Why Does Losing a Dog Hurt So Much?

TruDog®

BY · PUBLISHED · UPDATED

Can losing a dog be more traumatic than losing a human family member? Should you really be feeling such intense grief when your dog dies? Losing a dog is every pet parent’s nightmare. We all understand on the day we bring a new dog home that someday in the near future, we’ll also be saying goodbye- dogs lives really aren’t that long. Yet we still give them our entire hearts.

loss of dog

According to ABC News, Research has confirmed that for most people, the loss of a dog is, in almost every way, comparable to the loss of a human loved one. Frank McAndrew recalls his recent experience with the excruciating decision to put his family dog to sleep. “I remember making eye contact with Murphy moments before she took her last breath — she flashed me a look that was an endearing blend of confusion and the reassurance that everyone was ok because we were both by her side.” That glimpse into the essence of a dog’s soul is often what makes it so hard to let them go.

girl and dog

Our dogs ingrain themselves into every aspect of our lives. I’m betting you haven’t even used the bathroom completely alone recently, right? They’re there for intimate moments no one else sees. They are present in all the good times and the bad. Your dog is probably in most of the photos you take, because they’re always by your side. Dogs provide a steady stream of unconditional love we come to rely on to get through our days.

And once that stream is gone, it can affect us deeply. “The loss of a dog can also seriously disrupt an owner’s daily routine more profoundly than the loss of most friends and relatives,” according to McAndrew. The most private parts of your life are forever changed, more empty, once your dog leaves your life.

sad dog

Plus, there are no set societal norms that help us grieve our pets. No funerals, no days off work, no time to adjust to life without your best friend. Sure, we say we’re sorry when we hear of someone losing a dog, but there’s no deep support when a dog dies. If you told someone you were going to grief counseling for the loss of your dog, they’d tell you you’re over reacting or being dramatic. It’s just a dog after all…

Except it’s not just a dog- it’s a piece of your heart. And you have every right to grieve deep and long and celebrate the time you had with them. Your life revolves around your dog. Their passing will take time and love to heal.

dog parent

The truly wonderful thing about dog people is that no matter how great the hurt, we still choose to open our hearts time and again to another dog. Each dog deserves the deepest, fullest, love-filled life possible- for however long they’re here with us. So we keep on adopting new furry family members and celebrating their unique, short lives. Because dogs teach us how to love deeply and unconditionally like no other life lesson. And for that, we are grateful.

 

COMMENTS FROM LOVINMYPUP.COM:

All i can share is that i have been devastated with the death of each and every furry baby that passed.    I have spent money that I didn’t have in an attempt to keep them on this earth. with me, but ultimately I had to do what was best for my baby.  not me!  I see them all running, jumping, and playing in Doggie Heaven!    RIP MY BABIES!

If you want your pet featured on this site,  you can visit my Facebook  page , Lovin My Pup,  click on ” Visitor post ”  and enter the information  there, or send it to me (Marsha LoVerso) by Instant Messenger.   I would need 2 or 3 of your favorite  pictures of your pet, pet’s name, age, breed of dog or type of cat,  and interesting facts about your pet that you would like posted.   I will send you notice when the post goes on line.    

We can also memorialize a pet who has passed for all eternity on line.  This is a great way to give the pet a final tribute, and give the pet family a sense of closure and forever documentation of his/her life with you.

And remember to share your love with your pet (s) each and every day!