Today, Dr. Gabriel Constans is back to continue his discussion on the impact the loss of a pet has on our lives.
Many of us know this grief firsthand and understand the pain. Dr. Constans reminds us that the pain we feel is real and should not be ignored.
I met someone recently who was shocked when her veterinarian told her that their dog had cancer and should be “put to sleep”. She said, “If we can have end-of-life comfort care for humans, why not for our animal friends?
Don’t they deserve the same kind of compassion and attention?”
Luckily, she found a vet who was willing to make home visits, provide the necessary medications and provide loving support and attention to their beloved dog until her last breath, without euthanizing their families’ animal friend.
Don’t be afraid to talk about how you are feeling and share your loss
Losing an animal member of the family can also bring up other losses. When our cat Sushi was mauled by a dog ten years ago, I found myself unexpectedly remembering our childhood terrier, named Pinky and my grandmother, who I used to visit when Pinky was living.
The loss of a creature, often called “pets”, should be regarded with the same respect as that of a human.
Let us talk about our loss; share our pictures and memories; have a memorial or remembrance ritual for our animal friend.
Services or funerals, help provide connection with the being we lost; acknowledge their life as meaningful; and encourages society to respect and honor all living creatures.
Don’t be shy; if you need professional help, go and get it
If, at any time, you have lost an animal friend, either suddenly or from an extended illness and need additional support beyond your friends and family, don’t hesitate to contact the SPCA (Society for the Prevention of Cruelty Against Animals), a local grief counseling program, clergy or therapist.
You deserve the same care and respect as your animal does that has died.
Dr. Constans has served the community since 1974 as a grief counselor, chaplain, social worker and massage therapist and is certified in Thought Field Therapy (TFT).
His private counseling and consulting practice is located in Santa Cruz, California. Contact GoGabriel.com