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Handling the Grief of Losing your Dog

Updated on July 6, 2017

Getting over you dog: why grief for a dog is so real and what to do about it.

The grief over a lost dog or other furry friend is just as real as the grief one feels it over the loss of another human. In some ways, a relationship with the dogs is one wheel and satisfying their relationships with other humans. The relationships a person has with the furry friend involves unconditional love, support, and uncritical positive feedback.

Interacting with our dogs makes us feel good in a way that interacting with other humans does not. Interactions with people involve so much more in that it requires body language, micro expressions, expression, voice pitch, environmental cues, reading between the lines, and word choice. Interaction with our dogs on the other hand is simple and positive. The communication involves just basic interaction of talking or petting; there is no need to carefully choose words or pitch your voice a certain way (unless you are using baby talk). The interactions are all very real and without any false underlay.

The simple fact of the matter is that your furry friend, your canine companion, or your best friend simply loves you unconditionally because of who you are to them. They don’t care if you are rich or poor, if you had a fight with your best friend, or if you lost your job they just love YOU.

A dog loves fully and with all their hear where a human can love with just section of their heart. Humans have positive and negative interactions and fights. Dogs do not. When you lose your dog in some way it hurts more because not only have you just lost your best friends, but also that one being who was there with you throughout it all and gave you unconditional support and love without consideration or regret.

When you have just lost your dog it is easy to wallow in that loss, but would you furry friend really have wanted you to wallow when they spent most of their life making you smile. Instead of letting that deep well of despair swallow you whole think about what your furry friend would have wanted you to feel.

Perhaps you could do something good for another dog in honor of him or her. One man, Steve Greig, did just that after his beloved companion past. He decided to adopt unadoptable senior dogs who needed the TLC of a forever home, but were unlikely to ever get it due to their age. Steve Greig currently has 10 elder shelter dogs, but he began by adopting a small dog with a heart murmur and from there he just kept saving more dogs. In addition to dogs he also has Bikini (a pig), two ducks, pigeons, cats and a handful of chickens all running around. With a pack like that there is no way to fall into that well of despair he simply does not have the time between grooming appointments, vet appointments, play time, work time, sleep time, and all sorts of chaos that comes with such a diverse family. He also keeps a full social media account to share the adventures of his pack with the world in the hopes of inspiring more rescues of animals who really could use that forever home.

Perhaps you are thinking there is no way I could afford all of those animals and that might very well be true, but perhaps you could open your heart to just one?

Make sure to talk to your local shelter to see if they have any fospice programs. Fospice is like Hospice except for animals. With fospice you provide the home and the love and the shelter covers the price tag involved.


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