Many of us grieve deeply after losing a pet. We may have embraced our pet as a family member, a friend, a companion, and a provider of comfort. Pets often give us unconditional love and loyalty, and they are present for us through thick and thin. Connections run deep, and some people may grieve as much for a pet as they would for a human family member.
Pet loss can be a complex loss because its significance is not necessarily understood by everyone. Let’s face it: some people are not really animal people, and they have never experienced an attachment to a pet. They may think that dogs or cats are easily replaceable, and underestimate the unique relationships and bonds that can be formed with them. They might not realize that, like humans, each pet has its own personality, and quirks. Another dog of the same breed cannot replace a beloved deceased dog.
I really appreciated this recent article about pet loss in the New York Times.