It is important to grieve the loss of your pet
Grieve the loss of your pet

Today, Dr. Gabriel Constans joins us to discuss 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.


It is a sad fact of life that everything dies, including the animals we love and care for.

Dogs, cats, birds, fish and countless other living creatures all tend to have a shorter life span than humans, thereby increasing the chances that our beloved collie, calico, parakeet or zebra fish will take their last gasp long before we leave our mortal flesh.

A lack of compassion

To add salt in the wound, when our family friend dies; is the widespread lack of compassion or understanding we often receive from others.

Many well-meaning people disregard or fail to comprehend the emotional impact that pet loss has on our lives.

They dismiss or minimize our pain when we try to talk about the cat we’ve had for fifteen years getting sick and needing constant attention. They turn away from our tears, when our adorable finch or mutt is lost or killed by a car.

They disparage our shock and disbelief when the quarter-horse we’ve brushed, fed and cared for over the last decade suddenly dies.

Your relationship with your pet is real

It is important to grieve the loss of your pet
Every being touches our lives.

Yet, for some people, our animal friends are the closest and most consistent relationships we have in life. Taking responsibility for creatures placed or taken in to our care takes an extraordinary amount of attention, time and money.

Similar to caring for children or parents, such devotion inevitably creates long term attachment and undeniable emotional connection.

Sometimes, our dog or cat are the only living beings that love us unconditionally and don’t argue, judge or hurt us in any way. They also communicate their pleasure, discomfort or needs without the use of words.

Their desire to be touched, patted, combed and talked to provide continual reminders of what it means to be alive, that someone is depending on you and that now, this moment, is just as important as the next.


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

See Part 2 of Dr. Constans’ story here


It is important to grieve the loss of your pet – Part 1
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