I know, it is so very hard. Sometimes getting another pet helps, but that is a very individual matter and it will not take away the memory of the deceased pet.

  4. Cat R profile image77
    Cat Rposted 12 years ago

    Losing a 'pet' may mean nothing to some who only see them as 'things' or 'tools';
    but to those that truly love them it is a indescribably pain and loss.

    Everybody deals with it different, but it is important to remember the good and move forward.

    The pain will never really go away; but it will lessen. read more

  5. Martins Fraulein profile image60
    Martins Frauleinposted 12 years ago

    there's really no way to "get over it." you can't forget a death. Over a long period of time, your pet becomes a part of the family, and the longer your pet is alive, the more attached you will be and the more heartbroken you will be when she/he passes.

  6. ii3rittles profile image83
    ii3rittlesposted 12 years ago

    I always struggle with this one. Its hard to accept it at first, but you have to think of it as a way, that they are no longer in this hurtful world. When an animal dies from sickness, they are no longer suffering. If an animal dies of other causes (accidents, by the hands of humans) its easy to get angry, but we can't. The short time we had to spend our lives with them should be cherished. Its not the measure of life that matters but the love that always does. The time spent with an animal that you loved and chose to love you back is a beautiful thing. There are many animals that live on this earth that need our love, even if only for a day, or a week, or a year.

    Trust me, I know its hard. Just remember the good times, the good memories and know that they loved you.

  7. melbel profile image92
    melbelposted 12 years ago

    It is incredibly difficult. It really is. I think it depends on how the pet passed away. If it was after a long illness, I think that makes it easier. If it's sudden and without warning, like an accident, I think that's more difficult.

    I'm one of those people who don't attend funerals, but rather busy myself with things to try and forget. It sounds wrong in a way, but it's a coping mechanism. I think we all have different ways of coping with death.

    My dad lost his favorite pet last fall and he'd still not over it. We got him a puppy to bond with, who he loves dearly, but he will never replace (nor was meant to) my dad's dog. I think that's a debate in its own right... whether or not to get a new pet right away. For me, a new pet is a way to cope. I lost a best friend and my new pet won't replace my best friend, but is someone small and loving and in need of my care. My new pet is a friend who will heal my wounds and be a new, different best friend.

  8. loveofnight profile image76
    loveofnightposted 12 years ago

    For me the first thing I did was to face my pain,my pet was a family member. Facing it will not lessen the pain but it will start the healing process.You or anyone you know can't put a time limit on that pain. Be patient and allow your grief to flow naturally. There are those who say to just replace that pet with another but if your pet (family member) was like a friend how do you replace them.Everything comes in time on time so just be patient.

  9. Patty Inglish, MS profile image88
    Patty Inglish, MSposted 12 years ago

    I think there is no method for getting over the death entirely, as is true in my mind about losing one's child to death. Some counselors suggest setting a certain number of days to grieve whole-heartedly and then trying to busy oneself with life a little more each day after that. I also think that donating funds to an animal sanctuary or related organization in the pet's name is a good idea. Other people have often painted a portrait and/or written a poem about their pet and submitted these to the local newspapers or magazines. Today we can write an illustrated Hub.

  10. xethonxq profile image66
    xethonxqposted 12 years ago

    Boy, what a good question....I guess I had to mourn for awhile. Got a cool picture frame and put my favorite pic of my pet in it. Got a little cross made with her name on it and the dates of her birth and death...and just waited for time to pass.

  11. CaptainAwesome17 profile image60
    CaptainAwesome17posted 12 years ago

    Losing an animal of ours it's really frustating, I know it because my dog died 3 months ago, and even today I feel like he has died yesterday.
    Our pets are our life, we make them feel comfortable among those who are taking care of him and the advantage (sometimes disavantage) of that is that we will love them so much as we loved/love our first love.
    Well, let's get to the point. We can't get over our pet's death, it's just impossible, well, not that I'm asking you to come back in time and make yourself never bought that pet, in my case and if that was possible, I wouldn't never make that, I really did loved my dog and I'm always going to love him, I will never regreat having him.
    But there are a few tips, like, beign with your family, friends and those who you really care about, they will understand your situation and make you fill as most comfortable as they want. Another tip is to get another pet, not a thing that is always easy, but if you start to love another one, the pain you feel will start to low down. Another is to move foward. Create a new life, get a new job, make new friends, meet better and more active people, just make a radical changing in your life.
    All this made me in 3 months start to make my pain go away. But keep in mind that you will never, I repeat, NEVER forget your so beloved pet.
    Good luck, you'll need it !

