Coping with the loss of a companion animal
DEAR ABBY: You gave some nice advice to "Afraid of the Loss," who wrote concerning the impending death of a beloved pet. I think your suggestion of a support group is helpful. Adding a second pet to his home while his pet is still alive often energizes an older pet. When the time comes, it will help the human to have another loving pet to help with the grieving.
As I learned, only time was able to take the deep hurt to a place where I could think of him without tears. Keeping the ashes of a pet can be comforting, whether you choose to bury them later or tuck them away in your home. Most important is having a plan for when that moment comes so you automatically know what needs to be done.
I wouldn't have missed the love of my dog even knowing the pain that has to come in the end.
- Cathy in California
DEAR CATHY: It's easy to see why dogs are called man's best friend because of all the love, affection, entertainment and companionship they give us, and why we only want the best for them in this life and after. Read on:
DEAR ABBY: Your pet is your child. Anyone who doesn't understand that isn't worth worrying about when the loss occurs. Will it hurt? Of course. But the pain does ease in time. Your pet does not live in the future, but in the moment. Enjoy every moment you have together and accept the unconditional love your pet has given you. You will get through it.
- Deb in Belmont, Mich.
DEAR ABBY: I have found that dealing with the loss of our furry friends never gets easier, no matter how many times you go through it. I think Irving Townsend said it best: "We who choose to surround ourselves with lives even more temporary than our own, live within a fragile circle, easily and often breached. Unable to accept its awful gaps, we would still live no other way. We cherish memory as the only certain immortality, never fully understanding the necessary plan."
- Four Paws Father