All my life I have cared for animals, rescuing many stray pets along the way. Animals are not just pets, they are family members and best friends. The bond between a pet parent and its: fur, finned, feathered or hoofed baby, is often stronger than most human relationships. Pets are always glad to see us, they love us unconditionally and they are usually the centre of our universe.
When that awful day arrives when we have to say goodbye to our beloved pets, we are left feeling bereft, devastated and totally lost. Losing a beloved pet can be just as painful as losing a human loved one, sometimes it can be more painful, especially if the human parent has no family or friends and the beloved pet is only companion.
It is hard to explain to people the depth of our emotional pain, especially when we are told to ‘Snap out of it, its only a pet.’ Our bereavement is not acknowledged by society (Disenfranchised Grief) and often we are left feeling alone with no one to talk to and nobody to listen to our pain. If the beloved pet has died suddenly or had to be ‘Put to Sleep’, the grief is more difficult to resolve because of feelings of: guilt, anger, blame and intense mourning.