  12. pstraubie48 profile image80
    pstraubie48posted 12 years ago

    This may sound like a stretch but getting over the death of my Dusty girl Kitty was akin to getting over the death of a human loved one. I went through the whole grief process when she left this planet. She came into my life and the life of my daughter as a feisty, bigger than a bit of dust, hence her name. At the time we were running a half way house for kitties so she came into a house of 12 others...and she was the tiniest. But she showed them in 5 minutes flat she was not intimidated and would be in charge. And she was from then on.
    Truthfully the only way we ever got over the loss of her was to allow ourselves to grieve...recognize our feelings, allow them, address them, and keep on keeping on.
    Time and distance were the healers. But even as I write this an old ache settles into my chest as I remember the precious Kitty that we so adored.

  13. Makeyouup profile image56
    Makeyouupposted 12 years ago

    I asked this question myself on December 8, 2004 when my beloved Boxer Maggie died within a few days of getting sick. Anyone who loves their pet feels as if they lost a family member or a child, and it takes a very long time to get over. What helped me was keeping a few of her most cherished items including her collar and the ball in my backyard that she walked over and kicked on her last day as if to say, "I'm going to be alright." The rest of her things I donated to the local animal shelter which made me feel good because I knew they would give them to a homeless dog who might feel the joy that they brought to Maggie. I printed out a poem about the Rainbow Bridge which helped my children to deal with their loss. Here is a sample:
    It took me 4 years to get another dog, and when I did, I got a dog from a rescue agency. Buddy has been with us for 4 years, and while he hasn't replaced Maggie in our hearts, he does brighten our days. We might have rescued him, but in a way he has also rescued us.

  14. Rick74103 profile image61
    Rick74103posted 12 years ago

    Well, it's just like what it takes to get over the death of a loved one.

    The first and most important thing is that you have to grieve over your loss. Depending upon how attached you were to your pet, you must allow for your emotions to be expressed. Don't let anyone tell you that you can't love a pet just as much as you love another human being. That's simply not true! Pets grow to love us and we grow to love them as members of our families. Only pet owners know that this is true.

    Now, after you have spent an appropriate amount of time going through the grieving process, don't expect to put it all behind you immediately. If your pet meant more to you than anything in the world, it will take you a long time to feel "normal" so to speak. Some people take years getting over the death of their pets, while others can put it behind them much more quickly. The same is true with the death of a friend. All I can suggest is just give yourself as much time as you need.

    Last and possibly one of the most important things to remember is that some people will tell you that you need to get another pet to replace the one that you lost. Please don't let yourself fall prey to this. That is kind of like if you lose a spouse to death or divorce that the only way to get over it is to find someone else. Believe me, no one person can replace another and the same is true with pets. Don't allow yourself to think that by getting a new pet that it will be just like the one you had before. Pets, like people, have different personalities and you must not forget that.

    In summary, let your heart guide you through the process and don't let your head or other people interfere.

  15. bywater profile image60
    bywaterposted 12 years ago

    Acceptance is the resolution of any grief.  But there are many stages to it and they only are resolved in time.  I agree with others who say it isn't possible to "get over" it.  Life with a pet, and living without them becomes part of who we are.  The "kick in the pants" paradox of loss is this: the greater the joy and blessing in life, the sharper and deeper the pain of grief.  I advise in any loss the disciplines of thanksgiving, sharing with and accepting help of others, freedom to cry lots, and patience.  Number 1 truth:  the grief of losing a pet is not different than the death of anyone we lose.  When grief interferes with daily living more than days or a few weeks, seek counseling.  Your soul and heart need attention and healing.

