Linda Price, Ph.D., LMFT View Entire Blog

Pets Who Die

I have a very dear friend who had to put his beloved Golden Retriever down the other day, and this big, tough guy was devastated with the loss. He never thought it would be so hard. His buddy was gone. His dog had a very long life with lots of love and plenty of affection, so it was humane to bring his suffering to an end. For days, he couldn't get up to go outside or even to eat. It was the only choice, and my friend knew it. He called a wonderful woman to come to the house to administer the injections and his beloved dog was able to die in his arms, all the time looking into my friends eyes with complete trust and love until he took his very last breath.

I know there are others who experience this type of deep loss when a pet leaves them, either through sudden death or because it's the humane thing to do. There is something so deeply profound in this type of loss that I venture to believe it is a stronger bond than any other relationship we have. It seems unconditional love is at its best in an animal-human relationship.

If there is anyone who is experiencing this type of loss, I send you my deepest sympathy. You were given a gift that is beyond a mere description in words -- it is felt deeply and you will need time to mourn this terrible loss. People think getting over the loss of a pet should be easy -- but it is not. The stages of grief must still be completed before inner peace and this terrible loss are healed.

I just wanted to share this today for those who are deeply grieving the loss of their best friend. Your heart was blessed the day your pet walked into your life with the ultimate gift of unconditional love. That gift will always be a part of you even on days when you feel the most beaten up because your devoted friend remains alive and well in your heart.

Take care and may God bless you all.
Linda M. Price, Ph.D.