Tag Archives: how to grieve the loss of a pet

How Can Anyone Really Know It Is Time? by Dr. Julie Reck

As a veterinarion running a mobile vet practice dedicated to providing a compassionate home euthanasia service, I face this question at least 5 times a day and sometimes I internally ask myself this throughout the day.  I recently published a book called “Facing Farewell” to help people find the answer to this question.  In the book, pet owners learn how animals perceive life and death, how to measure quality of life, and the process of the euthanasia procedure.  This is all very important information for anyone faced with making end of life decisions for their pet, but in this blog I would like to try to tackle this question on a more personal level. Continue reading


The Moment After: Surviving Pet Loss

Rest In Peace Mrs. Birdsall a.k.a. "Birdie"

The world has just ended.  Your pet; your friend, your confidante, the companion who was always there for you-has died.  Dog, cat, horse, bird, hamster, ferret;  species doesn’t matter.  Age doesn’t matter.  All that matters is the huge hole that has just entered your life.  That, and the grief.    Conventional wisdom suggests that I devote this blog – call it “the moment after blog”- tips on how to start feeling better.  But, if your pet has died within the past few hours or days, you may not be able to even imagine feeling better.  You may be wondering how you can even survive.  You  may also not want to feel better.  Painful as it is, that ragged, miserable hole may seem all you have left of your pet and you may not want to get rid of it just yet.  The thought of “feeling better” too quickly may actually seem disrespectful.  You may feel that you owe your pet a period of grief, of pain.  “Feeling better” may seem a lot like “letting go”, and you may not be ready to do that yet.  That’s okay….

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Absent Companions – Reflections on Pet Loss

Grief over Pet Loss is universal.  It has no gender, color, age, race, political or financial demographic.  We may all experience grief very differently and most assuredly we all  cope with it a little differently.  The grief truly does vary with each loss.  I have learned that to fight the profound sadness and sense of loss is fruitless but  to try to surround myself with others who have had the same experience. I have also found it helpful to read encouraging words often more eloquently stated than I am able. 

I have gathered here a collection of words and thoughts expressed by people; some famous some not so famous but perhaps you will find here a story similar to your own or some words that express just how you feel or how someone you know feels. 

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This week I received a call from a grieving pet owner requesting detailed information about our Soft-Hearted Pillow Pet Urn.  While this is not an unusual occurence, the circumstances of the call were.

This family had lost their cat, their pal of many years just days before the call.  The woman was stealing up the nerve to make the trip to her veterinarians office to pick up her cat’s cremated remains.  It has been my personal experience , which is echoed by the sentiments of my customers , that this step of picking up the ashes can be a very traumatic one; second only to the trip to the veterinarian’s office for the euthanasia if those were the circumstances of the loss.  This woman went on to tell me that this cat had been the friend and constant companion of her 11 year old son.  This boy, this eleven year old, had gone online searching for solace on the loss of his companion as well as a suitable memorial for him.  His mother told me that her son had not been able  to sleep without  his cat friend snuggled next to him as he had done every night for the last eleven years. 

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