The Star-Herald

Losing a pet hurts

Don’t forget that this Saturday, Nov. 30, at the Central Aroostook Humane Society, Santa will be arriving to have photos taken.  Bring the family and your furry family member to create some special memories this holiday season. Photo hours are 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and light refreshments will be served.

If you are a pet owner, you already know that there are no words that can describe the joy and love pets bring into the home. 

Pets are a perfect company, they welcome us at the door, eagerly waiting for us to spend some time playing with them. They can perform numerous pranks and tricks to make us laugh, they are amazing with kids, and they offer unconditional love.

Pets are always there for us when we are feeling blue or lonely, when we need comfort and a warm hug, and when we are happy that life can sometimes be too beautiful to be true.

This explains why people find it too difficult to say goodbye to their pets. The loss of a pet is always a traumatic and painful experience, as it is the departure of a best friend. Following are some thoughts on grieving the loss of a pet from www.naturalhealingmagazine.com and Ralph Ryback, MD, “The Truisms of Wellness.”

Numerous people underestimate the pain felt after losing a dog or a cat, or any other pet, so researchers investigated the extent of sorrow owners feel in these cases.

The study was carried out in the Department of Psychology at the University of New Mexico. Researchers questioned pet owners about their feelings after the loss of their pet, and they all agreed that the pain has been too intense and deep. 

Interestingly, Hawaiian researchers have even found that the pain after the death of a pet is usually much longer lasting than the pain we feel with the loss of a loved one.

Numerous people agree that they cannot compare the pain they have experienced after the loss of their pet to the one after the loss of a loved one. This can only be explained by the fact that pet owners are deeply connected to their loved pets, and they suffer as if they have lost their soul mate.

A pet is truly a gift that can change your life and bring you monumental happiness and gratitude. Pets teach you responsibility, patience, kindness, discipline, playfulness and, most importantly, unconditional love. Even if your dog chews your couch, scratches your doors, and manages to eat every sock you own, you still figure out a way to share your home and heart with your companion.

If you or a loved one has recently lost a pet, try to remember your companion by keeping the love alive. Maybe frame a photo of your pet, plant a tree in your pet’s memory, create a symbolic gravestone, or, if you cremate your pet, keep the ashes somewhere special. Keeping the memories of your beloved companion alive can be the healthiest way to get through the grief.

 “Until one has loved an animal, a part of one’s soul remains unawakened.” — Anatole France

 Gloria J. Towle is the secretary and a member of the board of directors of the Central Aroostook Humane Society.

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