  16. shadowspyro99 profile image60
    shadowspyro99posted 12 years ago

    I ate alot of stuff that made me sick because I felt bad but I didn't think I felt bad enough, then I told a friend and she understood and I felt better, it help to just know that I wasn't alone, and that everything is soon to be ok. As well as knowing that I will be ok too if they were ok . So I hope you feel better also eating chocolate helps too.

  17. thost profile image61
    thostposted 12 years ago

    Oh Maddie,

    Time is the only cure that ever worked for me.

  18. cookies4breakfast profile image61
    cookies4breakfastposted 12 years ago

    Everyone grieves differently, and for some, it takes longer to get to that stage of not sobbing every single day.  I lost my beloved Sassy four years ago, and it took a few years before my husband and I could use the word sassy in any context.  I cried every single day for months, and he couldn't bring himself to speak of her at all the first year. 

    Besides having two other cats that needed me, what really helped was volunteering for a local animal group.  You don't have to be face-to-face with the animals to help them, and I participated in several fundraisers.  Just knowing I was helping them helped me heal.  I also got to meet some of the most compassionate, loving people in the world.  They were incredibly supportive and played a huge role in my healing.

    Again, everyone grieves--and heals--differently.  For some, pets are family members, and no one can expect you to snap out of it overnight or just in a few weeks.  It's okay to take the time to mourn and cry and scream and whatever you feel you need to do. 

    If you're asking this question because it's your current situation, my thoughts are with you.  It's awful--the worst--but it does get easier over time.  And, I guess that's the answer:  time.

  19. Jade58 profile image60
    Jade58posted 12 years ago

    Sometimes I wonder if we ever really do. I have always had pets, usually several at a time. Most of my early memories revolve around an animal in my life.
    After each loss of a pet, my sadness and grief, at times threatened to overwhelm me. Trying to rationalize "It was JUST an animal" doesn't work. No, she wasn't an 'it' and she was so very much more than 'just' an animal.
    Time does ease the pain, but I don't really think we ever really do get over it. I think we learn how to accept it as a necessary outcome of anything we love. We all die. It hurts a lot, but we do.
    So I guess the way I get over the death of a dear pet is exactly how I 'get over' the death of a person I have loved and lost. I cherish the good. I hold on to the memories of their lives and celebrate our time together, and not focus on the day they died. Lastly I look forward to the day I watch one HUGE group with their outstretched arms, wagging tails, happy barks and joyous meows, joining the cacophony of familiar voices raised in welcoming me home running towards me. 'Rainbow Bridge' will make you cry, at least it does me everytime. It helps you heal too I think.
    Best wishes for you.

  20. midwest1 profile image60
    midwest1posted 12 years ago

    We love our pets and they ARE part of the family. Time helps but I'm not sure you ever really get "over it".  Just try to remember the good times and the fun you shared and the happiness your pet brought to you - -  and that will make you smile.

  21. Daughter Of Maat profile image95
    Daughter Of Maatposted 12 years ago

    I recently just lost both of my dogs, so I know exactly how this feels. You never "get over" it. I lost Lady, my 10 year old baby girl, over 2 years ago and it still hurts just as much today as it did when she died in my arms. Dickens, my first dog ever and my sweet little girl, died on November 1st 2011, in my ams. Again, it still hurts just as much today as when it happened. I don't think you get over it, I think with time, you just learn to move on.

  22. onegoodwoman profile image68
    onegoodwomanposted 12 years ago

    Let me tell you about Murphy....................

    The single best dog of my lifetime.....

    No, I can not, yet speak of him...........his loss is a terrible wound.

    I want to.......I need to grieve........but, still, it is too painful.   It is too great a loss.

    THIS........for a much more for a child, a mate, a partner........

    Some things, just are, unspeakable..........even to those of us, who are gifted with words.

    I, just can not, yet, give words to the unspeakable................I just am not that talented.

