Losing a loved one is utterly painful; but what if your loved one is a dog? The loss of a pet, will it feel the same?
A loving dog owner should know the answer to that. Though dogs are animals, they are also as valuable as humans for most pet owners. In fact, research says that losing a dog can be as difficult and as painful as losing a person. Researchers in Hawaii even interviewed 106 people a few years ago about their dogs. 69% of the respondents stated that they experienced a complicated grief after losing their dogs.
Apparently, this situation describes intense pain and continuous yearning for the ones they have lost which is different from normal grieving where a person grieves for only a short period of time. There are many reasons why dog owners feel such sense of emptiness and sorrow and here are some of them.
Companionship is one of the many reasons why most dog owners can’t easily move on from their dogs’ death. They live together in one roof and see each other every day. Hence, it’s normal to feel a sense of loss and emptiness when their pets are not there anymore. Like humans, dogs can be great companions too. When humans are too busy with their lives, dogs are there to accompany their owners and wipe out the loneliness they are feeling.
Dogs and cats are more than just animals to their owners. Sometimes, they can connect to their dogs more than they can to humans. They develop a strong attachment to their pets which even grows as time passes by. According to the American Pet Association, many dog owners reported that they feel attached to their dogs as they are to their spouses, children and best friends.
Dogs can also bring comfort to humans, especially on stressful days. Some dog owners are even excited to go home after work because seeing their dog is one of the things they look forward to every day. Hugging and kissing their pets can immediately make their stress and exhaustion go away. Dogs really have that power to make sad people happy. This is why there are comfort dogs and therapy dogs everywhere in the world.
The loss of a pet is also like losing a child for fur parents. Most of them treat their dogs like their babies so when they are gone, they feel responsible for it. They buy or adopt their pets to take care of them and when something bad happens to them, they feel really guilty about it.
They feel like their dogs’ lives are placed in their hands and they could have done more for their pets. They would carry around that guilt and blame themselves for what happened to their dogs. This makes it even harder for them to move on and accept the death of their beloved dogs.
Routines and Memories
What adds to the pain and loneliness of dog owners are the routines with their pets and memories they will always cherish. When their dogs die, owners will miss all the things they used to do together every day; feeding them, giving them a bath, walking them to the park and hugging them to sleep.
This is more difficult for people who live alone with their dogs. It will be hard to stay at home because they will always remember the times when their dogs are still around. They will feel devastated, hopeless and depressed.
This was what happened exactly to Doug, a dog owner, who lost her pet, Delia. “I had her for 17 years. I knew it would be rough when she died, but I had no idea. I was a total wreck. I cried for days. I couldn’t get any work done. Worst of all, I was too embarrassed about it to tell anyone. I spent days at work crying in private and muttering ‘allergies’ whenever someone glanced at my puffy eyes.”
Having read this information, it is kind to acknowledge the pain human companions go through when they experience the loss of a pet, consideration and recognition to pet owners who lost their pets and hope that in time, they will recover and heal all their emotional wounds.
Have you suffered the pain and grief of losing a pet? Be sure to watch the video below and pass this article along to your friends and family.