Psycho-therapist Donna Burstyn blogs:
My dog Harley recently passed away after 12 years.
Pet bereavement is an area some specialize in in the counseling world. It’s something that all of us psycho-therapists can address because the death of a pet is the death of a loved one.
To many people, it is the closest, most intimate relationship they have in their life. It is their best friend. It is their greeter every day. It is the one that they talk to. Many elderly who have lost their spouse and take on a pet, it serves the idea of a best friend and companion. The grief of a lost animal is horrendous.
I want us to think about our pets and other people’s pets in a significant way. When someone is grieving the loss of a pet, it is the loss of a loved one. We need to be more receptive and kinder and more compassionate to understand that.