Losing a Dog Can Be Harder

Posted on Mar 25, 2017 in Fresh Grief, General Grief, Pet Loss

I recently read an article (link below) entitled “Why Losing a Dog Can Be Harder than Losing a Relative.”

If you can’t understand the phenomenon, you likely haven’t experienced 15-18 years of sweet, eager, unconditional love from a pet. Nor have you experienced your own sweet, eager, unconditional love for your pet.

Lost and found

I have had clients who have deeply grieved the death of a spouse, but admit that losing their beloved dog was tougher experience to tolerate. It is not surprising as we aren’t often loved without expectation, i.e., without someone wanting us to look, act and think a certain way.

On the other hand, I have watched in amazement as a struggling bereaved individual comes alive and starts to rebuild their life – after getting a new pet.

Honor the loss

So if a family member, friend or co-worker is grieving the death of a pet, bite your tongue before you say “it’s just a dog, for heaven’s sake.”

Enjoy the article and the latest research on our relationship to our pets!

>read article



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The Loss of Chipper, a Golden Retriever

Posted on Dec 30, 2014 in General Grief, Pet Loss, Uncategorized


Marty Tousley, author of GriefHealing.com, is the giant on whose shoulders other grief blogger’s stand. Instead of our intended post, we have decided to end the year with her post Voices of Experience: 7 Things Chipper Taught Me about Life and Business.

Most of us have had our hearts broken by the loss of a pet, but I wonder how many of us have the wisdom to allow our pets to teach us how to live a richer life.

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People Trying to Console Me

Posted on Nov 19, 2013 in General Grief, Pet Loss


The following are a few of the comments you may have received from genuinely caring people after the death of your loved one:

  • “At least they are no longer suffering.”
  • “You are strong, you’ll get through this.”
  • “The Lord had another plan for them.”
  • “You are young; you’ve got a lot of life to live.”
  • “It is good that you didn’t have children together.”
  • “It is good that you had children together.”
  • “You were lucky to have had so many years together.”
  • “It was such an ordeal, now you can move on.”
  • “I know how you feel. I…”
  • “You were lucky to have had such a happy marriage.”
  • “You have plenty of time, you will have more children.”
  • And if a pet has died, “You will get over this. The best thing you can do is get another dog.”
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Nobody Loves Me as Good as You!

Posted on Sep 10, 2013 in Pet Loss

The death of a pet can be devastating for anyone, but the loss is often monumental for a person living alone.

I am convinced that my dad wouldn’t have agreed to open heart surgery if it hadn’t been for his cat, Misty. My mother had died and in many ways he wanted to die as well. But he wondered aloud, “Who will take care of Misty?”  When I said I would take her, he insisted that I couldn’t take care of Misty like he could. He was right. Misty was in love with my dad not with me, so nothing I did would ever be as good.

Thankfully my dad survived the surgery and the two of them took care of each other until Misty was put down at 18 because of stomach cancer. It was difficult to watch my dad pretend he wasn’t crushed. Soon a picture of Misty appeared on top of the television, and anyone who watched TV in that house had to watch Misty as well.

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