  23. mfwga2012 profile image58
    mfwga2012posted 12 years ago

    When I lost my dog of  almost 15 yrs. It was a shock at the Vets first word at the VET ER ,  CANCER!   She said he would die before morning. I sat up with him all night and sure enough about 3:30 AM he looked up at me and I felt the love....he was saying, "goodbye" flinched and fell over.  I did not eat for a week.
    Today, his ashes are still in his room in a beautiful copper urn.   I planted a
    nice Dogwood Tree in his memory. 
    I have rationalized everything that I can to help me say goodbye.  I wrote
    a poem about his life and framed it .  I have an 8X10 framed picture of him
    at his last christmas opening his gift.  He loved Christmas.  He could tell which
    stocking over the fireplace was his because it would surely have his favorite
    bone in it. 
    Now, I am writing a book for children about losing their pets.  It will help them
    to understand that their pets are in a better place, of which,  an author unknown
    wrote the ," Rainbow Bridge".   The title of my book will be, "Caty At The Rainbow Bridge."    I do my own illustrations and I think it will be an awesome book for children who have lost a pet.

  24. I Am Rosa profile image84
    I Am Rosaposted 12 years ago

    I spent a few days putting together a memorial for my baby girl on  It helped to share all the good things I loved about her and post photos.  Getting condolences from friends and family also helped.  You can check out their set up and see if it's something you'd like to do: … About.aspx

  25. profile image0
    Larry Wallposted 12 years ago

    You grieve.
    We had a Chocolate Lab mix breed that we got from a rescue society when he was a pup. We named him CoCoa for his brown coat. He had been found by some people who saw him being kicked around a school yard. Physically he was fine.
    He was a family pet, but he became attached to me. He would sit next to my rocker-recliner and expect me to pet him all evening. If I stopped, he would sit up,put one paw on my arm and look me as to say, don't stop. I usually resume the petting.
    He would lay in a way that he could see my wife working at the dinner table. However, when Wheel of Fortune came on, he would stand up and turn around as soon as Vanna White was introduced. I know most do not believe that but its true. As he got older, he got harder for people to control. For me he would sit, stay, laydown, etc. The helpers at the Vet's office could not handle him.

    He bit a friend's grandson. I always said if he ever bit me, we would know he was not right. More than once I stuck my hand down his throat to dislodge a rawhide chew. Then one day when I was reaching inside his crate to attach his leash and he bit my thumb. If he would bite me, he would bite anyone. That dog protected all members of the family. I know I could have walked in any neighborhood in this country with that dog and no one was going to bother me. At home, he just wanted to be petted.

    After biting me,we made a trip to the ER to get my thumb bandaged. I was leaving on a business trip the next day and did not want to leave the dog with my wife and son. We called our vet who came in on Sunday to put him down.

    We have our three Beagles now and they are great. CoCoa will always be special. You handle the death like you would handle the death of a relative. You cry,  you grieve and you go on each day. Then one day you will decide that you want another pet and you know your former pet would not object.

  26. Bretsuki profile image67
    Bretsukiposted 12 years ago

    This is a wonderful question. I have read many of the replies so far and agree the most important thing is time.

    Time never heals the scar of losing a loved pet. Time merely brings the acceptance that your life has changed with their loss.

    I personally have no patience with those who say  "It was only a dog, cat, hamster  or goldfish."  It wasn't just a thing. It was an individual who was close to me and I want to be allowed to hurt from the loss.

    Then with the grief comes the anger and the what if? questions. The constant finding or reminders such as a toy or any item that will again trigger the pain and hurt.

    In the end. The fondness returns. One might find a new pet or decide to remain petless. As many say the choice is personal.

    There is a full grieving process to go through though. No shortcuts, it does hurt. But in the end from grief comes acceptance and a new and different life.

  27. mistyhorizon2003 profile image88
    mistyhorizon2003posted 12 years ago

    How do you get over the death of a much loved pet? Pets like dogs and cats quickly become family members, and when they die it frequently hurts just as much. How do you deal with this grief and go on to adopt other dogs or cats when you know the pain losing them will cause when it happens? read more

  28. Nettlemere profile image76
    Nettlemereposted 12 years ago

    Grieving for a pet. Recognise the 5 stages of grief. Things which help ease the pain of grief. When to get professional help. read more


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