One of the most heart-wrenching experiences is when something happens to our beloved companion animal. Whether they get lost, stolen, or they pass away from old age, disease, or an accident—it makes no difference the cause—the grief we experience can be so deep it can be incapacitating.
Shasta Annie Ireland, my doggie-daughter, passed away four days before her 17th birthday. I raised her for 16+ years and I was so devastated that I stayed home from work for three days sobbing inconsolably. When I finally returned to work and my typical social outings, I could not even say her name for months afterwards without tearing up or breaking down. She was always there. We had fun together every day, and she always had a bright and shiny smile on her face.
There are people out there that don’t connect with animals the way many of us do. I admit that I tend not to socialize very much with non-pet people. There’s just something about someone who doesn’t like dogs or cats and can’t relate to our animated anecdotes about our furry children.They may not have the capacity to understand our grief when we lose a furry child.
We are lucky to be living in an era where we can find bereavement support groups online to help adjust to daily life without our best friend. The three groups listed here can provide help on many levels: